Chocobo

Chocobo

A is a fictional, large, and normally flightless galliforme/ratite bird capable of being ridden. This species is a staple of the Final Fantasy series. While most chocobos are normally yellow, certain rare breeds are of different colors and have special abilities, such as crossing mountains or flight. An even rarer, more extreme variant is the Fat Chocobo (or Chubby Chocobo), which resembles a morbidly obese yellow or white chocobo and can humorously stock the party's items in its stomach or appear randomly when summoning a chocobo in battle. Chocobos have occasionally been sighted as lightly armored war mounts. In such cases they can assist their riders with their beak and claws. Overall, the species is a very versatile and useful bird which comes in handy since horses are either untamed or non-existent in the Final Fantasy games. The onomatopoeia for a chocobo's call is and is sometimes replaced with "wark" in English translations.

Chocobos first appeared in Final Fantasy II and have been featured in almost all subsequent Final Fantasy games since, as well as making cameo appearances in numerous non-Final Fantasy games. A spin-off series featuring chocobos has also been created.

Creation and influence

The chocobo was created by Koichi Ishii, a video game director who worked on various Final Fantasy titles. The influence for chocobos was from Kyorochan, a character in television advertisements for Morinaga & Company's chocolate candy, which is also a bird with the call of "kweh". Morinaga has also released a tie-in product Chocobo no Chocoball (Chocobo's Chocoball). The Chocobo design is said to be based on Hayao Miyazaki's Horseclaws, which appear in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Appearances of chocobos

Most chocobos dwell in forests (although those from Final Fantasy VII live in grasslands and snowfields). While timid in the wild, and vicious if threatened, they tame rather easily and act as vehicles as well as quick and effective cavalry. In this role they tend to be capable of crossing shallow water and are noted for their high speeds. Most often they can be caught in the wild and ridden without fear of random encounters, escaping after the player dismounts. A frequently occurring food for chocobos (usually used to help tame the bird) are Gysahl Greens, which are named after a town in Final Fantasy III. The food is occasionally incorrectly translated as "Gishal". Final Fantasy V was the first installment to have chocobos play a role in the plot. Boko (sometimes translated as Boco) went on to become a recurring chocobo name in later installments.

Within Final Fantasy XI, the raising and breeding of chocobos was a long-requested activity, and was enabled in the Summer 2006 update. Chocobo racing began in March 2007. Players were allowed to race player-raised chocobos against non-player characters. Winning racers earn "Chocobucks", which can be used to buy items that assist chocobo breeding.

Chocobos have appeared in all numbered installments except the first, in addition to Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Chocobos appear as a summon in Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy VIII. Fat Chocobo appears in Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy IX. A chocobo by the name of "Boko" appears in Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy Tactics. The Black Chocobos (that can only land in forest) can only be found on holy ground, and are found in Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest features several chocobo-shaped weather vanes in the town of Windia. In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles one can obtain the Chocobo Shield and the Chocobo Pocket items. In the animated sequel to Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, one of the main characters can summon pink, feather-less chocobos. In addition. Final Fantasy Adventure featured a chocobo egg which hatched to aid the player.

Chocobos are common in the anime series Final Fantasy: Unlimited, and one named Chobi joins the cast in their adventure. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children both have a couple of visual references to chocobos.

Chocobo series

Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon

is a video game made for the Sony PlayStation and Bandai WonderSwan and released only in Japan. The game is vaguely linked to the Final Fantasy series of adventures with the series' trademark mascot, the chocobo. The game is a roguelike dungeon crawl and part of the Fushigi no Dungeon series. The game consists of a chocobo wandering through randomly generated dungeons, picking up items and battling enemies. The PlayStation version is almost all sprite-based, with some polygon-based objects.

The title character in Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon is a yellow chocobo named , but the player can rename him. The layout of the game consists of three dungeons: A ten-level dungeon, a 30-level dungeon, and an infinite dungeon which recycles enemy types every 100 levels.

The game received a large fanbase due to its tie-in to the Final Fantasy franchise as well as some animation and effects such as summoning the mainstay creatures of the series, including Ifrit and Bahamut in super deformed style. This game marks the solo composing debut of Masashi Hamauzu, who prepared both the soundtrack and an arrangement album named Coi Vanni Gialli. As of March 31 2003, the PlayStation version has shipped 1.14 million copies in Japan, according to Square Enix.

