Game name: Tron

Manufacturer: Bally / Midway

Year of development: 1982

Category: Action game

Hardware Platform Info:

  • Main CPU: Zilog Z80 (2.5 Mhz)
  • Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 (2 Mhz)
  • Sound chip: 2x AY 8910
  • Video Resolution: 512 x 480

Original Developer: Bill Adams

Music Composer: N/A


History of development:

Tron's name and concept were licensed by Walt Disney, the creators of the movie of the same name. One of the original touches of game is that levels, instead of simply being designated "Level 1, 2, 3", etc., were named for programming languages.

Cabinet was designed as a game exclusive, featuring characters and objects from the movie on the side, while the control panel and a large part of the other surfaces of machine are painted with circuit lines similar to those seen in many of the stage designs from the film. Control panel also featured a pair of black lights, one located just above the controls behind a clear plastic shield, and one below panel together, causing translucent blue joystick and fluorescent paint used on the circuit lines will glow. In such a dark arcade, effect was resulting is of mystery. Mini-upright and cocktail versions were also produced.

Game Overview:

Tron consists of four subgames based on events and characters from the movie. In general, player controls Tron, either in human form or by piloting a vehicle, using an eight-way joystick to move, a fire button on joystick, and a rotary dial to aim. The objective of game is to earn points and advance through twelve levels of game completing each of subgames. Most of 12 levels are named after programming languages: RPG, COBOL, BASIC, FORTRAN, SNOBOL, PL1, PASCAL, ALGOL, ASSEMBLY, OS, JCL, USER. The game supports two players alternating.

The four subgames are:

  • Light Cycles - Player controls a Light Cycle that leaves a blue trail. Joystick controls direction of travel and trigger controls the vehicle speed. The objective is to force the enemy (Light Cycles yellow) to collide with each other or with the trails, while avoiding colliding.
  • Grid Bugs - Destroy the Grid Bugs and escape to I / O Tower before time runs out. Joystick controls movement of character and the whirlygig (rotary dial) controls direction of fire.
  • Tanks - Destroy all enemy tanks or recognizers to clear the level. Joystick controls movement of your tank, and whirlygig controls direction of fire.
  • MCP Cone: Destroy Breakout-like blocks and move your character to cone to clear level. A bonus is awarded if you destroy all blocks. Joystick controls movement of your character and whirlygig controls direction of fire.
  • In Light Cycle stage, cycles have a fixed behavior pattern for each stage and therefore, as in PacMan, it is possible to find your own pattern to defeat them. In Tanks stage, if no part of your tank touches white line that runs through the center of each corridor, fire from enemy tanks cannot reach you. If you are careful, you can move to the middle of central transporter diamond, far enough to get out of the white line and collect the enemy tanks at will. However, keep in mind that tanks can still ram.
  • The game that later became Discs Of Tron was supposed to be included in Tron, but schedule was not completed in time.
  • Although in Tron movie the grid errors were almost completely removed, there were approximately two seconds of animation left with a self-created grid error. These bugs also show up in the game due to pressures to develop it in time for the movie's release. Disney's sales strategy for Tron launch campaign and trailers ended with the slogan Watch the Movie. Play the game. Therefore, developers of video game had to use the elements of the script that they could before the movie was completed.



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