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Video Game / Cadash

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Cadash is an Arcade Game made by Taito Corp. in 1989. It is an extremely rare example of RPG videogame specifically made for the arcade market, and by that we mean that plays almost like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, with a platforming structure interspersed with all the elements of a typical console RPG.

The plot is generic and bare-bones, but we're speaking of an era when people simply mashed buttons, so it can be justified: the evil Baarogue kidnaps Sarasa, princess of the kingdom of Deerzar, and four heroes (a fighter, a mage, a priestess and a ninja) are asked by the King to save her, defeat Baarogue and rescue the kingdom.

Since this is an early example of videogame RPG, furthermore simplified to appeal to the arcade crowd, there are many typical RPG tropes, as the list below shows.

It was ported to the TurboGrafx-16 and the Sega Genesis in the early 90s, followed by an arcade-perfect conversion to Hamster's Arcade Archives series in August 2023 for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Tropes that can be found in the game:

  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: During the final boss battle.
  • Backtracking: Compared to the straightforward nature of the game's first half, the 4th continent requires you to come back and forth multiple times as you bring quest items here and there.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: The Priest has a balanced stats and can heal, the Fighter is the melee brute force, the Ninja has the speed and skill, while the frail Mage has a plethora of offensive spells.
  • Ballistic Bone: The weapon of choice of those blue trolls/ogres in the second continent.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The name "Balrog" became "Baarogue/Baalogue" in the translation. There are also many mistakes and unusual sentences.
    Thank you for the important thing!
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Worm boss (that looks more like a caterpillar), which when defeated gives you the Worm Thread to progress (so it's a silkworm then?) and is encountered again near the end of the game.
  • Blob Monster: Slimes, the Black Pudding (a giant slime and the first boss) and its purple cousin found much later in the game, which is also poisonous.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the PC Engine version, one of the skeletons has this to say when interacted with:
    Dead men tell no tales.. Unless, of course, they're in a game...
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The gnomes' horses, which are strange bipedal chicken-like creatures... that go "Neigh!" when you approach them.
  • Cap: At level 20, though it's pretty hard to reach. Also, you can't carry more than 60000 gold pieces (65535 in the Genesis version).
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Up to four players can join the game, by linking two boards together; in this way, each one of them has to get a different character to play with. The console ports only support two players, and the Sega Genesis port reduces the player character selection to the Fighter and Mage.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Three out of four characters have ranged attacks. The Fighter always needs to go to-to-toe against monsters, and he starts to get outmatched halfway through the game.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Sarasa knows her father was killed when he tried to save her from Balrog. And the king who sent you on your quest, was Balrog all along in disguise!
  • Dem Bones: Skeleton swordsmen. Later, implacable zombies will pursue you even when their torsos have been chopped off.
  • Difficulty by Region: The Japan and US versions of the Arcade game are more difficult than the Europe and World versions (the version in Taito Legends Collection is the World version). Herbs and inns are more expensive, you can't carry as many Herbs or Antidotes, bosses have more health, the Priestess' Time spell gives less time, and the Dragon Amulet is worth less money.
  • Experience Points: "(Character Name) has gone into a higher level!"
  • Fish Person: After defeating the Kraken, the captive takes you to a pool of water and reveals herself to be a mermaid when she dives in.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: The Ninja is one of the best characters to complete the game with. He needs more XP than the others to gain levels, but other that that he's fast, fairly strong, has the best range with his projectile weapons and can hit enemies behind walls.
  • The Grim Reaper: In the catacombs of the 4th continent, there are specters modeled after it. They're tough, appear and disappear at will and use a nasty thunderbolt spell.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The gnome village in the third continent.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Ninja's next-to-last weapon is able to penetrate enemies and go through walls. If you upgrade to his final weapon, it grows stronger, but loses this utility (and since it has a larger hit-box, it often gets caught on walls).
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Strange porcupine-like creatures are immune to weapons and magic alike while they damage you should you run into them. All you can do is jump over them across narrow tunnels.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Fighter's best set of armor and weapon is golden.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: The Ninja sure feels out of place...
  • Nothing but Skulls: A partial example. The platforms and environment of the catacombs in the fourth continent are entirely composed of human remains.
  • One to Million to One: One boss is a devilish-looking fire elemental that stands in place in a fire pit. Suddenly it turns into a myriad of indestructible fireballs that bounce all over the place, before reforming himself in the fire pit at the other side of the room.
  • One-Winged Angel: When it looks like Baarogue is defeated, he soon turns into a red dragon, that after a few hits sprouts yet another head.
  • Only Known by Initials: In true arcade fashion, the game's name entry only supports three characters, including a square, period, question mark, and exclamation point.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The Maze of Roots in the 3rd continent has specific areas where you can gain a tremendous amount of experience to rack several levels quickly. The first area is the downward hill toward the Worm's cave that is infested with spiders and prowling rock elementals. The second area lies deeper in the maze that are filled with poisonous red wasps. These enemies re-spawn each time you scroll the screen, giving you time for some Level Grinding to boost your HP and stats since the difficulty spikes higher by the 4th continent. Even better, the Maze of Roots also has a gnome who can sell you sandclocks to extend your playtime.
  • Pig Man: The very first enemies you'll meet.
  • The Place: "Cadash" is Baarogue's castle, the final dungeon and theater of the final showdown.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: The Mage, being a typical mage, dresses like this. He's also got a Wizard Beard.
  • Save the Princess: Your main objective is rescuing Princess Sarasa.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: The second area has a room lined with a whole swarm of wasps. They chase you down relentlessly, they deal a ton of damage for that point in the game, and they poison you too. The orange ones in the third area are even more powerful.
  • Shout-Out: One of your quests involve saving a young woman who will be sacrificed to the Kraken.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Among the fourth characters the player can select at the start of the game, the Priest(ess) alone is female.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Further search of the manuals of the game's ports have different spellings of the characters' names and cities.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Mage is the physically weakest among all the characters, both in terms of attack and defense. His spells make up for this, though.
  • Stalked by the Bell: The game is timed, and if the timer runs out (and it never stops), an invincible floating skull appears and pursues the players. The only ways to buy more time are entering the portals that connect the continents, buying the hourglasses in the shops (which give you one minute and increase in cost the more you purchase them), continuing when your in-game remaining time is under 8:00, or using a specific spell from the Priestess. The timer is absent in home versions, since there's no need to time people out for potentially leaving a continue running like with an arcade machine.
  • Status Effects: Only one, poison. Can be cured with antidotes or with one specific spell of the Priestess.