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The Jackals are no more than a handful of scarred and tattooed reprobates, scraping out a living by preying on anything weaker than them.”— Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide
During the spring of 2141, four groups left Vault 15 to brave the Wasteland. In the winter of the same year, three of these groups became roving gangs of raiders: the Jackals, the Vipers, and the Khans (a predecessor of the Great Khans). The Jackals' founder and first leader is unknown, however after their creation they began to raid Shady Sands and fought extensively against the Vipers and the Khans, until they were defeated by the Khans and fled east of California sometime before 2161.
Though once a very feared organization of bandits/raiders, the Jackals along with the Vipers were almost completely destroyed by the NCR when they expanded into the areas where these gangs operated. The remaining Jackals were again pushed further east, towards the Mojave Wasteland, and have since become a weak unimpressive gang of opportunists mostly preying on travellers in the more lawless rural areas. Jackal gang members are commonly found along the highway south of Primm, west of Nipton, at the Nipton Road Pit Stop, and at their local center of operations the Nevada Highway Patrol station, although they can also be found in small camps elsewhere in the Mojave.
The Jackals are a typical group of raiders, but more savage and with a cannibalistic nature - opposed to most raiders such as the Fiends who are drug addicts. They file their teeth to sharp points, becoming savage and cannibalistic after a winter storm trapped them, forcing them to eat each other for survival. Some even resort to feigning death or running away from fights, only to return later and claim the corpses from each side. Generally they despise all mutants, and refuse to eat them because of an apparent bad taste.
Jackals are informally organized into small family groups which consists of about three normal members and a leader, although these families can team up with each other to attack larger targets. Jackal gangs often hide behind billboards and other obstructions, ambushing any passing travellers they see, using the large numbers to overwhelm them. As Jackals are animalistic in nature, they are generally considered cowards and will not attack unless they know they can win. If they successfully rob or raid, they will band together in their hideaways and fight over the spoils.
The Jackals are weak opportunists, so they are poorly armed and armored. They generally use unarmed and melee weapons, but some members will occasionally use basic firearms such as 10mm Pistols and Cowboy Repeaters. Most members will wear regular clothes with little or no armoring, while group leaders wear metal armor. Other items such as foodstuffs and chems can be looted off of dead Jackals.
They finally appear as enemies in Fallout: New Vegas, albeit splintered and weak. They were also to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 project by Black Isle Studios, as well as in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2.