Tron 2.0

aka: Tron 2.0: Killer App
Moby ID: 10153
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Alan Bradley once helped a computer genius named Kevin Flynn to defeat an evil artificial intelligence with the help of a security program called Tron. Twenty years later, Bradley has reached a new high point in his career: he succeeded in digitizing a human being into the computer and stored the secret of this technique in the Ma3a program. However, the powerful Future Control Industries (fCon) has gained access to this groundbreaking invention, and digitized hackers with the intention of dominating the computer network from within. Alan Bradley is kidnapped, and his son Jet, a computer game programmer, enters the world inside the computer, searching for answers.

TRON 2.0 is based on the events of the CG rendered 1982 film TRON, and has been conceived as a sequel to it. The game is a first-person shooter with light role-playing elements. As Jet Bradley, the player must battle digital opponents using guns, rods, grenades, missiles, and the iconic TRON disc. The named of locations and opponents resemble those of programs and other computer-related terms, sometimes with a humorous intention. Using most weapons, as well as acquiring ("downloading") various kinds of items depletes the player character's energy bar. Energy and health can be replenished at special terminals or gained in small amounts by defeating enemies.

The RPG elements appear in form of special items that can be collected and leveling up the player character, allowing the player to upgrade his parameters. The protagonist's level ("version") increases when a sufficient amount of so-called "build notes" has been collected. The player is free to increase any of the protagonist's five main attributes when leveling up. In addition, various "sub-routines" belonging to three classes - combat, defense, and utility - can be found and equipped. These may grant the main character special abilities, new weapons, or combat modifications. Each sub-routine can also be upgraded.

Players can race against each other in multiplayer light cycle races, designed by Syd Mead, the film’s concept and original light cycle designer. The game has unusual visuals, representing the inside of a computer program (stylized after the movie). It includes the voice acting of many actors and actresses who were part of the original movie cast.

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Credits (Windows version)

343 People (261 developers, 82 thanks) · View all

TRON 2.0 is powered by
  • Jupiter Technology
Licensed from
  • Touchdown Entertainment Inc.
Lead game Designer
Producer
Executive Producer
Lead Artist
Art Director
QA Manager
Director of Development
Lead Level Designer
Senior Level Designer
Level Design/Game Design Direction
Level Designers
Multiplayer Disc Arena Designer
Senior Character Artist and Animator
Senior Interface and FX Artist
Lead World Artist
Senior World Artist
World Artist
Artist
Director Of Engineering
Lead Engineer
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 45 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 74 ratings with 8 reviews)

A religious experience.

The Good
Let me get this off my chest: I'm a geek. A MAJOR geek. Tron was one of those childhood movies (though I was born after it came out) that left a lasting impression on me, probably second only to Terminator 2. It had all of the "right stuff": technical mumbo-jumbo that, judging by the time context, did not piss me off even a bit (well, maybe besides the "bit" having three modes...) and generally accurate to boot; absolutely astounding visuals, which I find beautiful even today; excellent music; excellent actors; excellent storyline (particularly when considering the time frame). The overall "feel" of the movie is something I have never, ever encountered afterwords: a sense of mystique and technological wizardry that can only be a labor of love. For eons I have wished for - and dreaded - a sequel; I wanted more, but I was afraid of being disappointed (Terminator 3... <sob>). And I was quite dumbfounded when the sequel came out in the form of a video game. When the game came out, I didn't know what to think; I was worried that the game would disappoint, in which case a childhood dream of mine would be crushed. I waited over two weeks (a lifetime, when it comes to things I really want...) and decided to take the risk and be done with it.

Boy, I was NOT disappointed.

