Tron 2.0

aka: Tron 2.0: Killer App
Windows Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/29 3:52 PM )

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
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
Director Of Engineering
Lead Engineer
[ full credits ]



Average score: 82% (based on 44 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 72 ratings with 8 reviews)

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 (10504) · 2005

The best first-person shooter so far

The Good
I wasn't very much surprised when I first saw it, but over time I realised that Tron 2.0 is actually the best FPS I ever played. It's as simple as that - if you add up everything that Tron 2.0 has to offer, no other FPS can surpass it.

First thing you see is the graphical splendour of the game. Even with all settings upped to maximum it plays smoothly on my GF4 Ti4200. Hi-res textures, familiar Tron glow, huge fantastic structures, this simply looks amazing. Add to that very well animated characters with high quality models, great effects and weapons that are absolutely cool and original.

Second thing that you notice about Tron 2.0 are levels. They aren't too complex, they aren't too linear and they aren't repetitive. Almost perfect levels. :)

Then you have a great story. There was a certain lack of cohesion, due to the necessary shooting part of the FPS (sometimes you forget why are you shooting), but other than that it was engaging and enjoyable.

Finally, Tron 2.0 is full of little things that add to the fun. The atmosphere of the movie and of the computer world in general was recreated brilliantly. Spam message on the Internet, funny comments in the code like "Tanks read-only and indestructible. Enjoy. :)", "Progress Bar" where programs hang out and countless other things like that certainly add a lot to the game. There is also a lot of innovation in the game mechanics. The subroutines were very original and because of that the way you approached the weapons was completely different from all other games. Upgrading your subroutines (from Alpha to Beta to Gold) and selecting the active ones depending on the game situation allowed for a great variety of game styles. While some people claimed that the Disc was too powerful and other weapons were useless, I found weapons to be carefully balanced, with optimal strategy being always selecting the right tool for the job.

The Bad
I had some problems with sound. With many enemies around my weapons' sounds didn't work. I had to go to options and disable/enable EAX. I also found that positional 5.1 sound didn't work (for me it was only stereo).

Some cutscenes could be made a bit longer for extra exposition and not to feel rushed.

This isn't really a flaw, but there could have been a little bit more interactivity in the levels and may be things like side-quests.

The Bottom Line
The best first-person shooter as of September 2003.

Windows · by Paranoid Opressor (181) · 2003

If you like shooters, you'll like Tron 2.0. If you liked the movie, you'll love Tron 2.0.

The Good
Tron 2.0 was a pleasant surprise. Like most media franchises translated to games of recent years (007 Nightfire, Dukes of Hazzard, Die Hard, the list goes on), most translations are less than enjoyable. Tron 2.0 thankfully bucked this trend by involving some of the original talent of the movie and combined them with an engaging storyline.

I'll be honest: I'm a huge Tron fan. I was 12 when the movie came out, and coupled with my budding love of computing, it made a solid impression on me that very few movies have. So when I saw pre-release screenshots of the game I had high hopes... and thank goodness, it turned out great. The visuals, sound, and level design not only matched the movie, they exceeded it by leaps and bounds.

For experienced gamers not familiar with the movie, Tron 2.0 puts a few spins on story-driven shooters in a couple of ways. For one, an RPG element is introduced via "build notes", which you can collect to eventually increase your stats (maximum health, maximum ammo, etc.). There are the usual assortment of weapons, from short-range melee and energy-draining weapons to a long-range sniping weapon. One light strategic twist is that each weapon takes up a certain number of "memory slots", and each major area you enter has a different "memory configuration" that changes the quantity and order of the slots, so you have to think about how you're going to accomplish certain tasks and which combination of armor, tools, and weapons to use to do so.

Fan of the movie or not, the visuals are living wonderment: The old mainframe area looks just like the movie (but crisper); virus-ridden areas are cracked, broken, and sickly; the "internet" is a vast metropolis with spires reaching miles into the sky; and so on. The designers enlisted the help of Syd Mead (the original designer of the visuals in the 1982 movie) and it shows -- the place looks gorgeous and I would almost recommend you play Tron 2.0 just to see how everything looks with all the chrome turned on. If you have an advanced video card (I played with an ATI 9500 Pro) you can even enable glowing hazy lightsources for an organic, just-like-the-movie look.

Most modern games significantly lack audio punch, but the audio (especially the music) is easily the best I've heard in recent years. Sound effects like footsteps, throwing the disc, and especially the light cycles are dead-on accurate for the movie, and sound effects for new elements of the game are logical evolutions of the movie sound. Some of the villain voices are suitably campy, but the characters Mercury (voiced by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) and the main character Jet are done well. The addition of original movie voice talent Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan gives Tron 2.0 a slight push to the nostalgic (and, being movie and TV veterans of over 20 years, their performances are among the best in the game). Finally, the music is arguably the star of the entire game: Not only is it electronic (without being hard-core electronica), but it weaves parts of Wendy Carlos' original themes all throughout the main score very skillfully. And true to Monolith's earlier shooter No One Lives Forever, the music is interactive! You are alerted to danger through a change in the music's tone, and when that threat is eliminated, the music morphs back into an appropriate mood for exploring. It is much more seamless than the NOLF music changes. I can't express enough how much the music made an impression on both me and gameplay.

If you are a fan of the movie, the storyline (shown via in-game cinematic cutscenes, archived "video" clips, and most effectively in various emails left throughout the system) explains what happened after the end of the movie and further develops the story and characters. If you ever wanted a sequel to Tron, Tron 2.0 does a more than acceptable job.

(And if you ever played the Tron arcade game's "light cycle" subgame at the local arcade when you were in your teens, the updated version adds some new twists: It's 3D, you can vary the speed of your cycle a bit more extensively, and there are various power-ups littered around the area.)

The Bad
As much admiration as I have for the game, no game is perfect. Some little things bothered me that detracted from the experience a few times:

  • Most of the new characters introduced in Tron 2.0 (I don't want to give spoilers by naming names) were never really explored or developed in any depth. This was slightly disappointing for those of us who really bought into the story (ie fans of the movie).
  • In the initial retail release of the game -- the one played for this review -- you couldn't skip any light cycle scenes. No big deal if you enjoyed them, but there is one light cycle marathon (three battles in a row) that started to get on my nerves after I kept failing it for over an hour. (However, a downloadable patch remedies this so be sure to patch the game before you start playing.)
  • The game's biggest draw, the visual design, works against you in a few places where you need to throw a switch or trigger -- everything is so ultra-bright-neo-modern that it is part to find the switches in two places.
  • The ending is a bit of a let-down, I'm sorry to say. It's a very fun ride getting there, but it is simply too easy to beat the final boss (I played it on Normal difficulty) as there are situations you can put yourself in where you can attack the boss but he can't attack you. Worse, the ending cinematic was way too short.

The Bottom Line
Fans of the movie simply have to pick this up. It is a brilliant realization of the movie, representing it perfectly without ruining anything. And even if you don't know of or like the movie, the game itself is a capable shooter with a unique visual style that you owe to yourself to check out.

Windows · by Trixter (8947) · 2003

[ View all 8 player reviews ]


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.


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.


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.


  • 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 <em>Tron 2.0</em>, 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.

Identifiers +


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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 27th, 2003. Last modified September 24th, 2023.