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Chocobo Racing

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Chocobo Racing
Chocobo Racing
Chocobo Racing NA box art.jpg

チョコボレーシング 〜幻界へのロード〜
Chocobo Racing: Genkai e no Rōdo

Developer(s):

Square

Publisher(s):

Square

Platform(s):

PlayStation

Release date:

PlayStation
Japan March 18, 1999
United States/Canada August 10, 1999
Europe October 11, 1999
PSOne Classic:
Japan February 10, 2009

Genre:

Racing

Game modes:

Single player, multiplayer

Ratings:

ESRB: Everyone

Chocobo Racing is a racing game of the Chocobo series that was released for the PlayStation in 1999. The game was both developed and published by Square.

As a formulaic kart racer, Chocobo Racing is often compared to the Mario Kart series. Its gameplay is mostly comparable to Mario Kart 64, which was the latest Mario Kart installment at the time. The game features some other Final Fantasy series characters, such as Mog, the Black Mage, and a character named Cid. Most of the game's soundtrack reuses tracks from earlier Final Fantasy titles.

Chocobo Racing was later re-released for Japan's Chocobo Collection compilation, alongside Chocobo Stallion and Dice de Chocobo. On December 20, 2001, Chocobo Racing was re-released individually as part of the PSone Books series.

Story[edit]

The story is nine chapters long and is presented in a pop-up book fashion with accompanying full-motion video. To progress through the Story mode, the player only needs to defeat the chapter's respective challenger. Before each chapter begins, the player is given the option of viewing the story or skipping it in favor of racing immediately.

The story opens with chapter one, "Gadgets a go-go," where Cid presents Chocobo with a pair of Jet-Blades and offers Chocobo a chance to take a test-run with them on the racetrack behind his lab. After the race, Mog drops in and asks Cid about the progress of the racing machine he'd commissioned. Cid promises to bring the machine by tomorrow, but later confides to Chocobo he'd forgotten it. The next day, after presenting the doubtful Mog with his scooter, Chocobo and Mog race. After Chocobo wins, Mog confronts Cid over his vehicle's poor performance, but Cid replies that Chocobo won because of the differences in their abilities (i.e., Chocobo's "Dash"). He explains that the secret of Chocobo's "Dash" ability is the Blue Crystal on his leg-ring. Mog mulls over his inferior "Flap" ability and decides he wants a Blue Crystal as well, so Cid recommends that the two go on an adventure to find out the secret of the Blue Crystal.

The two head out to discover the secret behind the Blue Crystal, meeting (and racing) many along the way. When they reach Mysidia, the village of mages, a White Mage there notices that all the companions have Magicite, which the companions had previously referred to as "Blue Crystals." The companions want to know the legend behind the Magicite shards; the White Mage agrees to tell them on the condition that they race her in the Floating Gardens, with the story as the winner's prize. Upon winning, she tells them of the legend: "There are Magicite Shards scattered all over the world. It used to be one large Magicite Crystal...But people kept fighting each other over it. So the founder of Mysidia, the great magician Ming-Wu, broke the Crystal into eight pieces. He then scattered the shards to the four winds. He did so to assure later restoration of the Magicite Crystal...when all eight pieces are brought together again."

After this discovery, the companions continue to search for other racers in possession of the crystal shards. Upon defeating Behemoth in a race, the monster joins their ranks, bringing the party's number to eight. The companions then notice that their Magicite shards begin to glow, and Mog discovers that he possessed Magicite all along. The convergence of all eight shards of the Magicite crystal fulfills Ming-Wu's prophecy, and the gate to Fantasia, the Land of the Espers, opens. When the companions arrive in Fantasia, they are greeted by Bahamut, King of the Espers. Bahamut decides to test their worth with a final trial, and welcomes their attempts to defeat him in a race. After the race, Bahamut acknowledges the powers of the group. He goes on to rhetorically ask if the companions knew why Ming-Wu broke up the Magicite, and explains the legend once more. Bahamut is pleased with the companions, noting that humans, moogles, chocobos, and monsters all came together in goodwill. In celebration, he decides to leave the portal between the world and Fantasia open, declaring that "Fantasia shall exist in harmony with your world from this day on."

Upon completion of the Story Mode, players are assigned a number of points determined by their performance, with a maximum of one hundred. Using those points, the player is given the option of creating a racer with customized color and performance. The point value is distributed among five parameters: Max Speed, Acceleration, Grip, Drift, and A.G.S., which determines how fast the racer's ability gauge charges. A maximum of twenty points can be assigned to each of the five racing parameters. Customized racers can be used in all of the game's modes except for the Story Mode, and only the main characters and Bahamut are open to customization.

