Jagged Alliance

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Jagged Alliance
Sales box logo
developer Madlab Software
Sir-Tech Canada
Cliffhanger Games
Full Control
Publisher Sir-Tech
Strategy First
bitcomposer Games
THQ Nordic
Designer Ian Currie
Linda Currie
First title Jagged Alliance (1995)
Last title Jagged Alliance: Rage (2018)
Platform (s) DOS , Linux , Mac , NDS , Win
Genre (s) Turn-based strategy game , real-time strategy game

Jagged Alliance (short YES ) is a 1995 launched computer game series of turn-based strategy games with RPG elements. Creator was the small Canadian software studio Sir-Tech , which became known for the role-playing game series Wizardry . The games were developed for the PC , whereby the first two parts run under MS-DOS and all the others run under Windows with DirectX . Jagged Alliance 2 is the only part of the series commercially ported to Linux , with the later JA2-Source code release is now also available for other platforms. All games in the series were also released in German synchronization.


The main focus in all of the games in the series is on controlling small mercenary squads who have a main mission to fulfill, such as the liberation of a country from its evil dictator. The maps are divided into small sectors, many of which are occupied by enemy troops. In addition to conquering the individual sectors, there are often numerous smaller tasks, so-called quests , to be completed.

The control of the mercenaries can be divided into two modes: On the overview map, the player determines which sector the mercenaries go to and which route they take for it. If you then enter a sector controlled by enemy troops, the game switches to combat mode with a detailed, isometric view of the sector.

Battles within a sector are fought on a turn-based basis. All of the player's mercenaries, all of the computer's soldiers and, if necessary, third-party figures such as residents, militias or wild animals move in turns. Each figure has a certain number of action points available, which depends on their skills and the degree of exhaustion. Each action performed, such as shooting, running, kneeling down or opening doors, consumes a certain number of these points.

The turn-based tactical combat system in the skirmish mode is considered one of the best, the tactical depth and practical playability, especially in the second part of the series, made it a benchmark for this genre of games .


The player can put together his own mercenary troops. The games offer a variety of different characters with different personalities and some very idiosyncratic traits to choose from. In addition, each mercenary is synchronized with a different voice. Many of the characters also have some sort of relationship with some other characters, be it that they like to work together, refuse to work together or express sympathy for the best.

A large number of the characters are represented in several games. However, they were not taken over one-to-one into the next game, but show a wide variety of further developments. These express themselves at an older age and the associated change in appearance, in changes in skills or simply in having learned new sayings or a new language. Some of the characters have developed into a trademark, such as the Russian Ivan Dolvich , who speaks only Russian in the first part - in both the English and German version of the game - but broken English in later parts . Because of this detailed and loving design of the characters, the Jagged Alliance games are sometimes referred to as " X-COM with personality".


The Jagged Alliance series was created by Ian Currie, then a hobby developer and employee of the Canadian Railways. Currie had published a game called Freakin 'Funky Fuzzballs back in 1990 via the American developer and publisher Sir-Tech based in Ogdensburg . So he also offered Sir-Tech his draft of a mercenary game influenced by action films of the 1980s. For the development, Currie founded his own studio Madlab Games in Montreal in 1992, which essentially consisted of himself, his friend Shaun Lyng and the student Mohanned Mansour. At the same time, Sir-Tech was developing plans to set up its own development studio in the Canadian capital Ottawa, not far from Ogdensburg . Currie was offered the management position, which is why Currie moved to Ottawa in November 1993 and, in parallel to the development work on Jagged Alliance , built the new studio with Linda Sirotek, the sister of Sir Tech founders Robert and Norman Sirotek. Ian Currie and Linda Sirotek were married in 1994. Jagged Alliance was launched in 1995. The expansion Jagged Alliance - Deadly Games , released a year later , which uses the same game engine but tells a completely independent story, was released as a project by Sir-Tech Canada.

The successor Jagged Alliance 2 was released in 1999. The game was distributed in Europe by TopWare Interactive . There is also a standalone extension for this part, which is called Jagged Alliance 2 - Unfinished Business and was released in 2000. This game was also the last of the Jagged Alliance series that was produced by Sir-Tech, as the software company had to lay off employees in 2001 due to insufficient funding and ultimately stopped development activities. Jagged Alliance 2 was later ported to Linux by Tribsoft .

