Final Fantasy 8 (PC) Chocobo Guide v1.14
by rhombus (John Palecek)
send questions / suggestions / harassment to rhombus@iastate.edu

Final Fantasy 8 and all names taken from it are copyright Squaresoft.  
This guide is copyright 2000 John Palecek.  You can store a copy on 
your computer for personal use, and I suppose you can print it out, 
also only for personal use.  Don't copy it, upload it to anywhere, or 
claim you wrote it or part of it.  Don't use this guide to make your 
own guide.  If you have any questions about using it, email me.

Contents
I.   Introduction
II.  How do I get a chocobo?
III. What is Chocobo World?
     a. Options
     b. Events
        i.   Battles
        ii.  Cactuar (items)
        iii. Moomba (weapons)
        iv.  Mini-Mog (friend)
        v.   Upgrades and other events
IV.  How much damage does a chocobo do in Final Fantasy 8?
V.   What items can I get from Chocobo World?  (!)
VI.  Cheats

Version update
1.00 First version.
1.01 Added Cheats section.  Fixed a place where Word managed to auto-
format in spite of my best efforts to keep everything fixed-width.
1.02 Miscellaneous stuff added.  All 7 forest locations listed, 
including Chocobo Sanctuary.
1.03 Some help added for catching a chocobo.
1.10 Upgrading chicobo's attack.  (Cool stuff)
1.11 More info on the female chocobo story.
1.12 Miscellaneous stuff added.  Added to the attack value table.  More 
cheats.
1.13 Miscellaneous stuff added.  More information for the chicobo card 
added.
1.14 Added correction regarding final boss.  Added information 
regarding the attack value table.  This is possibly the final update, 
unless people send me information.

Stuff left to do:
Get the last 2 upgrades and finish the attack value table.
Compile a list of all the chocobo ID numbers that start you with more 
than 6 HP.

------------------------------------------------------------
I. Introduction
------------------------------------------------------------

My big reason for playing Chocobo World is to easily get items for 
Final Fantasy 8 that are otherwise rare or hard-to-get, or both.  
Chocobo World is a low-resource Windows app that can run in the 
background and play itself, collecting items as it runs.  This is also 
mentioned later, but since this is the whole point of bothering, I 
thought I'd put it first.

All information contained in this guide is either original material by 
me, based on information provided in the game or in the manual, or 
information sent to me by individuals.  Every time I used information 
provided by other people I gave them credit using their chosen 
nickname.  No direct quotes from the manual have been used in this or 
any version of the guide.

This guide will cover the mini-game Chocobo World, and its relation to 
Final Fantasy 8.

Most of the guides that exist for FF8 are for the Playstation version, 
and Chocobo World isn't accessible in the PSX version except with a 
Pocket Station, which needs to be specially imported from Japan, even 
for the North American version of the game.  Probably most of the 
information relevant to the computer version also applies to the 
Playstation version, but since I don't own a Playstation, I can't 
provide much information about it.

Pocket Station is a special kind of memory card with an LCD screen and 
buttons, or something.  I've heard that it has problems with battery 
life - when turned off it has about a week of life, when on it has a 
couple hours' worth.

In the PC version of FF8, Chocobo World runs as a Windows application.  
It sits in the task bar and generally behaves the same as any other 
application.  It has no menus, and automatically saves its state when 
you close its window.  It must auto-save itself as well, since in my 
experience game data isn't lost when Windows itself crashes.

Chocobo World for PC has only one real drawback; it uses up 100% of 
free CPU time.  The sound can get annoying when you're running it in 
the background, but Nimrod^^ from Malaysia found that it can be turned 
off with the [S] key. I haven't gotten that to work, though.  :(  Run 
System Monitor (under System Tools, in the Programs area of the Windows 
Start menu) and then start up Chocobo World to see what I mean about 
the CPU usage.  It's a low priority task though, so it's not that big 
of a deal.

------------------------------------------------------------
II. How do I get a chocobo?
------------------------------------------------------------

Scattered throughout the Final Fantasy 8 world are small dome-shaped 
forests.  There are 7 chocobo forest locations, including the Chocobo 
Sanctuary.

