A companion to the TRON 2.0 Unofficial FAQ that provides up-to-date
news about the TRON 2.0 gaming community and TRON in general.





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TRON Comic Polls

By TronFAQ on Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 6:15 PM
I thought I'd do a couple of polls, to find out if people are buying the comic. And if they are, what do they think of the first issue?

December 6th, 2008 UPDATE: These polls are now closed. Please see this article for the results. Thank you to everyone who participated in the polls!
 

TRON Comic Issue 1 Review (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

By TronFAQ on Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 2:57 PM
While I have tried to keep them to a minimum, this article contains spoilers about the first issue of the TRON: The Ghost In the Machine comic. So if you haven't read the comic yet, you may want to stop reading this!

Lo and behold, today I have in my grubby little paws the first issue of the new TRON comic! After being in development hell for at least two years, a TRON comic has finally been released. And what a comic, it is!

I was actually surprised that the local comic store had it in stock on the release date, since I live in Canada. But it turns out the comic is printed here, so that's good news to me.

My first impression on seeing the comic, was just how slick and beautiful it is. The book has a gorgeous cover, and is printed with high quality ink and glossy paper. This is a book that's been crafted with care, and it shows.

I do have a couple of minor nits to pick with the cover, though. First, considering the comic is printed in Canada: why isn't there a Canadian price on the cover? (The U.S. price is $3.50.) Second, it mentions "Inspired by the Classic Film and Hit Video Game": but nowhere in the comic does it actually talk about that game, mentioning it by name. That game being, of course, TRON 2.0. (Though there is a brief reference I'll get to, later.) A bit disappointing. Especially considering the story of the comic is largely based on the game.

When first opening the book, you're greeted with a foreword written by the authors, Landry Walker and Eric Jones. It's an interesting read: meant to help introduce the world of TRON to those who may have picked up the book on an impulse, and are perhaps new to the story of TRON.

What's interesting about it, is it makes some speculative conclusions about story threads in the film and game, that were never completely explained. Like the nature of the MCP and Dillinger's involvement in creating it, more hints as to what happened to Flynn, and so on. What surprised me about it, is a lack of mention about the fact that Alan Bradley created TRON. I feel it's one essential story element, that should have been included as well.

Last chance! Spoilers start here!

Upon flipping through the pages of the book, you'll really come to appreciate the artwork by Louie De Martinis. He's done an incredible job. In fact, if you compare early samples, to his work in the book . . . there's a dramatic improvement from some of those earlier drawings. For example, I voiced some concerns on TRON-Sector about the way Jet Bradley had been drawn in the early samples -- that he looked too old -- but the final result in this issue is exactly what I was hoping to see.

The story starts with something very strange going on in the electronic world . . . a backup of Jet is restored and executes! Hence the "Ghost" in the title of the comic. (Or is it that simple?) How can a backup of a User even exist? This is a question we're going to have to wait for, to be answered.

We then switch to the real Jet, who is haunted by his experiences inside the computer. He's completely distanced himself from any and all technology. His father Alan, is concerned about him. Unlike Jet, Alan has not been affected by his similar experiences inside.

As I've said before, the idea of Jet being troubled by his experiences seems to clash with the end of the TRON 2.0 game. At no point did Jet appear stressed-out by what was happening to him, and in fact joked about what had happened. You could argue that he was showing bravado to hide his real feelings, but it just seems odd that Jet is actually the one having problems. Meanwhile, Alan was obviously shaken by his experiences in the game's story: yet here in the comic he's pretty calm and collected. I hope there's a better explanation for this situation, in future issues.

Speaking of Alan, unfortunately the likeness of him isn't too close to Bruce Boxleitner. (I feel Alan in TRON 2.0 looks a bit closer to Bruce, than he does here.) But I really wasn't expecting any different. If he looked exactly like Bruce, they'd have to pay for the right to use his likeness. Ah, the joys of showbiz. Oh, but a nice touch: Alan is visiting Jet in what appears to be his son's apartment . . . and that apartment happens to be the loft in Flynn's Arcade.

