Kemono Friends Cellien May Cry – Guide to Friends

A semi-detailed explanation of each Friend you can call in the game. Spoilers contained within if you care about the deepest lore.

Mechanics and Ability Types

Abilities

Most friends have two abilities listed underneath their portrait. The top one is typically a combat-oriented ability and the bottom one is typically a passive ability that is typically applied to your entire party unless specifically noted otherwise.

Every friend has a “deployment cost” associated. This is the number of Japari Buns that must be in your inventory (and thus consumed) to call this Friend to the field. Japari Buns can be found or bought from Lucky Beast at the Library and you can fit up to five of them in one inventory space at a time. If a Friend is defeated in combat or released, you can revive them or call them back to the field (respectively) if you pay the deployment cost again.

Releasing Friends does not refund any Japari Buns, so be careful about pre-emptively releasing Friends from your command. Serval cannot call in friends over the current cap on deployment cost unless you have the Perfect Amulet.

If you have the Perfect Amulet (later in the game), you can call as many friends as you want, so as long as you have Japari Buns to cover the costs. Calling Friends over your limit of 12 deployment points begins to negatively impact your abilities and begins to buff the abilities of the enemy, depending on how far over the limit of 12 you are:

  • Effectiveness of healing items reduced
  • Duration of buff items reduced
  • Except for Serval, the impact power of attacks and dodging rate of all Friends are reduced
  • Sandstar gained from you or Friends damaging enemies is reduced
  • Cellins recover from debuffs faster
  • Cellins movement speed and attack rate increase
  • Cellins will more often Wild Release, making their attacks uninterruptable and increasing their damage and defense
  • Boss Cellins that expose their weak points are vulnerable for less time

Abilities are noted as so:

  • Combat – This ability is typically used whenever the Friend is nearby an active fight. The Friend does not have to participate in the fight directly, but combat must be going on somewhere close by to them for this ability to trigger. Some combat abilities are a direct method of attack while others are support abilities. Generally speaking, all combat abilities need Stamina to be used, so make sure your allies aren’t too winded.
  • Active – This ability is a passive, but something else has to be done first to make it active. An example is Painted Wolf’s “Sneeze” increases the damage of your party by +12% but only after Serval does a successful “Just Dodge”.
  • Passive – This ability is active all of the time and is usually a stat-oriented buff that requires no input from the player.

Roles

I made some loosely defined roles for most friends to categorize them.

  • Direct Combat – This Friend’s job is primarily dealing direct damage in melee combat or otherwise directly damaging the enemy.
  • Support – This Friend’s job is providing passive abilities, navigation assistance, or buffs to you and your party and typically offers little or no ability to damage the enemy themselves.
  • Ranged Combat – This Friend’s job is like Direct combat, but they do so with a ranged attack when not directly threatened and are usually at less risk of being attacked compared to Direct Combat Friends.
  • Healer – This Friend is capable of healing other friends with their abilities.

Row One

Kaban

  • Deployment Cost: 1
  • Primary Role: Support
  • Paper Plane (Combat) – Kaban throws a paper airplane wherever she is facing. The plane causes most cellins nearby it to chase and attack it, breaking their focus on their current target.
  • Sweating (Passive) – Maximum stamina of all Friends +10%

It should be HEAVILY noted that having Kaban on the field enables you to deploy anti-cellin bombs from your inventory without Serval inadvertantly killing herself and her other party members. Anti-cellin bombs will damage and cause status effects to all allies on the field if Kaban is not deployed. When an anti-cellin bomb is deployed in this manner, it spawns at Kaban’s location instead of Serval’s.

Kaban offers no direct combat ability and will try to evade any time she is directly engaged. Otherwise she will sit on the edge of the fight and chuck paper planes in the middle of it. The planes are great for breaking the focus of groups of cellins from your team members, if even momentarily, though their effectiveness on different bosses varies widely.

Hippopotamus

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • Big Mouth (Combat) – Hippo uses stamina to nullify damage from a melee attack that would have landed and deals a melee attack back to the attacker in turn.
  • Heavyweight (Passive) – Impact power of all Friends’ attacks +8%.