Chocobo Forest locations:

- N of Trabia Garden, just on other side of mountains
- far E of Trabia Garden
- S of Kashkabald Desert
- NE of Centra Ruins (the wireframe octahedron where you fought Odin & 
the Tonberries)
- NE of Edea's Cottage
- NW of Shumi Village

The Chocobo Sanctuary is hidden in Grandidi Forest, North of Esthar.  
You have to ride a chocobo across shallow water from the Trabia region 
to get to it.  Thanks to deathscythe17 from Malaysia for filling in the 
information on the missing Chocobo Forests.  He also tells me that if 
you catch every chocobo yourself (instead of buying them, like I do), 
you get a chicobo card.  If you're into the FF8 [Triple Triad] card 
game, then go ahead and try for this.

Once you find a Chocobo Forest, go in.  Leave your friends behind and 
go talk to the kid.  You need to catch a chocobo in here.  You can try 
to do it yourself.  I haven't been able to figure out all the rules for 
how it works.  The Choco Boy gives as good a general explanation for 
doing it yourself as I can.  Some specifics provided to me are found 
below.  It involves playing whistles at the baby chocobos (chicobos) 
until they go away and the big chocobo appears.  I always pay the Choco 
Boy to catch one for me.  If you've taken SeeD tests to get your rank 
high, money isn't a big deal in FF8.

Before catching a chocobo, buy some gysahl greens from the Choco Boy.  
He won't sell them to you after the big chocobo appears.  Greens are 
used in battle to summon your chocobo.  They cost 600 gil.

After you've bought as many greens as you want, you can press [A] and 
select [help me].  The Choco Boy requires 1200 gil to catch you a 
chocobo.

Ride the chocobo out of the forest.  Notice the chicobo following you 
around.  Isn't it cute?  Wow, riding the chocobo is just like riding 
the blue chocobo from FF7.  It can go across shallow water.  Enemies 
can't get you.  Isn't this fun?  When you're done riding it, press [X] 
to let the chocobo run away. 

Have you figured out the whole catching chocobos thing?  Email me and 
I'll put the info in a new version and give you credit.  Either that, 
or write up your own guide on catching chocobos.  I've heard it's 
annoying and complicated, so it's probably worth its own guide.

Kumaresa from Malaysia sent me information on how to catch some of the 
chocobos.  He says he's working on figuring out the rest, but don't let 
that stop you from trying too.  Here's what he's got so far:

He claims the forest near the Shumi village is easy to figure out.  I 
didn't find it so, but maybe I gave up to soon.

- Forest near orphanage (Edea's Cottage)

1. Get all the chicobos down.
2. Catch the leftmost one.

- Forest near Kashkabald Desert

1. Get all the chicobos down.
2. Go to a point in the center of the 4 chicobos and do the catch 
chicobo command.

I hope this is helpful for those of you who want to catch chocobos 
without paying the choco boy.  Once you've caught a grown-up chocobo at 
a forest without his help, you can use the sonar to find an item.  
There is a stone buried in the ground, and if you bring all 6 to the 
Chocobo Sanctuary, you get the chicobo card.  If you want to get all 
the cards you'll need to go through all this.

Kian Chong tells me there is no great reward for collecting all the 
cards other than a star next to the [card] option on the FF8 menu.  
(Whoop tee doo.)  However most of the rare cards are worth obtaining 
because they can be modded into nifty items.

However, Kian says there is one big benefit from getting the chicobo 
card (doing all of the chocobo sub-quest) because in disc 4 you can 
ride a chocobo out from the Chocobo Sanctuary to the Ragnarok.  Why is 
this a benefit?  You can play the Queen of Cards and the CC members to 
gain the rare cards.  This is especially useful if you find the Queen 
of Cards sub-quest a big feat.

------------------------------------------------------------
III. What is Chocobo World?
------------------------------------------------------------

According to the manual that comes with FF8, once you have gotten a 
chocobo in Final Fantasy, you can access Chocobo World.  You control a 
baby chocobo (chicobo) and help it to level.  The initial set-up is 
done within Final Fantasy, from the [Save] menu.  The explanation in 
the manual and tutorial isn't very good for initial set-up, but it's 
really simple once you've done it.

