“Their emptiness makes me whole. Their weakness makes me strong. Their destruction is my creation.” – Calypso
Just recently, the company Eat. Sleep. Play. released the latest Twisted Metal game onto Playstation 3. I myself love the Twisted Metal games to death and wish I could get my hands on it. Sadly, I don’t own a Playstation 3 and as tempting as it would be, the game (as well as Box Art Mega Man as a console-exclusive character in Street Fighter X Tekken) isn’t enough for me to shell out all that money for the console. Still, I’m not completely bummed because I do have access to YouTube and while the gameplay is the centerpiece in the series, I’ll always have a soft spot for one of the things Twisted Metal does better than most video games: the endings.
For those who don’t know much about the series, the idea is that Twisted Metal is a reckless competition where people drive cars armed to the teeth with all sorts of weapons and have to fight it out until there’s only one car left. These extreme demolition derbies take place in all sorts of settings, especially in public places, where innocent bystanders are ripe for the picking. The whole thing is put together by Calypso, a mysterious and demonic man who is like a genie mixed with a rat bastard. Whoever comes out the winner is granted an audience with him and he’ll grant whatever wish they ask for. Sometimes he’ll give them what they want and they’re happy. Sometimes he gives them what they want and they end up in terrible shape. A lot of the time he openly messes with them by twisting their wishes for his own amusement. There are also those instances when the winner will challenge Calypso himself to varying success.
The story is filled with a million plotholes and to claim it has its own continuity is charitable at best. That said, it’s not meant to be taken seriously and it’s really just a hokey setup meant to be window dressing for the actual game. For the most part, they’re fun to watch and with 124 endings across eight games (released by four different companies), I can’t help but want to celebrate it with a list of my favorites.
Before I get into it, I should point out how different these cutscenes can be and the context of each game. The first Twisted Metal was simply about Calypso hosting the 10th annual competition in Los Angeles. Originally, they spent about $10,000 filming live-action segments for the game as directed by the game’s mastermind David Jaffe. These got canned by the higher ups, not for the hilariously bad acting and cheesy effects, but because they were deemed too violent and sexist. These didn’t see the light of day for years until Jaffe handed them out to a fansite and later put them in the Playstation 2 version of Twisted Metal: Head-On as an extra. The endings were redone for the actual release via scrolling text accompanied by the game’s rocking theme song, a glaring image of live-action Calypso and ending with a shot of the character’s car driving off.
The second game, Twisted Metal 2: World Tour, changed it up by giving us cutscenes done in the style of motion comics. A direct follow-up to the first game, this time Calypso’s realizes that he’s pretty much annihilated Los Angeles off the map and therefore needs to make his contest international. Jaffe’s company Singletrac lost the rights to Twisted Metal after this due to a dispute with Sony and 989 Studios picked it up. They had to start the engine completely from scratch and it ended up being a disaster. The endings were also a casualty, as the CGI segments were only seconds long and existed to have Calypso torture the winner with some kind of lame pun, usually based on a wish that made no sense. Like how the driver of the car Thumper wishes to “forever hang with his homies” and he’s transformed into a hood ornament. The weirdest one is how the police officers who drive Outlaw ask for a world without crime and doing so leads to them being jobless. That… that kind of seems like more than a fair trade. Why is that treated as a bad thing?
With Twisted Metal 4, 989 Studios improved the game an awful lot on the gameplay side of things and especially in the layout of the game’s levels, although it still didn’t compare as well to the original games. Since they were trying to put more focus on the game’s mascot Sweet Tooth, the story revolved around Sweet Tooth and an army of midget clowns bumrushing Calypso and stealing his magic powers. In Twisted Metal 4, it’s Sweet Tooth’s tournament and in a neat little twist, Calypso is one of the contestants. Unfortunately, all of the old cast is replaced with a bunch of cartoony rejects who are a little too goofy to care about. The endings are a lot better than the previous game, although the animation is incredibly awkward at times.
Jaffe started up a new company Incognito and got back the rights to the series. For the Playstation 2′s launch, they created Twisted Metal: Black, an M-rated game that reimagined the concept in a far darker and grittier setting, trying to cleanse its hands of the previous two games. The story has to do with a redesigned Calypso breaking out a dozen inmates from an asylum to compete in his contest, promising to give them whatever it is they want. The backstories are more vicious than before and only through beating the game with everyone, unlocking the midboss Minion and deciphering the coded message in all of his loading screens do you find out that this relates to the first two games. Minion is Twisted Metal 2′s Marcus Kane, explaining to us that this is all inside Sweet Tooth’s mind. It’s how he sees the world. Very cool.
