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Greetings, Programs!

—Kevin Flynn

Kevin Flynn
Kevin Flynn
Biographical information
Username Creator4983
Aliases Flynn
The Creator
Birth Date 1949
Death Date 2010
Status Deceased
Physical description
Gender Male
Other information
Functions Hacker/Programmer/Game designer
Arcade Owner
ENCOM CEO (1983-1989)
Creator of the Tron system
Programs Clu
Clu 2
Shaddox
Anon
Beta
Dyson
Equipment Identity Disc
Vehicles Light Cycle (1st generation)
Light Cycle (2nd generation)
Allies Tron
Ram
Yori
Alan Bradley
Lora Baines
Dumont
Crom
Bit
Quorra
Sam Flynn
Clu 2 (formerly)
Anon
Out of universe information
Actor Jeff Bridges
Loyd Catlett (stunts and stand-in)
Fred Tatasciore (voice - TRON: Evolution)
Appearances TRON
TRON: Original Movie Adaptation
TRON: Legacy
TRON: Legacy Graphic Novel
TRON: Evolution
Tron: Evolution - Battle Grids
TRON: Uprising
TRON 2.0 (mentioned)
Ghost in the Machine (mentioned)
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
TRON RUN/r
Disney Heroes: Battle Mode
TRON: Ares (unreleased)
0009-Kevin-Flynn-Cedit
Gallery


Kevin Flynn was a gifted computer programmer and known video game icon who, in 1982, created some best-selling video games for ENCOM which included Space Paranoids, Matrix Blaster, Vice Squad, and Light Cycles. As he developed his games, the code he wrote was stolen by fellow ENCOM programmer Ed Dillinger. Flynn was fired shortly after Dillinger became Executive VP. Later, as the VP of Creative Development, Flynn created TRON - an arcade game based on his experience inside the Computer World alongside the Tron program - and paved the way for ENCOM to become the largest video game company in the world. Meanwhile, Flynn married Jordan Canas and had a son named Sam. Following his wife's death in 1985, Flynn began to focus all of his efforts on creating "a digital frontier to reshape the human condition".

In 1989, Flynn was on the verge of new discovery when he disappeared mysteriously and left behind Sam and his fortune. It wasn't until 2010 that Sam got a tip that led him to figure out the truth as to what happened to his father.

History


Background

Flynn's hometown is Paramus, New Jersey,[1] where he was born in 1949. Flynn applied for an internship with Walter Gibbs during the Summer of 1975.[2] As an up-and-coming young programmer, Flynn began developing new video games in secret, among which included Space Paranoids, Vice Squad, Matrix Blaster, and Light Cycles. A competing ENCOM programmer named Ed Dillinger learned what Flynn was doing and stole Flynn's games. Three months later, Dillinger unveiled the games to the company without even bothering to change the names. Dillinger was quickly promoted, eventually rising to senior executive VP. When Flynn protested, Dillinger fired him.[3]

In 1981, Flynn founded his own establishment—aptly named Flynn's Arcade—and filled it with his own creations as well as several other classic arcade machines.[4] Flynn saw the arcade as the only way he could profit from the games that were stolen from him.

Hacking

Flynn working

Flynn attempts to hack into the ENCOM Mainframe.

In 1982, Flynn made several attempts to hack into the ENCOM Mainframe via the terminal at his arcade, using his best hacking program - Clu - to try and obtain the evidence that would prove Dillinger's fraudulence.

By this time, Dillinger had developed the Master Control Program from a chess program, to administer the ENCOM mainframe. The MCP found the data that Flynn wanted and attempted to hide it from him, even to the point of blocking him from accessing the system. Flynn's actions led Dillinger to enforce additional security by shutting down all access to the mainframe, including access for ENCOM's programmers. Among those affected was Alan Bradley, who was barred from working on his security program, Tron.

Unable to uncover the plagiarism personally, Flynn asked for help from his former lover Lora and her new boyfriend Alan, who decided to help Flynn get direct access to computer systems that may hold the incriminating evidence. Their plan was to have Flynn forge a Group 6 access so that Alan could gain access to Tron again. Then Alan would command Tron to shut down the MCP, which would in turn release Flynn's stolen file.

Entering the ENCOM Mainframe

Flynnuser

Flynn prior to being Digitized

Lora took Flynn to her terminal in a laboratory where she had been working on an experimental laser technology that transported matter. Kevin proceeded to access the terminal, located directly in front of the laser, but was spotted by the MCP almost immediately and fired upon. As his body was broken down into digital information, Flynn found himself transported into the Game Grid, where the MCP notified his forces of Flynn's true nature and tasked Commander Sark with killing him in the games.

