September 21, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Ever snow-boarded on a subway rail? Pulled a Canadian Bacon inside a Tokyo mall? Rode a double front flip mutation air through an abandoned mineshaft? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re already familiar with PlayStation 2’s most addictive extreme-sport title: SSX. Although it was created by former U.S. Olympic skier and bordercross racer Steven Rechtschaffner, SSX bears little resemblance to any sport. It does, however, combine the trick combos of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with eye-bulging graphics and music by Beastie Boys DJ Mixmaster Mike.

Fans of the game will say there isn’t much room for improvement. But game publisher Electronic Arts is ready to show off more trick moves in the latest version, SSX Tricky. Instead of crafting a new set of insanely difficult courses, EA remixed Run-DMC’s 1986 hit ”It’s Tricky” for the theme song and wooed top Hollywood talent to voice Tricky‘s new and returning characters. Here’s an exclusive peek at the cast.

SSX: THE CHARACTERS

PATRICIA VELASQUEZ
CREDITS: The Mummy CHARACTER: Marisol Diez Delgado, the scantily clad snowboarder who defies the laws of frostbite. BACK STORY: They wanted Penelope Cruz. BEST BANTER: ”Play with fire and you’ll get burned.”

BILLY ZANE
CREDITS: Zoolander CHARACTER: Broderick ”Brodi” Case, the laid-back spiritual surfer dude with a degree in marine science. BACK STORY: Zane, who is best known as the villainous cad from Titanic, rewrote parts of the game’s script to make this character more heroic. BEST BANTER: ”Hoping to spread a little love on the slippery slope of life.”

DAVID ARQUETTE
CREDITS: Scream, Ready to Rumble CHARACTER: Edward ”Eddie” Wachowski, the goofball. BACK STORY: A fan of the first game (he likes playing as Mac on the Elysium Alps course), Arquette improvised most of his voice-over dialogue. BEST BANTER: ”The hardest working man in snowbusiness.”

LUCY LIU
CREDITS: Charlie’s Angels CHARACTER: Elise Riggs, the bitchy beauty. BACK STORY: Rechtschaffner admits he was nervous about working with Liu—he’d been warned of her reputation as a tough-as-nails diva—but ”she turned out to be not only unbelievably talented and professional, but an ease to work with.” BEST BANTER: ”Am I hot or what?”

MACY GRAY
CREDITS: Grammy-winning singer-songwriter CHARACTER: Seeiah Owens, the urban snow queen. BACK STORY: Gray wanted to star in a game that she could play with her son—this role was crafted specifically for her, afro and all. BEST BANTER: ”I’m from Venus, where are you from?”

OLIVER PLATT
CREDITS: Doctor Dolittle. CHARACTER: Luther-Dwayne Grady, the oafish redneck. BACK STORY: Their first pick was Jack Black (High Fidelity), until Rechtschaffner saw Platt playing a professional wrestler in last year’s WCW parody Ready to Rumble. BEST BANTER: ”Don’t worry, it’s not difficult learnin’ how to eat through a straw.”

JIM ROSE CIRCUS
CREDITS: Lollapalooza sideshow act, cameo as Dr. Blockhead on The X-Files CHARACTER: Psymon Stark, the one with all the tattoos. BACK STORY: The character is modeled on one of the game’s course designers, but Rose is ready-made for the part. BEST BANTER: “Whoa, my piercings are whistling.”

BIF NAKED
CREDITS: Punk-rock diva CHARACTER: Zoe Payne, a Tank Girl type. BACK STORY: Naked is a “cooler incarnation of Joan Jett,” says Rechtschaffner. BEST BANTER: “Hey, this is not a mosh pit!”

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