Teamworking Day: Twisted Metal 2 Endings 🌭

The TV adaptation of Twisted Metal is a silly take on what would happen if the exploding vehicle apocalypse ended the world in the mid ’90s. It’s how a coward would adapt Twisted Metal. The original Twisted Metal games were about a business wizard, Calypso, who granted one very monkey-pawed wish to the last survivor of an anything-goes car fight. Every character had their own reasons for slaughtering their way to this prize, and each of them got their own cinematic ending. They were, every single one of them, completely nuts.

Seanbaby: Because they’re the best, and because Brockway and I are the 2-Bru Brothers Two forever, we chose to watch the endings from Twisted Metal 2. It used the top storytelling talent an ice cream truck fighting game studio in 1996 could source internally. Brilliant wordsmiths. Creative geniuses. And to celebrate them, we’re going to rate each of the endings on the traditional scale of Insane! to Awesome! with the dangerous deadzone of Stupid! located between them. I will be the red speed missile and Brockway will be the blue M.I.R.V.. If you’re a visual learner, we’ll let Axel, the character with tires for hands, explain:

Seanbaby: Let’s start with Mortimer Scharf’s ending. He sounds like a type of diarrhea named after the scientist who discovered it, but he’s more of a Frankenstein mercenary? He fights in a hearse named Shadow and he’s been hired to be in the tournament by the ghosts of people who were run over in the first Twisted Metal game. Their plan was to squeeze into Mortimer’s trunk and wait for him to win. Then, when he got close to Calypso, they would grab him. It was a flawless plan and it worked. They fucking grab him. And as they take Calypso into the sky, the narrator, Calypso, says “only one man knows what happened to him. And that man is… ME!” Then boom– he’s on the wing of a passenger jet screaming his catchphrase at a child, “I am Calypso! And I thank you for playing Twisted Metaaaaaal!” I don’t know what you call it, but it’s not a story. This is more like a raccoon’s understanding of what’s going on as it flees through a Halloween store.

Brockway: You can’t have an unreliable narrator narrate his own death and then wonder if he died. He would know that, as both the narrator and person who died! He is perhaps the only person guaranteed to know that, twice, from both sides of the story. Oh no. Oh no I’m getting mad at these and it hasn’t even been one yet.

Brockway: Insane. Completely insane. It’s stupid, of course it’s stupid, it’s a stoned teenager free associating in study hall. This story ends in a Metallica logo and part of the Cool S. But I can’t take this away from the Insane category when a business genie surfs the ghosts of the unjustly killed onto the wing of an airplane just to gremlin a kid for kicks.

Seanbaby: I agree, this is insane and nothing else. A sane person couldn’t come up with it because they’d think, “A passenger jet taking off during the end of the world wouldn’t fly straight into ghost turbulence.” And a smart person couldn’t come up with it because they’d think, “Wait. We forgot about the magic wish. A magic wish is a better plan than grab.” And I honestly can’t picture an awesome person and Mortimer Scharf in the same room. Mortimer Scharf sounds like a website selling untrustworthy jars of celebrity farts. Mortimer Scharf’s is the brand name on a pudding cup in a graveyard vending machine.

Brockway: This is the exact face of every alt right poster on the internet.

Seanbaby: I think Mr. Slam might be the most representative of all the Twisted Metal 2 characters and stories. He’s the 14th idea from a person who ran out of good ones 14 ideas ago and his ending is a wad of cliches the author is remembering wrong. Simon Whittlebone is an architect who got fired for loving tall buildings too much, so now he rage-kills in his bulldozer, Mr. Slam. And if you beat the game with him, he wishes for Calypso to let him build the tallest building on Earth. But instead of twisting his words, he grants his wish with no catch. The only twist comes when Simon falls off for no reason. I don’t know what to call it. It’s like reading a children’s book but the moral of the story is an unrelated truck driving into your bedroom.

Brockway: This is the first piece of media bold enough to portray architects as belligerent dipshits and skyscrapers as their cock substitutes. I’m not saying it’s good, I’m just saying it’s changed my architecture headcanon forever.

Brockway: This is so stupid. This pronounces “irony” wrong and when you try to correct it, it storms out of the office party and punches a copy machine. This is a guy in a beer helmet telling you about Objectivism at a AA hockey game. This is the ironic twist to a Twilight Zone script written by Todd McFarlane.

