|Missile/Ranged||None / Explosive[Note 2]|
|Passive||Inspiration: While Kenji is fighting, has a chance to give bonus damage to nearby allied units.
Instant Hit: Like the Musketeer, Kenji's ranged attack never misses. (Only available on his second outfit and third outfit.)
Kenji Oja, also known as "the Serpent's Son", is the last heir to the throne of the Serpent Clan. He has an older brother named Taro who is a prideful coward that often pretends to be more powerful than he truly is. Kenji is also a direct descendant of Tarrant the Elder, the famous Serpent Clan leader who led his people away from a life-threatening force that mysteriously appeared from the north and who miraculously formed the protective island where the inhabitants of Battle Realms currently reside.
As a child, Kenji was known as "Little Dragon" for his fiery debates with his father, Lord Oja, who ruled over the Serpent people in a somewhat less honorable manner than Tarrant and his other ancestors once did. Whether he viewed his father's rule as merely ineffective or outright dishonorable is up for debate, and he made no secret about his misgivings. When Kenji was seen hovering over the body of his father's bloody corpse that one fateful night, he was immediately blamed for the murder of his father, and to avoid certain death Kenji fled the Serpent Clan for a self-imposed exile that lasted nearly seven years.
Kenji recently returned to his homeland to set things right... Although what Kenji Oja now classifies as "right" is anyone's guess.
While on his way back into the homeland, Kenji sees a peasant telling him to run from Shinja's men before fleeing the scene. The Bandits soon make their apperance, spot Kenji and tell him to slay some villagers if Kenji is interested in joining Shinja's "band" of bandits.
It is at this point where Kenji must decide the fate of his journey and his own moral path...
From the testimony of Keiji Muranaka, Oja Household Servant
Understand me - we had no choice but to act as we did. What we saw that night.... Well, it was past midnight, and the Dragon's Tail was already deep in the sky, and the second watch stood drowsing at their posts. I had just finished refilling the lamps.
Our lord had not been sleeping well lately, since our break with the Lotus Clan and Lord Zymeth. Tensions were high everywhere. Kenji came to talk with Lord Oja and the guards sent him in. Kenji often came to converse with his father - he never tired of trying to see his side of things, though he never could.
Lord Oja's bodyguards heard a kind of gasp, and something that might have been a gust of wind rustling the trees, though the night was still, and as dark and hot as a kiln. Then a wet sound they did not like at all.
When we crowded in... the boy was 14, if that, still awkwardly growing into a man's size. In the yellow lamplight we could see his whole body shaking as he stood over his father's body. He held the sword, blood running off it onto his hands. What were we to believe? His father's corpse was mutilated, struck six or seven times, the right arm half-severed. Kenji's hands shook so badly, blood from the sword spattered the wall.
It was a second or two before anyone could move. But even in that state of shock, surely the worst moment of his life, Kenji was thinking; he knew instantly what everyone in the room was about to do. Even at 14 he had the instincts of a battlefield commander. He was half-suspected of treason even before that night. The watch was still shaping the words, "Take him!" when Kenji began to move.
As he turned he shifted his hands on the sword-hilt -- from clutching it like a wood-axe, he slid into a fighting grip. Pivoting on the balls of his feet, he spun 270 degrees and made a diagonal cut through the wall behind him, paper and thin lacquered wood. Then he was gone into the night.
Later we heard he had scaled the outer wall and crawled silently through a mile of tall grass, with men and horses charging through the countryside around him - one horse came within an inch of crushing his hand. He lived for a week with a sympathetic poacher, while Shinja's picked guardsmen fruitlessly hunted in wider and wider circles. Dresses as a peasant he went south on foot through the Lowlands to the seaside, where he bought a fishing boat and sailed south to lands we do not know of. His exile lasted seven years.