They went in an odd direction immediately after, deciding on a new game for the first Playstation called Twisted Metal: Small Brawl. This more kid-friendly game is about a world where Billy Calypso is a neighborhood bully and forces the children to have weaponized demolition derbies with their RC cars. Different drivers from the first two games are reimagined as children, such as Mr. Grimm as a kid who loves Halloween and Mortimer as a super-smart nerd. It’s worth noting that the ending for Axel, reimagined as a boy in a wheelchair, was removed out of fear of people being offended by the treatment of the handicapped.
After that came Twisted Metal: Head-On, released for the PSP and later ported to the Playstation 2. This one is a sequel to Twisted Metal 2, even done with the same motion comic style, despite a lot of changed character designs. Now we have the new Twisted Metal for Playstation 3, which appears to be a new continuity that does a better job of explaining the story. It revolves around only four characters, who each has a gang of followers, but with many vehicles for them to choose from. The story mode is shockingly linear, featuring storylines for Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm and Dollface that lead into each other. After they each win the tournament, we’re given a very anticlimactic ending followed by two interesting epilogues that set up the sequel. While this doesn’t share continuity with any of the other games, there’s a couple shots of Calypso’s trophy case of props from previous winners. Many of those trophies are direct references to previous endings (even the live-action endings from the first game), as well as Kratos of God of War’s swords and a copy of the game War of the Monsters. The style of the cutscenes are extremely neat, reminiscent of Sin City, only in full color.
Now, then. Let’s check out the best of the best. Naturally, there will be spoilers, including the new game.
Catfish, driver of the monster truck Hammerhead, is a major hunting enthusiast and has mastered the ability to kill any animal. He’s grown bored with it all and now wants to move to the next level. He wants to hunt down humans for sport. Calypso is annoyed at this request, as he doesn’t see it so different from the tournament Catfish just won. Still, he grants his wish.
Catfish finds himself in a jungle, watching a figure shuffle around in the distance. When he makes his move and fires on the prey, the bullet bounces off. He realizes at the last second that it’s only a decoy. He gets shot in the chest and falls over, seeing that his opponent in this little game is Calypso himself, accompanied by his assistant Mr. Zeke.
As the last shot shows us Catfish’s head mounted on a wall, Calypso jokes, “Okay, Zeke, let’s tie this beaut to the hood and HEAD ON out of here.”
The Small Brawl endings are too short to really be worth anything, but I had to include this one on the list due to being charmingly adorable. Agent Stone is a little kid version of James Bond, so when he enters Billy Calypso’s headquarters, Calypso hams it up by petting a cat on a swivel chair and speaking in an accent. Stone draws out a water pistol and aims it at Calypso, causing him to laugh. How does he expect him to be afraid of a water pistol?
With a smirk, Stone changes his aim and shoots water onto Calypso’s cat. It goes berserk and goes into a clawing frenzy on Calypso. As pieces of Calypso’s black shirt fly by, Stone blows on the end of his pistol and exits the scene. A horribly cut up Calypso backs into a corner, trying to talk down his cat, then resorting to calling for mommy.
Sweet Tooth plows into Calypso’s hideout, killing a member of his entourage. Calypso seems unflustered by this, admitting that they’ll have to just clean that up later. As Calypso’s harem tends to their master, Sweet Tooth goes on about how he’s grown weary of the tournament. It just seems to be the same thing. Calypso holds a contest, Sweet Tooth kills a lot of people, he gets a wish and repeat next year. Calypso brings up that Sweet Tooth doesn’t HAVE to compete, but that’s not where he’s going with this. Sweet Tooth wishes to switch bodies with Calypso. Rather than figure out a way to twist this, Calypso outright refuses. The wish appears to happen without his consent, causing the two to scream in anguish for a moment. When it’s done, their voices have switched, showing that the transformation is complete. Calypso, now in the body of Sweet Tooth, demands his guards kill the intruder. Sweet Tooth, sitting on the throne as Calypso, agrees and has the guards shoot the clown body dead.