From the [Save] menu, a new game slot (labeled Chocobo World) will 
appear to the right of the game slot in use.  Select this with [X] to 
enter the Chocobo World menu.  There are 4 options listed here.
- World
- Home
- Do Over
- How to Play

- World
If your chicobo is in Final Fantasy World, this moves it to Chocobo 
World.

- Home
If your chicobo is in Chocobo World, this moves it to Final Fantasy 
World.

- Do Over
This deletes your chicobo and starts a new game with a level 1 chicobo.

- How to Play
This contains a brief story about chicobo (he's trying to find his 
friend, Mog) with cute pictures, as well as a moderately helpful 
tutorial.

Actual play of Chocobo World is not done within Final Fantasy 8, but 
directly from Windows.  To start Chocobo World, go to the Start menu, 
to [programs,] and select [Chocobo World] from the [Final Fantasy VIII] 
menu.

------------------------------------------------------------
III. a. Chocobo World Options
------------------------------------------------------------

In Chocobo World, the buttons that do things are:

[ctrl]  This is the button that does everything.
[S]  This button is rumored to toggle the sound on and off.  I 
personally haven't ever gotten it gotten it to work.
[alt]  This button pauses the game.  I have no idea why you would want 
to do that.  I discovered this by accident.
[up, down, left, right]  These are fairly obvious.
[esc]  This closes the window and quits the game.

When chicobo is walking around, press [ctrl] to access the menu.  
Pressing left and right will bring you to the various option menus.  
From left to right, starting with the first one, they are:

- Map.  Events are marked as dots.  You can change your walk direction 
with up and down.

- Status.  The 4 numbers at the top is your weapon.  You deal damage in 
battle in Chocobo World randomly selected from one of these numbers.  
Listed below that are chicobo level, hp/max hp, and random ID number.

- Items.  This tells you how many of each of the 4 kinds of items 
you've got stored ready to transfer to FF8.  (See section V. below 
regarding items.)

- Event wait.  If you have this set [on], chicobo will wait for your 
input when he encounters an event.  If you have this set [off], chicobo 
will do everything all by himself.  Setting this to [off] is the way to 
play this game!  It runs in the background and requires no user input.  
Sometimes chicobo wins battles and levels.  Sometimes chicobo loses 
battles and falls asleep.  It takes a while, but he wakes up at full 
health and keeps going.  The only drawback to [event wait off] is that 
sometimes chicobo automatically selects a bad weapon when Moomba offers 
him a new weapon.

- Mog.  Only available once you've found Mini-Mog the first time, and 
sometimes only when your hp is not at max.  If this is set to [stand 
by], Mog will help you out in battle when your hp goes to 0 by 
attacking one last time.  If Mog's attack wins the battle, you end the 
battle with 1 hp.  Setting this to [sleep] doesn't seem useful; I think 
all it does is make chicobo fall asleep more often.

- Move.  If you have event wait set [on] you might want this set to a 
low number so chicobo will obey you and go where you want him to go.  
If you have event wait set [off] you definitely want this set all the 
way to [6].  What this means is when chicobo is walking, any event up 
to 6 squares to the side on the map will cause him to turn and go right 
to it.  It's possible for chicobo get stuck and walk across the map 
over and over and never get within 6 squares of an event.  When this 
happens you will have to tell him to turn, it's not a big deal.

------------------------------------------------------------
III. b. Events
------------------------------------------------------------

i.   Battles

The most common event is a battle with an enemy.  The enemy is always 
on the left; chicobo is always on the right.  The numbers on the 
outside are hp; the numbers on the inside are the ATB counters.  When 
the ATB counter reaches 0, you attack.  If you leave the battle alone 
you and the enemy on average attack about as often as each other.  
Pressing left and right alternately speeds up your counter, so it's not 
hard to win most of the battles if you want to bother paying attention 
to the game.

When you win a battle you get a marker placed randomly on a tic-tac-toe 
board.  When you get 3 markers in a row, you level up.  It's impossible 
to arrange a tic-tac-toe board with 7 markers and not have 3 line up, 
so you level after getting between 3 and 7 markers.

