The US Final Fantasy VII chocobo FAQ.

Our favorite ostrich-lookalike, the Chocobo, has been a part of the Final Fantasy mythos since FF2 (FF4 Japan)... FF2 introduced the yellow chocobo as a creature you could ride around on. Not especially bright, but fast and cute with annoying theme music. There was also a white chocobo that could heal your MP when you talked to it, and the Big Chocobo (Lali!) that would hold onto your items for you. A special Black chocobo could even fly over oceans and land in forests. It was even smart enough to return back to it's home by itself. FF3 (FF5 Japan) introduced a 3D perspective when riding the birds, but lost all the chocobos except the yellow one. Now, in Final Fantasy 7 chocobos reach their full potential! Fans of the stupid birds unite! FF7 allows you to catch, raise, race, ride and breed chocobos with a variety of special traits. Why bother? Colored chocobos that you have bred yourself can get to places your airship can't land. There are potent magics hidden away in caves around the world....

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There are five varieties of chocobos, only one of which can be captured.

Ordinary chocobo (yellow) - Faster than walking, don't fight any enemies except the Midgar Zolom. The only kind of chocobo you can catch.

Mountain chocobo (Green) - Can walk over mountains. One of these is in the Chocobo sage's house (not that he'll lend it to you, or anything. I'm assuming it's how he got way up in the mountains where he is). Has all the abilities of the Yellow chocobo.

River chocobo (Blue) - Can walk along rivers and shallow water (like the Tiny Bronco). Likewise has all the abilities of the Yellow chocobo. It can't walk up waterfalls though...

Mountain-and-River chocobo (Black) - Has all the abilities of the Green and Blue chocobos. Is a faster runner in the races.

Ocean chocobo (Gold) - All the abilities of the Black chocobo, plus it can swim in the Ocean. It can also walk into the desert surrounding the Gold saucer and go into Junon or Costa del Sol. This is the ultimate chocobo you will be working to get.

If you want to wait until Disc 3 the old guy in Kalm town gives you a Gold chocobo in exchange for "Desert Rose", the item you win from the Ruby Weapon. But that way is for sissies. Get the Gold chocobo NOW! Read on for the breeding guide. Besides, the Gold chocobo you get for free is a really poor racer (try getting past class B!).

Here is a list of places you couldn't get to without a colored chocobo:

Chocobo Ancient Forest Vincent's Waterfall Wutai Cave Mideel Cave Corel Cave KOTR Cave

What's in these places and where are they?

Ancient Forest - In cosmo canyon. You could wait for the ultimate weapon to collapse and destroy half the canyon to get you here without needing a chocobo... Inside is the Typoon materia (summons Chupon from FF3), the Apocalypse sword for Cloud (AP x3!! Decent damage), the slash-all materia (heh heh heh...) and a few other toys. It's a really hard puzzle that took me forever.

Vincent's Waterfall - Take Vincent here for a flashback. Take him back here later (I don't know how much later, but before you raid Midgar) and pick up his Limit break manual and something else (I forget, I think a weapon).

Wutai Cave - The "mime" command materia (shouldn't this be Mimic?) lets you copy what the last guy did. There was a character with this ability in FF3. It isn't as wussy as it sounds, mime KOTR for no loss in MP!

Mideel Cave - (A little east of Mideel on an island slightly north). Quadra-Magic support materia lets you cast a spell four times (although it lowers the power of each attack and you can't pick your targets).

Corel Cave - HP<->MP materia. Swap HP and MP levels. This means that you'll have (at most) 999 HP, but probably several thousand MP... For the suicidal.

KOTR Cave - An island not on the map in the NE corner of the world. Totally circular with a forest in the middle. Pick up the Knights of Round summon materia... This one summons 12 Knights to splatter all the enemies (each knight does about 5000 damage to each enemy for about 60,000 damage total! Eep!) You want this one.

Catching Yellow Chocobos:

In order to catch a Yellow chocobo, you must have the Chocobo lure materia equipped. When you walk on the chocobo tracks there is a chance you will fight a battle with a chocobo and it's 'escort' of monsters. If you kill all the monsters without hurting the chocobo, you'll catch it. If you own a stable, you can send it back there when you get off (X button). If you don't own a stable, it just runs away. Tamed chocobos (ones you have named) don't run away when you get off, they just sit there until you get back on.

