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    PocketStation Game Technical FAQ by Saint

    Version: 2.1 FINAL | Updated: 03/21/07 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Pocketstation/Chocobo World Technical FAQ
    Pocketstation/Chocobo World FAQ 2.1 FINAL, 3/21/2007
    About this FAQ
    This FAQ covers technical data about the Sony Pocketstation hand-held
    game device.  Specifically, this also covers the mini game 'Chocobo
    World' (Odekake Chocobo RPG in Japan) that is designed to work with
    the 'Final Fantasy VIII' game title for the Sony Playstation.  Chocobo
    World, Sony, Playstation, Pocketstation and 'Odekake Chocobo RPG' are
    trademarked/copyright Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and SquareSoft
    You may find the latest copy of this FAQ at 
    In the Final Fantasy 8 section.
    This FAQ is copyright 2000.  You are free to make copies or upload
    this anywhere you like for any NON-COMMERCIAL purposes providing this
    license notice is retained at the beginning of the text.  You may
    NOT sell this FAQ in any form, including as part of a larger body
    of information without express written permission from the author.
    To send questions, comments or death threats, email me at:
    New in this FAQ (2.1 FINAL): 
     - Cleaned up the 'Technical' section, moved it to the bottom since
       very few people seem to read it.
     - Added some more Questions to the Q&A
     - This is the FINAL version of this FAQ.  No new data seems to
       be coming in, and no further edits will be made to this file.
    What's here/Table of contents:
      1. About the pocketstation
      2. The pocketstation manual
      3. About Chocobo World
      4. Playing Chocobo World
         4.1 Weapons
         4.2 Items
         4.3 Battles
         4.4 Reports and preferences
      5. Chocobo World game events
         5.1 Powerup effects
      6. Playing against a Chocobo on another Pocketstation
      7. Advancing in Rank/Effects of Rank
      8. Using up items in FF8
      9. Questions & Answers
      10. Chocobo World vs. Battle IR protocol (technical specs)
         10.1 IR Analysis tools
      11. Credits
    1. About the Pocketstation
       The Sony SCPH-4000 Pocketstation is a special memory card for the Sony 
     Playstation.  Like the standard card, it holds 15 blocks of regular data.  
     In addition to that, it has a small screen (32x32 pixels) and can run
     programs that are designed to work with the game.  For people interested,
     it uses an ARM7TDMI Thumb processor chip developed by Atmel Corp. (San
     Jose, CA) which manufactures many chips for mobile products and other 
     Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), including the ARM7 and the StrongARM
     RISC processors.  The processor is a 32-bit RISC chip with contains the
     CPU, flash memory, RAM, LCD controller, D/A converter (for controlling a
     speaker) and IrDA communication system.  It has 2k of SRAM (for executing
     programs) and 128k of Flash RAM (holds the memory card data; programs also
     use it store their data as well).
       It is powered by a standard Cr2032 watch battery.  The biggest drain on
     the battery life is, of course, the LCD screen.  Chocobo world can run for
     at least 5-6 months without needing a battery replacement under normal
     conditions, but leaving some screens displayed (i.e. screen is all black 
     with the 'Event!' message) can drain the battery 10 times as fast.
       Sony released the pocketstation in Japan in Dec 98, but canceled a 
     scheduled US release due to manufacturing difficulties.  For now, the only
     way to get on in the US is to order it from a console import shop like
     National Console Support (http://www.ncsx.com).  That is where I ordered
     mine.  They charge about $50.  Since the release was canceled, most US 
     games have removed support for it if there was any in the original Japanese
     title.  So far, only 'Final Fantasy 8', 'Street Fighter Alpha Zero' and 
     'Ridge Racer' english titles support this device.  Moreover, Street Fighter
     must be unlocked with a GameShark to support this feature.  Don't expect to
     be using the Pocketstation for much besides FF8.
       You can choose one of two spiffy colors; White or Crystal (clear).
    2. The Pocketstation Manual
       Ok, so you ordered the pocketstation, it came in it's nifty box and you
     opened it up.  But wait a sec... the manual is all in Japanese!  Well, what
     did you expect for ordering it from Japan?  Here's what I have translated
     of the manual so far (I can't read Japanese very well, so I may have some
     of this wrong.  Correct me if you know better, please):
      Warnings and Advisories:
      - If you wear the pocketstation cord around your neck, be careful it
        doesn't get caught in doors when you go through and strangle you.
        (Current pocketstations come with cords too small to fit over the
        head of anything other than a very small infant)
      - Don't swing the pocketstation by it's cord without paying attention
        as you might hit people. 
      - Pay attention to your surroundings when playing with the pocketstation
        so you don't walk out into traffic.
      - Don't try to take your pocketstation apart/disassemble it.
      - Don't set your pocketstation on fire.
      - Don't drop or smash it.
      - Don't eat the battery or feed it to your baby brother.
      - Something about magnets erasing your memory card data, I think.
      A troubleshooting guide (? I haven't translated this yet)
      When you first get the pocketstation, a piece of paper keeps the 
      battery from making contact and completing a circuit (this keeps the
      pocketstation off during storage and transportation).  Pull the piece
      of paper out and throw it away.
      When you turn the pocketstation on for the first time, it will ask you
      to set the date and time.  Use the up/down buttons to change the 
      flashing number and the left/right buttons to move between the different
      elements of the date and time.  The clock is in 24-hour format.
      There are two main screens for the pocketstation, one shows a little
      speaker at the top, the time in the middle, a little icon in the 
      bottom-left showing how many data blocks are being used, and the 
      seconds past the current minute in the bottom-right.  Press the 'Up'
      button to change speaker volume.  Press and hold the 'Down' button
      (the block count will flash) to see what games are saved on the memory
      card.  Each game has a little picture (the same one that you see in the
      memory-card display on the playstation).
      Press the Enter/decision button (the one on the right) to switch to
      the other main screen and back. 
