Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Easter Eggs And References You Missed In Twisted Metal Season 1

Based on the popular game franchise, "Twisted Metal" takes viewers into a post-apocalyptic wasteland where only those with the fastest cars and the deadliest weapons can survive. One of the best drivers battling through this bloodthirsty new America is John Doe (Anthony Mackie), an amnesiac who makes a living as a delivery driver, taking supplies to different cities around the country. While he's more than happy to be in the middle of the carnage with his beloved card, Evelyn, there's part of him that wishes he could lead a normal life, and maybe even remember the family he believes he once had. John's latest job — to deliver a mysterious package across the country — offers him the chance to have those wishes come true. But on the way, he faces a lot of dangerous drivers who would rather have his blood on their hands.

"Twisted Metal" not only delivers the bloody carnage and immoral personalities of the franchise's driver roster, but it features some brilliant references and Easter eggs that fans will adore. From some blink and you'll miss it nods to some character depictions that tie directly to the franchise's history, there are many references that "Twisted Metal" fans will be thrilled to find in this series. Fasten your seatbelt as we delve into some of the best Easter eggs in "Twisted Metal" that you might've missed.

Don't forget John Doe

When talking about the references and nods of "Twisted Metal," there's no better place to start than with the series' main character, John Doe, who is based on the character of the same name from "Twisted Metal: Black." In this game — which was a reboot of the series — John Doe is an amnesiac patient of Blackfield Asylum who is desperate to remember his past. Luring him in with the promise of finding out who he is, Calypso invites John to join his deadly contest with his machine gun-touting car, Roadkill. Players that won the competition as Roadkill would be treated to John's ending, which sees him discover his origins as an FBI agent and that Calypso is one of his targets — which ultimately leads Calypso to kill him.

The TV series adapts the character pretty faithfully, and the John we meet here also suffers from unexplained amnesia and struggles to remember anything before waking up in his car one day. It is tough to say if John's origins will be connected to the FBI and Calypso like they are in the games, but his burned picture of his family could be as pivotal as it was for John in the games — since they were the last thing he was thinking about before dying, and the only link with his past.

A familiar game case

The opening battle sequence for "Twisted Metal" is pretty intense and gives viewers a good slice of the series' action-packed and darkly comedic tone. John Doe is introduced while he's in the middle of a fight in an abandoned mall against three vengeful brothers who want to steal the cargo he's carrying. From a flurry of bullets nailing the back of his beloved car to rockets causing stores to explode into balls of fire, this mall is quickly becoming the backdrop for a fiery fight to the death. One of the rockets shot by John's pursuers ends up hitting an E.B. Games — a retail gaming store that existed before eventually merging with GameStop. However, not everything goes up in flames as a very familiar game lands on John's windshield.

An undamaged copy of the original "Twisted Metal" lands on John's car before he hilariously brushes it away with the wipers. For fans, it's undoubtedly pretty fulfilling to see the 1995 game that started it all looking so pristine despite the surrounding carnage, and seeing the classic art style is pure nostalgia. The series delivers plenty of winks to the games that hardcore fans will love, and this is one that is perhaps a little more on the nose but still fun.

Raven reimagined?

Another character from the games introduced early on is Raven (Neve Campbell) — the mysterious leader of New San Francisco who clearly has something sinister up her sleeve. Like John, Raven is a character that is introduced in "Twisted Metal: Black" where she drives Shadow — a decked out hearse — and joins the contest in the hopes of righting a wrong of her past. When Raven was just a teenager, she witnessed the death of her friend Kelley at the hands of school bullies, and she enters Calypso's game in the hopes of avenging Kelley's death. While Raven is depicted in the games as a young goth girl who dresses in black and gives off a haunting presence, that's not exactly the case for the series. 

Here, Raven is shown to be a little older and more friendly towards John when they first meet. However, she's clearly got some ulterior motives in mind and it could be centered around the character's storyline from the games. There are even hints at this when it is shown that the bar Raven takes John to is called Kelley's. Raven's desire to go back and avenge her fallen friend could easily be tied to the package that John has to get, and it could lead to a killer reveal later in the series.

Shadow's new owner

As well as being introduced to Raven, it is worth noting that her vehicle from the game — a pink-colored hearse called Shadow — also appears in the series, but it has a new driver behind the wheel. It turns out that Quiet (Stephanie Beatriz) and her brother (Richard Cabral) are the owners of Shadow, and they're seen driving it when they're trying to escape from Agent Stone (Thomas Haden Church) and his band of officers. Despite Shadow not having any weapons on the outside, Quiet and her brother have filled the back with tons of defenses, including a flail-type weapon with grenades attached. 

