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YMMV / Twisted Metal

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Calypso both in and out of universe. His portrayals and personality vary, as does the origin of his powers, and one's interpretation can come from whether or not one considers the games to be in canon with one another. In the first game and Black, he's fairly stoic and doesn't go out of his way to twist the contestants' wishes (even if he's still something of a Literal Genie), and a number of contestants even get precisely what they wanted, but in the other games, he's very hammy and a straight-up Jackass Genie. His powers came from a demon named Black in the first game, he stole them from the demon Minion in the second, the fourth had them come from a magic ring, and in the reboot, the preacher implies that he is the Devil himself. His interactions with his daughter seem to cast him as a more Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, and the control he has over his power of wishes is put into question.
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    • There's also his treatment of Mortimer in Head-On. Was it a genuine Pet the Dog moment, or a calculated move to get rid of a supernatural Wild Card? Especially seeing as how, in the second game, Mortimer actually posed a threat to him and successfully turned the tables on him.
    • Then there's his interaction with Mike & Stu in the second game. Did he purposefully trick them into jumping head-first off a building, or was he willing to give them the plane tickets and just have their disappointment be the deception, only to be genuinely shocked at their stupidity? In the first game, he gave Hammerhead's drivers, Dave & Mike, what they wanted without bothering to trick them (be it his harem, or expensive tires, another mundane monetary loss that Calypso could cope with just like the tickets).
  • Awesome Music: The series' use of licensed music is pretty well respected.
  • Broken Base:
    • The direction the PS3 Revival took for the series; giving more engaging and complex storylines to four distinctive drivers, thus relegating the past drivers to oblivion and making their cars free for Mooks from the aforementioned quartet to drive; this rubs the wrong way for fans of the old installments where one could see each vehicle (and driver) getting a backstory, while others likes only 4 characters getting better developed stories, instead of many drivers getting Excuse Plots to force their presence in the games.
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    • The people who like the third and fourth games against the people who like the rest of the series.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Black: Needles Kane, better known as Sweet Tooth, is a sadistic Serial Killer who lacks his humorous nature from the classic games. Developing a lust for blood after making his first kill with precise skill and no remorse, Sweet Tooth goes on a massive killing spree, murdering his victims, which includes people who were unlucky to have crossed his path, in incredibly gruesome manners. One of these murders includes Axel's wife, in which Sweet Tooth mailed Axel his wife's body, piece by piece. He's also implied to have murdered his father, Charlie Kane, who was trying to keep the latter's son away from him due to his nature. After being cursed by a preacher to suffer pain that grew every day, and then locked up in Blackfield Asylum, he agrees to Calypso's offer of competing in Twisted Metal in exchange for lifting the curse, planning to kill Calypso afterward. After winning the contest, which he took great pleasure in due to all the killing, he is given a vial to lift the curse, but at the price of no longer being able to kill. Choosing to live with the curse rather than giving up killing, he smashes the vial and then proceeds to fatally slash Calypso's throat, before declaring his intentions of becoming the greatest killer of all time.
    • The 2012 reboot gives these two characters Adaptational Villainy:
      • This adaption of Calypso lacks the humor of the original, and is more serious and demonic. Calypso is the creator and host of Twisted Metal, a demolition derby that attracts some of the vilest people with the lure of a wish. This tournament has killed numerous innocent bystanders through its destruction around public places. Calypso completely intended this, loving the carnage and destruction it leaves. He even instigates some of his contestants to participate, manipulating them in situations that would make them desperate enough for a wish. What they don't know is that whatever this wish is, Calypso intends to use it to kill the victim in some way after they finished entertaining him, and then trap their souls in his painting where he enjoys the screams of pain and agony. A sadistic entity, this version of Calypso brutally kills thousands out of entertainment.
      • Dollface, real name Krista Sparks, is a selfish model who, in order to get to the top, sabotages several models on a catwalk and outright murders one of them with a sledgehammer after said model is chosen for a prize photo shoot. After an accident which badly damages her face, and when her doctor failed to fix a little scar on her face after several surgeries, Dollface decapitates him with a chainsaw. Before joining Twisted Metal in order to remove her mask and become beautiful again, she gained several mooks with the same thinking as her, and when one of her mooks asks Dollface if most of them will get their wishes, Dollface shoots her.
