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The Legend of Kage (NES) - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN)

The Nerd: Oh yeah. Oh yeah! Guess what? The Nintoaster's... been fixed. Thank you very much. So, now I can play those crappy games with toasty, warmth goodness. And now, it even has HDMI, so those 8-bit pixels are gonna look, "Oh! So good!" It's better than sliced bread! And speaking of sliced bread, I got a loaf of shit for this very occasion. Let's see what kind of shitty games are in here.

(The Nerd opens the bread bag of NES cartridges and pulls out The Legend of Kage.)

The Nerd: Huh, Legend of Cage. Like Johnny Cage? Or even better, Nicolas Cage! Yeah! Running around screaming, "You're a vampire!" while collecting the alphabet, getting your face swarmed with bees, punching people in bear costumes, screaming "Purple Rain" at karaoke joints? But hang on now, relax. It's not Legend of Cage. It's Legend of Kage, or Shadow in Japanese, but thank you for already commenting on it.

The Nerd: Before the internet, it was anyone's guess. Ninja Gayden, Ninja Gaiden. Raiyoo, Ryu, Roo, Reyoooo! Guyile, Guile, "Gwheely", "Duhaalsim", "Dhalsim", "Zane-geef", "Zanjeef" (the actual pronunciation of Zangief is "zahn-gee-eff"), "K-Keen", "K-Kay..." It's Ken, I'm just fuckin' with you. Ken got off pretty easy, but I'm not saying Blanka, 'cause Blanka sounds like blanket, man. So I'm going with Blonka, like the actor Tom Honks driving a tonk on his way to the bonk. Okay, enough. Let's pop this fucker in.

(The Nerd inserts the game into the Nintoaster and turns it on.)

The Nerd: You play as a pantsless dude in a skimpy bathrobe and sock suspenders. I guess you're a ninja dad trying to rescue his princess daughter from just regular ninjas. And before you rip on me for calling it a bathrobe, just look at the cartridge and tell me that isn't a terry cloth robe he's wearing. Look at it! This is from the primordial age of NES, when it was amazing enough just to see anything with graphics that were a step up from Atari. Also, games tended to be shorter with high scores being the main goal, and many were ports of arcade games. This game, in fact, was in the arcade before it hit the NES.

The Nerd: So, the point is, I can't be that hard on it. Because, it can't be that ba... Oh, here we go! The controls are the first thing to alert you that there's nothing in the world of fuck that could save this going down in the anals of history as one of those games that went down the anals. The jump button is up on the D-Pad. Yeah, in tournament fighters, I'm fine with that, but when you're playing a side-scrolling action game, you underestimate how many times your thumb accidentally slides across the up position. It wouldn't be that big a deal, but look how high he jumps. Every slip, you gotta wait for him to come back down. A mistake like that has all the frustration of getting on a wrong plane and waiting for it to land. So. I had to invent The Legend of Kage Controller; put a wad of gum over the Up Button. This guy should have a jumping contest with the dude from Fist of the North Star. Why do ninjas jump so high? Imagine if ninjas jumped on the moon. They'd be launching themselves far out into space, which actually happened in the movie Ninjas on the Moon, the '83 version. And when ninja Dad jumps 80 feet in the air, he flashes his balls and ass to everyone on the ground. What a shitty day when you get a shuriken thrown in your face, just before you get treated to a nice view of his nin-genitals.

The Nerd: Let me clarify, his name's not ninja dad, it's "Kage" or "Ka-gay," like the title. Some of you might have commented on that just now, or you just got done googling Ninjas on the Moon. If it exists, it was just a damn good guess. Also. in most games, you're running to the right, but here you're going left. Now there's a reason for that. It's the same reason why the alphabet rhymes, I don't fuckin' know. The B button throws ninja stars, or shurikens, or... or maybe they're jacks, who knows? The A button is a short-range attack, that looks like he's swinging a drumstick or something. Now, when I say short, I mean, look! It doesn't even extend outside the character's body! It's a miracle you can even hit your enemies! Just think, somewhere, there exists a hit box, but the weapon's reach is below zero! It's in the negative zone! How does this kind of thing happen? Why would we ever want to use this pathetic weapon? THIS IS WHAT WE SACRIFICED THE JUMP BUTTON FOR? WHAT... WERE THEY THINKING?!