Again, it is not as if we had no reason to suspect him! His quarrels with his father were long-standing and public. Kenji was... we called him Little Dragon. "Little," because he was always two years younger than his brother Yukio, the heir to the Serpent Clan leadership. "Dragon" because he knew it and would never accept it -- he would always work twice as hard as anyone else in his efforts to outdo his brother, and when he did we would hear about it for weeks. He loved Yukio though -- when his brother led the search for him, I was glad he was not there to see.
When he fought with his father he did so fiercely, but without anger. Many sons, especially younger sons, bear a grudge against their fathers, but not Kenji -- He did not hate his father, but when his father burned a hamlet, or cut off a poacher's hand, Kenji felt it in a way his father never did. He disagreed and never tired of questioning his father about the rights and wrongs of governing, about the other Clans, and the history of the Dragon.
When he came back times had not improved. Seven years of border flare-ups and veiled threats between the clans, and the death of Kenji's brother, had done no good for the Serpent Clan. Our provinces were festering, breeding famine and plague; bandit gangs were forming, made up of farmers burnt or raided out of their homes. Otomo and Shinja both helped keep order, but we needed a leader.
When I saw Kenji I knew him at once. For seven years there had been rumors, of his death or his return, so my hopes were not high. But yes, this was the Little Dragon, or what he had become. There was a calm in him I had never seen before -- he had learned to harness the restless motion in that long frame of his, and focused it. And there was danger in him too -- he had not forgotten his father's death, fleeing his homeland while his father's killer walked free.
I knew Otomo would rally to him, maybe Shinja, maybe Garrin. Given our history, he was the only man who could take control of our clan now. And so all depended on what kind of man he turned out to be.|From the testimony of Keiji Muranaka, Oja Household Servant
Kenji's Journey (Dragon Path)
|"The darkness will always be out there, trying to make us afraid. But we'll hide no longer. We face the future a united land. I am Kenji, Lord of the Dragon Clan. It's time to make the shadows afraid."|
— Kenji Oja
After a tiring battle, the peasants manage to rout the bandits, thanks to Kenji's aid. Kenji then meets Otomo, his old friend and mentor, though a peasant recognizes Kenji as a murderer exclaiming that "He killed his own father!". Otomo apologises for the peasant's behaviour (and reprimands the peasant), and invites Kenji to take tea in his house, an offer Kenji accepts.
In the aftermath of the ensuing discussion they decide that they must free the people from Shinja's Band of Bandits and the other Clans fighting over the rest of the land.
Kenji's Journey (Serpent Path)
|"I am Kenji, Lord of the Serpent Clan, and my ancestor broke the world. For two centuries, my people hid, praying for the Dragon's protection. But the Dragon was only a myth. The meek and useless are all gone now. The last of the cowards died with the traitor Otomo. We are purified at last. It's time to make the shadows afraid."|
— Kenji Oja
Although the peasants try to fight off the bandits, they are helpless when Kenji joins the fight. With no mercy being given from neither Kenji nor the Bandits, the village is burnt to the ground and sacked. The Bandit Captain of the assaulting group recognizes Kenji as the heir to the Serpent Throne and offers his allegiance (and the allegiance of his men), which Kenji accepts.
Kenji then decides that he will rule the entire land and all its peoples with an iron fist, due to his belief that Shinja's and Otomo's rivalry and strife has weakened the Serpent Clan.
Outfits & Fighting Styles
Kenji goes through three different changes in both the Dragon & Serpent storylines:
- Kenji's first appearance is that of a lone traveler, wearing peasant clothes, a straw hat, and a backpack with a bedroll where he places his sword.
- His second outfit goes for a military look; discarding the hat while wearing a shoulder plate, shinguards, a back scabbard, and a handguard for his sword. Kenji also carries a new flintlock pistol, giving him a ranged attack.
- Kenji's third and final form depicts him as a traditional Japanese warrior. His Dragon outfit consists of straw sandals, a kimono and hakama. His Serpent outfit discards the kimono and goes bare chested, exposing a serpent back tattoo. He places his katana inside a scabbard at his side, and still carries the same gun.
- As a traveler, Kenji's fighting style consists of jumping stabs, simple slashes, and jab-somersault-spinning slash combos.
