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Derezzed: Tron Legacy LEGO reimagined

In May 2018 LEGO released the LEGO Ideas Tron Legacy set. I immediately began to brainstorm how to convert the light cycles into jousting horses. My goal: recreate the jousting scene from Daft Punk’s 2010 video Derezzed.

Inspiration

Lego is a family thing for us. I’ve played with Legos with my son since before he can remember. And due to a nefarious plot on my part, my son is a huge fan of Daft Punk, Tron, and retro arcade games. But he was deeply disappointed by the ending of the second Tron movie, Tron Legacy. Just before Sam Flynn died my son turned to me and said, crestfallen, “but they never played doubles”. Earlier, about halfway through the movie there was a flashback scene where 7-year-old Kevin Flynn asked his father “Can we play doubles? On the same team?” And the father replied “We’re always on the same team.” My son waited the rest of the movie for them to play together. So now I try to only play coop games — doubles — with him.

Daft Punk created the soundtrack for the second Tron movie, Tron Legacy, and released a single for the song Derezzed. The Derezzed video opened with Daft Punk walking into Flynn’s arcade. Instead of the Tron arcade game, they walked up to a game titled Derezzed. Then they each stuck in a quarter, and began a versus game in the Tron world. Unlike Tron, in this game the light cycles transformed into horses, and the competitors extended light-based lances and shields for a game of jousting.

Many failures, one success

I went through many failed attempts to create a horse out of the Lego Ideas Tron Legacy set over the next few months. Maybe a true master builder could find a way, but I gave up after many failed attempts. Here are a couple I thought ludicrous enough to photograph.

One of those monstrosities included a joke. I gave it the head of one of the early LEGO Castle horses that I had as a child. Although it took a few days for that to sink in, by early August I knew how to make the horses, the arcade, and even the sign on the Derezzed arcade game. The jousting scene became a recreation of the 1981 set 6083 Knight’s Tournament (released earlier in Europe as 383). Luckily I already had a start for Flynn’s arcade. Two years earlier I made a machine design and Daft Punk minifigs for my son’s birthday, mimicked from designs I found online. And the sign became a modified version of the LEGO brick Curvy font that I found on Swooshable.

Knight’s Tournament, the second-ever Castle theme LEGO set. Release in 1981 as 6083 in the United States. 1979 as 383 in Europe. Note the bulky caparisons. (Image from Steve’s Lego Blog.)

My son and I worked furiously to experiment and get the parts we needed in time for Seattle’s LEGO fan convention, BrickCon. We had two months left until it opened on October 4, 2018 for builders. In the end we created a corner of Flynn’s Arcade, a jousting field, and a mountain with Derezzed written on it like the Hollywood sign.

Flynn’s Arcade

The arcade has eight machines, each with a slightly different design. Daft Punk are playing Derezzed on the original cabinet I made in 2016 for my son’s birthday. The screen is from a 1992 Space Police ship. Flanking Daft Punk and their Derezzed machine on the left is a white Fabuland machine. I experimented with sticker making for a Fabuland logo on the marquee, and frankly I was never satisfied with it. The screen is a vintage printed Fabuland tile. On their right is a machine made with a Space Invaders screen from 6868 Hulk’s Helicarrier Breakout and a Robo tile sign from the 1997 RoboForce series.

The yellow machine nearest the door is a Friends game titled I Heart HLC (Heart Lake City), which includes a hot air balloon challenge. Next to it is a Batgirl game, and then Starfarer, a space battle tactics game. Opposite Friends, Batgirl and Starfarer are two with colored clear plate screens based on the arcade games in my son’s PS4 game Lego Worlds. He built the one on the left.

It might not show in the photos, but the floor is covered in old, discolored, and scuffed up black and white tiles. As a result they give off that aged, Tron Legacy vibe. I scored them at a local used Lego store, Bricks & Co.

Derezzed jousting

The jousting field started with a riff on the black tile base of the Lego Ideas set, but much enlarged. the horses have orange and blue trails following them. In between is the 3185 red fence first produced over 50 years ago.

The design of the horses was actually not from the ones in 6083 Knight’s Tournament. Those were wider with the decorative caparisons hanging off their sides. I decided that the slender horses from the original Lego Castle set were more appropriate. After a few experiments we decided to integrate mighty micro car bodies to echo the light cycle wheels still visible in the Derezzed video. The knights are Kevin Flynn and Tron. Tron’s shield was a lucky find at Portland’s Bricks & Minifigs as we swung through town on vacation. Surprisingly it only ever shipped in two Space themed sets in 1984.

Behind the jousters is the viewing stand from 6083, redone in bright Tron colors. Instead of king and queen, the viewers are Quorra and the binocular-gazing program from the Derezzed video. In the video Quorra is actually the rider controlled by player two, the sliver-helmeted Thomas Bangalter. I pur her in the viewing stand instead as the queen and kept the LEGO set’s riders.

Derezzed mountainside

The third element in the display is the Derezzed logo on a hillside. In Tron and in the Derezzed video there is a wide plain with angular mountains in the distance. I tried to make a small piece of the mountain range. I used it as a frame for the Derezzed logo, something like the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles.

The most difficult part of the text to complete was the R. It required a modified brick called a 3 x 3 facet for the right leg. Surprisingly, not only was it in 155 sets, but also its production started 30 years ago. My guess is that the brick resellers don’t know how to identify it, and the 3 x 3 facet ends up in miscellaneous bins.

The Derezzed marquee from the arcade game in Daft Punk’s 2010 music video.
Our DEREZZED mountainside

Not subject to immediate deresolution

Our creation appeared in the Popular Culture section of Seattle’s BrickCon, nearby a massive Raiders of the Lost Ark build and cheek to jowl with many other sets. A few months after the convention the LEGO culture site Beyond the Brick posted a full walk through of BrickCon. At 25 minutes in they finally arrived at the table with Tron Derezzed Tournament. It was an honor to us that they even mentioned our MOC. It was exciting that they recognized 6083 Knight’s Tournament remixed together with Tron. Most of all it was thrilling that they enjoyed it and laughed.

On display at BrickCon 2018 as item 1402. October 4-5 (builders), and 6-7 (public)

I hope you also enjoyed reading about our MOC, and it inspires you to make your own creation. In Tron, “derezzed” means “deleted”, or erased from the world. Eight months later, our Derezzed set is still in one piece. With this article its memory is now backed up, and it can’t ever be completely derezzed.

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