Tron 2.0 has all of the "right stuff". First and foremost, it is quite possibly the most beautiful game ever to grace my monitor. I have gasped over the latest Doom 3 trailer; almost fainted over the Half Life 2 technology demo. Tron 2.0 left me gaping like an idiot. For days I daydreamed and talked only of Tron 2.0; this is the kind of thing that only genuine geeks and gamers can understand. The damn thing haunted me; I couldn't wait for the day to end so that I could shut off the lights, put some headphones on and stay up playing the game until I couldn't keep my eyes open. The sense of being in the Tron world is simply unbelievable, simple indescribable... you have to experience it to understand. Obviously the game was designed by people after my own heart: people who understood the movie, people who lived it and wanted to keep the legacy going... and with the help of the Lithtech-derived engine, 20 years after the movie the Tron universe comes to life once again, in glorious, 32 bit colour real time. The game is gorgeous... but that is merely a word. No screenshot can convey how absolutely minimalistic, beautifully digital this game is.

Fortunately enough, that is not all. Tron 2.0 is graced with some of the best music ever to be heard in a computer game. The music is nothing short of amazing; more-over, it has restored my faith in dynamic scores. Not since X-Wing has a computer game been graced with music that seamlessly integrates with the game; never in the foreground, never quite in the background, always adjusting and changing to what is happening... always subtle, never annoying. If there was a way to just listen to the in-game music, I would have. It is incredible that the composer has managed to maintain the strange, unique musical style from the original movie, integrate modern electronic elements so seamlessly and keep everything under tight enough control to allow Direct Music to kick in. The in-game music is nothing short of amazing.

Story? Plenty of that to go around. Tron 2.0 stays faithful to the movie, and walks you through an incredibly immersive, incredibly diverse digital universe. Here again the game engine kicks in to show you amazing footage of what it would be like to stroll around a sort of internet cyber-city; to traverse the circuitry of an ancient mainframe computer (and even overclock it!), even a PDA - everywhere you go, plot elements pop up, missions are always diverse and the scenery is astounding. Oh yes, there are lightcycle arenas aplenty, and they look better than ever. Who needs a Cray Y when you have DirectX?...

Finally, the voice acting is terrific: Bruce Boxleitner plays Alan-1 again, Cindy Morgan plays Ma3a... I only wish they'd found how to keep David Warner and Jeff Bridges, but I guess you can't have it all.

The Bad
It is very rare that I find no fault with a game; Tron 2.0 is no exception to this rule. That being said, it is extremely rare that I so readily forget a game's flaws; Tron 2.0 is a definite exception to this rule.

There are some frustrating scenes in Tron 2.0; most of them involve the lightcycle arenas. The computer AI is devilishly quick on reflexes, and incredibly stupid on strategy. I'm not particularly good at lightcycles (wasn't very good playing good ole' Novatron either...), so this made for some very frustrating time trying to get through some of those scenes.

The boss levels are generally fine, but some are ridiculously annoying; plus, there was no reason for the last level to contain slight spoiler three damn bosses, one would've been enough.

Battle system has a relatively high learning curve; this is not quite a straightforward shooter.

Regardless, it took me exactly two minutes apiece to forget these shortcomings...

The Bottom Line
An incredible game in every sense. Well thought, well designed, well executed. A treat for '70s/'80s geeks. One of those rare games that one will ALWAYS remember.

Windows · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2003

An excellent FPS with RPG-like elements and a chance to play in the Tron universe. I like it.

The Good
Well, it has to be said that I was a fan of the Tron movie back in the day. Even when I was a little kid, I loved that movie. So now that I'm a full-grown geek and there is a game coming out based on the movie premise I am all about the idea. And I am happy to say that Tron 2.0 delivers. All of the environments and character models really do look like they come from the movie. I have never played a movie-inspired game before that captured the look and feel of it's property quite like this.

That brings us to the graphics, which are knock-you-out-of-your-chair good. Sure, the computerized Tron universe lends itself to cool graphics, but the latest Lithtech 3d here comes through with incredible translucencies and vivid glowing color displays. It's a sight to behold and will keep impressing throughout the play.

The games action is pretty heavy. You'll have to de-rez (kill) a whole lot of enemies before your through. The AI fights pretty well and keeps things challenging. If anything, they can be a little too good at times.