Seanbaby: I’m not sure it’s even stupid. This is more like a self-piloting car trying to drive to Stupid. It does have things I love, though; like when Calypso adds, “To this day, you can still see the dent in the street made by the crashing body of Simon Whittlebone. I let it serve as a reminder that everyone has a chance of winning my contest. EVEN FOOLS!” It’s fun because he’s trying to spin it like he didn’t forget to do his one job as an evil wish granter. I also like how much they overworked the art. The animation style of wiggling terrible drawings seems lazy, but these cutscenes are not that. There are so many unnecessary planes, birds, and explosion puffs happening behind the dumb shit. Some maniac said, “All I have is a single picture of a deranged architect and what I’ve learned in this After Effects tutorial, but if you give me the rest of this lunch break I’ll give you the Sistine Chapel.”

Brockway: I can fix this. See where he falls off the building, right past the eagles? They should grab him with their claws and swoop away, the end. And then in Twisted Metal 3 he comes back as a guy being carried around by an eagle. He shoots missiles with his feet. That’s called an emotional arc.

Seanbaby: Let’s get Minion’s out of the way. He doesn’t have a wish or anything. He just grabs Calypso and throws him in a pit. “Time to rot in Hell with your little sister,” he says, almost certainly to a player who has know idea what the fuck he’s talking about. I’m not sure if Calypso even has a little sister; this might be a reference to the wrong video game. It’s trash. It’s what an auto-reply would send if you got an email asking if you finished the Minion cutscene.

Brockway: I actually remember this. I remember being mad at this. Minion promises some elaborate hellish backstory and then at the end he just pushes a nerd into a hole. Actually wait, I’ve just come to love this.

Brockway: I’m a fan now, but this is still stupid. These endings are at their worst when they have some lasting effect on the lore. Now we know how Calypso got his powers, when we could have spent that 35 seconds explaining how a raptor architect accidentally got rocket feet that exploded his children.

Seanbaby: I’m taking my missile off the board. This isn’t anything enough to be a word. If you’re a writer and you write, “I guess the demon, who looks like a demon, throws the bad guy in a demon hole wait he has a sister,” you’re effectively as bad at your job as is possible. If you died at your desk and the cleaning staff finished your scripts, would anyone know? If an orthodontist was this bad at his job, he would crawl in with a mop and say, “I am tooth, let’s mouth now. Psst! My sister is also tooth.”

Seanbaby: Next is Sweet Tooth, the flame-headed maniac clown in an ice cream truck. Everyone knows what he wants!

Brockway: Yeah! He’s gonna wish to be the boogeyman! That’s actually kind of cool in an extremely lame 1990s way, like a tale Todd McFarlane tells after spinning around on his stool and asking you to fuck his wife-

Seanbaby: That’s right, he begged to be made into a bug!

Brockway: Fuck!

Seanbaby: I’m making it sound too sane, though. See, he wanted to be a gentle bug living his life in peace, free from his madness. But both the wisher and the wish-granter got every detail wrong, so he turned into a homicidal caterpillar who longed only to return to the flesh of man. That might be an eternal torment in any other story, but in this one the narrator makes it clear caterpillars can become human if they really mean it. It’s Kafkaesque, but Jeff Kafka, a 5-year-old in federal custody for murder.

Seanbaby: I rated it full insane. This has no connection to anything we know about clowns or vehicle combat. If a human was telling me this story I’d say, “Fuck you, I know you’re a caterpillar.”

Brockway: Insane, but I’m also adding a modifier of stupid. This ending knew it had to pervert its own intention, forgot to do that, drew a heavy metal clown worm instead, then tried to leave a sequel opening but forgot to do that too and drew more clown worms. Why would eating the flesh of an old gardener return him back to human form? Does that work for every caterpillar or just clown ones? Are some people ex-caterpillars who ate a grandma? Should I be suspicious of hairy men who undulate? These are the little details you should hash out before sending this off to animation, and by animation, I mean your son’s burnout friend who lives in the garage.

Seanbaby: Twisted Metal named their cocky Hollywood character Ken Masters, which is the exact name of the cocky Hollywood character from the obscure video game franchise Street Fighter.

Brockway: W-what the fuck?

Seanbaby: Was it an oversight? A reference? It seems impossible to accidentally name your character after the third most popular character in a thing everyone knows. It’d be like naming your daughter Joey Fatone, and I know because I did.

Brockway: He’s even got the kind of shitheel country club bad boy sports car that Street Fighter Ken drives. Are they trying to hijack the canon? Malibu already scalped the bastard. I know he deserves punishment for his beautiful hair and treatment of the waitstaff but this feels unearned.

