TRON 2.0 is a video game developed by Monolith Productions and released in 2003.It is a sequel to the 1982 movie TRON; the player takes the role of Jethro "Jet" Bradley, son of the film's characters Alan and Lora. Jet is swiftly summoned into the digital world of Encom's computer network to protect it, his father, and the secrets of the digitizer technology from both a mysteriously powerful virus corrupting everything in its path and a group of Corrupt Corporate Executives from the company Future Control Industries ("fCon") staging a hostile takeover.Not to be confused with TRON: Legacy, the 2010 movie sequel to TRON. Particularly since the two sequels are mutually exclusive, and Word of God makes the film the official continuity.
TRON 2.0 provides examples of the following tropes:
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted strangely enough, considering it was such a big theme in the movies. Most of the Programs are there to do their jobs. It's the invading humans that cause problems.
Alternate Continuity: From TRON: Legacy, as the two feature different accounts of how the digitizer technology was developed in the decades since the events of TRON. There is also a character who is dead in 2.0's canon and still alive in Legacy's. There are some pretty shocking similarities, though, such as Kevin Flynn vanishing under mysterious circumstances (per the Ghost in the Machine spin-off comic) and Tron himself going MIA. Probably the most shocking one is that the plot of the game actually involves something called the "Tron Legacy Code", though nothing like it appears in the film sequel.
Not to mention the leads in each canon are the sons of the original TRON's leads, who meet a female program who's been influenced or sent to help by the lead's father. And the fake-out with the living virus and apparent Big Bad merely being an Unwitting Pawn to the truly evil people who set the whole thing up has shades of TRON: Evolution. Let's just say it probably wouldn't be a surprise if the Legacy writers played a few rounds of this.
Ancient Keeper: I-No, Tower Guardian of the old Encom mainframe. Terribly friendly sort, too. Chooses to die with his system, sadly.
Attack Reflector: Jet can turn his disc into one of these using the Power Block subroutine. It's devestating against other disc-wielding opponents.
Awesome, yet Impractical: The Prankster Bit. A very impressive BFG that fires implosion vortices and can pretty much clear a small room with one shot. Unfortunately, you get it too late in the game to fully upgrade it, the energy cost is massive, and in close quarters (read: most of that final stage), it stands as much of a chance of killing Jet as it does the thing he's shooting.
Badass Biker: The lightcycle combatants are Nintendo Hard to start with. Mercury is the undisputed champ of the Encom system, and Jet ends up surviving nine rounds in-game.
Bar Brawl: Jet and Ma3a head to the Progress Bar to get the Legacy code compiled and contact "Guest." Just when it's looking like everything's going to turn out ok, "Guest" warns Jet about the bad code too late to do anything about it, and Thorne crashes the party with a horde of Z-Lots.
Bifurcated Weapon: The Sequencer allows Jet to split his Disc into up to four parts (at the highest upgrade) and fling them at enemies ala Rinzler.
Body Horror: When Alan removes the correction algorithms to check them, fCon higher-ups Bazra, Popoff, and Crowne are merged together into the final boss upon digitizing.
Boring, but Practical: The Disc Primitive is going to be your workhorse, considering it's the only weapon that doesn't require energy.
Brain Uploading: Ma3a straddles the lines of Brain Uploading, Virtual Ghost, and Interface with a Familiar Face. Ma3a's previous builds (Ma1a and Ma2a) were designed by Alan and Lora. Lora was killed by being partly digitized by her laser. Alan used code from Ma2a and the part of Lora that remained in the system to construct Ma3a - this is why she's voiced by Cindy Morgan, the actress who played Lora (and her virtual doppelganger Yori) in the first film.
Check Point Starvation: The game only autosaves at the start of a level, no matter how large said level is. Worse, you cannot save during the lightcycle matches at all. On the other hand, if you have installed the patch, you can simply skip the lightcycle matches, and you can manually save at any time (except during lightcycle matches, of course).
Clear My Name: Jet is mistaken for the cause of the viral corruption by Encom's chief security program, the Kernel, and a Stern Chase ensues for the first few acts of the game.
Colour Coded Armies: Every faction gets its own colour, the red and blue of the original film being supplemented with green for infected, viral programs and sectors, gold for really ancient systems, and purple for the Big Bad. Exaggerated and Justified tropes in the universe's settings. The color and pattern of Program circuitry are important identifiers. Just be careful to take notice of both to avoid shooting helpless civilians.
