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More Tron, more fun

Nathan Strum


"Recognize" this?




Remember wanting to play it?


Well... go ahead!




Space Paranoids is now online! And it even works on a Mac!


Well... not my G5 iMac. It runs like a dog on that. But it runs great on newer Macs. (Not iPhones though. Maybe someday.)


42 Entertainment made the game last year for the Comic Con Flynn's Arcade event that kicked off Tron Legacy's viral marketing campaign, which is starting to get rather extensive.


There have been clues left on various viral websites created for the film, and within Space Paranoids itself, which lead to even more websites and other clues. (Or "Clu"s?)


I hadn't checked Flynn Lives in a few weeks, so I missed all of this until just the other day. There's a re-cap of some of the recent stuff on their front page, plus other stuff (like Encom e-mails) in their "forums".


As for the game itself, they did a pretty-good job of adapting a few moments from a 28-year-old movie into a playable game. The controls are slightly wonky, since you aim the tank turret with your mouse, and move with arrow keys. Standard stuff for first-person shooters, but with the tank you can turn the turret in completely opposite directions from how you're moving, so it's easy to forget which way your tank is facing and get disoriented (hint: aim down so you can see your tank - the red circle with the arrow on it is the front of your tank).


Gameplay-wise, you drive a tank around a maze and shoot Recognizers. Since they're higher than you, you can aim vertically and horizontally. (The arcade cabinet built for Comic Con used a track-ball to aim.) If the Recognizers catch up to you, they pin you down with a force field, and stomp on you - just like in the movie. :cool: You also have enemy tanks roaming around, although they don't fire at you (that I've seen so far), they just kill you if they touch you. And there's some fire-hydrant thing that shoots at you. Not sure what that is.


The environment's graphics don't quite match those of the movie, and they've had to add a Bosconian/Rally-X type radar to show where your enemies and recharge stations are located, but it captures the feel of the arcade game from the movie, as much as you could expect from something glimpsed only briefly. You're limited to five shots before you have to recharge, so it's a trade-off between using your shots wisely, knowing when to run away to recharge, and how long it's safe to stay there while that's happening (it's not instantaneous, nor do you have infinite recharges). The recharging is a bit slow for my tastes, but everything else feels about right.


It's actually a pretty fun and well-balanced game, and it would have been right at home in a classic arcade. It has a good early 80's look to it, although the graphics are a bit too polished for even a fictional game of the era (maybe halfway between what they came up with and I, Robot would have looked about right). Of course, they have to appease fans of Tron, and classic arcade gamers, and modern gamers as well, so it's an interesting set of challenges to be sure. I think they did a good job with it. Especially since I don't have to pump quarters into it to play the thing. :D


Overall, it's a really cool idea for a movie tie-in, nicely filling in that missing piece of Tron gaming that we all wanted back when the movie came out.


Well, that and light cycles. But there's always GLTron for that. ;)


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Ahhh... pressing the spacebar re-orients the tank in the direction you're aiming. Very handy.


(Helps to read the instructions. Once in awhile. :) )

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I saw G4's coverage of Tron: Evolution last night. It looks pretty cool. Given the display they had at their booth, it looks like they're sparing no expense promoting the franchise.


One thing I don't understand though... what was up with G4's Olivia Munn during their whole E3 coverage? Was she stoned, drunk, or just really that bad?

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Yet more Tron news from Tron-Sector.com:


Tron in HD will be showing again on HDNET:

Sat, Jul 17th - 4:45 PM ET / 1:45 PM PT

Sun, Jul 25th - 6:15 PM ET / 3:15 PM PT

Mon, Jul 26th - 5:00 AM ET / 2:00 AM PT

Thu, Jul 29th - 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT


It will also be screened during the Comic-Con in San Diego next week. Also at Comic-Con, there will be a bunch of Tron toys shown, and (in all likelihood) the new trailer! Plus, they're re-creating Flynn's Arcade there again, and will have a discussion panel with cast and crew.


There's a new viral website: Encom Japan, with a retro light-cycle game, and more clues.


Finally, I found this article at IGN, which talks about some of the creative folks at Pixar lending a hand to shaping-up the movie a bit. I think that's a good sign, since it shows they're willing to do what's necessary to fix potential problems with the film while they have time. On the other hand, it would seem to indicate that they are having some problems with it. But they have several months left to fix things - so hopefully that's enough time to make the changes they need to.

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(Hmmm... do I post this here, or in the iBlog comments? :o )


Disney's released a free iPhone app for Tron!




You drive a tank around the game grid, and blow up grid bugs. There are other enemies (gun turrets, tanks), power-ups, teleportation pads, doors to unlock... it's actually quite a lot for a free game. It's pretty good, and has a nice visual style to it. Just be sure to read the instructions first, since although they do include instructions between each of the levels, they include the instructions after the level they're relevant to. :o


There are also links in the app to the Tron Legacy movie trailer, the Tron Evolution game trailer, and Comic-Con event schedules. It looks like something they'll likely be adding content to as the movie gets closer. :lol:

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New trailer!


