Light Cycle

Light Cycle

Light cycles are fictional vehicles designed by Syd Mead for the simulated world of the "Tron" universe. These futuristic two-wheeled vehicles resemble motorcycles and create walls of colored light.

The vehicles were primarily used in a competition between humanoid computer programs, similar to an old computer game sometimes known as "Surround" or "Dominos". The players are in constant motion on a playfield, creating a wall behind them as they move. If a player hits a wall either by accident or by having no more room to move, he is out of the game, and the last player wins.

In the illustration, two players are racing head to head close to each other. If the blue player turns left, the yellow player will risk hitting the newly created wall. However, it is likely that the yellow player will not hit the wall, but the blue vehicle itself, leading to the destruction of both players.

" also feature Light Cycle games, albeit with their own twists.

A light cycle toy, in red and yellow versions, was produced by TOMY as part of the merchandising for the "Tron" film, along with action figures scaled to fit inside the toy cycles. Bootleg versions of TOMY's design were produced by other toy manufacturers that came in a wide variety of colors, including blue and silver, but were noticeably smaller than the TOMY-produced toy, too small in fact to accommodate one of the TOMY action figures.

In the Comic-Con 2008 teaser trailer, light cycles have gone under major improvements. The rider is no longer concealed inside the cycles, as the cycle itself has no canopy. Both front and rear 'wheels' have no inner-spokes of any kind, and the jet-wall now has a glass-like shattering effect when scraped. The largest and most noticeable difference of the new cycle, is that it is no longer limited to 90-degree turns. While the original light cycles made 90-degree turns of the game-grid, and normal steering off the grid, the new cycles move fluidly like a real bike, creating much more complex jet-walls to tie-in with the lack of a flat racing plane. Rather than use the steering rod as a startup mechanism to activate the bike, the teaser showed a racer simply leap into the air and, what seemed to be, "willed," the bike into existence.

Other uses

*Light cycles were also featured in the TV show "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest" as a portion of a virtual set of computer games.
*The animated TV show "Family Guy" also had a spoof using Light Cycles in one of its episodes, "One If by Clam, Two If by Sea", where Peter Griffin is in the green Light Cycle, and the red Light Cycle turns out to be an old high school friend.
*In "Kingdom Hearts II", Sora used a Light Cycle from "Tron 2.0" in the Tron level known as Space Paranoids.
*A 2006 Honda Civic Si commercial pays homage to the Light Cycles with its own race of three Civic Sis (red, green, and blue) on a Tron-like board.
*"Futurama" also pays respect to the light cycle in the episode "Fear of a Bot Planet" in Season 1 during a blernsball game very near the beginning.
*An old Teletoon ident parodied this ident with the Teletoon logos racing each other.
*In a promotional commercial for the Sci-Fi Channel, Tony Hawk appears in a parody of the Light Cycle scene. However, instead of riding Light Cycles, he and another character use skateboards that generate colored walls.
*One episode of "Robot Chicken" has a sketch in which a teenager goes to a car dealership with very little money. The only thing he can afford is a Light cycle, which he enjoys up until he gets trapped in a spiral in a cornfield.
*In the "Teen Titans" animated series episode "Lightspeed", characters Kid Flash and Billy Numerous simulate a Light Cycle run with their superpowers.
*At Comic-Con International 2008 a teaser trailer was shown for TR2N, the sequel to the original 1982 film, that features a blue and a yellow light cycle.
*Light cycles were items available for purchase in the "Virtual Magic Kingdom" online game during "Tron Month".

ee also

*Snake
*Achtung, die Kurve!
*Armagetron Advanced, Open-source attempt to recreate The Light Cycle game. Features a Multiplayer/online mode which allows to play on the internet.
*GLtron, Another 3D-Accelerated port of the Classic arcade game.
*Knot in 3D, a similar game


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