What is a chocobo?
Chocobos are feathered birds originating from the Final Fantasy series. There are several kinds of chocobos. Yellow, green, blue, black, white, red, gold, and even a fat chocobo. Different types have different abilities in different games. These birds can be used as transportation in the series, but in many games within the series they double as a mini-game or tool to expand the range of the game.

A chocobo looks like a giant chicken or sometimes canary. They are about the same size of an ostrich, but the beak, feathers, and wings look more like a chicken's. They have long legs and necks and can be saddled in order to carry the people on its back. They also have different speeds and talents, but they all share the same lovable "Khew" and "wark". Most chocobos are colored yellow, but on occasions, you can find some colored, blue, red, black, white and gold. These variations are cause by location, random encounters, and even breeding where a player can change the colors of chocobo's from the basic yellow as well as their abilities.

Chocobos in Final Fantasy
The first sign of chocobos was in Final Fantasy II. The chocobo forest found south of Kashuon provides the player with chocobos to use for riding. Chocobos in Final Fantasy II were just used for transportation around the world map.

The chocobo then made its next appearence in Final Fantasy III. In Final Fantasy III, there are more than one chocobo access points. These are in the form of chocobo stables. Chocobo stables are found in nearly every major city on the world map. A chocobo could be rented for about 80 gold points. A rented chocobo could only be used on the world map to increase travel speed and decrease random encounters.

Final Fantasy IV was the first Final Fantasy to employ the chocobo for more than just world map speed. This is where chocobos had different uses based on their colors. The normal or yellow chocobo is still employed for basic transportation. The white chocobos, which are more rare than the yellow chocobos restore MP to the player's party. This can also heal the player's party by using the gained MP to power a white mage to heal your party. Talking to the chocobo restores your MP. Black chocobos are flying chocobos. These amazingly cool chocobos are the most rare and can only be found north of Troia Castle. The black chocobo can be flown around the world map rather than just walking about it. The fat chocobo, like the one in Final Fantasy III, lets you store items except you use Gysahls to call on them. Chocobos can also be used in summoning in Final Fantasy IV by Rydia. This is actually the first summon ability learned by Rydia.

Final Fantasy V again uses the chocobo as a means of transportation. In Final Fantasy V, the hero, Bartz, has a chocobo as a friend. Boco, bartz's chocobo friend, is an essential part of the story. Chocobo is the weakest summon of this game. There is a black chocobo in this game with the ability to fly, but oddly enough, it is a pinkish purple.
Props to Jay Digital

Final Fantasy VI is listed under Final Fantasy III whether you like it or not.

Final Fantasy VII introduces Final Fantasy players to the world of chocobo breeding. This side quest of breeding chocobos is time and money consuming but still worth it. Not only can a breeder get some great items such as the knights of the round materia (ultimate summon of FF7), but it is simply FUN. Sure, the actual breeding is difficult and hard to figure out, but the rewards are boundless. Once you master breeding, you can move anywhere on the world map. The gold chocobo, once spawned by the player's means, will become the player's ultimate transportation where he can travel over rivers, mountains, and even the oceans. This chocobo can go further than the airship due to the inability of the airship to land on forests. In this game chocobos are found in selected spots on the world map. They are denoted by chocobo prints. To lure a chocobo, the player must equip chocobo lure materia and feed the large birds in order to capture them. A stable is provided to store and breed chocobos. Chocobos can be raced for money and items at the Gold Saucer theme park. While only one race is required in the game, many are suggested.

In Final Fantasy VIII, there are chocobos found all around the world map. This allows players to capture chocobos with ease by aid of a whistle. Other than using chocobos for simple transportation, they are also used to dig up some items around the chocobo forest. The innovative part of Final Fantasy VIII is that it came with chocobo world, a mini-game which uses the pocketstation. The player can save their pet chocobos to the pocketstation and thus be transported to the chocobo world where it can then be played in a world of its own. This allows the player to obtain items and have fun fighting enemies. (Note: I have never played Final Fantasy VIII. All FF8 information was found using a google search for "chocobos".)

