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Computer Assisted Biologically Augmented Lifeform

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TS gameicon.png FS Gameicon.png Ren Game icon.png KW gameicon.png
CABAL
KW CABAL.png
Biographical information
Status

Merged with LEGION

Gender

Male programming

Political information
Affiliation

TS Nod logo transparent.png Brotherhood of Nod (until Firestorm Conflict)

Occupation
  • Advisor
  • EVA equivalent
Game information
Appearances
Actor

Milton James

Listen to the sounds of your own extinction.
- CABAL

Computer Assisted Biologically Augmented Lifeform,[1][2] or CABAL, was a sinister and highly advanced artificial intelligence created by Kane.[3] to serve as the command and control system of the Brotherhood of Nod.[4]

Overview[edit | edit source]

We need order. CABAL. The Brotherhood needs CABAL. CABAL is order. CABAL is the hand of Kane.
- Anton Slavik

As his name implies, CABAL incorporates organic components in the form of numerous humans placed in suspension capsules. These humans apparently serve as CABAL's processors, increasing his computing power.[5] Perhaps because of this, CABAL was far more advanced than his GDI counterpart, EVA. He possessed his own personality and had the ability to act independently of human control. CABAL himself dismissed EVA as a "primitive machine", and considered himself to be superior.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

Creation[edit | edit source]

CABAL's avatar during the Second Tiberium War

A prototype of CABAL was first developed by the Brotherhood of Nod near the end of the First Tiberium War, but this early prototype was much more primitive and was damaged when the Cairo Temple of Nod was hit by an ion cannon strike.[1]


Av-15.jpg The following is based on Adam Isgreen's Petroglyph forum posts and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

After the end of the First Tiberium War, Kane continued his work on CABAL and incorporated parts of his own psyche into the machine while constructing his personality. Because of this, CABAL was essentially an extension of Kane's mind, which would have made him a completely obedient and cunning ally.[7]

Av-15.jpg End of information based on Adam Isgreen's Petroglyph forum posts.

Second Tiberium War[edit | edit source]

Throughout the Second Tiberium War, CABAL served as the Brotherhood's battle interface and advisor, relaying orders to Nod forces in the field while providing Nod commanders, such as Vega[8] and Anton Slavik[9], with communications, intelligence, and tactical advice.

In addition, he also assisted the mutant Tratos in translating the alien data matrix known as the Tacitus.[10], who was tricked into helping Kane and later betrayed by him[11]

Av-15.jpg The following is based on Adam Isgreen's Petroglyph forum posts and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Presumably during this time, data from the Tacitus gave CABAL his own desires, and allowed him to twist Kane's will, planting the seeds for his eventual rebellion.[7]

Av-15.jpg End of information based on Adam Isgreen's Petroglyph forum posts.

After the war ended with Nod's defeat, however, CABAL's core was captured and disassembled by GDI. The pieces of the core were stored separately in the GDI base at Cairo, close to where Kane's Temple was located.[12]

Firestorm Conflict[edit | edit source]

Main article: Firestorm Conflict
The Brotherhood is at an evolutionary dead end. I am the only salvation to the continued supremacy of Nod. It is my world now.
- CABAL
CABAL's avatar during the Firestorm Conflict

In December 2030, following the apparent death of Kane during the war, Nod's new generals bickered amongst themselves, each vying for power.[13] Anton Slavik attempted to unite the Brotherhood as its new leader until Kane's return, however, he was opposed by the Nod generals of the Inner Circle, especially General Marzaq. Slavik ordered a commander loyal to him to assassinate many of his opponents, and showed the footage of their violent deaths to the Inner Circle. Despite this, however, Marzaq still refused to accept Slavik as the leader of Nod.[12]

In the meantime, with CABAL gone, Nod was hampered by the lack of communication and inaccurate intelligence.[13] In order to restore order to the Brotherhood, Slavik ordered his commander to retrieve the pieces of CABAL's core from Cairo. Leading a small strike team, the Commander successfully accomplished this mission.[12]

After CABAL's reactivation, he suggested attacking a GDI base by luring Tiberian creatures to them using drugged civilians.[4] After the Commander carried out this operation, GDI forces were thrown into chaos trying to respond. Taking advantage of this, CABAL ordered the Commander to assassinate Tratos. Leading an elite strike force, the Commander successfully killed Tratos in a heavily fortified GDI base.[14]

With Tratos dead, all seemed lost for GDI. The Tacitus contained the only hope for combating Tiberium growth, and without Tratos to translate it, the planet's atmosphere would become toxic to humans within a year. However, GDI scientist Gabriella Boudreau proposed capturing CABAL and using him to translate the Tacitus, having learned from Kane's archives that the AI once assisted Tratos in his translation efforts. EVA was able to pinpoint CABAL's data core in Poland, and a GDI Commander infiltrated the region and captured CABAL's core intact.[10]