Hippo is decently cheap to deploy and offers a specialization against melee which makes her useful early on, but she tends to get sauced by ranged attacks or area-of-effect which becomes more prevalent later on. The impact power boost is nice, but won’t usually make or break your ability to knock enemies over on it alone.

Small-clawed Otter

  • Deployment cost: 1
  • Primary role: Ranged Combat/Support Hybrid
  • Stone Play (Combat, Ranged) – Otter uses stamina to throw stones from a distance away and attack cellins.
  • Day for Sliding (Passive) – All friends are immune to debuffs from mud traps.

This devious little gremlin unfortunately offers little combat ability and should usually only be deployed if you find yourself in mud traps too frequently for your liking. She tries to stay out of trouble by bothering enemies from a distance with stones and can usually stay out of the way, but if she gets focused she is finished.

Mud traps will slow your movement speed and prevent you from dodging while in them, so having Otter out (especially versus Cecky Beast who makes mud traps when attacking) can be very beneficial since she is very cheap.

Jaguar

  • Deployment Cost: 3
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • True Beast (Combat) – Jump-attacks most enemies from above.
  • Roly-Poly (Passive) – Increases the impact resistance of all Friends.

Jaguar is useful early on as a direct-combat Friend and helpfully tends to target the weak points of enemies which are exposed above or to the sides, owing to the True Beast ability. She is fairly strong on her own for most combat but runs a middling cost of your deployment points and has a lackluster passive with no exact amount listed on it. She can work in areas fraught with enemies that have exposed weakpoints on the head, or exposes them to the top.

Crested Ibis

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Support, Healer
  • Ibis Song (Combat, Support) – Toki uses stamina to make an awful horrendous racket (but don’t tell her that) which somehow heals any nearby Friends for a small percentage of health and causes nearby cellins to shift focus to attacking her instead. This will aggravate dormant cellins in addition to shifting their target focus to Toki.
  • Pink Feathers (Passive) – Serval gains additional jump height.

She’s a pretty decent support Friend and one of the first healers you get. Her healing is not particularly strong but can offset some of the damage your party may experience and in general try to boost longevity. She also boosts that longevity a great deal by making attackers focus on her instead of your combat-oriented Friends. While she is good at evasion, if focused she is quite fragile and can easily be knocked out. She is still relatively cheap to redeploy if needed, so this makes her somewhat flexible as a healing/distraction Friend similar to Kaban.

Alpaca Suri

  • Deployment Cost: 1
  • Primary Role: Ranged Combat, Support
  • Spit! (Combat, Ranged, Support) – Alpaca uses stamina and spits at the enemy in a wide spray. This spray causes little direct damage but carries an acid debuff, which reduces the defense of enemies hit by it and makes attacks against weakpoints do greater damage.
  • Smooth Hair (Passive) – All Friends’ defense +10%

A cheap and decent support Friend that not only effectively gives everyone a 10% HP increase, but also tends to increase everyone’s damage output with an acid debuff. This makes her pretty valuable as a 1-cost-support Friend, but her major limiting factor is general fragility and inability to do almost any direct damage with her attacks. Should be supported by other attack-oriented Friends.

Sand Cat

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Support
  • Dig a Hole (Combat) – During combat, if not directly threatened, Sand Cat will use stamina to begin digging in place. Once finished digging there is a high probability of her finding a random item which will be spawned at her location. If directly threatened, Sand Cat will abandon digging and engage with her claws instead.
  • Thick Fur on Paws (Passive) – All Friends are immune to the effects of fire traps.

She’s cheap, she can do some combat, but most importantly she is a slot machine that turns up anything from a plaster to a yellow crystal. If you can keep her from the actual fight and focused on digging (with a distraction-oriented Friend like Toki or Kaban), she can turn up all kinds of useful things that can tilt fights in your favor. She can provide some direct combat support if directly engaged but is not very strong on her own. She is also a qt 3.14.

