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 Usually (but not always) larger than an average tank, the Tank Boss can sometimes even be as big as several aircraft carriers duct taped together. In such cases, it will normally have a multitude of smaller guns attached; all of these can be strategically picked off to even the odds for anyone facing such a behemoth.

The Tank Boss is commonly propelled by one of two different mechanisms: treads or legs. The latter can give the Tank Boss the appearance of a spider, and its in-game name may reflect this fact in some way (see: Shadow Complex). In vertically scrolling shooters, an eagle-eyed player will note that the appearance of the Tank Boss may be foreshadowed by large tank tracks or footprints in the ground.

A Tank Boss may also give an indication of when its main turret is about to fire. One should watch for any glowing around the barrel, or listen for any whining hum which lets the player know that the weapon is warming up.

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