Chapters[edit]

  • Chapter 1: Gadgets a go-go
  • Chapter 2: Moogling Right Along!
  • Chapter 3: A Life in Ruins!
  • Chapter 4: The Pleasure is Mine!
  • Chapter 5: Mind Your Manor!
  • Chapter 6: Crystal Clear!
  • Chapter 7: Maybe it's something I ate
  • Chapter 8: Won't you be my lava!
  • Chapter 9: Final Fantasia

Gameplay[edit]

Mode select screen

In Chocobo Racing, most of the characters ride in go-karts. Other characters fly, drive scooters, ride magic carpets, or even run on their own. There are five different racing modes:

  • Story Mode: Players are guided through the story of Chocobo Racing, which is narrated by Cid, in the form of an onscreen version of a pop-up book. Players who complete the Story Mode are given the chance to create their own racer; completing the Story Mode also unlocks racers.
  • Versus Mode: Two players can race each other on a horizontally split screen, where one player races viewing the top half of the screen and the other player races viewing the bottom half.
  • GP Mode: The Grand Prix mode, the player races computer-controlled opponents in four selected tracks of their choice.
  • Relay Race Mode: The player chooses three racers to compete in a relay match.
  • Time Attack Mode: The player can select any stage and try to beat the fastest time record set there.

Basic controls[edit]

While racing as any character, the player can accelerate, brake, reverse, activate Magic Stones, or use a "special ability" using the controller's analog stick and buttons. An additional move is the skid, which is executed by simultaneously braking and accelerating into a turn; as the game's cornering technique, the skid is useful for taking sharp turns quickly. If the player skids too sharply, however, the player's character will spin out. Before the start of any race, the player's character receives a speed boost if the player accelerates at the correct time during the countdown.

Magic Stones[edit]

Screenshot of Mog equipped with a Doom Stone

Magic Stones are scattered throughout each course. While racing as any character, the player can pick up Magic Stones by driving through them; Magic Stones can also be stolen from opponent players by bumping into them. The player can then activate the Magic Stone for some special effect. Activating a Haste Stone gives the character a short speed boost. In some Magic Stones, the power of the stone increases if more than one of the same Stone is picked up by the player. If the player gathers three Haste Stones, the duration of the Haste spell lasts longer than if the player had one or two Haste Stones. A total to three Magic Stones can be carried at a time. Each Stone is represented by a corresponding symbol on the racetrack, while stones marked with question marks represent random Magic Stones.

Name Description
Haste When activated, Haste Stones cast the spell "Haste". Activating one Haste Stone gives the player's character a burst of speed for a short period of time, and the effect is similar to the "Dash" ability. Activating two allocated Haste Stones casts "Haste2", and increases the burst of speed's duration. Activating three allocated Haste Stones casts "Haste3", which further increases the burst of speed's duration.
Fire When activated, Fire Stones cast the spell "Fire". Activating one Fire Stone shoots a fireball in a straight line; if the fireball strikes an opponent, it causes the opponent to crash. Activating two allocated Fire Stones casts "Fira", which shoots a homing fireball at the nearest character. Activating three allocated Fire Stones casts "Firaga", which shoots homing fireballs at all of the opponents in the course.
Ice When activated, Ice Stones cast the spell "Blizzard". Activating one Ice Stone drops a patch of ice on the ground. Activating two allocated Ice Stones casts "Blizzara", which drops six patches of ice on the ground. Activating three allocated Ice Stones casts "Blizzaga", which causes all opponents on the course to spin out and crash.
Thunder When activated, Thunder Stones cast the spell "Thunder". Activating one Thunder Stone fires a lightning bolt at an opponent with a 60% chance of hitting the opponent. Activating two allocated Thunder Stones casts "Thundara", which fires three lightning bolts at opponents with an 80% hit rate. Activating three allocated Thunder Stones casts "Thundaga", which fires six lightning bolts at opponents with a 100% hit rate.
Minimize When activated, Minimize Stones cast the spell "Mini". Activating one Mini Stone diminishes all opponents to 75% of their original speed and size. Activating two allocated Mini Stones Sasts "Mini2", diminishing all opponents to 50% of their original speed and size. Activating three allocated Mini Stones casts "Mini3", diminishing all opponents to 25% of their original speed and size; at this point opponents can be run over and flattened.
Reflect When activated, Reflect Stones cast the spell "Reflect", which reflects a spell cast by an enemy, causing the effects of that spell to turn upon the spellcaster. Reflect Stones don't increase in power when more than one is collected. Instead, extra Reflect Stones are stored behind the player's character.
Doom When activated, Doom Stones cast the spell "Curse" on the nearest opponent. When cursed, an opponent crashes after ten seconds. If the player's character is cursed, the player can pass the curse to an opponent by bumping into the opponent. Doom Stones don't increase in power when more than one is collected. Instead, extra Doom Stones are stored behind the player's character.
Ultima When activated, Ultima Stones cast the spell "Ultima". Activating one Ultima Stone causes all opponents to spin out of control. Activating two allocated Ultima Stones casts "Ultima2", causing all opponents to crash. Activating three allocated Ultima Stones casts "Ultima3", causing all opponents to have a catastrophic crash.