The new ruler of Twisted Metal jokes that there are now two bodies to dispose of and then asks aloud, “And where did my women go?!” As the two smiling ladies gather near him, Calypso laughs loudly with pointed teeth showing.
Funny that with Twisted Metal 4 being so ill-regarded from the fans, they’d recreate the game’s story in such a way.
Axel is one of the crazier videogame character designs of the 90′s. His father was a crazed and abusive mad scientist/engineer of some sort who punished his son by placing him in some kind of human car apparatus. He’s standing up with both arms stretched out into two giant wheels. As long as you don’t spend even an instant trying to figure out how this would in any way make sense, it’s pretty cool.
In his ending, he asks Calypso for the strength to confront his father. He finds the old, toothless man in a Kansas farm, disgusted at the sight of his own son. Axel at first begs him to release him, but he only gets dressed down for it. After being told he’ll need another ten years in the wheels to be taught a lesson, Axel snaps. With insane willpower, he tears his own arms off, revealing bloody stumps with bones jagging out. He tells off his father and storms off into the cornfields, presumably never to be seen again (except in all the sequels).
Many of the endings in these games are twisted, but this one was just metal.
Bruce is a Los Angeles thug who’s wants to be more than just a gang leader. He wants to lead everything. As winner of the contest, he asks Calypso to make him king of the world. Calypso happily grants that wish, but it’s a moot point. The World Tour had gotten so out of control that not only was Bruce the only survivor of Twisted Metal, but he was the only survivor, period. All life had been wiped out. He spends his days insane, sitting on a throne atop a pile of dead bodies.
In a game where everyone is in a car or truck of some kind, it takes a special kind of balls to take the fight to them in only a motorcycle. That’s one of the many things that makes Mr. Grimm so awesome. Wearing a black helmet over his face, his identity is a secret and all we get from his profile is that he’s a mysterious collector of sorts.
Winning the contest, he’s asked by Calypso to name his prize. Mr. Grimm points at Calypso, with his sleeve pulling back to reveal a bare bone. Mr. Grimm is the Grim Reaper himself and he’s been hunting down Calypso for many, many years. Having taken the reluctant Calypso’s soul, he rides off into the night to continue his work.
The live-action version of this almost does a good job with it. The part with the bone comes off well enough, but there are multiple shots where you can plainly see a human face behind the helmet’s visor. Though the shot of him riding off with a screaming Calypso chained to the back is pretty funny.
Later games lessened how badass Mr. Grimm was by making him an addict to souls. In Head-On, he tells Calypso how his addiction has gotten completely out of control and he needs it to stop. His wish is that he can no longer be the Grim Reaper and that he can live life as a human being. Calypso grants that wish by removing his skeletal identity and planting it in a nearby little girl, who fails to run away in time. Grimm himself becomes a human being and is ecstatic over it. After thanking Calypso, he runs across the street, happy as can be, until a truck comes by and runs him over. The new Grim Reaper holds a list with Mr. Grimm’s name on it.
The Joneses are a family of suburbanites who seem to have no problem with the surrounding bloodbaths. They enter Sweet Tooth’s domain and the father Ralph compliments “Mr. Tooth” on what a nice place he has. The bratty children yell over each other, including the daughter demanding that she gets her own midget clown, as their mother demands they stop embarrassing them in front of their hosts. Sweet Tooth is a mute in this game, so he has an annoying clown minion handle his business for him. As annoying as this guy is, he just about loses his mind at how insufferable this family is. They wish for a deluxe Roadluster 3000 trailer with a list of accessories and Sweet Tooth as their summer driver. Their wish is granted.
Sweet Tooth drives them around, putting up with their rendition of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” and the daughter’s constant screaming. As time passes, he becomes increasingly frustrated until he suddenly smiles. Driving alongside a cliff, he takes a sharp left, breaks through the rail and they all plummet to their deaths.
The early version of Sweet Tooth is my favorite incarnation. I liked him better as a violent lunatic with a childlike demeanor as opposed to being a demonic killing machine. That’s why this, one of the stranger endings in the series, always sticks with me. Sweet Tooth explains that his lifelong fantasy has been to be a bug living in a garden. Calypso grants him this wish, turning him into a centipede with a smiling, flaming clown head. Sweet Tooth enjoys his newfound life, away from those who would look down at him for his insanity, and kills other bugs in his spare time. Whenever he gets nostalgic about murdering humans, he knows he can always take out the nearby gardener.