Row Two

Tsuchinoko

  • Deployment cost: 3
  • Primary Role: Ranged Combat
  • Riddle Eyes Beam (Combat, Ranged) – Tsuchinoko uses stamina to generate a beam attack with medium range and the capability of hitting multiple targets. In addition, the beam can hit the same target multiple times at once further increasing damage.
  • Pit Organ (Passive) – Serval can see cellins through walls.

Medium cost but fairly effective ranged attacker if you can keep the pressure off of her. If directly engaged she is quite fragile and will get stomped easily, but otherwise she can deal a ton of hits (and damage) pretty easily if left at a distance and free to shoot. Pit Organ comes in handy on most maps with high walls and lets you indirectly detect rooms and pathways via the presence of enemies.

American Beaver

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Ranged Combat
  • Dam Making (Combat, Ranged, Support) – Beaver will throw various shapes and sizes of wood during combat. The objects she throws persist after impacting and can physically block the movement of most enemy types and yourself for a short time.
  • Hair that Repels Water (Passive) – Friends are protected from the stamina and health damage incurred when falling off of the stage.

Her combat ability can sometimes leave you in a bad spot (with doorways blocked unless you jump over the barrier), but she can pretty easily and inadvertantly block cellins from walking up to you while throwing huge chunks of wood and benches at them. Most cellins are not smart enough to walk around or jump over barriers she purposefully or unintentionally erects which is a great benefit to you.

As for the drowning passive, her passive protects you and any other deployed Friends from the stamina damage or health damage when falling off open stages. Water normally only deals stamina, but later stage hazards like lava or atmospheric re-entry (yes, really) will sap almost all of your health too before you respawn.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Support
  • Bury Alive (Combat) – During combat, Prairie Dog obsessively digs as many holes as possible . Any cellin making contact with one of these holes is stunned for a short time and unable to move or attack, in addition to taking some damage.
  • Greeting (Passive) – When consuming Japari Buns, all Friends also heal for the same amount.

Her combat ability is somewhat strong for stopping most enemies dead in their tracks and she is usually capable of digging enough holes in a short time to saturate the area, but she lacks direct combat capability to capitalize on the stun generated. This requires other Friends to follow up on a vulnerable cellin, but this ability is useful to temporarily immobilize tough enemies and bosses and create an opening for your team.

Her passive is useful, but generally you want to save your Japari Buns to deploy or redeploy Friends instead of using them as a healing item, as other healing items already heal everyone on your team anyways.

Moose

  • Deployment Cost: 5
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • King of the Forest (Passive, Solo) – Moose has extremely high impact resistance and is virtually impossible to knock over.
  • Charge! (Passive) – Serval will break walls while running in Wild Release.

Your first heavyweight fighter, Moose has strong direct combat capability and a strong cost to deploy. She can go toe-to-toe with most cellins, jump-attacks occasionally for smacks on weak points, and overall has high health and damage output, but can still be overwhelmed if pressured too hard. Her passive is very useful to crush through walls to adjacent rooms or make a quick escape to the exit point if things are going south.

Lion

  • Deployment Cost: 5
  • Primary Role: Ranged Combat
  • Pride (Active) – When another Friend takes damage or Serval uses Just Dodge, Lion’s combat effectiveness increases.
  • Lounging (Passive) – Increases all Friends’ stamina recovery speed while not moving.

Your second heavyweight fighter, Lion also has good combat capability. The extent of her “Pride” ability is not clear, however, and she’s not as straightforward as Moose in that regard. Her passive makes it easier for winded friends to recover a large amount of stamina quickly, but won’t be as useful if everyone is constantly moving around. Uniquely she uses ranged attacks (similar to Serval’s Wave Attack which travels along the ground) to damage the enemy.

The Currybirds (Northern White-faced Owl & Eurasian Eagle Owl)

  • Deployment Cost: 4/4
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • 270 Degrees [Both] (Active) – The effectiveness of Just Dodge recovers faster when attacking.
  • Camouflage [Northern White-faced Owl] (Passive) – Duration of Invincibility Frames for all Friends +20%
  • Silent Flying [Eurasian Eagle Owl] (Passive) – Friends are approximately +5% more likely to attempt to dodge an attack.