In the image to the left, is the only reference to TRON 2.0 by name in the entire comic. It also seems to imply that Alan has finally completed a new version of his TRON security program, based on the TRON Legacy code. So perhaps TRON will actually put in an appearance at some point?

As the story progresses, Jet finds himself in trouble with the police. And he doesn't even know the reason why they want him.

Jet eludes the police, and heads to Encom to meet his father. When he gets there, he views a security video that now totally shatters his life. The video seems to prove that he has committed a terrible crime. But did he really do it? What's going on? Did someone else actually do it, or is Jet losing his mind? Again, more questions than answers here. Which is good . . . it means plenty to look forward to in future issues. In my personal opinion, Jet did not commit the crime. Someone else did. I won't get more specific than that, though.

Viewing the video, prompts Jet to ask Ma3a to digitize him again. He's decided to enter the electronic world, once more. Despite his misgivings. The only little thing that bothered me in this part, is the dialogue Jet has with Ma3a. Ma3a and Jet had established a close relationship by the end of the game, but here they talk as if they hardly know each other. The conversation should have had more of a personal touch, since they know each other so well by now. For Ma3a to issue coldly logical statements such as "unable to comply", is a bit strange to read.

In the final moments of the book: when Jet appears in the electronic world, he meets another program right away. There's been a lot of speculation already, as to who this program is. My money is on "not Mercury". If you look at the cover of the comic, you'll see Mercury . . . who looks very little like this character. Who is it then? I'd say it's someone's name mentioned in one of the pictures in this article. :)

Spoilers end here!

Last little nitpicks . . . as Landry has already said on TRON-Sector, the Letterer's name is missing from the credits, on the inside front cover. Also, there are no page numbers. (Conscious choice?)

So, the final verdict? This first issue of the TRON comic is utterly fantastic. If you don't have it, run out to the store and buy it now! As I mentioned in a previous article: you can also get it from Amazon.com HERE, and directly from SLG Publishing HERE, if there isn't a local comic store in your area.
 

Second Comic Issue In July?

By TronFAQ on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at 9:02 AM
I just found a listing on SLG Publishing's site, that indicates the second issue of TRON: Ghost In The Machine won't be coming out until July. Which is somewhat of a surprise, to me. It's a bit early to say with certainty: but this seems to indicate the comic will be bi-monthly. At six issues, that means it would take a year for all the issues to come out.

The listing on the SLG site also has what seems to be a preview for the cover of the second issue, seen on the left.

April 26th UPDATE: Landry (one of the writers) answered my question about the schedule of the comic, HERE. He said there isn't any fixed schedule as to when the issues will be coming out. But apparently there will be a 2-3 month wait, between them.
 

Where To Buy The TRON Comic

By TronFAQ on Monday, April 24, 2006 at 7:40 PM
One of the writers of TRON: Ghost In The Machine -- Landry Walker -- recently confirmed the April 26th release date I mentioned in a previous article. He also posted a teaser picture of what the actual inside of the comic book looks like.

The first issue of TRON: Ghost In The Machine (there will be 6 issues) has finally shown up on Amazon.com: so if you can't find the comic in your local book or comic store on or shortly after the 26th, you can order it from Amazon HERE.

It's also available directly from SLG Publishing themselves, on their order page HERE.
 

REZ Handler Does NOT Contain A Virus!

By TronFAQ on Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 3:02 AM
I've been hearing some reports lately: where people with Norton Anti-Virus, are saying that the program is flagging the REZ Handler installer as containing a virus.

This is NOT correct. Norton is reporting what's known as a false positive. Since this problem has never been reported before, a recent LiveUpdate by Symantec must have caused this.

I repeat, the program DOES NOT contain a virus. Hundreds of people have been using REZ Handler, and you would think that if it contained a virus they would have said something by now . . .