Come with Me If You Want to Live: Mercury blasts her way out of the lightcycle arena and orders Jet to follow her. At that point, Jet only knows her as an opponent and current champion of the Game Grid.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In lightcycle races, computer-controlled opponents manage to pull off turns that are obviously impossible for human reaction to repeat. May or may not cross into Fridge Brilliance if you realize that they have the in-game advantage of not being human over the player.
Cool Bike: TRON 2.0 has its own updated version of the lightcycles (designed by Syd Mead).
Corporate Warfare: Kidnapping, armed robbery, armies of mercenaries...F-Con puts the "hostile" in hostile takeover.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: If you thought Dillinger from the first film was bad, the fCon crew are worse. It is hinted that fCon's CEO is actually Dillinger.
Corrupted Data: This trope is encountered all over the place. Virus-infected Z-Lots will have garbled names. Attacking with a certain weapon will cause the Program to convulse and stammer error messages. If a virus infects Jet's Profiler subroutine, then the input for enemy names and stats are garbled. Considering the universe we're dealing with, all of it is perfectly Justified.
The Corruption: Thorne becomes a living version of this, infecting other Programs to turn them into insane Z-lots. Jet is able to use weapons originating from the corruption without suffering ill effect. Fridge Brilliance when you realize he's an uncorrupted User, and not subject to the usual system guidelines.
Cutscene Incompetence: Early on, Jet managed to plow through several waves of security units. But when a cutscene takes him directly to the Kernel's office, he surrenders without a fight
Disc One Final Boss: Throne, the apparent Big Bad, is killed off about 2/3rds of the way through the game (and not even by the player). The remainder of the game is spent dealing with fCon and their Datawraith scheme.
Dying as Yourself: Thorne; he even helps out the good guys with some information before he goes.
Easy Amnesia: Justified as Mercury gets caught in the reformat which wipes her memory since the last backup.
Escort Mission: Through the last quarter of the game, you're escorting your father through F-Con's network. Not as bad as the Protection Missions because he has the good sense to duck or otherwise take cover when discs start flying.
Explosive Overclocking: Literally done. This is the TRON universe, after all. Jet overclocks an old Encom mainframe to upload Ma3a to it, getting her out of immediate danger. Unfortunately, the overclocking tears the old system apart, forcing him and Ma3a to retreat to the open Internet.
Face-Heel Turn: Ma3a and, in a sense, Tron; the "Tron Legacy" (no relation) code Jet tries to find to fight fCon turns out to be designed to Kill All Users — as he finds out just after Ma3a assimilates the code.
A God Am I: Thorne. He later realizes he's nothing.
A God I Am Not: Between Thorne and the Wraiths, and the fact it almost got him killed by The Kernel, Jet is reluctant at best about embracing his User status (it's played up a lot more in the spin-off comic).
Grid Inventory: Jet has a varying amount of space available in each level to load power-up programs. Alpha-grade programs take up four times as much space as the gold versions of the same power-up — and if all you have are one-slot inventory spaces available, you're in trouble.
Hoist by His Own Petard: The trio of bad guys wanted to digitize humans to infiltrate all corners of cyberspace. At the end they're digitized, and turned into cyberspace Eldrich Abominations. Jet defeats them and Alan traps them on a hard disk.
Honorary Uncle: The in-game emails reveals that Kevin Flynn is Jet's godfather, and the spin-off comic has Jet talking about "Uncle Kevin's" cyberspace misadventures.
The whole problem comes from a handful of greedy, vicious, and stupid humans who want to exploit and enslave the Programs in order to Take Over the Worldfrom the shadows by blackmailing world leaders and manipulating world finance and media. Thorne was just an Unwitting Pawn to that end, despite his A God Am I trip. The Programs themselves just want to protect their home.
The programs complain that the Users (especially the Wraiths) treat them like dirt and demean them. One of them snorts that if that's what Users are like, maybe worshipping them is wrong. Mercury even tells Jet that Users make her feel crude. Jet replies that it's humans who are the crude ones, and that people are not ready to interact with the cyberworld.
Indecisive Deconstruction: Of the "partial" and likely the "unintentional" varieties. The implications of humans being PhysicalGods in cyberspace are glossed over in the TRONfilms (and Expanded Universe), which feature malelovent Programsenslaving other Programs and planning to turn the same cruelty onto the human world. To switch the storyline to where the Programs are (for the most part) well-intentioned, and for humans to exploit virutal godhood in the worst way possible certainly hits one of the central premises of the universe and inverts the source of conflict shown in the movies, but doesn't do much past that. The spin-off comics take it all the way to Deconstructor Fleet, however.