Final Fantasy IX brought back some of the interaction with chocobos which was lost in Final Fantasy VIII. The game added a mini-game, "hot and cold chocobo". In this game, chocobos are used to dig for items both in the world map as well as in the chocobo forests, chocobo lagoon, and air garden. Where the player is helped by the chocobo in his quest to save the world, the main character also helps chocobo in his quest to search the lost chocobo paradise and find the fat chocobo. Like in FF7, chocobos also level up but this time with the use of some treasures found in the world map. Chocobos will learn to cross rivers, shallow waters, mountains, and even the skies. There are chocographs, images depicting where to dig on the world map, scattered in chocobo forest, lagoon, and air garden. Most help you pinpoint the locations of the treasures, but all are very cryptic and some completely useless.

In Final Fantasy X, the use of the chocobo was made somewhat more base. Where in the previous three games the chocobo has had a world wide range with innovative abilities and extras, Final Fantasy X reduces this to a race type mini-game. In this the chocobo and rider must go through a variety of courses to reach a goal time. This unlocks new items and other levels for the chocobo to race on. The chocobo can also be used outside of the mini-game, but first must be trained to do so. This is easily done by talking to the chocobo trainer found in the calm lands. The down side of this is that the chocobo can only be used within the limited range of these Calm Lands. The real purpose of the chocobo, or so it seems, is finding items. Completing goals in the side races is rewarded with items, the faster a course is finished the better the item is. The chocobo is the key to finding Tidus' best weapon.

In Final Fantasy Tactics, chocobos are used as playable characters that take up a slot in your squad. They aren't units like the rest of your squad but rather monsters. The chocobos can be ridden by an of your units for mounted combat. A mounted unit moves much farther than a regular unit, and can use what ever type of movement the chocobo does (ex. flight). The biggest problem with chocobos is the fact that they will breed and take up an annoying amount of space in your list of units.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? /msg me
Most information is taken from personal experiances in Final Fantasy gaming, but to fill in some blanks I consulted google. So if anything is wrong on this, PLEASE inform me!

Another famous aspect of the ever-present Chocobo is its theme music. Since the Chocobo's first appearance in Final Fantasy III (Japanese 3, not US 3), it has been accompanied by this jaunty melody. Like the Chocobo itself, the song's melody has remained unchanged from game to game, although each game has its own interpretation of the song - some, like Final Fantasy VII, sporting several Chocobo themes.

Final Fantasy III: "Chocobo de Cue" was the original Chocobo theme, as my sources inform me that the Chocobo did not appear in any earlier Final Fantasy games. "Cue" or "Kue" is the sound a Chocobo makes, usually translated to the more recognisable "Wark!" (This game should not be confused with Final Fantasy VI, which was originally released in America named Final Fantasy III.)

Final Fantasy IV: To the best of my knowledge, this game's chocobo theme had no proper name. FF4 featured three Chocobo themes: the Chocobo Forest theme, the Chocobo theme proper and the Black Chocobo theme. One entry in my soundtrack names the Black Chocobo theme "Samba de Chocobo", while another calls it "Mambo de Chocobo"; I am not sure which (if either) is correct.

Final Fantasy V: "Go go Boco!" is a good old traditional Chocobo theme in this game, while "Mamba de Chocobo" is used when flying across the world map on the Black Chocobo.

Final Fantasy VI: "Techno de Chocobo" is the one and only Chocobo theme in this fantastic game. It's basically just a light techno remix of the original theme, and is used when riding a Chocobo about the world map.

Final Fantasy VII: FF7 has more Chocobo music than any of its predecessors - appropriate, since it features the Chocobo more strongly than any of them, allowing you to fight, summon, capture, train, breed, race and train Chocobos of various colours. The Chocobo songs in this game are "Cinco de Chocobo", "Electric de Chocobo", "Fiddle de Chocobo", "Waltz de Chocobo" and the Chocobo racing theme.

Final Fantasy VIII: As the Chocobo was relegated to a lesser role in the game, so was its theme music. FF8 features only two Chocobo themes, "Mods de Chocobo" and "Odeka ke Chocobo".

Final Fantasy IX: Again, this game features two theme, "Aloha de Chocobo" and "Ukelele de Chocobo". The style of either theme is obvious from the name, with Aloha de Chocobo featuring kettle drums and Ukelele de Chocobo sounding like a banjo.

Final Fantasy X: "Brass de Chocobo" is a jazz version of the song, featuring such instruments as trumpets and the saxophone. What, only one Chocobo song in this game? Outrage!

The recurring Chocobo theme is a fantastic example of the great variety that composer Nobou Uematsu is capable of. What he originally created as a simple tune, he has successfully redone in a number of styles, as evidenced by Ukelele de Chocobo, the electropoppy Odeka ke Chocobo, and the jazzy Brass de Chocobo. If it is the most popular of Final Fantasy's musical scores, this may be one of the biggest reasons for it, as each game's Chocobo theme is both familiar and innovative.

Several fan-made versions of this song exist, including the amusing Chocobo remix by Fanatics Tower of Power and the version by Joe Redfier which made its way into Joseph Blanchette's Chocobo flash anim. OCRemix (http://remix.overclocked.org) also has a number of Chocobo theme remixes. The Chocobo's popularity is such that EsperNet IRC Network even named one of their servers for it.

For those of you with a Nokia mobile telephone device, If you'd like the Chocobo theme as your ringtone, I spent far too much time recently developing my own. The following ringtone is, strictly speaking, FF7's Electric de Chocobo. Dropping the BPM to 125 fits both FF6's Techno de Chocobo or FF8's Odeka ke Chocobo (the electronic sounding one), both of which are essentially the same rhythym. I don't think Nokia phones can handle 150BPM (FF7's Fiddle de Chocobo), and FF9's Chocobo themes are in a different key.

Tempo: 160BPM

Keypresses (Nokia 3210 Composer):
28*, 0, 7**, 5, 3, 2*, 7**, 5, 7, 0, 5, 0, (hold 7)9, 68, 58, 0, 5, 6, 59, 4, (hold 5)9, 48, 58, 0, 5, 7, 29*, 3, (hold 4)9

RTTTL/Nokring (note: split across two lines to ensure it fits on the page):
8d6,8p,8b,8g,8e,8d6,8b,8g,8b,8p,8g,8p,b.,8a,16g,16p, 16g,16a,8g,8f,g.,8f,16g,16p,16g,16b,8d6,8e6,f.6

How it should appear on screen:
8d2 8- 8b1 8g1
8e1 8d2 8b1 8g1
8b1 8- 8g1 8-
4.b1 8a1 16g1
16- 16g1 16a1
8g1 8f1 4.g1 8f1
16g1 16- 16g1
16b1 8d2 8e2

A fan of role-playing games in both videogame and pencil-and-paper forms, I recently asked my DM if my summoner character could find or summon a Chocobo, to which he agreed on the skeptical condition that I could come up with stats for one. The following is my own take on the Chocobo as a creature in Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition.

Large Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 3d10+6 (22 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+10
Attack: Peck +6 melee (1d6+4)
Full Attack: Peck +6 melee (1d6+4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./ 5 ft.
Special Attacks: Chocobo kick
Special Qualities: Darkvision, low-light vision
Saves: Fort +5 Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 11, Cha 7
Skills: Listen +3, Spot +3
Feats: Endurance, Run
Environment: Any land
Organization: Solitary, pack (1-5), herd (4-12) or domesticated
Challenge Rating: 1
Advancement: 4-9HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

These friendly yellow-feathered birds resemble ostriches somewhat, but are tougher and have larger heads. They are easily trained as mounts, and are used similarly to horses. Chocobos do not speak a language, although they may understand the language of their trainer.

Chocobo kick (Ex): If the chocobo charges, he may make a slam attack dealing 2d4+3 damage. If it hits, the chocobo can attempt to trip the opponent (+3 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the chocobo.

Variant chocobos
Different versions of the chocobo can be made, based on the chocobos games where they have various special abilities. For example, to create an FFV Black Chocobo, simply give the standard chocobo a fly speed of 40ft (clumsy). To create chocobos with abilities such as Choco Cure, give them comparable spell-like abilities (such as cure moderate wounds 3/day), noting that powerful abilities should increase the creature's challenge rating. To create an FFVI Golden Chocobo, advance a chocobo to maximum HD and give it permanent spider climb and water walk abilities.

The No-Expenses-Spared Guide to Raising Chocobos

In Final Fantasy VII, Square's first game in the Final Fantasy series to be released onto the PlayStation, just about every common theme used in the series was given a spot of polish. Firmly established favourites such as moogles and chocobos, Ultima and Bahomut, and swords named Masamune all saw inclusion in the series' seventh outing. Of these, it is the chocobos that merit special mention.

Final Fantasy VII increases the humble chocobo's role substantially from previous games. Traditionally one of the games' mascots, chocobos are traditionally used as transport for our heroes, as well as sometimes as a summoned monster. Whilst fulfilling both these roles as before, Final Fantasy VII also offers the player to try their hand at raising their own chocobos, breeding those they catch in the hope of rearing more powerful and skilled birds. It's a little like Pokémon.