If you temporarily disable Norton Anti-Virus, you can then download and install the program and turn it back on afterward, to get around this. Meanwhile, I'm going to try and contact Symantec to see if there's a way I can get them to update their product, and eliminate this false positive result.

I also found a message thread discussing the false positive problem, on the company site whose product I used to create the REZ Handler installer.

And I just realized, that I used the same installer creation program for the Capture the Bit Update. You will get the same false positive result on that, too.

April 24th UPDATE: Symantec has updated their Anti-Virus definitions and fixed the problem. Use LiveUpdate to get the latest definitions. The REZ Handler and Capture the Bit Update installer programs will no longer mistakenly be identified as containing a virus!
 

Some KH2 Cutscenes In English, And Cool TRON Music Video

By TronFAQ on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 9:21 PM
Lately, some videos of Kingdom Hearts 2 cutscenes in English have been appearing on the Internet, so I thought I'd post some links to them for the curious to check out.

Note that these cutscenes are obviously huge spoilers, if you haven't played the game yet.




First visit to Space Paranoids World









Second visit to Space Paranoids World








TRON and gang about to attack MCP








After defeating the MCP, TRON says goodbye








Super Light Cycle action






Since I don't own a Playstation 2 (and have no intention to), I won't be getting the game. Nor will I go out of my way to play KH2. But if the opportunity arose to play it, I would definitely give it a spin. (I already own an Xbox and a copy of TRON 2.0: Killer App, anyway. Both of which I hardly play.)

Based on all the various cutscenes I've watched, the TRON world in KH2 is pretty faithful to the film. And Bruce Boxleitner sounds pretty much the same as he used to, as TRON. Unfortunately, David Warner didn't do the voices of Sark and the MCP, and you can hear it. The replacement actor does a good enough job as Sark, but the MCP's voice just ain't the same. Also, other little things bother me (repetitive background music, and the Light Cycle sound isn't right). But I'll reserve judgment for the day I actually get around to playing it.


While searching for these videos, I stumbled across another one. It's a cool TRON music video tribute that I haven't seen before. I've seen all the various ones out there already (e.g. the Depeche Mode one), but this was new to me. Enjoy it.




Cool TRON music video







NOTE: All these videos will probably be pretty slow to load, since they're hosted on the YouTube site. So you'll have to be patient, and wait for them as they stream to your computer.
 

TRON Comic Release Date

By TronFAQ on Saturday, April 15, 2006 at 4:03 PM
The first issue of the new TRON comic entitled TRON: Ghost In The Machine from SLG Publishing should appear in stores starting on April 26th.

This is it, folks! We're finally getting a TRON comic, after the previously announced comic from 88MPH Studios ended up being cancelled. If you want the sad story behind that, visit this article in Andrew Dabb's blog. (Andrew Dabb was the writer.) And if you want to see artwork from that comic, visit Gabe Bridwell's site. (Gabe was the penciller.)

I think it's important that everyone understands, that this new comic absolutely needs to be a success. Every TRON fan needs to buy this comic, and harass their friends and family to buy copies, too. ;)

Because if this comic doesn't sell well enough, it will probably mean the end of TRON as far as Disney is concerned. No more games, no more comics, and no movie sequel.

Thanks to fellow LDSO member Load"*",8,1, for the tip!
 

Update On The Digital Messiah (TDM)

By TronFAQ at 2:59 AM
Xistence just posted an update and some new screenshots for The Digital Messiah -- his Single Player total conversion for TRON 2.0 -- on his blog site (temporarily down).

Sample screenshot
The rest can be seen on his blog site

What can I say, except that it looks like it's going to be amazing?

You can find out more about Xistence and TDM in the interview I did with him, previously.
 

Still More Derez Maps To Come, And Kingdom Hearts 2 Review

By TronFAQ on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 at 4:38 PM
Aside from some updated versions of current maps, and the previously mentioned map by Zook_One (actually titled Clu Dispatch, I've learned) -- VMan has just announced that he has more Derez maps in the works, and he released a screenshot of one of them.

