Kells
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Kells Intro Guide
By pdrummond
From the original creator of Kells, this guide will walk you through the basics of the game as well as reveal many of its secrets. Don't worry though, the first few sections are spoiler-free and there is a big gap before the spoilers start to ensure you don't accidentally see anything you shouldn't!
   
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Overview
Kells is a retro puzzle game about making little green dudes cheat gravity.

Your goal is to help the Kells reach the exit but you can’t control them directly. The only way you can help is to guide them by placing special tiles around the level that change the centre of gravity when the Kells walk over them. Check it out:


You can use Gravity Tiles in interesting ways to guide your Kells through each level. For example:


Another important part of Kells is the Freeze function. This is kind of like PAUSING in other games but in Kells it’s more than just pausing the game as you can still place Gravity Tiles while the rest of the action is frozen. This allows you to place and remove tiles freely without having to worry about them taking immediate effect. In fact, some puzzles in the game rely on this (you might want to make a note of that!).


As you progress through the game the number of Kells in each level increases as well as the challenge. The theme of the levels change across each Island and the levels become more and more diverse and interesting. But don't forget - your number one goal is to reach the last level as quickly as possible!

Level 50:



Level 87:



There are also many secret levels and you can even find secret levels within the secret levels if you try hard enough. Only true Kell Champions will be able to find the special secret levels such as this one for example:



But this is so difficult, there is good reason it's so difficult to find! (Only one player has found it so far.)
Objective
Your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to guide your Kells through each Island of the World Map in search of The Last Level (Level 99).

On your journey you are also looking for Lost Kells. There are 50 Kells in total which make up The Kellective. You start with 3 Kells and as you progress through the game, you’ll discover more and more Kells as you continue your search to find the mysterious Last Level.

There are 100+ levels in this game but you don’t need to complete all of them to reach the Last Level. In fact, the quickest way to The Last Level takes only 16 levels! But bear in mind, while it’s the quickest, it’s also the most difficult! But even if you take the easy route there are shortcuts and many levels are optional. Via the simple route, it takes 34 levels to reach The Last Level if you ignore all the optional ones and once you complete it, you will be rewarded with a special prize. What could it be?
Chests


Each Island on the World Map contains several mysterious chests. Each chest contains either a mysterious Star Key or a map that opens up a new Island, allowing you to progress on your quest to find the Last Level.

The Star Keys reveal a beam of light directed to the centre of the World Map, but what is hidden in the centre? You'll have to find all five Star Keys to find out!

The Kellective
There are 50 Kells in the game in total but you start out with only three. As you progress through the world map, try to find as many lost Kells as possible to restore The Kellective.



You'll need to grow the Kellective for several reasons. Firstly, it's just the right thing to do. These Kells are lost, afraid and lonely and they need to be with their family. Secondly, as you progress you'll find that certain levels require a certain number of Kells in order to enter. Thirdly, the more Kells you have means the more chances you'll have to continue your journey when some of the little green dudes eventually die. Finally, restoring the Kellective is necessary to win the Brown Belt!
The Dojo
The Dojo is where you can see all your achievements, represented as Belts.

The Belts are as follows:
  • White Belt - 5 kells in the Kellective
  • Yellow Belt - Perfect 10 levels
  • Orange Belt - Find a Star Key
  • Green Belt - Complete 100 levels
  • Blue Belt - Perfect 100 levels
  • Purple Belt - Find all 10 Purple Coins
  • Brown Belt - Fully Restore the Kellective (50 kells)
  • Black Belt - Perfect 100 levels in same reality
  • Red Belt - Perfect The Iron Kell

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT
It's spoilers galore from this point onwards!

Be sure you want to spoil the fun of discovering these features and secrets yourself before scrolling down.
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The Islands
There are 8 Islands in Kells, all accessible from the World Map. You begin on Kell Island and your goal is to find the map to the next Island - these are usually found in chests and each island always contains at least one chest to discover.



Each Island has a different theme and often also introduces a new gameplay mechanic. For example, all the Kells on Mud Island walk upside down by default! And in Snow World every level has multiple entrances, which adds an extra level of complexity and changes the way you approach the puzzles.

Here is a screenshot of the World Map showing all islands:



It looks very empty in the middle doesn't it? ;-)
Level Hints
The level tiles provide a lot of hints that can help you out if you examine them closely. For example, have you noticed that levels have little notches on them to indicate you will unlock a new level if you complete them. Check it out:



So if you see a level with no notches, then you know that completing it won't advance you on your journey to the last level and maybe you can leave it and return to it later when trying to complete all the levels.

Also - have you noticed any levels with more than one notch, where one of them is a different colour? Like this, for example:



The red notch is telling you there is a secret flag in this level that opens up another path, that could be a shortcut or maybe access to a chest!

Finally, if you are trying to find all the Lost Kells in the game, if you perfect a level that contains a Lost Kell, the level tile will let you know the level contains one somewhere. It looks like this:



Remember. The tile will only turn blue as a reward for PERFECTING the level. If you only complete it, then it won't turn blue. This is what the blue tile looks like when you hover over it:



So if you are wanting to fully restore the Kellective and win the Brown Belt, consider perfecting all the levels, then you'll be able to easily see what levels the remaining Lost Kells can be found in.
Is Death Permanent?
When a Kell dies in this game, it's a very difficult and emotional time, obviously.



Sometimes, a sacrifice must be made for the greater good and your Kellective understands this, so while the grieving process is important, don't let it consume you for too long! You must find the Last Level on their behalf to honour their sacrifice!



But is death permanent? Well, yes and no. Death in Kells is permanent during your run and if you lose all your Kells, it's Game Over!



