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Kanji’s Adventure – The Advanced Class

It’s been over six months since the guide to Kanji’s Adventure went live. In that time I’ve kept playing it on KadoKado, and have even made it up to Gold Level!

goldlevelScuse me while I toot my horn a little!

My current high score is now 153k 162k 197k 207k. (If you couldn’t tell, I played a LOT of Kanji’s Adventure while working on this guide!) But on average I score about 60k per game. And that got me thinking..

Learning is a process. ^_^ When the first guide came out I was still figuring out what everything was and how it all worked. The next step is learning how to use the items in the best possible way, and how to handle the various monsters.

This guide addresses that second step. If you’re still trying to figure out the difference between an apple and meat, stick to the first guide. (PLEASE!) There are plenty of tips to get you started! Once you can play without having to look everything up, come back to this page. And then you can learn all about:


Changing Perspective

One of the biggest things that improved my score was changing how I viewed the game. At first I played to kill every monster on each level. But honestly, there’s no need for that. There are no bonuses for killing every monster or for reaching a new level in the dungeon!

Now I have different goals. ^_^

  1. Stay alive. Know what sucks worse than using a firebomb on level 2? Dying on level 2 with an unused firebomb in your inventory. >_< If death is knocking at the door, use whatever you can to make it go away! As long as you’re still alive you have a chance to find better items.
  2. Conserve energy. The tiny single coins are a waste of energy to pick up, ESPECIALLY on the first levels! Don’t go out of your way to grab them. The same thing goes for ghosts. You can waste a lot of energy trying to chase those buggers down!
  3. Search as much of the level as possible for loot. In the first 4-5 levels this is pretty easy, but after that you may have to skip a few rooms in order to preserve goal #1. Not knowing what you missed can be brutal, so just tell yourself those rooms were empty. ^_~
  4. Conserve shurikens. They’re really useful, but you’ll score more points if you save them for bats and mages.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase, “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.” Make that your motto for Kanji’s Adventure, and watch your scores improve! 

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The Shopkeeper

Finding the shopkeeper is AWESOME, but usually you have one of two problems to deal with.

  1. You only have enough gold to get some of the things you want.
  2. He isn’t carrying your favorite items.

Because of this, I find it helpful to prioritize items. Here’s a list of all of the items the shopkeeper can carry, ordered from most useful (in my opinion) to least useful. Your own list may vary, but this should give you something to start with.

Item Price Notes
bag 15g Always try to keep at least 15g in your pocket in case the next shopkeeper has a bag for sale.
meat 25g You can never have too much meat. Stock up, even if you don’t have a pillow yet! If you go over 1000 energy it will cut off the 1, so don’t freak out.
three shurikens 15g for 3 This is your best (and cheapest) weapon against bats and mages. Stock up!
round potion 35g Buy only if you currently don’t have a potion, OR you have 5 inventory spaces and there’s nothing else you want to buy.
fire scroll 30g The fire scroll is the best scroll, IMHO.
ice scroll 30g Ice scroll is the 2nd best scroll. ^_^ Great against shaman and cyclops that are in your way!
leather armor 150g If you can afford it, get armor. Generally I can get further in a dungeon with armor alone vs just a knife. Also, armor tends to be rarer as far as floor loot goes.
knife 80g Good item, but whenever I buy it I find one (or three) on the next level. *Facepalm*
Edit: Just played a game where I bought a knife. The next level had a katana on the ground.
chaos scroll 30g I’m not an expert with chaos scrolls yet. If you are, buy one! Just remember that nearby chaotic monsters can and WILL kill the shopkeeper!
katana 180g I really love the katana, but you’re better off buying shurikens if they’re available. However, if you have the bracelet, I say splurge and have fun! It’s not often that you can hit 10 damage on monsters!
magic bone 40g If you’re limping along and the shopkeeper isn’t selling potions or scrolls, get this. Think of it as a shield with teeth.
teleport scroll 30g I never buy this. Seriously.
metal armor 400g I rarely have enough gold to buy this one! If you can afford it and you’re full of meat, shurikens, and scrolls, then go for it. Otherwise you can probably find a better use for the 400g.

