When you first start playing LEGO: Legends of Chima Laval’s Journey, you notice that the characters are actually all animals. These animals are divided into nine different tribes: Lion, Eagle, Gorilla, Wolf, Rhino, Crocodile, Bear, Raven, and Nomad. Each tribe has several different animals within it which you can collect as you play through the game or unlock them once you find their tokens. The key to completing the game is understanding the abilities of each type of animal.
You begin the game with Laval, a Lion. Lions all share the Pounce and Roar abilities. They allow you to jump between parallel walls and break some objects. Be sure to use Roar whenever you see some bricks which have cracked icon on them to reveal bricks for building something or to reveal hidden items.
Eagles are a great compliment to Lions. All can Glide across gaps or open areas by flapping their wings. In addition, they all carry a weapon that can fire at targets at a distance—most have the Sharpshooter ability that allows you to hit specific targets. The Homing Attack is a jump attack that targets nearby enemies. Finally, Eagles can transfer power between Tech Swap Nodes in the game to activate places.
Like the Lions, Gorillas can Roar to break specific things. In addition, they can water grow spots to Grow plants that help them get over barriers or access secret areas. They can Power Punch red switches to activate things and swing across poles to get to places no other animal can.
Wolves come in handy with their Dig ability. At dig spots they can uncover items or access hidden areas. With their keen sense of smell, they can Track a path to reveal spots—which often also require digging. Finally, the can Roar.
Rhinos can Roar and use their strength to break solid rock. The Charge Attack lets them charge at enemies or rock walls to break through. The Rock On ability is a jump attack. When the Rhino lands, it creates a rock barrier around itself that can resist attacks and even destroy some traps. Rock On also breaks through rock areas in the ground to get to underground places.
Crocodiles can Swim across the surface of water and even Dive underwater to access areas no other animals can. While underwater, they can do a Spin Jump that launches them out of the water to get to items or places high above the surface. Their tough scales Resist Toxin so they can move through green, toxic goo without taking any damage.
Like Crocodiles, Bears can Swim across the surface of water. While they can also Roar, their unique ability is Fishing. Look for fishing poles near water and use a Bear to fish out useful items or collectibles from the water.
Ravens are another bird tribe and so can Glide. Most also carry ranged weapons. However, their special ability to Pick Locks lets you find collectibles during Free Play mode.
There are three Nomad animals. They do not really fit into any of the other tribes. However, they are very useful. Skinnet is a Skunk that has the Sharpshooter ability, can Crawl through small hatches, and can double jump using his smelly propulsion. Furtivo the Fox can Climb up some objects to get to higher locations as well as Crawl. Finally, Dom de la Woosh has the Sharpshooter ability and the Dazzle ability that distracts nearby enemies so they are easier to attack.
Chi is a new feature in LEGO: Legends of Chima Laval’s Journey that can affect animals and their abilities. After completing the first level—Spiral Mountain—Chi orbs are scattered around the various areas of the land of Chima. They can be released by destroying plants and other objects as well as by defeating some enemies. Later on, you can absorb Chi from glowing rocks and plants. Once you have gathered enough Chi, you can choose to use it to power up one of your animals for a short amount of time. When an animal is powered up, it can pull handles and use its abilities on special objects. These objects glow to let you know that they require a Chi power to be manipulated. In addition, while powered up, animals can move faster and have more powerful attacks. You can also instantly power up at Chi pads.