Despite the change in ownership, Shadow is faithfully brought to life and it feels like it's ripped right from the games. Sadly the vehicle is destroyed by Agent Stone's trap so it is unlikely that fans will get to see Raven driving it around for old time's sake. But it shouldn't be ruled out altogether. Maybe Raven has her own version of Shadow in New San Francisco and she'll be ready to jump into it for intense battles in the series' climactic finale.

Wishes you say?

When Raven is talking to John in New San Francisco, she keeps asking him what he wishes to have in life. While John makes a joke out of this moment with his request being some nicely plied toilet paper, Raven bringing up wishes is a pretty big deal since the concept of characters making wishes is a staple to the "Twisted Metal" franchise. Ever since the first game, contestants have been killing and destroying each other to be the last ones standing so that they can meet Calypso and get their wish granted. Often these wishes come with unexpected consequences that can cause the driver to face an undesired end or even cause greater damage to the world around them. 

Admittedly, Raven bringing up wishes is a little strange since Calypso is generally the only one known to grant wishes in the series. But maybe Raven is hinting at something greater in the works. Perhaps she's already aware of Calypso and tasking John with collecting a package that'll allow her to grant her own wish. Or, maybe she's taking on the role of Calypso and will grant John's wish when he returns. Regardless, it's great that this series is already hinting at the idea of wishes being involved as it could lead to something surprising down the road. 

Outlaw's complicated history

Agent Stone is established as a deadly antagonist right from the start as his band of ruthless officers go around establishing their own sense of law and order on unsuspecting survivors. He's despised by Quiet for what he made her brother do so that she could survive, and this makes nearly every scene between them incredibly tense. Agent Stone is also another character that's ripped right from the games — but he didn't always appear as the incarnation we see in the series. 

Back in the first "Twisted Metal" game, Agent Stone was actually the driver of Crimson Fury and entered Calypso's tournament so that he could obtain a device holding information that the U.S. government was trying to keep from the people. When the series was rebooted in "Twisted Metal: Black," Stone became the driver of Outlaw and is motivated to win the competition by his desire to fix a past mistake that changed his life forever. The version of Stone we see in the series falls more in line with his time as Outlaw, as he too is acting to restore the world back to the way he wants to see it.

Sweet Tooth's design

At the end of the first episode, we're finally introduced to fan-favorite psychopath Sweet Tooth — who is physically portrayed by wrestler Samoa Joe while Will Arnett provides the voice. Sweet Tooth is an unhinged masked killer who drives a giant ice cream truck that is equipped with weapons inside and out. Sweet Tooth's appearance has generally stayed the same in concept but he has physically changed over the years. While he's initially introduced as a grimy and slender serial killer, he was transformed into a more brutish and physically dominant killer in "Twisted Metal: Black." The version we see in the series isn't completely inspired by "Black" though and actually comes from the 2012 reboot. 

The design of Sweet Tooth's mask falls more in line with the 2012 reboot's version of the character and even the red hair bursting out from the sides of his head looks more like it did in that game. Plus, the giant machete Sweet Tooth wields looks like it's copied from that game as well. The only thing he's missing is the plumes of flame coming out of his skull, but maybe that'll come when Sweet Tooth runs into Calypso. Sweet Tooth's design here is a great mix of the character's best looks from the franchise so the fans will love how he is brought to life.

Real life cheat codes

Cheat codes are a staple to most games and can add a fun new layer to the experience. Whether it is invincibility or unlimited ammo cheats that basically let you become unstoppable, to hilarious alternate skins that can be unlocked, cheat codes can turn an ordinary game into something extraordinary. "Twisted Metal" has a history of great cheat codes for players to use and it turns out that John Doe has implemented a very prolific cheat code into his car. When John and Quiet are initially trying to escape from Sweet Tooth, Evelyn ends up starting to break down. That is until John hops into the driver's seat and inputs the well-known "invincibility" cheat code from "Twisted Metal 2" to get Evelyn back in working order. 

To put the cheat code in, John holds down the "L1" and "R1" buttons on his steering wheel and then turns the shifter "up, down, left, right, right, down, up," which activates the cheat's power. Eagle-eyed fans will point out that what John puts in isn't exactly the invincibility cheat code since there's actually another left input after the second right, but it's the closest cheat to that sequence. It could potentially be some kind of turbo cheat as well since John does speed up after inputting the code. Still, it's great that the series highlights a fan-favorite aspect of the games and hilariously gives John's steering wheel an L1 and R1 button so that he can use real-life cheat codes. 

