Cabal

Moby ID: 3733
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

Originating in the arcades, Cabal is a shooter where the protagonist runs back and forth along the bottom of the screen, ducking and dodging bullets and grenades from the enemy. The roll maneuver from the arcade was not implemented in the PC version. The player returns fire by moving a target around the screen which also moves the player character and may expose him to enemy fire.

The enemies throughout the five levels come thick and fast and there are many of them. They include normal foot soldiers, tanks, helicopters and end of level bosses such as submarines and war machines. Just about everything on the screen can be blown up or shot. There are bonus points to be picked up for destroying buildings and weapons to be picked up from the enemy, such as machine guns and shotguns. Two-player mode is available.

Spellings

  • カベール - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

President (uncredited)
Programming (uncredited)

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 26 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 70 ratings with 1 reviews)

Kill all enemies and dodge their bullets

The Good
Cabal is a 1-2 player shooter in which you control a soldier and you must wipe out enemies with your pistol, and these enemies, such as soldiers, tanks, jeeps, and helicopters, will shoot at you or throw grenades at you. If you shoot enough, you advance to the next difficult level. After four levels, you must defeat a boss before going on to the next set.

One thing that I admire is the way that after killing several enemies at once, the "enemy meter" at the top of the screen starts to fill up with red bars. If these bars occupy the meter, then you proceed to the next level. The meter fills up quickly if you successfully dodge shots and grenades. Even better at filling up the meter with red bars is when you manage to get yourself a machine gun and shoot all over the place, since you will fill your meter up quickly.

Every round in the game (there are four) has you fighting through enemy bases, camps, and forests, as well as out in the open. Cabal is another one of those games that let you modify the background. There are several structures in each level, and these structures can be shot at so that you can get grenades, machine guns, extra points, etc.

The enemy AI is pretty good, with some enemies finding different ways to hurt you. For example, while the green men just appear on the screen, shoot at you, then go off-screen, the brown ones will roll to a different place if they are hit. Some of them even waste several seconds trying to throw a grenade, during which time they should be shot at before they have that chance.

Although the graphics are okay for its time, they are considered poor by today's standard. However, the graphics were much better than its Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum counterparts. All the characters are drawn and colored in exactly as they appear, and do not appear blocky like the other versions. Furthermore, the backgrounds and its structures are rich, and the status bar is well organized.

The sounds are excellent, especially the music. The music that plays when you fight the boss is much better than the music that you hear when you do not fight them. I have to say that the last boss music is much better than any other music, but I had to pause the game to enjoy it more fully.

The Bad
The Amiga version only has four rounds when the coin-op version, as well as the NES version, actually had five.

The Bottom Line
Except the number of rounds, Cabal is faithful to the coin-op version. If you like this game, you should try playing Blood Bros., which is much better because of its cartoony graphics, awesome sounds, and extended gameplay.

Rating: ***½

Amiga · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2005

Trivia

Version differences

For reasons unknown the Amiga and Atari ST versions do not have the original level 2, with the scuba divers and a submarine end boss. Instead it skips to the harbour docks level, calling it level 2. Due to this missing level, there only are 4 levels in total.

There are two version of Commodore 64. UK version, although it lacks the coin-op's simultaneous two-player mode and the bizarre little dance-cum-victory-run that the commando does upon completing each level, everything else has been crammed into this conversion. US version has irritating gunfire sound effect, annoying invisible bullet syndrome and lack of frenetic gameplay due to general shortage of on-screen foes.

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  • MobyGames ID: 3733
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

Amstrad CPC added by Kabushi. Atari ST, ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Amiga added by MAT. Commodore 64, NES added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: BdR, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Rik Hideto.

Game added April 10, 2001. Last modified May 10, 2024.