  • Contested Sequel: Twisted Metal 3 and 4, since they were developed by a different team.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • Sweet Tooth and Dollface's stories in the PS3 revival. The more the story advances, the more the player learns about how horrible both of them are, and has no reason to want them to get what they want. Probably why they end up as Asshole Victims. Although Sweet Tooth hasn't been exactly the nicest guy, it's kinda expected.
    • The bigger problem is that in the PS3 game, the Story mode consists of only three characters, and they're all evil mass murderers, with no sympathetic or anti-hero characters to offer up as in the previous games. While they all get what they deserve, always controlling a villain really does sap from the experience. Contrast the coolness of Sweet Tooth in Twisted Metal: Black, where his goal is to toy with and eventually kill Calypso (something the player can rally behind), to the more disturbing version in the following gen, where his goal is to kill his daughter, the "bitch who got away."
    • Twisted Metal 3 had this problem as well. With Calypso intentionally screwing everybody over in very bizarre ways, there was no point in ever doing the campaign modes for the characters.
    • Some people might also have this reaction to Twisted Metal Black, which is relentlessly and unapologetically bleak to the point of being nihilistic. The only people who don't get screwed over by Calypso are those who wishes revolve around revenge and murder, and anyone trying to save themselves, assuage their guilt or undo past mistakes meets a very cruel fate.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Buster Cobb's probably the only Twisted Metal 3 character (or rather, car) that has at least some semblance of fan-following.
    • Quatro and Orbital are probably the only characters introduced in 4 that fans like, though this is attributed to either making a wish that was worth a damn, or being a badass bounty hunter that doesn't fall for the traps of Twisted Metal. It also helps that the rest of the cast are, put very bluntly, annoying and cartoonish.
    • Mr. Ash, the original driver of Darkside, only had a story mode in the original Twisted Metal, but he's still easily one of the fan favorites to this day. It probably has something to do with being actually Satan, and also seemingly the source of Calypso's powers in the first place.
    • Mike and Stu from Twisted Metal 2 (and to a lesser extent, Jeff and Mike from the original Twisted Metal), for being Those Two Guys that provide Comic Relief - oh, and driving a giant-ass monster truck that can crush other cars under its wheels alone.
    • Raven, the driver of Shadow from Twisted Metal: Black - while a good deal of the new or revisioned characters from Black were generally approved of by the fandom, Raven gets this taken Up to Eleven, often being used in fanworks as Shadow's driver beyond the Black universe. This may or may not have been helped by her Twisted Metal: Lost profile stating how she had become a hero to Midtown, using her ocultic powers to protect the innocent, and to deliver vengeance upon the Ax-Crazy SerialKillers terrorizing the streets.
    • Agent Shepard, the latest driver of Crimson Fury in Twisted Metal: Head On, for being savvy enough by straight-up arresting Calypso instead of trying to make a wish, and also by defying Calypso's Hannibal Lecture before giving him "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Evil Is Cool: Both Sweet Tooth and Calypso. Sure, one's a Monster Clown, and the other's a Jackass Genie, but they're so damn awesome about it.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Dollface in the 2012 PS3 remake; see Hollywood Homely. From the same game, the resurrected Sophie Kane/Sweet Tooth during The Stinger.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The Antarctica level in Twisted Metal 2. Back in 1996, the imagery of collapsing polar glaciers wasn't quite so unsettling.
    • Simon Whittlebone, a frustrated architect who uses an armored and heavily weaponized front loader dubbed "Mr. Slam". to wreak havoc and destruction. Marvin Heemeyer, a frustrated repair shop owner who used an armored and heavily weaponized bulldozer the press dubbed the "Killdozer" to do the same thing in a real life small town.
    • 3 and 4, which are considered the low-points in the series, both contain music from Rob Zombie. Nearly a decade later, Mr. Zombie would direct both of the Halloween remakes, which are generally considered low-points of that series.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Twisted Metal 4 had a glitch where, if all but one weapon was used up, then using that last weapon followed by using the rear fire command, the weapon could be fired even if there was nothing in your inventory albeit backwards. This made the environmental weapon and the playable bosses' specials, especially Sweet Tooth's special, extremely spam friendly.
