Absolver’s most insulting move is a slap to the face

I'm a slap maaan

Martial arts fighting game Absolver [official site] is keeping me and many others happy with its fluid recreation of both fisticuffs and feeticuffs. But the move that has the brawling community most excited isn’t a whip-fast spinning kick or a sharp elbow to the top of the head – it’s a simple, shame-inducing slap to the face. Now, the most disrespectful thing you could do to another fighter is to get them down to their last sliver of health, then finish them with a single slap.

Here you can see PS4 player MacabreLlama99, sidestep a punch and deliver the humiliating killing blow.

It’s called the “Calbot”, and you can get it by finding a rare NPC that hangs around in random locations wearing nothing but underwear. He or she will only do the slap move. In Absolver, you learn new punches or kicks by blocking or dodging that move when it’s delivered by either an NPC or another player, then killing them to earn that slice of knowledge. So simply block for a few minutes, until your “learning circle” is full, then murder the slappist. Is this bot’s name Cal? It seems a likely explanation. Cal can spawn in multiple places and doesn’t seem very sociable – I’ve played for nearly 16 hours and have never seen the slapmaster myself.

But you can also learn it from other players who’ve previously been “taught”. Only 3.4% of players have the slap at the time of writing, according to Steam’s global achievement stats for the game. This, coupled with the rarity of the NPC means the best option is to actively seek out someone who’ll teach you. I’ve currently got my own begging bowl out I have now learned the notorious move from a friendly player called Empress, long may she reign.

However, there are rumours of another player named “SlapSensei” who’s going around Combat Trials (the 1v1 duelling matches of PvP mode) and just spamming the move at people in order to teach them. Should you see this wise old master, or any other slap-happy fighter, bow deeply and gratefully, for they are passing on the wonderful virus of martial knowledge.

As for the fighting game itself, Fraser thought it was hot stuff in our Absolver review and I’m currently having a ball getting badly bruised, so much that I talked about it both in last week’s podcast and the week before. I even won a match last night (by dishonourably shoving my opponent off a ledge). Sorry.

Disclosure: Our boy Alec did some wordstuff for Absolver. But I’m too busy getting my nose busted to care


Top comments

  1. Jigoku says:

    I can solve the Calbot name mystery for you guys (if you're curious)!

    In french, a "calbote" is a small slap behind the neck.
    It was usually done to kids in ancient times I guess, but now it's more of a humiliating, mocking move.
    The ideal move to trigger a fight to the death with any french guy I guess...

    (so, nothing to do with bots, except for puns maybe).
  1. Kefren says:

    It seems bizarre that martial artists would have to “learn” how to slap a face, and seek out a master to learn it from. It’s hardly a secret move. Many people work out the move for themselves in real life when facing a dickish opponent.

    It would make more sense for beginning characters to only have a move list made up of slaps, flailing arms, and very slow kicks, and to upgrade from there, rather than being fightmasters and having to learn how to slap later on.

    • Kefren says:

      PS The slap reminds me of the prod in Worms. Similar use.

    • lflambeau says:

      It.s a world where martial artist masters are named MacabreLlama99. It seems coherent.

    • AntonQ says:

      I like this idea quite a bit actually.. I mean finding it a noteworthy flaw that you have to learn how to slap seems very knitpicky to me… However… Just the idea of all characters starting out with like “schoolyard moves” (adjusted to fit the setting) and then progress towards ninja flips is a neat one…

      I think it’s a problem in Absolver because more or less all gear and moves are intended to be viable at any point in the game. So doesn’t really make sense. You don’t really ‘get stronger’, you get ‘broader’. Which I like… power creep for the not win..

  2. soijohn says:

    I know what i’m gonna do then. I’m gonna go 1V1 and witch slap any adversary whose honor is low enough to spam the force spell that pushes you out of the ring. Perfect !

  3. Jigoku says:

    I can solve the Calbot name mystery for you guys (if you’re curious)!

    In french, a “calbote” is a small slap behind the neck.
    It was usually done to kids in ancient times I guess, but now it’s more of a humiliating, mocking move.
    The ideal move to trigger a fight to the death with any french guy I guess…

    (so, nothing to do with bots, except for puns maybe).

    • soijohn says:

      It’s more catalan (north part of spain, close to the french border) than french but yeah, that’s a cool name. We french say : “coup du lapin”

      • Nelyeth says:

        Coup du lapin (or whiplash, for our oversea neighbours) is a completely different thing though. A coup du lapin is a dangerous, strong hit to the back of the neck (or an exaggerated movement of the head), that can damage the spine, with potentially deadly consequences.

        This slap though… I can’t think of a french word for it. Calbote must be catalan, as you said.

        • Artyparis says:

          Maybe. I’m french and never heard this. Find something else to humiliate a french :D

          • Dilapinated says:

            A Rabbit Punch (or coup du lapin) is a blow to the back of the neck, just beneath the base of the skull. It can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly, simply because it can seriously damage the spine with enough force.

            The name comes from a blow to the exact same area being a common quick way to finish a wounded rabbit when hunting. It is, understandably, illegal in all competitive martial arts/combat sports of note, but variations are common in traditional and self-defence MAs.

          • Dilapinated says:

            (It is entirely possible that the term has grown a different meaning in some parts of France, though- “blow of rabbit” certainly shows its roots, but language changes all the time, and it may be that you’re both right.)

  4. Michael Manning says:

    I’ve played this game for 15 hours and am yet to find more than 1 mask OR the slap move :(

  5. Chillicothe says:

    Slap Happy Rhythm Busters!