      The other screen shows the date at the top (it will show MM/DD/YYYY
      at first, then scroll to show the MM/DD and the weekday), the time
      in the middle, an icon to show whether the alarm is on (a picture of
      a bell if the alarm is on, a bell with a slash through it if the 
      alarm is disabled) in the bottom-left, and the alarm time in the 
      bottom right.  To set the date and time, press and hold the UP button
      at this screen.  To set/activate the alarm press and hold the DOWN
      If you leave the pocketstation at the either main screen for one minute
      without pressing any buttons, it will shut off the screen and go into
      sleep mode.  Wake it up by pressing any button.
      To go from the main screen to any game specifically designed for the
      pocketstation (like Chocobo World), press left/right from the main
      screen until you see the logo for the game, then press enter/decision.
      Battery replacement: When the battery is running low, an icon appears
      in the upper-right corner of the main screen that looks like a battery
      with a line through it.  Turn the playstation over, unscrew the tiny
      screw between the speaker and the battery compartment and remove the
      plastic cover.  Replace the battery with a CR2032 (watch battery), 
      with the PLUS side facing the outside of the pocketstation.  The same
      way the battery was when you first got the pocketstation.
      Technical data:
      - Uses a CR2032 battery, interfaces with the playstation.
      - Dimensions: 42 x 14.8 x 65 mm
      - Weighs 32g 
      - Operating temperatures: 5-35 degrees Celcius
      - Components:
        Speaker, Infrared data port, LED 
        Liquid Crystal (LCD) 32x32 pixel display, 5 control buttons
        Reset button
      To 'KeyLock' the pocketstation, press all 5 buttons simultaneously (a
      padlock icon will appear at the top and the pocketstation will ignore
      any button presses until all 5 are pressed again)
      To plug the pocketstation into the playstation, flip the control 
      buttons up (the hinge is in the middle of the pocketstation, see the
      diagram on the back page of the manual for a picture), this will expose
      the memory card contacts.  Now plug it into the playstation with the
      LCD screen facing up and towards you.
      When you flip the buttons up, you can also see the unique ID number 
      for the pocketstation.
      If something screws up and you need to reset the pocketstation, flip
      the control buttons up and use a pointed object to press the tiny
      reset button between the direction controls and the enter/decision 
      If the cover/buttons comes off for some reason, you can snap it back
      in by following the directions on the back page, bottom right - hold
      the hinge at a 90degree angle (straight up) to the pocketstation, press
      it forward at the hinge.
    3. About Chocobo World (Odekake Chocobo RPG):
        Once you get a 'chicobo' in the main Final Fantasy 8 game (directly
      after you catch a Chocobo by yourself for the first time in any 
      Chocobo Forest) you can play Chocobo World.  The earliest you can
      really do this is near the beginning of Disc 2 after you have can
      cross over the ocean.
        Once you have the Chicobo, go to the 'Save' screen of the menu,
      and select 'Chocobo World'.  The first time you do this, the game will
      tell you that you need to initialize the pocketstation.  If you select
      "Yes", Chocobo World will be transferred to the pocketstation.  Since
      you cannot have more than one 'Chocobo World' game on the pocketstation
      at a time, this will erase any previous games.  The new game of Chocobo
      World will be assigned a new weapon (usually 2211), given it's own ID
      (usually the last three digits of the pocketstation's unique ID) and 
      also given a random hidden ID number.  This is the number transmitted
      as the 'header' during a vs. battle.
        From there on, you can play the game.  FF8 will direct you to also
      save your game before you exit the save screen.  This is important
      because of the hidden ID number; FF8 will not let you import data from
      a pocketstation that does not match this number! 
        Your chocobo can adventure in the pocketstation, collect items for
      you, and gain levels and power.  To import all this data back into your
      FF8 game, go to the save screen again, select chocobo world.  Select
      the option "Home" to bring all the collected items and the state of the
      chocobo back to the FF8 game.  Select "World" to send him back to the
      pocketstation.  When the chocobo is in the pocketstation, he cannot be
      summoned with Gysahl greens and the MiniMog ability won't work in the
      FF8 game.  When he is in the FF8 game, you cannot play Chocobo World on
      the pocketstation.
    4. Playing Chocobo World
        There is something of a plot to the game, but it's not all that deep
      (Hey! What did you expect out of 32x32 pixels?).  In the first part of
      the game, you are supposedly trying to find your friend Mog (a moogle,
      like the ones in FF7).  Later on you have to rescue this girl chocobo
      that you've only ever seen twice before.  After you do that, the game is
      pretty much over, although you can wander around forever and collect
      items to send back to FF8.  
        Boko (the name of your Chocobo if you didn't change it, I named him
      Spike), wanders around in the desert most of the time (well, he seems 
      to sleep most of the time in my games, grr...).  You can see his handsome
      self walking around.  The direction he is facing (and the direction the 
      dots are going on the ground) tell you which way he is headed.  If you
      press Enter at this screen, you can see a map.  The square is the map
      you are walking on.  The flashing dot is you, the solid dots are 
      'Events'.  The big arrow on the right is the direction you are headed,
      and under the map is the level you are on and the current time.  
        Look at the map and steer Boko towards a black Event dot (NOTE: you
      cannot do this on the map!  Press Enter to leave the map and go to the
      walking screen, then use the direction buttons to guide Boko toward a
      dot).  Boko runs faster if you hold down the button in the direction 
      you want to go.  Running off one side of the map will put you on the 
      other side (is each level a sphere or something?)  
        Hitting a dot will give you an 'Event'.  There are a few kinds of
      Events you can hit:
        1. Battles (most common) - Boko fights a monster
        2. Moomba  (about 10%)   - A moomba appears and offers you a weapon
        3. Cactaur (about 10%)   - A cactuar appears and gives you an item
        4. Special Event         - Depends on level and settings
      Because this is a boring game, Boko gets bored too.  After a while of
      wandering around, he will get distracted with something else and will
      stop walking.  There are several other activities he'll do:
      - Listen to a portable radio
      - Eat a picnic lunch
      - Fishing
      - Watching a TV
      - Sitting around a campfire with Moomba
      (The minimized screen says '???' during any of these)
      There is also a percentage chance per each step that he will go to 
      sleep on his own.  It seems to be based on how damaged he is.  If
      he is at 1 HP, he will probably sleep when he moves onto the next
      map square.  He regains HP while sleeping or doing any of the other
      activities listed above.  If he is on Rank 2-6, he regains 4 HP 
      every few seconds, on Rank 1 he regains 5 HP.  After a minute or two
      of sleeping with full HP or doing one of the other activities, he 
      will wake up and keep going on his journey.  While sleeping, the
      minimized screen says 'Zzz...".  While fighting or walking on the
      map, the screen says 'Walking'.