  • Game-Breaker: Playable versions of bosses tend to be these. There's a reason why they are usually not available at the start of the game, having to be unlocked either through game progress or cheat codes. Twisted Metal 4, however is notable with it's super variants of the previous characters (Super Axel's shockwave for example, knocked all enemies REALLY far away, had 360 degree coverage, and set fire to them as well), or just plain cheap like Moon Buggy's Quasars.
  • Hollywood Homely:
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The final bosses in the reboot, assuming it's your first time fighting them. Bonus points for Sweet Tooth's Carnival of Carnage.
  • I Am Not Shazam:
    • The Monster Clown is Needles Kane. His car is Sweet Tooth. The third and fourth games screw this up and call the clown Sweet Tooth, but Incog Inc. makes a point of having characters only ever call him Needles.
    • On the other hand, Fandom often uses "Sweet Tooth" as an In-Series Nickname for how people identify Needles as a Serial Killer.
    • A few fan trailers for movies make this mistake, using the character titles to identify the cars instead of the drivers. Then again, considering just how integral those CoolCars are to the series, and how some sometimes have their drivers shifted out for newcomers, it's somewhat forgivable.
    • Making the whole Needles/Sweet Tooth confusion even worse is the reboot, where his followers call him Needles Kane, but everyone else calls him Sweet Tooth. Hell, even Calypso calls him Sweet Tooth.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Twisted Metal III is the worst offender. Among the wishes of the competitors include; wanting to have a barbecue, wanting to "hang with (his) homies", wanting to party all night long, and wanting people to see (his) inner child. Why in the world would anyone go through a life-threatening contest to get things they could do themselves?
    • Quite a few individual drivers throughout the series have had some fairly questionable motivations for their participation. Angel, Thumper's new driver from Head-On, is one such stand-out, risking life and limb and leaving a trail of destruction in her wake.... just so Calypso can pimp her ride. It has a freaking flame-thrower, lady, what more can you possibly want!?
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm: The "Lost" endings to the original Twisted Metal, in all their live-action glory.
  • Narm Charm: Calypso's voice in the 2012 revival. It's growly as all hell, which is fine, but it's also...a little bit congested. That said, Calypso is hilariously blood thirsty, and the voice just captures that school-boy ant-burning glee so perfectly, stuffed-up-nose and all.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Some believe Caylpso's ending in Twisted Metal 4 should have concluded with him retaking his throne from Sweet Tooth and saying his usual catchphrase to the player ("I am Calypso, and thank you for playing Twisted Metal.").
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page
  • The Scrappy: The clowns in Twisted Metal 4, which served as a painful reminder that the series was getting more and more least until Black.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Cousin Eddy in Head-On is often treated as a poor replacement for Minion, with many fans viewing him as an offensive hillbilly stereotype who is much weaker when you play as him than when you face him as a boss fight.
    • Few if any of the characters in 4 are liked, but Captain Grimm counts as he was a lame pirate retool of Mister Grimm
    • Dollface has been criticized by fans for filling in for Ensemble Dark Horse Mr. Ash as the driver for Darkside from Black to 2012.
      • Likewise, many fans of the original Dollface have expressed disgust for 2012's Dollface, who retained neither the sympathetic traits the original had nor the redeeming qualities, being a one-dimensional psychopath not unlike Sweet Tooth.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Antarctica level in Twisted Metal 2 is awesome, with large sections of the glacier falling into the sea - however its awesomeness is limited in versus mode by this very mechanic. You don't have very long with the full level - before a few minutes pass, you find that you and your friend are duking it out on the one remaining piece of ice. It would have made more sense to not have the glacier fall apart in multiplayer mode, or to slow the breakup considerably.
    • The Freeze attack from 2012. Everyone can do it, and it homes in on the cars, meaning that you will constantly be getting frozen without warning throughout a battle and forced to mash buttons to restart your engine. It's especially frustrating if you're playing as Darkside, who attacks by ramming.
