This one expands across the whole franchise. In-game, Jet gets many nasty cyberspace weapons to use against foes, but the fallback is always the Disc Primitive. Each of the enemy factions uses a different weapon that fits their mentality
Mercury teaches Jet how to use the lightcycle rod as a stealth weapon. Judging from her comments, she is likely a system monitor, but one that works as a spy with her "cover" being a lightcycle jock. A hit and run weapon that is easily passed off as a utility item would be perfect for a spy.
The Z-Lots use Ball weapons which are horribly inaccurate, use a lot of energy, but cause a lot of damage in a large splash area. The Z-Lots are crazy, not much for self-preservation, and just looking to infect as many other Programs as possible.
Resource Hogs (Gangster Programs who use the shotgun-like Suffusion Rod) are wasteful with their energy, and therefore always seeking to suck up more resources. Suffusion is not an efficient weapon - lots of damage, but short range and high cost.
Datawraiths use the Mesh Blaster. As they're Users, the energy drain wouldn't affect them as much, and the rapid fire rate coupled with their stealth abilities means that hit, run, refuel is a perfectly valid tactic.
If you look carefully, most of the ICP forces use discs as a primary weapon with only a few resorting to cannon weapons. They're healthy Programs who need to conserve their energy as they fight, so they would use an energy-efficient combat method. Discs are also very well-balanced and versatile, especially with upgrades like Power Block, Primitive Charge, or even Sequencer. Little wonder the biggest badass in cyberspace relied almost exclusively on disc combat though he used a Sequencer upgrade as Rinzler, apparently.
The game tales Secondary Character TitleUp to Eleven. Tron is nowhere to be seen, and it's only in an optional conversation with I-No that reveals his fate as "unknown" (that, and some interesting emails indicating an upgrade to Tron was stopped on Flynn's orders). However, if you think of Programs as de facto "children" of their User-Creators, then the title makes sense. Tron and Jet have the same father!
The other bit of brilliance related to the above. On F-Con's server, a pair of disgruntled Programs are chafing under the rule of the Datawraiths and wistfully wishing for a hero like Tron to show up. The Programs have no idea that Tron's de facto "younger brother" is overhearing it.
On a similar note, Jet's skillset. He's a game designer who ends up being forced into disc and lightcycle combat, turning out to be quite gifted at it. Tron's job was fighting, of course, but simulation design? That was Yori's department (the Solar Sailer was supposed to be for a video game).
Ma3a addresses Jet as "Alan 2" throughout the game. When Jet tries to correct her, the closest she can get to understanding "father" is "older version." If she thought of Jet as an "upgraded" version of Alan, little wonder she zapped him in when the "original" wasn't available and little wonder she addresses him like that!
Another brilliant bit: there are a few times early on (before Alan's PC) where she refers to him as "Jet" and not "Alan-2." It seems like a slip-up, but it's actually Foreshadowing. Upon coming face to face with her son, it's likely the part of her that's still Lora started kicking in and asserting itself without her being fully aware of it.
Why did Jet admit to the Kernel right away that he was a User? Per the comic book, Flynn told him some (no doubt kid-friendly) stories about his cyberspace adventures. Jet probably remembered enough of those to believe honesty was going to be the best policy.
The Ghost in the Machine comic opens with Jet not coping well with the revelation of what being a User means in that universe's context, and admitting to the psychologist that it is way too much power to handle. Unlike his Honorary Uncle, he wants nothing to do with virtual godhood. The brilliance comes in when you remember that, through the whole game, he readily and willingly followed Ma3a and Mercury's orders and that while the Flynns foughtrogue AI that weretrying to conquer humans, Jet encountered few truly malicious Programs (the ones trying to kill him were corrupted or mistaken for the most part), and his battle was with malicioushumans. His godfather's disappearance in both timelines would also mean he would have no guidance or instruction when it comes to what is expected of him as a User or why it's not an inherently bad thing to be one.
The pattern on Jet's disc (concentric circles with a triangle in triangle in the center) has been jokingly referred to as a triforce, and he's the right age to have played a lot of those games, but there's another interpretation. In the first film, Tron's disc was decorated with a series of concentric circles. Yori's identifier mark was a triangle bisected by a semi-circle. Jet's disc pattern could be a subtle nod to his legendary Program "siblings." The center cutout? That was actually part of Flynn's identifier markings.
