Puzzle Pirates – Advanced Kraken Hunt mechanics

It is recommended that you read the basic kraken hunt guide first.

This post will detail the more advanced concepts of the Puzzle Pirates kraken hunt. It will be most useful if you want to learn to wield the Powder Kit (colloquially known as being a “bomber”), but even those who don’t may find these concepts useful, especially if their route requires them to go near the kraken head area.

Tentacles: Tentacles come in four sizes. The largest ones are called “defendacles”, and hang around near the head. Larger tentacles cause more damage when bumped into, or when they “slap”, a special move they use to attack a square next to them. Tentacles move the same way ships and rowboats do, and may move up to three times a turn (similar to bumper boats), but you can’t tell which direction they’re pointed at unless you have observed their previous moves. The one exception is that defendacles can do a special move, where they turn-in-place then move forward; this makes them more unpredictable.

If you find a tentacle right in front of you and you don’t know which direction it’s pointing, or you know for a fact it’s not pointing at you, pause on the first phase. There is a good chance it stays put on the first phase, then moves away on the second phase; since moves happen simultaneously, it is possible to get away unharmed. Disregard this if you know that it is pointing at you though; just turn and ram and hope for the best, as you won’t be able to get away without a ram.

Kraken head: When someone with a powder kit drops a bomb on the kraken head, it will sink. There will be some bubbles visible where the head used to be (note that due to a bug, sometimes the bubbles aren’t visible). Refer to the following diagram:

kraken
(click on the image to zoom)
Wind, whirlpool, and rock patterns may differ each time you enter; the position of the outlined zones are relative to the bubbles.
Red: Whelm zone, White: Kraken head footprint, Yellow: Defendacle spawn zones

If the turn the kraken sinks is turn one, there would be no tentacles on the board on turns two and three. Tentacles will appear on the end of turn four, and two defendacles will appear on the end of turn five, one in each defendacle spawn zone (2×8 rectangles outlined in yellow). On turn six, the kraken will reemerge on the footprint (irregular shape outlined in white), and all rowboats that started the turn in the whelm zone (8×8 square outlined in red) will automatically sink (it is safe to enter the whelm zone during turn six though). What this all means is that:

  • If the kraken is down and the tentacles just came up, do not enter the whelm zone. If you’re in the whelm zone, get out of there now. To know where the whelm zone is from within the game, count three spaces away from the corners of the squares with bubbles.
  • If the defendacles just came up and you’re in the whelm zone… well, I hear the safe zone is nice this time of year. You will sink no matter what you do, even if the bomber manages to blow up the head that turn, as the tidal wave exists even if the head doesn’t visibily reemerge.
  • If the defendacles come up and you’re the bomber, you should start from outside the whelm zone, then enter that turn to put a bomb onto the footprint (white), to blow up the head the very turn it reemerges.
  • Be aware of the gaps in the north and east corners of the footprint. Placing bombs there won’t do anything to the kraken!
  • As the bomber, try to camp outside the northwest or southeast edges of the whelm zone (if possible; not all layouts offer this luxury), as this reduces the chance of the defendacles blocking your way (note, however, that while they spawn in the yellow zones, they are free to move out of them). Ideal camp spots should also allow you to bomb the head in as few movement phases as possible; the fewer phases, the safer your compatriots will be, and the less chance there is for the tentacles to ram you while you’re trying to bomb the head.
  • Note that bombs take two turns to reload. Place bombs around you on turns three and four (before the tentacles reemerge) to protect your camp from wandering tentacles; pay special attention to wind streams and whirlpools that point toward your camp spot. Do be careful to avoid obstructing key routes to and from the treasures, and to not obstruct your own route toward bombing the kraken head and back to your camp spot.
  • If you aren’t a bomber, note that bombing requires precise timing and movements; thus, avoid bumping bombers out of position unless they give you permission to do so.
  • Be careful of ink spots; they may hide winds.
  • If you’re the bomber, it may be useful to know that you can ram into the kraken head like a rock before bombing it, saving valuable turns if you get caught in a weird position. This will take approximately 1/6 of your health.
  • Once you have gained some skill in moving efficiently and avoiding rocks and tentacles, you may want to try using the Speed Kit instead of the Bumper Kit (it’s useful to have a Bumper on standby however, as some layouts may be difficult or impossible to get an egg on a speed kit). If so, the approximate times to get the treasures are 2, 4, 6, and 8 minutes respectively (again, this may vary with layout). Note the speed kit is even more fragile than the regular rowboat; three rock hits will sink it, and so will any damage from tentacles.

If you want to meet me in the game, I am Rhoaleper in the Meridian Ocean.

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