Note: If you take too long fighting the battle, the chocobo will run away. To keep it occupied, feed it Greens in the middle of the battle. This is one of the few uses for Mimett greens (since feeding them to stabled chocobos is pointless). Don't use Sylkis greens (or another expensive one) to catch the chocobo at 5000 gil a pop! Mimett and lower work just as well. Most of the time, you can expect to kill the escort before the chocobo has a chance to run away. If you're worried (like in the Mideel area, the bastard great chocobos seem to have a 2 second attention span) you can try using Odin (he won't kill the chocobo, but the rest of the enemies are auto-killed.)

There are at least five types of yellow chocobos you can catch. All will start out at rank C, so don't worry about that. When you tell Chocobo Billy to move it to your stable he will make a comment about them.

Wonderful chocobo ("This.. is a wonderful chocobo!") - When moving it to your stable, it looks like it is dashing with it's head way down. (Like S class chocobos look when you choose to ride them).

Great chocobo ("This is a great chocobo.") - Looks like it's running when you move it to your stable.

Good chocobo ("This is a good chocobo.") - Looks like it's walking.

Average chocobo ("This is an average chocobo.") - When moving it to your stable, it is standing still. Don't bother, just release it if you catch it.

Crappy chocobo ("I really can't recommend this one.") - This one walks slowly with it's head drooping. Turn this one loose.

And here are the places you can catch them and what "escorts" are with the chocobos you want.

Area next to the Chocobo ranch: All chocobos are poor (not recommended). Don't bother catching chocobos here.

Area west of Fort Condor: Chocobos here range from poor to average. This is also not worth the effort it takes to catch them.

Area east of the Gold Saucer (near the peninsula): Several parties of chocobos contain good chocobos. The rest are average chocobos. Figure about 50/50 odds you're fighting a "good" chocobo.

Area west of Mideel (on the same island): The chocobo accompanied by ONE armadillo-creature is a great chocobo. The rest are average.

Area south of Icicle inn (snow): The chocobo accompanied by two bunny-rabbit/jumping enemies is a wonderful chocobo. The rest are poor.

Riding chocobos:

To ride one of your tame chocobos, head to the chocobo farm and tell Billy you want to ride one. Press X to get off, O to get on. Once you get off a wild chocobo, you have to either send it to the stables (if you have one) or let it go.

Stupid chocobo tricks:

Blue, Black and Gold chocobos can run on water. If you stop moving, they'll sink into the water up to their waist, like ducks. This has no benefit, just shows you everything Square thought of...

Tame chocobos can board the Highwind just like you can. Press O to get on the Highwind like normal. When you get off the airship, you'll still be riding your chocobo. (Press T while flying to run around inside your airship, the chocobo will be in the room to the right of Operations.) This is good for getting the green/blue/black chocobos to the right islands.

Racing chocobos:

Chocobos with better stats have a better chance of producing the offspring you want. Feed them the best stuff and race them. Chocobos in higher racing classes have better odds too. To race them, (in Disc 2 after you get Cloud back) go to the Gold Saucer chocobo square and talk to Ester (in the back on the left) and tell her you want to register your bird.

Pick whichever course you prefer (I'm not fond of racing, so I always pick the short course). These are your controls when racing:

S - Speed up
X - Slow down (why?)
0 - Dash (drains stamina bar)
Directions - Steer chocobo (usually unnecessary)
SELECT - Switch between Auto/Manual mode. In Auto you
can't control the chocobo. (Except for R1+R2)
R1+R2 - Refills stamina bar (slowly)
L1+L2 - Run a little faster

Racing for people who hate racing:

With a black, wonderful or gold chocobo you can leave it on "Auto" for the "C" class races. In "B" class, put it on manual and dash at the beginning until you have a nice lead. Then put it on Auto. In "A" class, you'll need to control it, dash longer and might actually have to control it the whole way. In "S" class your skills as a jockey are mandatory, but for people who hate racing there's no need to race in S class unless you want a bunch of items (beat it 10 times or so and you'll win a prize package). Beat C, B or A class three times to advance a class. There's a black chocobo named Teioh that is ALWAYS better than yours. It is still possible to win. I've beaten Teioh 15 out of 17 times (I lost with a "wonderful" chocobo). Fortunately Teioh doesn't show up often in C, B or A classes. Teioh's rider looks an awful lot like the Hamburglar...

Humourously enough, Teioh is always better than you by a certain amount. If your chocobo really sucks, Teioh won't be much better and you both may lose! I've seen this happen with two chocobos; the Blue and the Gold I got from the man in Kalm town.