The rights and part of the development team were taken over by the Canadian company Strategy First . This brought a game modification called Jagged Alliance 2 - Wildfire on the market in the USA in 2004 . A revised German version of this modification was published in 2005 by the Zuxxez company . All further attempts to continue the series fizzled out or were published as independent titles without reference to the series. In 2009 Jagged Alliance and Jagged Alliance 2 were re-released as a purchasable download through Good Old Games .

In 2010 the German publisher bitComposer Games acquired the trademark rights. A number of unsuccessful attempts to revive the series appeared. With Jagged Alliance: Back in Action by the German development studio Coreplay an attempt was made to transfer the game principle into a real-time combat system with a pause function. The game itself was a remake of Jagged Alliance 2 . In 2015 THQ Nordic acquired the serial rights from bitComposer Games.

Game title

Jagged Alliance

Jagged Alliance
Studio Madlab software
Publisher United StatesUnited States Sir tech
1995 (DOS)
June 26, 2009 (NDS)
platform DOS , Windows , Nintendo DS
genre Turn-based strategy game
Game mode Single player
control Mouse & keyboard
system advantages
medium CD-ROM , download
Age rating
USK approved from 16
USK released from 12
PEGI recommended for ages 12 and up

Jagged Alliance is the first in the series and was released for MS-DOS in 1995 . The scene of the action is the fictional island of Metavira. After nuclear weapon tests in the past, a new, extremely rare tree species, the so-called fallow trees, whose valuable sap is used to produce medicines, is growing there . The two scientists Jack and Brenda Richards hire the player as commander of a mercenary troop to help them against their renegade employee Santino. Out of greed for money, he has now brought almost all of Metavira under his control by force of arms. The job of the mercenaries is now to recapture the individual sectors and to complete some special quests . By cultivating the fallow trees in the conquered areas and refining the harvested juice in refineries , the player receives funds that he can invest in better mercenaries and new equipment. Furthermore, the training of militias is required to protect the conquered terrain.

The game can still run under current Windows operating systems.

Jagged Alliance - Deadly Games

Jagged Alliance - Deadly Games (DG) was released for DOS in 1996 and is often referred to as version 1.5. So the graphic is the same as in Jagged Alliance (JA). However, there are definitely further developments compared to the predecessor; So it is now possible to shoot while kneeling (kneeling mercenaries got up to shoot in Jagged Alliance ) and in addition to new firearms, the mortar was introduced, which can also hit people inside a building through a destroyed roof, which greatly expands the tactical possibilities. In contrast to YES, you don't have to conquer an entire island in DG, but rather complete individual missions one after the other, each of which is a map. For successfully completed missions there is money with which you can put together your mercenary teams and their equipment between the missions.

The multiplayer mode via network and the map editor are particularly interesting about DG .

Jagged Alliance 2

Jagged Alliance 2 (short: JA2 ) was released for Windows in 1999 and was later ported to Linux by Tribsoft. The sequel takes place in a small country called Arulco. Deidranna Reitman rules there as a dictator after she wanted to kill her husband Enrico Chivaldori, the rightful ruler. He fled into exile before this attack and acts as the client and informant of the player. To liberate the country, the player hires mercenaries again and begins to recapture the country.

Compared to Jagged Alliance , the graphics have been improved. The mercenaries now also look different in the tactical map view. The landscape has also become more varied. It is possible to speak to the residents of Arulco, to trade with them and in some cases even to recruit residents for special tasks. The main source of income are mines in cities, which must first be conquered. The aim of the game is to penetrate Deidranna's palace and execute her.

Jagged Alliance 2 is considered the best part among fans of the series. Three levels of difficulty, a non-linear plot and a large number of characters ensure long fun and high replayability .

Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business

Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business (JA-UB for short or JA 2.5) is the official, stand-alone expansion of Jagged Alliance 2 and was released in December 2000. You can find your cherished mercenaries from the second part of JA2 with the help of a built-in transformation program take you on a walk to Tracona, a neighboring country to the previously liberated Arulco. From there, the disempowered Ricci Mining company, which operated the Arulco mines before Deidranna's takeover, wants to recapture it with the help of corrupt military men by threatening to fire long-range missiles at Arulco. The aim of the game is to prevent this by finding and destroying the launch base.

The mercenaries are no longer hired on a daily or weekly basis, but only pay a lump sum once for the entire game. If you import an old JA2 game, all increased (and decreased) values ​​of the AIM and MERC mercenaries are taken over. You can no longer access the previous NPCs, but new ones are introduced. Some weapon innovations such as the Enfield or the Calico and the silenced SSG Val Silent have also been added, in addition to the pointed umbrellas that MERC mercenaries have in their inventory when they are hired.

Thanks to the included editor and the option of adding your own maps or designing entire campaigns, the first mods for JA2 and UB developed. A good example is the Vietnam campaign “SOG69” and the JA2 mod “1.13”.

The biggest disadvantage of Unfinished Business is that, unlike Jagged Alliance 2 , the game can be played through very quickly. There are now only 20 sectors (instead of 200 as with the predecessor) and there are hardly any counterattacks and small intermediate tasks to be solved.

Jagged Alliance 2 - Gold Edition

In this version, the innovations from JA2-UB have been ported to the game JA2. The "Ironman" mode is now included (it is not possible to save during a fight) and some new key combinations. The actual game was not changed. The standalone game JA2-UB is also included in the package.

Strategy First announced in June 2005 together with Pocket PC Studios that they wanted to port the game to the Nintendo DS . In fact, the game never came out

Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire

Originally Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire was just a mod that was created by Serge "Wildfire" Popov, who is well known in the Jagged Alliance 2 community. In this mod, all weapons, landscapes, structures, opponents and their AI have been changed significantly in order to achieve an even more realistic feel.

Strategy First launched this expansion in version 5.0 in March 2004 in the USA. The source code was included with the US version . After the Russian developer I-deal Games had not received any money from the insolvent Strategy First, this collaboration ended. In Europe, Wildfire was released in version 6.0 through the German publisher Zuxxez , the successor company to TopWare Interactive. The German version 6.0 was published in April 2005. In Wildfire 6.0 , new mercenaries are introduced (in exchange for old ones), the player can assign up to ten members (instead of six) per team and the resolution has been adjusted from 640 × 480 to 1024 × 768 pixels. In the German version the source code of the game has been left out.

In view of the age of the game and the scope - it is just an extensive revision of the otherwise unchanged game - the selling price was criticized, also because Wildfire brought instabilities and contained numerous bugs. However, some modifications , extensions and bug fixes have been made to JA2 with the help of the published source code .

JA2 stracciatella

JA2-Stracciatella logo

In the JA2 Stracciatella project, the goal is to achieve better platform independence from JA2 by porting it to SDL as the underlying library. This makes JA2 available for other platforms, such as B. Android - smartphones or Mac OS. Furthermore, JA2-Stracciatella should also be viewed as an unofficial patch project, as the second focus is on fixing technical errors in the original JA2 (such as buffer overflows ) without changing the game mechanics or the balancing. The project initiator's last contribution to the development repository was r7072 from August 2010. In March 2013, the project was taken up by another developer and support for screen resolutions greater than 800 × 600 was introduced and further corrections were integrated. The project has been continued on Github since March 2016 .

Jagged Alliance 2 1.13

With the help of the Wildfire source code, the English-speaking community created a modified JA2 version, which is referred to as 1.13, based on the last official patch version 1.12. The installed main game Jagged Alliance 2 is required . In this, the AI ​​has been improved, many new weapons have been added and the modding friendliness has been increased. A lot of the data originally contained in binary files has been moved to XML files, so that these are now easier to change.

