Cabal (USA)

Nintendo NES 1990 Milton Bradley
Cabal (カベール, Kabēru) is a 1988 arcade video game originally developed by TAD Corporation and published in Japan by Taito Corporation and in North America and Europe by Fabtek. In this game, the player controls a commando, viewed from behind, trying to destroy various enemy military bases. The game was innovative for the era, and a modest success in sales.

Either one player can play alone or two players could play this game, cooperatively, simultaneously. Each player assumes the role of one or two unnamed commandos trying to destroy several enemy military bases. There are 5 stages with 4 screens each. Both players' characters are seen from behind and initially starts behind a protective wall (the wall can get damaged and shattered by enemy fire). Players must use a limitless ammunition gun and a limited number of grenades to fend off enemy troops and damage the base. An enemy gauge at the bottom of the screen depletes as foes are destroyed and certain structures (usually the ones that collapse when destroyed, rather than simply shattering) are brought down. At the successful completion of a level by fully depleting the enemy gauge, all the remaining buildings onscreen collapse and the player progresses to the next stage. Boss fights, however, start from the beginning if a player dies. (This feature was criticised by many players. It can be circumvented, however, if two players play simultaneously and at least one stays alive at a given moment.)

Power-ups appear from time to time, being released from objects destroyed onscreen. Some power-ups give special weapons: One of them is an extremely fast machinegun and other one is an automatic shotgun with a slightly lower firing rate, but has a larger crosshair, allowing it to strike a wider area with each shot. Others grant extra grenades or additional points.

The arcade cabinet is a standard upright. Each player uses a trackball to move the player from side to side, and move the crosshairs about the screen. On later board revisions, a joystick was installed instead with an optional sub-pcb for use with a trackball. With a trackball, rolling (an invincible movement during which the player could not attack) is done by pushing the trackball to maximum speed.

Cabal was somewhat innovative in that it featured a 3D perspective in which the player was situated in the foreground, similar to modern FPS games except with an over-the-shoulder camera view. Although it is sometimes compared to contemporary games such as Commando and Ikari Warriors, it differs in that the player cannot move forward of his own volition; an area would first have to be cleared of enemies before advancing. Another interesting twist was that players could not move the character while firing (holding down the fire button gives players control of the aiming cursor), and when moving the character to avoid incoming bullets, the aiming cursor also moved along with your weapon. This meant that gameplay became a careful balance between offensive and defensive tactics, separating it from simple "platform" shooters which relied more on reflexes. Advanced gameplay involved destructible asset management in balancing dodging (which got riskier as the number of enemy projectiles on screen increased) with the safer alternative of taking cover behind a protective but limited durability wall. Overall it was somewhat popular and did respectably well in the arcades.
Cabal (USA)

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Contenu de la ROM :


  • maincpu N2A03 (@ 1 Mhz)
  • N2A03 (@ 1 Mhz)
  • Orientation Yoko
  • Résolution 255 x 240
  • Fréquence 60.098 Hz
  • Nombre de joueurs 4
  • Nombre de boutons 2
  • Type de contrôle
    1. triplejoy (8 ways)
    2. triplejoy (8 ways)
    3. triplejoy (8 ways)
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Screenshots de Cabal (USA)

Cabal (USA) - Screen 1
Cabal (USA) - Screen 2
Cabal (USA) - Screen 3
Cabal (USA) - Screen 4
Cabal (USA) - Screen 5

Ports and related releases

Cabal was ported to several home computers of the era, including the MS-DOS, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST and Amiga. It was also ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System console, which was ported by Zippo Games. The quality of these ports varied based on the target system's capabilities.

Cabal was followed in 1990 by Blood Bros., though the sequel had a western theme as opposed to Cabal's Vietnam-era theme.


The game won the award for best advert of the year according to the readers of Crash magazine. The game's success inspired many of its own "Cabal clones," such as NAM-1975 (1990) and Wild Guns (1994).

See also

  • Dynamite Duke, featuring close combat in addition with similar shooting.
  • Blood Bros., considered the "spiritual successor" of Cabal.
  • Wild Guns, a SNES game featuring similar gameplay.
  • Sin & Punishment, an N64 title.
  • Zombie Panic in Wonderland, another similar game released on the Wii's WiiWare download service.
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