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By Konami Arcade 1986


Jeeps are pretty cool vehicles huh? Well they were in MASH anyway. And they're even cooler with a big, shiny machine gun plus grenade or missile launcher bolted on the top. At least, of course, in a video game.. ;)

Konami's Jackal was an addictive little arcade shoot 'n'
rescue 'em up which could probably best be described as 'Choplifter in a jeep.' Your mission was to penetrate deep into enemy territory in your aforementioned vehicle to rescue a number of POWs from each of the game's
zones, and drop them off at US chopper pick-up points conveniently positioned a regular intervals along the way.

Jackal was tremendous fun as an arcade game, especially when played with a buddy in another jeep, where you could cover each other while dropping off POWs at pick-up points, or alternatively, cash allowing, play competitively, bashing each others jeep into obstacles and traps and nabbing each others power-ups or racing to pick up friendlies before your mate did. The weapon system was also rather neat, with a machine-gun which fired upscreen regardless which way your jeep was pointing, plus an additional grenade or missile launcher which shot forward in the direction you were facing.

Being a 'push-scrolling' vertical shooter, Jackal could also be played more or less at your own pace, it was possible to rush madly upscreen through the game a la Commando, leaving your poor POWs stranded (hehe!) or proceed carefully and strategically picking off enemies and trying to grab as many POWs as possible for a high score. The game designers must have realised the scope for hanging around too long on each level and hogging the game in the arcades as they sent tiny troops after you if you dallied in one place too long. They were easily dealt with though by squishing them under your tires which was a lot of fun!

A good home version of Jackal was released for the NES, and it can be enjoyed nowadays in MAME, where it is still a very playable little game. If you never tried it in the arcades I would thoroughly recommend it. Even better, grab a pal with which to enjoy a two-player vehicular shooting spree!

As you progress through Jackal you'll come
across attack from all sides, land, sea and air..

Incoming! Enemy A-10 Jeepbusters ahoy..

Return to 'Nam..

"Infrared satellites soaring miles above Earth have spotted dozens of American prisoners of war still trapped on enemy soil. Missing for years but never forgotten, these men must be brought home. But America is in no position to risk an all-out invasion that could prompt retaliation. Instead, the only possible hope for their freedom is a small scale commando raid - code name JACKAL.

Immediately the President turns to the Green Berets and their combat-ready, tactical infiltrating "Jeep Squad". The Jeep Squad is comprised of twenty all-terrain, four-wheel drive, super-mobile attack jeeps, each equipped with one driver and one gunner. Only forty of the Green Berets' bravest and most cunning soldiers belong to this elite fighting force, and because of the secrecy of the mission, only a few of them qualify for the rescue attempt.

Needless to say, you've been chosen to be one of the few, the proud, the Jackals. So work up your courage and polish up your guns, because it's time to save the life of each and every brave American POW. And before you go, your country would just like to say, "Good luck, son. Don't come home alone.."

Intro to the Nintendo console version of Jackal's manual.. and written tongue firmly
in cheek I presume.. ;)

For some reason enemy gun emplacements don't seem to be able to fire behind them so if you can sneek up from this position and take them out you're laughing.
A bit difficult here though..

Things start to get pretty hectic about two thirds of the way into the game (above). Rats..surrounded. Where's the air cavalry when you need 'em? (Below) Luckily your weaponry can be upgraded if you manage to pick up enough POWs along the way.

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