The Jackal Tapes are a type of collectible in Far Cry 2.
The Jackal Tapes are tape recordings containing excerpts from an interview that Reuben Oluwagembi has conducted with The Jackal. Once the interview was done, however, mercenaries stole the recordings from Reuben, hiding them in guard posts and hidden stashes throughout the Unnamed African Country.
When the player character first visits Mike's Bar in Leboa-Sako, Reuben is working on his civil war coverage, based on the only remaining tape he has in his possession. Thinking that the player wants to steal his only remaining tape, he first appears irritated toward the protagonist; however, realizing that he judged him too quickly, he quickly informs him on Father Maliya's whereabouts to get medicine for his Malaria. In exchange, he only asks the player to look out for the rest of the interview tapes while traversing the country, and recover them if he has the chance to do so.
The Jackal Tapes serve as a type of collectible like the Diamond Cases. Similarly to the cases, they are marked by the GPS locators. Should the player recover any tapes in Leboa-Sako or Bowa Seko, Reuben appears in Mike's Bar once the player has collected at least one tape in that region. The tape(s) can then be handed over to Reuben, who thanks the player for his efforts.
Collecting the Jackal Tapes unlocks no rewards in actual gameplay: they only unlock two achievements/trophies once all of them have been found ("Investigative Reporter" and "Pulitzer Material").
Tapes by location
Players get the first tape from Reuben Oluwagembi the first time they visit Mike's Bar. In addition to the first tape, eight others are spread throughout Leboa-Sako. These tapes can usually be found sitting next to or on top of a larger object. In most cases, they’re next to a wrecked vehicle. The tapes are all numbered and contain a specific topic discussed by Reuben and the Jackal. The tapes are gathered in the same order regardless of where players pick them up. For example, the first tape players grab is Smuggling, followed by Circulation, Economics, and so on.
Below is a list of the tapes available in Leboa-Sako, along with their transcripts:
- Recorded 17/09/2008: A true monster? The Jackal revealed his dark side. “To break a man’s will…you have to break his mind.”
"You can't break a man the way you break a dog... or a horse. The harder you beat a man, the taller he stands. To break a man's will, to break his spirit, you have to break his mind. Men have this idea that we can fight with dignity, that there is a proper way to kill someone; it's absurd, it's an aesthetic we needed to endure the bloody horror of murder. You must destroy that idea. Show them what a messy, terrible thing it is to kill a man... and then show them that you relish in it. Shoot to wound, then execute the wounded; burn them. Take them in close combat, destroy their preconceptions of what a man is, and you become their personal monster. When they fear you... you become stronger, you become better. But let's never forget, it's a display, it's a posture, like a lion's roar or a gorilla thumping at his chest. If you lose yourself in the display, if you succumb to the horror... then you become the monster. You become reduced. Not more than a man, but less; and it can be fatal."
- Recorded 2/10/2008: One of my final recordings with the Jackal. Dark revealing insight into UFLL’s Mbantuwe—a heartless man.
"Getting them in is easy, I brought them in over the mountain, through the desert, whatever. The hard part is moving them inside the country. Whenever you get stopped, you gonna bribe someone or shoot someone... Not good for business. No, once you're inside, you want to hand off as fast as possible, let the customer deal with it."
"How do they move the shipment?"
"Hm... I delivered three hundred kilos of C4 to Mbantuwe about six months ago. He showed up with a dozen of his men... dead men. He packed C4 into their corpses figuring no one will search them. Smart guy."
- Recorded 20/09/2008: Taking advantage of cease-fires, the Jackal circulates old weapons to fresh contacts elsewhere.
"Where do you get the weapons?"
"It's a romantic notion that they all came out of the Soviet Union after the collapse; that was a windfall back in '89, maybe through '91... but that's all over. I move weapons, I profit from circulation; you get a ceasefire in Liberia, both sides disarm, you think they slag two thousand tons of guns? No. They sell them to me. I resell them wherever the next war is starting."
"Those are Soviet guns from 1989?"
"Hm... That's about half. The rest mostly come from old European armies after they abandoned their colonies in the '60s and '70s, you know, French guns, Dutch, Belgian...
"So some of these guns are very old? They have been sold, bought, and sold repeatedly?"
"(laughs) They aren't bio-degradable. Only the dead are bio-degradable."
- Recorded 24/09/2008: No moral code. Jackal equates illegal arms with portable radios. Everything reduced to economics.
"Why arms? Why not car parts, radios...?"
