One of my most favorite surprises at Comic Con was the TRON viral promotional of 2009. Some of you may recalled last year’s TRON hoolpa, which really all started the year before. 2009 was the first time most of us found out that a TRON sequel was in the works. If you were at a certain panel/booth, attendees were invited into a ‘scavenger hunt’ that took you through the Gaslamp. With use of a black light, you were able to uncover clues that took you to the next location. Eventually, you ended on a quiet street, outside of a dark building with nothing but the FLYNN’S sign glowing. You were allowed inside in groups of 30 or so.
Inside was a fully operating 80’s arcade with many of our favorite games like Defender, Pac-Man, and Missile Command. There were even a couple of Space Paranoid games introduced in the original TRON movie. All the games were free and you even got free ‘FLYNN’s Arcade’ tokens which made for some sweet SWAG! On the far wall, by itself, the original TRON game sat underneath a neon sign. After about 20 minutes of game play, the 80’s music was interrupted by the Daft Punk score and the lights and sounds focused your attention to the TRON wall. The game opened up to reveal the secret entrance much like in TRON: Legacy. Within the dark passage, the only things lit were the concept art for the never before seen light cycle. For the climax, when you turned the corner, a real life cycle was proudly displayed on a rotating platform. It was spectacular. We all thought the arcade was cool enough, but to get a glimpse of the light cycle 18 months before the movie’s release was pretty epic. If that wasn’t already amazing, on the way out you got to pick from two kinds of ‘FLYNN Lives ‘ shirt as a free gift! Many of you may have seen last year’s version that ended up at the ‘End of Line’ club. It was very cool but nothing will be able to top seeing the light cycle for the first time a year earlier.
For my friends and I, this was easily the best thing experienced at Comic Con in 09- and it was NOT at the Con! Flynn’s Arcade was a few blocks away. This is one of the main reasons that sets SDCC from any other convention in the world. The amount of effort and creativity that is spread throughout the whole city makes for a totally unique experience. Check out the video below to see it for yourself: