The Chocobo Quest in Final Fantasy VII is a sidequest; but it's the biggest and most valuable quest you can master for useful items and materia. Chocobos are the equivalent of the horses in our world except they look like a baby chick and ostrich mix and have different abilities. They are bred at the Chocobo Farm after first being caught in the wild. Eventually, they can be raced in the Chocobo Races in Gold Saucer, but to win there are several things you need to know.
Things to Consider
Firstly, you’re going to have to have a lot of time on your hands. The catching and racing can be monotonous and the breeding just takes a while to happen. Secondly, you’re going to need a lot of gil (you’ll see why). Lastly, you’ll want to be pretty powerful in order to easily catch Chocobos. That, or be very handy with tossing food at the Chocobos.
Catching a Chocobo on the first disc is much more difficult than on the other discs. Mainly because you don’t breed Chocobos on the first disc and really only need one to avoid the Midgar Zolom, but it’s a good time to practice. Go into the Chocobo Farm after you come out of Midgar and go into the barn. Talk to both kids there to learn about Chocobos. Have at least 2000 gil handy to buy the Chocobo Lure materia. Buy some greens, preferably Mimett but if you don’t have enough, others will do ok. Now go out of the farm and equip the Chocobo Lure to one of your characters in the party. Also move the greens you just bought to the top of your item list so you can use them quickly. Wander around the dark green area around the Chocobo Farm until you enter a battle that has different sounding music to the normal one. Then a Chocobo and a couple of enemies will appear and it will do an exclamation at the top of the screen saying “A Chocobo!” or something like that. Now you have to be quick. At the first character allowed a turn, you must go into items and throw one of your greens at the Chocobo. Anyone else you throw it to will gain health and it will have been a wasted turn and green. Now as soon as you throw the green, make the other two attack the monsters around the Chocobo. Do not use Bolt-All or any magic with all in it, because it will hit the Chocobo also and it’ll run away. If you keep attacking while the Chocobo isn’t eating, it will run away. The whole point of catching a Chocobo is to kill the monsters around it. Then it will be yours. As soon as the Chocobo makes a noise and puts it’s head back up, immediately feed it another green. Continue this process until the enemies are dead. It may be a good idea to assign two characters to attacking and the other to giving a green to the Chocobo.
Once you have it, which may take some practice, you go onto the World Map again riding a Chocobo. If you are on disc 1 or have not been to the Chocobo Farm on discs 2 or 3 yet, then as soon as you get off your Chocobo it runs off. If you haven’t done with it what you intended to do, you’ll have to catch one all over again. Some enemies have much higher HP than others and those Chocobos are the most difficult to catch. If you have been to the Chocobo Farm on Disc 2, then once you get off the Chocobo it will ask you if you want it to go to the Chocobo Farm or run away. Obviously if you want to keep it, you send it back to the Farm.
Breeding and Keeping Chocobos
Chocobo Breeding involves the process of catching a Chocobo, keeping it in a pen at the Chocobo Farm, feeding it to make it stronger, and then racing it to high classes in the Gold Saucer Races. If you have a male and a female Chocobo you can give them a type of nut and they will produce another Chocobo. But that’s the basics. To get the items and materia, you must breed new types of Chocobos that allow you to explore all areas of the World Map. The first thing you need to do is go to the Chocobo Farm on Disc 2. You can find another Chocobo Lure materia near the bottom on the ranch (the south end of the big pen). Go inside the house (not the barn) and talk to the man there. Have 40-60 thousand gil when you go there because the old man there sells you Chocobo stables that you need to store your main Chocobos in. They’re 10,000 gil each but they are permanent and you can get a maximum of 6.