Honestly, meat and shurikens are my favorite things to see in a shop. ^_^ If it has both, buy enough meat to reach 600 energy, and spend the rest on shurikens. Only meat? Buy like you’ll never find another shop with meat in it. (You might not.) Only shurikens? Buy a bunch, but save gold in case the next shop has meat.

So far I’ve never regretted spending everything on meat, but I have regretted spending everything on shurikens.

In my highest scoring games I’ll return to shuriken/meat shops over and over. Draw maps if you need to!

Tip: Although it’s possible to kill the shopkeeper with shurikens and pick up some extra money, you’re better off saving the shurikens for mages. Which sounds better to you: Getting 50g (if you’re extremely lucky) from a dead shopkeeper, or getting 2000 points from a dead mage?

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Pillows and Potions

Ahh, the pillow! I didn’t realize how awesome this thing was until I watched a few videos of players reaching high scores. Almost all of them use the pillow.
Why is it so awesome? As long as you have energy it will provide an unlimited supply of hitpoints. And it only takes up one inventory space!
When it comes to the shopkeeper it’s still a great bargain. One piece of meat is 25g and will heal 10 hp. One potion is 35g and heals only 8 hp.
Of course, the pillow has downsides too.
  1. You can only use it in an area (not level) cleared of monsters, which means it’s useless for those “Oh shit!” moments.
  2. If you run out of energy you’re equally dead, so you have to learn how to balance the healing aspect of the pillow with the staying-alive aspect of energy.
Here are a few scenarios to give you an idea of when to use a pillow or a potion. Each scene is divided into three parts, where you either have a pillow or a potion, or you have both items.
Situation Pillow Only Potion(s) Only Both
5 or less HP
300+ energy
Heal to full. Drink only if facing a monster that could kill you in 1 hit. Use pillow.
5 or less HP
200 or less energy
Heal to 6-10 HP. Target goblins. Same as above. Use pillow to partly heal.
3 HP, facing a goblin or worse. Pray for mercy. For the love of milkshakes, drink!! Drink!

You might be wondering, “If I have a potion and nothing else, why wouldn’t I use it whenever I hit 4hp?” The main reason is that you never know when you’re going to find a pillow, so play as if there might be one just around the corner.

Now if you have a pillow and gobs of energy (400+) heal to full whenever you can. Once you reach the bats you’ll want to stay at full health as much as possible, but try not to drop below 200 energy!

Tip: You don’t have to clear an entire level in order to use the pillow. There can’t be any monsters on the screen and any that are nearby (but out of sight) have to be a few paces away. If you don’t see any monsters but can’t heal, take a few steps back and forth to let the monsters wander away. That usually does the trick!

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These are your best weapons. Better than a knife and (dare I say it) better than a katana!

katanaloveNoooo!! I love my katana!!

Why are shurikens awesome? Let me count the ways…

  1. Shurikens never miss. (Always hit at least 1 damage!)
  2. They’re cheap. Get 6 for the same price as one scroll.
  3. You can kill enemies without getting close enough for them to hurt you!

It takes practice to learn how to use shurikens effectively, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll love them as much as I do. ^_^

In order to use a shuriken there has to be at least one space between you and the monster. (The exception to this is the shopkeeper. You can be standing right next to him and you’ll hit him with a shuriken. Great. >_<) If a monster is chasing you, you’ll probably have to sidestep in order to create room to throw a shuriken. Like so!

goblintargeting Don’t eat me!

goblintargeted Hah! You fell right into my trap! *Throws shuriken*

It might take a few tries to create a throwing space, but at most you’ll waste 5-8 energy. In my opinion, the tradeoff of saving hitpoints is well worth those energy points!