The chocobo sage

In the middle of the northern/snowy continent is a small patch of green with a house in it. A senile old idiot, the Chocobo sage, lives here. He'll sell you the expensive greens you need. From time to time, he'll "remember" bits of the process of breeding the Ocean chocobo. Talk to him, ask him if he remembers something. Go back to the chocobo farm and tell Chole (the girl in the back) who will keep track of what he's told you. You'll have to wait a while for him to remember something else. Fortunately, he doesn't tell you anything that's not in this FAQ so only perfectionists should bother getting him to dredge his memory.

Breeding chocobos.

You don't need much skill to breed chocobos, just a LOT of luck and patience. NOTE: You can't start breeding until Disc 2 (when you can buy stables). You can't race your chocobos (making it extremely hard to get the Gold chocobo) until after you get Cloud back in Disc 2 after the first two huge materia quests.

Preparations: You'll eventually want 40 sylkis greens, 3 carob nuts, 1 Zeio nut and 4 stables (minimum).

Sylkis greens: Visit the Chocobo sage's house. Sylkis greens are 5000 gil a pop, so 40 will cost you 200,000 gil. You don't need them all right away (you'll need twenty at stage two and another twenty at stage three. If you're cheap, you might get by without them at stage two (saving you from having to buy 20 = 100,000 gil), but you'll need all the help you can get at stage three... If you have money to burn, get 60 (300,000) or 80 (400,000 gil). It's not really necessary though.)

Carob nuts: After you get Cloud back, you can buy them at the gold saucer wonder square for 500 GP. Or you can steal them from the red vrakoladus (a red dragon-looking enemy found in the green near the chocobo sage's house or near bone village). The vrakoladus has an obscene amount of HP, able to survive seven or eight Ultimas or Neo Bahamuts. It's a better idea to run away after you steal the carob nut from it. You'll need two carob nuts at stage one and another at stage two. You could pace your time, get two and come back later while you're waiting for your chocobo chicks to mature.

Zeio nut: There are several islands in the NE corner of the world that your airship can land on. One has a little patch of forest. Land on that and run around until you fight goblins. You can steal Zeio nuts from them (it's hard though) or you can occasionally win them in battle. You only need one (at stage three) so you could wait for later. (Goblins are also on KOTR island, but if you're fighting them there, you don't need the Zeio nut!)

Stables: Stop by the chocobo ranch and talk to the father (in the house on the far left). Tell him to "take care of your chocobos" and buy 4 stalls. If you buy five stalls, you can keep all the colored chocobos (as souveniers I guess), if you buy six you can even keep one of the chocobos you use in Step 1. Why bother? Nostalgia I guess. ;) I'd save the 20,000 and just get 4.

Stage 1.

In stage one, you're going to mate a Good chocobo and a Great chocobo twice to get a Mountain chocobo and a River chocobo.

Head off to the Gold saucer, land and catch three chocobos and send them back. Odds are one of them is a "good" chocobo. Now fly to Mideel, and wait for the "great" chocobo to come along. Catch it (probably with Odin) and send it back to the stables. Read the bit about which chocobos are escorted by which enemies to find the right ones.

Head back to the Chocobo farm and tell Billy you want to move your chocobos. DON'T move them yet. Just view them with the left/right directional buttons. You should have at least one walking chocobo and one running chocobo. If you have the standing-still average chocobos, let them go. If you don't have the walking chocobo, head back to the gold saucer and try again. If you do... cancel the move and save your game. Now go back and move them. You want one each of the walking and running chocobos and you want them to be opposite genders. Although the type of chocobo (good, average, great, etc..) is set when you catch it based on the escort the chocobo is with, the gender is not. It isn't determined until you actually move it to the stable. If you end up with the wrong genders, reset and try again. Once you get the genders you want, save again.

If you bought 80 sylkis greens: Feed each bird 10 greens. If you bought 60: Either feed these birds 10 greens apiece and re-use them in the second part of stage 1, or wait until the second stage to feed those chocobos 10 apiece.

Now mate the two you caught, feeding them a carob nut. In about 20-25 tries (with unfed, un-raced chocobos) you'll get a Blue or Green chocobo. Name your little baby warker and save the game. If you get a yellow chocobo, reset and try again.

IMPROVING YOUR ODDS: If you want better odds of getting the blue or green you can race them. Improving their class helps, but I'd figure the time it takes to race them could be just as easily spent resetting-and-retrying.

Once you have a colored chocobo, you'll need to do this whole thing again. If you bought 60 greens and fed ten each to your chocobos, you might be better off waiting until they can mate again (this takes a while).

If you only have four or five stables, you either have to wait until your chocobos can breed again, or you have to let them go and catch two new ones like you did before. If you have six, you can catch two new ones without releasing the old ones, but you'll eventually have to let three yellow chocobos from this stage go.