Seanbaby: When you beat the game with Ken he goes up to Calypso, a famous twister of wishes, and precisely says, “I’m an actor and I’m really, really good. And I’ve been struggling, searching for my big break for over six weeks. Please, Calypso, you’ve got to make me famous. Make it so the whole world knows my face.” You dumb fuck, Ken Masters (the Twisted Metal one). You’re just asking to get your face torn off and turned into the sky.

Brockway: Oh yeah, we’re bigfacin’. 100%.

Seanbaby: And after their entire atmosphere is made of Ken’s screaming flesh, the animator shows everyday people still going about their business. Construction, dog walking, plane crashing, skyscraper burning– life has to go on! But I don’t think the sky face is the weirdest part. The weirdest part comes at the end when Calypso, like an impish child, adds “It’s a nice face. I do not regret what I did.”

Brockway: Insane. Insane in a way so pure and oldschool that it’s actually refreshing. This is the return to Coca-Cola Classic after New Coke. If a homeless man on a bus told you this story you would give him 20 bucks to get off the street for his last night alive before the amoeba finished eating his brain. I do not regret what I did.

Seanbaby: I almost think it’s stupid, I do not regret what I did.

Seanbaby: The elderly World War II soldier in Twisted Metal is named Captain Rogers, which is the name of the elderly World War II soldier in Marve– look, maybe Twisted Metal wasn’t designed to be held up to this kind of scrutiny.

Brockway: The names are not the hardest part of creating characters, Twisted Metal writers. You could have called him Captain Blorp Fantastic. Dang, that sucks. Captain Spoof Moofy. Captain… Captain Morm Banswer. I retract my statement.

Seanbaby: Captain Rogers (the Twisted Metal one) is weary from all these wars… tired of this long life. So when he goes up to get his wish from Calypso he decides he wants to do it all again. “Give me the body of a 20 year old!” he wishes like the world’s dumbest goddamn wisher.

Brockway: He didn’t change the head, like the head isn’t part of the body! Young body! Old head!

Seanbaby: I might have only called this stupid, but at the end Calypso screamed, “MAYBE NEXT YEAR YOU WILL WIN TWISTED METAL AGAIN AND ASK FOR THE HEAD OF SOMEONE THE SAME AGE!” And it’s definitely insane to think this character, Barely Legal Muscle Guy With Tiny Sad Mummy Head, should tease your sequel.

Brockway: Completely mad. Buff Bod Mummy Head is the perfect opponent for Missile Foot Raptor Architect. Man, I really thought I saw where this very stupid twist was going – he wished for the body of a 20 year old; he’d get his own grandson dead at his feet – but this twist juked me. It spun effortlessly around me as I flew past it, divetackling a refreshment table. It continued on to its own end zone to score on itself twice and then spike the ball up its own ass.

Seanbaby: Let’s do one that rules. When Amanda Watts wins she knows what she wants and doesn’t give a shit how any evil wishmaster spins it. She says, “As my prize give me the ability to drive at the speed of light.” And you know what that means: time travel. She drives past a 1950s barbecue, through the Old West, and stops to confusingly explode pirates in Pirate Times– all of the classic epochs! It is the best. She runs out of gas underneath a dinosaur foot, but she had to know something like that was coming. You don’t wish for “make me go any direction, faster than I can see” if you have plans tomorrow.

Brockway: Yes, hell yes! Calypso didn’t even twist this one because it kicked too much ass. That’s the evil genie loophole. Try it. Rub a blood-soaked lamp and wish to crash a race car into a black hole, that genie can’t do anything but clap. This is Rated Awesome. Intelligence isn’t everything. Smart people get books, wine, existentialism. Stupid people get time travel, dinosaurs, race cars. This is stupid people putting together everything they have access to, and getting a badass short film. Put together everything smart people have and you get Nausea.

Seanbaby: I love every choice here. Every shape was decorated in rainbows and explosions. They dedicated a third of her time trip to a little postwar planned community. And then paleontologists discover her remains and they become an international mystery? That’s adorable. They live in a world where the leading cause of death -by so much- is race car sorcerer. Hey, National Museum of History, you think he might have had something to do with the unexplainable car you found? It might be my favorite detail of the Twisted Metal world-building– everything is totally normal, but we’re also in the middle of a supernatural apocalypse. Bored delivery drivers exist alongside crashing jets while the sun sets somewhere behind the shrieking sky face.