And that’s exactly the kind of wish I’d expect from an insane person.
In this game, Hammerhead is driven by Dave and Mike, two high school dropouts looking for a good time. In the game’s actual text-based ending, they confuse Calypso by wishing for new tires for their car despite being able to get anything. It’s funny for its portrayal of them as being too stupid and creativity-challenged to think of something better. The live-action ending is very different, giving us one of the most 80′s segments despite being created in the mid-90′s.
The two are taken aback by Calypso’s hangout, including the armed guards and bikini-clad ladies. Calypso is shocked to find that they signed up without requesting anything. It finally dawns on them that they can get any single thing they want while a strangely benevolent Calypso smiles and asks, “Well, boys? What will it be?”
The game’s main theme starts playing as Calypso’s formerly emotionless females begin to shimmy around a bit. One of the two drivers excitedly yells, “WE… WANT… BABES!” and in a response that still kills me, Calypso happily stretches his arms out immediately and says, “Done! HAHAHAHA!” The girls cram into the monster truck and the guys drive off. The final shot is Calypso waving them goodbye with a huge smile on his face.
With all the dark endings we got out of these games, the bizarre turn here never fails to make me giggle.
This time the truck is driven by Mike and Stu. Different characters, but still complete idiots. They drive across the rooftops, taking no heed to the innocents in their way and meet up with Calypso. They “demand” the ability to fly. Calypso grants this and is momentarily consumed by magical electricity, which one of them notes, “That’s so cool!” He tells them their wish is granted and that they’re ready to enjoy the friendly skies. Without thinking twice, the two run and jump off the edge of the building. Only too soon do they realize that this isn’t right. Instead of flying, they plummet and splatter onto the sidewalk.
A calm Calypso holds two airplane tickets in his hands, taking solace that they’re at least refundable. The way he screws them over is funny enough, but what really gets me is how he did his big, all-powerful, dramatic magic show when all he really did was summon a pair of tickets.
Carl and Jamie Roberts are two police officers who have been out to stop the tournament for years. Carl won one year and wished to live in a world without Twisted Metal, but Calypso twisted his words and sent him to a place with no Twisted Metal or anything else. His sister later wished to see her brother. She banked on Calypso’s attempt to screw her over and used it as part of her rescue.
When confronting Calypso this time around, the two disagree about how to take care of things. Carl wants to shoot him on the spot and end this, but Jamie thinks that this is unbecoming of a police officer. They need to make a wish to stop this. Carl points out that no matter what they wish for in that regard, Calypso will twist it again. Calypso himself is rather calm in all of this, enjoying it as the two bicker. Things get more heated when Jamie stands between Carl’s gun and Calypso while Carl considers pulling the trigger. Jamie yells at him for what a monster he’s become and Carl tries to get his mental bearings. Unable to think with all this arguing going on, he flippantly wishes that Jamie would shut up. On cue, Calypso treats it like it was their intended prize and magically removes Jamie’s mouth.
As midboss of Head-On, Cousin Eddy is a stupid, inbred monster of a man who saw the Twisted Metal contest happening, armored up his RV and entered the contest without an invite. Meeting with Calypso on a rooftop, our host is in no way pleased with this. He argues that Cousin Eddy has ruined his proceedings, but Eddy doesn’t seem to understand, instead picking his nose while flies buzz around his person. When he finds out the whole thing was a contest, he excitedly asks what he won. Calypso – eyes glowing green – yells that he won nothing because he wasn’t invited.
Cousin Eddy angrily holds Calypso up by the throat, causing cracking noises as blood sprays out Calypso’s mouth. Calypso cries uncle and says that he is granted one wish. Cousin Eddy points at his RV and says he wants a better one. Calypso transforms it into a spruced up model and, disappointed with himself, questions, “What have I done?” Eddy, on the other hand, is taken in by how shiny it is.
The voluptuous Meter Maid delivers an astronomical bill to Sweet Tooth’s assistant. The little clown screams at the high cost, but Meter Maid brings up another option. She seductively suggests a few minutes of “community service” with Sweet Tooth that would wipe his record clean. At first, the assistant refuses, but the silent smile of his boss makes him change his tone. Sweet Tooth would be more than happy to take her up on this offer.
