The Legend of Kage
|The Legend of Kage|
Arcade flyer for The Legend of Kage
|Series||The Legend of Kage|
The player is armed with a kodachi shortsword and an unlimited amount of shuriken. Grabbing a crystal ball causes the player character's Kage's clothes to change to the next level in colour and thereby attain certain powers (bigger shuriken and/or faster speed); if Kage is hit while in green or orange clothes, he does not die but revert to his normal red clothes. Grabbing a scroll causes Kage to stand still and meditate for several seconds while approaching enemies drop to the ground dead (although the scrolls appear in the arcade version, the crystal balls do not).
The player takes role of the young Iga ninja named Kage ("Shadow") on the mission to rescue Princess Kiri (Kirihime) from the villains Yoshi (Yoshiro Yukikusa) and Yuki (Yukinosuke Kiri). Kage must fight his way through the forest, along the secret passageway, up the fortress wall and through the castle, rescuing her two times (three in the NES version) in order to win the game. Each time the princess is rescued, the seasons change in the game.
The NES version was re-released on the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan on December 19, 2006, and in the United States on February 19, 2007. The arcade version also appears in the compilation title Taito Legends 2.
The Revised Legend of Kage
The Revised Legend of Kage was included in the Taito Nostalgia 1 release along with the original game. It features two new playable characters, Ayame and Ganin. Ayame is a female ninja who can throw bombs similar to the red ninjas in the game and has an unlimited supply of throwing knives. Ganin is a dog who can breathe fire similar to the monks in the game and can perform a spin attack that does not have much range but leaves him invulnerable for an instant and kills any enemy that touches him. There is also a new final boss that all the characters face which is a giant green cobra that slithers on the ground back and forth on the screen at the end of each second run through the levels. It is the only enemy that does not jump into the air.
Connections to the other Taito games
- The 1984 laserdisc video game Ninja Hayate features a very similar scenario of a young ninja (who even looks like Kage) attempting to rescue a kidnapped princess.
- The 1989 game Demon Sword is similar in gameplay to The Legend of Kage.