    4.1 Weapons
        All 'weapons' are just a series of four numbers.  When you hit
      someone in battle, one of the numbers is selected randomly and that is
      how much damage you do.  So, to make an obvious point, the average
      damage you will do with any weapon can be figured by adding up all four
      numbers and dividing by 4.  A 5544 weapon does an average damage of 4.5,
      and is thus more powerful than a 9111 (ave. damage 3.0).  The best 
      weapon you can get is based on your Rank (see section 8).
    4.2 Items
        There are four categories of items; called, oddly enough A items,
      B items, C items and D items.  When you import back into the FF8 game,
      each A/B/C/D item becomes one or more real items in the FF8 game.  D
      items become cheap stuff like condition curing items and the M-Stone
      pieces.  C items become slightly better stuff, like Potions,
      Hi Potions, a few of the weaker GF ability items (like turtle shells,
      healing mail, etc..) and some of the stronger junk items.  B items
      become the best GF ability items (including cool stuff, like 3-stars,
      rosetta stones, curtains), rare items (malboro tentacles, inferno fangs),
      and even unique items (Girl Next Door magazine, Solomon Ring, Magic Lamp)
      and the various power up items (Str Up, Mag Up, etc..).  Yup, that's
      right buckaroos; you can get the solomon ring and all the items you need
      to summon DoomTrain in disc 2!  A items become the best B items.
      Some items I have never gotten outside of the pocketstation are:
      - Ribbon: Gives GF the 'Ribbon' ability (immunity to all status changes)
      - Mog Amulet: Gives GF the 'MiniMog' ability (heals GF during battle)
      - Friendship: Use item for 'MoombaMoomba' attack; lowers enemy to 1Hp!
      - Chocobo Tag: Rename the chocobo
      Some notable really rare items that you can get:
      - Rosetta Stones
      - Power Generators, Dark Matter (for Quistis' Blue Magic, 'B'/'A' items)
      - Samantha Soul, Energy Crystal, Gaea's Ring, Diamond Armor ('B' items)
      - Hero and Hero-Trial (rare 'B' items!)
      Thanks to <HuskerCubs@aol.com> for sending me a list of how the items are
      determined (for the PC version of Chocobo World).  This seems to be 
      accurate for the pocketstation game too, but some things may be off.  He
      pointed out that you can also get some items not listed here, like Pulse
      Ammo and (Hi-)Potion+.  I have also gotten Hero-Trials.  I thought I had
      gotten a 'Holy War-trial' item, but it was a mistake.  I haven't ever 
      gotten another after thousands of items imported, so I don't think it is
      Each time an item is brought in, a random number 1-64 is generated with
      each number being mapped to an item.  Often, a range of numbers is mapped
      to one item to make an item more common.  So if an item has a 2/64 chance,
      then 2 numbers out of 64 can end up to be that item.
      -- "A" Rank --
      (1/64 each) - Monk's Code, Moon Curtain, Aegis Amulet
      (2/64 each) - Hundred Needles, Steel Curtain, Rocket Engine
      (5/64 each) - Friendship, Elem Atk, Elem Guard, Status Atk, Status Guard, 
      Bomb Spirit, Hungry Cookpot, Three Stars, Ribbon, Dark Matter, Shaman Stone
      -- "B" Rank --
      (3/64 each) - Friendship, HP Up, Str UP, Mag Up, Spd Up
      (2/64 each) - Aegis Amulet, Vit Up, Spr Up, Luck Up
      (1/64 each) - Hero, Ultima Stone, Gysahl Greens, Tent, Cottage
      G-Hi-Potion, G-Returner, Str-J Scroll, Mag-J Scroll, Spd-J Scroll, Elem Atk
      Elem Guard, Status Atk, Status Guard, Rosetta Stone, Magic Scroll
      Draw Scroll, Gambler Spirit, Phoenix Sprit, Hungry Cookpot, Mog's Amulet
      Star Fragment, Samantha Soul, Silver Mail, Diamond Armor, Giants Ring
      Power Wrist, Orihalcon, Force Armlet, Hypno Crown, Jet Engine, Rocket Engine
      Steel Curtain, Accelerator, Hundred Needles, Ribbon, "Girl Next Door"
      Pet Nametag, Magical Lamp, LuvLuvG
      -- "C" Rank --
      (2/64 each) - Rename Card, Chocobo's Tag
      (1/64 each) - Potion, Hi-Potion, X-Potion, Mega-Potion, Phoenix Down, 
      Mega Phoenix, Elixir, Megalixir, Remedy, Remedy+, Shell Stone, Protect Stone
      Death Stone, Holy Stone, Meteor Stone, Regen Ring, Turtle Shell, Doc's Code
      Ochu Tentacle, Cockatrice Pinion, Zombie Powder, Lightweight, Sharp Spike
      Screw, Mesmerize Blade, Fury Fragment, Betrayal Sword, Sleep Powder, 
      Life Ring, Dragon Fang, Spider Web, Coral Fragment, Curse Spike, Black Hole
      Water Crystal, Missile, Mystery Fluid, Running Fire, Inferno Fang, 
      Malboro Tentacle, Whisper, Laser Cannon, Barrier, Red Fang, Arctic Wind, 
      North Wind, Dynamo Stone, Shear Feather, Venom Fang, Steel Orb, Moon Stone
      Dino Bone, Windmill, Dragon Skin, Dragon Fin, Poison Powder, Dead Spirit, 
      Chef's Knife, Cactus Thorn, Pet Nametag
      -- "D" Rank --
      (13/64 ea.) - Magic Stone
      (12/64 ea.) - M-Stone Piece, Wizard Stone
      (4/64 each) - Normal Ammo, Dark Ammo, Demolition Ammo, AP Ammo
      (1/64 each) - Antidote, Soft, Eye Drops, Echo Screen, Holy Water, Screw
      Mesmerize Blade, Coral Fragment, Arctic Wind, Dragon Skin, Poison Powder
    4.3 Battles
      Battles in Chocobo World are fairly simple.  Your chocobo appears on the
      right side of the screen, the monster on the left.  The monster you get 
      in the battle is related to the map you are on.  They don't really have
      names, but they look like some monsters in the FF8:
      Level  1-100: Creep (Monster A)       , HP is Map Level/5 +6
      Level 10-100: Vampire Bat (Monster B) , HP is Map Level/5 +8
      Level 30-100: Blobra (Monster C)      , HP is Map Level/5 +10
      Level 70-100: Wendigo (Monster D)     , HP is Map Level/5 +16
      The monster's HP appears on the left, yours is on the right.  In the
      middle of the bottom portion of the screen are two numbers counting
      down to 0.  When one of the numbers hits '0', the person on that side
      (either you or the monster) makes an Attack and both counters reset and
      begin counting down again.  The speed at which the your counter counts
      down is constant, but you can make it count faster by pressing the 
      left/right buttons alternately.  The easiest way I've found to do this is
      to use two hands, one thumb to each button.  The speed at which the 
      monster counts varies by monster type (A is slowest, D is fastest).  When 
      either side is reduced to 0 HP, the battle ends.  
