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Video Game / Cabal

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You know what to do, soldier. Blow those damn buildings up with the enemy!

Cabal is a 1988 Arcade Game developed by TAD Corporation. In this game, the player controls a commando, viewed from behind, trying to destroy various enemy military bases. Two players could play this game, cooperatively, simultaneously.

The player's character is seen from behind and initially starts behind a protective wall. The player has a gun with unlimited ammunition and a limited number of grenades. An enemy gauge at the bottom of the screen depletes as foes are destroyed and certain structures are brought down. Once it is depleted, you beat the level. All the remaining buildings onscreen collapse and the player progresses to the next stage while doing a rather... odd-looking Victory Dance while running.

The arcade cabinet has a trackball to move the player from side to side, and move the crosshairs about the screen. With a trackball, rolling is done by pushing the trackball to maximum speed.


This game was ported to the NES by Rare. It also spawned a Spiritual Sequel, Blood Bros (which is pretty much Cabal in the Wild West). See also Wild Guns for the SNES, which is pretty much Blood Bros IN SPACE.

Is not related in any way to CABAL Online, an MMORPG released in 2005.

Cabal provides examples of:

  • Airborne Mook: Helicopters and bomber planes. The first boss is also one.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The final Boss. It was this building with many turrets popping out of the ground. In the Arcade version, the weak point was the building, however, the NES version makes you go for the turrets instead.
    • The third boss could also be one- defeating the turrets the truck hauled in would deplete its life bar, but destroying the truck would be an instant victory.
  • Background Boss: Technically, every single boss is this.
  • Bottomless Magazines: You'd be glad you had them.
  • Continuing is Painful. Against bosses. If you die against a boss in 1-player mode, you have to fight the boss from the start again!
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss: The fourth boss, three turrets that popped out from the ground and SPAMMED bombs and shots. The final boss is also one.
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  • Destructible Projectiles: Most enemy projectiles can be destroyed by shooting at them. It's easier to dodge, though.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: The player cannot move while firing.
  • Flunky Boss: The final boss had infinitely-respawning turrets that spewed out countless amounts of bullets.
    • The third boss (a truck that hauled in a row of cannons) is also one, damaging the cannons would deplete the boss' health bar. But if you killed the truck, the boss would be instantly beaten.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Played straight against normal enemies, as well as the player character.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Defeating the main section of the truck boss destroys all the cannons instantly, and nets you victory regardless of battle progress.
  • Made of Iron: The white soldiers can take three hits before dropping to the ground, and even then they might not be really dead, as there's a chance that medics come in to take his fallen body away.
  • Made of Plasticine: Whatever the enemy tanks, army trucks, buggies, helicopters and jets are made of doesn't seem very strong- those vehicles are destroyed very quickly from a mere rifle (and even more quickly with a machine gun or shotgun)!
  • Mook Maker: Truck enemies spawn more soldiers. The gates in 1-3 are also an example—if you don't destroy them, they'll periodically open to reveal a couple of soldiers who will fling a couple of grenades each at you before the gates close.
  • More Dakka: The player's weapon.
    • Gatling Good: One of the weapons you could pick up it had a much higher rate of fire.
  • No Ontological Inertia: When you manage to deplete the enemy gauge, every remaining enemy on screen dies, all enemy shots explode harmlessly, and all structures get destroyed. As for the flunky bosses, killing the main target will destroy all the flunkies too.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Get hit by anything, and you die.
  • One-Man Army: Or two, depending if there's a second player.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: The enemy shots. But there's a lot of them, especially in later levels.
  • Randomly Drops: Anything you destroy—not just enemy soldiers and vehicles, but structures and bullets—has a chance to emit a grenade or a weapon power-up. This can be a bit annoying if you were expecting a 50,000-point plaque from that object you destroyed instead...
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Possibly one of the earliest examples- many buildings, structures and even parts of the environment can be destroyed. Many of them will release point objects (if the Randomly Drops system doesn't decide to give you a weapon instead, anyway...), and destroying an object that crumbles down gradually, rather than just immediately shattering, will actually lower the Enemy gauge a bit.
  • Shoot the Bullet: You can shoot down some enemy attacks, destroying them.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The shotgun weapon increased your attack size and did a lot more damage.
  • Take Cover!: Like Space Invaders, your cover is only temporary. And those helicopters would just break it anyway.
  • Tank Goodness: One of the enemies you'll fight. It's quite weak for a tank, though.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: You have a limited amount of grenades which you can use on the enemy.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Subverted. By doing a combat roll, you become immune to attacks! Unfortunately, white-uniformed soldiers have the same thing in mind too...
  • Ur-Example: There's a reason why many games such as Blood Bros, Devastators, NAM-1975, G.I. Joe (arcade), Wild Guns, Sin and Punishment and Zombie Panic In Wonderland are known as "Cabal Clones" (although the last three and improve it).
  • Vehicular Assault: The first three bosses, a helicopter, a submarine, and a truck.
  • Victory Dance: You character combines this with a really girly-looking run and girly-sounding music once he beats a level.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Often, once you manage to take down a grey-uniformed soldier (it looks like you have to shoot him when he's aiming his gun or grenades at you), medics will run in with a stretcher and carry him away. Keep shooting the fallen soldier—or even the medics (they won't die)—and you'll generate a veritable swarm of grenades for your own use.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The third boss, a truck that hauled in many cannon turrets. It's best you quickly destroy the turrets with grenades or else you'll have very little room to dodge. Or just kill the truck.
  • Wreaking Havok: A very early example in a video game.