Unfortunately for Sweet Tooth, it isn’t what he had in mind. He’s stuck at a desk, slumped over and shaking his head as a doofy police officer starts off his lesson in safe driving habits. All the while, the two ignore Sweet Tooth’s henchmen running amok in the classroom. There are a lot of endings based on the host getting taken down a peg, but this one has them get a taste of their own medicine for once and it’s actually pretty funny too.
Wow, it took this long for a Twisted Metal: Black entry? This game for once gives us some context on Sweet Tooth’s burning head. When Sweet Tooth was being put to death in the electric chair, the character Preacher appeared and cursed him with eternal fire. Now he can’t sleep and spends every moment in intense agony. He meets with Calypso, who offers him a vial of Preacher’s blood. If he takes it, the fire will go away. The drawback is that if he goes back to killing, the curse will renew.
Sweet Tooth breaks the vial, deciding the pain is worth it. He kills Calypso on the spot by slitting his throat and then drives off, promising to be the best killer of all time.
Mortimer is another mysterious entrant, speaking in riddles. We don’t know what he truly wants until he meets with Calypso. He foregoes the wish and only wants to give Calypso a gift. Intrigued, Calypso finds out that this gift is a group of angry souls pouring out from Mortimer’s hearse. They are the innocents who had died in his contest over the years, out for revenge. They carry Calypso off into the distance. Calypso narrates that some figure he was dropped into the streets or that he’s still being tormented in the skies. Only he knows the truth and shows us.
He’s able to grab onto the wing of a passing plane and scares the shit out of a little boy by smiling at him through the window and yelling, “I AM CALYPSO AND I THANK YOU FOR PLAYING TWISTED METAL!”
If your game’s story has a Twilight Zone edge to it, you might as well pay homage.
Krista Sparks steps out of her car and confronts Calypso. She smiles and identifies him as his father. Calypso is completely taken aback. Yes, he had a daughter, but she died in the same car accident that disfigured him. Looking through her eye, he sees a series of gears with one labeled, “PROPERTY OF L.A.P.D.” Krista sadly explains that they rebuilt her as a cyborg because she was the only one able to get close enough to him and put an end to him for good. She apologizes and says that even though she’s just a machine, she’s afraid the explosion will hurt. In his final act, Calypso sadly embraces his daughter before she explodes and takes them both out.
Oh, man. Of all the live-action endings that didn’t get used, this one is the king of schlock. Now, the text ending that they ended up using was about Charlie Kane asking for information on his missing son, only to discover that his son was Sweet Tooth and he killed him during the contest. It’s a good ending, albeit a bit predictable when you notice they share the same last name in their profiles. This story is far different.
Calypso notes that Charlie wished for nothing. The old man wanders through the smoke to admit that all he wanted to do was drive one last time. Calypso is utterly shocked. “My God! You killed everyone! You certainly don’t drive like someone with nothing to gain. The way you took out your own son…”
Charlie says that he’s going to die soon and figured this was his last hurrah. Calypso sees possibilities in this. He offers Charlie a potion, as delivered by one of his bikini-clad assistants. Charlie is reluctant at first, but Calypso eggs him on and points out that he has nothing to lose. Here comes some of the best/worst hammy acting you’ll ever see.
Charlie takes a gulp and says, “Oooh, that’s straaaange… it tastes like— GAAAAAAAH!!” before collapsing. Calypso offers him a role in his employ. He can travel the world, looking for new contestants for future contests. He’ll never die and he’ll drive forever. Charlie pops back up with an insane smile.
“Sounds good to me, baby!”
I’ve watched this bit far too many times.
In this world, Sweet Tooth is vexed by his lack of closure. When he first went insane, his first victims were his family. He saved his daughter Sophie for last, but she was able to grab a pair of scissors and stab him in the eye. She escaped and for years he’s searched for her. He’s entered Twisted Metal so Calypso can deliver her.