Chocobo's Dungeon 2

Chocobo's Dungeon 2, originally released in Japan as is the 1998 PlayStation sequel to 1997's Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon. Unlike its predecessor, Chocobo's Dungeon 2 was released in North America in late 1999. This localization was simply titled Chocobo's Dungeon 2. In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, the player controls a chocobo named Chocobo. The game is part of the Fushigi no Dungeon series.

In this game, the mazes for the dungeons are randomly-generated, though certain portions have specific patterns, such as the mazes and rooms in Cid's tower. This means that each time the player enters the same dungeon, the path through the maze will be different, although the same items and monsters will be encountered.

In the beginning of the game, Chocobo can only carry a few items. If he dies in the dungeon, the player loses all accumulated items and must start over. As the game progresses, the player will be able to rent storage space in town and send extra items there. Items in storage are not lost if the character dies.

Chocobo can be equipped with various saddles for armor, and strap-on claws for weapons. There are also special furnaces where the player can forge unique weapons and Recycle Boxes where the player can combine items to get a new, randomly produced item. There are also feathers which provide various special abilities. Items can also be bought and sold in town.

There are several secondary characters, most of which will be recognizable to Final Fantasy veterans, including Final Fantasy mainstay Cid, a young white mage girl, Shiroma, and Mog, a moogle. Chocobo can also assume the form of some of the monsters from the game if he steps on certain traps.

If the player lets the credits run at the end of the game, he or she will then be given the ability to play a new form of the game where it is possible to play any of the dungeons as one of the support characters. This second playthrough also has a secret dungeon with 30 levels.

There are many characters in Chocobo's Dungeon 2, and each of them helps Chocobo in a different way at one point in the game. For example, Mrs. Bomb lets Chocobo stay at her house.

Some characters join Chocobo and can be controlled by a second player or the AI. These include Mog, Shiroma, and Cid. There are also characters that Chocobo can summon by collecting feathers, such as Titan, Sylph, Ramuh, and Bahamut.

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 is mostly based in a village. There is a beach near the village and a vast sea. Towering over the village is a large tower covered in ivy, Cid's Tower. North of the village is a huge forest, a swamp and a looming mountain, Snow Mountain. When progressing through the game, the overworld changes a few times.

At the start of the game, Mog takes Chocobo treasure hunting. They enter a monster-filled dungeon, and Mog flicks a switch that separates him from Chocobo. Chocobo then meets the white mage Shiroma. She claims she has important work to do in the dungeon and leaves. Then Chocobo reenters the dungeon and finds Shiroma again. Shiroma decides to help Chocobo find his friend Mog. They succeed but due to Mog's greed he ends up sinking the dungeon into the sea and destroying Shiroma's home, forcing them to go to a nearby village where Shiroma's "Aunt Bomb" lets Mog and Chocobo stay; however, Shiroma is then kidnapped and Chocobo must save her. Chocobo gets the help of the local inventor Cid after helping him clear out the imps taking over his tower.

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 was received with generally negative reviews, such as IGNs 6.5 rating, and calling the game "boring" and "It lacks just about every feature that is important in a masterful role-playing experience".

Chocobo World

Chocobo World is a PocketStation mini-game released as part of Final Fantasy VIII.

Chocobo Collection

is a compilation release of three games released for the PlayStation in 1999. It was released as a 10th anniversary to the first appearance of the Final Fantasy series chocobo mascot in 1988's Final Fantasy II. Although one of the games had received a stand-alone release in North America, the collection was only released in Japan. The games in the collection include:

Hataraku Chocobo

is a WonderSwan occupation simulation game developed by Square Co., Ltd. in 2000. はたらく (usually: 働く, romanized: hataraku) means work, labor, or practice; an accurate translation of the title might be "Chocobo on the Job". Its soundtrack was composed by Yoko Shimomura. It was not released outside of Japan.

Chocobo Land

is a remake of the original PlayStation game Dice de Chocobo, a board game-based video game and spin-off title in the Final Fantasy series. This remake was released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2002.

The player acts the role of Chocobo, who is trying to beat this board game world in order to return his friends and himself to the real world. From the overworld map, the player can select the region to play in. Each region has its own board design and opponent; as the player progresses through the game, they will face more (up to three) computer controlled opponents at a time. Replaying a region after completing it for the story earns the player more playing pieces.

The style of play for Chocobo Land is very reminiscent of Monopoly. The player begins each match on Start, which is a round space with a rainbow-colored border. They are given a certain amount of Crystals and the option of buying the pieces they would like to start with (in the first match, the player will only be able to buy Carbuncles).