Screenshot from one of
VMan's upcoming Derez maps

Meanwhile, Kain-Xavier (creator of the KMX Skins mod) just posted his review of Kingdom Hearts 2 on the Boxhat message boards.

The verdict? Don't buy KH2 just for the TRON world, or else you'll probably be disappointed. But if you're a fan of TRON and Kingdom Hearts, then definitely get it.
 

System Shock 2 Still Owns Me

By TronFAQ on Sunday, April 09, 2006 at 7:49 PM
I've been saving this for a slow news period. This is one of the few times where I'll post something almost completely off-topic.

It might come as a surprise to you, that TRON 2.0 is not my favorite game of all time. It's a very good game, yes. And it's in my top three picks. But it's not number one. TRON 2.0 is number three. Deus Ex (the original, not the lousy Invisible War) is number two. And, of course, System Shock 2 is number one.

As I get around to playing more games (which as of late, I have had very little time for), this may change. For example, I have yet to play the first two Thief games, which were made by the same company: Looking Glass Studios. (R.I.P.)

Irrational Games -- who partnered with Looking Glass to create SS2 -- still exists, and is what I consider one of the last game developers who could really innovate and surprise us when they release Bioshock next year. (The "spiritual" successor to SS2.)

What never ceases to amaze me, is if you take a gander at the Through The Looking Glass site: development of fan missions and other add-ons is still going strong. Even though SS2 is almost seven years old, now. If I ever need inspiration not to give up on TRON 2.0, all I need to do is look at SS2 as an example. People are still modding and playing that game. Admittedly, they have an advantage though. Looking Glass and Irrational were good enough to release all the development tools and source maps used in the game, unlike BVG.

There have been several good FMs (short for Fan Missions) released recently, and an example of one in particular is called Ponterbee Station by Christine from Germany. It has an unusual name, but the mission itself is nothing short of amazing. And with the addition of texture and model upgrades added: SS2 looks really good even today.

If you have an opportunity to pick up a copy of SS2 (or Deus Ex) from the bargain bin or somewhere online, I strongly suggest you do. If you liked TRON 2.0, you should also enjoy SS2 . . . and Deus Ex, for that matter. All three games have similarities to one another. Rich, immersive atmospheres on every level. Great soundtracks and sound effects. Hybrid Action/RPG play, with inventory management. A science-fiction setting, with "cyberpunk" elements to them. And the list of similarities goes on. (In fact, TRON 2.0 sometimes feels like a Deus Ex Lite. Very similar game mechanics, but more light-hearted and not as dark.)

SS2 may not be everyone's cup of tea, as it has a lot of horror elements to it. It's been called one of the scariest games ever made. And I tend to agree. When Doom 3 was released, people were hailing that as the scariest game in recent memory. But frankly, the "monster closets" got old fast and I hardly found the game to be scary at all. Meanwhile in SS2, you never know when you're going to be attacked. Enemy AI spawn and attack completely at random. And you never seem to have enough ammo or health. To top it off, your weapons are unreliable and sometimes break. All of this creates serious tension.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Shodan, the game's Computer AI antagonist. Shodan is an enemy that manipulates the player and the environment around her, from behind the scenes. She continually taunts and mocks the player, as he progresses. The feeling of isolation, combined with an enemy that seems to know your every move -- and tells you in no uncertain terms that you're going to die, if she has anything to say about it -- and the haunting logs of the dead crew, add up to an experience that will never be forgotten.

SS2 can be a bit troublesome to get running on Windows XP, but it will be worth the effort. All you need to do is visit the TTLG site, and there you will find plenty of advice on how to get the game running. And don't forget to download FMs like Ponterbee Station, while you're visiting. The screenshots in this article, are all from this fan mission.

