tronman1.jpg So there I was, attending the late-night movie at the Act 1 and 2 in Berkeley, California, and who should I see but Jay Maynard, AKA Tron Guy - a fellow with an elaborate, light-emitting Tron outfit. It makes sense, as I was there to see Tron, after all. I gave him my card, which he stuck in a pouch he has in his Deadly Disc (no pockets for Tron!), and found out what he's been up to recently.

I got my first info bits during the pre-movie Q & A. Jay is a computer consultant and systems programmer from Minnesota, and just like everyone else, has a Livejournal and a myspace account (which he just kicked an imposter off of, and doesn't intend to use). His cycle is gold in color (why? why not?), and I later discovered that he maintains the Hercules IBM mainframe emulator, which I certainly don't understand, but which seems quite Tron-like. He's also a pilot, and a big fan of Animaniacs. For some reason you can also take a visual tour of his house. Check out that machine room! Since his initial 'discovery' via the net, he's appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, among other things - you can read all about that here.

tronman1.jpgBut I digress. Of interest to GameSetWatch readers will be the fact that not one but two Atari 2600 homebrew games have been built to some level of completion, which bear Tron Guy's likeness. Jay himself doesn't play a lot of games. In his own words: "I'm sorry to say I'm not much of a gamer. Never have been, really. I do have a few here and there, and have played all of the TRON universe games (a friend has both arcade systems, as well as the others). I've got a copy of TRON 2.0 for the Mac, but have never gotten beyond the training phase: it keeps crashing."

How Ironic. Anyway, of the two Tron Guy games, only one has come out - appropriately named Tronman, and made by Neotokeo2001. Check out the nifty glowing cart here, and don't forget to download the bin, which will work on Atari 2600 emulators. Here's a handy description: "Tronman must make his way around the game-grid and collect the food that appears. Collect enough food and the card-key to the next level will appear, grab it and move on to the next sector and a new item to feast on. Beware of the patrolling Recognizers, If they catch Tronman they will De-Rez him."

tronman1.jpgWhat does Jay think of the game? "I suck at that even worse than usual. [But] I was really impressed with how it turned out." The second game was designed by Charles Gray (AKA Atari Charles), a Canadian fiction writer with a penchant for things Atari - that interview I linked a few paragraphs up was by him. There are some roms of 2600 digitized Jay floating around from the game, but it's unfinished for the time being. We do have an image of the label though, sent by Charles. His game was to be called Tron Man: Buffer Overrun, and was actually the inspiration for the game that did get finished.