Now, raising chocobos is not as simple as just bringing together a Mummy chocobo and a Daddy chocobo who love each other very much. It will take an almost infuriating amount of time, commitment, and most of all gil. If, however, you want to be able to obtain some of the tastiest Materia available, this side-quest is a must. Of course, one doesn't have to do it, but it will make the game much easier (and is practically a necessity for beating Ruby and Emerald Weapon.)

The Chocobo Hunter's Essential Equipment
In order to be able to start the subquest, you'll need to have access to the Highwind, the game's airship, since it involves a lot of globe-trotting. Additionally, you'll need to be able to rent stables from the chocobo ranch. This makes this quest easiest to do on discs 2 and 3. With this in mind, you'll need the following:

  1. The Highwind. Being able to fly around the world means we can catch ourselves chocobo from specific locations with certain characteristics.
  2. Chocobo Lure Materia. This can be bought for 2,000gil on disc 1 from the Chocobo Ranch, or found on disc 2 for free at the same place. (Look around the fence) Equipping this allows us to find chocobos - it can't be done without.
  3. Lots and lots of money. You'll need to buy a lot of items such as Greens to feed your chocobos, and they cost a fair bit. Speaking of which...
  4. Sylkis Greens. These, when fed to your chocobos, will raise all their stats at once, and cost 5,000gil each. Expensive but easily worth the price. These can be bought from the Chocobo Sage, who lives on the Northern Continent in a small hut. Track him down and buy, buy, buy.
  5. Three Carob Nuts. These are used for breeding chocobos with. They can be either won from the Gold Saucer, or stolen from enemies - the monster Vlakorados, which can be found on the grass by the Sage's house, carries them.
  6. You'll also need one Zeio nut. These can be stolen from goblins, which live on an island covered with trees in the North-East of the world map.
  7. Finally, you'll need to rent some stables at the Chocobo Stables. Each stable can hold a single chocobo, and costs 10,000gil.

If you're in need of a large amount of money (and to buy enough greens costs a small fortune), there are a couple of quick ways you can raise some gil. A mastered All materia, if sold, will net you a huge amount. If you don't feel like selling this rather useful materia, however, provided you have enough Elixirs, you can defeat the Magic Pots in the Northern Cave for vast riches. Having the W-Item materia will make this significantly easier.

Gotta Catch 'em All: Getting yourself a chocobo
In order to be able to catch a chocobo, you need to equip the Chocobo Lure materia (see above for how to get hold of one). The higher its level, the greater your chances are of meeting one, though a freshly-acquired materia will be just fine for our purposes. (If you're desperate, you can master the materia in the usual way for 30,000AP.)

However, just equipping the materia is no good on its own. In order to meet a chocobo, you need to be in one of the areas they lurk naturally. These are shown on the World Map as claw prints; run around them for a while, and eventually you should be drawn into a random battle, hopefully with a chocobo standing amongst the enemies. (The music will also change to the chocobo theme, instead of the traditional battle theme)

These battles act as usual, however, there are some conditions. If you attack the chocobo, it will run away, so you want to avoid any attacks that target all opponents. Also, the chocobo will get bored quickly and simply walk off if you're not careful, so it's in your best interests to finish the battle quickly. (A chocobo can be distracted by giving it greens, which it will pause to eat while you continue fighting; this won't stop it running if you attack it, though)

If you succeed in killing everything but the chocobo, congratulations! You've caught yourself a yellow, oversized bird! Now on to the real fun...

Am I Hot Or Not? Which chocobos to go for
Our eventual aim is to breed a Gold Chocobo. "Why?", I hear you ask. Well, the different colour chocobos have unique abilities which makes breeding them a very tasty prospect.

  • The Yellow Chocobo is same as the chocobos you can catch on the World Map, and are good for transport, but not so hot at racing.
  • The Blue Chocobo is able to cross rivers and shallow water, and is a better racer than the yellow.
  • The Green Chocobo can run up hillsides and smaller mountains that Cloud can't clear on foot, and is better at racing than the yellow.
  • The Black Chocobo combines the abilities of the blue and green chocobos, and is significantly better at racing than the blue or green.
  • Finally, the Gold Chocobo can run anywhere on the World Map - even over oceans. It's also the fastest available racer.