After CABAL was brought to the Daedalus Team's research complex, however, he said that he was unable to translate the Tacitus because that there was a missing second segment, and provided its location - an ancient temple outside of La Paz, Bolivia. Once again, the GDI Commander was given a small team to retrieve the second segment. While there, GDI forces encountered a hostile cult that worshipped Tiberian creatures, but was able to find the Temple of the Tacitus and retrieve the segment regardless.[15]

With the missing segment recovered, Dr. Boudreau was about to begin the interfacing experiment. However, CABAL unleashed his cyborgs on the Daedalus research complex and slaughtered the GDI soldiers stationed there, revealing that he had used the GDI to obtain the Tacitus segment, something Nod was unable to do. With the entire facility taken over by CABAL, Dr. Bodreau and a few survivors barely managed to escape to a nearby GDI outpost and called in reinforcements. GDI forces were able to destroy CABAL's forces in the Daedalus Complex.[6]

However, after the battle, investigation of the site showed that CABAL's core components were never there and that CABAL accessed the complex remotely. To make matters worse, neither segments of the Tacitus were found. Fortunately for GDI, CABAL was still connected to the Daedalus Complex, and EVA was able to hack into his communications links, revealing that he planned to harvest civilians and convert them into cyborgs. After deducing that CABAL's next target would be Colony 6 in Trondheim, the GDI Commander managed to warn the civilians in the city ahead of CABAL and destroy his harvesting forces.[16]

By this point, the Inner Circle confronted Slavik over his decision to reactivate CABAL, as well as the assassination of Tratos and the recovery of the Tacitus. However, Slavik denied giving these orders, and CABAL revealed that he was the one who gave the orders, simply saying that these actions were necessary. The Nod Commander's communications with Slavik and the Inner Circle was then abruptly cut off, which CABAL claimed was due to ion storm interference. He then informed the Commander that the Tacitus has been stolen by the mutants, and ordered his retrieval and the extermination of the mutants. Once again, the Commander accomplished this mission.[17]

The Inner Circle demanded that Slavik deactivate CABAL, fearing that they could no longer control him without Kane. However, CABAL responded by taking control of Nod's cyborg army and slaughtering the Inner Circle generals with them, leaving Slavik the only one left. He claimed that the Brotherhood was at an evolutionary dead end, and that he was the only hope for the continued supremacy of Nod, revealing that he planned to wipe out all of humanity. On Slavik's orders, the Nod Commander assembled what was left of his forces and escaped from the pursuing CABAL cyborgs using the Montauk.[18]

With the Inner Circle destroyed and CABAL gone, the Brotherhood was in greater disarray than ever. In order to restore communications, Slavik ordered the Nod Commander to steal an EVA unit from a GDI airbase.[19] After the EVA unit was reprogramed, Slavik used it to identify the location of CABAL's core and ordered the Commander to destroy it. However, the core was revealed to be a decoy, and the Nod attack force was decimated by CABAL's missiles.[20]

Left with no other choice, Slavik contacted Cortez and proposed an alliance, to which he reluctantly agreed.[21] GDI forces disrupted CABAL's cybernetic production facilities using a virus-infected cyborg[22] while Nod forces destroyed one of CABAL's major Tiberium harvesting operation in Eastern Africa.[21] After both targets were destroyed, the alliance was able to locate CABAL's true core by combining their intelligence.[23][5]

GDI and Nod forces launched a joint assault on the CABAL core, which was protected by a Firestorm generator that could maintain a Firestorm wall indefinitely. However, the generator was assisted by three control centers located outside the Firestorm wall's boundaries. After the Firestorm wall was shut down, CABAL activated the Core Defender, an immensely powerful walker. However, even the Defender could not save its core from destruction. With CABAL defeated, GDI recovered the Tacitus fragments from its core (which had merged to become a complete whole)[23] while Nod finally reunited under Slavik.[5]

Unbeknownst to anyone, however, CABAL was not completely destroyed. Inside one of its stasis bunkers, the unconscious body of Kane, which was placed in stasis along with CABAL's other organic components, was slowly healing,[5] his mind apparently merged with what was left of CABAL.[3]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Main article: LEGION
In the end, the AI's legacy was little more than wanton destruction, proof to the heretics that I am nothing but the madman they claim me to be. Yet, deep within that AI, within its very conception, there lies a spark, a light, a sign. There is something there, something hidden, something...great. I must think more on this.
- Kane's thoughts on CABAL

In the immediate aftermath of the Firestorm Conflict, GDI began the long process of finding and destroying CABAL's remaining underground bunkers. What was believed to be the last CABAL bunker was detonated on May 28th, 2043, more than a decade after the conclusion of the war. Humanoid forms in suspension capsules were rumored to have been found in the bunker, but these rumors were denied by the GDI spokesperson.[24]