  • Special Effects Failure: The "Lost" endings are full of these, particularly whenever a contestant's winnings are raised up by Calypso... which consists of the camera panning down to them. Bonus points for Needle's Kane's ending where upon further inspection, the "doors" are being held by visible hands.
  • Tear Jerker: Has it´s own page
  • That One Boss:
    • Dark Tooth in 2. The vehicle was a larger, black-painted version of Sweet Tooth's ice cream truck that followed you relentlessly around Hong Kong and launched multiple attacks on you at the same time. Particularly frustrating was that it would freeze you while launching its specials. It even went so far as to launch the Dark Tooth head from the top. When you finally did destroy the vehicle, the head survived and continued the same search-and-destroy method.
    • Needles Kane in 4 had the Henchmen attack, which sent out three clown heads that followed you through walls, then swarmed around you and bombarded you to death with various stunning/immobilizing attacks. You pretty much had to keep running in a very specific circle around the map, leave a trail of explosives behind you, and pray to god it would kill him before you ran out of road. May be the cheapest boss in the series; this resulted in many thrown controllers.
    • This was preceded by Moon Buggy in the same game. Quasars, his special, was basically Outlaw's Tazers combined with Spectre's transparent homing abilities. He fired two or three at the player at once. The Quasars also severely disoriented the gamer by throwing the car every which way. Fortunately, it doesn't last exceptionally long.
    • Both bosses in Twisted Metal: Black. Minion in particular was a pain, since his shields become very hard to hit when he's down to one or two. Then there's Warhawk, a helicopter that has the unfair advantage of aerial attacks, in addition to the first half of the fight being a Puzzle Boss where you must disable the tanker trucks, which are a Degraded Boss version of Minion, and detonate them underneath him when he flies over the helipad to destroy his shield.
  • That One Level: The racing levels in 2012. The vehicles are not balanced for a race, meaning that cars like Darkside will always come last, while Crimson Fury or Reaper will always be coming in first if you don't destroy them at the first chance you get.
    • What's really strange is that the game seems to realise this, because the next race only requires you to come in the top four, making it much easier.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The reboot introduces a number of new cars, but with it's focus on a singular story, none of them get quirky drivers to give them a little more personality.
    • Preacher has a recurring role throughout the story mode and is playable in Multiplayer. Not only is he not involved in any of the story missions, but after a cut scene ending with him promising that Calypso's reign of terror will end that night, he is next seen trapped in Calypso's painting at the very end of the game. Presumably a whole year later, too.
    • Sweet Tooth in Twsited Metal 4. Despite being promoted to Big Bad, he's inexplicably turned into a mute and needs another clown to speak for him. Unless the ending wish directly involves him, he's usually juggling in the background, no more significant than the other clowns.
  • True Art Is Angsty: The best games in the series, Twisted Metal: Black, and Twisted Metal 2012 are also the darkest; and fans love them for that, too.
    • Averted with Twisted Metal 2, which is also considered one of the best games in the series, but has more of a 90's punk rock feel, and is far more upbeat and colorful than the above two games.
  • Uncanny Valley:
  • What an Idiot!: In the reboot, Dollface at first tells Calypso what she wants very simply and exactly. Then for some reason she decides to tell him again, but with vague terms so that he has some wordplay to take seriously.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?:
    • The fact that Needles and Marcus Kane, despite being split personalities (Needles being a violent, psychotic half and Marcus being his sanity and reason), exist as two separate entities, drive two separate vehicles, and constantly battle each other until the Dark Tooth ending from Head On where Needles and Marcus meet in the middle of a field curious about seeing the other but ultimately decide to work together, resulting in an unstoppable force of destruction.
    • David Jaffe was accused of this by some members of Sony when he was making Twisted Metal: Black, which he hilariously shot down in the "Twisted Metal: The Dark Past" documentary.
    David Jaffe: "It was an opportunity for people to act like I wanted to say something and I wanted to make a statement and I was like 'Please, get the (BLEEP) out of my kitchen, I'm trying to cook this mother-(BLEEP)ing stew.'"
  • The Woobie: Dollface in Twisted Metal: Black. "I'm going to be punished forever and ever..."


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