Shurikens are also great for softening up monsters. If you’re looking for a quick kill, throw one shuriken at a goblin or skeleton before you engage in hand-to-hand combat. With any luck you can kill them with the next hit! (And sometimes skellies die from just one shuriken too.)

As previously mentioned in the Shopkeeper section, you should stock up on shurikens whenever you can. They are fantastic against bats & mages! But as a general rule, don’t use shurikens on shamans or cyclopes unless you’re cornered and low on health. Those two monsters have high hp and you’ll waste a ton of shurikens on them.

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The Rabbit Foot

Remember this thing?

rabbit footIt’s creepy.

This is supposed to increase the loot from monsters, but I couldn’t decide whether to recommend taking the foot or leaving it on the floor. Then one day I realized I’d found a shop on every single floor of the game I was on,  and I had the rabbit foot.

So I decided to do some research. Every time I found a rabbit foot I marked when I found a shop and what my final score was when I died. Since the rabbit foot is a rare and totally random find, this means that my sample size is small. (Sorry!) But in 5 of the 8 games I had a rabbit foot, I found a shop on the very next level. And in 7 of the 8 games, I found a shop within the next 3 levels. It’s entirely possible that this is a coincidence, but it’s still interesting. ^_^

Aside from the shops, the better loot may really make a difference! Check out my scores for the 8 games.

  1. (Didn’t record)
  2. 74k
  3. 74k
  4. 197k
  5. 27k
  6. 183k
  7. 40k
  8. 26k

That’s an average of 88.7k per game! And two of my highest scores happened while I had a rabbit foot. Again, it might be a coincidence, but it’s still interesting!

So is it worth hanging on to? I say yes. Make room for fuzzy feet!

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Pet Wrangling

What is pet wrangling? Basically it’s learning to manipulate your pets into blocking halls and attacking monsters. Dogs aren’t quite as good as following as the bear, but they can still be quite useful.

Whenever you have multiple pets summoned, one will stick with you while the others wander away and attack monsters.

For an example of pet wrangling, take a look at the picture below.

petwrangling Nice doggy!

As you can see, I’m dangerously low on hitpoints and have nothing to heal myself with. (I really hate it when that happens.) I have shurikens, but there’s no guarantee that I can kill the fire imp in one hit, and I definitely want to avoid melee combat!

But if I take a step back, the dog will switch places with me and can fight the imp for me.

dogshieldYou get a biscuit!

If I wanted to support my dog I could chip in and throw a shuriken over hir head. Zie won’t get hurt and the fire imp can’t walk through hir to reach me. ^_^

Dogs can easily handle ghosts, imps, goblins, and occasionally higher. But they only have about 3 hitpoints, so they won’t last forever!

On the other hand, bears stay closer, hit harder, and have around 6 hitpoints. In other words, bears are AWESOME. ^_^ I’ve seen them take on bats and win!

In one game I had four bears following me around, but usually they’re pretty rare. If you find a bear mask on levels 1-3 and you’re not pressed for inventory space, save the mask for later. You can’t heal pets, and even fire imps can chip away their hitpoints quickly. Save the bear for deeper dungeon levels when you need a stronger shield.

Tip: If you’re in need of healing and the shopkeeper has magic bones but no potions or meat, get a dog. It can take a few blows and hopefully get you to a potion. This has actually saved my game on more than one occasion!

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Monster Wrangling

You’ve probably noticed that Kanji doesn’t have the thickest skin, or a fabulous dodging skill. It’s up to you to minimize how much damage he takes. There are two ways to do this! ^_^ The first method is really easy. Attack from halls, or get a monster to follow you and then retreat to a hall.

Take a look.

outnumbered Red dots = DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!

This is a fairly empty room, but two goblins having a good day can hit me for 6 damage in one turn. (Which would make my day equally BAD.)

Instead, I’ll walk in just enough to get one goblin’s attention, and then I’ll step back into the hall.

1on1Much better!

Now there are only two ways that monsters can attack me. Fighting in hallways is your safest bet!

