- "Shut up and bleed, you Motherf-"
- —Sweet Tooth, Twisted Metal (2012)
Needles Kane / Sweet Tooth is the series' trademark character, notable for his flaming head, and has appeared in every Twisted Metal game to-date. 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, he is the very embodiment of hate and destruction on an epic scale. Each intepretation differs from each game, but he has kept a consistant image through out 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 genocide on innocent people or fellow contestants. His mask is a part of his evil motives as he made it as a escape from his alter ego Marcus. 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 original Twisted Metal. Seen lacking his trademark flaming head, Needles in his first appearance is decidely more tame than in future installments. He still has his serial killer personality in this game, as he stabbed and killed the driver of Spectre, who has entered the contest to come back to life. He is portrayed by live-action actor Bob 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.
Wish: To find his lost 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."
Wish: To become a bug in a tiny garden out in the country as a final escape from his madness.
Needles Kane undergoes a radical change from Twisted Metal 2 to Twisted Metal III from sinister stalker to manical 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 the only Twisted Metal game besides the original where Needles doesn't have flaming hair, instead having styled orange hair that resemble flames. As in TM2 Needles is a secret character, but the player only needs to beat the game to unlock him.
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!"
Wish: To eat all the candy and ice cream he wants.
In Twisted Metal 4, Needles Kane returns, now as the master of the Twisted Metal tournament, having overthrown Calypso. He is more ringmaster than 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 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.
Wish: None, used previous wish to overtake Twisted Metal from Calypso.
The first time Needles killed someone 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, cowering in fear as Needles fed off the pure fumes of their terror.
Blackfield Asylum Patient Profile:
Vehicle: Sweet Tooth
Disorder: Unspecified Psychotic disorder; Homicidal tendencies; insomnia.
Treatment: Warning: Meds have no effect; Lost cause.
Wish: To rid himself of the curse inflicted on him by Preacher.
Voice actor: J.S. Gilbert
1. 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...
2. The son-of-a-bitch who put the curse on me has entered the contest. I'm gonna kill him.....nice and slow.
3. 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...
4. 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.
5. Damn preacher. Pious bastard. Think he never did wrong? You dig up his past, you'Il be sickened by the truth...
6. A small, tight space. Lots of people with no place to hide. For a butcher like me, it doesn't get better than this.
7. 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.
8. I recognize this freak. Used his little helicopter to capture me 3 months age. Well boys 'n girls it's payback time.
Needles Kane in Small Brawl is imagined to be what the serial 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
Wish: To have a little ice cream
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.
Wish: To take control of the Twisted Metal tournament.
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. 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 the 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 into the mad clown's right eye. 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 Calpyso'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 Calpyso 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, 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.
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: Presumedly Deceased
Wish: To find and kill "the one who got away," revealed to be his daughter, Sophie Kane.
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 Monsters
Needle Kane appears as an unlockable costume if you have a Twisted Metal: Black 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 Twisted Metal (2012).
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Needles will be a playable character in the upcoming game, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. His fighting style is made up of "brutal attacks." Some of his attacks are Sweet Bot and Nuke Launch. He can also shoot missiles and use his machete.
- Needles Kane appeared in a 2011 live-action PlayStation commercial, dubbed "Michael" sitting at a table playing chess with Sackboy, a mascot of another Sony franchise, "LittleBigPlanet".
- 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.
- In his Head-On ending, Needles implies that he has won the contest more than once when he asks Calypso, "We've been doing this a long time, haven't we?"
- Sweet Tooth is the only character in Twisted Metal that would actually dethrone Calypso and take control of the contest (Twisted Metal 4 & Head-On).
- Twisted Metal: Small Brawl is the only game in which Needles isn't a serial killer. Rather, he is just a mischievous child.
- It is revealed after you unlock Minion that the events of Twisted Metal: Black take place within the mind of Sweet Tooth.
- In Twisted Metal and Twisted Metal 3, Needles does not have his trademark "flaming head".
- In Twisted Metal: Black, his mask was created by Mr. Creole, the former boss of Dollface whom he punishes by locking her in a mask.
- It is possible that the events of the new Twisted Metal game may be the results of Sweet Tooth's victory in Twisted Metal: Black or Head-On, though this is merely theory. Black was based on Sweet Tooth's mind, while in Head-On, he and Marcus Kane finally merged together.
- In Twisted Metal (2012), Sweet Tooth is apparently the 884th person to compete in the Twisted Metal contest.
- An action figure was created for Needles Kane following the release of Twisted Metal: Black. One was made for Mr. Grimm as well.
- 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 Twisted Metal: Black, he has homicidal tendencies. Another point is that he killed his youngest son in Twisted Metal (2012), which links to what the real life homicidal clown who killed his only son at sleep (who was at the age of 5).
- 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.