On December 8th, Flynn Lives treated players to a final live event as the alternate reality game promoting the upcoming release of Tron: Legacy came to a close. As the previously discovered Digital Pulse timer hit 00:00, the site updated with information about multiple transmissions that members of the Flynn Lives organization had discovered and believed to be connected to Kevin Flynn. Organization members identified sixteen cities within the United States from Kevin Flynn’s 1989 book tour that contained evidence concerning the signals. The hope was that, once secured, the evidence would fill in the missing pieces and allow the group to begin a side channel attack to contact the missing genius. Once the countdown reached zero, coordinates with directions to the locations of hidden evidence were posted every hour in groups of two, starting on the eastern seaboard and working west with each pairing, with each drop site marked by a TRON sticker initially seen on the fictional Flynn Lives message boards.
While the Digital Pulse page originally indicated that a team effort would be needed to complete the event prior to the end of the countdown, Flynn Lives organizers later clarified on their Facebook page that only one operative was needed in each city. International players were unable to participate on the ground, but provided online support to the stateside players as they scrambled to make the pick-up, as it was now apparent that it was a race to be first to the sites.
As reports began to filter in from the participating cities, the story began to emerge. Players who were fast and fortunate enough to get to the drop and find the sticker were greeted by a phone and tracking number. Upon calling the number, players reached a Flynn Lives representative who, after receiving the tracking number, informed the player to await a delivery. Within minutes, deliverymen, dressed in Dumont Shipping company attire, arrived at the various locations and delivered a manila envelope after getting a signed release from the player. The release had directions from Kevin Flynn himself, noting that the package was only to be retrieved by the first person to call in and report the tracking number. Judging by the note, the packages had been awaiting pick-up since 1989, shortly before Kevin’s disappearance.
The week following Thanksgiving is usually a slow one as folks readjust to their daily routine post-turkey and gravy, but Flynn Lives players found themselves back in the thick of things. After a week’s hiatus, presumably to give thanks for all the buzz fans have been creating, Flynn Lives was back with some flash today; a Flash-based puzzle, to be exact.
The main page for Flynn Lives updated with a link to a new puzzle, Gygax, which featured a cut-out pattern for a 3-dimensional Bit from the original Tron film as an homage to Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax’s love of multi-sided dice. Additional information in the read-only Flynn Lives discussion forums helped players crack the puzzle in no time and in turn discover flynnlives.com/epiphany. With a few additional twists and turns players found themselves staring into pulse of a count-down timer.
End Game has begun with flynnlives.com/digitalpulse, a a call to action to retrace Kevin Flynn’s steps during his final book tour. The site advises all Flynn Lives operatives to be prepared to hit the ground next Wednesday, at 11 am EST, in a final push to retrieve the remaining evidence and finally uncover what has happened to Kevin Flynn. A total of sixteen cities will take part in the final mission but the cities themselves have yet to be identified (excepting Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco which were named on the poster), a tactic reminiscent of the beginning of this viral and its first outing, Operation Zero Hour.
Flynn Lives is going out in style, so make sure you have your shoe laces tied and your GPS units handy, because when the time comes next week, Flynn Lives operatives will finally get the chance to find out what happened to Kevin Flynn: and that’s one ride you do not want to miss out on. Keep your finger on the digital pulse, and be ready to hit the ground running next Wednesday.
It has been a busy two months for Flynn Lives, which has been a nice change of pace for players who had been growing anxious for activity following the two month lull post San Diego Comic Con. In early October players noticed a new puzzle on the Flynn Lives Facebook page that, once cracked, led to tickets for a screening of twenty minutes from Tron: Legacy in IMAX 3D in theaters across the country for Tron Night, October 28th.
Ordinarily such a screening would be prize enough for most players but Flynn Lives did not stop there. Just days before the Tron Night screening, the Flynn Lives website updated, letting players know that the game was back with a vengeance and that the endgame had begun. Players began frantically searching the site for updates, and it was quickly discovered that Zack’s popular Arcade Aid puzzle game from months past had been updated with new titles of classic video games.
Players worked together and beat the updated game, earning new achievement badges within just a few short hours, but it was the message with the final achievement badge that left the forums buzzing. Titled End Game, the unlocked achievement let players know that something was coming in the mail soon from Flynn Lives. A screening and swag? Players speculated that this was surely the Endgame hinted at on the Flynn Lives main page and as Tron Night came and went, everyone anxiously awaited their package, their final parting gift from Flynn Lives.
In 2008, Disney came to Comic-Con with some early conceptual footage for a movie that, at that time, was called TR2N. It received such strong support and generated so much excitement from the Comic-Con crowd, Disney greenlighted the project. Flash forward to the 2009 Comic-Con, where Disney presented additional footage for the now-titled TRON: Legacy. Fans were also led on a merry chase through San Diego leading to a recreation of Flynn’s Arcade, where further information about the disappearance of Kevin Flynn was revealed.
Flash forward again to 2010, where the Flynn Lives alternate reality game ramped up through the release of online mini-games leading to live drops, movie screenings, digital badges, and real-life TRON artifacts. Meanwhile, buzz for the movie increased as Comic-Con approached and TRON banners and signs appeared around San Diego. The news media started referring to Comic-Con as ComiTRON, which generated even more excitement and anticipation from the ARG community following the Flynn Lives campaign as they started to wonder: would Flynn’s Arcade return?