When you lose a battle chicobo goes to sleep and wakes up automatically 
some time after his hp reaches max.  He gains hp while asleep, 1 hp 
about every 5 seconds when max hp is 9 or less, 2 at a time when max hp 
is 19 or less, 3 at a time when max hp is 29 or less, and 4 at a time 
when max hp is 30 or more.  You can wake him up any time once his hp is 
more than 0 by pressing [ctrl], but you should probably wait until it 
reaches max before doing so.

ii.  Cactuar (items)

Sometimes the event will be your friend Cactuar stopping by to give you 
an item he found.  You want this to happen!  (See section V. below 
regarding items.)

iii. Moomba (weapons)

Sometimes the event will be your friend Moomba stopping by to show you 
a weapon he found.  You can choose to use the new weapon, or keep the 
old one.

If you have event wait set to [off], chicobo will automatically select 
the weapon with the highest attack value sum.  This isn't always a 
better weapon.  For example, a 2222 weapon is far better than a 9000 
weapon, even though the 9000 weapon has a higher attack value sum, 
since a 9000 weapon does 0 damage 75% of the time, and still takes 2 
successful hits to kill an enemy with 10 hp.

iv.  Mini-Mog (friend)

The first time you meet Mog, he thanks you for finding him.  (Read the 
tutorial in the FF8 save menu for an explanation of why.)  You then 
have the opportunity to select [stand by] or [sleep].

Select [stand by] and he will help you out in battles when your hp goes 
to 0.  Select [sleep] and he will make chicobo fall asleep and recover 
more often.

After you meet him the first time, meeting him becomes a pretty common 
event.  When you meet him now, he thanks you and gives you a marker for 
your tic-tac-toe board.  Now you don't even have to win any battles and 
you'll still eventually level up!

v.   Upgrades and other events

1. Falling asleep randomly.

This doesn't have to happen at event dots on the map.  Sometimes 
chicobo just decides to fall asleep or go fishing or watch TV while 
he's walking.  If his hp is less than max, he'll gain them back, but 
sometimes he'll decide to be lazy even when he's at full health.

2. The romantic story line

Thanks to Pure Gamer for this info!

Around level 20, chicobo meets a female chocobo.  She struts her stuff 
and walks past him.

At level 50 they meet again; this time the girl is in trouble.  At this 
point one of two things can happen.  If you have event wait on then 
chicobo saves her and she gives him a kiss.  This gives him a star. If 
event wait is off, then chicobo falls down a pit and fails to rescue 
her.  If this happens he will never be able to get stars.

What are stars?  You can have up to three.  The first is given when you 
rescue the girl chocobo.  When you summon the chicobo in the regular 
game (with Gysahl Greens), he does an attack called [Choco Fire].  
That's when he has no stars.  When he has one star he does [Choco 
Flare].  Two stars yield [Choco Meteor].  Three stars yield [Choco 
Buckle].  Each of these does more damage than the previous attack.

The 2nd odd event happens when chicobo hits level 75 -- you watch some 
fireworks with your friends Moomba and Cactuar.

LHEkewl2012 had the following to say about the 3rd star and the end of 
the game - when you reach level 100 the first event you see is the 
female chocobo gets kidnapped by a dragon.  To rescue her you need to 
fight the dragon, who has 99 hp.  To encounter the dragon, set the 
[move] to 1 and then every battle will be with the final boss.  (Thanks 
to aax from Malaysia for this tip!)  When you defeat the dragon, it 
disappears and the female chocobo appears and says 'Bye.'

The first star is gotten at level 50, but the 2nd and 3rd stars are 
random events that can happen at any time during the game, except when 
the female chocobo is kidnapped.

------------------------------------------------------------
IV. How much damage does a chocobo do in Final Fantasy 8?
------------------------------------------------------------

If your chocobo is in Final Fantasy World (select [home] in the save 
menu to move it there) you can summon it during battle by using Gysahl 
Greens.  It has 4 different attacks, [Choco Fire], [Choco Flare], 
[Choco Meteor], and [Choco Buckle].