He demands to be taken to where she’s been hiding all these years. He wakes up elsewhere and notices something is wrong. Calypso informs him that the incident from all those years ago traumatized Sophie to the point that she eventually shot herself. She’s been dead for a decade. Sweet Tooth is in her casket along with her skeleton, buried alive. Sweet Tooth screams bloody murder at Calypso, dropping F-bombs all over the place. Sophie’s headstone is now painted over in red with, “SWEET TOOTH” slopped across it.
That’s a decent enough ending on its own, compounded by the balls of killing off your star character when the game is only 1/3 done. For the rest of the game, Sweet Tooth’s gang is identified as a cult that’s readying itself for his imminent return. What really makes the ending cool is the follow-up in the game’s multiple epilogues.
During the credits, we flashback to the murder spree with a different narrator. The narrator, identified as Charlie Kane, says that his father only cut him and purposely left him alive. The shot of Sophie stabbing Sweet Tooth – which we’ve seen multiple times before – zooms into the background to show that all this time, young Charlie was watching through the crack of a door. He figures his father did this to make sure the legacy lived on in case something ever happened to him. Charlie digs up the grave and steals the mask. He puts it on, lights his head on fire and drives off in the ice cream truck. When he gets strong enough, he’ll get his revenge on Calypso for killing his hero.
After the credits, Calypso returns to the open grave, admitting that he couldn’t allow this death to stick. There was too much hatred and rage to go to waste. Some exposition from earlier is brought up in how Calypso can bring people back from the dead as slaves to his will. He tosses a sack filled with a new porcelain mask and clothes into the grave. Moments later, he welcomes back his new, loyal killing machine: Sophie Kane, wearing a clown mask with her head on fire.
You might notice the strange lack of endings from Twisted Metal: Black here. There’s a reason for that. While the game had a really cool atmosphere to it, a lot of the endings sadly fell into the same pattern. The driver would want revenge against somebody, Calypso would supply the victim, they’d make the kill and then move on. They’re well-made, but not the most creative. Of all of those that fit the style, the best one is easily No Face’s.
Frank “No Face” McCutcheon was a boxer who got destroyed in a fight. He went to a back-alley surgeon, who as it turns out, lost an awful lot of money gambling on that fight. After putting Frank under, he got his revenge by removing his eyes, teeth, tongue and nose, then stitching everything shut. No Face – who has Daredevil-like senses that allow him to drive, I guess – enters the contest due to the promise of meeting up with the doctor once again.
Calypso delivers in twofold. First, he lowers a heavy bag with the terrified surgeon tied to it. Then he gives No Face a new boxing glove with all sorts of sharp and pointy objects tied to it, from scissors to syringes. No Face measures the punch right against the surgeon’s face, lets loose a hook and it cuts away an instant before the impact. Driving away, No Face muses that that was the first time he ever knocked someone out with one punch.
John Doe is an amnesiac covered in tattoos. He entered the contest in order to find out who he really is. At one point, he has a flashback to being in a doomsday cult, where they set up a bomb to destroy a disease control center and cause a massive plague. More and more, he grows worried about the man he was, but Calypso changes that. He discovers that he was an undercover FBI agent sent to destroy that cult from the inside. He heroically threw that bomb out of a window before it could do any damage and in the process got knocked out and lost his memory.
At first, he feels pride over this revelation. Then it sinks in that he’s standing in front of a criminal mastermind who knows his true identity. Calypso shoots him repeatedly and as John dies in a pool of his own blood, he remembers that he had a family.
This one’s just goofy fun. The driver of ATV, Gene Ruttish, is a homely-looking southern boy who wants nothing more than to be admired by the ladies. Gene, who insists you call him Genie, has a way of speech not unlike Boomhauer from King of the Hill, so he’s regularly assisted by subtitles that translate what he’s trying to convey.
For instance, he’ll say, “Dang, oh man, Calypso, get me on some of most desirable going to be on, dango don dutno muzo man gonna say BOP BOW!”
According to the subtitles: “Ladies beware! Calypso, make me the most desired person on the planet!”
Though the wish is granted, Genie finds that he looks the same. He then finds that all the nearby women are taken in by his appearance and he starts to feel pretty victorious. Calypso himself puts his hands on Genie and giggles, causing Genie to lash back at him and say that he only wanted women to find him desirable. Calypso sheepishly backs off, but upon doing so, more and more women rush over. Soon it gets a little too intense and Genie is in over his head. Calypso laughs as thousands upon thousands of ladies rush over from all directions and Genie screams for them to get away.