"What's the difference? Same job really... You get up, you get on the phone, you meet your clients, you discuss a fair price, you make a delivery, and receive payment. Sounds boring... But it's not... It's just... Simple. I'm doing what men have been doing for thousands of years. Trading one thing for another. Maybe it's you who want to attach morality to it... Make it evil? Insane... People are working gun factories in Belgium or the States... They're unionized, right? You think kids making radios in Bangladesh pull down forty grand a year on a forty hour week? You start thinking too much about morality... THAT's insane..."
- Recorded 17/09/2008: Jackal blames Africans for their misery. Doesn't care. Accepts no responsibility.
"Why Africa? People need weapons all over the world. Why here? Why my home?"
"Every place is somebody's home, pal, but it doesn't stop people from going to war. I don't start wars, I didn't start this one; it seems like it's your fellow Africans that want each other dead. Besides, why should I give a shit about your home? Why should anyone? You want me to go somewhere else... So that it's someone's home that you don't give a shit about?"
"What if it was your home?"
"War is my home."
- Recorded 24/09/2008: Jackal recounts story of man sinking to insanity. Madness. Horror.
"I spent a year in Black Beach once. In the dark... It’s a hell hole... Covered in raw sewage, guards breaking some inmate's fingers with a hammer, just out of pure fuckin' meanness, men die of starvation there all the time. I saw a guy in the opposite cell catch a rat with his teeth, cause they have him handcuffed for 24 hours a day for two months. He couldn't eat. Seeing someone do that, he was weeping as he crushed it to death in his mouth. Seeing his eyes, his face, it’s madness. He was dead three days later."
"What killed him?"
"Realization of what he’d turned into."
- Recorded 20/09/2008: Explains how he became arms dealer.
"How do you become an arms dealer in the first place?"
"Back in the Navy we delivered guns all over the world, droppin' off guys with 20 crates of rifles for the local fighters, so they could knock over some dictator. Mind you, that’s not 20 crates of factory M16’s, these were illicit weapons, confiscated in some raid and then redistributed. No paper work, right? If a crate here or there goes missing, hey, it happens. Military teaches you two things: how to deal with bureaucracy, and how to avoid it. Learning how to avoid it means learning how to deal in arms. You muster out, you apply what you learned. Every gunman I have ever met got his start that way: losing illicit weapons in transport with national militaries."
- Recorded 2/10/2008: No ideology in Jackal’s arms trade. Sells weapons for maximum profit.
"Did you ever choose sides in a conflict?"
"Ah I did it once, was a bad idea, cut my profits in half. Almost got me killed. Never again. You sell to both sides. You can help level the field, stabilize the market, draw out the conflict and make more money. A big sale to one side doesn’t generate repeat business. Both the APR and the UFLL are using my weapons. Now, they're in detente both sides are stockpiling. Less violence. More spending. It's perfect."
"But its anarchy! Thousands are dead, hundreds of thousands are displaced!"
"If I picked sides, fewer would be displaced but more would be dead; and I would probably be one of them."
- Recorded 17/09/2008: Jackal believes his choices are circumstance. Could anyone be an arms dealer?
"Have you ever refused to sell weapons to anybody?"
"I’m a humanist, I don’t judge, maybe you would?"
"I couldn’t sell arms..."
"Bullshit, Reuben, you have all the skills to be an arms dealer. Better one than me even. You’re smart, you’re creative, you’re a salesman, [laugh] you sold me on doing these dumb interviews. Man, the rest is just paperwork."
"I mean, I’d be unable, psychologically, to sell arms."
"I’m talking facts and you’re talking theory. You’re not a good person Reuben, you’ve just been lucky enough, you've never had to be otherwise. When it comes down to it, what a man can do is what a man will do, but believe what you want."
Eight more tapes are hidden throughout Bowa Seko, most near wrecks of some kind. Once players retrieved a tape, they can return it to Reuben during the next visit to Mike’s Bar. Returning all 16 tapes to Reuben (from Leboa-Sako and Bowa Seko) unlocks the Pulitzer Material achievement/trophy.
Here’s a list of the tapes available in Bowa Seko:
- Recorded 15/10/2008: Boy soldier stealing from the dead.
"Saw this kid on the side of the road yesterday, couldn't be eighteen, seventeen. Had a shotgun across his lap, and a dead APR half in the ditch next to him. Couple of close range blasts with that 12 gauge tore big chunks of hamburger out of his torso. Kid was looking at the guy's leg, taking his boots. Kid just looked tired, just beaten down, ragged, tired, old. Kids that age shouldn’t look like that."
- Recorded 30/10/2008: Jackal challenges the West’s moral high ground. AK-47 the great equalizer.
