In the world of The Grid, information and misinformation flow into a raging river. On the digital frontier, identity is everything. When that identity goes missing, disaster is only a nano-cycle away. Tron: Identity is a visual novel taking place within the world of Tron to approach the ideas of identity in a digital universe. With renowned sci-fi writer and developer Mike Bithell at the helm, a new story will be told in the first Tron video game in 7 years. The games are about to begin as Tron: Identity arrives when a third Torn movie is in development and a new ride arrives in Disney World. Greetings, Program! Here is everything we know about Tron: Identity.
Identity is everything
Tron: Identity is a visual novel set within the digital realm of Tron. Despite being in the same universe inside the computer, the game takes place on an entirely different server. This new server confirms an other city than the one seen in Tron: Legacy and Tron: Uprising. This new server is described as a new Grid with its own rules and workings and entirely new programs to see and interact with. The new Grid is described as a society with no interference from Users. This creates a culture that acknowledges the existence of the users like a deity but has never seen what they could do on The Grid.
In the original Tron movies, programs bore witness to the capabilities of Kevin and Sam Flynn in their world. Kevin was able to build a recognizer and redirect a beam of light. Sam was skilled in combat and light cycle maneuvers. Tron: identity introduces a Grid that has not seen these kinds of powers that defy codes and programming. Tron depicts its inhabitants as having a degree of free will but being tied to their programming and programmed skill sets. Users are an anomaly acting on their own will that defies the programming limits. This creates an exciting setting that puts players into a natural environment within the world of Tron.
Digital secrets in a world of light
The setting for Tron: Identity focuses on The Repository. The center of the city holds something invaluable to the programs of the server. One screenshot reveals the aftermath of a mammoth explosion that rips open the vault. Someone stole something of great importance. Players take the role of a detective program whose purpose is to investigate such a disruption and resolve the problem. That program’s name is Query. The world of Tron has never introduced a program of such importance until now. This leaves open the potential for criminal justice on The Grid.
Tron: Identity bears its title from a key component to life on The Grid: The Identity disk. Each program receives an Identity Disc. This utility is attached to the backs of all inhabitants of The Grid. Each program has an Identity Disc regardless of its program and purpose. Everything you do or learn is imprinted on that disk. The disk can perform special actions and retain important memory for specific skill sets. Losing an identity disk is akin to losing more than a limb. In Episode 05 of Tron: Uprising, protagonist Beck loses his disc and goes through many glitches and memory loss before recovering his disc.
Information and misinformation
The screenshots for Tron: Identity reveal a a puzzle game that involves Identity Discs that will be the key to solving the mystery. Each disc is an extension of one’s mind and operates like a computer. There are gaps in memory and corrupted data. Strings of code and information within a disc can be the key to unlocking new evidence and revelations. As this is a detective’s tale, the disc is instrumental to discovering the truth of what happened at The Repository and why. Additionally, the disc acts as a personal defense weapon and can be used to attack and caused a deresolution, or derezz, to a program. A derezz is death on The Grid.
Query will interact with various programs on this new Grid. Each program has a purpose, and its visual appearance reflects the User who made them in the real world. Some programs are more managerial and act as administrators. Others maintain the system as mechanics and engineers. Some look for jobs and tasks to perform between the system’s cracks. Query will interact with many programs to uncover the truth about the crime. What players choose decides the fate of the entire outcome of the investigation and even the inhabitants of the server. Tron: Identity will have multiple endings depending on choices made.
Writing The Program
Considering Subsurface Circular and Quarantine Circular, Tron: Identity is a far more ambitious and grander story to tell. Elegant illustrations highlight an entirely new and profound world of light and code. It’s a blend of the familiar and fascinating from the perspective of digital beings of energy and code. One screenshot sees a program creating trees in her environment with another commenting on the perception that trees are the result of Users in the real world. It’s a world of surprise and wonders never before told. With a team that has proven themselves in strong literacy, the world is bound to immerse the player.
Tron: Identity will have new programs and characters to see. As the game is on a new server within the world of Tron, players will see entirely new places and interact with new characters. Established characters such as Quorra, Beck, Rinzler, or the Flynns are not likely to make an appearance. There is no indication as to where this takes place in the Tron Universe or even if the citizens of this server are aware of the events of Tron: Legacy. With that information, the possibility does exist that Tron: Identity will either be its own self-contained story or a nod to the events of Tron: Legacy.
A bright New Future
On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy. It’s easy to play a game. It’s also easy to watch a movie. To craft an entire game and make an entire movie is to craft an entirely new world. Steven Lisenberger created a realized idea. Humans living in the digital universe they created. It was a bold step that predicted a future. One in which we continue to live today. The rise of video games is a part of that vision, from mobile games on our smartphones to cutting-edge Virtual-reality headsets. Cyberspace has given us an entire life online, from using custom-made avatars in VR chat to the rise of vTubers. The Digital Age is here and growing.
This vision has brought many possibilities and many dangers. The realization of new ideas and systems gives rise to corruption nd the manipulation of power. The world is more connected and emboldened in pursuing ways to make things better, only to give rise to more hostility. Technology gives one a chance to pursue perfection, a concept that forever eludes us in the real world but is possible in the digital world as it is a world humans have created. Pursuing perfection is a dark path as it forgoes humanity and empathy. To deliver a better world through technology brings about amazing possibilities, even with imperfections.
Programming a new Destiny
Tron represents a world that humans may live in one day, somehow in the future. Whether that happens or not, only time can tell. In the present, there is still the chance to envision a world of humans and technology. A world of not what could happen or where it is going but where it can, what it should, and what it could be. Visionaries like Steven and Mike Bithell are the interpreters of a world that can be visualized and achieved.
The Grid is burning brighter than ever. The Tron franchise is on track to return. Technology and video games are pulling people further into the future. Tron has already established a legacy in its philosophies, visual style, and unforgettable soundtrack. Over thirty years have passed since the first, and people are more fascinated than ever by technology and the digital world. The mysteries of The Grid are about to be unveiled once again. The game begins again, and we are on a ride unlike any other.
Tron: Identity launches Spring 2023 for PC and Nintendo Switch.