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Discs of Tron
In Discs of Tron the player undergoes head-to-head combat with Tron's most formidable enemy, Sark. It's not only a battle of skill, but one of wits. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. And Sark seems to have all the advantages. The playing "chamber" (a standup version of a cockpit-like game) surrounds the player and draws him/her into the world of Tron. Overhead speakers add substance to a three-dimensional illusion projected through the Discs of Tron video screen. The player uses a variable control knob as well as a multi-functional joystick to control Tron's movements and method of attack. The joystick moves the Tron figure back and forth along the spinning rings on which he stands. On the back of the joystick (facing the player) is a small switch which engages Tron's deflector mechanism. The front of the joystick has a trigger which is used to throw discs at the Sark character. The rotary knob on the left of the cabinet positions a target spot along any of the four walls in the game. (That means it can be positioned behindTron himself.) In addition, raising or lowering the same knob will manipulate the throwing plane (in later stages of the game), allowing discs which are tossed to hit high or low on the walls. Players should first remember that Tron can fall off the rings. Move him too close to an edge and off he goes! To avoid acute embarrassment, learn how far Tron can move before he topples off. You'll notice that if he is pushed too near an edge he puts his hands in the air and stumbles slightly. Pull the joystick in the opposite direction when this happens or you'll lose face as well as Tron. Tron can hurl only three discs at a time, but each can be thrown in a different direction by changing the target spot before each throw. Likewise, Sark can only hurl three discs at once. Sark can be easily disposed of early in the game. As soon as Sark materializes, throw one disc to his right and another to his left. Save the third disc. One of the first two discs should hit him. If it only grazes him, throw the third disc directly at him as he teeters on the edge of his platform. It's best to throw only two discs at a time, saving the third to knock Sark to his death if one of the first discs only grazes him or use it to destroy an incoming Chaser. Chasers and Super-Chasers (worth four hundred and eight hundred points respectively) will pursue Tron as the player moves him from ring to ring. The deflect control is useless against Chasers; they must be destroyed with a Tron disc. Whenever a Chaser approaches, ignore Sark and reposition the target spot in an area which will cause a disc to travel straight for the approaching Chaser. Remember that the target spot can be placed behind Tron's rings as well as on their side. It's important to destroy Chasers and Super-Chasers without delay, otherwise they will home in and knock Tron off his platform. If the player does manage to destroy Sark as a Chaser approaches, the Chaser will vanish as Sark dematerializes. As more rings come into play in the course of a game, there naturally evolves a greater area in which Sark (and Tron) can move. Use the rings to your advantage by jumping Tron from one to the next to avoid Sark's disc attack. Only seven deflects are allowed the player for each character in Discs of Tron. (That is, each time Tron dies— or derezzes— the player begins with a new Tron and seven deflects. Also, each time Sark dies, the player's deflect count is brought back up to seven.) The player should keep a finger hovering over the Deflect button on the back of the joystick at all times. At the same time, since the number of available deflects is obviously limited, the player should strive to out-maneuver Sark's flying discs instead of relying on the Deflect button each time a disc approaches Tron. Don't forget that Sark's discs— as well as your own-rebound from the walls. A disc which misses Tron may bounce back and hit him from behind, destroying him instantly. Keep this in mind as you move Tron from ring to ring. Although it's easiest to destroy Sark using straight aim, many times gameplay requires the player to bounce discs off the walls to effect a winning situation. For example, at times a stone barrier appears in front of Sark's platforms. A Tron disc will bounce away from this barrier without harming Sark. On the other hand, there are no barriers to protect Tron, and Sark can and will throw direct discs. The player has no choice: the disc must be caromed around Sark's wall, off a side wall . A disc can never be guaranteed of hitting Sark; remember that he can jump from ring to ring, just as Tron can. Therefore, the player must anticipate Sark's position when releasing a disc, or two discs. Hurling them in concert often yields greater success, but again— only in pairs. Throwing the third disc robs the player of the opportunity to destroy an incoming Chaser. Always try to maintain a disc in reserve for such an occasion. Avoid throwing discs where they will obviously do no good. It might be fun, it might be pretty to throw your disc so that it will merely travel back and forth across the warring room before returning to Tron's hands, but it is also ineffective. The target spot should only be positioned at a point close to Tron when a Chaser or green Ring Pellet (two hundred points) is approaching. Besides being deflected or outmaneuvered, Sark's discs can be destroyed with a Tron disc as well (netting the player a hundred points). This isn't a technique I can advise, because the number of points gained doesn't justify concentrating on the discs rather than the foe himself. (Hitting Sark, causing him to fall off his ring, nets the player a nifty one thousand points.) As play progresses, the player is required to use the rotary knob to position the height or depth at which Tron's rings travel; another "dimension" is added to the game, increasing the difficulty level tremendously. The temptation will be to throw the discs too high. A Tron disc will often sail harmlessly above his head. Imagine a thin line just slightly above Sark's feet. A disc thrown at this level will find its mark. But remember: Sark's rings are constantly moving up and down. The player must counteract by constantly repositioning the target spot at various levels. It's important to note that once a disc is thrown, its trajectory cannot be changed by moving the target spot. But several discs can travel at different heights and depths at the same time, as long as the target spot is moved into different positions before discs are thrown. (An analogous situation is seen in Missile Command, where each missile can move to a different location by moving the sight before each missile is launched.) Now here's the most difficult aspect of Discs of Tron. Ready? Brace yourself. It costs fifty cents per game. To resist the temptation to sink all your mortgage or allowance money into this involving and dazzling game will require a great deal of . . . Master Control.

Keywords

TRON (1982) (TRON), Arcade Games/Computer Games (Arcade Games / Computer Games, Computer Games, Arcade Games)

Source

Title
Source type Magazine
Volume 13
Published
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 3
Pages pp. 42-44

Metadata

Id 3003
Availability Free
Inserted 2016-12-27