It's Up to You: Zig-Zagged. Users (humans) are almost Physical Gods in cyberspace, and with a corruped User unleashing Zombie Apocalypse all over the digital world, Ma3a figured the only thing that could stop a User was another User. Jet was also immune to Thorne's plague, whereas no Program could take a hit without becoming a Zombie Infectee. Worse, the Knight Templar Kernel had also flagged Ma3a as an enemy, and Ma3a's agent, Mercury, is de-rezzed when the Encom server reformats, leaving Jet as her only line of defense. Of course, by the time Jet reaches Thorne, the Kernel has already mortally wounded Thorne (who was likely wounded earlier during the Bar Brawl). And once the Datawraiths show up, it pretty much becomes "only a User can fight another User."
Jack of All Stats: Disc upgrades (Sequencer and Cluster) also use very little extra energy compared the the Rod, Ball, and Mesh weapons, and offer a great balance between firing speed, range, ammo cost, damage, and accuracy. The Mesh blaster may fire faster, the LOL (sniper rifle) may be more accurate and cause more damage, and the viral Ball weapons cause a lot of damage at the cost of accuracy, but the Discs are very well balanced on all of the above. Little wonder they're the weapon of choice in the franchise.
Knight Templar: The Kernel, so very much. He is willing to destroy entire servers full of uninfected civilians to staunch the spread of the virus, orders his men to attack Jet and Ma3a, nearly executes Jet when Jet tries to explain the situation, and then challenges Jet to a one-on-one disc-only duel when Jet and Alan try to stop the Kernel from finishing off the mortally wounded and helpless Thorne.
Legendary in the Sequel: Both played straight and subverted. Several Programs mention Tron as a legendary hero and at least one NPC wistfully wishes he'd return to help them fight the Datawraiths. Amusingly enough, no Program seems to remember Flynn...
Load-Bearing Boss: Inverted when Jet has to battle a Seeker in ENCOM's old mainframe. The presence of the Seeker, a newer and thus more resource dependent program, is too much for the old technology to bear and it periodically craps out, darkening the arena and releasing smaller enemies.
Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Nice going, F-Con thugs. You lock Alan freaking Bradley (the guy who pretty much invented computer security in this universe) in a closet full of spare computer equipment. That can't backfire on you...
Lost In Transmission: Oh, Users. For three-quarters of the game, Jet's instructions from "Guest" and Ma3a are incomplete, full of static, cryptic, incorrect, or all of the above.
Ludicrous Gibs: The "canonical"sequels have dying programs collapse into a shower of little cubes. On this one, enemies explode into piles of flying body parts before de-rez.
Made a Slave: The Kernel plans to execute Jet outright, but Mercury intervenes when Jet mentions Ma3a and suggests sentencing him to the Game Grid instead. This is mostly so she can break him out herself when he proves he can hold his own.
Magnet Hands: You can perform all sorts of acrobatic tricks and still catch your disk without fail!
The Man Behind the Man: What F-Con aspires to be using their rule of cyberspace to blackmail world leaders and manipulate global media. There is also the mysterious CEO of F-Con (Word of God says he's Dillinger from the first film) who is directing matters unseen while the Terrible Trio do the legwork.
Mind Screw: The spin-off comics for many readers. The whole thing turns out to be a collective hallucination from three glitched Programs, two of which think they're Jet and the third is trying to mislead them. They're still pretty weird, even after the explanation. The characterization of Alan also veers into Ron the Death Eater territory.
Mini-Game: The light cycle races, which also tend to be Nintendo Hard. Later versions of the game allow you to skip the ones in the main game, and there is also a non-story-based light cycle game mode you can play any time.
Jet compiling the Tron Legacy code. Alan thought that it would be safe to compile since he thought there were no humans in the system. Once he found out Jet was in the system, he desperately tried to tell Jet not to compile it. Too late.
A very delayed case: The old mainframe is populated with tanks that cannot be deactivated or destroyed, forcing Jet to run the proverbial gauntlet. Flynn left them behind in the system...Nice freakin' going, "Uncle Kevin!"
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: F-Con decides to test their laser by zapping Alan in, which reuinites him with his son and Ma3a. Now, seeing as this is a guy who probably invented computer security in this universe...
Ninja: fCon's Datawraiths are all-but-literally computer ninja — digitized hackers able to infiltrate any system, and appear and disappear with virtually no warning to attack the player. In fact, their animations are almost entirely copied from the ninjas in No One Lives Forever 2.
Like Metroid Prime, TRON 2.0 can be described as a first-person platformer with shooting. Unlike Metroid Prime, the jump distances are hard to control, often landing you in the Bottomless Pit over and over. And you can't fall as far as you can in many other games before hitting the ground becomes instant death.
