- "Shut up and BLEED, you motherfu-"
- —Needles Kane, Twisted Metal: Black
Needles Kane is the series' trademark character, notable for his flaming head, and has appeared in every Twisted Metal game to-date, driving Sweet Tooth. He has had many different looks, the first of which he has green hair and face paint, then he transitioned to the trademark flaming hair. He then proceeded to wear a mask strapped onto his face, which first appeared in Twisted Metal: Black. He is also the leader of The Clowns, a playable faction in Twisted Metal (2012).
Often referred to as Sweet Tooth, Needles Kane is an insane killer clown who drives an ice cream truck. His face is seen on the cover of every Twisted Metal game to date. His character has gone through many different designs and versions. He also has the most ties with other characters in the series.
Known as the most twisted character in Twisted Metal (which is saying something), he is the very embodiment of hate, anger, and destruction on an epic scale. Each interpretation differs from each game, but he has kept a consistent image throughout the series, being the poster mayhem icon for the series theme. Needles is truly evil, and thinks nothing of anything but the joy and desire of death and chaos. His character in Black and the 2012 reboot are his most famous incarnations of Sweet Tooth. A serial killer who uses a ice cream truck and demented clown theme to perform mass homicide on innocent people or fellow contestants. His mask is a part of his evil motives as he made it as an escape from his alter ego Marcus Kane. Sweet Tooth is also the most colorful character; he dresses like a circus clown, and has a colorful vehicle with designs that match that of a local circus clown. He prides himself in being the best serial killer of all time and will stop at nothing to make sure his title remains intact. In some incarnations, he has a great love for ice cream and frozen treats: he keeps these in the back of his ice cream truck along with his various killing weapons and the bodies of his unfortunate victims.
Needles Kane makes his first appearance in the Twisted Metal (1995). Seen lacking his trademark flaming head, Needles in his first appearance is decidely more tame than in future installments. He still has his killer personality, although not as flamboyant. He is portrayed by live-action actor Robert Goodens.
Vehicle: Sweet Tooth
Story: An escaped mental patient, Needles Kane is a man on a mission. He has entered Twisted Metal in hopes of gaining the one prize that means more to him than anything in the world...his best friend.
Needles Kane returns in Twisted Metal 2 seen for the first time with his familar persona, which is reflected in his wish. He is a secret character, able to be battled in Story Mode but only playable with cheat code.
Vehicle: Sweet Tooth
Age: unknown age
Born: unknown birthplace
- "My first home was the circus. My second was a state institute. My next home will be yours. I will be the man who hides under your bed, in your closet, in your mind. When I win, you'll never be too far from me."
Needles Kane undergoes a radical change from Twisted Metal 2 to Twisted Metal III, from sinister stalker to maniacal insanity. Needles' updated look in this installment plays up the circus side of his personality, giving him a more clownish look and a great fascination with ice cream and candy. This is one of two Twisted Metal games besides the original where Needles doesn't have flaming hair, instead having styled orange hair that resemble flames, the other being in TMSB. As in TM2, Needles is a secret character, but the player only needs to beat the game to unlock him.
"If only all clowns were as sweet as Sweet Tooth, the world would be a much more psychotic place. This demented concessionaire bops around in his ice cream truck spreading merriment and salmonella. You'll also note that Sweet Tooth is down with the good humor: he'll be laughing the entire time he's launching the explosive head off the top of his truck. You'll have to earn this treat because Sweet Tooth is a hidden character available only after winning the game."
Vehicle: Sweet Tooth
Born: unknown birthplace
- "I scream, you scream, we all scream for... me! Gather 'round kiddies, and let me show you just how sweet I can be! I have plenty of frosty, explosive treats for all the Twisted Metal contestants!
