The player takes role of the young Iga ninja named Kage ("Shadow") on the misson 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 player is armed with a kodachi shortsword and an unlimited amount of shuriken. Grabbing a crystal ball causes 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 (note that although the scrolls appear in the arcade version, the crystal balls do not).
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.
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.
- The Legend of Kage wiki guide at StrategyWiki