The Nerd: Now that I've got the controls out of the way, let me say the character you play as is called an Iga Ninja, as in "I'm iga to throw this game in a fucking woodchipper". At the end of the level you fight a boss. Now let's talk about this bo... Oh, he's dead. Okay. In level two, you're running around a river and have to kill ten ninjas. That's it. Level three, you just jump to the top while avoiding a bunch of shit. If you zigzag, it's pretty easy, but sometimes I get killed without even knowing what happened. The strobing background makes it almost impossible to see enemy ninja stars. It's frustrating as fuck and when you die, you have to watch Kage plummet. In level four, you have to get to the end and save the princess, where you escape by jumping off the building. Wow! Don't you love that solid blue sky? I can't even tell if they're moving. Oh! There they go. Man that was a long drop. How do they go right to full sprint? Their ankles would be bone dust. I get that Kage is a highly trained super ninja, but the princess doesn't have any special powers that I know of. But damn, she walks that shit off, and then she gets kidnapped again? What is this, like the Bowser cliche? And next thing, you're back at the first level!

The Nerd: Makes sense, the game's an arcade port, so it's all about getting that high score, the same levels repeat over and over again, so arcade tradition or lazy design. Yeah, don't expect much from this shit heap. But hey, at least the game has a pause button. Yeah, a pause button. Yeah! I mean that's pretty incredible, compared to some of the bubbling puss, fuck, bullcock I played! I mean, the game doesn't GLITCH OUT and FREEZE halfway through, so... COUNT YOUR FUCKING BLESSINGS!

The Nerd: The replay value's there, if you consider cheap difficulty and dying over and over again giving you countless hours of gameplay. Going back to the ultra high jumping, it also gets me killed because you can't control it. Kage can't change direction midair, so once you commit to a jump, you'd better hope a ninja star doesn't embed itself in your ninja rectum. Kage only has three lives and dies in one hit. No continues! NO! FUCKING! CONTINUES! (gnaws the controller) And there's nothing else to get you through. So, you'll be seeing a lot of this title screen. Sometimes, I'll lose a life only to immediately die after coming back. Ninjas can appear directly in front of you right after respawning, giving you a micro-dick second to respond. ASS! And enjoy the fucking music, it's like listening to a chalkboard getting gangbanged by every nail in Home Depot.

The Nerd: I can deal with one bad song, okay? One bad song. BUT NOT WHEN IT'S THE ONLY FUCKING SONG IN THE GAME! On your way, Kage can collect power-ups. Some are pretty helpful, like these balls. Enemy will drop their balls that will give you an extra hit point, a new bathrobe color, and a bigger shuriken. When you collect two balls, your robe turns piss yellow and you actually run faster. Getting hit will change you back to the original red and make your ninja star puny, no matter how many balls you have. Also, there's these weird guys that will walk around in the sky. I have no clue who they are or what they are and they all do different things. The ones that look like red Pac-Man ghosts will either give you an enhanced shuriken attack where they shoot in all directions, or it makes Kage turn into two Kages. You're also invincible for a limited time. Grey Dig Dug looking guys give you 10,000 points because you really want that high score, right?

The Nerd: I mean, who doesn't want to have a high score to a home version of an arcade game? So that's something you want to brag about. I mean, what are you gonna say? "Hey Ladies, you know I got the high score in Legend of Kage. It's at home on my NES, I've left it on just for you. You wanna check it out, it's been on for days... I mean, weeks... uh, years. You know, I'm just leaving it on there till somebody cares! AND COMES OVER AND CHECKS MY FUCKING GODDAMN HIGH SCORE ON LEGEND OF KAGE ON NES!"