Info and Ending:
In Twisted Metal 4, Needles Kane returns, now as the master of the Twisted Metal tournament, having overthrown Calypso. He is more of a ringmaster than a clown in this installment, but oddly remains silent for the entirety of the game, having one of his clown minions speak for him. He is the final boss of TM4, and is considered one of the most difficult bosses in the series. In the same vein, Sweet Tooth's special attack in TM4 is considered the most overpowered and broken of any Special Weapon in the entire series. Because he is the final boss, Needles doesn't have a unique ending, instead sharing the generic ending with the other bosses and custom cars.
Vehicle: Sweet Tooth
Story: When he was a child, the Twisted Metal competition - with Calypso at its head - came to his town. The contest was unlike anything Sweet Tooth ever laid eyes on. It gave him dreams of death and destruction, and so he followed the traveling tournament until he was able to enter as a contestant. Needles proved quite adept in combat and killed many drivers, but eventually grew dissatisfied. He felt that he was just a pawn, killing while Calypso grew stronger with each soul. With this realization, he won the next tournament and used his wish to be the star of Twisted Metal. Now, Needles rules the deranged demolition derby from his carnival-like lair, assisted by a horde of equally twisted clown minions. His newly-upgraded ice cream truck is the final challenge for anyone seeking to make a wish, but his sense of humor is just as bad as Calypso's when it comes to giving winners what they wanted.
The first time Needles murdered his original victim, he didn't even flinch. He did it as skillfully as a trained surgeon and without regrets. After the first one, it was obvious that he had found his calling in life. He quickly developed an insatiable thirst for blood. Sometimes his victims were meticulously hunted down, but most were randomly chosen and just unlucky to have crossed his path. No one was safe...
Blackfield Asylum Patient Profile:
Vehicle: Sweet Tooth
Disorder: Unspecified Psychotic disorder; Homicidal tendencies; insomnia.
Treatment: Warning: Meds have no effect; Lost cause.
Voice actor: J.S. Gilbert
Needles Kane is a feared serial killer terrorizing Midtown, well-known for his vast numbers gruesome murders. One day he is finally captured and put for execution. A preacher came into the room; he seemed to be someone intending to save Needles' soul, but he had other plans. When Needles is being electrocuted, the preacher shouted out to God to put a curse on Kane, to burn forever in the flames of hell. At that moment, Needles head set on fire, and he broke free from the bonds. He then gets beaten by four officers, managing to kill three in less than a minute, and puts his mask back on. Soon after, Needles is sent to Blackfield Asylum. For three months, the pain from the curse gets worse every day. Calypso came to visit and made Needles an offer: if Needles won his contest, Calypso would remove the curse. Needles enters the contest, intent on killing Calypso later.
- "All I have to do to win is kill everyone I see? Well, boys and girls, that's the one thing I'm good at..."
- "The son-of-a-bitch who put the curse on me has entered the contest. I'm gonna kill him.....nice and slow."
- "It isn't right. A man's head isn't meant to be set on fire. Not unless I'm the one holding the blowtorch..."
- "This joker won last year's contest. But I'm not afraid. I just need to get past his stupid shield and he's finished."
- "Damn preacher. Pious bastard. Think he never did wrong? You dig up his past, you'Il be sickened by the truth..."
- "A small, tight space. Lots of people with no place to hide. For a butcher like me, it doesn't get better than this."
- "Up here I can look down on the city that fears me. I can smell their fear, and to be quite honest...I love it."
- "I recognize this freak. Used his little helicopter to capture me 3 months ago. Well boys 'n girls, it's payback time."
Needles won the contest and asked Calypso to make good on the promise to lift the curse. He gave Needles a vial that holds the blood of the preacher who cursed him on his execution. If he drinks it, the curse will be gone, but Calypso also said if Needles goes back to his killer ways, the antidote will wear off and the curse will be back to haunt him. Within ten seconds, Needles chose to live with the curse rather than give up his priorities, so he crushes the vial underfoot, then kills Calypso by slicing his throat. With Calypso lying dead and free, Needles intends to be the greatest of all time.
Needles Kane in Small Brawl is imagined to be what the killer Needles was as a child. Like in TM4, Needles doesn't speak but he laughs maniacally, and he also shows a fondness for ice cream and in his ending, a glimpse of his future...
