The Game: It’s the final confrontation between good and evil in the digital world! As video warrior Tron, you unleash up to three deadly discs in the direction of your arch-enemy Sark, who can return the favor in kind – with interest, since he has a larger arsenal at his disposal. All the while, you must also avoid falling off of the floating platforms, and try to keep a good aim on your opponent. (Bally/Midway, 1983)
Memories: Midway’s second salute to Tron, that 1982 cult-classic film favorite among computer users and video game enthusiasts alike, took the form of a positively enormous “stand-in” wraparound cabinet with a large screen. (Not seen in the ubiquitous MAME-generated series of screen shots is the colorful background artwork, which was a scene from the movie.) As movie soundbytes from David Warner’s Sark taunt you at a ridiculously loud volume, you used the joystick/trigger combo to move Tron and fire, while the rotating knob was used for aiming. This combination of controls, which was identical to the controls in the previous Tron arcade game, seems to hint at the possibility that Discs Of Tron would be available in a conversion kit for arcade owners whose Tron machines needed a new influx of cash, but I’ve never seen or heard of such a conversion. On the contrary, at Fort Smith’s own (long-extinct) Games R Us arcade, the old Tron machine was relocated to a new spot right next to Discs Of Tron, which made perfect sense to me.
Despite the seemingly large number of Tron-themed games for the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision, no one ever bothered to translate either of the Tron arcade games for home use. Then again, this can probably be excused when one considers that Disney would have demanded a hefty fee for the use of its characters. Discs Of Tron didn’t see an official post-arcade release until the Game Boy Advance version of Tron 2.0, which was published by Disney itself.