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Video Game / Cabal

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Cabal is a 1988 Arcade Game developed by TAD Corporation. In this game, the player controls a member of the secret commando order Lubbock, Freddy (1P) or Johnny (2P). Viewed from behind, you control them as they take out a terrorist order in an unnamed foreign nation. Two players can play this game, cooperatively and 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's this building with many turrets popping out of the ground. In the Arcade version, the weak point is the central installation, while the NES version makes you go for the turrets instead.
    • The third boss is a potential one—defeating the turrets the truck hauls in will deplete its life bar, but destroying the truck itself is an instant victory.
  • Background Boss: Technically, every single boss is this.
  • Bottomless Magazines: You'll be glad you have them with how profuse the terrorists and their materiel are.
  • 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 batteries that pop out from the ground and spray bombs and shots everywhere. The final boss is also one that focuses on twin shots from the outer cannons, with aimed single shots from the central installation.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Once the enemy life meter is depleted, all remaining enemies and destroyable structures/objects immediately die.
  • Destructible Projectiles: Most enemy projectiles can be destroyed by shooting at them. It's easier to dodge, though, especially with soldiers' bullets. The helicopters' machine gun strikes are the main exception.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: The player cannot move while firing.
  • Flunky Boss: The final boss has infinitely-respawning turrets that spew out a storm of twinned shots.
    • The third boss (a truck that hauls in a row of cannons) is also one. The usual way to destroy it is to take out the turrets until the life gauge is depleted... unless you do enough damage to the truck itself, which will immediately clear the fight no matter how few turrets you destroyed beforehand.
  • 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: The blue weapon pickup vastly increases your 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 on if there's a second player.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: The enemy shots. But there's a lot of them, especially in later levels.
  • Random Drop: 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 Random Drop system doesn't decide to give you a weapon instead, anyway...), and destroying an object that crumbles down to the ground, 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 increases your reticule size and damage per shot.
  • Take Cover!: Like Space Invaders, your cover is only temporary. It's also downright useless against helicopters, as their shots just keep going right through.
  • 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" (with the last three expanding on the concept).
  • Vehicular Assault: The first three bosses—a dual-rotor helicopter, a submarine, and a cannon-hauling 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 hauls 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.