Vehicle: Sweet Tooth
Story: Meet the youngest & the most mischievous of all the kids in the neighborhood! He enters the contest wanting a little ice cream...
Needles Kane, in this game, is revealed to be another personality of Marcus Kane, the driver of Roadkill. As with Twisted Metal 4, Needles' goal in this tournament is to take over Twisted Metal itself—in his ending, he claims that he has participated in (and won) many previous tournaments, but now he wants a change.
|Sweet Tooth Ending:||Dark Tooth Ending:|
Needles Kane is the driver of both Sweet Tooth and Gold Tooth. The latter vehicle is the same as his ice cream truck from Twisted Metal: Black, but colored gold. It has the same special weapon, but stronger armor and special. It can be unlocked by beating Twisted Metal: Lost on hard difficulty level.
In the wake of his ending in Twisted Metal: Black, Needles has continued his murderous profession by haunting the streets of Midtown, looking for his next victims. His brother, the driver of Yellow Jacket, is trying to kill him before he can kill another innocent, after which he plans to kill himself to end his blood-stained family line.
In this installment, Needles generally goes by "Sweet Tooth" or "Marcus Kane", while only his followers still refer to him as Needles. His passion for finding "the one that got away"—the only one of his would-be victims that managed to escape alive—is the driving force of his story and his motivation for entering the new Twisted Metal tournament.
His real name is Marcus Kane, a middle-aged man who lived a decent life. Happily married and a father of three, he worked as an ice cream salesman, handing out treats from his future demolition vehicle. However, a small part of him was filled with resentment and hatred for his mundane life, eventually manifesting as a split personality. This dark side, dubbed "Needles", began eating at the edges of Marcus' sanity, trying to convince him to set it free.
After an unknown period of time, Marcus finally gave in to Needles' demands, externalizing the facet of himself by creating a macabre clown mask. Unfortunately, this allowed Needles to subdue or destroy Marcus' personality, effectively bringing the man's repressed madness and sadism to the forefront. To celebrate his new freedom, the newly-named Sweet Tooth donned the clown mask (somehow setting his head ablaze in the process) and decided to murder "his" family.
Marcus' wife and youngest son were quickly slaughtered, but Sweet Tooth took his time with his daughter. He would later admit this was a mistake, as it gave the girl time to grab a pair of large scissors and drive them towards the mad clown's right eye (hitting just under). As Sweet Tooth reeled in pain, Sophie fled into the night, becoming the first—and only—person that survived Sweet Tooth's murderous urges.
Infuriated at this turn of events, Sweet Tooth vowed to find his daughter and "make her BLEED." He began roaming the world in his ice cream truck—modified for combat and destruction—in search of the one that got away. At one point, he was able to track Sophie to a hospital, but found no sign of her beyond the "scent of her fear". On the other hand, Sweet Tooth took great pleasure in slaughtering everyone that got in his way on the way up, musing that "It was like Christmas morning: every hallway filled with...little, tiny, blood-filled gifts."
After killing yet another woman on the hunt for Sophie, Sweet Tooth decides to enter Calypso's latest Twisted Metal contest, intent on using his wish to finally catch up with his elusive prey. During the competition, his main opponents are The Skulls, led by Mr. Grimm. In the final battle of the tournament, Sweet Tooth was pitted against The Brothers Grimm, but managed to emerge victorious at the cost of his gunner's life.
After he wins the contest, Sweet Tooth wishes for Calypso to send him to Sophie's hiding place. As Calypso summons his powers, Sweet Tooth awakens to find himself in a coffin, complete with a blackened skeleton lying on top of him. Calypso reveals that Sophie has been dead for ten years; her mind broken by the murder of her family, she committed suicide long before her father found the hospital she had lived in since that night. Infuriated at Calypso's trickery, Sweet Tooth futilely attempts to escape his daughter's coffin while swearing to kill him, but he is far too deep in the ground to make any progress. As a final insult, Calypso spray-paints "Sweet Tooth" on Sophie's tombstone, leaving the murderous clown to die.