Shortly afterwards, Flynn met a program named Ram and was told all about the Master Control Program's rules, eventually discovering that captured conscripts were forced to play in the games. Initially unaware that he was participating in "gladiator" games, Flynn realized the danger of his situation when he refused to kill a fellow conscript, Crom, in a ring game. Despite this however, Crom was murdered as he fell into the abyss below, horrifying Flynn.

Flynn was later transported to the Light Cycle Staging Pit to play a light cycle game alongside Ram and Tron. He exploited his knowledge of the game program to their advantage, forcing one of the MCP's gladiators to crash into the Game Grid's wall and opening up an escape route.

Flynn gradually discovered that as a user, he possessed far-reaching abilities within the system, enabling him to manipulate the environment around him at will. He managed to reassemble and reactivate a destroyed Recognizer, redirected an energy transport beam after it had been sabotaged by the MCP, and even saved Yori and himself from being derezzed along with Sark's ship after Sark departed for the MCP. Although his understanding of this newfound power was still rudimentary, Flynn courageously engaged the Master Control Program in person and diverted its attention long enough for Tron to disable it permanently. Its destruction returned Flynn to the real world and allowed him to access the incriminating evidence he needed to depose of Dillinger, which in turn saw him promoted to the position of ENCOM CEO and enabled him to promote Alan and Lora to the board of directors.[3]

TRON 2.0 & TRON: The Ghost in the Machine

Like Tron, Flynn does not appear in the TRON 2.0, but is mentioned throughout the e-mail fragments and serves as a major point of explanation for the state of ENCOM during the events of the game.

After the events of TRON, Flynn gained the position of Senior Executive Vice President of ENCOM after outing Dillinger and the MCP shady operations. Soon afterward, Lora announced that she was pregnant and asked Flynn to become the baby's Godfather, a title he was honored to accept. Jethro was later born December 1982 and Flynn announced his birth to all of the employees of ENCOM via e-mail, boasting that the boy was sure to beat his high score in Space Paranoids if was anything like him.

During his time as the head of ENCOM, Flynn toyed with the idea of creating another game (his request to use Alan's name in one of e-mail fragments suggests that the game would be based on his experiences inside ENCOM's server, a literal translation of the original film). In 1984, it was discovered that the destruction of the MCP resulted in the loss of the algorithms necessary to allow objects in the real world to be properly digitized into the computer world. Flynn, Alan and Lora would spend a majority of their time attempting to recreate the algorithms lost with Dillinger's program; one such attempt would be Ma1a (Math Assistant One Audio).

During that time, Flynn began to fear the possibility of users gaining complete control of the Grid; Alan suggested that Tron be upgraded to maintain security. The Tron Legacy Code was initially to be Tron's upgrade, however, a certain flaw (wherein the code couldn't tell an authorized or illegal User from the other), followed by the lack of success in reclaiming the Correction algorithms lost with the MCP, stalled immediate use of the code until it was finally shelved by Flynn for that exact reason.

012 Leaving the Company

Flynn's resignation letter.

In 1990, Flynn announced his resignation as head of ENCOM to Alan, alluding that, while the decision was not made lightly, it was time for him to move on "greener pastures". He handed control of the company over to, Walter Gibbs' son, Gibbs Jr., and from thereon-in, vanished from the public eye. Sometime during October 1999, he contacted Alan, presumably in concerns to his friend's welfare, but it is unknown whether or not he responded to the answer he received from Alan in-kind.

The comic book miniseries, TRON: The Ghost in the Machine, later revealed that Flynn's reason for stepping down from his position at ENCOM was tied directly with his experience inside the computer world. After returning from the computer world, Flynn sought psychiatric help from the likes of Dr. Arnspiger. Like Jet, Flynn struggled with coming to terms with the responsibility and power that a user has over the digital world and as such, presumably refrained from using any and all technology.

The Grid

Main articles: Grid and Tron system
Flynn Comic

Flynn overlooking the Grid.

Despite all of the success and wealth his new position at ENCOM gave him, Flynn's time in the digital world changed him deeply and he became obsessed with returning there. To that end, he created a digital frontier he called the "Grid". Intended as a playground where he could experiment to his heart's content, the Grid slowly but surely became more complex and began to take on a life of its own as it teemed with programs of all sorts.

