Jagged Alliance 2 by Al Giovetti


By Al Giovetti
Genre:Strategy Role Playing Game
Release:July 1999
Developer: SirTech
Lead Artist:
ESRB Rating: Mature content that does not step away from violence and raw gritty sexual content
Producer:Ian Currie
Publisher: Talonsoft
Phone: PO Box 632, Forest Hill, MD 21050 (410) 933-9191
Website: http://www.talonsoft.com/, http://www.sir-tech.com/
Requirements:133 MHz Pentium , 32MB RAM, 4X CDROM, DirectX-compatible sound card, 380 MB free hard disk space
Recommended:Pentium 166 or better, Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3, 32 MB of RAM or more, 16-bit capable video card, 12x CD-ROM drive and a Windows 95/98-compatible sound card.

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Jagged Alliance 2


The original Jagged Alliance was released in 1995. The mix of strategy, turn-based combat, and unique mercenaries made Jagged Alliance an instant hit with critics and fans alike. Its thousands of lines of recorded speech made it one of the first games to make full use of the CD-ROM medium. The game was voted "Best Strategy Game of 1995" by PC Entertainment and "Turn-based Strategy Game of the Year" by Computer Games Strategy Plus. Computer Gaming World called it "A Must Buy."

Jagged Alliance was followed by Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games in 1996. Deadly Games added multiplayer options, new mercenaries and weapons, and a scenario editor. Deadly Games was another critical and fan success, and was on the Internet Top 100 games charts for more than a year after its release. It's still on Computer Gaming World's Top 100 Games list.

SirTech has been making award winning games since Wizardry: The Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord released for the Apple II in 1981. Wizardry was a mega hit and may have in part been responsible for the success of the Apple II computer. I was one of thousands who bought an Apple II Compter and spent thousands of dollars just to play the game. Check out our earlier review of Wizardry Gold. You also may want to check out the most amazing Wizardy site I have ever seen. Here is another Wizardry page with more links.

In 1990, a Ninetendo version of the game was released. The Ninetendo version of the game was quite difficult in that it took hours to roll and create characters and many people referred to the game as the "Wizardy curse" because when you die you die forever and you have to reroll the character group according to a review of the game published.

Company Line

Game Play

Each piece of terrain in the game has full 3D data on height, width, etc. This information is used for line of sight calculations and projectile collision detection. That's a fancy way of saying it's a lot more than window dressing. Climbing up on a rooftop gives you better visibility. A tall, thick tree will provide good cover, but tiny bushes won't stop a barrage of AK-74 fire.

The game is turn based and not real time giving you time to think between each turn. In games with multiplayer options, which JA2 does NOT have, this becomes tedious and may be one of the major reasons why JA2 does not have a multiplayer option. Your mercenaries have many new movement options. Just imagine your team running, crawling, jumping over obstacles, and climbing walls and cliffs. Of course, they also have the old options such crouching, swimming, etc.

Your day no longer ends at sundown, for one thing. New in Jagged Alliance 2 are night missions. You can also use your night time to continue repairing items around the clock. Mercs will need sleep to rest and recuperate but when they do that is up to you.

Nightime poses other problems. Your opponents are working around the clock, as well. You can expect counterattacks at any time--even while you're in combat.

The designers have now added the country's inhabitants as another strategic challenge. Converting the peaceful citicens will require your attention or your team may have to deal with negative public opinion. One of the easiet ways to win over the population is by making good headway and winning battles. Everyone loves a winner but the converse is true also.

A really fun part of the game is the role playing aspect. Role playing involves statistics (It is not playing a role as many new game journalists seem to think.). Each character in the game has a unique set of statistics that improve with each successive battle experience. You need to hold onto your original team to make sure they progress and get stronger or the later and harder missions will be more difficult to complete. The care and nurturing of the character and the improvement of the skills is the most fun. For the new game two new attributes leadership and strength were added.

You can have up to eighteen mercenaries on your team. Up to six mercs can be assigned to any squad in the field. The other team members can be assigned tasks such as guarding, repairing items, healing themselves or other mercs, training civilians and other mercs, sleeping, and so on. You can hire more than 70 people, including many locals who can be recruited to fight on your side. Of course, some of those people are better at repairing, doctoring, etc. than they are at fighting.