Ability[edit]

Before each race, the player is prompted to assign a ability to the selected character. During a race, the player can only activate the chosen ability when the meter in the upper left-hand corner of the screen is full. After using the ability, the player must wait for the meter to recharge to use it again. A list of special abilities and their respective effects are as follows:

Name Description
Dash Speeds the player's character up for a short period of time.
Flap Allows the player's character to fly over bad terrain for a short period of time.
Grip-Up Using the ability gives better handling for the character's vehicle.
Mug Steals an opponent's Magic Stone
Magic Plus Automatically activates when the ability meter fills up, and it increases the power of the player's allocated Magic Stones (if the player has one Dash stone, for example, its power increases such that the player has two allocated Dash Stones when Magic Plus activates).
Barrier Automatically activates when the ability meter fills up, and it protects the player's character from offensive magical attacks. The shield that Barrier provides lasts until the player's character is attacked.
Receive The player receives Magic Stones used on their character.
Charge Enables the player's character to accelerate with a short burst of speed and wreck opponents by ramming into them.
Megaflare Rains fireballs upon all of the player's opponents.
Gunblade Speeds the player's character up until taking the lead. Each time the player's character passes opponents, a gunblade slashes out and causes them to crash.

Courses[edit]

There are ten courses in the game. The first eight are available from the start, and the last two are unlockable.

Name Chapter Length Difficulty Description
Cid's Test Track Chapter 1: Gadgets a go-go 0.77 miles (1,239 meters) 1/5 A practice racetrack behind Cid's lab. This is the most basic course, without the hairpin turns and obstacles seen in the later tracks.
Moogle Forest Chapter 2: Moogling Right Along! 0.84 miles (1,352 meters) 2/5 A racetrack set up around a forest, with grassy embankments and a path winding through trees. In Story mode, Mog designed the track to challenge Chocobo on. In Story Mode, the course introduces the Haste Magic Stones.
The Ancient Gate Chapter 3: A Life in Ruins! 0.84 miles (1,352 meters) 2/5 A track located in the ruins of the village gate and overseen by Golem. In Story Mode, the course introduces the Fire Stones.
Mythril Mines Chapter 4: The Pleasure is Mine! 1.03 miles (1,658 meters) 2/5 A track based around an old, abandoned Mythril mining station. In Story Mode, this course introduces the Ice Stones, and Goblin is raced aginst.
The Black Manor Chapter 5: Mind Your Manor! 1.17 miles (1,883 meters) 3/5 A track set in a haunted manor deep in the Cursed Forest and home of the Black Magician. In Story mode, the course introduces the Thunder Stones.
Floating Gardens Chapter 6: Crystal Clear! 1.17 miles (1,883 meters) 3/5 An airborne track among hanging gardens, built by the ancestors of Mysidia. In Story Mode, the course introduces the Minimize Stones, and the opponent is White Mage.
Gingerbread Land Chapter 7: Maybe it's something I ate 1.55 miles (2,494 meters) 4/5 A racetrack decorated by various candies and sweets. In Story Mode, the course introduces the Reflect Stones, and the opponent is Chubby Chocobo.
Vulcan-O Valley Chapter 8: Won't you be my lava! 1.46 miles (2,350 meters) 4/5 A track amidst a desolate wasteland, with pits of lava and falling rocks, and home to Behemoth. In Story Mode, the course introduces the Doom Stones.
Fantasia Chapter 9: Final Fantasia 1.63 miles (2,623 meters) 5/5 The realm of the Espers and their king Bahamut. Fantasia is the longest and final course in Story Mode, and it introduces the Ultima Stones. After completing Story mode, this track is unlocked for other modes.
F.F.VIII Circuit N/A 1.46 miles (2,350 meters) 5/5 A long and winding course set on the streets of Deling City and styled after Squall's medallion Griever. The F.F.VIII Circuit is unlocked after completing Story Mode a second time.

Characters[edit]

Racer select screen

The main characters, which are integral to the Chocobo series, are accessible from the start. There are secret characters that can be unlocked by completing the Story Mode a successive number of times. Characters unlocked after Squall are hidden on the racer select screen, and are selected by entering a certain button combination.

Main characters[edit]

Name Vehicle Ability
Chocobo Jet-Blades CR Dash
Mog Mog-Scooter R2 Flap
Golem Rockin Roller V8 Grip-Up
Goblin Gob-Cart H4 Mug
Black Magician MagiCloud MK-1 Magic Plus
White Mage Cosmic Carpet Barrier
Chubby Phat-Burner Plus Receive
Behemoth Behemoth-Buggy 99 Charge

Unlockable characters[edit]

There are ten unlockable characters, most being from the main Final Fantasy series or another Square franchise. other Square franchises. All of them are unlocked by completing Story Mode a certain number of times. The S.S. Invincible is the fast racer in the game. Several of them are hidden on the racer select screen, and the player can access them by highlighting Squall and pressing one or two specific buttons, each character having their own.

