But, game-wise, why is he on the ground shooting at grid bugs? That wasn't in movie (to be fair, the grid bugs themselves were basically not in the movie, either).
They were in the original script, however, but the scenes were never shot. There was supposedly a whole sequence of them being attacked by grid bugs as they were approaching the I/O tower to communicate with Alan. But once that was cut, the grid bugs were only added to the movie solely to tie back into the game, which still featured them. It was a pretty last-minute addition, which is why the grid bugs are hand-animated, not computer-animated, and are only referred to in a voice-over by Cindy Morgan.
The disparities with the game vs. the movie are pretty simple to explain - the game was being programmed while the movie was still in development. The final effects shots, editing, etc., weren't finished before development on the game was being done. They had a game to make, and couldn't wait for the movie. I'll admit, the differences between the movie and the game bothered me some as well, but not enough to keep Tron off of my all-time-favorite-arcade-games list.
Wow, I didn't know any of that. Thanks!
That does change my view of the game/movie discrepancies a bit. Still, it wasn't one of my favorite games even considering that it was connected to one of my favorite movies. But I have a huge vector graphics bias, hahaha.
I loved the game. I think the joystick+spinner combination is one of the best control schemes there is (see also: Mad Planets). The graphics were far and away better than most of the other raster games around at the time. (There was a rumor circulating back-in-the-day that Soviet spies were attempting to smuggle a Tron machine back to the USSR, because it was more advanced than their computers. But I take that with a very heavy grain of salt.)
I liked the controller combo, too, I was just never a fan of the feel of that giant joystick. Same goes for Solar Fox and a few other games that used it. It always felt squishy to me, like the joystick moved not just for direction but also because it was bending inside, like it was made out of rubber or something. I can't explain it better than that, I just never felt confident that the stick was really accurately interpreting my movements. I didn't get that from other joysticks in other games, just that one. Needless to say, I was never that good at any of the arcade games that had that joystick as the controller.
That said, I was never all that good at the game. I got up to the Recognizers a few times, but that was about it. Not that I didn't dump enough quarters into it though. I suppose if it hadn't been a tie-in to the movie, I might not have given it as much attention. But to this day, it's one of my favorite arcade classics. (But then again, so is Gorf. )
Hey, I love Gorf, too. It just seemed odd to me that "Holy shit, a Tron game!" would hand me a new Gorf, I was expecting something more than that. An actual Space Paranoids game, actually, that's what I really wanted, I wanted Disney to put out those games that Flynn said he'd designed (Matrix Blaster, Vice Squad, etc.), I didn't want a game that half-assed the plot of the movie. But then I've never been a fan of that type of arcade game scenario. I thought Discs Of Tron was a better direction to go in even though I sucked
at that game. I always felt that story plot games should be on PCs, not arcade games.
I know what you mean about dumping quarters into a game. When Xevious first came out I spent ten bucks on it over two days trying to get good at it. And this was back when arcades would give you more tokens if you bought more than a dollar at a time. I think this place I was at would give over 35 tokens for five dollars. Man, did I play the hell out of that game!