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This is the first game in the TRON series. For other games in the series see the TRON category.

Box artwork for TRON.
Box artwork for TRON.
Developer(s)Bally Midway
Publisher(s)Bally Midway
Year released1982
System(s)Arcade, Xbox 360
Followed byDiscs of TRON
ModesSingle player, Multiplayer
LinksTRON ChannelSearchSearch
This guide is for the original 1982 arcade game. For the 2010 iOS game, see TRON (2010).
TRON marquee

In 1982, Disney backed an incredibly ambitious project that mixed live action scenes with computer generated graphics for the first time in a motion picture. The name of the movie was TRON, and it was a story about a man who gets pulled into a parallel world that takes place inside of computers, to liberate the programs from the dictatorship of the Master Control Program. In conjunction with the movie, Bally Midway orchestrated the rights to develop and manufacture a game that tied directly to the events depicted in the movie. Naturally, it was also known as TRON.

In TRON, you control the main character, whose name happens to be Tron, armed with his throwing disc, as you direct him to complete four separate challenges that correlate to scenes from the movie. Among the four challenges, the most recognizable is the Light Cycles, a line tracing game where you must avoid crashing into your opponents' lines while trying to get them to crash into yours. There is also the Battle Tank stage where you must defeat a team of enemy tanks, the I/O Tower where you must blast through a collection of multiplying Grid Bugs in an effort to send a message out to the users, and the MCP Cone where you attempt to break through the MCP's defensive barrier to insert the program that will disrupt the MCP and break his grip over the programs who wish to serve their users.

TRON was arguably more successful as a game than it was as a movie, which was generally panned as a beautiful film with an uninteresting story line. Since the movie was inspired by the director Steve Lisberger's discovery of video games, it lent itself much better as a challenge to arcade players. More mini-games were originally planned to be included, but time forced the developers to reduce the number to four. One other TRON arcade game, Discs of TRON, was made, based on an omitted concept. Due to the complexity of TRON, it was never converted for play on any system, although arguably, several of the mini-game concepts, such as the Light Cycles, already existed on many systems for a while. TRON simply repackaged them to relate to the movie.

In 2003, Monolith Productions developed an interactive sequel to the story in the form of a first-person shooter called TRON 2.0. A different, but similarly titled port for the Game Boy Advance contained the two original arcade games as unlockable bonuses. And in 2005, Square Enix chose to include TRON as a pivotal Disney world in their well received Kingdom Hearts II, featuring Sora, Donald, and Goofy in TRON inspired outfits.


Title screen

With the aid of Kevin Flynn, a user from the outside world, Tron must invade four sections of the MCP's Game Grid and remove him from power so that all programs are free to work for their users. The MCP is out to stop him at all costs. Not only must Tron survive the deadly Light Cycles and Battle Tank challenges. He must also enter the I/O Tower to get an MCP killing program from the outside world, and enter the MCP Cone in order to insert the program, freeing the computer world from tyranny.

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