I put both of these curry devils in their own header because they are very similar and not worth two different sections. The Curry Birds are both pretty effective in combat owing to their mobility and speed. Both of them will fly towards the enemy and attack from different directions, circling the enemy during attacks and incidentally can usually hit exposed weakpoints. Their passives both increase their own and everyone else’s survivability by making dodging more of an attractive option. They are somewhat expensive to deploy though, especially both of them.

As a note on Just Dodge, the ability reduces in effectiveness as you dodge subsequent attacks without dealing damage or waiting some time, eventually providing no bonus invincibility frames. The 270 Degrees ability makes Just Dodge recover faster than it normally does when attacking.

Margay

  • Deployment Cost: 1
  • Primary Role: Support
  • Voice Mimicry (Combat) – Margay uses stamina to imitate the cry of nearby cellins. Cellins within the area of effect are confused and stop attacking momentarily until attacked again or the effect ends.
  • Arboreal (Passive) – When Serval uses the Climb Tree ability, the floor map is automatically displayed as long as she remains in the tree (does not activate if the tree is not climbed using the climb tree action).

Cheap to deploy and a distraction character at best. Her passive is useful when lost in an area with climbable objects, but she lacks any direct combat capability and her distraction ability is usually serviced better by Kaban or Toki where possible.

Row Three

Flightless Birds (The PPP, Royal, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Humboldt, and Emperor Penguins)

  • Deployment Cost: 1/1/1/3/2
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat/Support
  • Bone Density, Symmetric Feather, Preen Oil Coating, Shake Off Saltwater, Counter-current Heat Exchange (Passive, Solo) – All of these abilities have the same effect – Ranged attacks against the penguins deal 50% less damage. This affects only the holder of the ability.
  • Creche [Royal] (Passive) – All Friends +10% maximum HP.
  • Lets Rock! [Rockhopper] (Passive) – All Friends +3% damage dealt.
  • Fly in the Sea [Gentoo] (Passive) – All Friends +10% movement speed.
  • Japari Bun Hunt [Humboldt] (Passive) – Defeated cellins have a +15% chance to drop a Japari Bun.
  • Huddling [Emperor] (Passive – All Friends are immune to the effects of ice traps.

To get this out of the way i’m just going to refer to each of these nerds by their nicknames because I cannot spell or pronounce Humboldt without looking it up every time. They’re referred to as Princess, Rocker/Iwabee, Gean, Hululu, and Koutei.

Each of these idols are not great to deploy individually as they lack any good direct combat ability and won’t last very long when pressured. Most of them are pretty cheap to deploy and offer very solid passives, however, so they can be good to pad out the rest of your team’s ability if you find yourself with some extra points.

Princess, Iwabee, and Gean all have good passives that are solid all of the time and don’t require you to do anything. Hululu’s passive is debatably useful at best, only if you are short on Japari Buns and need more and can also risk deploying her for three of them and risk getting her knocked out. Emperor’s passive is useful as ice traps are nasty and instantly suck the stamina of any Friend that steps on them, but she still requires two points to deploy and it may be better to suck it up.

All of these girls take half damage from ranged attacks which helps them survive a little bit longer then they would normally, but they also lack any ranged options of attack so they like to run up and slap enemies with their flippers a lot. As previously said, deploy them for their passives if you need them but try to keep them away from the front line. If pressured they can at least overwhelm isolated targets by themselves.

Ezo Red Fox

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • Fox Jump (Combat) – Attacks with a jumping headbutt which can multi-hit along her trajectory. Ezo is temporarily immobile upon ending her attack.
  • Sense Magnetic Field (Passive) – A HUD element of an arrow indicating the direction to the exit of the current floor is displayed.

Gaming fox.

Ezo’s passive is very useful if you find yourself pressed for time or unable to locate the exit to a floor as it will point you in the general direction of the exit without needing to climb a tree and see it or use another Friends’ ability (like Margay). Her attack is fairly useful as it can hit multiple enemies multiple times each and may hit exposed weakpoints due to the jump, but I find it tends to immobilize her a bit at the end of her jump which can leave her exposed to attack.

