Game Profile

This classic ninja-action game first appeared in arcades in 1985 and became instantly popular. As the Iga ninja named Kage, players embark on an action-packed quest as they move toward a magic castle where the Princess Kiri is held captive by Yohshirou Yukikusa.

To stay alive, players move vertically and horizontally through forest and castle environments and execute massive jumps, all the while using throwing-star knives and a sword to take down hordes of enemies.

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

This classic ninja-action game first appeared in arcades in 1985 and became instantly popular.

After the recent release of the sublime Kid Icarus you might have expected the quality of NES Virtual Console games to rise, but unfortunately The Legend of Kage is an almost catastrophic true drop in standards.No need for rose tinted specs here, retro...

Game Screenshots

Game Trailers

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (33)



Eikon said:

I would definitely have to disagree with your one star rating. While Legend of Kage is hardly to be considered a NES classic, I think it deserves at least three stars.

First off, that is not a sword Kage is holding, those are tonfas. An interesting and unmentioned feature is the ability to jump very high distances and climb on trees. This makes for exciting air combat, as you must use your tonfas to deflect incoming shurikens. Another overlooked feature is that the game is infinite, with increasing difficulty. Each time you go through the game's four stages, you start anew and the graphic scheme changes to a new season, such as winter or fall.

These are just a couple of things that made LOK original and ahead of its time. For those who like a pick up and play challenge with lots of action, don't pass this game up.



Shrapnel09 said:

lol, i was thinking about opening myself up to games i havent played/heard of before and thought about this one when i first seen the title, i guess i will avoid it now. Thanks for the reviews guys.



Bass_X0 said:

Never knew this game existed until recently, now I know why. I'm not going anywhere near this game.



Bill said:

I have fond memories of this game. Despite the naysayers, I'm going to spend the 5 bucks and see if this game is still cool. I remember thinking the whole playing through the seasons thing was pretty nifty.



Wokkel said:

totaly agree with the star rating, you should wait till ninja gaiden goes VC, that how a ninja game should be like in my opinion.
Or does anyone remember Bad Dudes hahaha



Bill said:

Ok, got the game. My memories betray me. This game sucks.



Stan said:

This game is great for one of those late nights when you have a friend over and you are both boredly staring at a Wii menu without an idea of what to play. Some great moments are hidden inside, like the killer "Ninja Song" or swinging your katana around wildly.



Adamant said:

1 star? God, people, it's not THAT bad. I know there's some nostalgia involved in my fondness for this game (and yes, I did download it, and I still enjoy it), but seriously, you play as a ninja who can jump a mile into the air and pelt enemy ninjas with shuriken in all directions while using his tonfas to protect himself. That's gold right there.



Scott said:

I like this game, but I never had it on an NES, never had an NES either though, heh. I bought this with Ninja Gaiden, and I like both games, this is very fun after getting so frustrated with teh extreme difficulty of Ninja Gaiden, and I personally have a good time playing this. I'd give it 3-4 stars, and I severely hope that maybe one day some company will get the good idea to do a nice remake of this often overlooked game



Wolfman said:

If you're looking for some ninja action, skip Kage and go for Ninja Gaiden. Legend Of Kage is only really entertaining if you're completely and totally drunk out of your head.

Someone above named the game's never-ending style to be a highlight. It isn't. It's simply annoying, although I can't see how anyone could possibly play this long enough to really feel that. It works for Tetris; it does not work for this game. Without even an end to look forward to, either for some sense of accomplishment or just to make it stop, this game is very bleak indeed.

Another problem I have with this is purely conceptual: Your ninja is wearing what boils down to a badly colored dress with a painfully short skirt. Ninjas practice the art of invisibility. The only place Kage is going to be invisible is in a crowd of drag queens. Anywhere else, he's pretty much blown his cover in all senses of the word.



Manaman said:

No offense, but to suggest Legend of Kage as a game for people that 'care about gameplay, not graphics' is ludicrous. There is practically no redeeming factor about the gameplay in this rubbish that deserves any mention whatsoever. It was terrible back then and it's (predictably) hasn't aged well in this day and age. One to avoid.

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

Come on, guys! It's not THAT terrible. It's better then Teenage mutant ninja turtles and urban champion combined. Have mercy!

__Jade Louise


Jade Louise said:

When you are a kid you don't really have your own money(I started getting a £1 pocket money a week at 7 in 1990) so you have to get your family to get you games. Back in the late 80s early 90s games were very expensive. Therefore you had to choose wisely because you would not be getting another £30 to £50 game again real soon(the black box NES launch games were £19.99 but that was still expensive as £19.99 was worth more then) unless you were rich which and the vast majority of UK NES owners weren't. So if you picked out this piece of poo back in the day I really feel sorry for you. Again I tried it on the lovely NES demo deck in Toy & Hobby which saved me from many a cack game. It was rubbish at the time and its rubbish now ignore it. If you like Ninjas get Ninja Gaiden or a Shinobi game or even the fun comedy Goeman games.



GFrag said:

Back in the day, this game was built into my friend's "NES Clone" console. Both of us kinda liked this game, if only because he had Turbo-controllers, which meant that if you held the "Tonfa" button down all the time, you'd be practically invincible.
It's fun for a built-in freebie; however, not nearly worth the 500 Wii points it costs on the VC channel. 100, maybe. But yeah, watch the youtube movie above. If you've seen it, you've pretty much seen the entire game.

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

If you guys think that this the worst game ever made, then think again.
There are worst titles than this. Believe me.

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

Wolfman, I'm not drunk out of my head because I have this game.
Gfrag, yes. Bokosuka Wars is worse.



beefy said:

this game reeeeeeeely looks crappyful. why buy this when kirbys adventure is only 500 wii points too

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

Fine. I'll say it. This game sucks. I wanted to keep my brother from thinking that it was a waste of points. When the gift-giving thing comes out, I'll get rid of this.

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

Just so you people know, I didn't Download this. My Brother did. The reason because he remembered liking it, Maybe because it was slower. My bro didn't play this on a NES. He played it on something called "100 Nintendo(NES) games for Playstation".



Mip said:

I really loved this game as a kid. Well I was 5 yrs old when i played this. So I guess I had very bad taste? But it was awesome back then.



psyduck said:

I have this game on my Taito Collection 2 for PS2. All I can say is don't bother with this game, it's a waste of both money and time. The game plays like ... Luckily, Taito Col. 2 have many other great games so I just pretend this game does not exist.



It's The Legend of Kage and it's really sad. Who thought that a ninja game could suck this bad? Shinobis, Monks, and Samurais too, but with controls this bad they're sure to kill you. C'mon, die Kage, go on, kidnap Kiri!

The Legend of Kage. Your Wii Points help you waste your cash.

I've got this on Taito Legends 2 as well, and I still want whatever money back they could possibly give me. Let's see, $15 divided by 39 games...



Corbs said:

I still don't know why I used to play this arcade game all the time. I recently downloaded Legend of Kage on the Virtual Console and it was terrible so I decided to go back and try the arcade game to see if it was as good as I remembered. It wasn't. This game hasn't aged well at all. Stay away from this stinker.



Iapetus said:

I just played this game for the first time after played LK2 for DS.

I have no idea why, but I love this game to death. It is so horrible that you have to love it.



sponge said:

this game isnt awful, but i would say on the level of donkey kong or mario bros. just a short game. small levels. i thought it was fun as heck, honestly. but i wouldnt DL it now just like i wouldnt DL mario bros or donkey kong. i mean, eventually, but its not at the top of my list.

but lots of unmentioned features, like the spell that has dead bodies rain from the sky. not an awful game by far.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...