The second monster wrangling method is a little trickier to explain, even with pictures, but it’s based on the following principle: Two monsters cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

So, when a chasing monster (like the cyclops) sees a path blocked by another monster or a pet, it will try to go around.

Here we have a cyclops coming after me, and my trusty bear is at my back.

cyclopswrangle Hello there!

Right now the cyclops has a clear path. But if I take a step back, the bear will switch places with me and block the hallway. The cyclops will then move to find a different route.

cyclopsleaving Bye-bye!

This example utilized pet wrangling, but if you get a little monster (like an imp) to chase you, it can also block the hallway and keep stronger monsters away. Taking 2-3 damage from an imp isn’t great, but it’s better than the 5-10 that the heavy hitters deal out.

Lastly, if you’re fighting a specific monster for its loot drop, make sure that it isn’t standing on any loot already. Just as two monsters can’t be in the same place at the same time, two loot items can’t be in the same place at the same time, even if they’re coins!

Most of the time this isn’t a big deal, but if you’re running out of energy and fighting goblins to (hopefully) get meat, check where they’re standing! Take a step back if you need to.

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Level 1: Ghost

Ready to start? First off, select “Zoom” so you can play a larger board. It makes everything MUCH easier to see! (I have no idea why I didn’t do that when I was cropping all of those teeny tiny icons. *Facepalm*)

Now before you take a single step, see if you can spot the stairs to go down. If you see it, head to a room right next to it and clear the level in a circle. This makes the final room your exit, so you’ll conserve energy.

Don’t see the exit? Look for any weapons or loot within sight and make a beeline for it.

Ghost Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
Ghost 2-3 2 Coins

Ghosts like to wander around, so don’t try to chase them down. If one is right next to you, then yeah, smack it! ^_^ Although it has the lowest max damage, that 2 is still 1/6th of your total hp.

DO NOT use shurikens here!

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Level 2: Goblin

Once again, take a moment to look before you move. Try to avoid doubling back whenever possible, but be sure to check every room.

And of course, here we have the green meanies!

Goblin Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
goblin 4-5 3 Coins

Odds are that you only have fists at this point, so it will take a minimum of 2-3 punches to kill one goblin. If you have better gear already or a few potions, go for a melee attack. But if you’re potionless, pillowless, and already at half health, throw a shuriken at the goblin before you engage in hand-to-hand combat.

I know you don’t get many shurikens to start with, but if you don’t have any healing items then you need to be careful. It really sucks to die on the 2nd level. >_<

Also, in a survey of 200 goblins, 23 said that they’d give meat to whoever killed them. This means you have an 11.5% chance of getting meat whenever you kill a goblin!

Of course, if you’re brimming with energy then you may want to avoid the goblins altogether and focus on floor loot. But if you haven’t found meat yet, kill every goblin that doesn’t run away and then move on to the next level. Don’t waste energy trying to chase one down!

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Level 3: Fire Imp

Fire Imp Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
fire imp 2-3 2 Coins

What’s interesting (and annoying) about fire imps is that they have the exact same amount of hitpoints and max damage as ghosts, but they’re so much tougher!!

For one, they hone in on you and follow. Secondly they seem to have a much higher melee defense. I’ve lost upwards of 8 hp just trying to kill ONE freakin’ fire imp. >_<

Since they only drop coins, I don’t suggest hunting them down for loot. But if one is in your way and you’re low on hp, throw a shuriken before you go hand-to-hand. With any luck you’ll kill it in one hit!

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Level 4: Skeleton

Skeleton Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
skeleton 3-4 5 Coins
Magic Bone

The skeleton and the goblin are roughly the same difficulty level, and if you’re lucky you might get a magic bone from the skeleton. ^_^ Pets are VERY useful, so if you’re hankering for a dog, go punch a skeleton.

Something to consider: Skeletons give half the points that mages do, but they’re a lot easier to kill. I haven’t experimented with this just yet, but it might be worthwhile to hunt skeletons.

