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.

If you're having trouble with the TRON 2.0: Killer App Mod
Read this Troubleshooting Guide

Map Packs Updated, File Mirrors Added

By TronFAQ on Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 10:09 PM
The following TRON 2.0 Multiplayer custom map packs have either been updated, or created:

Changes in LC Map Pack 3

You can delete the following files if you have them (they've been merged with this map pack):

Changes in DA Map Pack 1
Disc Golf of TRON (DISC_GOLF_V1.0) ADDED

You can delete the following file if you have it (it's been merged with this map pack):

Changes in DM Map Pack 1

You can delete the following file if you have it (it's been merged with this map pack):

New DSO Map Pack
Disc Arena
Ancient 4 vs. 1 (DSODM-AS-4V1) ADDED

If you've already downloaded and run both dso_mp_setup.exe and dso_mp_patch1-1.exe, you do not need this map pack. It's simply being offered as a new alternative, that only requires you to download one file instead of two. This is the .REZ file that is created after running both programs.

New DM Map Pack 2
DM-2.5 (DM-2.5) ADDED
DM Ladder 01 (DM-01LADR) ADDED
DM Ladder 02 (DM-02LADR) ADDED
DM Ladder 03 (DM-03LADR) ADDED

This new map pack collects previously separate maps, into one convenient to download file.

You can delete the following files if you have them (they've been merged into this map pack):

Changes in Mac LC Map Pack

Changes in Mac DA/DM Map Pack
Disc Golf of TRON (DISC_GOLF_V1.0) ADDED

In the process of updating these map packs, I also decided to give some of the .REZ files new, more logical names. One of the changes made is that I have done away with the "Part" and "Full" suffixes, because they made the filenames longer and a bit more confusing than they needed to be.

The renaming of these files may create some initial confusion in the short term, but I think it will be beneficial in the long run.

Old NameNew Name

I've also added some new file mirror links, so that in case one site goes down: there is a good chance that file can still be downloaded from another site. I'll continue to add file mirrors over time.

I recommend that everyone (especially server operators) update their DA Pack 1, DM Pack 1, and LC Pack 3 files, and add DM Pack 2, as soon as possible. Replace any individual map .REZ files with these map packs.

These updated map packs are also available from the All TRON 2.0 Files page.

Essay About TRON The Film And Games

By TronFAQ on Monday, May 28, 2007 at 6:22 PM
I've been saving some items for slow news periods, as we seem to be in right now. This is one of those items. A very interesting essay about TRON the film and its games.

A number of passages within the article really struck me, because they echo similar thoughts that I have, on the same issues. Particularly when it comes to video games.

Video games, too, were more futuristic in the early '80s than they are now. Looking at the popular games of today, one says "oh, look, football" or "oh, look, crime." A movie based on the modern video game aesthetic would look like an hour and a half of ESPN, or in the case of the crime games, an hour and a half of... well, I guess that'd be ESPN again. Right now we're in an unfortunate phase in which game designers aim for photorealism but fall short: it's the worst of both worlds, as the results are both unconvincing and ugly. But when I was a kid, game designers knew very well that they didn't have a prayer of achieving photorealism and so didn't try. If today's games try to crawl as far as they can into the "representation" corner of Scott McCloud's famous pyramid, 1980s games staked out their territory over on the right, on the "iconic" side, and in the case of works like Qix and Tempest and Vectron, up into the realm of abstraction as well. McCloud points out that iconic forms can be much more involving than more realistic ones, and that was certainly my experience: I spent much of my youth in the cool, clean, colorful world of pixels and vectors. So Tron's geometric citadels and abstract landscapes felt like home to me.

This is exactly why I feel such a connection to TRON and TRON 2.0, and what I believe is wrong with the video game industry today. It's become all about graphic realism at the expense of everything else. What's wrong with playing a game that isn't ultra-realistic? Maybe we could all use a little more abstraction, and not less? More games should take us away from the real world for a time. Not attempt to be an exact mirror of it.

I'm not saying realism in games should go away. Rather, that this obsession with improving graphics needs to relax a bit, with both developers and consumers. Focus some more on those little things called story and gameplay, that are being reduced to almost an afterthought during game development.

It seems the author got his wish, by the way. He wanted to see Discs of TRON on a console, and now we've got it.

Special thanks goes out to 9VoltChicken for pointing me to this essay.

Article About The 25th Anniversary Of TRON

By TronFAQ at 5:51 PM
The most recent issue of LA CityBeat (at this time, cover is pictured at left) has an article about the 25th Anniversary of TRON.

In it, the author goes into some of the details concerning how the special effects for the film were created, and how TRON was ahead of its time. Perhaps a little too far ahead of its time, as summed up by this quotation from the article.