At the end of the game (during the credits), it is revealed that Sweet Tooth realized that his oldest son was hiding very close to where he had his final confrontation with Sophie. Despite this, the killer chose to spare Charlie Kane, leading the latter to see himself as the heir to his father's work. Having apparently heard of Sweet Tooth's passing, Charlie made good on his destiny by digging up Sophie's coffin, containing both her and her father, and retrieving the clown mask. Donning the mask and setting his own head alight, Charlie set off in Sweet Tooth's old truck, swearing to avenge his father's murder by doing the same to Calypso.
Later still, Calypso himself visited the grave, musing that Sweet Tooth had impacted Sophie in a way that gave her great potential for causing pain. Deciding to make use of the girl's rage and hatred, Calypso resurrected Sophie as a female version of her father, right down to the mask and flaming scalp.
In a PlayStation Magazine article, David Jaffe stated that the cut scenes are pretty disturbing for Sweet Tooth's story.
Voice actor: J.S. Gilbert
Actor (Live action): Paul Vinson
Status: Presumably deceased
Appearances Outside the Series
Hot Shots Golf 2
Needles Kane appears in Hot Shots Golf 2 as a hidden character in the North American release. His appearance in this game is based on his look in Twisted Metal III.
Needles Kane appears as a DLC character in ModNation Racers, driving his familiar Sweet Tooth.
War of the MonstersWar of the Monsters if you have TM:B save data. As he is just a bonus costume, he does not have a story.
Needles Kane is an outcast skin for StarHawk if you pre-ordered TM(2012).
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Needles is a playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. He joins the battle to prove that he's just as dangerous out of his truck as he is behind the wheel. Despite this, Needles takes a lot of pride in his vehicle, seemingly seeing it as a partner in crime who enjoys showing "her" power almost as much as her driver does. He also claims that his truck makes the best ice cream there is, but no one ever asks about it.
Needle's fighting style is made up of "brutal attacks" with his machete. Some of his specials are Sweet Bot and Nuke Launch. He can also shoot missiles and wield a chainsaw. His rival is the similarly-bloodthirsty Kratos from God of War.
In his ending, Needles absorbs the power of Polygon Man and creates a special keychain resembling his head. Returning to Sweet Tooth, he uses the keychain to supercharge his beloved vehicle, gleefully anticipating the carnage he can wreak during the next Twisted Metal tournament.
Needles' signature mask appears as a wearable mask in the game PAYDAY 2.
Needles, along with his vehicle, appeared in the popular Screwattack series DEATH BATTLE! where he was pitted against the Joker from DC Comics and was killed after being exposed to Joker Venom at the end.
Sweet Tooth is an unlockable vehicle appeared on Playstation exclusive version. To unlock Sweet Tooth, the player must get one win with every new car, with the exception of Venom and Merc.
Cars VS Bosses
A Sweet Tooth vehicle is a boss to fight in the new EatSleepPlay game Cars VS Bosses. However, it is bigger than it was originally throughout the Twisted Metal series. Its special weapon drops out miniature Sweet Tooth heads that are planted as bombs.
- Needles Kane is considered the mascot of the Twisted Metal series.
- Needles Kane is often referred to as Sweet Tooth, the name of his truck. This happens in the official ending of TM(1995) (but not the Lost Ending) and the TM2 endings. It also happens in TMIII and TM4, but happens to many other drivers in those games as well. Needles is referred to as Sweet Tooth in the newspaper headlines in TM:B, and is referred to as Sweet Tooth by Calypso in TM(2012). As a result, Calypso in TM:H-O has been the only person to call him by his actual name.
- Needles Kane (Dubbed "Michael") appeared in a 2011 live-action PlayStation commercial, sitting at a table playing chess with Sackboy, a mascot of another Sony franchise, "LittleBigPlanet".
- Needles is one of three characters to have appeared in every Twisted Metal game, along with Calypso and Mr. Grimm.