Your array of weapons is pretty varied, including your classic disc that featured so prominently in the movie and featuring other goodies such a weapon that are essentially a shotgun and another that is a sniper rifle, all Tron-style naturally. The animation of activating your sniper rifle is ice cold cool. You will likely rely primarily on your disc, though, and the various mods there-on.

The game also delivers deeper gameplay than most FPS's in that it has some RPG-type elements. Since you are now essentially a computer program, you are upgradable. As you continue through the game, you can upgrade your core assets such as weapons skill, energy (used to power weapons and abilities), health, etc. As well, you pick up a myriad of sub-routines, some of which use up energy, that you must choose between given your limited sub-routine space (which changed between levels depending on where you are supposed to be). Sub-routines include weapons, viral defenses, armor, increased abilties, and modifications to your disc's powers among other things. The sub-routines even come in three different levels - Alpha, Beta, and Gold - each becoming increasingly effective and taking up less space. Managing all of this is an essential part of the game and added greatly to my experience.

Another great feature of the game is the locations. You don't simply stay on one computer, but move around to a variety of different places, including a massive, crowded internet hub and a the confined space of a PDA. The locations are all very well done and lend themselves well to their themes.

One great part of the game is the light-cycle races. There is light-cycle racing at various points throughout the single-player game and there is also a separate set of races that you can run independently, with the ability to unlock new cycles. The action is fast, frantic, great-looking, and exactly what Tron fans have been wanting.

The storyline was decent enough. You play Jet Bradley, the son of Alan Bradley from the original movie. An evil corporation is attempting to take over Encom in order to gain the digitization technology for their own evil uses. It's your job to stop them. But the real treat for Tron fans will be the emails that one can collect throughout the game telling about things going on in Encom since the events of the Tron movie.

The Bad
The AI could shoot the wings off a fly at a mile off seemingly. That could be a tad frustrating.

The storyline, while decent, could have been better. There were a couple of cringe-worthy moments, such as the mother-computer entity "Ma3a", the inclusion of which was a bit more cheese than I needed. Still, very minor.

There was at least one jumping puzzle which made me want to put my head through my computer monitor. Note to all game designers: Jumping puzzles in FPS games are horrid. Leave them out.

The Bottom Line
Tron 2.0 is the best thing to come out of the Tron license since the movie itself. If you like FPS action, it's a fine example of the genre. If you like Tron, it's a great chance to explore the universe. If you are a fan of both, well, this game is gonna be sweet.

Windows · by Steelysama (82) · 2004

Great game, but so Nerd it hurts!

The Good
Seems nostalgia works much better than originality these days to sell games, but that's ok, as I have no problem revisiting any of the coolest stuff from our childhood updated for the current times. Tron escaped me however, as I think I was a couple of years too late to catch on the Tron craze (actually... was there ever a Tron "craze"?) anyway, the point is that while interested I wasn't exactly weak at the knees when I heard about Tron 2.0, however the end result by far exceeded my expectations providing one of the more enjoyable fps experiences I've had in recent memory.

The concept is based as a sequel of sorts to the movie, with the action taking place years after the events of Tron. You take the role of the son of Tron's protagonist (I'll be damned if I remember his name) as he annoys his father (now a big-ass technician in the company) by being a "cool-nerd" videogame posterboy just like you saw in magazines like PCXL... Anyway, this wouldn't be a Tron game unless you didn't get zapped into a computer, and that's exactly what happens. Suddenly you become a digital rambo (just look at the box cover) and have to fight your way in the trippy neon world of Tron.

However Tron isn't your average generic fps, a lot of thought was placed in the development of a substantially engrossing rpg angle which governs your abilities and skills in the game. Basically you are a program, right? So you can upgrade yourself and manage your resources to fit every situation. Collect build notes scattered around the levels and eventually you'll upgrade your program version (aka: level up) which allows you to add points to your base abilities that control your speed, damage, energy storage, etc. Equipment and weaponry are (with some exceptions) actually program sub-routines, which you must load up in your assigned memory in order to use, however the memory available for you to use (represented as a series of equipment slots) varies with each level, with the ones staged in giant mainframes offering ample room for you to load up everything you desire and the ones in a PDA for instance leaving you with just a few cramped slots to load basic features like armor or special equipment. The sub-routines are also upgradable (from alpha, to beta to gold) and thus you can enhance their performance as well as decrease the slots of memory they consume. Obviously all of these options are not infinite in the sense that you can't just upgrade everything, so choosing the right options isn't always a straightforward choice which, of course, only adds to the tremendous gameplay depth.