Flynn isolated the Grid in a private server he housed in the basement of his arcade. He hid the entrance to this computer lab behind a TRON arcade game cabinet. Within the lab, Flynn set up the digitizing laser used to send him into the system. Prior to entering the Grid each time, Flynn would run a sanity check program and update his will

Flynn copied the Tron program from ENCOM's grid and installed it in his own. Although he received help from Tron in keeping the Grid safe, Kevin came to realize that he couldn't be in two places at once and recreated his old hacking program Clu to watch over the digital frontier in his absence and hone it to perfection. However, the relationship between creator and creation was strained by Flynn's duties in the real world, such as being a father to his newborn son Sam. After all, in the hours or days that Flynn was away, years or decades would pass in the grid without any influence from Flynn.[5]

Some time in 1984, the Grid gave life to a new form of program, which Flynn dubbed "Isomorphic Algorithms". Flynn believed the existence of the ISOs could fundamentally improve the real world.[6]

1985

In his arcade during 1985, Flynn created a new Light Cycle, as well as a program named Beta, This program was tutored by Tron under the request of Flynn, and a Game Tournament consisting of various games was opened to all-comers by Tron at Flynn's request. Flynn later appeared physically in the Grid, and after Beta won the Game Tournament, Flynn appreciated him and rewarded him Beta with the his own personal Light Cycle, though Flynn told Beta with the light cycle[7]

FlynnPic

Flynn on the cover of his book, The Digital Frontier.

During the same time, Kevin's wife died, which triggered a profound change in him. In the years that followed, Kevin grew increasingly distant from his life in the real world as he devoted more and more time to his pet project and would frequently leave Sam in the care of his parents. His public behavior became more erratic as he began to promote his vision of a "digital frontier to reshape the human condition." He called for computer systems to be open and he began giving away ENCOM software, such as a propriety operating system that Flynn named after himself. Kevin was obsessed with the connection between the human and computer worlds, and in a speech before a large crowd declared "In there is a new world. In there is our future. In there is our destiny." Flynn also wrote a book, called "The Digital Frontier," that spelled out his beliefs.[8]

Secondary system

Flynn created another Grid for the ISOs to inhabit, promising he'd return to it.[9][10] Flynn eventually forgot about this system however, leaving the system alone without user intervention due to Flynn not returning to it.[11][12]

Prior to disappearance

On November 1st 1989, Kevin visited Alan Bradley and told him he had made breakthroughs in genetic algorithms and quantum teleportation that could lead to changes in science, medicine and religion. Alan didn't give much consideration to the claims, attributing them to his friend's eccentric nature.[13] Two nights later, on November 3rd[14] Flynn informed his son Sam about his adventures in the Grid, and gave him a quarter to play games at his arcade the next day before leaving to his arcade.[8] At the arcade, Flynn created a new system monitor by the name of Anon, and recorded himself discussing the issue between ISOs and Basics. Flynn then ended the recording, hoping for his peace with the ISOs and Basics as he inserted Anon into the Tron System, and eventually entering the Grid for the last time.[6]

Final arrival

FlynnAnimated

Flynn upon arriving to the Grid.

Upon arriving to the Grid, Flynn walked out of his digital arcade and greeted both Tron and Clu, who awaited Flynn's arrival. Flynn watched the multiple ISOs surrounding the arcade and confidently stated that they were the key to something big, though Tron told Flynn that there had been more unrest, to which Clu replied negatively. As Flynn was about to talk to Clu about what he had just said, Dyson, one of Flynn's security programs, interrupted him and conversed with Flynn about his issues with the ISOs, despite his complaints however, Flynn defended the ISOs. As Dyson angrily looked at him, Flynn chuckled, and proudly asked anyone if they were ready to change the fabric of existence.[15]

Flynn Closeup Evolution

After Abraxas, a virus, attacked several Basics and ISOs during Radia´s installation ceremony, Flynn and Tron came to see what occurred. Clu blamed an ISO for the chaos, though Flynn once again defended the ISOs, and blamed himself for not teaching Clu of their greatness, Flynn decided to make eradicating the Abraxes virus his priority, though Tron believed that remaining inside of the Grid was a risk, thus he decided to escort Flynn to the portal.[6]