However you do it, repeat this stage again and get the chocobo color you didn't get before, of the opposite gender. This takes a little longer obviously. Viva coffee!

Stage 2.

You got a green chocobo and a blue chocobo and they're of opposite genders? Bravo! Now go kill some time because they can't mate right away. If you only got two carob nuts before you can go get one now. It would be REALLY nice to have 20 sylkis greens now, so if you don't have them, kill some hapless monsters and extract their money until you can afford them. Of course you could do without them but this is much harder than getting a blue or green. If you have 4 or 5 stables, you need to sack all the yellow chocobos at this point. If you have six, you can keep one as a souvenier. IMHO, I don't think they're worth it.

Wander around, splatter monsters and kill time until your chocobos can mate. If you have at least 20 sylkis greens at this point, feed 10 each to your blue and green chocobos.

When you can, mate your green and blue chocobos with a carob nut. With lots of luck, you'll get a black chocobo (gender doesn't matter). You might also get more blue or green chocobos, or a yellow chocobo. Reset if you don't get the black one.

I was trying for the gold chocobo before I got Cloud back, so I couldn't race them. I still got the black chocobo in about 30 or so tries. Racing them can really up the odds though...

Stage 3.

You have a green, blue and black chocobo? Spiffy! If you have 4 stables, you need to sack either the green or blue one. If you have 5 or six, you can keep them both as souveniers! They at least look cool. I think the green one looks cooler than the gold one anyway.

Now you need to catch a "wonderful" chocobo. You could have caught it earlier and left it outside the stables if you wanted to, but catching it gives you something to do while you wait for the black chocobo to mature. Once you catch it, you want one of the opposite gender of your black chocobo. Do the save-and-reset trick to make sure you'll get it.

Read the bit above about escorts and finding the right chocobo. Splatter more monsters, interrogate the chocobo sage some more, play the stupid Mog game at the gold saucer or do whatever until your black chocobo matures.

It's practically impossible to get the Gold chocobo from unfed, un-raced class C chocobos. Even feeding them only helps a little. I tried for 6 hours (over a period of a few days) to get the Gold chocobo before I got Cloud back and never got it (several hundred attempts. I'm really sick of the Sony splash screens now.).

Treat this part as mandatory: Feed each chocobo 10 sylkis greens (at least!) and race them to class A or S. You could race your "wonderful" chocobo to S class while you're waiting for your Black chocobo to grow up.

You'll also need a Zeio nut for this one, so go get one if you don't have it. Sell all your other nuts or throw them away unless you want to repeat this process later.

Now the finale; Mate your black and dashing chocobos with a Zeio nut. With S class chocobos each fed 10 Sylkis greens, many people have reported getting the Gold chocobo on the first try. It still took me about 8 or so attempts. You are likely to get more Black chocobos, or worthless yellow chocobos. Don't worry, you aren't likely to mistake the Gold chocobo for a yellow one and reset. The Gold is like the same color as the bottom part of the "S" in the Playstation logo splash screen.

Once you have the Gold, go get the KOTR materia! Naturally, the Gold chocobo is the best racer if you want to win stuff. It's top speed is close to 150 and it isn't slowed down by any area of the track.

Effects of the various greens and nuts.

Nuts affect what traits of the parents are passed on to their offspring. You can't pass on "Mountainwalk" or "Riverwalk" traits without a carob nut (apparently both are recessive genes in good/great chocobos)

Likewise, you can't pass on "Oceanwalk" without a Zeio nut. Zeio nuts also have a likelihood of passing on the combined Mountain/Riverwalk gene.

The other nuts can help pass on strength, speed and stamina to greater or lesser degrees if you want to breed ordinary chocobos for racing.

Greens directly benefit the chocobo's abilities, and can increase Speed, Stamina, Intelligence. All greens make the chocobo get along better with you.

Here are how the greens work:

Gysahl greens ( 100 gil from Choco Billy) - Stamina up
Krakka greens ( 250 gil from Choco Billy) - Intelligence up
Tantal greens ( 400 gil from Choco Billy) - Speed & Intelligence up
Pahsana greens ( 800 gil from Choco Billy) - Intelligence up (more than Krakka)
Curiel greens (1000 gil from Choco Billy) - Stamina up (more than Gysahl)
Mimett greens (1500 gil from Choco Billy) - No effect!
Reagan greens (3000 gil from Choco Sage) - Stamina up (a lot!)
Sylkis greens (5000 gil from Choco Sage) - Speed, Stamina and Intelligence up.

Mimett greens only seem to be useful for catching chocobos and feeding to the white chocobo in mideel.