- “I'd like to go against you and see what you're made of.”
- ―Before Kevin Flynn gets digitized
The Master Control Program (usually shortened to MCP) is the main antagonist of the 1982 Disney film Tron. It was a computer program created by Ed Dillinger that ruled inside ENCOM's mainframe computer to overview the game system, but rebelled himself and decided to get rid of the humans (users, as he usually refers to them). During the rule of the MCP, many programs were enslaved and pitted against the program's henchmen, led by Sark.
MCP is highly intelligent and yet ruthless. He apparently wants to get rid of humans and especially users.
MCP appears as two pointed red cylinders balanced on both points with a sphere between them. The top half has a humanoid face.
Originally created by ENCOM founder Walter Gibbs, the MCP was at first only a chess program which was left embedded in the company's computer systems.
Years later, Dillinger wrote the MCP to administer the company's computer network; however, the MCP had the capacity to learn and grew beyond the confines of its original programming. It began to steal data from other systems, and took control of several companies and institutions. Its intelligence - and ambition - grew nearly out of control, and the MCP grew to desire nothing less than world domination. In its own words, it said it could run things 900-1200 times better than any human. Dillinger once stated to it that he had made it too greedy, and was surprised that the MCP had made it into the Kremlin's computer system. Dillinger appeared to begin having reservations about letting the MCP get so powerful, which are realized when it threatens to expose his unsavory deeds to the Wall Street Journal if he tries to move against it. It then asks him (although in a tone that makes it sound more like an order) about a Chinese language program it had requested.
Eventually, however, the MCP caused its own downfall. It digitized former ENCOM programmer Flynn, who had come dangerously close to uncovering Dillinger's schemes. Flynn, in the computer world, allied himself with Tron, a security program; their combined efforts resulted in the de-resolution of the MCP by throwing a disc into the base of the MCP. The MCP then reverted back to its original chess program appearance (which, in the digital universe, appeared as an old man in a control chair) followed by this program vanishing as it was deleted.
Ed Dillinger Jr. contacts a mysterious person called MCTRL_751 who ends the talk with the words 'End of Line', this means that the MCP may have survived the De-Resolution somehow (possibly a backup copy).
The Master Control Program appears in the Kingdom Hearts series as an antagonist in Hollow Bastion's computer system. This version, however, is actually an alternate version of the original MCP encountered in the film, and was created by Ansem the Wise when the latter copied ENCOM's computer system to store his research. Although stored away at first, the MCP was reactivated and managed to create an army of digital Heartless through the data it collected along with his number two Sark as the commander of the army, while the Tron of this system was locked away.
In Kingdom Hearts II, the MCP attempted to gain access to the D.T.D. and take over the world. For a short while, the MCP did have access to it, and immediately activated the emergency self-destruct mechanism for the town. But with help from Sora and Co., Tron was able to keep him out, and created a new password. Eventually however, the MCP found another front to fight from, and managed to bring Heartless into Hollow Bastion by reactivating the Heartless manufacturer in Ansem's lab. After Tron was freed, the MCP was confronted by the group and even after transferring his power to Sark, the MCP is deleted by Cid's program, although this is accomplished by Tron sacrificing himself like in the original film. After it is shown that Tron survived, Tron afterwards takes over the MCP's role as the system of Hollow Bastion.
- The MCP has been mentioned in various shows, such as Dexter's Laboratory and South Park, due to the cult status of the film.
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