‘Final Fantasy’s Yellow, Angrier Ostrich – The Chocobo Breakdown
Final Fantasy‘s favorite mount and accidental mascot the Chocobo is the one thing every Final Fantasy game has in common.
There are few recurring things throughout Final Fantasy. For the most part, a game stands alone and has nothing to do with the previous or next game in the series. But one element you can almost always count on to make an appearance is the Chocobo. These large birds are usually yellow, but there is an entire rainbow to encounter and breed. They are known for their capabilities as mounts, racing, their signature “kweh” cry, and of course the iconic Chocobo theme song. But let’s dive a little deeper into what these birds are, where they come from, and why we love them so much.
Chocobos are almost as old as Final Fantasy itself. Making their appearance in Final Fantasy II, they are only missing from the premier game. They were created by Koichi Ishii, an artist and game designer from the original two games. And Ishii credits the inspiration for the birds to a pet chick he got from a festival in elementary school. Though he only had the pet for a short time, it made an impression and made him want to create a similar creature for the game he was working on. And so he did, in ten minutes on his lunch break. Their look was based on the “middle stage” of the chick between being a hatchling and maturing into an adult chicken.
Though initially rejected, the Chocobo was finally included in Final Fantasy II to fill the role of a temporary mount. In its inception, the Chocobo was never intended to become a mascot, but overwhelming reception from fans made them into a fixture. To this day, they’re incredibly popular pieces of the Final Fantasy series. With redesigns and new incarnations, they always manage to look new and fresh. But they are always recognizable as the big yellow birds we love.
Chocobo Breeding & Chicks
Starting in Final Fantasy VII, players can catch wild Chocobos across the world map and send them back to the stable. These birds can be bred to produce Chocobos with higher stats for better chances at the races. And of course, the ultimate goal was to eventually breed a Gold Chocobo for an opportunity to access Knights of Round, the best summon in the game. Players will want to take their Big-Birds into battle and win (fleeing doesn’t count) as well as feed their birds a healthy diet of nuts for the best results. If this sounds confusing, FFVII‘s Chocobo Sage will give you helpful hints for getting through this side quest successfully.
Chocobo breeding remains a part of the game through many of the titles. And as the graphics got more realistic the chicks became more adorable. Generally, these baby birds act like pets, but they have also been known to assist in battle.
Chocobo Colors & Breeding
Classically, Yellow Chocobos are the most common appearances. they are the easiest color to tame, and generally the only option available when a player is looking to rent a Chocobo.
Blue Chocobos are special in that they are able to cross bodies of water and in battle can act as magic casters. In some games, there is a darker blue variant that can cross oceans. But Blue Chocobos can’t fly.
In battle, the Green Chocobo acts as support and healing. But they are one of the weakest varieties of the bird out there. They can run over mountains, but unlike their blue cousins, they cannot cross over water.
Physically, Red Chocobos are the most powerful in games where they participate in battle. They can also occasionally reach level 99.
Black Chocobos are able to fly. Though, if your party is lucky enough to have an airship, the bird’s abilities won’t quite hold up to your ship’s. They are also one of the most common variants. They’re most likely to appear as an enemy and one of the first variants to join the Final Fantasy family.
Wait, There’s More!
The White Chocobos are some of the rarest in the games. Unlike many of their cousins, they’re rarely available as mounts. In games where they join in the battle, they act as support. They can even restore the party’s MP once out of battle.
Brown Chocobos only appear in Final Fantasy XII, Pictlogica Final Fantasy, Tactics A2: Grimoire on the Rift, and Tactics S. They are mostly encountered as enemies, but in FFXII they will only fight if attacked by the player.
Appearing in FFXIII-2, the Purple Chocobo is a Synergist. They are also seen as racing birds, but not much else is known about this color bird.
Similarly, Pink Chocobos appear in the races in Final Fantasies VII and XIV.
Silver Chocobos made their debut in Final Fantasy XIII-2. It is a defense-oriented creature and a star in the races. This rare Chocobo type has some of the best racing abilities, but maybe not as good as the Gold Chocobo.
Gold Chocobos are often the result of a long side quest or careful breeding. The rarest and most powerful variety, they are able to cross any type of terrain. They typically have the highest racing stats, and can even fly sometimes.
What is the Meaning of “Chocobo”?
Chocobo as a word doesn’t really have a meaning. But it was inspired by Chocoballs, a popular candy in Japan that was created by Morinaga & Company. They are cute chocolate balls with a vaguely bird-shaped appearance.
What is the Most Powerful Chocobo?
Gold Chocobos are generally regarded as the most powerful and most sought-after. They are seen as strongest, are very quick, have the unique ability to cross any kind of terrain, and in some games can even fly. Gold is also the rarest color of Chocobo to breed or encounter.
Do you enjoy Chocobo breeding and racing in the Final Fantasy games? Which Chocobo color is your favorite? Did you know that these mascots were based on a real-life pet? Let us know in the comments!