Lisberger’s enthusiasm and love for Tron is still going strong 25 years later. Unfortunately, audiences back then didn’t reflect his enthusiasm, and Tron failed to meet its box office expectations. Chalk it up to poor timing or mismanaged marketing – it opened one month following E.T. – but perhaps the message of the film was a bit anachronistic.

And in another quote from Steven Lisberger, I think he sums up the current situation regarding the possibility of a sequel very succinctly.

“These are not the times for what we were talking about,” Lisberger ponders. “If anything embodies the times we live in, it’s Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean. He’s ready to take every chance on any fly-by-night scheme to get rich.”

Also mentioned in the article, is that a film festival called Greatest Geek Movie Year Ever! will be showing TRON and other memorable films released in 1982, at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, California through June 15-17, 2007.

May 30th UPDATE: TRON will be part of a double bill along with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on Sunday June 17th at 5:00 PM. If you'd like to order advance tickets, they can be obtained from HERE.

Thanks to TRON-Sector and Troff for the news.

TRON Ranks Highly On Top Visual Effects List

By TronFAQ on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 10:12 PM
The Visual Effects Society (an organization that brings together Visual Effects professionals from all different entertainment markets) recently released a "50 Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time" list, as first reported in a thread on the TRON-Sector site.

The list is available for download in Adobe PDF format, HERE.

I'll save you the trouble of downloading it, if you're only interested in where TRON placed on the list, by revealing the top ten.

10. The Abyss (1989)
  9. Alien (1979)
  8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  7. King Kong (1933)
  6. Tron (1982)
  5. Jurassic Park (1993)
  3. The Matrix (1999)
  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  2. Blade Runner (1982)
  1. Star Wars (1977)

As you can see, TRON placed 6th on the list . . . closely behind such classics as 2001, Blade Runner, and Star Wars. This is actually a very impressive showing. Being considered worthy to be in the company of films like these, is no small feat.

Syd Mead Documentary Now Available On DVD

By TronFAQ on Saturday, May 05, 2007 at 9:55 AM

Director Joaquin Montalvan's documentary Visual Futurist: The Art & Life of Syd Mead, which chronicles the life and career of the legendary artist — and won an award at the 2006 Dances with Films festival for achieving the highest audience appreciation rating in the festival's history — is now available for sale directly from Syd Mead's site itself.

This is something I personally have long been waiting for! Ever since I first became aware of the documentary two years ago, I've been anxiously awaiting the news of a DVD release. Well, it's finally here! This is the kind of 25th Anniversary gift to the fans, that every die-hard TRON fan really wants.

The price of the DVD is $29.99 U.S., plus an additional $7.50-$10.00 U.S. shipping depending on where you live. The order form states that delivery to most (though not all) European countries is possible.

Below is a sample clip of the documentary, which includes moments with TRON Director Steven Lisberger and TRON Computer Graphics supervisor Richard Taylor. A higher quality version of the clip is available on Syd's site (requires QuickTime).

For those of you that don't know (and I expect there to be very few): Syd was one of the main conceptual artists for TRON, along with Jean "Moebius" Giraud, Andy Probert, and Peter Lloyd.

Sample clip of Visual Futurist


TRON Games For Xbox Live Confirmed With Press Release And Screenshots

By TronFAQ on Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 5:34 PM
Well, we finally have concrete proof that TRON and Discs of TRON are being released for the Xbox 360 on Xbox Live Arcade. Disney Interactive Studios has released screenshots and a press release, with some details about the two titles. The games have been developed by a studio named Backbone Charlottetown. (Never heard of them.)

Both games will indeed feature enhanced graphics modes (as well as "classic" unenhanced modes), and will also have online multiplayer. There is still no exact release date or price yet, though. (The release is said to be in the "summer". I'm guessing it will be around July 9th, which is the date of the film's release in 1982.)

So it seems this is the extent to which Disney will acknowledge the 25th Anniversary of TRON. No HD DVD or Blu-Ray release of the film, and no sequel. A bit disappointing. The fact that these games are going to be enhanced updates of the classics are nice, but I personally was hoping for something more. (And as long as they remain Xbox 360 exclusives, I won't be buying them.)

But I'll at least give DI credit for being smart enough to enhance the games. I was actually expecting them to just be straight ports. Which would not have made them a compelling buy for most people, I'm certain.

TRON Light Cycles: Classic (left) and Enhanced (right)

TRON Tanks: Classic (left) and Enhanced (right)

TRON MCP: Classic (left) and Enhanced (right)

TRON I/O Tower: Classic (left) and Enhanced (right)

Discs of TRON: Classic (left) and Enhanced (right)

UPDATE: Here are links to a couple of videos, showing TRON and Discs of TRON in action. Thanks to MChilds for these links.

May 4th UPDATE: It turns out Backbone Charlottetown is a division of Backbone Entertainment, aka Digital Eclipse. Now it all makes sense. Digital Eclipse did TRON 2.0: Killer App for the Gameboy Advance. I wish these game companies would stop changing their names practically every year.