Brockway: In the Twisted Metal world you would carbon-date a crash helmet to the Cretaceous and be disappointed it was only a time-traveling race car driver.

Seanbaby: We’ve seen some stupid shit so far, but if you want to know what it looks like when a Twisted Metal writer has given up entirely, it’s Thumper’s ending. He demands to be king of the world, but oh no, everyone in the world is dead from the Twisted Metal tournament. Whoops. It would have the same impact if he wished for cookies and Calypso said, “I ate the last of them. They were very nice cookies, I do not regret what I did, I am Calypso and I thank you for playing Twisted Metal.” Sorry, I thought I was building to an absurd joke, but that’s exactly, word-for-word, what Calypso would say.

Brockway: Boo! Boo this tripe. You! The wheel-armed abomination below this sentence: Boo this with me!

Brockway: Irredeemably stupid. Like a Sunday School morality play for kids who live in a town with a lot of industrial metals in the groundwater.

Seanbaby: It’s almost worse than stupid because it makes the other stories make less sense. The lore is tainted with the detail that on a good year, the Twisted Metal tournament might kill the entire world. That changes a lot! At the very least it means next year Thumper is going to be fighting only babies. Wait, this universe has ghosts. So the sequel would be babies vs. ghosts vs. ’90s gangbanger? That actually sounds rad; change mine to awesome.

Brockway: No.

Seanbaby: Last year Calypso sent Captain Jamie Roberts’ brother spiraling into space. So when she gets her wish she demands, and I quote, “YOU LET ME SEE MY BROTHER. No, wait–” And… I mean, come on, lady. You’re practically begging to be dumped in deep space. This is day one wishmaster twisting. This is too basic for monkey paw kindergarten.

Brockway: It’s just like a cop to assume the laws and systems we have to govern car wishes don’t apply to them-

Seanbaby: But it’s not a twist on Jamie– it’s a twist on us! In the second, dumber twist, it turns out this was all part of Jamie’s plan. Her brother has been sitting in outer space the whole year eating and breathing, you know, stuff he had in his patrol car. He goes, “Guess Calypso tricked you too, huh, sis. Now we’re both stuck out here.” No, you fool. Jamie installed rockets on her cop car and they space-drive back to Earth. And when the animator read this he said, “You’re an idiot and I can’t draw any of that. I’ll have it on your desk in 20 minutes.”

Brockway: Twisted Metal writers think outer space is just a big time-out for grownups? That’s how I explain a shuttle disaster to the orphan of heroes.

Brockway: This is a toddler’s understanding of irony, wishes, space, police, cars, and vengeance. This is a two year-old revenge pooping their own pants because you accidentally threw away their favorite rock. There’s a cause and an effect and then muddy brain-static in between the two. There are so many layers of stupid here they’ve stacked high enough to reach the insane bar.

Seanbaby: This game was rated T for Teen, but I’d argue most 13-year-olds would have notes on this. Now that I mention it, is there an age where you think cops live forever in space? I think if you showed this to a baby, its first words would be, “What the fuck am I looking at, you stupid fuck?”

Brockway: If your mother heard you use that kind of language she would blast right down from space time-out and tan your hide, Morm Junior.

Seanbaby: It’s so important how you word your wish after you win Twisted Metal. And I feel like every character goes into the tournament knowing this. And yet this is how Mr. Grimm worded his: “Every moment I don’t have a soul, I get weaker. My job is too hard. People! They have a tendency of not dying! Fast enough! Pleaaaaase, Calypso! Accelerate the process! Do whatever it takes to make them die faster!” He does! Everyone in the world dies and Mr. Grimm eats all their souls. Oh, but then he’s hungry and no one left to eat, darn. I think it was meant to be another ironic one, but this is more like how a horse would explain carrots.

Seanbaby: Mr. Grimm’s story is how I will scientifically calibrate stupidity for the rest of my life. “I want to eat the world; I ate the world, bye.”

Brockway. I’m tempted to think this is just stupid, and it is stupid. It’s the kind of stupid that needs UNFOOD written on the walls so it doesn’t fill up on plaster. But somewhere around the point a supermodel strangles a businessman with two neckties and a double-fisting uzi guy interrupts that young woman’s grief, we’ve crossed into awesome.

Seanbaby: Yeah, the animator’s relentless insanity really saved this one.

