Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy."



Oh man, if there was ever a glorious time to be a videogame fanatic it had to be in 1982. July 9th, 1982 to be exact. For that is when Tron opened on the big screens and my ten year old mind just punched its way out of my skull and drooled at all the action upon the screen.


An even greater part of Tron, besides the exquisite soundtrack and cast, was the absolute onslaught of merchandise. T-shirts, storybook records, cards with bubble gum (remember back when they did that?), a smattering of toys, and of course video games based on that valiant program himself.


Now almost everyone of my ancient time remembers the Tron arcade game, for good reasons as it actually turned out to be more profitable than the movie. In terms of playing in the Tron universe however it was the Intellivision Master System that really came through for my Tron addiction.


The Intellivision ended up having three Tron cartridges produced, Maze-A-Tron, Tron Deadly Discs, and finally Tron Solar Sailer. Of the three I was most fond of Tron Deadly Discs. The scene in the movie where you first are introduced to Tron fighting with whirling blue disc in hand just absolutely captivated me and here was the Intellivision allowing me to play as Tron himself.


Though there was a rather odd discrepancy with the game. Tron in the movie was a neon blue as were all of the good guys, but in the game he was colored red and the 'soldiers' of the MCP were blue...but considering the game let you fling a disc into your enemy with a satisfying whack accompanied with the sound of de-rezzing...as well as fighting an almost indestructible recognizer, you had to hit its eye through a tiny slit...the programming could be forgiven. In fact they might never have even seen any of the film footage before working on the game. Only the Blue Sky Rangers, the programmers of the Intellivision time, could let us in on the skinny about this coloring issue.


I can only hope that with the new Tron movie coming out I will once more be able to heft an Identity Disc over my shoulder, even with my standard/substandard training and grin as the the followers of the MCP are de-rezzed.




3 comments:

Lightbulb Detective Agency said...

was there an arcade version of this? I seem to remember seeing it once.

Dax said...

Yes, Deadly Discs of Tron. It was a beautiful thing--once you got used to using the dial to rotate your arm to aim and fire discs, that is.

The effect was kind of like air hockey, except instead of getting the puck into the hole you're trying to hit the poor sucker on the other side.

One of my top 5 favorite arcade games ever (Gauntlet, Galaga, Sinistar, and Star Wars).

Vic Sage said...

But you didn't get to fight a Recognizer...that reminds me about something on the other Tron arcade game, when you hit the PASCAL level, the tanks change to Recognizers. Bit is also in the Arcade game but his appearance in the Grid Bug level seems to be random.