TRON

For: Arcade

Genres

Main Genre:
Action , Movie Adaptation
Sub-Genre:
Licensed Title
Perspective:
3rd-Person , Top-Down
Setting:
Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Featured Vehicles:
Tank
Visual Presentation:
Fixed Screen
Gameplay Style:
Shooter , Snake / Light Cycles

Overview

Arcade version of TRON
Arcade version of TRON
TRON is an arcade game released in 1982 by Bally/Midway that is based on the Disney movie of the same name. The game takes place in the world inside a computer with players controlling the title character TRON; there are four different mini-games (called domains) based on scenes from the movie to complete (which then repeat with higher difficulty). A fifth game which was originally intended to be included was later released as a seperate game, Discs of TRON. The game was never ported to any home computers or consoles of the era (though was eventually released on XBox Live in 2008).

Gameplay

TRON begins with an overhead view of the computer world showing the four domains in the game, each a different color; To complete each level, players need to complete all four domains. The domains can be chosen by guiding a cursor to one of the quadrants; domains can be completed in any order, however the location is random and varies from game to game. After a domain is selected, one of the four games will begin (if players don't choose a domain themselves, the game will randomly choose one).

The controls in TRON include a joystick with a trigger and a spinner; how the controls are used varies slightly depending on the domain, but generally the joystick allows movement of the player's character, the trigger fires a shot, and the spinner aims shots. The four games player's will encounter are as follows:
  • Light Cycles: With a top down view players control a Light Cycle in an arena. As the cycles travel, they leave behind a light trail; hitting one of the light trails will cost the player a life. The goal is to force all of the computer controlled cycles to crash either into a light trail or the arena walls. In this game players use the joystick to control the direction of the light cycle (which continually moves forward, players are unable to stop) and the trigger will alternate between slow and fast speeds.
  • Tank Maze: In this game players control a tank with the goal of defeating one or more enemy tanks in a maze. To control the tank, players use the joystick to move and trigger to fire; the spinner will aim the tank's turret. Shots can be fired in any direction independent of the direction the tank is travelling, and shots will bounce off of the walls as well. To destroy an enemy tank, players need to shoot it three times (in contrast, a single shot will destroy the player's tank). On later levels, Recognizer's will appear as well; these don't fire at the player, however they move quicker than tanks and will attempt to ram the player's tank. Located in the center of the maze is a teleporter; guiding the tank into this area will instantly teleport it somewhere in the maze. This can be useful to evade enemy tanks, but the destination is random and may also place the player back in danger.
  • I/O Tower: Located in the center of the screen partly surrounded by a wall is an I/O tower; player's have the goal of reaching the tower without getting caught by the numerous grid bugs surrounding it. There is a time limit to reach the tower; additionally, as time passes the grid bugs will multiply. In this game players use the joystick to move TRON, the trigger to fire, and the spinner to aim shots.
  • MCP Cone: In this game players need to reach the top of the MCP cone. The cone is blocked by a wall of rotating blocks; player's need to shoot the blocks to clear a path to safely pass (touching one of the blocks will cost a life). The cone and the wall are slowly moving downwards creating a time limit to complete the task; if player's take too long, they'll get caught at the bottom of the screen. Similar to the I/O tower, players can move TRON with the joystick, the trigger fires, and the spinner aims.
After all four domains are completed, the game repeats with increased difficulty. Each difficulty level has a different name, mostly named after programming languages; the levels encountere are RPG, COBOL, BASIC, FORTRAN, SNOBOL, PL1, PASCAL, ALGOL, ASSEMBLY, OS, JCL, and USER.

Scoring

Points are earned in TRON for defeating enemies and completing domains as follows:

Defeating Opponents and Obstacles:
  • Grid Bugs: 50 points each.
  • Bits: 5000 points each.
  • MCP cone blocks: 25 points each.
  • Light Cycles: 500 points each
Enemy Tanks:
  • 1st Hit: 100 points.
  • 2nd Hit: 300 points.
  • 3rd Hit: 500 points.
Additional Bonuses:
  • Destroying all grid bugs: 1000 points
  • Entering I/O tower: All remaining time is awarded as points.
  • MCP Cone: Bonus points are awarded for destroying all blocks.
Bonus lives are awarded for reaching certain point thresholds.

Credits

Platform: Arcade
Engineer: John Pasierb
Lead Programmer: Bill Adams
Hardware: Atish Ghosh
Art/Cabinet Design: George Gomez
Support: Tom Leon

Pictures

Click on a picture below to view a larger version.
Arcade Version
Upright Cabinet
Arcade Version
Cocktail Table

Marketing

Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation TRON has appeared in.
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Magazine Advertisements
TRON September 1982 magazine ad TRON September 1982 magazine ad TRON Soundtrack -  1982 magazine ad

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