      If you're not on level 100, you will go to a tic-tac-toe grid a little
      rock will whiz around and land on one of the empty squares.  If you get
      three dots to line up in a row, you go to the next level.  You should be
      able to advance a level in not less than 3 battles won, and not more 
      than 6 battles won.  Left alone, Boko advances one level about every
      20 minutes or so.  
      When Boko gets reduced to 0 HP, he goes to sleep.  While he sleeps he 
      will slowly recover HP.  After a while of wandering around, he will go
      to sleep anyway (regardless of current HP).  He eventually wakes up after
      some time (long after he has reached full HP).  You can wake him up by
      pressing the 'Enter' button while he is sleeping.  This doesn't work if
      he has 0 HP.
    4.4 Reports and preferences
      Lastly, if you go to the map screen, you can view your status and change
      settings by pressing left/right.  In order of pressing 'Right' from the
      map screen:
      - Status screen: Displays current weapon, power level, map level, HP and ID
      - Item screen: Displays how many of each item you have
      - Chocobo World Vs. Screen: Lets you challenge another Pocketstation
      - Event Wait screen: Lets you set Event Wait on or off
      - Mog screen (after level 25): Lets you set Mog to sleep or standby
      - Move screen: Lets you set the movement rate
      Since Chocobo world is amazing boring after a while, you can make it just
      play itself automatically.  Set 'Event Wait' OFF by pressing the Down 
      button on that screen.  Boko will wander, sleep, fight, collect items and
      do random stuff without waiting to tell you.  
      Normally, Boko just heads on forever in a straight line if you leave the
      game running.  Fix this by setting Movement rate on the move screen to a 
      high number.  Boko will 'scan' for a number of pixels around him and turn
      toward an event dot within his sight range.  The Movement rate tells him
      how many pixels to 'look'.  So, setting it to '6', he will turn towards 
      an event dot that is less than 6 squares away.  Event dots disappear after
      he moves onto them and reappear somewhere else on the map.  Sometimes,
      there will be no dots within 6 squares of Boko's line of travel and he 
      will just keep going in the same direction forever.  Check him 
      occasionally if you leave him in Event Wait Off for long periods of time.
    5. Chocobo World game special events
      Various special events will pause the game even if you have Event
      Wait Off and wait for you to come watch them.  This will totally
      drain the battery in a few weeks (at most!) so don't leave the game
      displaying the 'Event!' screen forever.  The Level specified here is
      usually just the earliest level the event occurs, you may meet Koko
      any time after level 20 for example.  Only the Level 50 and Level 100
      events are fixed to that level.  
      Level 20: meet Koko (this occurs even if event wait is off) 
        Koko bumps into Boko (or the other way around if event wait is off.
        Love at first sight, which makes sense since these two seem to be
        the only overgrown chickens in the game.
      Level 25: find Mog, initial settings (event wait can be off)
        Koko and Mog jump up and down a few times.  You can set Mog to either
        Standby or Sleep.  If he's on standby, and you are killed in battle,
        he will jump in and make one final attack for you.  If that attack 
        reduces the enemy to HP 0, you will survive the battle with 1 HP.  If
        not, then you lose Mog and have to find him again.  
      Level 50, event wait on: Rescue Koko (1st powerup)
      or Level 50, event wait off: Fall into a pit 
        It is IMPORTANT to have Event Wait on before you hit your first event
        dot on level 50!  If you have it off, Boko falls into a pit, misses
        the first powerup (meaning you may only get two!) and dies.  Some
        people have reported not being able to get *ANY* powerups if they miss 
        the first one, so if you miss yours, it is much better to use 'Do over'
        to reset your CW back to an old level.  DO NOT USE THE 'HOME' command
        if you missed it, because it will update the 'Do over' command.
      Level 75: Hurry up
        The cactuar guy and the moomba tell you to hurry up and watch the
      Level 100: Koko abducted
        A demon monster grabs Koko and disappears.  What a demon wants with a
        big chicken is beyond me.  Still, you get to go rescue her.
      Set MV to 1 to fight demon king
        He has 99 HP, but is pretty slow & easy to beat.
      Visit event dots with 'event wait' on (and possibly mog on standby as 
      well) to get the 2nd and 3rd powerup (random, but won't appear without
      Event wait on).  Maybe it's just me, but both times I got the 3rd 
      powerup I had MV set to 3.  I got both powerups within 20 straight
      battles after fighting the demon king (without losing any battles).
      Each Powerup improves Boko in FF8.  When you summon Boko with the 
      Gysahl greens (available as an item in Chocobo World, or buyable from
      the Choco Kid), he will appear, make an attack and leave.  Depending
      on the number of powerups the attack strength varies:
    5.1 Powerup effects
      0 power-ups: ChocoFire (weak fire attack, about as strong as 'Fira')
      1 power-up : ChocoFlare (strong fire attack, 5000-9000 damage!)