Seanbaby: Inspired by how they would have a better angle to look at titties, Mike and Stu wish for the ability to fly and then jump off the roof. Calypso watches them shatter against the sidewalk and jokes, “Good thing these first class tickets are refundable.” So I guess his original evil loophole was going to be first class airline tickets, not “flying” into the ground. This is kind of embarrassing. It means Mike and Stu, the “stupid” characters in this, the stupidest thing, accidentally came up with a better ironic fate than their wishmaster.

Brockway: What happens if you die while out-twisting the twistmaster? Do you switch places, Freaky Friday style? Do you merge Man With Two Heads style? Wait, no I’ve got it: You stay dead but he has to take your place and live life in your honor, Mad Men style. This needed one more frame of Calypso a year later, parked outside a Warrant show getting a Tammy pregnant in a camaro that has seen better days.

Brockway: Stupid but with a distinction. This isn’t stupid as intended, it isn’t laboratory stupid, carefully engineered. This is wild stupid found growing inside the latrine pit of the Dipshit Ward’s Annual Camping Trip for Troubled Idiot Youth.

Seanbaby: I found this one inspiring. The stupid can do anything.

Seanbaby: My notes just say, “Fuck YES: Undercover robocop.”

Brockway: Krista reunites with her father, Calypso, who looks deep into her eyes and sees the tiny LAPD branded cog. You know, from the ex-criminal watchmakers in the LAPD Cyberdaughter Engineering Department. That’s when he knows she’s really a bomb set to detonate if they hug. But such is a father’s love, he’ll forgive even the most exploding of wayward robocop daughters. Together, they embrace their fate, by which I mean explosion.

Seanbaby: I rated it insane. When Krista says, “Hold me, daddy, I’m just a machine now, but I’m scared the explosion will hurt,” and then he does… I was genuinely moved. But I also acknowledge a wish devil and his undercover robocop daughter reuniting and immediately dying a second time are not the events of a sane world.

Brockway: 2 parts stupid, 2 parts insane, fuck yeah parts awesome. I am down with police brutality if it means rebuilding felons’ daughters as secret cyborgs who explode in the presence of love.

Seanbaby: This ending is incredible. Axel only wanted one prize– the strength to face his father, who fused him to these tractor tires thirty years ago. His father greets him by saying, “WHY’VE YOU COME BACK! I THOUGHT I’D GOTTEN RID OF YOU!”

Axel is the most dangerous missile platform in the world, and his father is a grouchy guy in a barn, but instead of shooting him, Axel howls, “FATHER PLEASE! RELEASE ME!”


I don’t know how barn court works, but this is outrageous. The penalty for asking to be let out of your tires after three decades is another whole decade of it? Nonsense. Axel goes, “NO, FATHER! I’VE LEARNED MY LESSON! LET ME SHOW YOU WHAT I’VE LEARNED!” and tears his own arms off. It’s so aggressively not any kind of poetic justice or payback. This is like getting mad at Foot Locker’s return policy by mailing them your penis.

Brockway: And he just floats away into the corn, limbless! The sequel sees Axel picking up where we left him: dead in a drainage ditch seventy feet from his father’s barn.

Brockway: Completely insane. Ripping your own arms off to prove you don’t have daddy issues is in the DSM-IX. It’s the twist ending to the epic DSM saga.

Seanbaby: Before Axel’s ending I would have argued all of these stories were exactly what they looked like– lazy morons failing their way into unintentional comedy. But Axel’s ending is too perfectly deranged. I think they knew. I think all of these might be the work of 1996’s most forward-thinking genius troll. Let’s look at the last one to be sure, but I’m confident I’m right.

Seanbaby: Marcus knows he’s in a video game, and Calypso is proud of him for figuring it out, but it turns out he was having a dream, not doing a Matrix.

Brockway: Classic stupid! The definition of stupid. “It’s all a dream” is two scoops of vanilla stupid, it’s handjob in the back of a Chevy stupid. The kind of good old fashioned stupid that may have never existed, save for in the romance of our own nostalgia.

Seanbaby: I take back my previous theory. There is no hidden message here. This isn’t any kind of outsider art. Whoever made these is a goddamn idiot.

Brockway: Wha- who could have foreseen this twist ending?!

4 replies on “Teamworking Day: Twisted Metal 2 Endings 🌭”

Imagine Calypso outside that architect’s wish tower wracking his brains how to twist it. “Maybe have an earthquake happen? No, no, that’s rookie shit! Come on, Calypso, you can do this!” Then suddenly the guy craters next to him and he’s like “oh…I guess that’ll work”

This article came out a day after my birthday but I’m still going to pretend it was a birthday request for me because it’s exactly the article I would have asked for

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