Back to Blackfield

When John gets the grand tour of Sweet Tooth's casino living space, he eventually comes across a jacket just as Sweet Tooth is telling him about where he used to live. The jacket reads Blackfield Asylum and likely has Sweet Tooth's real name "Kane, M" embroidered — neither of which bodes well for John surviving this situation. This isn't just simply showing us that Sweet Tooth is out of his mind though, it is actually a reference to "Twisted Metal: Black." Blackfield Asylum is where the characters of "Black" all reside and are recruited by Calypso to join his deadly game. Also, that M. Kane moniker is a nod to the name Marcus Kane — which is used for Sweet Tooth and other characters throughout the games. 

Initially, Marcus Kane is the name of a homeless-looking man introduced in "Twisted Metal 2" who drove the car Roadkill, but later became the name for Needles Kane's — the original Sweet Tooth — split personality in "Twisted Metal: Black." However, based on how Sweet Tooth is characterized in the series, the lore surrounding Marcus Kane is likely tied to Sweet Tooth's story in the 2012 reboot. There, Marcus was just a family man who slowly lost his mind and developed the Needles personality that eventually overtook him — leading him to become the vicious killer Sweet Tooth. The name Marcus Kane has quite a complicated history in this franchise, but its inclusion here helps clear up Sweet Tooth's backstory quite a bit. 

Who can forget Harold

For the most part, Sweet Tooth is inspired by and characterized by his depictions in later games. However, there is one addition to his character here that ties all the way back to his introduction in the first game. When Sweet Tooth is showing John around, he makes sure to introduce John to his friend Harold — who is a crumpled-up brown paper bag. This obviously creeps John out and things only get weirder when Harold is shown sitting in a chair magically flipping the lights with a nearly empty drink by his side after Sweet Tooth completes his show. Harold is a bizarre character, but he actually has a funny history in "Twisted Metal" that dates back to the original game. 

When Sweet Tooth wins the original tournament, he confronts Calypso with the wish to have his only friend Harold back by his side. To Calypso's dismay and bewilderment, Sweet Tooth wants to have this bag that's named "Harold the Wacky Lunch Sack" as Sweet Tooth sees it as his best friend. With Harold back in his possession, Sweet Tooth gleefully drives off reunited with his bestie. It's a pretty awesome Easter egg that longtime Sweet Tooth fans will just love and adds another twisted layer to his character in the series. 

More than just a lackey

Prior to Agent Stone becoming Outlaw in the games, he drove the Crimson Fury car. However — once Stone becomes Outlaw in "Twisted Metal: Black" — an FBI agent named Shepard took over Crimson Fury so that he could bring Calypso in for all the crimes he's committed. Agent Shepard would be introduced in "Twisted Metal: Head-On" and become the new driver of Crimson Fury. Oddly enough, Agent Shepard and Stone actually work together in this series and share a cruel mindset for maintaining justice in this vile new world. 

Agent Shepard (Jared Bankens) is Stone's first in command — often seen by his side and barking orders to new recruits Stu (Mike Mitchell) and Mike (Tahj Vaughans). He's seen having bad blood with Quiet from the start since he was involved in her brother's death and branded her with a nasty marking. Luckily for Quiet, she's able to get her revenge and take Shepard out. But it's still great that the series not only brings Agent Shepard along but also ties him to Stone since they have a shared history with Crimson Fury. 

Watts' twisted history

In Episode 4, John and Quiet are scooped up by a convoy led by a woman named Miranda Watts (Jamie Neumann), who has quite a lengthy history in the "Twisted Metal" games. Originally, her twin sister Amanda joined the car carnage in "Twisted Metal 2" with her beloved IndyCar, Twister, until Miranda took over driving duties in "Twisted Metal: Head-On." In "Head-On," Miranda sought to win Calypso's tournament in the hopes of learning what happened to Amanda — whose wish in "Twisted Metal 2" was to travel at the speed of light.

Like the games, Miranda drives a sleek-looking white IndyCar with purple stripes and she is a deadly threat behind the wheel. She goes by the name Twister on the radio and we even get to see her in that car's driving seat in the finale. The Twister IndyCar is brought to life excellently and it's thrilling to see Miranda tear around turns to dodge Stone's missiles. Since the second season will be focused on Calypso's tournament, perhaps her storyline from the games — surrounding her sister's fate — could play a role in her arc going forward. For now, Miranda and Twister's appearance is a great nod to a beloved character and car — both of which hold a lot of potential for future series. 

