Legend of Kage (NES)

Legend of Kage Box Art

Legend of Kage

System: NES

Release Date: August 1987

Developer: Taito

Publisher: Taito

Genre: Action

I had Legend of Kage as a child. It was a decent game that I’d pop in from time to time, but I’ve come to notice a lot of hate for it over the years on the internet. I mean, I guess if you had Legend of Zelda on your Christmas list and got this instead, you would be upset, but it’s not a bad game.

Just climbing a tree. Nothing to see here.

You are a ninja named Kage and you have to save the Princess Kiri from the clutches of her evil ninja captors. You start off in a forest and begin dashing to the left. You can swing your sword with the A Button and throw shurikens with the B Button. You move pretty quickly and can jump or climb a tree by pressing up. You need to kill as many ninjas as you can to coax out the Yohboh, then keep killing and running left to summon the red yohboh. As you kill ninjas, you may find crystal balls, which power up your shuriken and then increase your speed. You may also see little red or gray blobs in the sky. Gray ones give 10,000 points if you collect them. Red ones give you a shadow copy or 8-way shuriken throwing. You may also find a little scroll which will kill all enemies walking onto the screen for 20 seconds.

Fighting in the sewers… or the moat… same thing…

After killing the red Yohboh, you find yourself in the sewers. You have to kill 10 ninjas to move on. I learned after the fact that if I killed 7 ninjas in the water without jumping, I could have gotten a little blue blob to appear for a free guy. Then you have to jump to the top of the castle you are infiltrating, either killing or avoiding enemies along the way. Once you get to the top, you have to run to stairs on either end of the screen to climb to reach Princess Kiri. You then save her and run off in peace…

The red Yohboh trying to kill me with fire.

Until a ninja comes and steals her right from your hands! You are then tasked with killing two Genbo bosses. The trick here is that they can’t be harmed until you destroy the butterfly floating overhead. So kill that dumb bug and finish your opponents before starting all over again.

Graphics: 2.0

Are these graphics great? No. Sprites don’t consist of many colors, but I think the stages look nice.

Sound: 1.5

As far as I can tell, there are two songs and I enjoy them both. The sound effects aren’t bad, except for the scroll…

Gameplay: 2.5

Jump, slash, throw, collect items. There isn’t a ton of stuff, but none of it is bad.

Difficulty: 3.0

When you realize swinging the sword blocks enemy shurikens, you live much longer. Collecting items is also important.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I was enjoying myself once I started doing good, but then I had to end my play time.

Overall Grade: 2.3

Legend of Kage earns a C+. It’s a fine game. If you’re comparing it to a different game with Legend in the title, it will probably come up way short in your heart.

Legend of Kage Video Review on YouTube