The Nerd: (sighs) Another pointless item you can grab is the hot dog, or scroll, whatever. They're real hard to see and they pop up randomly. When you get it, Kage freezes and the screen flashes. All ninjas that come by spontaneously go stiff and fall over like Tennessee fainting goats. Have fun googling that one. You can't move while its happening. You just wait while this creepy fucking sound drones over you like a haunting siren. It's the perfect soundtrack to fainting goat ninjas landing on the ground.

The Nerd: Phew! Boy, Kage has some real horrifying hot dog farts! This game is an existential looping nightmare. Every time you rescue the princess, she gets captured again, and again, and again, and the season changes from summer to fall to winter and... I guess back to summer again, because.. fuck the spring? Well, that's the game, and now we know what The Legend of Kage is, the legend of - A long time ago there is this jumpy asshole in a bathrobe who flashes his ballsack and spreads his hotdog farts around, while letting a princess get captured again, and again, and again for a whole year and probably eternity. And if you play through enough loops, guess what? You get to see the ending.

The Nerd: "Kage" successfully saved Princess "Kiri" from the enemy. Okay, straight to the point. No need to embellish it, you know. Hero saves the princess, that's all. Doesn't even deserve an exclamation mark. All the evils disappeared and the peace pervaded everywhere. "Evils"? As in, multiple evils of different kinds? Well, maybe some enemies were in the evil of capturing the princess, while others were in the evil of taking shits in chimneys. And peace pervaded? Look up the word. "Pervade, especially of a smell. To spread through and be perceived in every part of. A smell of stale cabbage pervaded the air." Boy, that sums it up. Now, "the peace pervaded" makes sense, but the choice of word only makes me think of the foul stench of feces that pervades the very room this game is in.

The Nerd: This was the story of a young ninja in old days in Japan. Oh, I wasn't aware 'till now. He's a young ninja in old days in Japan. Sounds like the opening to a story, not the ending. It might as well say "You successfully shit the turd of this ass game. The smell pervaded. This was once upon a time." And if you wonder what the arcade version's like, well, it's the same game with better graphics and music as expected. Even the song is the same, but it's not as bad. It sounds more like a nail making sweet love to chalkboard, rather than a hardcore nail on chalkboard gangbang like the NES. It also has none of the powerups from the NES version, so it actually manages to be even boringer than the NES. What's weird, it even got released on the Switch. It even got a sequel on the Nintendo DS! I don't know anyone who is that into this game as a kid or whatever, but I guess some people liked it. Even the arcade version was released on the PlayStation 2 on an arcade compilation called Taito Legends 2. So, clearly fans wanted to play Legend of Kage and other Taito arcade games at home or it was just a bold overestimate.

The Nerd: Taito was the company that made Space Invaders in '78. It was one of the biggest arcade classics to ever exist. They also made Bubble Bobble, a game that pisses me off, but it's still pretty good. So I don't know how they could go from designing shit like Legend of Kage to classics like Bubble Bobble in the span of year. They are opposites, like light and shadow. But how many of their other arcade games were shit? I can't really name that many noteworthy Taito titles... Taito... Taito titles, to be honest, but they apparently made enough to fill up two whole PlayStation 2 discs. I mean that's kinda like saying "I filled two toilets full of diarrhea." It's an accomplishment, make no question about it. Never in my life have I heard of Kiki KaiKai, Chack N' Pop, or Violence Fight? Violence Fight! Okay so in a few weeks we're going from The Legend of Kage to The Legend of Taito with Taito Legends 1 and 2 for the PlayStation 2. Will it be a shit load of fuck, or a fuck load of shit? Tune in next time to find out.


  • This episode marks the first appearance of the Nintoaster since the Rocky and Bullwinkle episode.
  • The "Blanka sounds like blanket, man" joke was recycled from the Ninja Gaiden episode.
  • Starting with this episode, the theme song is reverted to the original version without the heavy dynamic range compression, marking the first time it it used since the Charlie's Angels episode.