Good Morning, Arulco!

Page updated 11 January 2019
Site updated 11 January 2019

v1.11 of Arulco Vacations
 is available for download!

The re-write of this blog for v1.11 will proceed slowly because of the demands of real life.


v1.11 is a MASSIVE upgrade
of Arulco Vacations! 
We passed the 10,000 view mark on 31/Aug/2015!
We passed the 20,000 view mark on 17/Jan/2016!
We passed the 30,000 view mark on 09/Apr/2016!
We passed the 40,000 view mark on 11/Jun/2016!
We passed the 50,000 view mark on 10/Aug/2016!
We passed the 60,000 view mark on 04/Nov/2016
We passed the 70,000 view mark on 15/Jan/2017
We passed the 80,000 view mark on 18/Apr/2017
We passed the 90,000 view mark when I wasn't looking!
We passed the 100,000 view mark when I wasn't looking!
We passed the 110,000 view mark on 01/January/2018

Welcome to the Arulco Vacations, a Tweak of Jagged Alliance 2 v1.13 Release7435 Build7609 where your safety is your own concern, not ours. A word of advice: bring a BIG gun and lots of ammo! Don't be like John and Mary Kulba, who left their guns at home and had to beg some wigged-out mercenary dudes for an escort to the airport, and ended up riding in a stolen ice cream truck going in the wrong direction driven by some crazy, gun-toting foreigners, and crashing through blockades manned by elite soldiers charged with stopping these whackos at all costs! Come well-armed and I can promise you white sand beaches, sparkling blue waters, and hidden amidst the emerald green trees are hordes of Red Shirts just asking to see your best shot.

Jagged Alliance 2, yo. One of the best PC games ever. Period. I'm still playing it like it's 1999 -- which is when it was released. Nowadays it's the ever-evolving v1.13 or one of many mods made for this game. To everyone who has modded this game, I give thanks! I hope this tweak can entertain you like your mods have entertained me.

Stella says: It won't mean anything when you're dead.

I will be putting all my JA2 v1.13 tweaks up here. Use the menu bar to the left to get to the specific topics of modification. The site is under continuous construction as there will be new additions, changes and tweaks happening to Arulco Vacations as fast as I can make them. Don't hesitate to comment, critique or otherwise give input on the way you'd like to see things done. There are aspects of this game I know little to nothing about because each play-through plays out differently, and every gamer games differently. There are probably things within the game I will never encounter -- which makes it hard to tweak those things if I don't know they are there or how they work in-game. Why a tweak and not a mod? Simply because I am only doing what the modders of v1.13 have enabled every player to do -- tweak their mod to the Player's own liking. That said, this 'tweak' has become a major mod that 'tweaks' almost every aspect of the game.

Wink says: I'm sure you'll be happy with my potential. Everybody says I have a lot of potential.

Once again: many, many thanks go out to the modders of this game. They have externalized many of the functions of the game -- and it is that work that allows me (and you) to tweak the game to our liking. You can find these fantastic people over at The Bear's Pit. They are superb modders, and this Tweak is possible only because they have made it easy for all gamers to tweak v1.13 to fit their own style of play. That is what Arulco Vacations is: a tweak to fit my style of play.

The game itself is a well-rounded endeavour of the many aspects of controlling a team of mercenaries paid to overthrow an evil dictator -- Queen Deidranna Reitman. Along the way you also free the people, which is nice.

I must say, it's a happy view of mercenaries that doesn't fit well in the real world. However, the character portrayal in-game is such that it is understood from the start that this game is a comical parody of real life. It succeeds on that level, and it has great combat as well!

The Player has the ability to try many different battle tactics, and every fire-fight is unique unto itself no matter how many times on the same map you've had to fight. The re-playability index is off the charts, yo. There's role-playing involved also, strategic planning, economics, character inter-relations and more all rolled into a cohesive and fun game. The depth of the game is probably unequaled.

Thanks to many dedicated gamers over the years this game has been heavily modded. There are a myriad different mods out there for JA2. My tweaks start from the v1.13 Release 7435 Build 7609 mod. I returned to JA2 just after this Build was released, lucky me!

My tweaks seek to bring out more of a 'Cult B-Movie' type of environment -- to heighten the incongruities between the game and real life while making it more true-to-life, believable and fun. There is always a fudge factor between gaming experience and reality, but I do my best to minimize the fudgyness. It's a tall order, and I'll probably fail on it for many people, but even then my tweaks are only tweaks -- and each Player can tweak my tweaks to their liking or not use them at all.  As well, my tweaks come from my own experience with the game, and though I have played it off and on for years I have never successfully completed it without cheating.

It IS that difficult -- and that difficulty is part of what makes it a great game. Hey, nobody said overthrowing a country with only a squad or two of mercenaries was gonna be easy, yo. There's a whole army to defeat . . . and then there's those giant bug creatures . . . and the zombies! "Danger, Will Robinson!" A vacation in Arulco is not for the faint of heart, nor for the inexperienced. This is war!

Ayup! This is Cult B-Movie material, for sure! Oh, and did I mention you'll get the opportunity to meet many exotic and exciting people!

Arulco Vacations also has a forum at The Bear's Pit! As well, there is a Facebook page dedicated to Arulco Vacations. Be sure to come visit!

Use the links on the left of every page to get to the different sections of this site. More sections will be installed as I continue updating and documenting every aspect of Arulco Vacations.

