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The Legend of Kage

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The Legend of Kage
The Legend of Kage.jpg
And people wonder why Jack Black is such a bitch to Kyle Gass...
Genre(s): Action
Platform(s): Arcade
Nintendo Entertainment System
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Sharp X1
ZX Spectrum
Release: 1985
Developer(s): Taito
Publisher(s): Taito
Country: Japan
Series: The Legend of Kage
Successor: The Legend of Kage 2

The Legend of Kage (影の伝説, Kage no Densetsu) is a 1985 platformer arcade game by Taito which was released for several contemporary video game home systems in the following years.


You play as Kage, a skillful ninja in search of rescuing Princess Kiri from the hands of the warlord Yoshi (Not to be confused with Yoshi from the Mario franchise). Armed only with a sword and 'star knives', you must fight your way through countless henchmen and the occasional boss to complete your task. Levels include the forest, moat, inside and outside of the castle. These levels repeat as the seasons change. The gameplay is side scrolling. Kage's moves include the ability jump extremely high in the air, grab and climb trees, block and attack with his sword, and throw shuriken. The game can be challenging at times though because the player dies in one hit. 2-players are supported, but must take turns.

Why It Sucks

  1. Stiff and stilted controls. When you want to jump, you must press "up" button, but once you're in the air, you will stay in a set motion until you come down. You're unable to change the trajectory or momentum of Kage. So once you commit to jump, you better hope a Ninja star doesn't kill you. Good luck trying to make this jump!
  2. One hit and the player dies. Also the player only gets three lives and no continues.
  3. Poor graphics and visuals (not counting the arcade original).
    • The Commodore 64 version is even worse; it completely looks like an Atari 2600 game.
    • The Amstrad CPC version is also just as worse, as it looks like an Atari 7800 game.
  4. To get an extra life, you have to get a score of 500,000, which takes a long time and is hard.
  5. Like Ghost 'n Goblins, you have to save the princess three times in order to complete the game and get the ending during the season change.
    • No replay value, even if you want to try the game in another difficulty, as it will not change anything with the exception of season changing.
  6. The Sharp X1 and MSX ports have very low framerate due to the hardware limitations.
  7. The scroll item, when you grab one, you will begin to chant the incantation on the scroll as soon as you land. As you do, every ninja within earshot will instantly drop dead upon hearing the words on the scroll. You can't move while using the scroll; you just stand in place while dead enemies rain down.
    • The sound effect that accompanies it’s usage is not only creepy, but also ear-bleeding, with painful high pitched noises.
    • Also, they don't help you make any progress because as soon as the scroll wears off more enemies jump in. They do not have any real purpose or effect on the game, just killing ninjas and adding your score.
  8. Level 3 has artificial difficulty from the NES port; Ninja stars are hard to see because they blend in with the background.
    • Making matter worse, when you die in the level 3, you have to watch Kage plummet (NES port only, and Kage falling slowly).
  9. The game is too short; it has only 4 levels and repeats itself just with a different seasonal background, and it can be completed in less than 6 minutes.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good music, especially the Sharp X1 port's music is almost same as the arcade port.
  2. Mentioned in #7, it is the fast way to get an extra life.
  3. The NES port is the most enhanced port and improvement of the arcade original, including unique power ups and enemies to make the game even better, like the enemies will drops items that will give you an extra hit point and turned to green, when you get one hit, you won't die, but it will change you back to the original color.


AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
This game/console belongs to the "Very High Category" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

Sean Reiley (A.K.A. Seanbaby) dismissed it as one of the worst Nintendo games of all time, way back in 2001 on his website, it is #9 on his list of "Top 20 Worst NES Games of All-Time."

When the game come out on the Virtual Console, it has received negative reception from the critics, Nintendo Life gave a 2/10 and said "It is recommended that you give this one a miss. Like so many poor retro titles, this inexplicably has a fairly sizeable fan base, but we can't fathom why anyone would want to waste time downloading this on the Virtual Console. If you really must play any version of this game, pick up the recent PS2 Taito retro pack as it features the arcade version (which it has to be said is only marginally better)."



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