As the game progresses you'll fight your way through a series of exciting levels based around the magic "computer-universe" of Tron, updated to include much more widespread elements from today's technology such as the internet and virus threats (which can infect you and severely cripple your abilities). Your enemies include the classic "controller" programs that compose the systems security and operational forces (those funky red guys) as well as virus-infected programs (mutated "green" monsters) and even other digitized users out to hunt you down. While the gameplay includes a lot of varied objectives and sneaking, this is an fps, so you'll eventually have to dish it out with an array of weapons that include the classic disc as well as other "Tron-ized" versions of classic fps weapons, such as the sniper rifle (called the "LOL" :)), also making a return from the movie you have the light-cycle races, which are basically "nibbles" sequences sprinkled all over the game, but exceptionally well done and quite challenging with multiple opponents, obstacles and power-ups (in fact it's available as a stand-alone game mode).

The real deal-breaker for fans of the movie however, was the replication of the Tron universe and the results were great there too. Monolith perfectly nailed the "vibe" of the movie, first by using the latest iteration of their LithTech engine to craft a near identical representation of the Tron look, complete with one of the earliest implementations of the glow technology (now seen in practically every DX9 game) that gave the game that hazy neon glow just like in the movie. Furthermore since the gameworld is mostly composed of flat textures (with some transparencies at worst) you'll be able to run it in basically any graphic board out there, with only the "glow" option being a feature better suited for newer cards. Sound-wise the game is also a winner, with sfx ripped right from the movie and a music score that takes the original themes and runs with them crafting a dynamic soundtrack that defines what a dynamic soundtrack should be. Plus, Disney secured most of the original cast for voiceovers and even included the totally gratuitous appearance of Rebecca Rom... uh.. Romjin? eh.. you know, Mystique!.

The Bad
For as good as it is I can't help bitching about a few things in Tron 2.0. First of all while the story promised a lot initially, in the final quarter of the game it just all comes apart at the seams, it doesn't amaze me that the game was based on a never-produced movie deal, as the story combines the potential and inconsistencies of an incomplete script draft. This is evident in some of the lesser subplots, but most evidently in the final parts of the game, as the story is rapidly wrapped up in the classic "damn man, we gotta finish this quick coz we ran out of ideas!" manner and quickly boils down everything so as to solve most of the main plotlines and give you the Happy Ending(tm) a Disney product demands. Interesting characters like Rebecca's are so underdeveloped that they end up being nothing but cardboard cutouts, and I think Tron himself should have at least made a cameo... worst of all.... SUPER SOLDIERS AGAIN????? What the hell is wrong with the guys at Monolith?? It seems that every game they make is based on the same storyline!! Man.. I swear if I play another fps where the plot revolves around supersoldiers I'm going to throw up.... (update: I played another one, but no, I couldn't barf... damn you bastards!)

Finally the game has the serious downside of making the player feel like the fucking king nerd of dorkiness. Really, enemies shout out stuff like "in your interface" and you have to battle data fragmentation and viral contamination, indestructible enemies are labeled "read-only" and teleportation includes stuff like url and ip addresses. Mission objectives include overclocking cpus, escaping from formatting and compiling source code, etc. etc. etc... I mean, my friends and I just laughed our asses off, but it's the nerdiest game I've ever played, better hide it if some jocks come to your house, because they are gonna beat the crap out of you harder than if you were wearing a custom made Star Trek uniform.

The Bottom Line
Despite a substantial generic quality in the story and making you feel as the dorkiest geek in the universe Tron 2.0 is a fantastically deep and engrossing fps that adds just the right amount of rpg gameplay to enrich the fps experience without taking away the focus from an excellent action game. Truly recommended, specially for nerds.