Mentions of monster trucks

On one of their missions, John and Quiet drive past someone who's been strung up on one of the Holy Men's crosses, and Quiet comments how it's a terrible way to die. John disagrees and says that there are plenty of worse ways to die — including being sliced up by butchers or being crushed by monster trucks. While it seems it is just something that John mentions in passing, it ties to a specific car from "Twisted Metal" and is a possible hint that the monster truck Hammerhead exists somewhere out in the wasteland.

Hammerhead was introduced in the first game and has appeared in many entries throughout the franchise. Although this towering behemoth is equipped with plenty of firepower and missiles, the best way for Hammerhead to defeat its opponents is simply by running over them. Hammerhead is easily one of the biggest vehicles in the "Twisted Metal" franchise — in more ways than one — and if John and Quiet ever run into any monster trucks on the road, they best steer clear if they want to survive.

Amber and her flower power

When John and Quiet are sent to get some medicine from a mysterious "pharmacist" for Watts, they're introduced to Amber (Diany Rodriguez) — a flower-loving loner. Amber is also from the games — usually going by the name Amber Rose and being the driver of a flower-coated beetle called Flower Power. Amber and Flower Power appear in "Twisted Metal 3" — where she enters the tournament as an environmentalist looking to win so that she can end all the destruction caused by the drivers and the tournament.

In the series, Amber's love of flowers and the environment is made instantly clear by all the unique flowers she has around her house and her vast knowledge of botany — more specifically poisons. The connections to her in-game character's Flower Power persona are apparent in two instances: Her radio call sign is Flower Power, and her infamous beetle can be seen parked in front of her house. It's a bit of a shame that Amber seems to have given up on her driving days — since there's no graffiti all over the car like in the games — but her appearance is a great way to deliver a respectful nod to one of the game's more unusual characters.

Many movie references

Following their encounter with Amber, John and Quiet try to hide in a movie theater so that they can avoid a run-in with the Holy Men — which results in some very fun references to iconic films. As previously clarified, the apocalyptic event that caused the world to become ruined happened in 2002, so a lot of references here are from movies around that time. John and Quiet pass by posters for "A Knight's Tale" and "Punch-Drunk Love" and Quiet even throws a hatchet into the head of a cardboard standup of Pistachio Disguisey from "The Master of Disguise."

The more meaningful movie nods come from John and Quiet watching 1994's "Blankman" together and attempting to ad-lib some of the dialogue from the film. The references keep coming when Quiet talks about a time when her brother snuck her into the movies. She mentions that the movie features two cowboys fighting a mechanical spider — referring to "Wild Wild West" from 1999. The apocalypse might've stripped away everything fun about the world, but it is nice that people can still look to the movies for a good dose of nostalgia.

Good old Granny Dread

One of the most memorable characters from the games appears in Episode 4 when John and Quiet get onto the convoy. They meet Granny (Peg O'Keff) — who pretends to be sickly before being outed by John. Clearly a beloved entity on the convoy — especially by Watts — Granny also has a surprisingly dirty mind, evident from the book of sex positions she gives to Quiet. Granny is based on the character Granny Dread, who drives the monster truck Hammerhead in "Twisted Metal 3." In the game, Granny Dread enters the tournament to destroy all of her competitors so that they will stop disturbing her quiet neighborhood. 

In the series, however, she's just interested in keeping her convoy safe and sadly, she succumbs to her illness. Before dying though, she offers some kind words to those around her and everyone solidifies her memory with an unforgettable funeral. Watts even reminds everyone of her "Granny Dread" title — a memorable nod to her legacy in the games. It's a bummer that we never got to see Granny Dread take control of Hammerhead in the series, but her appearance will still be something that fans love.

Stu & Mike

As well as Granny Dread, there are another pair of famous drivers of Hammerhead that appear in the show: Stu and Mike. Back in "Twisted Metal 2," Stu and Mike were the second pair of drivers to get behind the wheel of Hammerhead and crush the competition with their eccentric personalities and the truck's gigantic tires. However, once they reach Calypso, their wish to fly doesn't go as they expect and they end up plummeting to the ground. In the series though, Stu (Mike Mitchell) and Mike (Tahj Vaughns) aren't cruising around in a monster truck and instead, they work under Stone.