Also, even on Normal mode a group of ICP can kill you in seconds. Combine this with the jumping puzzles and the dodgy disk mechanic and you really should just turn on God Mode and enjoy the Scenery Porn. The jumping puzzles will still kill you more than most other game's enemies.
This is without even mentioning that there is no autosave. No joke, you have to rely on the quicksave function a LOT. Yes, this is lampshaded by one character, but he refers to it as "autosaving". Further inexcusable considering that one of Monolith's previous FPS titles, Aliens vs. Predator 2 actually DID use an autosave function.
No Ending: The ending leaves more open than it solves. Sure, Thorne's dead, the virus was halted, Alan and Jet make it back to the analog world, and it seems their rocky relationship is a bit smoother now. Yes, Ma3a is uploaded out of danger and Mercury appears to have escaped. However, The F-con CEO / Dillinger/ (or maybe even Master Control Program 2.0) is still operating with impunity, and Alan cuts him off in mid-threat. Furthermore, Crown, Popoff, and Baza are trapped on a hard disk, and Alan isn't in any hurry to free them. And what about the F-Con buyout of Encom, and all those DataWraiths?
Non-Standard Game Over: Kill any civilian Program, ally, or anyone that is not out to cause Jet harm, and you get an announcement that you have performed an illegal operation, the game ending five seconds later. However, if you fail your Protection Mission or Escort Mission, you will get the announcement "You failed to protect Ma3a" or "You failed to protect your father."
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: In this continuity, it took 20 years to fully recreate the digitizer technology because only the MCP knew how to make the corrections needed to allow humans to enter the Grid intact. Emails suggest, however, that the developers were unaware of this fact and that they did not know that the digitizing laser only worked because the MCP was tweaking the incoming data. Also the reason for Thorne being in the system in his viral state: they put him in without the necessary corrections.
Oh Crap: Jet when he receives the warning from "Guest" not to compile the Tron Legacy code as it's happening.
"Jet" is short for "Jethro". We only see this in the in-game email.
Subversion with Mercury's User. She only knows him as "Guest." Turns out, Guest is Alan, using a game console and spare parts to hack into the system!
Another subversion is that Jet is called "Alan 2" by Mercury which should have been a huge clue to Jet that Alan was feeding her instructions.
Parents in Distress: The whole thing kicks off when the F-Con thugs kidnap Jet's dad in broad daylight from Encom HQ. Even with the problems in cyberspace, his overriding concern is to rescue his father. The F-Con cyber attack seems focused on the AI Ma3a and the laser correction algorithms she carries. But then we get The Reveal that Ma3a is what's left of Jet's mother and things just got a lot more serious for Bradley the Younger.
Physical God: Played with. Users in this setting can certainly be powerful. Even at his bare minimum, Jet is much stronger than most Programs, who have to resort to sheer numbers to wear him down. And Thorne pretty much does live down to a near-deity status as he infects hordes of minions. Ma3a, who is only part User, being what remains of Lora, can also unleash terrifying amounts of power given sufficient time or bad code. The Datawraiths (digitized mercenaries) are also the nastiest Mook enemies you can face. However, they are not as powerful as Seeker engines, or other heavy-duty security countermeasures, and Alan Bradley has laughably low hit points once he's zapped in.
Pillar of Light: Exit ports (the means to travel across different systems) appear as these. The final Boss Battle is inside the transit beam going home.
Plague Zombie: The Z-Lots. They are single-minded, insane, with attacks are designed to infect and corrupt other Programs and turn them into more Z-Lots.
Powers as Programs: The only thing always available are the "basics": the disc, the rod, the ball, and the mesh. All their other iterations (they have two additional versions each) are loaded as programs in Jet's "memory allocation" on the server he's on, along with the additional powers, such as increasing jump height, silent running, and so on. Virus-type enemies can infect programs to reverse their effects (the silent running program makes Jet's footsteps louder, for example), and all programs have an alpha, beta, and gold level. Alpha is the least effective (or the most costly in terms of energy) and takes up the most space in memory (four contiguous blocks), beta is more effective (or less costly) and takes up two blocks, and gold is the most effective (or least costly) and only takes up one block. While there are beta versions of programs that can be found while exploring, you can only get gold versions by "feeding" the program to a code optimizer. Of which there are a limited number, and which can only be used once each.
Protection Mission: Two of them, both guarding Ma3a. The first one is where she needs to be protected from hostile security programs while she tries to override the server's security. The second is a Bar Brawl where Thorne and his Z-Lots try to kill her and you have to fend them off long enough for her to compile some code.