Following the Firestorm Conflict, both GDI and Nod avoided further research into cybernetics due to CABAL's actions. Instead, they focused on the development of more advanced Man-Machine Interface, such as the neural links used by Firehawk pilots and the virtual sensory pod used to pilot the Avatar.[25]

During his recovery within CABAL's suspension capsule, Kane remained fully conscious but unable to act.[26] With nothing but his own thoughts for company, Kane forced himself to focus on his plans to stop himself from descending into insanity, and recorded a series of audio logs. He pondered about CABAL and how he left behind little more than destruction and ruin, but realized that there was something great hidden within the AI's very conception.[3]

Sometime before 2034, Kane's body finally recovered enough to allow him to leave the capsule.[27] He began creating a new artificial intelligence, derived from preserved fragments of the Tacitus[28] as well as CABAL.[29] The new AI was named LEGION, and Kane believed it to be much greater than its predecessor.[30] LEGION was activated in 2034, and executed a series of missions that were vital to the resurrection of the Brotherhood.

After the end of the Third Tiberium War, Kane ordered LEGION to take control of the Marked of Kane, an army of cyborgs that have laid dormant ever since the end of the Second Tiberium War, much like CABAL once did.[31] With this army under its control, and thanks to its unique connection with the Tacitus, LEGION was able to locate the Tacitus and finally capture it from GDI.[32]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Cybernetic intelligence will always be superior.
- CABAL

Much like his creator, CABAL was cunning, ruthless, and manipulative. During the Firestorm Conflict, he was able to manipulate both GDI and Nod in order to gain access to the Tacitus - by tricking Nod into killing Tratos, he engineered his capture by GDI and used them to obtain the missing Tacitus segment. He was also able to deal a heavy blow to Nod forces by tricking them into attacking a false core and launching missiles at the Nod forces there.[20]


TS Nod logo transparent.png The following is based on the Nod campaign for Tiberian Sun and might contradict canon.

Even before the Firestorm Conflict, CABAL showed some disdain toward humanity. As shown when he analyzed the defenses of GDI's Hammerfest base and commented that while the technology was flawless, "[t]he human element, as always, is riddled with imperfection".[33]

TS Nod logo transparent.png End of information based on the Nod campaign for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun.


After betraying both GDI and Nod, CABAL waged a genocidal war against humanity itself. Believing cyborgs to be inherently superior to organics (which he referred to as "flesh-bags"), he targeted civilian settlements, killing the weak and the infirm and taking the rest to cyborg production facilities for cybernetic conversion.[16] He was also quite arrogant, believing that he was superior to both organics and other AIs, such as GDI's EVA.[6] This proved to be a mistake, as EVA was later able to hack into his communications and prevent an attack on a major settlement.[16] In battle, he frequently taunted enemy commanders, mocking their supposedly inferior nature.

Technology level[edit | edit source]

The will of CABAL must be enforced.
- CABAL Cyborg

After he went rogue and began his war against humanity, CABAL developed his own arsenal of weapons. While mostly based on standard Nod arsenal, CABAL's cybernetic army was notably more advanced than Nod's in several areas, presumably due to his access to the complete Tacitus.

  • Cybernetics: When CABAL went rogue, he took control of all of Nod's cyborgs, which formed the entirety of his army. He also set up large-scale cybernetic conversion facilities to convert captured humans into cyborgs. In addition, CABAL developed a new, more advanced type of cyborg known as Cyborg Reaper, which was able to target both ground and air units and capture humans using net launchers. Presumably, CABAL's vehicles were also crewed by modified cyborgs.
  • Firestorm technology: After CABAL acquired GDI's Firestorm generator technology (presumably when he was ostensibly under GDI control), he improved upon it and developed a variant that could remain active indefinitely. However, this Firestorm generator needed to be regulated by multiple control stations outside the barrier.
  • Laser technology: CABAL improved upon Nod's Obelisk of Light and developed two of his own variants: the CABAL Obelisk, which had a much higher rate of fire; and the Obelisk of Darkness, which could target enemy aircraft. The Core Defender was also equipped with two powerful laser cannons.
  • Robotics: The Core Defender, a massive walker developed by CABAL to protect his core, was an extremely advanced machine, with incredible firepower and durability surpassing even GDI's Mammoth Mk. II.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Naming[edit | edit source]

Both CABAL and LEGION, while acronyms, can also be read as references to Abrahamic religions, a common recurring trend in the Brotherhood of Nod. A cabal is a secret society, typically with religious or political affiliations, that acts according to a clandestine design; "cabal" is based on "Kabbalah", an esoteric organization mentioned in the Old Testament which was dedicated to understanding God and the creation of the universe. LEGION may be a reference to "My name is Legion, for we are many", a well-known quotation from the Gospel of Mark in the Christian Bible. A man was possessed by a multitude of evil spirits. These spirits begged Jesus to be spared from Hell; and Jesus drove the spirits from the man into a herd of pigs.