Chocobo Land is notable for being the first Square game developed for a Nintendo system since Treasure Hunter G in 1996.

Choco-Mate

A mobile game titled Choco-Mate was released sometime before 2003.

Chocobo de Mobile

is a mobile game released on 14 December 2006. This title has been released only in Japan, and features mini-games such as baseball and racing.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales was released for the Nintendo DS.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon (Wii)

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon was released for the Wii in Japan and was released in the United States on July 8, 2008.

Cid to Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Toki Wasure no Meikyū DS+

Square Enix has announced it will bring the Wii game Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon to the Nintendo DS in Japan in fall 2008. It will feature a new story line centering on the character of Cid, as well as new jobs for characters to learn.

Square Enix has announced that the game will be released in Japan on October 30th.

Chocobo to Mahō no Ehon: Majō to Shōjo to Gonin no Yūsha

The sequel to Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales; the title translates to "Chocobo and the Magic Picture Book: The Witch, the Girl, and the Five Heroes". The game's producer said that, unlike other Chocobo games, the adventure would take place in a picture book.

Other appearances

Chocobos are also a common sight in other Squaresoft and Square Enix games, notably in the Mana series. A chocobo serves as a mount in Seiken Densetsu (Final Fantasy Adventure), and is later changed into a 'Chocobot'. It was removed from the 2003 remake Sword of Mana in favor of the 'Cannon Ball Travel' which originated in Secret of Mana; however, a chocobo can be seen in Sword of Mana by waiting for a certain period of time after the completion of the game. Wild black chocobos appear as monsters in Legend of Mana, while tame yellow chocobos can be hatched by the player from eggs to assist in battle. Chocobos also appear in Seiken Densetsu: Friends of Mana.

In Secret of Evermore, a Chocobo Egg is a rare item. In Kingdom Hearts, there is a Keyblade/keychain and a Gummi Ship design that are both named and modeled after a chocobo; there is also a drawing of a chocobo in the cave on the Destiny Islands. In Parasite Eve, a banner depicting a chocobo hangs over the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History, while a chocobo skeleton can be found nearby. In Tobal 2, a chocobo is obtainable as a combatant. Web-based minigames starring Chocobos are also featured on Square Enix's member site.

References to the chocobo have also been made in non Square Enix video games and fictions. In Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete, a blue chocobo-like creature drives the wagons of the traveling circus Carivan. The red dragon Ruby mentions it was a chocobo, but quickly changes it into "Chuckoboo". Battle for Wesnoth features a skeletal "Chocobone" unit. The November 2007 Monthly Collectable for GaiaOnline features a pose that allows users' avatars to "ride" a very chocobo-like bird. In World of Warcraft, two racial mounts, the Blood Elf Hawkstrider and the Gnome Mechanostrider, both bear close resemblance to chocobos. The Korean MMORPG Ragnarok Online features a mount for the Knight and Crusader classes that strongly resembles a chocobo called a Peco-Peco. The browser-based game Kingdom of Loathing features the Cocoabo familiar, a chocobo-shaped creature apparently made of cocoa. Chocobos have been parodied in several webcomics including VG Cats, RPG World as Dragobos, 8-bit Theatre, and Weebl and Bob.

In Gaia Online, a monthly collectible with 3 different animals includes a chocobo known as Roc the firebird.

Music

The chocobo signature theme is an upbeat ditty that is present in one form or another in all Final Fantasy games since their introduction in Final Fantasy II, frequently as variants or remixes: for instance, the Final Fantasy VII chocobo races have a frantic version, while the futuristic Final Fantasy VIII has a more modern one. These songs are titled with the suffix "de Chocobo" and prefixed by the name of the style in which they are played. For example, "Techno de Chocobo" from Final Fantasy VI's PlayStation release features a dance remix, while "Cinco de Chocobo" from Final Fantasy VII features a jazz remix (in 5/4 time, cinco being Spanish for the number five). A newer version of the theme, titled "Swing de Chocobo", was created by Nobuo Uematsu for the concerts VOICES and Play!. It has performed by a number of different orchestras between 2005 and 2007.

Reception and legacy

Rules for using yellow and black chocobos in Dungeons & Dragons were published in the September 2004 issue of Dragon magazine. Boko, the Chocobo from Final Fantasy V, was voted by joystiq the 20th most desired character to be placed in the new Final Fantasy fighter game Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Music composed for chocobo appearances in the Final Fantasy games was used in the "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy" concert tour. Merchandise of chocobos has been released, including a rubber duck.

References

External links

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