Their relationship is complicated and they go through their own personal journeys throughout the series. However, they end up fighting alongside each other by the end and manage to escape from Sweet Tooth with their lives. Now that they're a unified team again — and with the suggestion that Hammerhead does exist in this world — maybe they can get back behind the wheel of the monster truck and enter Calypso's new tournament to earn their own power in this world.

Former outlaws

After Agent Shepard is killed by Quiet, Stone needs to find a new right-hand person to replace him. Stone's new lackeys — siblings Jamie (Chelle Ramos) and Carl Roberts (Michael Carollo) — aren't exactly competent replacements and at one point they're injured so badly in action that they're forced to wear neck braces throughout most of their time in the series. Jamie and Carl aren't just random minions though: they are other owners of Outlaw in the games. 

Carl was the first driver of Outlaw in the 1995 original until he was briefly replaced by Jamie in the second game. In "Twisted Metal 3" and "Head-On," Carl drove alongside his sister to take on other drivers together. It's pretty cool to not only see them paired together in the series but also for them to be under Stone's watch since he is also part of the Outlaw lineage.

Watkyn's Harbor

In Episode 6, John and Quiet end up trapped in a sci-fi-themed restaurant after a vicious storm moves in. It features some beautiful yet bizarre multi-colored lightning and is not the type of storm you want to get stuck in. John calls it the Watkyn's storm and says that it's called that because it stems from a nuclear plant explosion in Watkyn's Harbor that ended up poisoning the atmosphere. The Watkyn's storm is another dangerous threat in the world of "Twisted Metal," and its origins are from one of the games. 

Watkyn's Harbor is a memorable level in the 2012 reboot that saw players cause absolute carnage in the dingy, smoke-filled environment. Given how many smoke towers and nuclear plants there are on the map, it's no wonder that a nuclear explosion occurred and caused the mutated lightning storm that we see in the series. Although we'll probably never see the characters go to Watkyn's Harbor since — as mentioned by John — the storm only gets worse as you go closer, it's a great reference to a popular level from the games.

How amusing

Another famous map from the 2012 reboot appears at the end of Episode 5 and is the setting for Stone and Quiet's first big battle. As Quiet starts to drive away from Stone's convoy, she heads into an amusement park where Stone welcomes her to "Thrills and Spills." He mentions that he used to come here as a kid and that his favorite place at Thrills and Spills was the arcade because of his love of games. Despite Thrills and Spills once being a place of fun, it's now a warzone, and Stone and Quiet unleash all their firepower to put an end to their feud. 

Thrills and Spills is a map in the 2012 reboot where players can engage in deathmatch games to be the last one standing and rack up the most kills. With Thrills and Spills being an incredibly large map, there are plenty of fun things for players to discover — including a House of Horror and a castle attraction known as Merlin's Madness. While it's a shame that we don't get to see Thrills and Spills get explored during Stone and Quiet's firefight, it's still awesome to see the maps of the "Twisted Metal" games getting some love. 

Calypso is real

Although we don't see the face of franchise antagonist Calypso in the show, John and Quiet do run into him eventually as he's the one they have to get the package from. Calypso's presence is felt throughout the entire series, though, and there are signs of his existence and cult-like following seen at different points in John's journey. Back in the premiere episode, John can be seen driving past a road sign with graffiti on it that says "Calypso is Real." John sees the phrase on another sign as he's heading into Chicago at the end of Episode 5. Eventually, John and Quiet meet Calypso — but not face to face — to pick up the package and John mentions that he's seen people talking about him. While Calypso is taken as a joke by John and Quiet, he's a much deadlier threat than they realize. 

Calypso always has a way of putting a dark twist on everyone's desires and has a mysterious power that is hard to beat, or even match. The reveal of him being the main focus of a potential second season shouldn't be taken lightly, as it won't be long before he steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight as the series' main antagonist.

Marcus Kane's backstory

At the start of Episode 7, fans are taken back to 1989 — where a young Sweet Tooth is working as child actor Marcus Kane on a TV show. This is where Sweet Tooth's love for the spotlight and bloody murder is made clear, and he's shown to have brutally murdered his dog co-star Billy in front of a live studio audience. The name Billy has interesting connections to the "Twisted Metal" games as there are two characters with that name. The first is a character named Billy Ray Stillwell who appears in "Twisted Metal: Black" and "Twisted Metal: Lost" and drove a tow truck called Junkyard Dog. The other is Calypso — who went by Billy in "Twisted Metal: Small Brawl." If this dog being named Billy is meant to be a subtle nod to Calypso, then it could be foreshadowing an eventual confrontation between Sweet Tooth and Calypso — despite Sweet Tooth's fate in the finale. 