There have been several exciting new features added to JA2v1.13 since r7435b7609, and when they are all fully fleshed out and ready for prime time I will incorporate a newer JA2v1.13 build into Arulco Vacations.

Arulco Vacations is not compatible with other mods of v1.13. it was designed to be installed alongside the 2014 Stable Release of v1.13, otherwise known as release 7435 build 7609.

That said, one gamer ("Wolf00") has indicated the Arulco Vacations is working nicely on the  SCI-7623 release of v1.13.

Some of the new features that will become available in newer releases of v1.13 will change some of Arulco Vacations a lot -- such as the new Militia options that allow individualized and persistent militia characters.


  1. Hi Ed,
    Thanks for the AV mod. It installs and plays just fine. My problem is with the XML editor. It starts to load the Items.xml file, then stops with the following: "Error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object." Can you help?


    1. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the mod. Unfortunately, the XML editors won't work with the modded XMLs -- a flaw in their programming design. I added items to the Item.XML and the editor doesn't know what to do with that. I use a text editor -- a bit slower but a lot more reliable than the XML Editor.

  2. Thanks for the response. I have used Notepad++ to edit the files in the past, so I will dust it off and use it again.


  3. Hi Ed, thoroughly enjoying the mod although its a steep learning curve for sure :), have you intended it to be played with a certain number of IMP mercs?

    1. I am glad you are enjoying it. I have not intended to require the Player to do anything special, just play as you would like. Multiple IMPs can help out if the economic game gets difficult, so I provided the option to have as many as the game allows. But it is playable with a single IMP. A lot depends on the Player's strategic decisions concerning who to hire, and how to spend what money you have at start. I do find that selling off most of the weapon/gear drops by the enemy is practically a necessity to stay financially solvent. I also find that it is very important who I hire at the beginning.

  4. Hi Ed long time JA fan here and read about your mod over at the pit and looks promising. Could you confirm it whether cth was modified or not?

    1. Yes, it uses a slightly modified NCTH sub-system. Additionally, I'm working on v1.07 which modifies it much more than previously.

  5. Bom dia, quero relatar um bug. Quando chego no setor C13 Mina de Drassen e o exército da rainha vem contra-atacar entra em modo combate mas não aparece ninguém no setor. Se eu sair do setor e tentar voltar trava o jogo.

    1. Bom dia! Sim, isso é agora um bug conhecido relacionado com reforços inimigos. Você pode corrigi-lo, modificando o JA2_Options.ini. Procure por "Permitir reforços" e mudar essa linha de "True" para "False". Isso deve resolver a situação para você.

    2. Thanks...
      Eu vou precisar reiniciar meu jogo, ou posso continuar de onde estou?

    3. Continuo com o mesmo problema após mudar a configuração, como te mando um print pra me ajudar com esse problema?

    4. Hmm! Isso deveria ter corrigido o problema. Tente usar este novo exe que inclui a correção de código. É salvar jogo compatível, mas você vai ter que abandonar o sector e voltar para que ele funcione.

    5. Minha configuração.
      JA2 v1.13 - INI Editor
      Select JA2 v1.13 MOD vfs)config.JA2Arulco Vacations.ini
      Win 98 Compatibility FALSE
      Start Executable-File JA2_Stable2014_r7798.exe
      Select INI-File: Data-AV\Ja2_Options.INI

      Eu mexi em:

    6. JA2_Stable2014_r7798may ser o problema. Eu recomendo usar o último executável a partir Sevenfm. Ele colocou todas as correções de versões posteriores para o Stable 7609 executável, mais ele melhorou a AI. Você pode baixá-lo aqui:

      Além disso, estar ciente de que todos os editores (exceto o Editor de Mapa) incluído com o jogo estão desatualizados. Eles vão arquivos corrompidos se usado para modificar os arquivos. Tenha muito cuidado com eles. Nunca use o Editor INI - Eu simplesmente fazer um lançador de programa na área de trabalho que direciona para o executável.

  6. Thank you very much for making such a mod. Years I have been waiting for that approch. No more weak guys starting without money and revolvwers vs. "army" of gunslingers. Thank you!


  7. Hi Ed, thanks for breathing new life into my all-time favourite game. Is it possible to increase the number of 32 max mercs? With so many in-game characters to recruit and facilities to run I could use a few more.Thank you, Gary

    1. You're very welcome! Unfortunately 32 is the max number of characters that can be hired in this version (r7609) of v1.13. I know what you mean, though, as I invariably max out and wish for more myself!

  8. About Update 2 for v1.10: how i can download it? Your link here... try it, please. For me - it does not work.

  9. Is there a post relating to how the prices of the mercs have been scaled down?

    Not sure if some are supposed to be so cheap. Nails jumped from $16,000 for two weeks to $7,000.

    1. I reworked all salaries according to a formula I devised so that all Mercs are rated by the same criteria. As with all aspects of the mod I do adjust the salaries from time to time according to new understandings of the dynamics of the game. Generally, I wanted the Player to be able to hire anyone, even Gus, from the start if they so desired.

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  11. Hi Ed! Thanks for creating the best mod for JA2 - it's a lot more realistic than vanilla and I really enjoy it! Could you add other Flugente's additional mercs to the next version (Max Payne as RPC, Lara Croft and Ryder twins)? Thank you!

  12. how do i turn off the zombie mode?
    i see Tactical Zombie Settings but i don't see where i can turn it off

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