      2 power-ups: ChocoMeteor (9999 damage!)
      3 power-ups: ChocoBuckle (INCOMING!  Usually 10,000-20,000 damage)
        NOTE: That's not a typo, ChocoBuckle can do more than 10,000 damage
      in a SINGLE ATTACK.  It is one of only a few attacks that can do
      that; the others are the Giant Cactuar's level 100 attack (does 
      exactly 10,000 damage), Eden (also can do 65,000 damage), Quistis'
      Shockwave Pulsar (sometimes does 10,000-20,000 damage).  To see the 
      max HP damage, summon ChocoBuckle vs a weak enemy like the geezard.  
      Mostly it does 10,000-20,000 damage though.  To see Eden do 65,000 damage,
      summon her vs. a weak enemy after casting 'Meltdown' on it.  Eden must be
      at level 100 and have all four SumMag +XX%s and 250 boost.
    6. Playing against a Chocobo on another Pocketstation
       The way this is supposed to work is you and your buddy (someone else
      who bought this thing and has the Chocobo World game) hold your
      pocketstations a few inches away, with the tops close to each other.
      One player puts his Chocobo World in 'Receive Mode', the other sets
      'Transmit Mode' and presses 'Enter'.  The transmitter will go into
      the receiver's game and the receiver can fight the chocobo.  If the
      receiver wins, he can copy the ID number from the transmitter.  
      I don't have two pocketstations, so I don't know whether the 
      transmitter fights a battle too.  When I send what should be the right
      codes back to the 'transmitter', it just exits back to chocobo world
      'walking mode'.  In either case, the game does not transmit anything
      during or after the battle (so the transmitter is in no danger of 
      'losing' his ID).
    7. Advancing in Rank/Effects of Rank
      'Rank' in Chocobo World affects your probability of getting the various
      items in the game, as well as the best weapon you can get and your max
      hit points on level 100.  It is determined solely by your ID number, 
      which is initially set to the last three digits of your unique 
      pocketstation ID (you can see it by flipping up the cover).  The only
      way you can improve your rank is to beat someone else with a better ID
      and copy theirs.  The table below tells you what IDs qualify for the
      various ranks.  If you call the Squaresoft 900-number hint line, they
      will tell you that lower IDs are better.  This is *NOT* true.  Consult
      the table below to determine whether you should take someone else's ID
      or not.  For example, if you have ID# 211, you should *never* choose to
      take another one.  
      Taking some of this data from JTKauffman's Chocobo World faq on 
      with respect to Mr. JTKauffman, he states that the rank can be improved
      by beating the game.  This doesn't seem possible in the US version of
      the game, and may not be possible in the Japanese version either.
      NOTE: The probability of items figures seem to be based on the japanese 
      version of the game, and may have been changed for the US version.
      Calling the Squaresoft 900 number, they will tell you that the game
      cannot be beaten, level 100 continues forever so you can keep collecting
      items.  However, they do not seem to have much information on Chocobo
      World so this may not be correct.
      Rank     Max.   Max.     Probability of item   #ID   ID  
      Number - HP   - Weapon -   A    B    C    D  -     - requirement
         1   - 41   - 9999   -  25%  25%  25%  25% -   1 - 211
         2   - 37   - 9998   -   5%  35%  30%  30% -   3 - 000,008,777
         3   - 35   - 9898   -   4%  10%  46%  40% -   8 - All digits the same
         4   - 34   - 9888   -   3%  10%  37%  50% -   9 - Ending in 00
         5   - 33   - 9698   -   2%  10%  28%  60% -   9 - Ending in 77
         6   - 32   - 9698   -   0%?  5%  25%  70% -  90 - Ending in 7
         7   - 31   - 9698?  -   0%   5%  15%  80% - 880 - Any other number
      I have tested this information with my own Chocobo, and asked many of the
      people who've come to me for help changing their ID to run their games
      through samples of all these IDs.  '211' seems to be the ultimate ID for
      everyone, and the other data seems consistent on every other chocobo world
      The Chocobo World tests your ID against each criteria starting with rank 1, 
      stopping when it finds a match (so 777 is rank 2, even though it qualifies 
      for rank 3,5 and 6).  The #ID field lists how many IDs qualify for each 
      rank, it is presented in JTKauffman's FAQ with an incorrect explanation for
      what the numbers mean.  
      I'm not entirely sure about the Rank 7 weapon.  At least one person got 
      a 9698 with a Rank 7 (most people with a rank 7 report the best weapon they 
      found is a 9697 though, so 9698 may be very rare).  The other Max weapon
      data is based on me leaving my chocobo world running with that rank for
      3 days to a week.  
      The Probability of Item data comes from Mr. JTKauffman's FAQ mostly.  I
      do not think it is possible to get an 'A' item on Rank 6 or 7.  I left CW
      running for several months on Rank 6 and got 99 of items B, C and D but 
      0 item 'A's.
    8. Using up items in FF8
      Well, the two main advantages Chocobo World gives you is items and the
      GF Boko.  Boko has a pretty obvious use: Any character with the 'Item'
      ability can summon him to inflict serious pain on the enemy.  Items 
      have less obvious uses, but here's what I've found:
      Refining items you get tons of into awesome magic for junctioning:
      1x Inferno Fang -> F Mag-RF    -> 20x Flare
      1x Regen Ring   -> L Mag-RF    -> 20x Full-Life
      1x Phoenix Spr. -> L Mag-RF    -> 100x Full-Life
      1x Moon Stone   -> L Mag-RF    -> 20x Holy
      1x Three Stars  -> Time Mag-RF -> 100x Triple
      1x Curse Spike  -> ST Mag-RF   -> 10x Pain
      1x Mystery Fld. -> ST Mag-RF   -> 10x Meltdown
      1x Fury Fragmt  -> Supt Mag-RF -> 5x Aura
      1x Dark Matter  -> For. Mag-RF -> 100x Ultima
      Phoenix Spirit is not that common an item, but how many people are
      you going to give 'Revive' to?  You should get so many of the above
      items (especially with the memory card copy trick) that you can have
      all of your characters with 100 of each of the above spells.  With
      that kind of power junctioned to your stats, you'll be flattening the
      enemy about as fast as they show up.  It's trivial to get the max of
      all the other power spells; Quake, Thundaga, Firaga, Blizzaga, 
      Curaga, Death, Regen too.
