Seen as rather aloof by her peers, Linae takes no interest in manning the deck of The Cyodrake's Gaze or exploring her beautiful homeland of Shenkuu. All she wants to do is build structures using patterned tiles, and disassemble them as quickly as possible by removing matched pairs. Some say that she's just wasting her time...before becoming lost to the tile-matching craze themselves, that is.
"I can stop playing anytime I want! A-Any...any time..."
How to Play
To play Kou-Jong, use your mouse to click on a "free" tile to select it, then click on a matching free tile to remove both from the game. A free tile is any tile with an empty space to either the left or right of it on the same level. If a tile has other tiles to both the left and right of it, or is covered by a tile on a higher level, you will be unable to select it until one of the tiles blocking it has been removed. For two tiles to be considered a match, they must have the same design; a tile with four pieces of bamboo will only match with another four-bamboo tile, while an arm pointing up will only match another arm pointing up.
The exceptions to this rule are the Flower and Season tilesets. Each set consists of four tiles, and only one of each tile appears in the game. To remove them, they must be matched with another tile from the same set; Flower tiles can only be matched with other Flower tiles, and Season tiles with other Season tiles.
The Flower tiles
The Season tiles
When you begin a stage, you will be given a time bonus, which counts down at a rate of one point per second. This only affects the points you receive, and you won't be penalized for letting it run out. If the time bonus drops too low to get the score you're trying for, or if you run out of valid matches, you can press the Reset button to start the stage over. You'll lose the points earned in the current stage, but will keep the points from previous stages, and your time bonus will be reset. There is no limit to the number of times you can reset the stage. Once you've run out of valid matches, selecting a tile or trying to use a hint will cause the game to display a message prompting you to reset.
Each stage also comes with a number of hints, depending on the difficulty mode: one hint for Easy, two for Medium, and three for Hard. When used via the Hint button, they will show you a random match, outlined in yellow. For an extra hint, type the code cyodrake at any time during play. This code can only be used once per game, but will carry over from stage to stage, and will remain if you press the Reset button. Once used, however, the extra hint is premanently gone.
Gone like a Cyodrake on the breeze.
...Or something like that.
For every matching pair of tiles removed from play, you will receive 2 points. Each stage contains a set number of tiles, so each difficulty setting has a base number of points you will always receive upon completing the game.
|Difficulty||Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3||Base Tile Points
|Easy||32 tiles||34 tiles||58 tiles||124 pts||60 pts|
|Medium||74 tiles||62 tiles||114 tiles||250 pts||180 pts|
|Hard||144 tiles||144 tiles||144 tiles||432 pts||360 pts|
Each difficulty also has a time bonus, which will count down at a rate of one point per second while you play. Whatever is left of your time bonus when you finish the current stage is combined with that stage's base points, and added to your total score. If you're trying to reach the high score table, you should play on Hard mode and try to spend less than three minutes on each stage. If your time bonus drops below 200 points, consider resetting the stage.
In Kou-Jong, your priority should be to free as many tiles as you can, to give yourself as many potential matches as possible. To do this, focus on clearing the highest layers so that you can see the tiles below, allowing you to make better decisions based on this information. While the lowest layer usually has the most tiles, the majority of them are blocked, and will only become free once the tiles on top of them are removed. A good example of this can be seen in the image below.
Two matching tiles are visible on the right and in the lower left, featuring a bright blue and yellow Starberry Satay design. While this may seem like an easy match to make, take a moment and look at the tiles around them. If you remove the one on the right, the tile directly under it will become visible, but will still be blocked off by a tile with six circles. If the one in the lower left is removed, the tile to the right of it will become free on that level, but will still be blocked by the seven circle tile above it. Both of these blocking tiles can be removed, but each would only free one tile.
In addition to this, look at the tiles you would have to match them with to remove them. The other six and seven circle tiles that are currently free are in the center, blocking several tiles. If you were to match the four tiles here with each other, you would free many more tiles than you would have trying to match the Starberry Satay. While some matches like this stand out more than others, you should try to concentrate on which matches will have the most impact on your game.
Finally, look at the five circle tile in the center. This would likely be the first tile you try to remove, and there are two free tiles to the left that you can match it with. Try to avoid making snap judgements or random choices on matches like these, however; while either seems to work equally well on a glance, the upper tile is a far better choice. Not only would you free a tile by choosing the upper one, but in order to free the tile beside the lower, you would have to make four other matches...all of which would use tiles better matched elsewhere.
"Okay, so if I match these...but then...hmm..."
- Choose matches that will free the most number of tiles.
- The Reset button can be used as many times as you'd like to restart a stage.
- Work down from the top, clearing out the higher layers of tiles as soon as possible.
- When going for a high score, try to earn at least 600 points total from time bonuses.
- Type the code cyodrake once per game for an extra hint.
Trophy and High-Scoring Tips
High scores in Kou-Jong are based on two fundamentals:
- Speed is paramount.
- You can reset a level with no penalty.
Watch the tiles as they fall. Don't try to memorize them. Just keep an eye out for pairs of matching tiles that are close to each other, either horizontally or vertically, so that one tile is blocking the other. Prioritize clearing the higher or the outside tile. If you can't do this quickly, reset the board.
Whenever possible, remove sets of all four tiles together. Every board has a solution; the reason that some boards become unsolvable is because you removed one pair on a way that made the remaining pair problematic. Removing all four tiles together eliminates this possibility, and the opportunity arises more often than you might expect.
As noted in the general tips above, prioritize higher tiles, outside tiles, and those tiles that block the most other tiles. However, don't analyze the board. Keep your eyes moving. Focus on clicking on the first matching pairs you see, and keep your eyes searching for the next pair. After dealing with the higher tiles and outside tiles, remove adjacent pairs (pairs that form a step) first. Occasionally this isn't the best move, but it's faster, and if it does cause a problem, just reset.
Reset the board any time you need to pause for more than a second. Never ask for a tip. If you have to pause long enough to get a tip, you need to reset the board. The only reason to ask for a tip is to satisfy your curiosity so that you can start your reset board without distraction.
If your goal is 1,000 NP, aim for a minimum of 350 or so points per round, depending on the NP ratio that day. If your goal is a trophy, aim for a minimum of 380 or 390 points per round.
Finally, relax and breathe. Stalls, fatigue, distractions, and unlucky boards are inevitable. Just reset and enjoy the new board.
This game guide was written by: Chesu