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The Light Cycle first appeared in the 1982 movie Tron. The game in the movie was like the popular game Snake, where the player had to guide other players into the lines created by the cycles. It appears in Kingdom Hearts II as a mini-game with different rules than the original.
In the game, the competitors were forced into a life or death game where the Light Cycle bikes would create lines wherever they went. If a bike crashed into a line, the rider would be derezzed. The game is played in a Light Cycle arena, a large empty space with a gridded floor and walls all around.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Sora had to play a round of Light Cycle against some cycle-like Heartless, after Goofy fiddled around with the computer in the holding cell in Space Paranoids. Unlike its predecessor, walls would self-generate as Sora raced through it, while the Heartless would also race against Sora, attempting to run him into the walls.
After completing it once for the storyline, Light Cycle becomes a replayable mini-game in which you have to destroy as many Heartless as you can before dying or coming to the end of the course.
Riku's Light Cycle can switch between a ribbon-generating mode and a turret-firing mode.]] After getting captured by a Recognizer and meeting Sam Flynn, Riku is forced by CLU to play a round of Light Cycle. After derezzing numerous Guards, the Commantis appears, which Riku battles. The Dream Eater flees after its defeat, while a fed-up Riku blasts a heart-shaped hole in the stadium wall and escapes, eventually reuniting with Sam.
The design of the Light Cycle is completely different than that of the original movie, instead using the design of the redesigned Light Cycles from the PC game first sequel to the movie, Tron 2.0. The design difference is that it is more like a real-life motorcycle than a capsule-like one, and looking like the redesign from the theatrical sequel of the first movie, Tron: Legacy.
Light Cycles mini-game
Kingdom Hearts II
The Light Cycle mini-game operates under a rock-paper-scissors-esque attack system. If you Attack an enemy while it is guarding, you are blown away. If you use Charge against an enemy that is guarding, the barrier will be destroyed and the Heartless damaged. You can easily block a Charge with an Attack. If you pass through a barrier or run into a wall, you will take damage.
- Guard: A shield surrounds the bike and protects against Heartless attacks. It protects from Attack, but is ineffective against Charge.
- Charge: The bike charges up and then smashes the nearest target. It breaks through Guard, but is vulnerable to Attack.
- Attack: Sora attacks Heartless with the Keyblade. It can be used against Charge, but is weak against Guard.
- / : Turns the bike left.
- / : Turns the bike right.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
The Light Cycle controls are much simpler here than in Kingdom Hearts II, it consists of:
- : Switch between Light Wall and turrets.
- : Shoot: Shoot a turret towards enemies.
- : Jump: Light cycle jumps, preventing Riku from getting attacked by Light Walls.
The ultimate goal of the Light Cycles mini-game is to, finding a way through hidden walls, tight turns and to destroy 40 Heartless and to find a way to escape. There are only 2 types of Heartless available in the mini-game:
- Magnum Loader
- Blue: The blue Magnum Loaders can simply attack Sora with simple attacks.
- Yellow: The yellow Magnum Loaders can charge at Sora.
- Red: The red Magnum Loaders can guard themselves.
- White: The white Magnum Loaders can attack, guard, and charge.
- These are found only in the exit of the mini-game and will shoot at Sora. If Guard is used correctly, it can protect Sora from harm and destroy these Heartless.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
The first time Riku participates in the Light Cycle, he is required to play until the Commantis appears. A variety of enemies appear to try to stop him.
Afterward, Riku can return to the Light Cycle track in order to play the mini-game version. Here, he attempts to take down as many opponents as possible to obtain points.
- Guards ride Light Cycles and try to damage Riku with their Light Wall. They can be destroyed with Riku's Light Wall or turrets.
- Flying Guards fly along the track and attack Riku with bombs. They can be shot down with Riku's turrets.
- Recognizers are indestructible, and shoot a single laser down the track before flying away.