      You're still going to have tons of items on your hands even after
      refining them to magic.  Now work on your GF Ability items.  
      Give your GFs all the items they need to start working on their
      unique skills (like, give Siren a Hypno Crown (Mag +40%) so she 
      can start learning 'Mag Bonus')
      Once your GFs know all their unique abilities, use amnesia greens
      to make them forget all the lesser abilities (everything but 
      HP +80%, Str +60%, Vit +60%, Mag +60%, Spr +60%, Spd +40%) and
      replace them with their most powerful version.  Also trash 
      'Elem Def/x2' and replace them with 'Elem Def x4',
      Expend x2-1 can become Expend 3x-1.  Ability x3 can become
      Ability x4.  ST-Def-J/x2 can become ST-Def-J x4 as well.  Make
      sure everyone has SumMag +30% & +40%, and GFHP +30% & +40% (that
      is enough for all GFs to get 9999 HP at level 100 except for
      Quetzacotl, Shiva and Ifrit, they also need GFHP +20%).
      You've STILL got tons of items, especially if you refine all
      those weaker GF Ability items.  You can refine lots of stuff
      to Aura/Flare/Holy/Meteor/Ultima stones.  The 'Item' skill
      becomes a lot nicer with a lot more firepower to throw around.
      The benefit of 'Magic' is that it can be Double/Tripled and
      you can use 'Regen'.  Still having several people with Recover,
      Revive, Treatment and a healthy supply of Megalixers you can
      probably do without the 'Magic' command entirely by now.
      Now work on the ultimate item:
      Refine spare Rosetta Stones, Hungry Cookpot, Mog Amulet and
      Dark Matter to Shaman stones with Tool-RF.  If you like, refine
      100 Shaman Stones to 100 LuvLuv-Gs and start maxing out several
      characters on ALL the GF compatabilities (adds +20 to ALL GFs!)
      Take any leftover Shaman Stones and Forbid Med-RF them into 
      Hero-Trials, then upgrade 10x Hero-trials to full Heros!  If
      you want, you can upgrade 10 Heros to 1 Holy-war-trial, and 
      10 Holy-war-trials to 1 full Holy war!  You should easily end
      up with 30-40 Heros if you don't refine them further.  Plus,
      your stats should be so high that you won't need them very 
      often.  You can refine 100 Shaman stones to 1 Hero this way,
      and 100 Heros to 1 Holy War.  That's pretty pitiful actually.
      It's MUCH, MUCH easier to refine Gilgamesh to 10 Holy-Wars,
      especially since you can get a replacement Gilgamesh card on
      the fourth disc from Xu (in the landing bay of the Ragnarok).
      Forbid Med-RF turns more of your items into cool xx ups!  
      Concentrate each of your xx-up potions on one person until they
      are at a limit you like.  I gave Zell most of my Str Ups, 
      Selphie got all my Luck Ups, and my Spd Ups were distributed
      among all my characters until they all had a natural Spd 50,
      then I started giving them to Squall and Zell.
      Many items can become Elixirs (Elem-Atk, Elem-Guard, St-Atk,
      St-Guard, Remedy+, Mega-potion, etc...), and you can refine 10x
      Elixirs into 1 Megalixer.  You can easily keep yourself stocked
      with 100 megalixers all the time.
      Once you get the pocketstation, you shouldn't have any need to
      actually buy items anymore.  In fact, at this point, you can
      probably sell tons of excess items to make more money than you
      can reasonably use.  You can purchase the items you need to
      eventually refine to the various xx up items for a ton of 
      NOTE about Holy Wars: They're incredibly powerful, making everybody
      immune to further damage and status changes.  I used 3 in a battle
      against Omega weapon (yeah, I know, I'm a wimp!).  If you want to
      really toast Ultimecia, wait until she cast's 'Hells Judgement' on
      you (lowers everybody to 1 HP!), then use a Holy War and watch
      everybody waste her with their best limit breaks!  Too easy.  You
      *Can* use a megalixer while you are under Holy War if you like, but
      you can't cast Aura or anything else on your people.
    9. Questions & Answers
      Q: Why am I not getting any 'A' items?  I've left the Pocketstation
         running for X (days/months/years)?
      A: Sorry, only about 3 pocketstations in 1000 will ever get any A
         items on their own.  If you're in this majority of people, then
         your options are to either:
         1. buy another pocketstation, hoping to get lucky
         2. find someone else with a rare pocketstation, battle their
            chicobo & copy their ID
         3. hack the save data to give yourself a better ID
         4. hack the chocobo world IR transmission to trick your game into
            thinking it's fighting another game with a cooler ID
      Q: That SUCKS!  I can't do any of those things.  Isn't there some magical
         fairy god that can give me 'A' items?
      A: Yes, that does suck.  However the 'Pocketstation Exclusive' items
         like 'Friendship' and 'Ribbon' are also available somewhat rarely as
         'B' items.  The rest of the items are available in the main FF8 game.
      Q: Why would I ever want to set Movement rate less than 6 (the max)?  
      A: You wouldn't, most of the time.  You might set it to '1' if Boko is
         damaged and you want him to heal before you go to an event dot.  
         Also, some events can only occur when you are at a certain movement
      Q: My boko sleeps too much!
      A: No kidding.  The little brat sleeps more than my cat does.
      Q: This game is *really* boring!
      A: No argument here.  
      Q: Hey, wait a sec... If I use the Playstation's 'Memory Card' mode, I
         can copy the state of the Chocobo World onto another card, then 
         restore it after I upload my items... I can have infinite items!
      A: You genius, you.  Don't forget that you have to exit chocobo world
         (by holding 'Enter' for 10 seconds) before you can overwrite it 
         with the data you saved on the other card.
      Q: My battery is about to die, am I going to lose my data?
      A: No.  All the data is saved on a flash card, right down to the EXACT
         state of the game (even if you're in the middle of a battle!).  You
         can exit any time you like and come back, or change the battery 
         without losing any data.
