One of the big trailer reveals at Nerd Prom 2009 was TRON LEGACY (the artist formerly known as TR2N). Feast your eyes on the virtual insanity:
(If that footage didn’t give you a nerdgasm, then you simply have no joy in your soul.)
But the trailer wasn’t the only Tron related goodness happening in San Diego. There was also the re-opening of Flynn’s Arcade. Hidden in the streets of downtown San Diego – open for one weekend only! – was a recreation of the arcade hangout from the 1982 sci-fi classic.
The arcade, however, wasn’t simply promoted on the floor of the Con. Instead, there was a long and windy road to uncovering this underground nerd-vana.
The game started with the distribution of gifs to assorted movie websites (along with physical tokens to Flynn’s Arcade). Somewhere between four to five gifs were spread out amongst the fan community, each containing unique lines of code. When these lines of code were put together, they formed… gibberish.
Upon studying the complied code, people began to figure out that it contained a substitution cipher, where various symbols would translate into different letters(i.e., $=h, !=t, and so on). After some quick cryptography, the gibberish was revealed to be html code for a website that didn’t exist.
But once the code was used to construct the website, it pointed people to visit Flynn Lives, a website filled with conspiracy theories and documents attempting to track down the elusive Kevin Flynn.
Then on Comic Con weekend, the site directed fans to gather at a specific location on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. There, people were provided with maps, paper, and blacklights. They were told that there were three FLYNN LIVES posters hidden in the area and that each of these posters held clues to solving the mystery. It turned out that each of the posters contained coordinates that directed people to the hidden location of Flynn’s Arcade.
The arcade itself was a late-70s, early-80′s wonderland. Journey and Michael Jackson blared over the soundsystem. You could enjoy freeplay on a bevy of classic arcade games, ranging from TEMPEST to CENTIPEDE to the classic TRON arcade game. There was even an air hockey table. But most importantly, you could actually play this bad boy:
That’s right. SPACE MOTHERF’N PARANOIDS – the fictional game created by Jeff Bridges in the original film. I’ve wanted to play this machine ever since my young eyes were first entranced by the bright neon world of TRON. And play it I did.
But rather than bore you with more descriptions, we present this footage of the interior of Flynn’s Arcade, courtesy of our friends at the Mep Report (who were out with us that evening).
After ten or twenty minutes, the lights suddenly started flickering on and off. Suddenly, a set of double doors opened in the back of the room, revealing a long black hallway. Once I realized that I was the last person left in the room, I tore myself away from the SPACE PARANOIDS machine and made my way through. Inside the hallway, I was greeted by multiple posters displaying concept art for TRON LEGACY.
Then, as I turned the last corner, I came face-to-face with a prop model of the new lightcycle (which I’m told is the only one in existence).
I’m sure part of my glee stems from the incredibly immersive evening that I enjoyed, but the above photo doesn’t do justice to how amazing it looked in person. It was simply beautiful.
But just because you weren’t there, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the glory. WE’LL FIX IT IN POST is running a contest to give away a FLYNN LIVES t-shirt (size Large) and a couple of Flynn’s Arcade tokens! To enter, simply leave a comment in this thread with your favorite Tron memory. We’ll do a drawing on August 4th and the winner will receive this sweet prize package. Good luck!
And keep your eyes on WE’LL FIX IT IN POST for updates on when the next stage of the Kevin Flynn saga begins to unfold.