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Level 5: Shaman

Shaman Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
shaman 8-10 5 Coins
Teleport Scroll

These guys are evil. They have high hitpoints and seemingly high defense combined with high accuracy. In melee combat you can expect to get hit for 5’s repeatedly. Shurikens aren’t much better, with usually 5+ going to waste and the shaman still unflinchingly alive.

How do you handle a monster like this? In one of two ways:

  1. Use a fire or ice scroll to take it out.
  2. Run!

Whenever possible I run or dodge around the shaman. If it’s blocking the stairs down I’ll use a scroll if I have it. But honestly, you can usually just avoid this one. They don’t chase unless you get really close!

Tip: If you’re blessed enough to have a katana or damage bracelet + knife, the shaman is a lot easier to kill. Attack with caution.

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Level 6: Cyclops

Cyclops Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
cyclops 9-13 5 Coins

This is another annoying one, but for some reason his accuracy seems lower than the shaman’s. So while he’ll chase you around (a lot), you won’t take quite as much damage.

However, cyclopes can easily smoosh you flat if you’re unprepared. Generally I try to avoid them, but when all else fails…

  1. Run away! Yes, they’ll chase you, but they can’t pass through other monsters or your pets. The dogs can be stupid, but one simply blocking a hallway will force a cyclops to find another way around. (See the Monster Wrangling section for more details.)
  2. Use a fire or Ice scroll. <3
  3. Use a charm. This is your BEST defense as it will send all cyclopes scurrying away. However, since you can’t buy it and they’re often hard to find, use this only in an absolute emergency!

Tip: As with the shaman, if you have a katana or damage bracelet + knife, the cyclops becomes a fairly easy kill. Honestly, it’s even better than the shaman because of its lower accuracy!

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Level 7: Bat

Bat Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
bat 5-8 6 Coins

Bats have average defense, but they like to hit 6 damage whenever they can. They’re basically like a slightly-stronger shaman. And if you’re running out of energy, they also have a decently good drop rate for meat.

If you use shurikens (recommended) it’ll take an average of 3 per bat. Low on shurikens? Use at least one before you attempt melee combat with a bat!

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Level 8: Mage

Mage Hitpoints Max Hit Loot
mage 2-8 10 Coins

This is the most powerful monster in the dungeon. It hits hard, has a high accuracy, and has very high defense against melee attacks. One memorable time I had a katana, ruby necklace, and the damage bracelet. (That was frikkin’ awesome!!) My max damage was 12, but I still hit zeros over and over again on the mage!

Repeat after me: I will not engage the mage in melee combat. It rhymes so it should be easy to remember. ^_^

However, the mage isn’t invincible! Here are two tricks to help you knock them out safely.

  1. Those charms that make skeletons and cyclopes run away? Yeah, it works on the mage too! Use this for crowd control only, as it’s really hard to kill them when they keep running away from you.
  2. Although the mage has high melee defense, their range defense is low! You can easily kill them with 2-3 shurikens. But try to create four spaces between you two before you throw the first shuriken, just in case that mage needs four shurikens.

in the past, whenever I reached level 8 I knew the end was near because the mages are so strong. Everything got a lot easier once I discovered how easily they go down with shurikens!!

The dungeon levels beyond 8 start to get pretty packed with monsters. Usually there are a lot of ghosts and imps, but it seems the deeper you go, the more mages you’ll find. This is prime hunting ground and with practice, you’ll learn to love the mages instead of dreading them. ^_^

Tip: If you’ve thrown 2-3 shurikens and the mage is alive, and now angrily toe-to-toe with you, take a step back so you can throw another shuriken. You’ll take damage, but you have a much better chance of hurting it back if you use a shuriken!

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Final Words

I think that covers everything! If you have any questions or further tips of your own, please share! This is one of my favorite games and I hope you’ve picked up a few new tricks from this Advanced Class guide. Now go have fun! ^_^

Click here to play Kanji’s Adventure!


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