The more important nod in this flashback though is the mention of Sweet Tooth's father Charlie. He is the driver of the taxi cab Yellow Jacket and appears alongside Sweet Tooth in the first "Twisted Metal" game. Sweet Tooth's time in his father's sadistic cab is brought up and there's a newspaper clipping talking about his prison sentence. This flashback fleshes out Sweet Tooth's character so much more and also delivers some good references to his lore from the games.

Gang warfare

Despite a lot of drivers becoming loners in this horrifying apocalyptic landscape, there are some who have formed their own groups and gangs. The Preacher has his band of disturbing Holy Men. Stone has his army of officers who enact their own brutal sense of law and order. Even Sweet Tooth is able to collect a bloodthirsty clown army of his own and –- as we come to find out later -– Dollface has her own collection of killer dolls. While it is understandable that some gangs and factions would form since it improves the chances of survival dramatically, the concept of gangs is tied to the 2012 reboot.

Unlike most of the other "Twisted Metal" games, 2012's "Twisted Metal" scales back its character roster greatly so that it can focus on four distinct gangs. These gangs are led by The Preacher, Dollface, Sweet Tooth, and Mr. Grimm and are often seen going to war with one another so that they can reach Calypso. While the focus on gangs in the game didn't exactly win over fans, it's a cool thing for the series to not just call back to, but better utilize. And who knows, maybe Calypso's tournament in Season 2 will be interrupted by some all-out gang warfare.

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary

When John and Quiet stop at a random Milkman pit stop in Episode 7, John runs into a couple of old friends — including a woman named Mary (Chloe Fineman). Mary is another Milkman who has quite a history with John but isn't the type who can be fully trusted if you're carrying something very valuable. Mary is also ripped right from the game as she portrays the character Bloody Mary, who drives the car Spectre and appears in "Twisted Metal: Black" and "Twisted Metal: Lost." 

In the games, she's depicted as a woman scorned by love wearing a wedding dress and hoping that Calypso can find true love for her. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned and by the time fans see her in "Twisted Metal: Lost," she practically has a death wish. That isn't too far off from how Mary is depicted in the series. Mary now works as a Milkman looking for high-stakes thrills after suffering a grave tragedy, and she quickly becomes jealous of Quiet's relationship with John. Sadly though, Mary proves she is not to be trusted and puts John and Quiet in a complicated position. 

Memorable maniacs

Mary isn't the only noteworthy character that John and Quiet run into at the bar: there are four others from the games that can be spotted. The first is Connor Nazang (Chris Silcox) aka Pizza Boy, with the sunglasses and puffy red jacket being a dead giveaway. The character has only appeared in "Twisted Metal 4" and is known for being an absolute menace in the pizza delivery business, killing all the competition with his machine guns. Another character from "Twisted Metal 4" that appears is Petunia — a drag queen who is known for driving a car named Drag Queen and mowing down the other drivers in the hopes of achieving their dreams.  

The third driver introduced to Quiet by the bartender is Pit Viper — a name that's been around since the original game. Based on the character's look, she seems to be based on Pit Viper's original driver Angela Fortin. Pit Viper even shares some character qualities with Angela as they both live a double life and are motivated by money. The last character from the games seen at the bar is the bartender himself — Mr. Slam (Creek Wilson). Mr. Slam is a well-known character from the games having appeared in multiple entries starting with "Twisted Metal 2." He's always seen driving a construction vehicle and the series connects that to his character by having him wear an orange construction vest. 

Zorko Bros. Junkyard

When the series flashes back to the moment when John loses his memory as a kid and is forced to fend for himself, there's a sign that can be seen in the background that reads "Zorko Bros. Salvage and Scrap." This is a nod to a famous map from "Twisted Metal: Black" called Junkyard. There, drivers have to navigate the wreckage around them as well as all the weapons being fired at them, hoping to avoid becoming a part of the junkyard themselves. Given that the franchise has always been centered on car destruction, it's fitting that there would be a junkyard map, but this junkyard plays a significant role in John's story in the show. 

It's here where John not only finds all the parts he needs to fix up Evelyn but also the license plate that would give him her name. It's a place that holds a lot of personal meaning for John and is likely where he became so good at fixing Evelyn up. For fans though, this little Zorko Bros. sign is a fun nod to a beloved map from an even more beloved "Twisted Metal" entry. 

