- Released: 1988-
- Developer: TAD Corporation
- Genre: Shooting
- Mode(s): Single Player | Multiplayer
*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 the game, the player controls a commando, viewed from behind, trying to destroy various enemy military bases. The game was innovative for the era, but only a mild success in the arcades, and became better known for its various home conversions.
Cabal was ported to several home computers of the era, including the DOS computers, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST and Amiga. It was also ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System console by Rare. The quality of these ports varied based on the target system's capabilities. A version for the Atari Lynx was previewed and even slated to be published in April 1992, but it was never released by Fabtek.
When converting the game to the Nintendo Entertainment System, Rare were given a Cabal cabinet but did not have access to the game's source code, so they had to play the game over and over and redraw the graphics from memory. To accommodate the many layers and sprites of the arcade game, programmer Anthony Ball used a common coding trick: swapping sprites from left to right every other frame. This has the negative side effect of causing the sprites to flicker when they reach the console's limit of eight per line, but Ball, like many programmers of the era, found this an acceptable trade-off for including all the game's content, and in a 2016 interview he said he is happy with the quality of the conversion.