Twisted Metal is a set of games that are synonymous with the PlayStation console, having had several successful entries in the franchise, and now the subject of a forthcoming television show. This car combat series captured fans with its destruction derby-like action, vicious lethality, and dark humor, peaking with its second entry and Black for most fans. Though the games have had memorable tunes, arenas, and endings over the years, their most iconic elements are the vehicles and their handlers.
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Each installment doesn’t always feature the same roster of combatants participating in the tournament, keeping the blood fresh. Though several of the vehicles have become mainstays, they often see upgrades, and several of the operators are switched out regularly. This brings in new people with various motivations, all of which want to win the tournament so Calypso will grant their wishes. These car and driver combos aren’t just the characters for the light story; they give Twisted Metal its personality. So, we want to mention a few of the best entrants that would be perfect for the show or a potential corresponding new game.
It’s unlikely that any new Twisted Metal project gets made without including Sweet Tooth, as he’s on almost all of the merchandising, so we can skip over him, but Calypso could always use some extra muscle: enter Minion.
There isn’t a lot known about Minion’s past, if he even has one, but some speculate his existence is closely intertwined with Sweet Teeth than, but there’s no need to get that complicated early on. Originally though, the creature from Hell lived up to its name, being used by Calypso who had his soul and took some amount of his powers years before. So whenever Minion does eventually break free, he’ll be pissed and ready for revenge.
The former tournament champion is a fan of large missiles and flamethrowers, choosing to roll around in a colossal semi-truck sometimes, but more commonly, a fast and powerful black tank. The XJ-39, sometimes called the “Mind Tank,” is believed to directly link to the driver’s brain, giving them better response times, but likely taking its toll as well. His appearance strikes fear into the hearts of other driver’s and this boss character makes for a powerful enforcer or boogeyman to haunt the war-torn streets.
Watch out for this Impala, because the purple low rider has the bass and the flames to use on any unprepared challenger, leaving a trail of carnage and car parts behind. It’s a fierce machine designed for the streets, but capable of navigating any war zone. Thumper isn’t just a Twisted Metal original, but one of the toughest vehicles to ever drive into the contest and even appears as a boss character in one of the later installments.
Bruce Cochrane is an ardent and imposing man with a large gun, held with an itchy trigger finger. His homies are important to him, as is his neighborhood, and Bruce originally joins the bloodbath to get the violence away from his home in South Central L.A. The stakes are raised, though, when his girlfriend is kidnapped, and winning now means getting her back, as well as taking revenge on those who dared to attack him personally like this. Bruce knows how to chill, but not when there’s business to be handled.
The vehicle known as Shadow should be a fearful sight because its presence means that the avatar of death is out for revenge. This grim wagon is a long purple hearse with a black top that moves as silently as the grave when it needs to, packing a supernatural punch. The screeching attacks can pass through solid objects, souls from the other side that have been weaponized. Not necessarily good or evil, Shadow and its operator are usually mercenaries for previous victims of the tournaments or others who have been wronged, making this team an agent of chaos on an ever-changing mission.
The primary driver of such a vehicle is exactly who most people would expect to come out of a hearse, Mortimer, a man who appears to be quite old with one foot in the grave, but apparently already died in his mid to late 30s. He’s tall with a long face and white hair, sometimes kept under a big black hat to match his suit and his friend, a dark raven familiar the coroner is often seen with. The man is mysterious, death incarnate, and perfect to keep things interesting.
There are a lot of law enforcement officials who don’t want to see the Twisted Metal tournament take place anymore, considering the death and mayhem it tends to cause, and many of the cops have set their sights on its organizer, Calypso himself. Capturing someone like him was never going to be an easy task and the only way to stop the game might be to play it, but by breaking a few rules: enter Outlaw. This vehicle changes as needed, but is usually a police cruiser, SUV, or even a SWAT van, stacked with guns, rockets, and one huge industrial-strength taser.
Sergeant Carl “Buzz” Roberts and his sister Captain Jamie Roberts are two pissed-off LAPD officers who are trying to set good examples, but the world has gone quite mad. Look at what it has driven them to do. These two have quite the past with Calypso and his dangerous rewards, so they know the score and how tough putting an end to the competition will be, but the question is how much they’re really willing to sacrifice and what lines they’ll cross to close this case.
Krista Sparks was a model who was never satisfied with what she had, constantly sabotaging or even disposing of her competition, and always looking for a path to more fame and a bigger runway. After a horrible accident, her face was scarred terribly, but eleven surgeries and a lot of money can do wonders. What remained was a tiny, almost unnoticeable, disfigurement above her lip. This would not do, as Krista still considered herself to be hideous and visited a Dr. Ospylac (read it backward), after decapitating her previous physician, whose answer was to hide the ugliness behind an ivory covering, sealed with magic. Now she was her true self: Dollface.
Krista is the driver of Darkside, a vehicle that matches her inner monster more than it does her demeanor or outward appearance. This is a menacing and huge black semi-truck that makes a loud noise and spits out a thick cloud of smoke when it gets moving. Though it is slow to maneuver, the vehicle is heavily armored and can be deceptively quick when activating its ramming ability, sometimes even using another car as its bumper. No one will want to be in the way when these two come along.
Scott Campbell is an actual ghost, so the name of his car is quite appropriate. It’s rumored that he was an early victim of Sweet Tooth and his tragic demise has left him wandering the Earth, looking for a way to be whole again, so the murdered man can return to his wife and newborn child. The obvious choice seems to be to enter and win the Twisted Metal tournament. Calypso is powerful enough to make his wish happen, for Scott to get his life back, but nothing is ever quite that simple and who knows if the man with the burned face can be trusted. But what does Scott have to lose if he’s already dead?
The car he drives is a sporty Chevrolet Corvette, complete with racing stripes, as it’s an incredibly fast and easy-to-handle vehicle. The ghost missile it uses also goes through solid objects, but it has some homing capabilities as well, giving the operator a devastating attack. Spectre has almost always had different drivers, so it’s possible that once Scott accomplishes his goals or his killer is brought to justice, the car could move on to someone else, changing things up a bit.
Marcus Kane is one of the more developed characters in the franchise, but he might have also become too complicated when it’s revealed that his split personality is actually Needles Kane, otherwise known as Sweet Tooth. He’s a troubled man with many mental issues who just wants to wake up from the dream, so this doesn’t have to be true (what is real?), depending on how the story is told. At one point, Kane even seems to realize that he might know he’s a character in the game. In some instances though, Marcus is a likable character, which is rare in Twisted Metal, and his past as a tortured soul almost makes him easier to relate to.
His car – when he isn’t driving Minion – is Roadkill, an old junker that has been rebuilt and armored up constantly with spare parts, but was modeled on a Chevrolet Camero SS in the 2012 game. A perfect ride, visually at least, for someone who has been living in their vehicle and has to use whatever they can find in the scrapyard for resources and weapons. It’s a versatile and well-rounded automobile, however, this combo is not to be underestimated, and could be the closest thing to a hero we have.