- In his second form, Kenji unleashes flurries of weak attacks instead of decisive and strong individual attacks. His pistol makes up for this by enabling him to fight from afar and attack while placed on a watchtower.
- In his third form, Kenji's fighting style is now that of a Samurai, unleashing quick, hard-hitting slashes, jabs, and a jab-kick combo. He favors unsheathing his blade quickly, striking fast, then resheathing. He still retains his gun for long range attacks.
Kenji will inspire his allies after successfully executing these three attack animations:
- In his first form, the jab-somersault-spinning slash combo
- In his second form, leftward slash-rightward slash-spinning kick combo.
- In his third form, the jab-kick combo.
After receiving the Dragon's spirit in the Dragon Clan campaign, Kenji acquires a glowing aura, high stamina, greater resistances, and overwhelming attack power & hitpoints.
- Kenji's name is Sino-Japanese and his name's meaning changes with the kanji combination used to match the pronunciation. The most-commonly-used kanji combination is "健次," meaning "healthy next [son]," a fitting name considering that Kenji is the second-born.
- In the original Battle Realms, only Kenji changes his outfit several times. As of Winter of the Wolf, so do Grayback and Longtooth. One may count Taro in, yet Taro's original model is unplayable and has no attack animation.
- Kenji is only playable in the original Battle Realms Campaign, Kenji's Journey, excluding modified Skirmish games.
- Data found on file Battle Realms.dat indicates that Kenji's critical strike deal 160 Piercing damage as bonus damage, and thus, it is subject to the opponent's resistance against Piercing attack.
- When idling in his 2nd outfit, Kenji will perform a fighting exhibition, formally bowing once it's done.
- Kenji's 2nd and 3rd form have lower resistances against Cutting and Blunt compared to Kenji's 1st form.
- In all vanilla versions before Battle Pack 3 and WotW, Kenji's first form has equal health points (450) - whether Dragon or Serpent. Yet in Battle Pack & Winter of the Wolf, Serpent Kenji's first form has 25 health (700) more than Dragon Kenji's first form (675). As for the second and third form, Dragon & Serpent versions have equal health points.
- Kenji is one of few units that does not have any obvious weakness; he only takes 50-100% from all six damage types (in modded games, opponents will see a silver sword when hovering their cursor over him, never a golden sword, which indicates that he will receive extra damage).
- Kenji is indirectly mentioned in Winter of the Wolf. When Grayback confronted Taro, the Wolf Clan leader struck a deal with him and mentions that he is as quick-witted as his brother. Grayback replied that he hopes Kenji's wits would outlive Taro. Ironically, this was the fate of the two in the original Battle Realms, as Taro was dead by this time and Kenji survived.
- "I move"
- "Over there!"
- "(Grunting voices)"
- "For the Serpent!"
- "Face your master!"
- "For the clan!"
- "Blood and honor!"
- "I seek the enemy!"
- "I hunt!"
- "Take that!"
- "Evil DOG!"
- "Taste Steel!"
- "No Mercy!"
- "The Dragon strikes!"
- "Feel the Dragon's Power!"
- "Learn your place!"
- "Oh, Did that hurt?"
- "The Serpent strikes!"
- "Bow to me!"
- "Oh, I'm sorry"
- "My thanks"
- "I can't die..."
- "I have failed"
- "My people..."
- "This can't be...the end"
|Battle Realms Zen Masters and Characters||WOTW only|
|Dragon||Kenji • Otomo • Kazan • Arah • Garrin • Tao||Teppo|
|Serpent||Kenji • Shinja • Budo • Utara • Vetkin • Necromancer||Taro|
|Lotus||Zymeth • Koril • Issyl • Soban • The Three Brothers (Lythis, Tausil, Sekh)||Yvaine|
|Wolf||Grayback • Longtooth • Shale Lord • Gaihla||Wildeye|
|NPC||Tarrant • Nightvol|
- ↑ The rice cost of his first, second, and third costume.
- ↑ Missile damage is only available in his second and third costume.