Windows · by Zovni (10503) · 2005

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

Beta testers

The at-home beta testers are not credited anywhere in the game due to legal reasons.

Buena Vista Interactive

Buena Vista Interactive is a division of Disney that was founded specifically for Tron 2.0. Because of its T rating, Disney didn't want to release it under the kid friendly Disney Interactive, so they created a new label. Perhaps because of its association with Disney, Tron 2.0 is amazingly low on the amount of violence it contains. Throughout the course of the entire game, only one human being actually dies, and your character neither causes that death nor is he responsible for it.

Coin-op cameo

The old coin-op cabinet of TRON makes an appearance during the game's intro. Your character is just finishing playing it in the employee lounge when the game starts.

Marathon

Some of the programmers of TRON 2.0 are apparently fans of Bungie's Marathon series, as there are a couple of Marathon references in the game. Firstly, one of the corrupted Z-lots in the "Thorne's Partition Perimeter" level is named Durandal.exe if you examine him with your profiler. Durandal was a demented A.I. who was a major character in the Marathon series. Also, in the level "Thorne's Internal Partition", one of the messages Thorne sends you is "Frog blast the vent core!", which is what the assimilated civilians in the original Marathon would yell out before they tried to kill you.

Movie

TRON 2.0 was announced along with a movie version of it. The script went into its third draft before it was cancelled, though the game survived. With the release of TRON: Legacy and its game counterpart TRON: Evolution, Tron 2.0 is now no longer canon in the main movie series timeline; both titles explicitly contradict the events of this game.

Reindeer Flotilla

In the movie TRON, the character Kevin Flynn created tanks for his games, and used the password "Reindeer Flotilla" to access them. In the game you run across some of these tanks, but the developers of the game apparently did not read the screen from the film carefully, as the password used to access them in the game is "Reindeer Tortilla". Additionally, the default multiplayer server password is "reindeerflotilla".

Scuzzy wares

The ICP units will sometimes utter the phrase "scuzzy wares" while they are hunting for your character. This is taken directly from the original movie; Flynn says the same thing out of frustration early in the film. The phrase is probably a combination of the the computer terms SCSI and warez, and makes no sense when used together, although to a casual listener it sounds a legitimate replacement for a cuss word or an insult.

Visual effects

The game was developed with the Lithtech engine. Monolith designers collaborated with nVidia to produce the glowing effect. While the game works with all DirectX 9 compliant cards, The owners of nVidia FX-class cards are able to see the TRON glow from the original movie. Also, the futurist Syd Mead was brought on as a consultant to re-design the famous light cycles. He designed the original light cycles as well. Syd has worked on Blade Runner, Aliens, and numerous other films.

Awards

  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2004 - #4 Game of the Year in the “Best of 2003” Awards
  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2004 (Issue #236) – Best Use of License of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – #9 PC Game of the Year
    • 2003 - Best Original Storyline of the Year (PC)

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, Mickey Gabel, Zack Green, PCGamer77, psychofish, WildKard, Trixter, Scott Monster Corn Popper and Jeremy Johnson.

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Related Sites +

  • TRON 2.0 Unofficial FAQ
    TRON 2.0 Unofficial FAQ v1.0: A guide to the TRON 2.0 game from Monolith Productions and Buena Vista Games (Disney), providing background story, hints and tips, troubleshooting advice, walkthroughs, and more.
  • Tron 2.0
    Official website
  • Upgrade to New Adventures
    An Apple Games article about the Macintosh version of Tron 2.0, with commentary being provided by Designer Syd Mead (April, 2004).
  • Visual Walkthroughs - Tron 2.0
    A nice walkthrough of the game shown visually with screenshots.

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  • MobyGames ID: 10153
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by The Ring Hawk.

Xbox added by Shoddyan. Macintosh added by Scaryfun.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Longwalker, Corn Popper, Shoddyan, tronfaq, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger.

Game added August 27, 2003. Last modified September 24, 2023.