      Q: When I try to import my data back, the 'Home' button is greyed out
         OR when I try to save onto the pocketstation, I get a message like
         "Chocobo is already in the pocketstation".  Now what?
      A: This occurs when your pocketstation is out of sync with your FF8
         game and usually occurs as a result of NOT SAVING WHEN YOU'RE 
         SUPPOSED TO!  The state of whether Boko is in FF8 or the PS is saved
         to both your FF8 saved game file and the PS data.  If they do not
         agree, then you can't do anything with either game.  You have a few
         1. Select 'Do Over'.  It overwrites the PS data with the data from
            the last time you imported Boko back to FF8, but resets all the
            items to 0.  This is fine if you can't use 'World'.
         2. Go back to an old save file where the state of Chocobo World was
            the same as it is now and continue from there.
         3. Follow these steps if you can't use 'Home':
            A. Save & Exit FF8
            B. Use the PSX 'Memory Card' mode to copy CW to another card
            C. Start FF8 again, pick 'Do over' from the menu, save FF8 & Exit
            D. Exit Chocobo World
    		E. Use the PSX 'Memory Card' mode to delete Chocobo World
            E. Copy the original CW back from the other card
            F. Start FF8 and Re-import
      Q: Hey, for some reason I can't import my data back (says 'Data from 
         another pocketstation cannot be brought home to FF8), what gives?
      A: Sorry, you're screwed.  The only thing you can do is say 'Do Over'
         and clobber the data in the pocketstation.  The error comes from trying 
    	 to bring a Chocobo from a different saved game into your game.  
      Q: Man, this game royally sucks.  How can I delete it completely?
      A: First exit Chocobo World (the game will not allow you to overwrite
         it's data or delete it if it is running), then use the PSX 'Memory 
         Card' mode to delete it.
      Q: How come you have so little of a life you can sit around and write 
         these stupid FAQs?
      A: Hey, FAQ you too.
    10. Chocobo World vs. Battle IR protocol (technical specs)
      NOTE: This section goes into the technical details of how Chocobo
      World games communicate with each other.  It is intended to help
      other programmers who want to mess with their game.  It does not
      describe the standalone PC version of chocobo world.
      Why bother dissecting the IR communications protocol?  Perhaps you're
      like me, a US gamer who ordered a pocketstation from an importer.  
      Since you can only attain a low rank by beating someone with a low 
      rank, and only 3 pocketstations in 1000 have a rank low enough to
      attain 'A' items, you're unlikely to have one or know anyone that
      On the other hand, the PalmPilot PDAs are fairly common here,
      inexpensive, and they come equipped with an IR transmitter and all
      the software you need to hack together your own 'virtual' chocobo
      world, good enough to fool the pocketstation game you're holding...
      It was a matter of a weekend to sit down with my wonderful Palm 3x,
      Chocobo World, my favorite hex editor and some PERL scripts to help
      me analyze the data.  All this data is the result of many hours of
      testing, checking and analyzing the IR signals the pocketstation
      transmits.  Some of the software I used to accomplish this (and to
      create the new data to fool my pocketstation into 'fighting' a 
      different chocobo) are:
      NOTE: The data file has only been tested on my 3x, so I don't 
      know if it works on any other Palm model or the Handspring Visor.
      Pacific Neotek (The OmniRemote people) has attachments to let 
      any non-IR-equipped palm use IR too. 
      A note about conventions: 
        When I refer to a hexadecimal number I precede it with an 0x.  So
      the decimal number 16 is 0x10.  In order to play against another
      chocobo world, one pocketstation must be placed in 'receive' mode and
      the other in 'transmit' mode.  I refer to the one in 'transmit' mode
      as the 'sender', and the one in 'receive' mode as the 'receiver' even
      though both pocketstations transmit data to each other at some point.
      Interpreting the data:
      Although IR devices exist that can transmit on multiple frequencies,
      the Pocketstation is not one of them.  It has one IR LED that it can
      turn on and off.  To send a '0' bit, it turns the LED on for a short
      length of time (something like 5 milliseconds).  To send a '1' bit, 
      it turns the LED on for twice as long.  In between bits, there's a 
      pause (where the LED is turned off) that's a little shorter than the 
      time a '0' bit is on (say, about 4 milliseconds).  
      What does this mean to you?  When OmniRemote records the signal, it
      records moments when the IR LED is ON as '1' bits in the data file.  
      Moments when the LED is off become '0' bits in the data file.
      From a higher level perspective:
        A. Chocobo World wants to send the number 0x01
        B. 0x01 becomes the bits: 0000 0001
        C. Chocobo World transmits these bits:
           LED ON 5ms, LED OFF 4ms (repeated 7 times)
           LED ON 10ms, LED OFF 4ms
        D. Omniremote captures this data:
           11111 0000  11111 0000
           11111 0000  11111 0000
           11111 0000  11111 0000
           11111 0000  1111111111 0000
        E. Omniremote reassembles these bits into bytes:
           1111 1000   0111 1100   -> F8 7C
           0011 1110   0001 1111   -> 3E 1F
           0000 1111   1000 0111   -> 0F 87
           1100 0011   1110 0001   -> C3 E1
           1111 1111   1000 0---   -> FF 80
        F. OmniRemote's data file in a hex dump:
           F8 7C 3E 1F 0F 87 C3 E1 FF 80
      So in a perfect world, you'll never see the hex characters 
        5 (0101), 6 (0110), A (1010), B (1011) or D (1101) 
      in the data since it would mean the LED was turned on, but not long 
      enough to send any bits.  If you see them, it usually means you're in 
      an 'IR noisy' environment and you should move somewhere without a lot 
      of reflections and blinking IR LEDs.
      There is some leeway in the transmission/interpretation of bits.  
      Although a '1' transmission data bit SHOULD become 10 '1' bits in the
      OmniRemote data, anywhere from 8-11 (sometimes 12) will still be 
      interpreted as a 1.  Likewise, 0's SHOULD be 5, but can be 4-6,
      and the spacer SHOULD be 4 '0's of OmniRemote data, but can be 3-5.