Ma3a being able to hold the digitization algorithms and eventually open the portal back to the analog world from the inside (something not even Flynn knew how to do)? Well, of course, as she's all but stated to be a kinder, gentler successor to the Master Control Program, who originally was able to "tweak" the data to make the laser work. But then you factor that she's a Virtual Ghost of Dr. Baines-Bradley, who co-invented the laser, explicitly stated it to be her "life's work," and created at least one of the Programs that controlled it (Yori). It makes sense that she can one-up Master Control when it comes to operating the laser.
Despite coming out well before TRON: Legacy, Alan's appearance in game is far more haggard than Bruce Boxleitner's appearance in the filmed sequel seven years later. But factor in this timeline is even crueler to him than the Legacy one; at least in the film's timeline, Lora is still alive and there's a hope of learning what happened to Flynn. In the 2.0 timeline, Flynn didn't even so much as leave a pager behind, Lora was killed, and no mention is made of Roy Kleinburg. Add the strained relationship with Jet, and it's small wonder he's showing a lot more aging.
One of the strangest parts of the game is a limited-use Mesh blaster hidden on the introduction level. The Mesh Blaster is the standard weapon for the Datawraiths and seems garishly out of place, since it's many more levels before we even hear about them. (This is why it LDSO edited it out of the game with their Killer App mod.) The Brilliance is that Thorne was uploaded as an initial test by fCon to see how feasible uploading their mercenaries would be, so if Thorne was going to be used as a beta-test Wraith, it would make sense to send him a beta-test Wraith weapon.
A "blink and you might miss it" nasty one in-game. One of the emails states that Crown finally got Alan to talk after some "persuasive threats." Now, the video feed we see earlier is that F-con has Alan locked in a small storage closet, completely at their mercy, and he still manages to tell them off, delay them, and politely tell them to get lost. He knows very well with the Shiva laser can do, and why it's a bad idea to give it to guys like Crown. Furthermore, as harmless as Alan appears, this is the guy that gave Tron the stubborn streak and Heroic Willpower. What kind of threats and other "persuasion" did Crown have to make to strong-arm Alan into compliance?
If you read the Ghost In the Machine comic, the game takes on a couple levels of this. The opening scenes are of Jet, hunkered down in the ruins of his HonoraryUncle's shuttered arcade, with a horrible case of PTSD and afraid to even touch a computer after what he saw and had to do. Living through a First-Person Shooter and realizing what a User means in that universe didn't do his sanity any favors.
F-Con's unseen CEO. Word of God says it was Dillinger Sr. But we never see him, he's just addressing his minions through a video camera and speaker. If you decide to fuse this with Legacy's canon, we see Dillinger Jr. in "The Next Day" communicating with what he thinks is his father (implied to be Master Control 2.0) in much the same way the F-Con CEO was using.
Likewise, Tron's unknown fate and the throwaway mention in the comic that Flynn apparently went crazy and vanished takes on a whole new meaning if you fuse this with TRON: Legacy.
Another "cross the timelines" bit of fridge horror - the weapon Rinzler is seen using; a disc with a alpha-type Sequencer upgrade. Alpha allows the disc to split in two, but it's the least energy efficient. The energy cost is small...for a User like Jet who would have a bigger energy pool to start with. A sequencer upgrade would drain Tron's energy pool while still keeping him an effective combatant, thus making him more useful and more dependent on Clu!
How much (if anything) does Ma3a know about her origin?
All of it, if her final words to Jet are any indication.
According to an email in-game, Alan did it after Lora was killed but not yet brain dead, so some of Lora's neural patterns were uploaded.
The fate of the F-Con Trio. They were zapped in, but fused into a hideous monster because the algorithims were not installed. First of all, how do you think that felt? Thorne was definitely in a lot of pain at the end. Second, Jet threw them out of the transport beam after injuring them extensively. Then, Alan trapped them on an external hard drive (and is in no hurry to free them). Hoist by His Own Petard met And I Must Scream in one nasty move.
Just the fact that it's Alan remarking he's in no hurry to free them. He saw Cyberspace, knows about the time dilation, saw Thorne's painful and slow demise, and knows what he's doing by trapping them on that external drive. Alan seems very meek and mild, but we are talking about Tron's User.
The Tron Legacy (no relation) code. It turned any Programs it was installed to Ax-Crazy. The whole upgrade was scrapped on Flynn's orders. It's probably not much of a stretch to see why.