An integral part of the plot is making money so you can hire the mercs and buy arms from Mickey O'Rorke the crooked arms dealer.


The rightful ruler of Arulco has been overthrown in a coup, and your team of expert mercenaries has been hired to put him back on the throne of the small nation. Standing in your way is Arulco's army, as well as several surprises.

To win, you'll need to hire the right mercs, deal with their quirky personalities, and lead them to victory in combat. You'll test your strategic skills by negotiating with the local population, training specialists, and cutting off the enemy's supply lines. Act fast, because the clock is ticking.

In the original Jagged Alliance there were 60 sectors, but the second time around you get to take all 200 sectors of Arulco one at a time. The game is much bigger than the origninal. With the proper strategy you won't have to conquer every single sector to win. But for those who enjoy playing all the sectors you have this option too.


Jagged Alliance 2 features high-resolution, 16 bit-color graphics. The engine supports dynamic lighting, so there will be night missions and dark areas. The isometric perspective, which shows the map not in direct overhead or side view but the 45 degree angle inbetween. Also the isometric view shows the terrain from the diagonal corner of a square block. Isometric or overhead oblique perspective is superior to a bird's-eye overhead view. Isometric perspective shows multiple levels (cliffs, rooftops, etc.) Walls and obstacles that might block your view of a character become translucent. Your team remains inview the whole time you play.


Voice Actors

A good sense of humor is essential to any entertainment product. The audio reflects this admirably. You will break a gut if you listen carefully to the chit chat.

Music Score

Sound Effects


Multi-player Features

None. Jagged Alliance 2 was designed to have a very detailed solo mode. You take over an entire country, sector by sector. You build up an experienced team over the course of many missions. You slowly but surely build up your resources. You engage in many subquests along the way. These are the things that make for a satisfying, rich solo game.

Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough

  1. Hints
  2. Cheats

    You'll need to take control of the mines around Arulco. The mines will provide you with a steady source of income to finance your campaign. Of course, the mines are very well defended.


    Put your review right here by emailing us the text.

  1. Robert Mayer, Computer Games Strategy Plus, No. 107, October, 1999, pgs. 82 - 84, 5/5
  2. Bruce Geryk, Games Domain Review, 5/5
  3. Adrenaline Vault 4.5/5
  4. Computer Games Online 5/5
  5. Gamecenter 9/10
  6. Game Over Online 91%
  7. Games & More 87%
  8. Gamespot 8.8/10
  9. Gamespot Germany 9/10
  10. Gamespot UK 8.5/10
  11. Games Weekly 9/10
  12. Happy Puppy 8/10
  13. PC Action 90%
  14. PC Joker 89%
  15. PC Player 87%
  16. PC Tech Reports 9/10
  17. PlayNOW! 9/10
  18. Quantum 9 8/10
  19. Strategy Gaming Online 9/10
  20. Tactical Planet, 5/5


  1. Official Site
  2. Jagged Alliance 2 Basis
  3. Preview: Gamecenter
  4. Voice of Arulco, The - includes news, downloads, tips and tactics.
    Official Sites:
  7. Topware Interactive [GERMAN, DUTCH, & POLISH PUBLISHER]
  8. Official German Jagged Alliance 2 Website
    Fan Websites:
  9. Arulco Underground
  10. Official Homepage of Alruco
  11. Channel 2 : Arulco TV
  12. Eki's JA2 Site
  13. JA2 Feeding Grounds
  14. Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games Mercenary Contracting Center
  15. Lock & Load : Field Headquarters
  16. Mercenary Grounds
  17. Jagged Alliance 2 Basis (German)
  18. Jagged Alliance 2 HQ
  19. JA2 NetHQ (English & German)
  20. Firearms of Jagged Alliance 2
  21. Jagged Alliance 2 Character Information
  22. Patusco's Jagged Alliance 2 Guide
  23. TerraVirtua Jagged Alliance Discussion Forum
  24. Talonsoft Jagged Alliance 2 Discussion Forum
  25. Tactical Planet Jagged Alliance 2 Discussion Forum
  26. Geo's Squad Strategy Pub Jagged Alliance 2 Discussion Forum
    Usenet Newsgroups
  27. alt.games.jagged-alliance Newsgroup

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