Mattias Targo came to the attention of the Allied forces when he led an attack on an Austrian prisoner of war camp and abducted the population despite Romania's allegiance to Austria-Hungary in the war effort.
He returned with them to his castle and had some of the men impaled upon sharpened poles at the grounds of his castle, while the others were placed in a state comparable to living death at a campsite near his headquarters alongside German and Austrian soldiers he had also captured.
One month following the abduction, a French agent, François Picard arrived to investigate. Two Americans, Frederick McCall and Evan Thompson followed the month after. In response, Targo sent back a message not to send anymore agents: a package containing Picard's finger, McCall's ear and Thompson's eyeball.
Targo's warning went unheeded and the general began preparing for the arrival of a group made up of Colonel Waters, Indiana Jones, Nicholas Hunyadi, Franz Heinzer and Picard's fiancé, Maria Straussler. Waters mysteriously died before Targo was confronted but Jones demanded they be taken to their agents. Targo agreed and led the remaining four to a dining room, surprising them with the sight of the three agents seated as guests at a large banquet.
The general laughed away the notion that the men had been drugged, with which the men agreed. In the process, Picard revealed that Heinzer was in reality Adolf Schmidt, captain of the Austrian Secret Police. Schmidt responded by shooting Picard. Stricken by grief, Maria threw a knife from the table into Schmidt's chest when Picard simply sat back up unharmed.
Targo's soldiers took Jones, Straussler and Hunyadi prisoner and the general directed them up to his tower. Indy and Maria were chained to the wall while Hunyadi was tied down upon a bench. Targo picked up a scalpel and proceeded to perform a live vivisection on the man. He then supplied Maria with a sleep inducing liquid and placed her upon a bed before turning his attention to Jones.
Jones feigned drinking the concoction and sucker punched Targo the moment he undid the chains. However, the general was unimpaired and grabbed Indy by the throat, lifting him with one arm onto the operating table. Just as he was about to put the scalpel to him, Targo felt a knife slam into his back from a fully conscious Straussler and he collapsed to the floor.
Maria helped Indy from the bench and as the pair made their way to the door, Targo rose back to his feet. The pair fled across the fortifications but were hindered by a locked door. Targo and Jones fought high above the castle floor with Jones eventually managing to flip the general over the edge. Targo managed to hang on but at Maria's insistence Jones loosened the man's grip and Targo plummeted to the ground below.
Jones and Straussler carried Targo's body to where four roads met and prepared to hammer a wooden stake through his chest. Targo sprang back to life but Indy quickly nailed the stake into the general's heart, finally subduing him. Targo's body began to smolder then erupted into flame, black smoke rising into the shape of the general's grinning visage before dissipating. All those he had taken collapsed upon his death.
Behind the scenes
Mattias Targo was played by Bob Peck.
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Transylvania, January 1918" → Masks of Evil
- Indiana Jones and the Cup of the Vampire (Possible appearance)