No. The program was sort of an anti-virus program for humans. Installing it causes its program to eliminate all humans from the system because it couldn't tell the difference between a malicious human like Thorne and a benign one like Jet.
Cross the timelines, and tell me Clu wouldn't be drooling over the possibility of installing that on "Rinzler." Would certainly take care of his User problems, and add a little sadistic irony on top of it!
What would have happened if Ma3a hadn't intervened at the compiler and insisted on taking the code herself? Jet was the one who initially volunteered to take the risk. What would that stuff have done to a User?
In the context of the Tron Universe, the DataWraiths are terrifying. To a Program, the Wraiths just appeared - seemingly out of nowhere, and can vanish at will, reappearing at random. They speak an entirely encrypted, unintelligible "language" that cannot be understood, wielding powerful blaster weapons that they are experienced in using, and don't suffer the effects of exhaustion when using them the way a Program would. And on top of it, they are Users - their Gods - come from the world outside on a mission of conquest. To a Program, it would seem like the literal end of the world, Judgement Day, and the invasion of the entire Lovecraft catalog all at once! Worse? If you ever did cross the timelines, Tron would be completely helpless to fight these guys as they're Users, and not even Clu could break his directive to not harm humans.
Even more potential Datawraith Fridge Horror: They had to have been altered somehow to speak in that encrypted gibberish and to have that stealth and short-range teleport ability, as no other Users have been shown to do that. And fCon likely would have to make sure their Mooks didn't go rogue and pull a Thorne. Those alterations probably included some form of Brainwashing along the lines of rectification.
When a Program de-rezzes in this game, they leave behind a core dump that can be "used" to restore some of Jet's health and energy. Energy is relatively easy to obtain from patch spheres, pools, and the like. Health? Not so much. Health spheres have a limited charge, and they're harder to find, so you'll be downloading those core dumps to stay alive until the next health sphere or checkpoint. You're cannibalizing the dead to survive. That's a degree of squick on par with American McGee's Alice. Worse, consider that Flynn was shown to absorb the life force of one of Sark's guards to blend in, and that it was implied that Ram gave up what was left of his energy to Flynn upon discovering Flynn was a User. Humans Are Cthulhu indeed.
If you go the Patchwork Fic route? Sam Flynn and Jet Bradley would have been something like cousins or brothers, but their respective trips down the cyberspace rabbit hole were very different. Sam saw nothing but hostile AI; his father betrayed and killed by Clu, thousands of Programs cheering for his messy death in the arena, Zues and Gem turning out to be scheming bastards, Quorra's tale of narrow escape from genocide, Clu's regime threatening to take over Earth, and even the great User-Believer Champion nearly slit his throat in front of a cheering crowd. Jet saw mostly sympathetic Programs and Humans Are the Real Monsters trying to invade and conquer them. Jet also may have killed humans to protect those Programs. If Sam sees Jet as a traitor to humanity for protecting Programs, and Jet sees Sam as going down the path of people like Crown or Thorne, that could be a tragic and ugly confrontation akin to Marvel's Civil War.
Another potentially bad scenario for a Legacy-compliant timeline: If Jet was the one who saw his dad's pager go off and investigate the arcade? Clu would have numerous angles at his disposal to manipulate Jet; all he'd have to do is tell about 90% of the truth and come up with a convincing line of bull for the rest. Jet's experience with Thorne and the Wraiths place his sympathies firmly with the Programs, he's proved he can and will take orders from a Program, and he doesn't have the same loyalty to Kevin Flynn that Sam would. Hell, take Jet's reluctance to harm innocent Programs and Tron's inability to harm Users, and Clu could use one "brother" to control the other. note Indeed, the fanfic A Whole New World did have a cameo of a rectified Jet taking over Jarvis's position.
In this continuity, Tron is viewed as Encom's greatest hero, the focus of a King in the Mountain style myth stating he will return to defend the system in its Darkest Hour. And amusingly enough, that turns out to be the case! (Alan had a copy in archival storage that had been kept upgraded through the years and did revive him to defend Encom when all else appeared to fail) However, think of what would happen in a Legacy-compliant timeline once word got out that their greatest hero was defeated, horribly tortured, and ended up as little more than a crazed admin's near-feral attack dog. Worse, think of how Jet would take that kind of news.