- His surname, Kane, is an alternate spelling of Cain, who was infamous for being the first of murderers in the Bible after he killed his brother Abel out of jealousy.
- Sweet Tooth is the only character in Twisted Metal that would actually dethrone Calypso and take control of the contest (TM4 & TM:H-O).
- In TM(1995) and TMIII, Needles does not have his trademark "flaming head".
- It is possible that Needles could be based off the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, judging by how he has no remorse, and, as stated in his file in TM:B, he has homicidal tendencies. Another point is that he killed his youngest son in TM(2012), which links to what the real life homicidal clown who killed his only son (who was at the age of 5) in his sleep.
- Needles is considered one of the most famous characters in the series because of his appearances in each and every one of the Twisted Metal games.
- Sweet Tooth's favorite flavor of ice cream is probably strawberry, as we mostly see him holding a cone with a pink scoop of ice cream.
- Ed Boon (One of the creators of Mortal Kombat) said that he thought about putting Needles in Mortal Kombat (2011) as a playable fighter. Kratos was chosen instead. Incidentally, both Needles and Kratos were created by Dave Jaffe.
- Needles Kane is the epitome of what people with a "fear of clowns" (Or Coulrophobia) think about all clowns, who are depicted as homicidal killers, evil maniacs, and sexual deviants towards people with this disorder. Though loosely based on this, Needles does exhibit the callousness and brutality expressed in this disorder; he probably used the mask as an intimidation tool to terrify his victims. Also, the complete randomness of his murders (as evidenced by him killing a staff member of the asylum) shows how people with this disorder depict clowns as evil and irrational beings that are wildly unpredictable as to what they would do next.
- In April 2015, ScrewAttack placed him #3 in the Top 10 Psycho's in Video Games list.
- In TM(1995) and TM:SB, his wishes are somewhat alike; his wish in TM(1995) was a paper bag, and his wish in TM:SB was ice cream, though he really wanted the ice cream truck.
- In the Season 8 episode of SpongeBob SquarePants titled "Demolition Doofus", there's a character named "The Cackling Cruiser" who is a clown. Due to him being in a demolition durby event, this could possibly be a reference to Sweet Tooth.
Twisted Metal 2
- Needles' wish is based on The Metamorphosis.
Twisted Metal 4
- There could have been a possibility of Needles having an info screen, as his TMIII info screen can be found in the game's files under the name "STOOTH.TIM."
Twisted Metal: Black
- It is revealed after you unlock Minion that the events of TM:B take place within the mind of Sweet Tooth.
- It is revealed that Needles is the older brother of Charlie Kane's son.
- Needles' mask was created by Mr. Kreel, the former boss of Dollface, whom he punishes by locking in a mask.
- An action figure was created for Needles Kane following the release of TM:B. One was made for Mr. Grimm as well.
- Needles originally stabbed Calypso in his ending rather than just slitting his throat.
Twisted Metal: Small Brawl
- TM:SB is the only game in which Needles isn't a serial killer (at least not yet). Rather, he is just a mischievous child.
Twisted Metal: Head-On
- In his ending, Needles implies that he has won the contest more than once (or survived them) when he asks Calypso "We've been doing this a long time, haven't we?"
Twisted Metal (2012)
- It is possible that the events of the new Twisted Metal game may be the results of Sweet Tooth's victory in TM:B or TM:H-O, though this is merely theory. TM:B was based on Sweet Tooth's mind, while in TM:H-O, he and Marcus Kane finally merged together.
- Needles is apparently the 884th person to compete in the Twisted Metal contest.
- Though Marcus is said to have three children, the photograph seems to show that he has four. If the baby he's holding is Sophie and he killed his family many years later, his sons didn't age as Charlie is shown to be the same age.
Twisted Metal (1995) (Lost Ending):
- "You just don't know! You don't know what it was like for me! It was just that I... and you... and them... YOU DON'T KNOW!!"
- "Oh man! Give me that! GIMMIE!!"
- "Down! Down! You get down to the street!"
- "You! You... you said it would be easy! Do you know what they did?! Do you, you...?!"