About Mountain (Green) and River (Blue) Chocobos
Mountain Chocobos are green and allow you to cross mountains. River Chocobos are blue and allow you to cross rivers. After you have a few stables, go out and catch a male and a female ‘good’ Chocobo from the Chocobo tracks just south of Gold Saucer (you can’t check gender yet so don’t worry just now). Chocobo tracks are curved lines of Chocobo footprints and there’s a few of them in each area close together. Good Chocobos are found with 2 Spencers as enemies. If you don’t know what the enemy is, press the select button (or select equivalent for PC) and highlight the enemy with the little finger curser and it will say the enemy’s name. Catch 3 or 4 to be safe and send them back to the Chocobo Farm where they’ll be stored in the large pen. A maximum of 4 can be stored in the big pen. Return to the Chocobo Farm after getting 3 or 4 and talk to Choco Billy and choose to bring in some Chocobos from the pen. Save your game before doing this, you’ll see why in a second. The ‘good’ Chocobos are the ones that when selected, Choco Billy says, “Mmmm, this seems like a good Chocobo". Put all of the ‘good’ Chocobos into stables. If you have at least one male and one female, that’s good, keep them and release the others (it doesn’t matter which male and female you keep). If you have 4 males or 4 females for some reason, restart from your saved game and do it again, the genders will have changed and you should have at least one of each gender. Now head off to the Chocobo tracks around Mideel, and catch 3 or 4 ‘great’ Chocobos. ‘Great’ Chocobos are the ones with 1 or 2 Spirals as enemies. Be sure you can kill Spirals in one hit because Great Chocobos run away quickly. Then after catching around 4, go back to the Chocobo Farm and do the same process as with the ‘good’ Chocobos. After you have 2 ‘good’ and 2 ‘great’ Chocobos, head to one of the many islands just south of Bone Village and fight a red monster called Vladorakos who attacks with about 100-300 HP tops. He has a load of HP but he’s not a worry. Make sure one of your characters has the “Steal” or “Mug” commands equipped and steal a Carob Nut from the monster. After stealing, it may be quicker to run away, but afterwards, fight one or two more and get about 3 or 4 Carob Nuts altogether. After that, head back to the Farm, save your game and talk to Choco Billy. Choose the mating option and select Carob Nut. Then the sleeping music will play, a Chocobo noise heard and then the victory song plays as your new Chocobo is born. To get the Mountain Chocobo, mate the male ‘good’ Chocobo with the female ‘great’ Chocobo. To get the River Chocobo, mate the female ‘good’ Chocobo with the male ‘great’ one. Make sure to end up with a female of one color and a male of the other. It doesn't matter which gender is which color, but you atleast need them opposite. If they aren't, if you had saved before breeding you can reset and try again. Well done =P, now off to the Chocobo Sage’s house, located North of the Ancient City. Be sure to have around 250,000 gil handy, it’s not necessary but it will make things easier.
The Black Chocobo
The Black Chocobo can cross both mountains and rivers; which really isn’t anything new unless you like the convenience of not having to return to the Farm to alternate between the mountain and river crossing. At the Chocobo Sage’s house, you can get an Enemy Skill materia from the green Chocobo if you talk to it. Talk to the Chocobo Sage and take a look at what he’s selling. Buy as many Sylkis Greens as you feel necessary and feed equal amounts to your blue and green Chocobos. Next stop is Gold Saucer. Make sure neither of your mountain or river Chocobos is out on the World Map when going to Gold Saucer, otherwise it does not let you race them for some reason. Head to the Chocobo Races and you’ll see a familiar face from Corel Prison on Disc 1. Talk to Ester and she’ll ask you if you want her to be her manager. Accept and start racing your River and Mountain Chocobos. Once you get them both to ‘A’ Rank (or above for those feeling proud), go back to the Chocobo Farm. At this point, you will want to release the 4 Yellow Chocobos you have because you do not need them anymore. Use a Carob Nut on the Green and Blue Chocobos to breed a Black Chocobo.