The outdated technology was adapted more closely to the available hardware through additional resolutions (800 × 600 and 1024 × 768) and increasing internal game limits (number of objects, size of the game environment). The interface has been expanded to include additional functions. So it is possible to give orders to militias in combat, to take the weapon separately before the shot and to sell items directly in the sector inventory. By storing the data in XML databases, which can be managed with a specially developed editor, a greatly expanded number of weapons and objects has been added, which can now be handled more realistically. For example, repeating rifles have to be cocked manually after each shot and machine guns require more preparation before shooting than pistols. There are various types of ammunition from breakthrough shot for forcibly opening locked doors to tracer and precision ammunition to highly specialized fragmentation ammunition for combating soft targets. Additional content was introduced, such as heavy rain, which tactically enriches the game with poor visibility and unpredictable lightning behavior.

In its function as the basis for further modifications, the 1.13 project mainly changes the technology behind the game and makes the general gameplay easier . No new maps, characters or quests were implemented. On the basis of the 1.13 platform, dozens of modifications have already been made by fans of the game, which continue the profound changes to the game begun in 1.13.

Jagged Alliance 3D

A successor actually planned under the title Jagged Alliance 3D was initially postponed several times and finally published under a different name in 2009. The decision to rename the game from JA3D to Jazz: Hired Guns was made in early 2007.

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action

Back in Action logo

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action was developed by the German developer Coreplay on behalf of the rights holder bitComposer Games and was released after delays on February 9, 2012. It is a remake of Jagged Alliance 2 , which shows the gameplay and the plot in 3D graphics and a pausable real-time combat system transferred. Instead of turn-based moves, the player can stop the course of the game in the so-called “Plan & Go” and create entire chains of command for each individual figure, which are then carried out by the mercenaries after the break has been lifted. The plot of the campaign, however, remained largely unchanged, only the science fiction mode of the original game was not adopted. The game's functionality has been expanded with a few patches. A port of the game for Mac OS and Linux was released in 2014, for which the game was migrated to the Unity engine .

Jagged Alliance: Crossfire

Crossfire logo

Crossfire is an independently executable add-on for Back in Action with a campaign lasting around ten to 15 hours. The expansion, also developed by Coreplay, was released on August 24, 2012 and, in addition to other content, offers an “Asian-inspired setting”. The fictional country Khanpaa is suffering from the attacks of a mercenary army and the player should end these attacks with his own troop. In terms of play, there are no differences to the main part, only the number and behavior of the opponents has been revised to increase the level of difficulty.

Jagged Alliance Online

For 2011 bitComposer Games and Gamigo had announced the release of Jagged Alliance as a browser game . The game is being developed by Cliffhanger Productions . The concepts of the game should be transferred into an MMO game, where you can play on three different levels. The turn-based battles are to take place in 3D graphics, it is also planned that the mercenaries known from Jagged Alliance 2 and new mercenaries can be trained and their missions managed and their own headquarters set up and mercenaries able to fight against other players. Initial information was available at E3 2011 and the gamigo company website. The game's open beta phase began on February 16, 2012.

Jagged Alliance: Flashback

In April 2013 the Danish developer studio Full Control acquired the licenses from Jagged Alliance and announced a new Jagged Alliance called Flashback . To finance the project, a Kickstarter campaign was initiated, with which an amount of 368,614 US dollars was collected. The concept of turn-based combat has been retained. Around 50% of the former figures were taken over from Jagged Alliance 2 . The story takes place in the 1980s. With the help of a mercenary group, the player should overthrow the dictator of the archipelago. After a longer early access phase, the title was released on October 21, 2014.

Jagged Alliance: Rage

In 2018, THQ Nordic published the Jagged Alliance: Rage, also developed by Cliffhanger Productions, through its subsidiary Handygames . It was marketed as a series offshoot with a smaller scope than the main series, instead a few mercenaries known from JA 1 and JA 2 should be in the foreground. The game, reminiscent of the film series The Expandables , shows the mercenaries Dr. Q Huaong, Iwan, Shadow, Raven, Vicki and Grunty as aging veterans who now suffer from numerous problems such as alcoholism or high blood pressure and have to accept various restrictions. On a tropical island ruled by Deidranna's former vassal Elliott as a drug lord, the fighters fight for liberation. The eponymous rage mode charges with every hit and gives the player the option of special actions when fully charged.