- "Now it's MY turn! It's my world! It's my word! It's my turn! IT'S MY DAY!!"
Twisted Metal: Black
- "Three months in the nuthouse. It was the longest I'd ever been confined. So a few people have been killed, it wasn't my fault."
- "I said shut up and BLEED, you motherfu--"
- "Well, maybe it WAS my fault. But I had my own problems to worry about. The old man's curse was beginning to PISS me off."
- "But then one day, he showed up. Calypso he called himself. It was a stupid name. I wanted to kill him there and then, but he made me an offer."
- "As much as I had those old urges of mine, I kept them to myself for the moment. I figured I'd play along with his little game. After all, I can always kill him later."
- "I was out like the dying heartbeat of a little girl. It was the first time in forever that I hadn't felt the burning...and the dreams...! Boys and girls...those were some wonderful dreams!"
- "As they captured me, the only thing I could think was: what a waste! All those people I haven't killed yet... come the night of my execution."
- "It took me less than a minute to kill three police officers and get my mask back on."
- "I had to decide. It took me all of ten seconds. Let's face it, boys and girls: a man has to have his priorities."
- "I killed Calypso about as well as I had ever killed anyone."
- "Now that I'm free, I'm going to be the greatest of all time!"
Twisted Metal: Head-On:
- "You know, Calypso, I've been looking at this face for a long time. I think it's time for a change."
- "We've been doing this a long time, haven't we? You hold the Twisted Metal, I kill and destroy for you. I make a wish, and you continue to sit on your throne surrounded by your guards and women. I think you've had enough fun for awhile."
- "Right! Of course not! Not at all!"
- "Okay, pal of mine! I wish that you become me, and I become YOU!"
- "I don't think you have a choice, sunshine."
- "Ooh! Good idea! Do that!"
- "Looks like we got TWO bodies to clean up now. Guards! (Chuckles) And... where did my women go?"
- "I never did like this place!"
- "How did I get back here?"
- "Oh, come on! Don't be naive!"
- "I'm a little bit more than that. I'm YOU, you moron!"
- "Hey! Have I ever lied to me?"
- "Too many questions. I think the best thing to do is climb inside and look around."
Twisted Metal (2012):
- "I don't blame myself. They were my first murders."
- "Marcus doesn't live here anymore..."
- "TAKE ME TO HER NOW!!"
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale
- "Such sweet, cold perfection... a round ball of heaven balanced on a delicate cone. So pleasing to the senses. Who doesn't love an ice cream cone?"
- "Pretty neat trick there, pal! (takes out his machete and points it at Kratos) Let's see if I can match it!"
- "Well, get a load of you, cupcake! You know, I worked real hard on that ice cream cone! REAL hard! Don't know if you got any money in that skirt of yours. But one way or another... (takes out his chainsaw) ...you're paying for it!"
- "My ice cream cone! That was a mistake, buddy!"
- "Maybe you didn't hear me, friend. There's a debt here, (throws down his ice cream cone) and I'm willing to settle up!"
- "Pick that up and pay for it!"
- "This is too easy!"
- "Lights out!"
- "Born to destroy, baby!"
- "Hello, boys and girls!"
- "Who wants a treat?"
- "A man has his priorities!"
- "Time to kill!"
- "I'm back!"
- "Good to be back!"
- "Let's feed the urge!"
- "Honey! I'm home!"
- "Time to win!"
- "Here you go!"
- "I kill and destroy!"
- "I rip and destroy!"
- "This is starting to make me angry!"
- "I'm getting angry!"
- "Shut up and bleed!"
- "Prepare to bleed!"
- "I've killed tougher than you!"
- "Taste the tooth!"
- "Hahahaha! That's it, boys and girls!"
- "Prepare to be put down!"
- "I'll end this contest!"
- "This is gonna be fun!"
- "Get ready for pain!"
- "Blood, pain, grief coming your way!"
- "Sweet Tooth is back, baby! Bigger than ever! (Laughs maniacally)"