The Combatribes

The Combatribes

Combatribes is a 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up game. The Combatribes are a group of vigilantes clearing up crime on the streets of New York City.


The Combatribes is a brawler game developed by Technos Japan, the creators of Renegade and Double Dragon. It was originally released for the Arcades in 1990 and was later ported to the Super Nintendo in both Japan and the US in late 1992/early 1993. The SNES version features a few changes from the Arcade original, including censoring a lot of the violence (especially in the US version) and removing the ability to pick up weapons and downed enemies. The SNES version does add additional story elements, however.


The Combatribes are a group of cyborg vigilantes who protect the citizens of New York City from various gangs. The group consists of leader Berserker, who wears blue and has average speed and strength; Bullova, who wears yellow and is strong but slow; and Blitz, who wears red and is fast but weak. The fourth member of their group, Martha Splatterhead, is captured and turned evil by gang leader M. Blaster.


Combatribes is similar to other games in the genre like Double Dragon or Final Fight. The player's chosen character works his way from left to right, beating up lesser henchmen until they eventually face a boss. However, unlike similar games, Combatribes doesn't feature life bars for the villains and there are no weapons to pick up. The stages are also smaller than typical beat'em up stages. The characters have a relatively small move set consisting of a punch, kick and jump. There is a wide range of moves the player character can do to downed opponents however, including flying elbows, drop kicks, etc. depending on where they're positioned.

In addition to the story mode there is a one-on-one fighting mode that features all the characters encountered in the game, however the player must enter codes received at the end of levels to unlock any characters other than the three main Combatribes.


The Combatribes work their way through five gangs to get information about where Martha is being held.

  1. The Motorcycle Nuclear Warheads - A gang of motorcycle riding punks led by an obese man with a board named Fats.
  2. The Demon Clowns - At an abandoned amusement park, the Combatribes must face a gang of clowns before fighting their boss Salamander, a fire breather.
  3. The Slash Skate Screamers - A group of roller-skating hockey players have taken over a skating rink. They're led by Thrash, a mohawked punk with a chainsaw.
  4. The Stadium Barbarians - A gang of baseball players control a baseball stadium led by Tomahawk, a Native American.
  5. The Slaughter Troops - The Combatribes arrive at M. Blaster's headquarters and make their way through his elite troops to fight the man himself, whose body is mostly robotic.
  6. The Final Battle - After a boss rush of all the previous bosses, the Combatribes fight against Martha Splatterhead. After defeating her, she briefly returns to her old self and thanks the team for stopping her before dying. The Combatribes take her body and then leave the city, never to return.