"I’ll tell you what's sick. People in the UK, US, fuckin' Canada, Sweden. They pay their taxes and some remote piloted drone fires a missile into a public market to hit some warlord. Yeah so maybe war doesn’t happen for another six months, and the price of their gluten-free sorghum bread stays low. It’s not sick to arm people. It’s sick to bump off their crooks and dictators in protection of our interest, and then call it international justice. These people don’t have remote piloted drones guarding their interests ten thousand miles away, they don’t have a war machine paid for with taxes, where I am they usually don’t even have a fuckin' government. The drone is the oppressor, the gluten-free sorghum bread is the oppressor, the AK-47 is the great equalizer. I empower these people."
- Recorded 5/10/2008: Jackal untouchable? Believes his role is encouraged by foreign governments.
"What do you think you’re gonna achieve with this interview? You think somebody in the Pentagon's going to read it and come after me? Shit no, I’m a necessary evil. They want me here, they’re glad I’m here. Because if I wasn’t, they might have to come try to stem the tide. It would be thankless and worthless, and once the bodies started coming home in bags, they’re screwed. A dead twenty-three year old from Iowa gets more airtime than the death of fifty-thousand people he gave his life to protect. So even if they did give a shit, their own media prevents them from taking action."
- Recorded 13/10/2008: Jackal understands his position, but still gets what he wants.
"Who gets the lion’s share, that’s what it’s all about, whether it’s between children or animals or warlords. It’s not that everyone wants a piece it’s that everyone wants the BIGGEST piece. And the biggest piece doesn’t go to the monkey or to the giraffe, the biggest piece goes to the lion because the lion is the fuckin' king, that’s how it works, it worked that way a million years before there were men saying otherwise, that’s probably how it should work."
"But you are not the lion, they call you “The Jackal”.
"Shh, sometimes the jackal steals the lion’s share, but don’t tell anyone."
- Recorded 30/10/2008: Last words of the Jackal. Interview over?
I saw that truck you were driving in, perforated with 50. calibre rounds and torched on the side of the road. I looked inside, corpses blown to pieces and burnt beyond recognizable. No camera, no tape recorder, no... no book. So I dunno, maybe you’re dead, maybe not, maybe you find these stupid tapes and do whatever the hell you wanted to do with em, or maybe the interview's over, wasted words, wasted life. Maybe I’ll see you soon.
- Recorded 13/10/2008: Jackal crosses a fire fight. Spots dying man. Did he finish him or not?
Saw a firefight today, little skirmish broke out of this road block when some APR guys got lost in their truck. Maybe five or six of them trading fire with the UFLL guys manning the CP, went on for twenty minutes, guys popping up from behind rocks to spray a few shots, ya know, randomly at each other, all of them almost too afraid to die. When it was over the two UFLL guys who were unhurt ended up running off into the jungle terrified. I went down and had a look around. The guy had been shot through the stomach, bloody mess. He saw me and went pleading me to help finish him off. Funny how guys get shot because they're too afraid to die, and then they're lying there dying and they're too afraid to live. Idiots.
- Recorded 5/10/2008: Jackal asks what they fight for. Where’s the ideology? What are they dying for?
You see these APR kids, or UFLL kids, or whoever’s listening to these damn broadcasts on the radio. Mbantuwe, Tambossa. I can’t even remember who, cause what’s the difference? Glassy-eyed little shits shouting out in support of whatever propaganda, lies, bullshit's being spouted at them. It’s absurd. These guys are already dead; they’ve blown each other away for someone else’s...for someone else. Tambossa, Mbantuwe, UFLL, APR, there’s no popular resistance, no liberty and labour. There’s no ideology at all. There isn’t even a desire to win. There’s no sense in it, no sense in it at all. What would it matter if we butchered the lot of them? Would it change anything?
- Recorded 19/10/2008: Jackal turns murder into cold numbers.
If you have to kill someone, if you have to, is it somehow better to do it clean with a bullet through the head? Is it somehow worse to chop 'em up with an axe? And what if you have to kill ten, or a hundred, or a thousand? What if in doing it you save a thousand, or you spare ten? What if you save yourself? What is the measure of a man, or of his murder? By what insane calculus can we answer questions like these? Should we even try?
After the final patch for the game, many players began encountering a glitch where all tapes after #10 (Stealing Boots) would play the same recording. The glitch seems to only affect tapes gathered in the southern map, whereas the northern tapes are played fine. The glitch, however, does not affect the unlocking of the associated Achievements/Trophies.