|“||I should never have written all those tank programs.||”|
|Vehicle Type||Tracked armored combat vehicle|
|Behind the scenes|
The Tank, also known as a Light Tank, is a vehicle in the computer world, mainly used by military-security programs and hacker programs. Tanks are seen in every subcategory of the TRON franchise, and are one of very few, if not the only, vehicles in the system that did not undergo drastic changes in the design. The basic structure is almost exactly the same in 2010 as in 1982, a rarity in the Tron system.
A tank's main (perhaps only) weapon is the large cannon mounted on its turret. The cannon rotates 360° and can be raised and lowered for ranged shots. Although tanks can fire vertically, as seen when taking down recognizers in point-of-view shots in TRON, it has never been shown how the turret is capable of being raised to a 90° angle. Tanks are able to fire a powerful chevron of energy which can destroy vehicles and terrain.
Tanks are not very fast, as light cycles can normally outrun them. Their weight also makes them slow to respond to controls, ponderous and difficult to turn or stop. However, light cycles and airborne recognizers cannot withstand the powerful energy projectiles that tanks fire at enemies.
Each tank holds up to three operators: a driver, a gunner, and a command program also handling communications. While three programs are a normal tank crew (especially for military operations), a single operator can also manage a tank alone, especially for hacking purposes.
Tanks in the ENCOM system can be distinguished by their tread color. Like recognizers, tanks tend to adjust their circuitry color to match that of their crew.
Tanks in TRON: Uprising possess a second set of adjustable treads which can be used to raise and lower the body of the tank for greater mobility. These tanks are repaired and maintained via mechanics' access to their code.
In the real world, as seen in TRON, tanks were featured in the ENCOM arcade game Space Paranoids, designed by Kevin Flynn. They were controlled by the player, and also served as enemies. Flynn regularly played the game at his arcade, breaking his own record. On the other side of the screen, Flynn's program, Clu, piloted a light tank, and destroyed several recognizers before his capture. Light tanks later pursued Flynn, Ram, and Tron as they escaped from the Game Grid, despite the loss of one tank which was knocked off a cliff when another failed to brake in time. Eventually, a tank shot two of the escapees down as they crossed a bridge, destroying their light cycles and fatally injuring Ram.
In the video game TRON 2.0, which is no longer main-branch canon, tanks make a brief appearance as a foil to the main protagonist, Jet Bradley. They shoot at Jet while he attempts to activate a platform that will help him escape from them. The tanks are considered "read-only," computer jargon meaning that they cannot be derezzed. They are enemies only and cannot be operated by players.
In TRON: Uprising, tanks were regularly seen as part of the Occupation patrolling Argon City. In The Price of Power, the programs at Able's garage built a special, enormous tank for General Tesler. The tank was severely damaged, however, when a Recognizer crashed into it shortly after its completion. An attempt by Beck to sabotage Tesler's tank fleet was initially successful when the tank cannons glitched and could not be fired; however, the tanks were debugged by Able's garage crew under threat of being sent to the Games.
In TRON: Evolution, Anon not only faced tanks as enemies, but on some occasions, he could drive them. In these occurances, he blasted his way through recognizers, sentries, and other tanks to get from one location to the other.
Back in the real world, as shown in the Flynn Lives alternate reality game, light tanks continued to make money for ENCOM with the continued popularity of Space Paranoids and its internet counterpart, Space Paranoids Online.
- The interior of the tank was a complex set with a rotating chair and cockpit. It was one of the few sets in TRON where camera movement was allowed to be shot, as the background was very simplistic to animate.
- Purchasing the TRON Apartment on Sony's PlayStation (PS3) Home allows players to drive an RC version of this tank.
- In TRON: Evolution for PSP, tanks can be rezzed from a baton.
- Tank colors in TRON reflect the original coloring intended for programs: blue for Sark's forces, and yellow for the 'good' characters such as the original Clu. (The soldiers on the Game Grid use a different system: red for Sark, and blue for conscripts.) The tanks themselves also change color depending on their crews: those loyal to Sark are blue, and non-Sark tanks are red.