|“||I am Calypso, and I thank you for playing Twisted Metal.||”|
Before creating the Twisted Metal contest, Calypso was just a regular man. He was a family man with a daughter and a wife, and he also had a different name. He led a normal life not unlike any other citizen, until one night he was involved in a freak accident which resulted in him crashing his car directly into a brick wall. This car crash left him in devastation, killing his wife (revealed to be Pam Sparks) and daughter (later revealed to be Krista Sparks, the driver of the car "Grasshopper"; extrapolating from this, his original last name might be Sparks) as well as burning and disfiguring his own face. During this time it has been hinted at that Calypso did a few things: first, made a deal with Mr. Ash (driver of "Darkside") to come back to life in exchange for souls. Secondly, obtained by trickery or from the deal itself the use of powers (be it through a demon or not) to offer a wish in exchange for killing and winning his contest. Two years after his disappearance while he was assumed to be dead, he re-emerged, his name changed to Calypso, and possessing a power that allows him to grant wishes. The power is said to be stolen from a demon, most likely the driver Minion, who later competes in the contest in order to regain it. Calypso then established Twisted Metal and, for ten years, has continued to run the competition. This is where the first Twisted Metal game comes in.
Role in the games
When someone wins his contest, the winner gets to have one wish granted. These comprise the game's ending sequences. It should be noted that while Calypso seems to stick to the phrasing of a wish, he will gladly violate its spirit, which usually causes the wisher harm in the end (such as wishing for the ability to fly has him get the wisher's plane tickets, only telling them after they jumped off a building), though in the original game, Black and Head-On he generally granted the character's wish without pulling any harmful tricks on them so long as the wisher's intents were malevolent, while the more noble wishes got turned around. The scope of his powers seem to have extraordinary bounds. Even with this though, there are limits as to just what he can grant.
Similarly, the meaning of the ending for "Roadkill" in Twisted Metal 2 is ambiguous - Marcus Kane's (the driver) wish is to wake up from the nightmare he is trapped in. After winning the contest, Kane awakes up in a hospital bed, surrounded by his family, relatively unscathed. They are surrounded by some of the other contestants, all of whom are severely injured. It is unclear if the contest was a hallucination in Kane’s mind, or if Calypso truly granted his wish.
Calypso is, to some extent, seemingly a prisoner of the Twisted Metal contest himself: he can't, for example, restore his daughter to 'life' unless she wishes for it. Additionally, endings in Twisted Metal, Twisted Metal 2, and Head-On show that his power seems to extend only to granting wishes; he can't, for example, stop Agent Shepard from arresting him via his powers, as Shepard refused to accept a wish. Similarly, in Twisted Metal 2, he could not prevent Mortimer from taking his soul as revenge for all the people who died due to the Twisted Metal competition. Also, in Twisted Metal: Head-On, Sweet Tooth wishes to change places with Calypso and, despite Calypso's final judgement not to, it was granted.
Calypso's character design is inconsistent. It is different in many Twisted Metal games throughout the series. In terms of appearance, the most notable change is his hair which varies from thick and long to completely bald, or long hair on the sides.
- In the first Twisted Metal, he is portrayed by an uncredited actor (Charles Lance) in live-action cutscenes. Here he is depicted as a man with a totally burnt face and a great mass of hair. His voice was distorted and less human than in Twisted Metal 2 and Head-On. However, these live-action cutscenes never actually made it into the game, the reason being that they were deemed too sexist and violent at the time. They were leaked onto the Internet years later and officially released as a special feature in Twisted Metal: Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition.
- In Twisted Metal 2, he was a smartly dressed man with long flowing hair, heavy facial burn scars, and a greatly exaggerated evil grin. In the game, the opening sequence and the various endings were narrated entirely by him in first person giving the other characters little dialogue of their own. He also had the memorable line "I am Calypso, and I thank you for playing Twisted Metal" which he would ironically say at the end of each character's endings while giving the same trademark grin. In this game, he was voiced by Mel McMurrin.
- In Twisted Metal III, he was voiced by Mel McMurrin once again and greatly resembled his 2 appearance. He kept his long flowing hair, though his face was no longer burned at all.
- In Twisted Metal 4, Calypso was a playable character since Sweet Tooth had taken over the contest and drove a Soviet-style missile truck armed with a nuclear missile. He looked the same as he did in the third game, though slightly paler.
- In Twisted Metal: Black, his left eye is literally sunken into his head and he is bald. In this game, the narrative is reversed from previous games. In Black's endings, Calypso no longer has any spoken dialogue of his own. The cutscenes are now narrated by the chosen playable character in first person.
- In Twisted Metal: Small Brawl, he is referred to as Billy Calypso and is a bratty kid with spiky hair and braces who bullies the other kids into joining his contest which involves toy RC cars.
- In Twisted Metal: Head-On, he seems to be a melded version of his 2 and Black appearances incorporating aspects of both designs. In this game, he is only balding on top with long silver hair around the sides, and keeps the sunken eye from Black, in addition to which he wears a long coat. His dialogue, however, is closer to that of 2. There is no narrative in Head-On's endings, only dialogue between the different characters (including Calypso himself).