ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jackal Arcade Game

Updated on October 12, 2013
RetroBrothers profile image

Martin has been a software developer for many years. This is mixed with a passion for retro machines and game,

Jackal Arcade Game

Those gaming giants Konami released the action fest Jackal into the amusement arcades back in 1986.

This classic game took the top-down vertical scrolling viewpoint as you took the battle hardened 'Jackal' squad into enemy territory to rescue as many of your fellow soldiers as possible.

Whilst never being a massive hit it was still a popular choice with arcade goers and casual gamers alike.

I enjoyed playing this one back in the day and must have thrown plenty of ten pence coins into it!

I became quite a dab-hand at this game (even if I say so myself!) and enjoyed the simplicity of the action and the ever increasing difficulty level.

With it's nicely constructed levels, superb weapon power-ups and fast moving action Konami had once again delivered the game-play goods.

Let's take a look at another fine game from Konami as the Jackal squad race into action...

Jackal Arcade Game Opening Screen

The opening screen to Konami's Jackal
The opening screen to Konami's Jackal

Jackal Arcade Gameplay

In the game you took control of the 'Jackal squad' which was a four-man team composed of Colonel Decker, Lieutenant Bob, Sergeant Quint and Corporal Grey.

The team had been sent to rescue soldiers being held as hostages by the dastardly enemy.

One or two players controlled the teams who parachuted in and jumped into an armed jeep.

The jeep(s) was used to venture through several enemy strongholds to rescue those comrades imprisoned there.

In each of the six levels the goal was to rescue the prisoners from various buildings dotted around the landscape, and then transfer them to helicopters patiently waiting at various heli-pads.

Once the soldiers were secure, it was then time for the usual end of level boss battle who had to be defeated before you could proceed to the next level.

If you managed to fight your way to the last level, there were two bosses to take on and fight.

As with most run and gun games, there was a points system that granted the player extra lives depending on the score attained.

If a collision occurred with an enemy vehicle, or the jeep was hit by an enemy bullet, a life was lost.

To add some variety to the game some buildings contained one flashing prisoner; if this man was rescued the jeep's primary weapon was given an upgrade.

Further weapon powerups could also be attained if enough prisoners were rescued. The powerup was granted during the unloading process to the rescue helicopter.

The Jeep's initial weapons consisted of a machine gun and a grenade launcher.

The grenade launcher was not bad for starters, but once upgraded it became a serious ass-kicker.

Once it was transformed into a rocket launcher things got good. When it was further upgraded to shoot long-range missiles or even 'spread missiles' enemy destruction was dealt out with every click of the fire button.

The day of the Jackal was at hand. Muhahahhaaaaa!

Jackal Arcade Game In Action

Your jeep takes on enemy boats in Konami's Jackal
Your jeep takes on enemy boats in Konami's Jackal

Jackal Arcade Game

Take out the enemy soldiers in Konami's Jackal
Take out the enemy soldiers in Konami's Jackal

Jackal Gameplay Differences Around the World

There were subtle differences to Jackal depending on where in the world you were playing it, with three versions of the original coin-operated game manufactured

The original Japanese version was called 'Tokushu Butai Jackal', the world version (which I played) was titled 'Jackal' and the North American version was called 'Top Gunner'.

In the Japanese version, the machine gun shot bullets in the direction the jeep was facing, whereas in the worldwide and North American versions, the gun was 'fixed' so that it always shot it's ammunition northwards.

The 'fixed gun' actually added a tactical element to the game as it made it a little less easy to mow down the enemy troops.

Jackal Arcade Game In Action

Jackal on the NES

Jackal on the Commodore 64

Jackal Arcade Game Popularity

Jackal was a reasonable hit for Konami and was a popular choice with arcade goers.

The game was very playable and the difficulty level increased gradually as you progressed through each level.

The 'north facing gun' added some strategy to the proceedings; but the real fun was to be had by driving over any enemy troops that were running around the landscape. This game did it years before Grand Theft Auto did!

You had to beware any rocket-launcher toting troops though as they could take you out with one well placed hit.

Conversions of arcade games was commonplace by 1986 and Jackal ended up being released for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC 464 and the ZX Spectrum,

Consoles such as the Famicon and NES were also treated to Jackal, and a PC version was also released in 1989!

Not all of the conversions were great, and Jackal ZX Spectrum was a disappointment.

Jackal Arcade Game Theme Music

Jackal Arcade Game Music

This game featured some very 'toe tapping' music that integrated with the gameplay nicely.

I used to find myself humming the background music for days after playing the game.

The music was absent from the Spectrum and C64 versions which again was a major let down.

The NES version did manage to incorporate the music and it was the best version I ever played outside of the arcade.

Jackal Acade Game Co-Op Mode

Jackal could be played by two players in co-operative mode.

This was a lot of fun as you and a friend teamed up to take on the bad guys.

One of you could lay down covering fire whilst the other collected hostages from a building.

This game was great fun as a solo experience or as a double act.

Jackal Arcade Game Controls Overlay

Want to know how to play the Jackal arcade game?
Want to know how to play the Jackal arcade game?

Anyone care to comment on Konami's Jackal?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      4 years ago

      The game looks fun

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I miss the old games, this new technology just don't have the same vibe. I guess because it's got so complex it's just not as fun anymore.

    • RetroBrothers profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin Allan 

      6 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the comments. I don't know if Colonel Decker was inspired by the A-Team character, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

      Funnily enough I've never played Contra, so I'll have to give it a go.

      Cheers mate.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 

      6 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Terrific Review of the game, and it reminds me heavily of an old Xbox Live Arcade game, Assault Heroes. I love run 'n' gun games but my all-time favourite is Contra! Just one question though: has the Colonel Decker in this game got anything to do with the same one in the A-Team? ^^

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting! ^^


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)