Kevin Flynn is a character who appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. He originated from the Disney film, Tron, and its sequel, Tron: Legacy. He is the father of Sam Flynn, and the creator of The Grid and CLU (Coded Likeness Utility).
Before Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Over ten years before Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Kevin Flynn was the CEO of a company called ENCOM in an unknown world. According to Tron, this company, and Flynn himself, created the data world of Space Paranoids, as well as himself and the Master Control Program. However, the original program was said to be destroyed. Ansem the Wise found the old system and copied it onto his own computer, as well as its inhabitants.
Meanwhile, Kevin Flynn created another world out of data from the original program, a more evolved world called The Grid. He also created CLU 2, a program designed to help him make the perfect system, as well as getting help from Tron. Upon the discovery of a new life form called ISOs, Flynn saw their potential for the word, and abandoned his previous project. However, CLU saw it as a violation of his code, and usurped Flynn's position in a coup. Tron was presumed derezzed, but helped Flynn escape. Cut off from the outside world, Flynn was then trapped there for twenty years.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Not long before Sora and Riku's arrival on the Grid, Kevin Flynn was reunited with his son, Sam, who had thought him previously dead. Because of Sam's arrival, a portal to their home world had been opened. Using Flynn's disc, "the master key" of The Grid, they could escape through it. Sam wanted to make a run for it, but Flynn argued, saying they would be playing into CLU's hands. In the end, Flynn rejected the idea of going, so Sam left in secret to go and get help from outside. Discovering this, Flynn went in pursuit.
In Sora's story, Flynn, accompanied by Quorra and his son, they witness Sora's escape from CLU's forces, and his standoff with Rinzler. Flynn recognizes him for Tron. He is also perplexed by Sora's weapon, the Keyblade, understanding he never wrote a code for it. They approach Sora about the Keyblade, and Sora comments on being in a world like Tron's (Space Paranoids). Flynn explains to Sora that he's right, and that the program Rinzler is Tron, repurposed by CLU. Sora becomes bent to save him. Flynn explains CLU might have Tron's source code, and they might be able to restore him to his original self. Quorra offers to help Sora, and Flynn agrees, seeing it as a useful way to get a new ally. While Sora and Quorra head off, he and Sam keep going to the portal, to catch up with Quorra later.
In Riku's story, his role is nearly exactly that of the film. He first meets Riku with Sam and an comatose Quorra, injured from their escape from Sam's contact. In the chaos, his Identity Disc was stolen, and he realizes they have to run for the portal now, as well as getting back the disc. Riku agrees to join them. As they take a Solar Sailor, Flynn heals Quorra through her disc, and reveals her to be an ISO. He explains the ISO's origins and CLU's destruction of them in his pursuit for perfection. Riku muses how if someone focuses on one idea, they blot out everything else they care about, like Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. The Sailor accidentally boards the Rectifier, CLU's battleship. There, Quorra has herself captured by Rinzler to help the Flynns and Riku escape. As Sam and Riku save her and the disc, Flynn commandeers a Light Jet.
They escape on the jet and arrive at the portal, where CLU is waiting for them. CLU is furious at Flynn for breaking their promise of a perfect world, and has the Dream Eater, Commantis, attack Riku to show his power. It falls under the Keyblade wielder's blade, and Flynn explains the true nature of perfection; it's unknowable, but always in front of them. CLU never knew that because Flynn didn't while creating him. His apology comes to no end, as CLU attacks and tries to take Flynn's disc. Sam, Quorra and Riku are on the opposite side as the bridge withdraws on both sides, separating them. CLU discovers Quorra and Flynn switched discs, and tries to seize it. Urging his son on, in a desperate attempt to save him, Flynn draws CLU back into himself, reintegration, as if is called. Sam and Quorra go through the portal, while Riku watches helplessly as Flynn and CLU are utterly destroyed in a massive explosion. Flynn's sacrifice enables his son and the last ISO to go home, and for Riku to open the Sleeping Keyhole of the Grid.
Flynn's appearance is based on his attire in Tron: Legacy, in which he is shown with long, grey hair and a bushy mustache and beard on his face. He is clad in long, charcoal robes, the inside of which glows white. An Identity Disc is on his back, as with all programs.
In his hideout, Kevin's attire is pure white.
Kevin, in contrast to his son, Sam, has a less impulsive nature. Due to his old age, he is calm with a large degree wisdom, and often has a habit to meditate. During his exile, he became overly cautious and refused to move against CLU, focusing on keeping alive and keeping CLU out of his home world. However, reuniting with his son awakened a part of him that accepted the idea of taking risks. For example, he decides to make an all-out sprint for the portal in spite of the danger, and allows Sora and Quorra to try and help Tron from CLU's clutches.
Kevin used to idealize making a perfect system, as did CLU. His technical knowledge is immense enough for him to make it a possibility, for him to create two worlds of data as well as their inhabitants. However, upon seeing the wonder of the ISOs, a bio-digital life-form, he abandoned his previous ideas. He became aware that perfection was impossible, but they should always aspire to it. Flynn also shows a great sense of selflessness. He went alone to help Sam and Quorra escape the trap of Zuse (never shown in the game), and at the very last moment, sacrifices himself so his son can go free.
Kevin Flynn first appears in the 1982 film, Tron, in which he is portrayed as a former ENCOM game designer whose games were swindled from him by rival programmer, Ed Dillinger, who acquired a series of promotions and made it to CEO of ENCOM. Flynn tries numerous times to hack into the system and obtain evidence of Dillinger's crimes, and one particular attempt gets him sent into the datascape, where he joins forces with Tron, Ram, Yori and Dumont to battle Sark and the Master Control Program and win his freedom. Flynn succeeds and gains his rightful position as CEO of ENCOM.
Following his promotion, Flynn creates an isolated server - his digital frontier - called "the Grid", intended as a playground where he could experiment to his heart's content, and it slowly took on a life of its own as it teemed with programs of all sorts. Kevin copied and upgraded Tron from ENCOM servers in order to protect the Grid, naming a city in his honor. Years later, while escorting Flynn to the portal to the real world, they are ambushed by CLU 2 and four Black Guards. Tron tells Kevin to run as he fends them off, leaving him to fight and ultimately lose to CLU 2 as Kevin makes a run for it.
In the 2010 sequel, Tron: Legacy, Flynn has been missing for twenty years. His son, Sam, ventures into the Grid to find him, only to discover that it has been taken over by CLU 2, and Flynn has been living in exile all this time with an ISO, Quorra. Eventually, when Flynn learns of CLU 2's plans to attack and take over the real world, which he sees as "imperfect", he joins forces with Sam and Quorra to escape back to the real world and trap CLU 2 inside the Grid forever. CLU 2 pursues them, ending in a confrontation outside the Portal. Flynn taps into his power and draws CLU 2 back into himself by force of will, allowing Sam and Quorra to escape before releasing a huge blast from the reintegration.