I have to admit - that looks pretty awesome. The de-aged Jeff Bridges looks very good. The only thing slightly odd is his mouth, which doesn't seem to move quite right. But then, maybe Jeff Bridges' mouth doesn't move quite right either. :o I'll have to watch Tron again to see.


Speaking of watching Tron again, it's showing in HD a few more times in the next week. Unfortunately:




I'm not subscribed to that channel. :lol:


Elsewhere, Disney's entire Tron website has been completely overhauled, and it's the most extensive movie-related website I've ever seen. A warning though: you need a fast computer and Flash :o . It's unusable on my vintage G5 iMac.


That said, if you do have the computing power to enter the world of Tron (apropos, no?), it's a pretty cool place. You can create your own program to explore the site with, throw discs at stuff to earn "energy" (and unlock goodies), and ride a lightcycle around the electronic world in 3-D! (Not stereoscopic 3-D, the computer graphics kind.) They put a tremendous amount of work into the site, and it's Tron-nerd-vana! (I should trademark that.) It's nice that the official site has finally caught up with all of the viral sites Disney has out there for the movie.


I'm sure more stuff will be coming out of Comic-Con this weekend. Disney's got their hype-machine into overdrive for this one, and for them, that's saying something.

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The new trailer is now up on Apple's trailer site. Glorious QuickTime HD (and no Flash required :o )!


I'm getting pretty jazzed for the movie (if I wasn't already), although they really need to fix the de-aged Jeff Bridge's fake mouth.


The problem with it, I think, is they're animating it from the outside. Probably using performance capture, and applying that to the surface of a model. That's fine for blue aliens or other non-realistic CG characters, but when re-creating a human, if you don't catch every subtlety, then you start dipping your toes into the uncanny valley, and things don't look right. In this case, the mouth doesn't seem structured right. Like there's only an outside to it, and no inside. Lips have thickness to them, and don't just move up and down when you talk, but in and out. Away from the teeth and back. As it is right now, his mouth looks a bit like a mask. (Mouths have always been a problem, see also: Forrest Gump and Contact.) The rest of his face is very good though. They've got a few months to work it out. Hopefully this isn't the final version.


On the other hand... he is supposed to be a computer program, so it's rather a weird argument. :lol:

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Here's good article on this year's Comic-Con Tron event, featuring a couple of cool videos.


And more updates at Tron-Sector, including a peek at the limited-edition version of the Tron Evolution video game w/lightcycle.


I'm wondering if it's maybe time to consider getting a PS3... :)

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Man, it's getting so you can't keep up on all the Tron updates without some sort of avatar or something... ;)




So according to Tron-Sector, some nifty new billboards and banners have been showing up around L.A. (and presumably elsewhere). The ones with Olivia Wilde (Quorra) are particularly nice.


Like fer instance, this one:




Now, if you're so inclined for Halloween, there's a shop selling versions of Quorra's costume (as well as Sam Flynn's), for a mere $899.




Yeah. And the thing is... it isn't exactly one size fits all. Or more precisely... one size fits at all:




Just compare that picture, with the one above.


I'll give you a moment.






Now I'm sure the model for the replica suit is quite fit and trim and all that... but the baggy look just doesn't work for Quorra. Maybe it looks better in person.


Moving on...


I mentioned the official movie site a couple of comments back. Here's a pic:




Real-time, 3D. On the web. I never would have expected that to be possible when the I first got on the internet. For that matter, I wouldn't have expected it even a year or so ago. Not to that degree.


So why am I posting that pic?


Because, Disney has turned it into a free, online game! Tron Legacy: Light Cycles! Woo hoo!


You drive around various locales, pursued by baddies, and you have to make them eat your light trails.


The view is from above and behind:




With the camera changing as needed:




Including slo-mo replays of de-rezzes:




Definitely worth checking out! But again, it's a bit brutal on the system requirements.


Disney's Tron game page also says Discs Of Tron is coming online soon. Excellent. :lust:


(Y'know, between Tron: Evolution and Gran Turismo 5, I may just have to buy a PS3 this year.)



And in case I didn't mention it, apparently Disney's California Adventure is getting all Tronified this October, complete with a re-creation of Flynn's arcade.


Oh yes. Must go see that.


And look at all the merchandising they're already pimping.


Disney is really putting the full force of their marketing machine behind this film. The big question remains... will it be any good?

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I miss the days of being excited by toy commercials, and waiting eagerly for the Sears Wishbook catalog, so I could go through it and make up a Christmas list of all the stuff I wanted. Seems to me, that would have been right around this time of year.


This commercial is probably the first one in decades that has made me want to go out and buy toys again:



Yep. Looking forward to this movie.


Sure hope it's good.

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Discs Of Tron is now online!


The control scheme they've come up with (mouse + keyboard) works surprisingly well.


It's a little odd though, in that they've modified the game to "reveal" modern graphics as you blast away at Sark. They did this with the classic Tron as well, where in some levels they'll insert modern graphics.


I don't really mind it as kind of an Easter Egg... but it would be nice to be able to switch it off.

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