Cart Art: Tron

I know last time I promised you that we would take a look into the dark, dank world of Advergames and I promise we will next time. However, with the impending release of Tron Legacy and all the Tron related goodness on the Retroist.com, I figured that we must take a look at the covers to some of the Tron video games that have come out over the years. So squeeze into that neon color body suit and put a shine to you identity disk because we are taking Cart Art onto the game grid.

Tron: Solar Sailor
tron solar sailer

ZZZzzzzzzz. . . . .zzzzzzzzzz. . . *blink blink*. . . Oh sorry, I fell asleep looking at this beige monstrosity. This cover is dreadfully boring, only the speech bubble, title text and image of the sailor interrupt the text laden, cream colored snooze-fest of a box front. Based on the position of the speech bubble that informs us that the game “talks,” are we to think that the word Tron is speaking to us? Tron the character? Nope, Tron the word. What about the wording on the bottom. In all caps is says “FOR COLOR TV VIEWING ONLY?” Would the game explode and impale shards of Intellivision into your head if you played on a black and white TV? You know what? That would be a better then having to look at this cover any more.

Adventures of Tron
adventures of tron

Now, this is a much better cover. I think a little to much space is spent on the M Network logo but still, this cover gets the job done. The black and white line patterns do a good job as representing the grid line style of the Tron world. On the bottom you have a tank as well as a Recognizer (the two legged stompy thingy) as well as a program which I assume is Tron himself. However, it looks like Tron has been drinking a little to much from a caffeinated energy pool because he has got that thousand micron stare. Wait, is Tron missing his left (our right) arm? Maybe that’s why he has that dead eyed vacant stare, he is hopped up on electro-pain killers to numb the agony of having his arm derezzed.

Tron: Deadly Disks
Deadly Discs

When I think of a Tron video game from the early 1980’s, this is the kind of cover I picture. Tron and Sark are featured predominately, in all their disc hurling, circuit line body suit goodness. Again we have an Recognizer standing there on a grid. Something about Recognizers when they are in the “feet” inward position, they look less intimidating and more like some awkward kid trying to gather up the courage to ask a girl to dance at the High School prom. Oh red Recognizer, you are so bashful. While I am normally not a huge fan of color clashes like the red background with mostly blue artwork, it works well here. It almost make the cover seem like it is glowing, like it was just plucked from the clutches of the Master Control Program and put right on the store shelf.

Tron 2.0
tron2

Yeah yeah, you got your fancy discs and your grey togas, you can take all that and go run into a terminal fault error because this time, this program has got a gun and is not afraid to derezz your program butt at a hundred paces. Well you gotta ask yourself, did he fire 64K of data or 128K? You feel your calculating software is up to date? Well, do ya punk? This cover serves as a good bridge between the original Tron style and the direction of style for Tron Legacy. The body suit now has armor and the thing I find most interesting and a major departure from the original Tron is the hair. Every program in the original Tron wore a helmet of some kind (though we did have beards) but he has got a nice little do uptop. Tack on some armor and you got a program that is ready to throw down on the game grid.

I know it is not a game cover but I figured since I only had four carts to review, I would share this image with everyone. This is from the Playstation 2 game Kingdom Hearts 2, which, as mentioned on the podcast, has a level that takes place inside a Tron world. I love the “Tron-ified” Donald Duck and Goofy. This is not so much a review of the image but I figured I would share.

Well, the laser has de-compiled us and sent us back to the organic world, so we must bid a bye-bye to the digital universe of Tron based video games. If you have an suggestions, comments or questions, please feel free to put them in the comments section or send me an email at OffisaPups@retroist.com. Next time we will, as promised ,look at the world of Advergames. Until then, I got my Light Cycle fueled up, just ran a defrag on my identity disc and my solar sailor is prepped for launch. Now if only this neon blue skin tight suit came in a XL.

OffisaPups

OffisaPups is a lover of fine retro gaming (video as well as board), classic comic strips and has a noggin filled with decades of television ads and song lyrics. Due to fears of a zombie apocalypse, do not approach OffisaPups while groaning, staggering with out-stretched arms, or requesting brains. Needless to say, OffisaPups has a very understanding and patient wife and a daughter who has no hope of a normal, non-dork upbringing.

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4 thoughts on “Cart Art: Tron

  1. vinvectrex says:

    Sir, your cheeky, though accurate assessment of Tron Solar Sailer (not Sailor) has offended me. You have besmirched the bland marketing for the Intellivoice, and I will not stand for it. I challenge you to a duel! Lightcycles at dawn!

  2. OffisaPups says:

    Ahem, I accept your challenge. However, you forget yourself progam, as the challenged, I have the right to determine the terms. Rediculious disappearing platform Jai Alai at noon!

  3. blinddog says:

    You left out Maze-A-Tron for the Intellivision. The covers not quite as cool as Deadly Discs but its still good. I always thought the MPC looked like he was pretty angry

  4. Atari Adventure Square says:

    The few Intellivoice games all had that lame cover non-design with appropriate font.
    Always wondered why. Did it make the cart seem less gaudy and toy-like?
    Maybe, since they probably sold ’em for a pretty penny.

    And I always dug all M-Network Atari carts for their common Tron look they had.
    But you had to look a bit longer to identify just what game they were selling.
    The upper half looks more Tron-ish than the cluttered drawings of Tron elements at the bottom.

    And I lo-o-ove the Intellivision covers for Discs and Maze.
    They put me in the spirit for both the movie and the hand-cramping Intelli-gaming while Wendy Carlos’ music looped majestically in my head.
    And while it didn’t take much prodding to play the heavenly Tron Deadly Discs, it was a major cover design coup to get me to invest my not-so-precious kid-time into the hours of trying to understand the gameplay and strategy of the unrewarding Maze-A-Tron (I pop a sweat just thinking about it – STOP MOVING DARN SCREEN! JUST STOP!).
    And yeah I knew you could reverse the direction by doing something.
    Just…bleh.

    Lastly, I have to play Kingdom Hearts 2 now.
    Good thing both the console and cart are easy to locate and acquire.

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