Amstrad Computer User

The Legend Of Kage
By Imagine
Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

Published in Amstrad Computer User #27

The Legend Of Kage

A long time ago, so the legends have it, a young Ninja warrior (what is a Ninja warrior, anyway?) called Kage was walking in the forest with the young and very beautiful Princess Kin. It was an idyllic scene.

However Kage was strangely troubled. "What is it, brave warrior?" asked Kin, who was disturbed by Kage's preoccupation.

"Well, if this was a video game, and somebody had just loaded it, then some evil would befall you, because that is the only role of females (especially princesses) in such things. And then I would be chosen as the bravest warrior, the one with the most monosyllabic name, to rescue from the clutches of whatever evil prince, king or wizard that had abducted you".

Legend Of Kage

"Don't be silly", said Kin. "Video games won't be invented for four thousand years. And anyway, the only evil ruler around here is the Dragon King. And even he wouldn't do a thing like that. Look, here he comes now. We'll ask him".

But the evil Dragon King had just been talking to Ocean, and had signed a big fat contract concerning young warriors and beautiful princesses. For it was well known that four thousand years was not too long a time in which to bring out a video game, especially when there were full page adverts in What Kidnap and Malevolence Week already.

With a flourish of imperial silk, the king's guards bundled the Princess into the King's Ford Cortina, and whisked her away to his castle.

Legend Of Kage

Stifling thoughts about bundled softwear, the noble warrior Kage returned to the village, in the full knowledge of what was to happen. And indeed it came to pass that, with pretentious phrases, Kage was chosen to undertake the formidable task of rescuing the Princess and negotiating the royalties. He was handed the storyboard.

"In scene one", he read, "after the kidnap, Kage must defeat 29 Ninja warriors during which time the Dragon King himself makes an entrance".

Only 20? he thought. So tucking the storyboard carefully under one arm, he clambered up the nearest tree, and unperturbed by thoughts of court cases over Tarzan, swung into action. With blades flying, he managed to defeat the allocated warriors, and a king or two. He landed with a bump on the forest floor, and retrieved the sweat-stained story from his armpit.

Legend Of Kage

"In scene two you must kill 10 Ninja warriors before climbing the castle wall" ah, simple - "while avoiding the Ninjas in the river". Up he went, avoiding and attacking with equal panache. By this time, the storyboard was running a bit, but he was able to make out "Scene 3. Climb the wall". Ooops, done that already. Never mind.

"Scene 4. Inside at last! But where is the Princess? It's a large palace, and she's hidden on the top floor". Takes all the fun out of it, thought K. "Make your way past the guards. The Dragon King will appear and make a final attempt to thwart you, Stand well back from him - he's no pussycat".

No, thought Kage... Uh, he's a bleeding dragon. Who wrote this copy? And muttering under his breath he went into the final attack.


Legend Of Kage

Humm, another arcade spinoff. And not a bad way to spend a few minutes of mindless joystick heaving, with options to frolic about in the foliage or just to keep things on the ground.

There are a few twists on each screen to keep the interest alive, and some strange ways to move about which I couldn't quite figure out in a couple of hours playing.

Graphics are nothing special, the music's volume can be adjusted independently of the sound effects, and not much else to note. OK (or even quite good, for Ocean).


Legend Of Kage

<span id = "game_title">Kage</span> suffers from one of the worst afflictions which can contaminate a sprite, two-frame-itus. This is complicated by an advanced state of flicker-all-over-the-screen-us.

In your quest to rescue your other half (is that another two frames) you bounce around the screen something rotten hurling fireballs and generally not being very nice.

The game is saved from being a complete waste of time by the music. If the same programmer wrote the music and sprite routines he should give up sprites and do the music for other people.


Bruce Lee style kick to get rid of various Ninja warriors, duck to avoid the Dragon King sounds familiar to you too, does it?

This is yet another zapperoo game. Still, it's quite playable, and you soon start to identify with our brave hero Kage, struggling to free his beautiful (we assume) Kin i from a fate worse than death.

It's not a game that would stand out in a crowd, but I have seen a lot worse, and after a bit of practice, you find you're hooked.