I'm sure this will vary by what level the enemies are and what enemies 
you're fighting.  I chose Grat (the plant monster from the Balamb 
Garden Training Center) for my reference enemy.  My party had an 
average level of 40.  Under these conditions, chicobo's attack did the 
following damage to all enemies (rounded to two digits, and each value 
based on only one battle):

Choco     Choco     Choco     Choco     Choco
Level      Fire     Flare    Meteor    Buckle
1           910
5          1200
10         1600
20         2200
30         2800
40         3400
50         4200      5100
60         4900      5900
70         5500      6700
80         5800      7100
90         6800      7900
100        7500      8900

I was planning to finish this table in an update of this guide.  
Supposedly the probability of finding the female chocobo (if she's not 
kidnapped, when it's impossible) is a bit less than 1%.  However you 
apparently need to have event wait turned on or something, because I've 
left the game running for more than 24 hours after beating the final 
boss, and haven't gotten any additional chocobo upgrades.  Therefore I 
likely won't be finishing the table in the near future.  Sorry!

Note: Once your chicobo has reached level 100 it will not level any 
more.  When you win a battle you do not get a gem.  However you can 
still play Chocobo World.  Chicobo will still wander around doing 
everything he used to do, except level.  This is important because it 
means you don't need to start a new level 1 chicobo to keep getting 
free FF8 items.

------------------------------------------------------------
V. What items can I get from Chocobo World?
------------------------------------------------------------

First off, this is the whole reason to play Chocobo World.  It's not an 
involving game (I let it run in the background and it plays itself), 
but for no effort you can get some of the best items in Final Fantasy 
8.  Actually hunting these down and getting them within FF8 is hard 
work and takes a lot of time, and I have schoolwork and socializing 
that I need to do instead.

In Chocobo World, there are 4 kinds of items you can get: A, B, C and 
D.  When you move your chicobo to the Final Fantasy World, the items 
you have collected transfer and become Final Fantasy items.  D items 
correspond to common items, and [A] items become very rare items.  For 
example, [Rosetta Stone] (instantly teaches a Guardian Force Abilityx4) 
is only a [B] item.

I've been asked to put a list of items you can get in my guide.  I 
chose not to, because it seemed like an annoyingly large amount of 
work.  Also, I've found out that a list can be obtained from the 
commercial Final Fantasy 8 guides that you can buy in your local video 
game stores.

------------------------------------------------------------
VI. Cheats
------------------------------------------------------------

I haven't personally used any of these cheats, but they all seem like 
they should work.

NimRod^^ from Malaysia sent me the following information about an item-
duplication cheat.

I would like to say that there is a cheat in Chocobo World for FF8PC.  
To do so, you must have gained quite a number of items in Chocobo World 
(CW).  You must also be in Disc 2 for this to work.  First, go to the 
place where you installed FF8.  The default is C:\Program Files\Square 
Soft, Inc\Final Fantasy VIII\Save\.  Copy the chocorpg file and paste 
it into a temporary directory. Then in FF8, make sure that the Chicobo 
is in CW. Then choose to upload it back to FF8.  Again, make sure it 
you send the Chicobo back to CW.  After that, alt+tab out of FF8 and 
paste the original chocorpg file in the save directory and repeat the 
above steps.  Doing so will result in tons of items, even materials 
needed to make the Lion Heart.

Deathscythe17 from Malaysia tells me it's possible to do this same 
trick on a Playstation by swapping memory cards, but it's not safe to 
do so.  You get a file error because memory cards aren't supposed to 
have Pocket Station save files stored on them.

Dominic Canzeri found a way to do a more extreme version of this.  
First you will need to obtain at least one item (any type).  Then open 
the file chocorpg with a hex editor.  You can download an evaluation 
editor at http://www.durward.com/hextool/ .

Open that file and you will see symbols ranging from 0 to 9 and from A 
to F.  Look for the sequence of number of items you have.  For example, 
if you have 0 A, 1 B, 2 C and 9 D, look for the sequence 
00 01 02 09.  If you have more than 9 item of one type, that number 
might become letters.  Most scientific calculators (including the 
calculator built into Windows) can convert from decimal to hexadecimal 
for you.

Change these values to FF each (255 in hexadecimal) and save the file.  
Now open FF8 and bring your chocobo home.  You will have tons of items.  
You can do this repeatedly.  Dominic says by creating ability power 
ups, all his characters now have 255 in each stat, without junction, 
and he has all the best weapons, and all of Quistis' blue magic, etc. 
at level 12 or so.  He says it isn't fun any more though - Odin took 
him 4 hits to beat, as did the Tonberry King, so now he uses LVL UP on 
bosses to make it more challenging.