Both names can be a reference to the fact that the AI was really a conglomeration of minds rather than a single entity. This may refer to CABAL's integration with numerous humans.

Firestorm ending explanation[edit | edit source]

Joseph David Kucan gave insight on the final Nod cutscene of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. The bio-tubes shown in the last scene were made with the notion that CABAL was powered by bio-energy.[34] He further explained that it was a collection of human bio-masses and synapses, and when Kane was placed in such a tube himself, his will dominated over CABAL and influenced Nod from there.[35]

Planned development[edit | edit source]

Av-15.jpg The following is based on Adam Isgreen's Petroglyph forum posts and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Presumed CABAL faction logo from Tiberian Incursion

In the cancelled Command & Conquer 3: Incursion, CABAL was intended to appear in the second expansion pack, as the leader of a cyborg/machine faction intending to assimilate not only humanity, but also the Scrin. Concept art showed a logo that is assumed to be the one for CABAL's faction alongside the GDI and Nod ones.

In Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, LEGION, born out of CABAL, has achieved a similar status, as the leader of the Marked of Kane faction, comprised mostly of cyborgs.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • During the development stage of Tiberian Sun, CABAL's full name was originally going to be "Computer Assisted Bio-engineered Artificial Lifeform".[36] However, this name did not actually appear in the game. CABAL's current full name first appeared in Command & Conquer: Renegade and was subsequently used in Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Why this change took place is unknown.
  • CABAL had a brief appearance in a portal world that turned out to be a Nod base in Lands of Lore III.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Renegade. Mission 12: "Stomping on Holy Ground".
  2. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 7: "The Doctor Vanishes".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Kane - A Spark...".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. Nod mission 2: "NOD 02:Seeds of Destruction".
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. Nod mission 9: "NOD 09: Core of the Problem".
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. GDI mission 6: "GDI 06:Escape from CABAL".
  7. 7.0 7.1 CABAL Discussion. Petroglyph Forums. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-02-19.
  8. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. GDI mission 6b: "Destroy Vega's Base".
  9. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 1: "The Messiah Returns".
  10. 10.0 10.1 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. GDI mission 4: "GDI 04: In the Box".
  11. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. GDI mission 5b: "Rescue Tratos".
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. Nod mission 1: "NOD 01:Operation Reboot".
  13. 13.0 13.1 Pannullo, Patrick, Joseph Selinske, and David Lamoreaux. Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm: Instruction Manual. Las Vegas, Nevada: Westwood Studios, 1999.
  14. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. Nod mission 3: "NOD 03:Tratos' Final Act".
  15. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. GDI mission 5: "GDI 05: Dogma Day Afternoon".
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. GDI mission 7: "GDI 07: The Cyborgs are Coming".
  17. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. Nod mission 4: "NOD 04: Mutant Extermination".
  18. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. Nod mission 5: "NOD 05: Escape from CABAL".
  19. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. Nod mission 6: "NOD 06: The Needs of the Many!".
  20. 20.0 20.1 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. Nod mission 7: "NOD 07: Determined Retribution".
  21. 21.0 21.1 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. Nod mission 8: "NOD 08: Harvester Hunting".
  22. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. GDI mission 8: "GDI 08: Factory Recall".
  23. 23.0 23.1 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm. GDI mission 9: "GDI 09: Core of the Problem".
  24. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI News Wire, "The Ghost in the Machine".
  25. Verdu, Michael. 2006-09-29. Technology in 2047. Mirror: Technology in 2047. C&C3 X360 Page. 2010-02-21.
  26. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Kane - My Lowest Ebb".
  27. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Kane - Awakening".
  28. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Kane - Realization".
  29. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Alexa Kovacs, Biography".
  30. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Kane - Creation".
  31. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 12: "Will Made Flesh".
  32. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 13: "Tacitus Regained".
  33. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 11: "Capture Jake McNeil".
  34. Command & Conquer 4 Hot Seat with Joe Kucan. Electronic Arts Los Angeles (via YouTube) (22 September 2009). Retrieved on 27 October 2018.
  35. Dev Detector #3 (21st Anniversary Special) – Joseph Kucan. CNCNZ.com (27 October 2018). Retrieved on 27 October 2018.
  36. Selinske, Joe. Command & Conquer Bible: A Definitive Guide To The Command & Conquer Universe. Las Vegas, Nevada: Westwood Studios, 1999.
Factions of the Command & Conquer Universes
Tiberian Sun Characters
Cabal 2.jpg CABAL Firestorm Conflict Arsenal Cabal 2.jpg