Saturday Neglected Character Double Feature Part VIII - What’s My Name Again?
Fucking ISOs. How do they work.
The ISOs are everyone’s favorite Surprise Space Aliens From Nowhere MacGuffin People (except Clu, of course). In the words of Chester A. Bum, “We were just born one day and decided to create ourselves!” Now, by now you guys all know my deep and abiding (and probably misguided) love for Betrayal and Evolution, which are the only places we ever get much of a look at these vague and mysterious lifeforms, and in this half of today’s double feature we’ll be taking a look at the very first ISO ever to show up on the scene.
It all started innocently enough. Flynn and Clu and Tron are taking a stroll down on the beach, checking out a funky whirlpool, when all of a sudden…
Meet Ophelia…er…Radia…er…Opheliradia…WHATEVER. JFC, Tron franchise development teams, get your shit together. (I find it hilarious that Flynn is all gaga over her picking her own name when the writers can’t even decide what the hell her name is.) Anyway, meet Radia, the first ISO. Despite her fucking terrifying first appearance in Betrayal, she’s actually quite a nice person!
Radia ends up becoming the de facto leader of the ISOs—Queen ISOdala, if you will. Together with her (doomed) friend and maybe-sweetheart Jalen, she founds Arjia City, a crystal-spires-and-togas colony founded on worship of the Users and peaceful co-existence with their Basic neighbors.
Radia also acts almost like the Professor Xavier of the ISOs, with the poorly-defined ability to link up with the whole of Arjia city and empathically/telepathically sense and communicate with her fellow ISOS.
(Art Credit to Winzler)
As racial tension between ISOs and Basics mounts, Flynn decides to try and defuse things by naming Radia co-Administrator for the Grid alongside Clu, in the hopes that they will work together to unify the grid.
Translation: “Bullshit bullshit bullshit gonna kill you all bullshit bullshit yes Queen Amidala I will totally work with you bullshit bullshit bullshit oh look zombies!”
Unfortunately, things end up going to hell in a big old hurry right about this exact second, courtesy of Clu’s Operation Zombie Apocalypse false-flag scheme, guest starring her former best friend as a superpowered mutant zombie Typhoid Mary. She does her level best to help save her people and the rest of the Grid, though, leading Anon and Quorra to the people who can get them to Flynn and trying to warn the ISOs before Clu’s forces can slaughter them. This being Legacy lead-up, though, of course all her efforts are in vain, culminating in one of the worst scenes in the game.
Clu spends an entire scene gloating to Radia about his nefarious plans, and then tops the whole thing off by revealing what he did to Jalen. He’s practically giggling the entire time, and you seriously want to punch the bastard right in the teeth. But alas, Anon is not given the option, and has to keep on watching while Abraxas comes in and straight-up guts Radia with his disc.
Rather than allow herself to become infected like poor Jalen, she literally explodes in a burst of light, to which Snidely Clulash can only reply with a very Keanu Reeves “Whoa.”