I-No. Justified as he is an information retrieval Program.
The leader of all the security programs is, of course, their Kernel.
Recursive Canon: The TRON arcade game from the 1980s appears; the explanation is that Kevin Flynn created a game based on his adventures in the film, which was later published by Encom. The same explanation was recycled for TRON: Legacy.
RPG Elements: Before they were widely popular. The player can gather points throughout the game that can be used to "upgrade" Jet's basic characteristics (life meter, energy meter, etc.).
"I'm auto-saving every 30 seconds. I suggest you do the same."
Scenery Porn: Watching the TRON universe is one thing; interacting with it is another thing altogether.
Secondary Character Title: Up to Eleven — Tron himself doesn't appear, and is only mentioned in passing by a couple characters. I-No explicitly states that he "vanished" shortly after the victory over Master Control. Fridge Brilliance, though, if you think of Programs as the children of their Users; Jet and Tron have the same father.
Stealth Pun: They're everywhere. Covering all of them would require an entire page. Let's start with the names of some programs.
Ordinary NPCs are given ordinary names, such as "Brian.exe". The security programs, Intrusion Countermeasure Programs, are given names like "svchost.exe" and "spoolsv.exe". There are enemies called "Resource Hogs" which are given distorted names of real programs such as "reelplayer.exe", "inlook.exe", "screensaver.exe" and "exploder.exe". Virus programs called "Z-Lots"note Britishers would likely get this—they pronounce z as "zed" who are spawned by "Rector Scripts" also exist.
ICPs run after you with identity disks alight shouting such gems as, "Freeze, Program!", "You can't hide from me—I know all the shortcuts", "Quit running!", and "Stop executing escape routine!".
There's an ICP who laments the approaching reformat because he lost all his updates the last time it happened. His buddy replies, "You'd lose your header if it wasn't compiled on."
"In the event of sudden archive decompression, a subnet mask will rez into your overhead memory. If you are accompanying any subprograms, please install your own mask before assisting them."
And finally, your weapons and sub-routines are named normally enough, but they couldn't help but sneak in a subroutine called "Megahurtz" that increases weapon damage and name your sniper rifle the "LOL".
Story Breadcrumbs: The in-game emails and video archives Jet finds tell most of the story of what happened between the events of the film and the events of the game, or what's going on in the analog world while Jet's fighting through cyberspace.
Swiss-Army Weapon: Four of them! The Disc, Rod, Mesh and Ball primitives each have several different forms, on top of the use of the Rod for lightcycles;
Trapped in Another World: Just like the films, no protagonist takes their first trip into cyberspace willingly. Also Deconstructed as F-Con's attempts to buy out Encom are just a means to an end; what they really want is the digitizing tech so that they can send in mercenaries to conquer the digital realm and exploit it for themselves.
Tron Lines: Again, see the universe we're dealing with. The circuitry patterns are more elaborate than either film's (but it comes closer to the first film's). Jet before and after digitization provides the page picture.
Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: Thorne saw Alan using the laser, but was warned that the connection algorithms were not completely tested. Thorne didn't buy it and told F-Con to use the laser anyway. Alan Bradley does not bluff when it comes to the need for safety measures as Thorne found out the hard way. Alan was still running the tests when F-Con kidnapped him, meaning Ma3a invoked this trope herself when zapping in Jet. F-Con then subverts it by making Alan the guinea pig for the laser to test it before sending in the wraiths, since that will get rid of him either way.
The Unfought: Thorne, played up as the game's main Big Bad on the box. When you finally reach him, the Kernel has nearly defeated him, and he derezzes soon after you beat the Kernel.
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Kill any civilian program or ally, and your game immediately ends with "This Program has performed an illegal operation."
"Well Done, Son" Guy: It's heavily implied that Lora's death put a huge wedge between Jet and Alan. Alan even grumbles during the game's intro that Jet is "as bad as Flynn." It's obvious that they do love one another, but there's not a lot of understanding on the part of either party.
What Happened to the Mouse?: What about the mysterious leader of fCon? The developers once said that it would have been Dillinger, the human villain of the original movie (supported by an email where the CEO claims he "lost this company once before").
The World Is Not Ready: After seeing the devastation Thorne and F-Con caused, and their plans to conquer the world from cyberspace, Jet and Alan appear to come to this conclusion, locking up the laser algorithims so no one can access them again.
Zombie Apocalypse: What the Thorne virus does on the other side of the screen. It kills sentient Programs, making them single-minded Z-Lots whose sole function is to corrupt or destroy healthy ones. Parlock lampshades this in his Let's Play.