I would dump in quarter after quarter running the Ninja Back and forth across the fast scrolling screen and jumping up and down from tree to tree (predating the visual astonishment of Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger by 20 years) But no matter how long I managed to last on a single quarter or how many evil ninja I took down I just couldn't advance to the next level. Hell maybe this is a single level game? Occasionally during some of my attempts a Buddhist looking monk wearing a large straw hat would pop out and spit a flame at me ending my game, but I wasn't sure the significance or what triggered it.
Fast forward half a year and I somehow came home from Toys R Us with the Nintendo copy. The Box Art looked just like the Arcade Cab, and the graphics and gameplay were honored in an amazing conversion that was on par with the likes of Kung Fu's NES port.
Excitedly I ran to my room popped it in the old front loading toaster and began my quest to finally beat it. The red and blue pajama wearing bastards were on my turf now no quarters no crowds just grim determination and a lil help from my trusty NES_Advantage joy stick. Locking the shuriken button on turbo I managed to come across the monk at the end of the level and defeat him swiftly ( good job champ, it takes one hit ..DUH ) Upon starting level 2 I ran along the verrrry long wall heading left ( most games went right) mashing the sword button which if you've never seen it makes u look like an spastic idiot spinning your arms in a pinwheel motion. I made it to the end much to my surprise only after hearing my sword actually parry the enemies attacks numerous times. I found out later I only needed to stop and kill 10 ninja for the board to end( there was even a counter at the bottom, dummy)... oh well. The next level requires you to scale a castle wall and avoid the attacking ninja, the only tricky part is that throughout the game Kage can be killed by shurikens thrown from off screen. By continually pressing up the board is easily finished. During this level Kage has only one opportunity to kill a black clad ninja doing so gets you a ninja arts scroll that kills all ninja popping on the screen and rasies your score but its not required. Level four is similar, as you need to travel up staircases but do not stop moving to avoid the monks until you reach the top floor. Ignoring the onslaught of monks here run to the princess slash her bonds as you will be treated to a cutscene as you runaway and jump from the castle walls to the safety of the forest ... but only to have her stolen again by a ninja....seriously? ..fine. On to the Final Boss......
Two white clothed monks appear as well as a butterfly, you must hit the butterfly 5 times to kill it before you can kill the monks that die from one hit each.....Yah you heard me right KILL the Butterfly !?!? I mean HOW WOULD I FIGURE THIS OUT AS A KID ... SH*T I GOT NUTTHIN AGAINST HIM ITS THE MONKS THAT STOLE MY LADY NOT THE GADDAMN BUTTERFLY !!!!! AND 5 HITS FOR A LIL BUG AND 1 FOR THE EVIL MONKS JEZZZ.
Whatever... I mean I won the game and its still a pretty awesome ......WHAT THE HELL !!! NOOOOOOOO ........Yup thats right its not over now Im on the First Level again but the trees are all brown and orange because its Fall ... you have to beat the game 3 times in order for it to end !!!! The 3rd time around the forest will be Winter colors, you basically spend a year saving this chick ... she's worse than Princess Peach's whole Another Castle BS.
When you play the second time the white monk twins are replaced by a Samuari , and the third time around its a unique looking ninja, it all goes with the story in the instruction manual if you stop to read it.
Finally the end sequence shows the lovers run off together awwww ...wait what does that say at the end ????
Ahhh screw you Legend of Kage !!
All in all its a innovative fun game that broke the mold of the times I will always have fond memories of the Legend of Cage....I mean Kage.