Gus Tarballs is a character in the Jagged Alliance series. First appearing in Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games as a NPC, he's also in Jagged Alliance 2 in which can be hired from A.I.M..


Jagged Alliance

While Gus does not directly make an appearance in the first Jagged Alliance, playing through the main campaign in Deadly Games will reveal that he and a friend had been hired to work for Lucas Santino as part of his armed forces during his occupation of Metavira.  Though he was present on the island, likely at the same time as the commander and the mercenaries from A.I.M. were, he and his friend never saw combat as they had misgivings about Santino and his actions, and left shortly after being hired.

Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games

Gus' officially appears for the first time in Deadly Games as a non-player character who hires the commander to perform a series of missions, eventually culminating in a takedown of terrorist organization DFK.

If there's room in the team, Gus will join your merc squad on the very last mission to take on the DFK in their own headquarters. He carries with him high stats all around with the exception of a slightly subpar agility and medical skill, high level gear (to match the gear the squad has undoubtedly accumulated at this point) and joins for free. He performs the entire mission with a huge smile on his face, no matter what's going on. Evidently he really meant it when he said he wanted to get onto the field.

His stats remain the same in Jagged Alliance 2, though this time they come with a hefty price tag.

Jagged Alliance 2

Gus is a fantastic all-rounder, and his price-tag evenly matches his stats. In addition to being a good soldier with high marksmanship, he is well-versed in explosives, repairs and the teaching and training of mercs and militia, and while he isn't a doctor, he's also a servicable field medic.

Gus holds the highest starting level in Jagged Alliance 2, a sign of his age and experience on the field, and is an expert in heavy weapons, which can turn him into a key mercenary to have on the team during the endgame. His marksmanship ranks just below that of Lynx and Scope (99) an matches that of Reaper (97). And while his agility is subpar (he's not quite an old man, but he's getting there), he boasts a high strength, allowing him to carry large amounts of gear without complaint.

Gus is also available in Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business. Although Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire is a mod of the original game, Gus is unplayable due to his old leg injuries forcing him to retire from active service, now assisting A.I.M. by giving advise on strategic matters.

Jagged Alliance Online

Gus in Jagged Alliance Online

Some years after Jagged Alliance 2, Gus was captured by rebels in Arulco and is freed by the player's avatar character and Raven. Seeing potential in the player's character, the two form a new mercenary agency (named by the player) in Arulco, and as time passes and its reputation increases, many former A.I.M. and M.E.R.C. mercenaries become available. Gus gives some of the game's missions and later can be hired to join the team.

Character Info

"After rather heated negotiations, A.I.M. is pleased to announce that the legendary DFK annihilator, Gus Tarballs, is now a member of our ranks. Gus's induction was delayed slightly when his mobile home slipped from its support blocks while he was in the process cleaning the septic hosing. Fortunately, his crushed right leg has healed rather nicely. Additional info: Our medical staff has recently cleared heavy weapons specialist Tarballs for full active duty." - A.I.M. dossier, Jagged Alliance 2

"Health problems have caused Gus to retire from active mercenary service. Old leg injuries have finally caught up to him. We are nevertheless proud that we have this mature and experienced mercenary on our board of directors where he can continue to advise us on strategic matters." - Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire Alumni gallery

Additional Info

  • Appearing to have a outgoing personality, Gus actually prefers the life of a loner and does better if no one is around him watching his every move. As he would say: "Leave me the hell alone, woody"
  • Refers to the player as "Woody", a likely reference to one of Sir-Tech's founders, Robert Woodhead.


Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games

Jagged Alliance 2




  • Bombardier (Heavy weapons expert)
  • Deputy



Is Liked by


Is Disliked by

  • None


  • His low agility is likely due to a combination of his age and his bum leg.
  • Peter "Wolf" Sanderson thinks Gus is a "real military hardnose", something he expresses while on call in Deadly Games. He doesn't seem to hold it against him though.
  • The only character appearing in sequels that the player was required to interact with in previous games, and thus the only character able to act like they remember the player from previous engagements.
  • A strong believer in fighting for the right cause.


All Games

  • "Woody!"
  • "Horsecrap!"

Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games

  • "Hot-dog!" - enemy down

Jagged Alliance 2

  • "Tarballs!" - on call
  • "So what are we waiting for, Woody?" - on hire
  • "I've run operations myself,ya know,Woody. Know enough about it to know that I don't want no dang 'part of it." - refuse to join
  • Ya got it,Len ! Ain't no doubt about that." - praise quote
  • "Dang that was quick,Woody. U.S. Customs is gona be all over my luggage. Figure I'm some sorta drug mule or some other horsecrap." - fired unfair
  • "Ya got banking problems,Woody! Yous' N.S.F.! I know,it's those dang services charges. I tell ya what,ya straighten it out, ya get back to me." - not enough funds
  • "I ain't her right now. Dang! I'm hardly ever here. Ain't much of a life, ya know, traveling the world rightin wrongs. Anyway... You want to talk to me, you leave me something' to track you down" - answering machine
  • "Woody! Thought you'd never call! Heard you buzzed me while I was golfing in the Middle East. Ain't busy right now. Maybe we can work us out a deal." - email reply
  • "Dang! Looks like someone's been through this! Reminds me of when the twister hit the mobilehome park, and stuff got thrown around everywhere. Got me a free toaster and a banged up microwave." - stolen shipment
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