Darkened chamber, dismal howls;
Is it tigers, wolves, or owls?
Now I spy him through the gloom:
Dr. Jackal, I presume!

--The Roguelet's ABC

compiled overview of the 30ton Jackal 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The Jackal was designed by the now famous Vining Engineering and Salvage Team (VEST) in conjunction with House Marik's Earthwerks BattleMech factory on Keystone. VEST began as a five person BattleMech salvage operation on Solaris VII and in seven months has grown into one of the most innovative design groups for the Battlefield technology in the InnerSphere.

The key to VEST's approach is that the designers study and analyze the combat conditions up close, then engineer to meet the needs of the MechWarriors. During salvaging operations on Carse and Nox (1st wave of the Clan invasion) VEST's design team reviewed Clan tactics and the damage they caused to InnerSphere units. They determined that 'Mechs capable of inflicting concentrated damage at long ranges would be most useful to InnerSphere commanders.

For the structure of the Jackal, VEST used a prototype Hollis Mrk VI endo steel frame as the basis for their design. Drawing again on their first-hand experience of the Clans, the engineers tackled the problem of manufacturing a hard-hitting BattleMech with the defenses to hang in for a prolonged fight against superior Clan firepower. One very powerful, energy weapon would be needed to provide unlimited firing and conserve weight for armor.

The core of the Jackal's firepower is the Aberdovey Mk XXX extended range PPC. Mounted in the 'Mech's upper right shoulder, the weapon has proved easy to service. Rather than waste space on static discharge coil systems, the VEST designers simply allow for rear discharge; when the Jackal fires its PPC, there is a blast of blue static electricity out of the back of the 'Mech to the rear of the PPC mount. Though it is not dangerous, the rear discharge is a menacing sight, silhouetting the Jackal during night operations.

Backing the PPC's onslaught is a Holly Streak SRM-2 Pack with 50 salvos. A Burow Anti-Missle System adds another defensive measure and helps against infantry.

In order to sell their design, VEST offered it to a promising new stable on Solaris VII, where the 'Mech took part in several matches. The Jackal proved to be a deadly hunter 'Mech. With speed and firepower equally balanced, it was able to slowly chew away at its opposition before the enemy could close for a kill. Earthwerks was so impressed with the 'Mechs performance that they purchased the design immediately.

Quite a few of these new BattleMechs have been sold to House Liao and deployed along their Periphery border with the Magistracy of Canopus. In the very limited engagements occurring there, the Jackal has served as a highly effective deterrent to the typical Periphery border raiders/pirates.

The Federated Commonwealth has also expressed interest in procurring a shipment of Jackals, but their order has been delayed by the notorious tangle of red tape created by the Free Worlds League's bureaucracy. MIIO operatives believe that the delays are intentional rather than coincidental. According to unofficial sources, the Jackal was designed to be a commodity shared only by House Liao and House Marik.

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

A game for the 8-bit NES published by Konami, notable for the chance that it gave players to drive a jeep around and press enemy soldiers into scrunched up little worms. Most Nintendo games of the time followed a rule that the hero, though brave, strong, fast and athletic was instantly slain by contact with his meanest foes. This seemed to most adolescent boys (or at least to this adolescent boy) unfair and frustrating at the time. Jackal reversed this rule, and so satisfied a certain natural atavistic impulse in its target demographic, by peppering its screens with miniature bazooka wielding soldiers who would shrivel and die when run over by the player's jeep. This was both satisfying and prudent, as even in video games it is a bad idea to let men with portable rockets roam unmolested.

One shouldn't get the impression that Jackal was one large orgy of big on small butchery (for that see Rampage). There were enemy tanks, and other jeeps, and airplanes that threw explosive juggling clubs. Players also had the opportunity to rescue their own miniature warriors by blowing up enemy huts and allowing POWs to hitch rides. It was quite extraordinary to see how many friendly soldiers could pile into a five seater jeep, especially considering that it didn't have a luggage compartment or roof rack.

Stocking up on POWs was fun because whenever the player was blown up the accumulated hitchhikers would scramble out and wander around forlornly looking for a ride. After a while if not picked up they disappeared, presumably eaten by bears or beaten up by bazooka wielding scrunched up worms who hadn't enjoy being flattened.

It was a fun game back in the 80's / 90's and one that through the magic of piracy can now be enjoyed for free. It's amazing how much I spent on games that can now be downloaded for nothing off of the internet and which take up less than a 128k to boot.

Note: passport points out that the NES version was a port of the arcade game known as Top Gunner in the US and Jackal in Japan and Europe.

Jack"al` (?), n. [Pers. shaghal: cf. OF. jackal, F. chacal; cf. Skr. ss�xf0;gala.]

1. Zool.

Any one of several species of carnivorous animals inhabiting Africa and Asia, related to the dog and wolf. They are cowardly, nocturnal, and gregarious. They feed largely on carrion, and are noted for their piercing and dismal howling.

⇒ The common species of Southern Asia (Canis aureus) is yellowish gray, varied with brown on the shoulders, haunches, and legs. The common African species (C. anthus) is darker in color.


One who does mean work for another's advantage, as jackals were once thought to kill game which lions appropriated.


Ld. Lytton.


© Webster 1913.

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