Commodore User

Legend Of Kage
By Imagine
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #40

Legend Of Kage

Saying that the Legend Of Kage was influenced by Shaolin's Road would be an understatement. It is almost Shaolin's Road. It also happens to be a karate game.

Ocean obviously weren't too bothered with the outcome of this game, it was barely advertised and was not even programmed on their premises, which has reflected on the quality of this game.

Most of us still enjoy a good karate game but have learnt to despise a bad one. The Legend of Kage unfortunately falls into the latter category. The plot is about as interesting as reading a bus pass. You have to save Princess Kiri, who has been captured by the evil dragon king.

Legend Of Kage

Kage (that's you) starts the game in the forest, armed with a sword and some deadly Chinese stars. Kage has the amazing ability to jump sixty feet into the air and land on tree branches, rather like the characters in those Seventies budget karate films.

Jumping is a wise move for Kane, as he cannot be hacked with a sword by any of the King's guards while in the air. The thing Kane is almost always defenceless from are the enemies' stars. According to the instruction manual, you can pull down to duck the stars, but that is impossible because of the slow movement.

On the subject of the control method, this is one of the game's main faults. As I previously mentioned, the reaction is very slow. The problems don't end there.

Legend Of Kage

To use the sword you must hold the fire button down and to throw the stars you must lightly tap it. This, as you can probably foresee, causes problems. There you are, trying to throw a star at someone and instead you just pull out a sword and wave it in the air. It causes severe loss of lives.

The enemy ninjas (who are the low-down bums of the squad) come in two forms; red and blue. The blue ninjas will stab you with their sword if they get close enough, and tend also to lob stars at you. The red ninjas will do as the blue ones, but have the added ability of blocking your stars. You must kill three red ninjas, before you meet the first blue wizard.

The wizards possess the ability to breathe fire at you, so don't get too close. When you eventually kill three blue wizards, you will then meet a red wizard, who is a more practised version of the blue one. Nice all this colour-coding.

If you ever do get past the forest, you will arrive at the moat of the castle in which the princess is imprisoned on the top floor.

Legend Of Kage has one little king worth mentioning. On the first level, somewhere in the midst of the tree branches is hidden a prayer wheel. If you get this and manage to land back on terra firma successfully, you will find all enemies die upon entering the screen. This lasts for a couple of seconds and nobbles around ten ninjas.

Graphically this game is awful; poorly defined sprites, the dullest of dull backdrops. Sound is sparse, no in-game tune. The theme is a much worn out one. It is over-priced. Six good reasons why this isn't a wise buy.

Ferdy Hamilton

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