Silver Fox

  • Deployment Cost: 3
  • Primary Role: Ranged Combat, AOE
  • Homemade Explosive (Combat) – Silver fox uses stamina to throw a bomb which explodes on impact with a cellin or after a set time. Silver’s bombs will apply a random debuff of either slow or poison to any cellins hit by the explosion.
  • Dispensing (Passive) – All items that recover HP recover +10% more HP when used.

Fox gaming.

Silver is a surprisingly effective ranged combat Friend helped largely by her ability to debuff enemies with her explosives. The slow and poison both provide support against tough enemies that can make them significantly easier to take down without relying on external factors (like the location of where Prairie Dog dug her holes). Her Passive is also solidly useful to bolster the effectiveness of any healing items you may have to use. All of this tied into only a medium-cost deployment of 3.

Campo Flicker

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Support, Healer
  • Nice Room (Combat) – During combat, Campo creates a circle at her current location with a random buff that affects all Friends within its area. These buffs persist for a few seconds before fading away.
  • Renovation (Passive) – All Friends are immune to the damage and effects of spike/needle traps.

Despite having zero combat ability, Campo is relatively cheap and insanely useful during combat as her buff circles provide substantial benefit to those within them. If you can adapt your play around the circles when they appear, it can be very useful to supplement your damage output. The circles have the following effects:

  • Yellow Circle – Heals all Friends except Campo herself for a small percentage each second.
  • Red Circle – Greatly increases the damage output of all friends within.
  • Green Circle – Greatly increases the stamina recovery rate of all friends within.

Green circles especially can near-instantly recover stamina faster then you can use it, and red circles provide a substantial damage increase which makes lingering around these two in particular very useful. Campo herself tends to try to stay nearby you and is very fragile, so she can often get slapped by an errant attack and knocked out entirely. Keep an eye on her if you can.

Protip, use dodge+special to gather all of your deployed friends on top of a buff circle placed in an advantageous location to make full use of it.

Row Four

Gray Wolf

  • Deployment Cost: 3
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat, Support
  • Howling (Combat) – During combat, Gray Wolf occasionally howls which decreases the damage dealt by all cellins nearby for a short time.
  • Keen Nose (Passive) – The contents of a container are displayed overtop of them prior to being broken open. This also reveals if cellins are hiding in a container.

Gray Wolf has decent combat capability and extends the longevity of your team by reducing attack power of nearby enemies, though this usually isn’t enough to meaningfully turn the tide by itself. Her passive is quite useful to check and see if opening a container is a waste of time or not, but overall her medium deployment cost with only average combat ability tends to get her overlooked in favor of other Friends with passives that are more useful outside of normal floors, especially during boss fights.

Reticulated Giraffe

  • Deployment Cost: 3
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat, AOE
  • Necking (Combat) – During combat, Giraffe swings her muffler in a wide area, damaging all nearby enemies.
  • Wonder Net (Passive) – Increases the impact resistance of all friends

Giraffe is a solid choice against a large number of relatively weaker opponents as her muffler swings in a big area, but otherwise she has average combat ability and her passive isn’t as useful as it could be for a medium deployment cost.

Golden Snub-nosed Monkey

  • Deployment Cost: 4
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • Magic Staff (Combat) – Monkey attacks by quickly propelling her staff forward, automatically striking exposed weakpoints for high damage.
  • Allonursing (Passive) – All Friends recover from debuffs faster.

I’m just going to call her Goku. Goku is your third heavy-hitter and excels at sniping hard-to-reach weakpoints easily and has strong combat capability. This makes her very useful at reliably dealing with enemies that have hard to hit weakpoints, but she finds herself not as effective against enemies without them. Still, her weakpoint-snipe move has a decent bit of range to it as well, so she’s very solid in that regard. Her passive is not extremely useful though, so that leaves a little to be desired.

Brown Bear

  • Deployment cost: 6
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • Strongest Bear Stamp (Combat) – Brown Bear consumes all of her remaining stamina to deliver an unbelievably heavy attack with high impact force that typically knocks the enemy down.
  • Hibernation (Passive) – All Friends take reduced damage from status effects and traps.