Coup

While on their way to the portal, Tron and Flynn discussed security issues on the streets of Tron City, but was unexpectedly called out to in the distance by Clu. Clu asked Flynn if he were still to create the perfect system, to which Flynn unassumingly responded ¨Yeah!¨, but after several Black guards came into view, Flynn and Tron soon realized that it was a Coup against him, Tron told Flynn to go as he fought the Black Guards. As Flynn fled, he was held up by Clu and immediately thrown to the ground, Flynn fearfully and confusingly asked ¨Why?¨ as Clu approached him, but Tron tackled him to the ground leaving enough time for Flynn to escape. As Flynn ran and hid behind a building, he witnessed Tron be killed by Clu, and continued running.[8][6][15]

Flynn was believed to be dead by fellow ISO, Quorra, and system monitor Anon, but was actually saved by Gibson and taken to the Bostrum Colony.[6] Flynn had witnessed an ISO colony be eradicated by Clu's forces, and was apparently trapped inside of the Grid after the Portal connecting to the Real World was closed, from then on, he decided to start living in a Safe house.[8] Flynn took his last loyal system monitor, Anon, to this safe house and upgraded his disc. Flynn talked to Anon, being shocked at what Clu had done, and he assigned Anon on a mission to rescue Quorra after she went on Clu's carrier ship in order to attempt to derez him.

Anon, sacrificed himself to assist Flynn in rescuing her. Together, Flynn and Quorra retreated to his hideaway in the Outlands, far from Tron City.[6]

Now in exile in the system he had created, Flynn attempted to lead a counterattack against Clu's rule. Since the two were connected, however, Flynn's resistance only provided Clu with more power, and it became evident that the only way Flynn could stop Clu was to reintegrate him, an act that would destroy them both. Realizing he could not defeat Clu without killing himself, Flynn remained in exile, training Quorra while adopting a Zen lifestyle in a quest for inner peace to come to grips with what he considered his personal failure in allowing Clu to control the Grid and subvert his dream.[8]

Disappearance

Kevin Flynn presumed dead

A newspaper article covering the ending investigation of Flynn's vanishing.

Flynn disappeared under what the general public considered mysterious circumstances,[8] leaving Bradley to take his place as an interim CEO at ENCOM[16][17] until the company's profits fell and Alan was forced to step down.[8] The company's new leadership laid off several longtime employees and veered away from the open-source philosophies Flynn espoused. [16] This upset Alan, who believed Flynn was alive and would eventually be found.[8] On Feburary 3rd, 1991, the search for Flynn ended as investigators of his vanishing presumed him as dead, despite this however, followers of Flynn still continued to keep his spirit alive, making an entire movement by the name of Flynn Lives in order to keep his name alive, theleader of this movement being Zack. Followers of this movement also constantly spreaded the word of Flynn survival in hope for his spirit to remain alive.[18][16]

2010

00trailer59

Flynn in 2010

After two decades of living in exile in the Outlands, Flynn was surprised out of his meditations by Quorra bringing a guest to him. His now-adult son Sam had been lured into the system and captured by Clu's forces, later to be rescued by Quorra, and now stood before him. During their reunion Kevin told the story of Clu's betrayal and how Sam's arrival had opened the portal again for a millicycle (about 8 hours). When Sam suggested that they leave for the portal, Kevin disagreed. The elder Flynn knew that such a move would play into Clu's plan and insisted that remaining in hiding was the safest option.

Flynn high res

With the dispute still unresolved, father and son retired for the night. When Kevin awoke, Sam was already gone, heading back to Tron City in Kevin's old Light Cycle. Kevin had no choice but to follow his son.

Hooded Flynn

Flynn in the End of Line Club

When Kevin and Quorra finally caught up to Sam at the End of Line Club, Sam was fighting for survival in the midst of a pitched battle with Clu's Black Guards. Kevin and Quorra intervened, however Quorra was left critically injured, and worse; Kevin's own identity disc was snatched from his back as they fled.

Pondering their options, Kevin decided that Sam's earlier idea of racing for the portal would have the best merits, and so he and Sam stole aboard a Solar Sailer that was headed in the direction of the portal. Once on board, Kevin set about repairing the damage to Quorra's code. He spoke at length of the complexity of the code, explaining Quorra's status as the last of the ISOs. He also used the opportunity to exchange stories of the years that he had been unable to spend with his son.

The journey to the portal was cut short however, when their transport docked with a huge Carrier Ship that had unexpectedly appeared in their path. They hid and watched as hundreds of programs were unloaded into the bowels of this colossal craft. Clu's plan to create an invasion force soon became apparent.

Kevin Flynn from Legacy

Flynn awakening after meditating.