Web links

Official sites

Individual evidence

  1. Jagged Alliance 2 on holarse-linuxgaming.de (May 17, 2008)
  2. ^ Darius Kazemi: Jagged Alliance 2 . Boss Fight Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-94-053504-3 .
  3. Sirtech Canada layoffs ( Memento from July 15, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
  4. Garrett: 4 Questions to Robert Sirotek about Sir-Tech & Wizardry ( English ) rpgdot.com. October 19, 2001. Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. Retrieved on April 21, 2011.
  5. ^ J. Neil Doane: Jagged Alliance 2 for Linux. In: Linux Journal. September 1, 2001, accessed July 10, 2019 .
  6. Nick Mann: Review: Jagged Alliance 2 for Linux ( English ) In: mrsneeze . March 4, 2001. Archived from the original on July 23, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  7. Bodo Naser: Strategy First buys Jagged Alliance. In: 4Players. June 6, 2002, accessed July 10, 2019 .
  8. Jagged Alliance: Sirtech team over / plans. In: PC Games. June 13, 2002, accessed July 10, 2019 .
  9. Eric Caoili: BitComposer Releasing Jagged Alliance 3 In 2011 ( English ) In: Gamasutra . UBM plc . March 9, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  10. Michael Krosta: THQ Nordic: Acquires rights to Jagged Alliance, Giana Sisters and other brands. In: 4Players. Retrieved July 18, 2019 .
  11. mrsneeze: Review: Jagged Alliance 2 for Linux ( English ) March 4, 2001. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved on January 28, 2012.
  12. Interview with the makers of Jagged Alliance 2 DS. In: PlanetDS. Retrieved July 21, 2019 .
  13. Wildfire ( memento of March 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) on www.strategyfirst.com (archived, English)
  14. Andrew Burnes: Jagged Alliance 2 Source Code To Be Bundled With Wildfire ( English ign.com). February 25, 2004. Archived from the original on January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  15. Ideal Games: News: Moscow, 8 of November - i-Deal Games ( English ) ideal-games.com. November 8, 2004. Retrieved on December 23, 2012: “ […] SF fulfilled none of it's obligation of contract and paid no single cent to i-Deal Games for the product which sales are counted in several hundred thousands USD. [...] we are searching for the distributors to republish upgraded version of our product world-wide. [...] "
  16. JA2 Stracciatella Feedback: Jagged Alliance 2 Android Stracciatella Port RC2 Release - please test ( Memento from October 23, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) on the Bear's Pit Forum, October 3, 2011 (English)
  17. OSX Stracciatella Port ( Memento from January 6, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  18. tron: Download JA2-Stracciatella v0.12.1 - Walnut ( English ) tron.yamagi.org. June 15, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2012: "Fix a vanilla buffer overflow when loading / saving savegames."
  19. tron: JA2-Stracciatella Q&A ( English ) ja-galaxy-forum.com. May 28, 2008. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved on January 28, 2012: “ What is the goal of JA2-Stracciatella? The goal is to make Jagged Alliance 2 available to a wide range of platforms, improve its stability, fix bugs and provide a stable platform for mod development. "
  20. ^ Gennady: JA2-Stracciatella Continued . www.ja-galaxy-forum.com. March 4, 2013. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved on March 22, 2013: “ Update 2013-03-13: Added support for high video resolutions. For example, game can be started in 1024x768 mode like this: ja2.exe -res 1024x768. Any reasonable resolution should work. Some bugfixes from this forum have been integrated. [...] "
  21. JA2-stracciatella on github.com
  22. Evan Lahti: Reinstall: Jagged Alliance 2 . In: PC Gamer US . October 13, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  23. Archive link ( Memento from May 10, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  24. Archived copy ( Memento from April 13, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
  25. ^ Jagged Alliance Online , Gamigo
  26. http://jaggedalliance.gamigo.com/de/news/
  27. ^ Jagged Alliance: Flashback
  28. Marcel Kleffmann: Jagged Alliance: Rage! - Test, strategy. In: 4Players. Retrieved July 18, 2019 .
  29. Martin Deppe: Jagged Alliance: Rage! put to the test - Senile mercenaries. In: Gamestar. December 14, 2018, accessed July 21, 2019 .