However, after the Game Over screen you have the chance to continue in an alternate reality! In this reality all of your Kells are still alive and you are able to continue without losing any progress. However, there is a catch. If you choose to continue, you forgo the opportunity to acquire the Black Belt and this also means missing out on the Platinum achievement as well.



If you decide to complete the game in the same reality in order to get the Black Belt, you can still cheat death as it's actually possible to resurrect your Kells and bring them back to life! But in order to do this you'll have to figure out how to unlock a special area called The Total Rekell.



The easiest route to The Last Level
There are 100+ levels in Kells, but you don't have to complete them all the reach the end of the game. The following is the shortest route to take if you want to avoid the more challenging levels:
  • Kell Island 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
  • Mud Island 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29
  • Lost Gardens 30, 32, 33, 34, 36
  • Lava Land 40, 41, 43, 44
  • Snow World 50, 51, 52, 53
  • Skull Island 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 98, 99



This is 35 levels in total including The Last Level.
The quickest route to The Last Level
If you are looking to reach the end of the game as quickly as possible and willing to accept a steep difficulty bump early on, there is an extremely quick route that requires only 17 levels!
  • Kell Island 1, 20
  • Ash Island 60, 61, 67, 68
  • Cloud World 70, 71, 72, 73
  • Skull Island 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 98, 99



This is 17 levels in total including The Last Level.
The Total Rekell


The Total Rekell is unlocked as a reward for completing The Last Level (level 99).

This is a special mode where you are asked to participate in a challenge. You must play a random level and if you complete it without any Kell taking any damage, one of your Kells will be resurrected.

If you manage to PERFECT the level, up to FIVE Kells will be resurrected!



If, however, any Kell takes some damage, your entire game is instantly over!!! (unless you choose to Continue and forgo the Black Belt that is)!


Star World
Star World is a hidden island unlocked by finding all 5 Star Keys. Star World is home to all the missing levels from other islands, for they were deemed too difficult to be part of the main game.

Did you not notice that the level numbers increased rather quickly on Skull Island? Or that level 42 is missing from Lava Land?

You'll find all the missing levels on Star World if you can figure out where all five Star Keys are located.



In the above screenshot the player only has one more star key to find!

Scroll down to see what Star World looks like:
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In this screenshot Star World is already perfected! But what is that strange looking black hole in the centre of Star World?
The Iron Kell
The Iron Kell is a special mode that you are rewarded with by completing all 100 levels of the game. While most players assume the World Map is the main game, it's actually just a very long-winded tutorial to prepare you for the Iron Kell.



The Iron Kell tasks you with playing through all 100 levels from scratch, but with a twist. If a single Kell takes any damage, you are kicked out of the competition and lose all progress.



This the screenshot above, the player managed to PERFECT 75 levels before making a silly mistake and losing all their progress! This is precisely why the Iron Kell includes a TRAINING mode:



In Training Mode the Kells are not real - they are DUMMY kells so if they die you don't loose any progress. Even if you have played a level a 100 times, a true Iron Kell Champion always makes use of Training Mode before tackling a level for real.

The Secret Tunnel
Are you stuck at 99/100 levels? Struggling to find the final level? Well, have you noticed the black hole in Star World looks very similar to the black hole at the start of Kell Island? Turns out, the hole in Star World is actually the entrance to a secret tunnel that takes you to all the way back to Kell Island.

The only way to reach the Secret Tunnel is to find the secret exit in level 42.



And there you'll find Level 0 which is actually the First Level!!!!!



Special Purple Coins
There are 10 special purple coins scattered through out the world map, often in locations that seem impossible to access. Some of them are hidden behind secret areas and are even harder to find.

If you are struggling to find all the purple coins and stressing about having to go through every single level again, don't fret! There is a way to get a hint to help you and it's got something to do with the mysterious Area 42...
Area 42
Most players assume Star World is the only secret island in Kells, which may as well be true as very few will ever discover Area 42 anyway, even if they already know it exists!



Only true Kell champions are granted access to this special world as it requires that you are good enough to PERFECT the Iron Kell as well as finding all 10 special purple coins!

The entrance to Area 42 will reveal itself as a reward for PERFECTING The Iron Kell and on this screen you'll find tips on how to locate the remaining purple coins.


Completing the game for real
Way back in the beginning, how naïve you were to assume the goal of the game was to simply complete The Last Level! Then you figured all you had to do was complete all 100 levels and it would be over. When you finally located and PERFECTED all 100 levels, it was revealed to you that the entire World Map was simply a training ground to prepare you to be worthy of participating in The Iron Kell.

When you finally completed the Iron Kell you realised that nothing short of perfection is good enough for a true Kells Champion. Upon rejoicing the feeling of finally perfecting The Iron Kell you felt amazing, for a little while at least. But you couldn't enjoy your victory knowing some of those pesky little Purple Coins still alluded you. Upon finally discovering the last Purple Coin, things were really starting to look up. Area 42 awaited you and the finishing line was in sight.



All you needed to do now was complete 10 of the most difficult levels you'd ever seen! The difficulty bump was almost too much to bear. You agonised over the special levels in Area 42:

  • SP0 - Special Alpha
  • SP1 - Special Beta
  • SP2 - Special Gamma
  • SP3 - Special Delta
  • SP4 - Special Epsilon
  • SP5 - Special Zeta
  • SP6 - Special Eta
  • SP7 - Special Theta
  • SP8 - Special Iota
  • SP9 - Special Kappa

To this day they still trouble you but you must keep going. You are so close. What was the point of all this training if you can't overcome Area 42?

If you somehow manage to perfect all of these levels (which only one player in the world has achieved so far), you can finally boast that you have 100% completed the game and you are truly worthy of the Platinum achievement. Then - and only then - will you be remembered as a true Kells Champion.