The Preacher and his holy men

One of the biggest threats that John and Quiet face in their journey is the Preacher (Jason Mantzoukas) and his horrific band of Holy Men. This group has a massive arsenal of weapons and uses brutal torture methods against their enemies. It's worth noting that Preacher is depicted very differently in the games and has a special rivalry with Calypso at times. Unlike the Preacher in the series — who has essentially lost his faith in God and now guides others into his sick and twisted depravity — the Preacher in the games is much more faith-driven. 

In "Twisted Metal: Black," he's depicted as a Preacher who believes that he's been possessed by a demon and hopes to win the tournament so that Calypso can remove the demon from him. However, Calypso gives him a much darker truth behind his possession and the murderous actions he's committed — leading the Preacher down a self-destructive path. When he reappears in the 2012 reboot, he is more focused on tearing down Calypso and his evil power. In that game, he even has his Holy Men by his side. Maybe the Preacher of the TV series will find God again and take on Calypso in the second season, since we do see that he's one of the drivers picked for Calypso's tournament. 

EZ Rider

In a flashback sequence, we see young John working on Evelyn, and picking up license plates in the hopes of finding a good name for his new protector. The first license plate in the pile is labeled "EZ Rider" which is likely a reference to the classic film "Easy Rider." The 1969 film starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda is about two bikers making a countrywide trek to New Orleans after earning a large sum of money from a cocaine deal. 

It was a landmark film that highlighted a growing counterculture within the US and influenced a thriving new era in film. While "Twisted Metal" likely won't have the same impact as "Easy Rider," the two share enough similarities for it to be a fitting reference. Both are essentially road trip stories of drivers meeting new people and having strange experiences while traveling. There are even some deadly shootouts and deaths in their distinctive journeys that further tie them together.

Roadkill arrives

In Episode 9, we see that Quiet is talking with a Vulture named Mark (Ryan Reinike) and his car will look very familiar to fans. This is because it's the original Roadkill car and although it's missing most of its weapons, the rusted black and gray look is heavily reminiscent of the car's first appearance in the franchise. Roadkill appearing here is pretty significant — especially with its original design — because it's a key aspect of John becoming Roadkill in the episode. Throughout the episode, Watts is seen adding new parts and weapons to the car and changing up the look to give it more color. By the end, it ends up looking similar to its look in "Twisted Metal 2" — where it's driven by a non-Sweet Tooth Marcus Kane. 

Before driving off to face Stone though, Quiet and John have to give a name to their new car and Quiet ends up declaring the name Roadkill — which is lovingly spray-painted onto the license plate. Given John Doe's origins as Roadkill in "Twisted Metal: Black," it's incredibly satisfying to see the car brought to life in the series and to have John driving it into a big finale battle. 

Fiery mind

Sweet Tooth's design in the show is heavily based on his appearance in the 2012 reboot. However, he's missing two key aspects that keep it from being an exact copy. Fortunately, both of those missing pieces come to life in the finale episode. The first is Sweet Tooth's fiery hair –- which has always been seen as an iconic staple of his character. Just as he's heading into the chaotic finale battle against Stone, Sweet Tooth asks Stu to light his head on fire –- basically his version of psychotic war paint. The visual effects for Sweet Tooth's fiery hair are perfect and it feels like it's ripped right from the games.

The second thing is that Sweet Tooth is missing an eye in some incarnations — namely "Twisted Metal: Black" and the 2012 reboot. When Stu and Mike eventually decide that they've had enough of Sweet Tooth's brutality, they decide to make a break for it and Stu shoots Sweet Tooth in the eye. Once he gets up, there's just a bloody mess where Sweet Tooth's eye used to be and it's pretty gnarly. Fans will be thrilled to see Sweet Tooth in full form and these last two components truly make the character come to life on-screen.

Gaming lingo

Whether you play realistic driving games like "Gran Turismo" and "Forza" or party-centric karting games like "Mario Kart," the stats of your car are always important. "Twisted Metal" has always placed the same importance on stats and the series pokes fun at that in a conversation between John and Quiet. When chatting about what kind of guns they want to put on the car, Quiet grabs a very heavy gun and John is totally against it. He explains that it's all about balance and that too much of one thing can throw off another. For instance, if the car is too heavy then it results in low speed and bad handling.

This conversation about car stats is a reference that fans of that video game genre will love, with John talking about the importance of finding the right balance to fit your driving style. He even mentions the four main stats that drive their quest for balance — weapons, armor, speed, and handling. All four of those stats are key parts in picking the best driver in "Twisted Metal" and every gamer will have a smile on their face hearing John bring up those important car stats.  