Each of the coloured chocobo, bar the yellow, are able to access areas of the map that are unaccessible normally; these are typically hidden behind walls of hills, and on terrain the airship can't land on. Hidden in four caves on the World Map are unique materia, which makes going for the Gold Chocobo a significantly rewarding quest.

So how does one breed a Gold Chocobo? It's all in the genes...

Important: Save your game before you mate a pair of chocobos! If you don't get the result you want, you can always re-load and try again instead of having to wait for your chocobos to recover. It may take several tries, so be patient.

  1. Our first step is to catch a pair of chocobos from the Gold Saucer area. These should be "good" chocobos - when you move them into your stables, Choco Billy will say "This is a good chocobo", or something similar, but will explicitly say the word 'good'. If he says something else, discard that chocobo and catch another. We want a male and a female good chocobo.
  2. Next, head to the Mideel area, and catch another pair of chocobos - one male, one female, as before. This time, however, they need to be "great" chocobos. If not, keep trying until you've caught them.
  3. Feed each of your new chocobos 10 Sylkis greens, to raise their stats significantly above the base.
  4. Now, race your four chocobos at the Gold Saucer. Raising a chocobo's class will increase the chance that desirable genes are passed on; it will take three wins to raise a class, so after 6 wins you should be able to get a freshly-caught chocobo to class 'A'. Ideally, you want all four to reach 'A' class, but the "good" chocobos may only be capable of making it to 'B' class.
  5. Time to play matchmaker. Mate your "good" female and your "great" male chocobos, giving them a Carob nut. This should result in a freshly-hatched Blue chocobo! If not, reset and try again. Once you've got your blue chocobo, you can release the parents.
  6. Next, mate the "good" male and "great" female, again giving them a Carob nut. This time, you should be the proud owner of a brand new Green chocobo. Release the parents.
  7. If the genders of your new chocobos are not opposites, we won't be able to breed them, so if they're not, reload and try again.
  8. Again, feed the blue and green chocobos 10 Sylkis greens each to raise their stats, then race them up to 'A' class. Since the blue and green chocobos are significantly better racers than yellows, you should have much less trouble getting them up to 'A' class. Again, six wins apiece will be enough.
  9. Mate the blue and green chocobos, giving them - you guessed it - a Carob nut. I don't know quite what's in these nuts, but if you're lucky, you should be presented with a baby Black chocobo for your efforts. (If not: lather, rinse, repeat) What you do with the blue and green chocobos is up to you now; you can let them go or keep them.
  10. Feed and race your Black chocobo. This time, once you've gotten to class 'A', keep racing - three more wins will raise it to 'S' class, the pinnacle of chocobo development.
  11. Time to hop into the Highwind again - you need to catch one more chocobo. This needs to be a "Wonderful" chocobo, which can be found on the Northern Continent.
  12. Feed and race the Wonderful chocobo, bringing it up to 'S' class like the Black.
  13. Finally, save, and mate the Wonderful and Black chocobos, this time using the Zeio nut. If you're very, very lucky... a Gold Chocobo will be yours. Hurrah!

I've Got Chocobos
Now you're the proud owner of your chocobos, what do you do with them? Well, now you can go treasure hunting, since you now own a chocobo that can go everywhere.

As said before, there are four materia caves on the World Map that can be accessed by your Gold Chocobo. (3 of them can also be found using a blue, green, and black chocobo, but having the gold means you can get all four in one trip.)

  • North of North Corel, there is a river seperating a small piece of land with a cave entrance. Head there and enter the cave to find the HP<->MP materia.
  • South-East of Wutai is a mountain blocking a small peninsula with a cave entrance; in here, you'll find the Mime materia.
  • At the very far-East of the map, there's an island with a cave on it. Head inside and grab the Quadra Magic materia.
  • And finally, in the North-East of the World Map right at the top, there is a small island the Highwind can't land on. Inside there's a cave; walk inside to find the ultimate summon, Knights of the Round.
You can also use your Gold Chocobo to obtain Vincent's ultimate weapon and limit break. On the continent with the Gold Saucer, there is a waterfall that can be accessed by submarine; stroll up to it on your chocobo, dismount, and enter the waterfall via the left to find Lucrecia's cave. Come back after about 10 minutes, and you'll obtain Chaos and the Death Penalty.

The Other Way To Do It
There is another way to get a Gold Chocobo, however this may prove all but impossible without having already gotten one: defeat Ruby Weapon. This will net you the Desert Rose, which can be traded with a man in Kalm for a Gold Chocobo. This is not an easy thing to do at all.

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