Your fourth heavy hitter with a high deployment cost. An all around solid fighter that can slap up most enemies, but she has high demands on her own stamina. Stamina-buffing medicine and passives (like Thoroughbred Medicine or Campo’s buff circles) can help bridge this deficiency and make her one of your strongest fighters. Her high deployment cost and lackluster passive leaves little room for other Friends to support, though.

Painted Wolf

  • Deployment Cost: 4
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • Tenacious Hunting (Combat) – Occasionally, Painted Wolf attacks with a rapid barrage of punches and a strong finisher.
  • Sneeze (Active) – For 10 seconds after Serval performs a Just Dodge, all deployed Friends deal +12% damage.

Painted Wolf is a decent fighter with a strong passive that can capitalize on your ability to dodge incoming attacks and benefit the whole team afterwards. Her only shortfall is a medium-high deployment cost and her direct combat ability lacking any stuns or other methods of interrupting enemy attack outside of direct melee. This makes her more vulnerable to attack then the other two hunters, Brown Bear and Monkey, since she also lacks ranged options.

Racoon

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Support (through direct combat)
  • Feel by Hands (Combat) – While attacking an enemy in melee, Racoon has a chance to steal a random item and drop it at her location.
  • Fighting Spirit (Passive) – While in Wild Release, increase the rate of health recovery by +20%. Also affects other Friends besides Serval in Wild Release if you have the Perfect Amulet.

Arai-san. Washbear. The ♥♥. Trash Panda. Garbage Gremlin.

Now that that’s out of the way, she’s an extremely risky version of Sand Cat and they are both marvelous slot machines. Arai has to be engaged in direct melee combat in order to liberate random items like Sand Cat does, but Arai can do it a lot more often if allowed to attack. The items seem to depend on the Cellin attacked (a boss like Dark Serval seems to generate Black Crystals a LOT more then other enemies), but for the most part she will pull out something useful almost all of the time. Occasionally she will produce healing orbs instead of an item which can be collected for some instant healing to the whole team.

Her downfall is she tends to get smacked around if engaged too long with the enemy and lacks actual direct damage ability. This can lead to her getting knocked out pretty frequently if left unattended.

Fennec

  • Deployment Cost: 2
  • Primary Role: Ranged Combat
  • Ball Play (Combat) – During combat, spawns and kicks a ball at nearby cellins. Balls will bounce off of nearby enemies, floors, and walls, and damage enemies anytime they hit.
  • Dry Tolerance (Passive) – The duration of any buff medicines lasts +10% longer.

Fennec’s passive is very useful during boss fights to squeeze some more time out of very useful medicines like Vampire Bat or Armadillo. Her combat ability is lacking, but with Giraffe’s medicine the balls have a wide hitbox and persist for quite a bit. She tends to stay at the edge of the fight so unlike Arai-san she doesn’t usually become the focus of a cellin’s ire.

Another Serval

  • Deployment Cost: 10
  • Primary Role: Direct Combat
  • Sacrifice (Passive) – When Another Serval is defeated in combat, she sacrifices herself and fully heals all other deployed Friends, including Serval. If Serval is defeated and Another Serval is deployed, Another Serval will sacrifice herself to revive Serval instead. The latter method does not heal all other Friends on the field.

I am just going to call her “Punished Serval” because she is from the timeline where everyone she knew died and cellins overran everything and killed everyone except her. That’s kinda the toughest of breaks.

Punished Serval, as the name would imply, is a near-duplicate of Serval in combat capability and general abilities. Punished Serval can use all of the special abilities and equipment that Serval can, including the Pile Attack, Spin Attack, Screw Attack, and Bolt Attack, although her versions of the attacks are slightly different compared to Serval’s.

Overall she is extremely strong in combat and comes with built-in revives for you and the rest of your team depending on who dies first. Her downside is the astronomical deployment cost which leaves very few friends able to be deployed alongside her without penalty. She is also quickly removed from play if you mess up and die, requiring another 10 Japari Buns to deploy again, so be careful.

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