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Cover art
Platform(s)Master System
Hack & Slash,
Action RPG
SoundPSG, Yamaha YM2413 FM

Kenseiden (剣聖伝, literally "Sword Saint Legend" or "Legend of the Swordmaster", also translated as "Summoning of the Sacred Sword") is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Sega for the Master System. It was released in 1988.

Kenseiden stars Hayato, a samurai that has to fight against warlocks and evil spirits that plague 16th century Japan. The warlocks stole the five secret scrolls and the sword of the Dragon Lord. Hayato, who has dragon blood in his veins, must recover the scrolls and sword and enter the castle and kill Oda Nobunaga.

The game was released as Hwarang-ui Geom (화랑의 검, lit. "Sword of the Flower Knight") in Korea and has the main character sprite altered to look like a Korean warrior and the Japanese map changed to a map of Korea.[4] In the original Japanese version, Hayato is blond. In the Western versions he has black hair.

The game has been re-released on the AtGames Sega Genesis Flashback HD.


Kenseiden features a cameo of Alex Kidd in this level. Alex Kidd's face is in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Each round represents one of the old Japanese provinces. In the Korean version of the game the rounds represent locations of Korea. After round 2, the player can choose any one of the nearest levels in the map. The player can go back to any level at any time after finishing it, except the final level.

# Name of the level
(Original version)
Name of the level
(Korean version)
1 Higo (肥後) Duman (두만) The starting level.
2 Chikuzen (筑前) Cheonji (천지) Contains boss one: Fire Wheel Warlock, based on Wanyūdō.
3 Nagato (長門) Haedong (해동)
4 Iyo (伊予) Amnok (압록) Contains boss two: Benkei Warlock.
5 Tosa (土佐) Cheongcheon (청천) Contains the first training stage.
6 Izumo (出雲) Daedong (대동) Contains the second training stage.
7 Settsu (摂津) Seorak (설악)
8 Yamato (大和) Usan (우산) Contains the third training stage.
9 Kaga (加賀) Hanyang (한양) Contains boss three: Larva Fly Warlock.
10 Iga (伊賀) Andong (안동) Contains boss four: Two-Headed Warlock.
11 Owari (尾張) Mungyeong (문경)
12 Etchu (越中) Sabi (사비)
13 Suruga (駿河) Geumgwan (금관) Contains boss five: Putrid Eye Warlock.
14 Echigo (越後) Tamna (탐라) Contains the fourth training stage.
15 Mito (水戸) Yeongsan (영산) Contains boss six: Death Head Warlock.
16 Edo (江戸) Gyeongju (경주) The final level with the final boss: Yonensai: The Master Warlock.


Review scores
The Games Machine86%[1]

Upon release, The Games Machine gave the game an 86% score, considering it one of the best "hack-'n-slay" games due to its "simple but highly playable action and superb presentation."[1] Computer and Video Games gave it an 85% score, describing it as a "huge" role-playing adventure with exploration, "truly superb" still screens and "plenty of brain-bending puzzles" to last "weeks on end!"[5]

Retrospectively, Levi Buchanan of IGN reviewed Kenseiden. He gave the game a 7.0 and said "even though I found the choice to go grim interesting and the visuals engaging, I have discovered my appreciation for Kenseiden was more of a 'love the one your with' sentiment. Master System junkies should still seek it out and give it a go, but there are indeed better games for the console that deserve your renewed attention."[6]


  1. ^ a b c The Games Machine, issue 13 (December 1988), page 51 (released 17 November 1988)
  2. ^ "(セガハード大百科) MASTER SYSTEM/セガマーク3対応ソフトウェア" [(Sega Hardware Great Encyclopedia) Software for MASTER SYSTEM/SEGA MARK 3] (in Japanese). Sega. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  3. ^ "Kenseiden". IGN. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  4. ^ Kalata, Kurt (December 31, 2010). "Kenseiden (剣聖伝) - Sega Master System (1988)". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b Buchanan, Levi (February 1, 2008). "Kenseiden Review". IGN. Retrieved October 5, 2009.

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