The weary Mortimer had his slumber interrupted by a group of punks defiling his grave. Normally, they could have gone the easy way out here and had him wish for revenge. He instead wishes for Calypso to help him get back to sleep. Rather than twist the wish, Calypso grants it in the best possible way. Mortimer lays back in his coffin with a teddy bear nearby as Calypso reads from a children’s story book about the adventures of brave, little Mortimer. His tale is accompanied by crude crayon drawings of Mortimer dominating Twisted Metal. Once the bedtime story is finished, Mortimer is snoring away and Calypso quietly closes the lid.
Adorable and weird. Just how I like it.
Marcus Kane is a crazy homeless man who believes the world isn’t real. In his profile, he even goes as far as to note that he’s aware it’s all a video game. When he meets Calypso, he begs him to help him. Calypso patronizes Marcus and says that he always knew he’d be the one to figure it out. He tells him to come back whenever he’d like as his fellow competitors will remain there for quite some time.
Marcus wakes up in a hospital bed. He’s informed that there was a 25-car pileup and that all the other survivors are in comas. Marcus looks around and vaguely recognizes the other patients as Twisted Metal drivers. Fittingly, Axel’s arms had been amputated. As he tries to remember, his wife and two daughters run over to greet him. Overcome with happiness, he promises that everything will be all right. That’s when Calypso’s burning eyes briefly flash over the screen, making the happenings very ambiguous.
It’s still never been said what was really going on. Was Marcus right or was Calypso messing with him? Either way, it opened up a big can of worms in terms of leading to Marcus’ appearance in Twisted Metal: Black and the reveal in Twisted Metal: Head-On that Marcus and Sweet Tooth are the same person.
In the new game, Dollface is a vindictive supermodel named Krista Sparks (not Calypso’s daughter in this continuity). She believes herself to be the most beautiful woman in the world and works hard to make sure she becomes the top supermodel. Part of her hard work comes in the form of sabotage (ie. causing a model’s heel to break on the runway) and murdering those who get chosen over her. Her rise to the top is imminent until getting in a car accident that causes her face to smash through the windshield. After almost a year of surgeries, she’s fixated on a minor scar on her face. In her eyes, it’s not so much a scar as a series of nightmarish tentacles and cockroaches wiggling over her face. She kills her doctor and goes to this mysterious back-alley plastic surgeon she and the other models had heard of.
The surgeon, a dwarf named Dr. Ospylac (heh), puts a porcelain doll mask over her face, gives it a creepy kiss and tells her to keep it on for six days. Six days later, she returns to find that Ospylac is gone. She’s stuck in this mask and nothing can remove it. Not even a direct shotgun blast. Originally, she enters the contest so Calypso can remove the mask. When she wins, she starts to have second thoughts. If she gets the mask off and looks beautiful again, all it means is that she’d go back to the same life of trying to climb up the supermodel ranks. To hell with removing the mask. She wants to go to the top. She changes her wish to wanting to walk on the biggest runway on the world, being the center of attention. Calypso gives a half-smile and grants her wish.
She’s happy, standing on a runway with lights shining on her in all directions. She waves around, trying to figure out just where she is. New York? Paris? Then she begins to realize that this isn’t the kind of runway she was thinking of. Calypso transported her to an airport runway with a plane about to make its landing. Dollface curses Calypso and tries to run off. If she had a chance to make it, it’s undone by her heel breaking. Crouching down, she’s completely destroyed by the plane’s landing gear. Yet at least the porcelain mask falls to the ground, so she got that wish taken care of. As for being the center of attention, some DJs are heard wondering what this idiot was doing on the runway in the first place, bringing back an argument of whether or not this supposed Twisted Metal contest even exists.
Strange, dark and with a strong dose of deserved comeuppance. That’s why I have to give it the #1 spot.
As a bonus, back in the mid-90′s, DC Comics released a Twisted Metal 2 tie-in that had a very limited release. It became one of my holy grails just for the obscurity of it all. While I know I’ll never have my own copy, I did find this site with scans of all the pages. The images are pretty small, but mostly readable. It’s worth noting that the final page involves Calypso being amused at the destruction of the World Trade Center. No word on how Dr. Doom felt.
Though I DO know how Charlie Kane felt.