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In the computer world, energy behaves like water from the real world, and is an essential form of nourishment for programs. If a program does not have enough energy, he or she may derez. Digitized users can also consume energy, reaping the same benefits; they can also use the power it bestows to help restore broken vehicles or even save lives by transferring it to a person or object.
Liquid energy can be found naturally in rural parts of the computer world. In the ENCOM system, it occurs in streams flowing through caves and canyons; on the Grid it flows underground and in pools or lakes in the Outlands, and can be mined or tapped to power cities.
Refined energy is sold at locations like the 0001001 Club and the End of Line Club in beverages sometimes referred to as energy drinks. These drinks usually glow, can be translucent or opaque with optional addition of umbrellas, straws, or tiny cubes resembling ice, and come in bright colors such as pale blue, vivid pink, and electric green, though bright white (or translucent with a white glow) appears to be the most common color.
Pure energy was first seen in a cavern in TRON, shortly after Ram, Tron, and Kevin Flynn escaped from the game grid. When Flynn asked what the glowing stuff was, Ram replied, "That is just what I need right now." Still mystified, Flynn followed his fellow conscripts to the edge of the stream, which shone with a pure blue light as the programs lifted it in their hands. Their circuitry glowed brightly as they drank, indicating that they were regaining energy, and Tron clarified, "You forget how good the power feels until you get to a pure source."
Flynn later figured out how to transfer his energy to a broken recognizer, restoring it to near-full functionality, a feat which Ram, who still believed him to be a program, had not thought possible. Conversely, when he drained energy from one of Sark's guards in order to assume his circuit color as a disguise, the guard derezzed, unsettling him. In a similar process, Flynn saved Yori's life by transferring some his energy to her when passage through Sark's derez gate nearly killed her. His redirection of power to create a link between two Solar Sailer beams, another feat impossible for a normal program, left him exhausted, though he brushed off questions of how he had known it would work by saying, "A beam of energy can always be diverted."
In TRON: Uprising, liquid energy was a popular beverage among patrons of the 0001001 Club, served in single glasses or in wide bowls which accommodated several programs. In one incident, General Tesler's mining of energy under Argon City caused widespread blackouts until his drill was destroyed; in another, Tron and Beck consigned the disc of a dead friend to a bubbling energy pool in the Outlands, which appeared to act upon the disc in such a way that the program's code was released into the system. A swirling energy pool between Argon and Gallium hid Cyrus's prison. Zed also repeated a joke -- which he found funny but which his coworkers didn't understand -- whose punchline was "And then the siren says, 'That's not energy you're drinking'."
In TRON: Legacy, pools resembling liquid energy were seen outside Flynn's safehouse, and blue glowing drinks featured in the banquet prepared by Flynn as a welcome for his son Sam. Later, Sam encountered a destitute program who appeared to be holding a plastic bottle of liquid energy. Upon Sam's arrival at the End of Line Club, Zuse ordered "libations for everybody!" and poured drinks for them both in his private chambers; however, his later attempt to bargain with Clu for control of the Grid ended when Clu mixed a drink for him in exchange for Flynn's disc, leaving him to hold it in stunned realization of his approaching fate as Black Guards planted mines in his club.
In TRON: Evolution, Anon can regain health energy by running across Energy Transfer Conduits (ETCs), which appear as glowing strips on walls. He can obtain energy for special attacks by vaulting across energy pods and consoles.
In TRON 2.0, energy patch routines make an appearance; players can walk up to patch routines and activate them to download energy. There are two types of energy patch routines: green, which give a limited amount of energy (usually about 100 points of energy), and light blue, which give an unlimited amount of energy. Light blue patches are less common and harder to find than green ones. The game also features some energy pools, which give unlimited energy, but do so more slowly than a patch routine.
Energy in TRON 2.0 does a few extra things: it allows the player to fire weapons other than the Identity Disc; provides for downloads permission, subroutines, or e-mails; or activates some doors and switches. Maximum allowed energy may increase with the player's version number.