One final thought, before I finish. Ken Levine, the General Manager and co-founder of Irrational, posted an article on IGN that other game developers and publishers like BVG could learn a thing or two from. One section in particular caught my eye, that I'll leave you with.

Given the size and dedication of our fanbase, we knew that the last thing we wanted to do was a make a follow up to Freedom Force that tried to expand the market to casual gamers. To do so would have meant alienating our core fan base, something we refused to do. Freedom Force is always going to be a PC game for people who love strategy, RPG and heroes. It's not going to be for everybody. You know the old saw . . . "Try to please everybody, you end up only pleasing the marketing department."
 

FINALLY . . . How To Use Custom Maps On The Mac, The Easy Way

By TronFAQ on Sunday, April 02, 2006 at 8:40 PM
Okay, it's been a long time in coming. But I'm finally able to reveal an extremely easy method of using the custom maps made for the PC version of TRON 2.0, on the PowerPC Mac OSX version of the game.

If you own a newer Intel Mac, then these instructions are not for you. I would recommend playing the Windows PC version of TRON 2.0 instead, through the use of Boot Camp.

There are three ways of doing it, two of which were covered back in my CONFIRMED . . . Custom Maps DO Work On The Mac article. (Though the FAQ needs to be corrected and updated, regarding the first approach.) Now, here is a third approach.


  • Download the following specially prepared map packs, for the Mac:

    LC Map Pack - 375.5 MB
    Contains all current custom Light Cycle maps.

    DA and DM Map Pack - 126.3 MB
    Contains all current custom Disc Arena and Derez maps, except Capture the Bit (CTB2 TDM).

    Updated Capture the Bit (aka CTB2 TDM) - 28 MB
    A specially prepared version of the Capture the Bit Team Derez map, for the Mac.

    Using a file download manager to download these files, is strongly advised.


  • Download Stuffit Expander or WinRAR for the Mac, and install the program.

    Note that the rest of this article will demonstrate using Stuffit Expander, to decompress these files.


Drag and drop each .RAR file from the Finder on to the Stuffit window, one at a time. The program will decompress each file. The Preferences button allows you to customize which directory the decompressed files will end up in.



Once both files have been decompressed, use the Finder window to navigate to the directory where they're located. Then open another new Finder window, and view your Applications directory. Change the view to Columns mode. Click on the TRON 2.0 folder, then the Data folder. Highlight both the gamep5.rez and gamep6.rez files with your mouse.




Drag and drop these two files, into the parent TRON 2.0 folder. This will move them safely out of the way, to be kept as backups in case you ever want to return to your original install state.





Now highlight the two .REZ files that you extracted earlier, in the original Finder window. Drag them to the column for the Data folder.






Finally, drop them in the Data folder. These two files are replacements for the original gamep5.rez and gamep6.rez files.




That's it! That's all there is to it, to making custom TRON 2.0 maps work on the Mac version of the game.

These replacement files will not affect the game in any way, other than allowing you to play custom maps in addition to the default retail maps. These specially prepared .REZ file custom map packs, created on a PC, are completely compatible with the Mac version. That's because TRON 2.0 on the Mac is, essentially, the PC version being emulated. Almost all the files between the two versions are identical. There are only a few small differences.

In the future, I will also talk about getting mods to work on the Mac version. But for now, download these custom map packs and play the maps!


In closing, I'd like to thank the following people for their help:

Tomzer - For giving me the opportunity to look at some files from the Mac version of the game, which allowed me to guess the previous two approaches.

Mr. Anderson - For working with everyone involved, and providing Ocelot with map packs to test.

9VoltChicken - For helping to co-ordinate the testing, putting me in touch with Ocelot, and coming up with the idea for this third approach.

Ocelot - Biggest thanks go to Ocelot, a TRON 2.0 Mac player who tested out this third approach and confirmed that it works. (And he confirmed that the other two approaches, work as well . . . with the first approach only needing minor corrections, that are forthcoming.)