The Legend of Kage (影の伝説; Kage no Densetsu) is a 1985 arcade game by Taito and was released for several contemporary home computer systems in 1986.
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 (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.
A 3D remake of the arcade game along the original arcade version is included in the 2006 compilation Taito Legends Power Up for the PSP.
A sequel titled The Legend of Kage 2 was released in 2008 for the Nintendo DS.
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.