      I'm assuming that each bit in the OmniRemote data file represents 
      about a millisecond of recording time, but it's probably shorter than
      The Transmission:
      When placed in 'Transmit' mode, the pocketstation sends an annoncement,
      followed by a burst of 28 bytes to the receiving pocketstation.  
        The entire message sequence is preceded by turning on the LED for about
        twice the length of a '1' bit (usually recorded as 18 '1's of OmniRemote
        data), followed by a standard pause (4 '0's of OmniRemote data).
        Then the hex message 'FF 00 00 00' is sent.  
      Chocobo World message:
        The message starts with a header block to identify the sender as 
        another 'chocobo world' game.  This is 32 bits (4 bytes) and is always
        the same for each pocketstation.  It is the hidden ID number that the
        game was assigned the first time it was initialized.  On my game, this
        is always the bytes: "F5 95 99 47"
        Following the header, the sender sends it's ID number as two bytes, 
        with the last byte first.  The ID is NOT sent as it's hex equivalent,
        but is sent one base-10 number per nybble.  The IDs 397, 456, 011
        would be sent as: 97 03, 56 04, 11 00 (that's 0x97 0x03, 0x56 0x04,
        0x11 0x00 and NOT 0x61 0x03, 0x38 0x04, 0x0B 0x00)
        After the ID number comes the weapon; also sent as two bytes, last
        byte first.  Again, the numbers of the weapon are not sent as their
        hex equivalent, but as one base-10 number per nybble.  The weapons
        9698, 7788, 1020 are sent as 0x98 0x96, 0x88 0x77, 0x20 0x10.
        After the ID, the sender sends the current hit point total, one
        byte (not converted to it's hex equivalent).  The hit points 7, 32,
        and 12 are sent 0x07, 0x32 0x12.
        That is followed by a long break (I have not seen it change);
          "08 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00" (hex values)
        Then the previous parts of the message may be repeated;  
          ID number is either re-sent or sent as "00 00",
          Weapon is either re-sent or sent as "00 00",
          Hit points is either re-sent or sent as "00".
        Next come 3 random bytes (possibly related to the current time)
        Then the ID number is either re-sent again or sent as "00 00",
        Next come 6 more random bytes (again, possibly related to the time)
        Last is sent a 1-byte hex checksum.  The message will not be accepted
        by the receiving chocobo world if the checksum is not correct.
        The checksum is computed by adding up all the bytes (treated as
        hex values, even if they represent base-10 numbers: if the hit
        points were sent as 0x20 (representing 20 hit points) this would still
        be computed in the checksum as 0x20).  Only the last byte of the
        checksum is sent (so if the message added up to 0x2FF, only the 'FF'
        would be sent).  The checksum can be any number in range 0x00 - 0xFF.
        The checksum adds up all the numbers in the entire message except for
        the introduction sequence and the header.  So it adds up all the 
        numbers starting from the first bytes of the first time the ID is sent.
      To summarize the portions of the sender's message:
        [header][id number][weapon][HP][ break ]
        [id or '0000'][weapon or '0000'][HP or '00']
        [random bytes][id or '0000'][random bytes][checksum]
      A minimal message to send ID '000', weapon '1111' and HP '1', would be
        FF FF 00 00 00 F5 95 99 47 00 00 11 11 01 08 
        00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 2B
      After the reciever gets the whole message, if it parses correctly and 
      the checksum is valid, it sends an acknowlegement burst back.  This
      consists of the receiver's hidden ID number.  After the sender detects the 
      response burst, it sends back an acknowledgement.  The final 
      acknowledgement consists of both hidden ID numbers, repeated twice.  If
      you are 'talking to yourself', it will be your game's unique ID repeated
      four times.
      Once the receiver picks up the senders acknowledgement burst, it sends
      a similar short burst back, then begins the game.  The sender appears
      as a chocobo monster on the reciever's pocketstation.  It fights with
      the weapon the sender sent in the first burst, and has the HP that was
      transmitted as well.  There is no exchange of data between pocketstations
      during the fight.  If the player on the receiving pocketstation beats
      the monster, s/he may take ('inplant') the ID number of the sender 
      instead of the one currently in use.  The ID number affects the 
      probability of getting the different items, the maximum HP and the best
      weapon you can get.  
      [ Thanks to Paul Lam for figuring out the second round of signals! ]
      The first round of exchange, counting from the moment the transmitter
      begins sending it's signal to the end of the receiver's first signal
      is almost exactly 1.4 seconds.  The transmitter has a few seconds or
      so to send the second signal after the receiver has sent it's first 
    10.1 IR analysis tools
      I used the following software packages to help me analyze the signals
      coming out of the pocketstation:
        OmniRemote: Learning remote program for the Palm 3 and up
          (captures and sends IR signals), shareware $25 but its
          introductory period was more than long enough for me to
          learn what I wanted from the Pocketstation.
        The HexTool Binary Editor: Absolutely the best hex editor.  By
          Jon Durward (jon@durward.com), shareware $20
      If you have a PalmPilot with an IR port (the Palm 3,3x,5 and 7),
      you can download my tools and an OmniRemote data file to transmit
      the appropriate codes to your Pocketstation from my web site at
      My tools are designed to work in the UNIX environment, and are
      a combination of 1 'C' program and a couple Perl scripts.  If you
      aren't familiar with these, then just get 'OmniRemote', capture
      a few signals from your game when it's in 'Transmit' mode, and 
      send it to me.  I'll see what I can do as far as creating the files
      you need to get your game to Rank 1.
    11. Credits
      Paul Lam <plam@solomonmicro.com> - Worked out what the Transmitter 2
      signal was, and how it had to be constructed.  Extremely helpful in
      filling in the missing pieces.  
      <HuskerCubs@aol.com> - Sent me the list of what all the items in CW
      (A,B,C,D) can become when they are imported!  It applies to the PC
      version, but I think it may be close to the Pocketstation version as
      Some of the data in the table in section (8) came from JTKauffman's 
      Chocobo World FAQ.  He translated much of the data from a Japanese
      version of the FF8 Ultimania Guide (a strategy guide), but either
      did not correctly interpret/guess what everything meant or some
      of the data has changed from the Japanese version to the US version.