Racing isn’t always easy. You race against 5 other opponents on other coloured Chocobos around a long or short track. The short track involves a spiral upwards and is good for good racers who are impatient. It has a slow part in the space part at the end. The long track requires a lot of stamina and involves a slow part underwater. If you are racing with bred Chocobos (in other words, Non-Yellow Chocobos), you won't change speeds at all in this area. It’s a good idea, if you want to get to ‘A’ and ‘S’ classes, that you have Chocobos with lots of stamina and have a speed over 120kph. The maximum speed is 187kph for your Chocobo and you can have 999 stamina. Speed and stamina can be increased by using Greens like Reagan (increases Speed and Stamina) and Sylkis (increases Speed, Stamina, and Intelligence) on your Chocobos. The Greens also make your Chocobo easier to control during the race so you can maneuver them and so they won’t waste precious stamina sprinting (during manual control). (Basically, the more you feed them the more they like you; the more they like you the more you can make them do what you want.) There is a stamina bar at the bottom left which goes down during the race. If it gets to empty, your Chocobo will have crosses as eyes and start walking extremely slow. You don’t want that to happen. Left and right moves the Chocobo left and right, holding Circle or the PC equivalent makes the Chocobo sprint. This uses up stamina quickly for a fast speed boost which involves the Chocobo’s head being lowered and it’s legs moving rapidly. Holding Square or the PC equivalent makes the Chocobo speed up. The longer you hold Square, the faster your Chocobo’s general jogging speed will be. This uses up stamina fast but not as much as sprinting. Holding X or the PC equivalent makes the Chocobo slow down. This is mainly used for slowing down after holding Square a lot and you’re low on stamina (or also for those gamers with high speed chocobos on the early races who don't like to be waiting forever at the finish for everyone to catch up). Of course, all those commands can only be used in the Manual setting for Chocobo Racing. See the little red thing at the bottom left of the race screen that says Automatic? If you press Select or the PC equivalent, it will turn blue and say Manual, then you can control. Anyway, if you talk to Ester and ask how to ride, she’ll tell you that and most of the controls. You start off at ‘C’ class, which involves 3 easy races. After winning three (doesn't have to be consecutive) you get upgraded to ‘B’ class; which is another easy 3 races and should get you used to Manual settings. You can lose the races as many times as you want as it doesn’t cost a thing to race Chocobos and you don’t lose anything for losing except some GP or an item. Speaking of which, you get an item when you win a race. It’s basically luck what you get but you can choose to keep the item or trade for GP. If you want easy Carob Nuts, Wonder Square sells them for 300GP each. Racing is the best and cheapest way to get GP believe it or not. After ‘B’ class, you progress to ‘A’ class; which also has 3 classes, but it isn’t easy getting Blue and Green Chocobos past ‘A’ class. After that is the Special (‘S’) class. This can really only be won by Gold and sometimes Black Chocobos. After winning a lot of ‘S’ class races (about 18-20), Ester gives you a load of rare items which you probably tried to win during the races but never seemed to get. From about ‘B’ class onwards, a guy called Joe, (whom you met in Disc 1 in the race area) starts racing. His Chocobo is the only Black Chocobo other than yours in the Chocobo Races so you know you’re versing Joe when you see a Black Chocobo in the race or in the race lineup as Chocobo number 2 (yours always being number 1). Joe’s Chocobo Teioh always has higher stats than yours and is very annoying if you have an average Chocobo and just trying to get it to ‘A’ class, because it is very fast. If you have a fast Chocobo, then he is actually an asset, because you then don’t have to wait for those slow ‘B’ class riders to finish the race you finished 3 minutes ago. Once you get to ‘S’ class, Joe is slower than the other riders actually, but besides you and Joe, everyone goes slow on the underwater part in the long course and the space part in the short course. And now, after you’ve read all that, I’ll give you the tip which will make racing so much easier. During racing, hold R1 and R2 simultaneously (or the PC equivalent) and your Chocobo’s stamina will be restored slowly, but enough. It’s not too effective with sprinting, but if you hold Square, you can jog your fastest and it’s stamina will barely move, if that even. Oh and just for fun, if you have Tifa or Cid in your party, they’ll ask if they can have a ride too in place of Cloud.