Before they could do anything more, they saw Rinzler moving towards them. Quorra handed her identity disc to Kevin and broke from cover in a bid to lead Rinzler away. Kevin recognized Rinzler as Tron, corrupted into serving Clu. Helpless to aid Quorra, Kevin and Sam retreated to formulate a new plan. Sam would recover his father's identity disc, while Kevin procured a Light Jet fast enough to escape in. Kevin was relieved when they rendezvoused at the captured Light Jet, that Sam had also rescued Quorra along the way.

The trio were making good progress in escaping to the portal when they found themselves pursued by Clu, Rinzler and a quartet of Black Guards in small personal Light Jets of their own. During the protracted dogfight that ensued, Kevin and Rinzler caught sight of each other at close range, sparking Rinzler to remember his mission as Tron. Tron eventually shook off the shackles of Clu's dominance altogether and turned his attack on Clu, allowing Kevin and his younger allies to escape. Out of Sam's view, Kevin secretly switched his identity disc to Quorra.

Upon reaching the portal they discovered Clu had survived Tron's attack and found his way to the portal before them. Kevin and Clu confronted each other, with Kevin trying to explain that he'd been wrong, and Clu still arguing in favor of system-wide perfection. Then Clu attacked, sparking another brief conflict.

1301148358 6

Kevin and Clu face-off

With Clu blocking Kevin's way to the portal, and Sam and Quorra close to escape, Clu turned to Kevin to retrieve his prize — the identity disc that would unlock the way to the real world. When Clu learned that Kevin in fact possessed Quorra's disc, he ran to the portal to stop the younger pair from escaping. Although Sam tried to turn back for his father, Kevin insisted that he go and take Quorra with him, hopeful that her existence would change the outside world.

Flynn re integrating Clu

Flynn Reintegrates Clu

Kevin then tapped his power to block Clu from reaching Sam and Quorra. Dragging Clu back by force of will, Kevin pulled the program back into himself in a bid to finally destroy it. Reintegrating Clu, Kevin sacrificed himself in order to save his son and Quorra. A huge blast erupted from the reintegration, consuming the portal and destroying the carrier ship that was drawing close overhead.[8]


General information

Personality

In his youth, Flynn acted very comedic and childish, Flynn also sought out perfection and thus, created Clu 2 in order to make the perfect system. Flynn mainly focused on the Grid, and even told his young son Sam about it, as well as thinking hightly of ISOs.

When Flynn's games were stolen by Dillinger, Flynn continuously tried to look for evidence of the theft of his game, and even being delighted when finally receiving it. After being trapped inside of the Grid, Flynn adopted a Zen lifestyle and became wiser as he grew older, and in his final moments, he thought about the memories he shared with his son Sam.

Other Appearances

250x

" I'll be back for them before the end of your shift. And if they're not completed by the time I return... Well there are far worse punishments than the games I can assure you ."

This section of the article is incomplete, please help the Tron Wiki by expanding it.

TRON: Evolution - Battle Grids

Flynn appears in the non-canon video game, TRON: Evolution - Battle Grids.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Kevin Flynn appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Flynn has the same role he had in TRON: Legacy, though this time Flynn, along with Quorra and Sam are either accompanied by Sora or Riku in the story.

TRON RUN/r

Kevin Flynn, in his original outfit from the 1982 TRON film, appears as a playable character in TRON RUN/r.

Disney Heroes: Battle Mode

Kevin Flynn DHBM Promo

Flynn in Disney Heroes: Battle Mode

Kevin Flynn in his Legacy appearance, appears in Disney Heroes: Battle Mode. Flynn needs 80 Kevin Flynn chips in order to be unlocked and his star level is 3. Flynn's skills consist of:

  • Power Cleanse
  • Weakest Link
  • Data Shield
  • Amin Priveleges

Flynn also has a friendship with Quorra in this game.

Trivia

  • According to the 4th draft of the script for TRON, Flynn's hometown is Paramus, New Jersey.
  • In TRON: Legacy, Flynn still used phrases from the 70's and 80's like "radical" whenever something piqued his interest, but had developed a more detached sense of self in addition to his more spiritual view on life, and was shown meditating, describing the process as "knocking on the sky and listen[ing] to the sound." Following an argument with his son, Kevin told Sam, "You're messing with my Zen thing, man." This emphasis on Zen spirituality was likely influenced by Jeff Bridges, who espouses Buddhist philosophies.
  • A scene in TRON: Legacy shows Clu rotating a pair of Baoding spheres in his hand, while a later scene shows Flynn to possess a Yoshimoto cube.

External Links

References

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