Midtown Raceway

As John, Quiet, and the rest of Watts' convoy drive into the final battle against Stone and his police forces, they drive past a sign that says "Midtown Raceway." The name Midtown is a reference to the main setting of "Twisted Metal: Black." Midtown is described as a city filled with pollution and crime — making it the perfect place for Calypso to hold his tournament and find new competitors. Throughout different parts of Midtown, drivers shred the streets with bullets and missiles and turn normal living spaces into death traps. From quiet suburbs to busy freeways, nowhere was safe in Midtown and pretty much every part of the city was used in Calypso's destructive game. 

While it's a bummer that we don't get a nice leisurely trip through Midtown in the series, it's still great to see it get a nod in the show. Perhaps Calypso will use Midtown as the main setting for his tournament in Season 2 and fans will be granted a full tour. 

Homing missiles

The "Twisted Metal" games are known for giving players a vast array of unique weapons that come equipped to each car — including some special weapons tied to the personalities of the cars and their drivers. However, there are weapons that players can pick up throughout each map and one of those weapons appears in the final fight. When Stone is chasing down Watts, he fires a homing missile at Watts that she's able to outrace and ultimately dodge. Homing missiles are a key part of winning in "Twisted Metal" since they're one of the more reliably accurate weapons that can be fired amongst all the chaos and carnage. 

It's a shame that we don't see more weapons from the games be brought into the series — like freeze missiles or some of the special weapons of the characters we see — but it's still cool to see one get fired off and cause some explosive destruction. 

A tournament of carnage

In the final moments, John learns from Raven that he can't leave New San Francisco until he's competed in a tournament that Calypso is hosting that'll let Raven have her wishes granted. Although Raven says that this tournament will be the first of its kind, fans know that Calypso's tournament has always been a recurring part of the "Twisted Metal" story since the first game. As always, Calypso brings together a bunch of criminals and bizarre personalities to fight to the death so that he can put a cruel twist on their greatest desires. 

That seems to be the case again here and it looks like John will have to fight some old and new enemies to stay alive. In terms of Raven getting her wish granted, it's odd to think that Calypso would fulfill her request without her getting behind the wheel. So it's very likely that Raven will have to join the tournament at some point in Season 2 and that she'll probably try to reunite with her slain friend Kelly just like in the games. With Season 2 focusing more on Calypso's deadly tournament, it seems like the series is going to continue to adapt more elements from the games. 

Future challengers await

After it becomes clear that Calypso is planning a tournament, he is seen putting pictures of different competitors onto a bracket. We see photos of John, the Preacher, and Mary among some of the participants, but we also see two beloved characters from the games teased. The first is a character named Axel — who is pictured as a shirtless man with big tires next to him. He has appeared in nearly every entry in the series and doesn't drive a normal car like most other characters. Instead, he pilots a two-wheel contraption that he's strapped to in the middle. He brings some real "Mad Max" energy and even though he's more exposed, he's incredibly tough to kill. 

The other is a driver with a motorcycle helmet that has a red skull painted on it — who is meant to be Mr. Grimm. Grimm is one of the most prolific characters in the franchise and he drives a fast-moving motorcycle — which often makes him a tough foe to take down. His identity and motivations have ranged from being a vengeful prisoner at Blackgate to the Grim Reaper itself looking to claim Calypso's soul. It'll be interesting to see how the series depicts him and how John will deal with fighting against him.

Dollface appears

Right before the credits roll in the "Twisted Metal" season finale, fans are treated to the long-awaited appearance of fan-favorite character Dollface. As Quiet drives around stealing the goods that Milkmen are carrying, she's stopped by an army of weapon-wielding weirdos all dressed with sad doll face masks. Eventually, she sees that Dollface is in front of her car wielding a machine gun and alluding to the fact that she's John's sister. Since her debut in "Twisted Metal: Black," Dollface has become an iconic character in the series who has been given a much more fleshed-out story in both "Black" and the 2012 reboot. She is the driver of Darkside — a hulking black semi-truck seen throughout the series — and leads her own army of "dolls" in the 2012 reboot as she does in the series. 

Now, her being teased as John's sister is very interesting since it's not something from the games and could play a huge role in Season 2. It doesn't seem like Dollface will be a part of the tournament herself, but she and her army of dolls could easily stir up some trouble and spoil Calypso's fun. While it is a bummer that fans will have to wait a bit to see Dollface in action, her appearance in the finale definitely means there are some exciting things to look forward to for the series' future.