The Gold Chocobo
This Chocobo can cross mountains, rivers and the ocean itself--making it allowed to go absolutely anywhere on the map. To get this Chocobo (after obtaining the Black Chocobo) head to the Chocobo tracks just south and a little west of Icicle Village and catch 2 or 3 ‘Wonderful’ Chocobos. These ones come with 1 or 2 Jumping enemies; jumping little White Rabbits with carrots. (heh, follow the white rabbit) After catching a few, go back to the farm and save your game. Make sure that the ‘Wonderful’ Chocobo you put in the stable is the opposite gender to your Black Chocobo. Now you can head back to the Chocobo Sage and get more Sylkis Greens because you’ll need a lot of training for your Black and ‘Wonderful’ Chocobos. While you’re around there, head East to Goblin Island (the one with a forest) and battle some Goblins in the forest. Steal one or two Zeio Nuts from them and return to the Chocobo farm. Give equal amounts of greens to the 2 and head off to Gold saucer again (making sure of course that your Black and ‘Wonderful’ Chocobos are at the Farm). Race the 2 up to ‘S’ class. This may be a little difficult and you may need more gil than you’ve got, so I suggest using 1000 GP to buy Gil Plus at Wonder Square and battle some monsters for more gil. Once your 2 Chocobos are at ‘S’ class, go back to the Chocobo Farm and use a Zeio nut on the 2 to get your Gold Chocobo. Congrats.
Breeding and Extra Information
Basically, these are the things you can do with Chocobos that you cannot do with other transportation. Firstly, before you don’t realize for a few hours about this, the Highwind can carry Chocobos around in it. Hop on your Chocobos and press the OK button on the Highwind and it will take off, Chocobo and all. Easy transportation. I’ll just tell you what you can get if you ignored this part up to now and have a Gold Chocobo. To the east of Mideel you’ll see on the map, a lot of islands that eventually come to a point (roughly south to south-east of the Chocobo Farm). Ride up to that point any way you want and enter the cave; it’s not hard to find. Inside press the OK button on the glowing thing; which you’ll have to do for the following 3 caves also. If you head to the far Western continent (the one Wutai is on), you can get the Mime materia. It’s roughly in the middle of the continent to the far east of the continent. You’ll see a cave sticking out behind a mountain which surrounds it on one side, while the other 3 sides are ocean. The HP<>MP materia is in a cave at the northern-most part of the middle continent (North of North Corel--just over those mountains). You’ll see a desert at the north of the continent surrounded by mountains to the north and south, and oceans and rivers for the other sides. The cave is in the north mountain side of the desert. Knights of the Round is the most powerful--useful thing you can have in Final Fantasy VII, and if you walk your Gold Chocobo across the ocean to the far North East, you will find an unmarked island with just a forest in it and mountains surrounding it. It is round and is entitled “Round Island” for numerous reasons. Enter the cave there to get the materia. The last thing the Chocobos can do that’s useful is allow you to get Alexander if you missed it at the start of Disc 2. Just ride across the mountains, going around Icicle Village and ride across the snow until you see a little barrier of snow. Get off the Chocobo and walk into it and would you look at that, you’re now purposely lost in the snow and can get Alexander.
If you select the other option while talking to the Chocobo Sage, he will tell you some things about Chocobos that I’ve mentioned. He will tell you a small bit and then forget what he was on about. Come back after doing some things and he will remember some more things and then forget. Keep doing this until he says that he doesn’t know anything else (that’s not the quote but it’s different to “Can’t remember for the life of me” which is his usual forgetting quote after information has been given). Once he’s said that, you may be wondering whether you can hear what he said again-- well you can. Go back to the Chocobo farm and talk to Choco Cole, the other kid there, and he’ll ask if you’ve talked to the Chocobo Sage. Say yes and all that and he’ll say something about taking some notes. After that he’ll tell you which Chocobo of yours is most intelligent, fastest, has the most stamina, sprinter, etc--which you can check any time. He will also have everything the Chocobo Sage said written down for you to check up on any time. Enjoy.