Name Vehicle Ability Unlocked by Origin Button combination
Bahamut Dragon Wings Megaflare Completing the Story Mode one time Final Fantasy series N/A
Squall The Tempest Gunblade Completing the Story Mode two times Final Fantasy VIII
Cid's Tank N/A N/A Completing the Story Mode three times Chocobo Racing Pressing L1 button once
Mumba None None Completing the Story Mode four times Final Fantasy VIII Pressing L2 button once
Cloud Hardy-Daytona None Completing the Story Mode five times Final Fantasy VII Pressing R1 button once
Cactaur None None Completing the Story Mode six times Final Fantasy series Pressing R2 button once
Aya Police car None Completing the Story Mode seven times Parasite Eve Pressing L1 button and L2 button simultaneously
Classic Chocobo None None Completing the Story Mode eight times Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III (Famicom) Pressing R1 button and R2 button simultaneously
SS Invincible None None Completing the Story Mode nine times Final Fantasy III Pressing L2 button and R2 button simultaneously
Jack None None Completing the Story Mode ten times 3-D WorldRunner Pressing L1 button and R1 button simultaneously

Music[edit]

Main article: Chocobo Racing Original Soundtrack

Nearly every song are remixes of tracks that Nobuo Uematsu originally composed for various Final Fantasy games, although Kenji Ito is credited as the game's composer. In March 1999, Chocobo Racing had a soundtrack release for the music used in the game.

  • The music heard in the opening FMV is the Chocobo Theme played on a saxophone.
  • "Cid's Test Track" is a variation of the Chocobo Theme heard in Final Fantasy Adventure.
  • "Moogle Forest" was supposed to be the Town Theme in Final Fantasy VI, but never made it in the final game.
  • "The Ancient Gate" is the Boss Battle Theme from Final Fantasy III.
  • "Mythril Mines" is the Gurugu Volcano Theme from Final Fantasy.
  • "The Black Manor" is the Mage Shrine Theme from Final Fantasy II.
  • "Floating Gardens" is a variation of "A New Origin", the musical piece heard during the ending credits of Final Fantasy V.
  • "Gingerbread Land" is another variation of the Chocobo Theme.
  • "Vulcan-O Valley" is the Boss battle music from Final Fantasy II.
  • "Fantasia" is the Dark Cloud Final Battle Theme from Final Fantasy III.
  • "F.F.VIII Circuit" is the Battle Theme in Final Fantasy VIII.
  • "Loser's Requiem" is an off-key variation of the Chocobo Theme.
  • "Winner's Jig" is the Victory Theme heard in every Final Fantasy game.
  • "Chocobo's Tune" is the familiar Chocobo Theme.
  • "Mog's Muzik" is a musical piece called "Critter Tripper Fritter", heard in Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI.
  • "Cid's Sonata" is a musical piece called "Hey Cid", heard in Final Fantasy IV.
  • "Goblin's Gambol" is the Faris Theme/Pirate's Hideout Theme from Final Fantasy V.
  • "Road Rollick" is the musical piece "Good Fellows" from Final Fantasy III.
  • "Mage's Melody" is the Town Theme from Final Fantasy.
  • "Magician's March" is the Mysidia Theme from Final Fantasy IV.
  • "Golem's Groove" is the Castle Theme from Final Fantasy II.
  • "Chubby's Bop-pop" is the musical piece "Here Comes the Fat Chocobo" from Final Fantasy IV.
  • "Behemoth's Theme" is one of the Cave/Dungeon Themes from Final Fantasy III.
  • "The Esper King" starts out as the Intro from Final Fantasy VI, then turns into Sephiroth's Theme from Final Fantasy VII.
  • "Spooky-Wooky!!!" is the Confronting Dark Cloud Theme from Final Fantasy III.
  • "La-La-Legend" is the Data Select/Crystal Room Theme from every Final Fantasy game.
  • "Chocobo Choosin'" is another Chocobo Theme variation.
  • "Chocobo Creatin'" is the Chocobo Theme's bass line.
  • "Happily Ever Chocobo" is another Chocobo Theme variation.
  • "Diamonds in my Heart" is an original musical piece.

Development[edit]

The first demonstration of Chocobo Racing was at the Fall Tokyo Game Show '98; it was then unclear if there would be a North American release. In the release of Chocobo's Dungeon 2, a bonus CD included a video clip of the game.[1] Originally slated to be released in late September/October, the release date was moved to August 1999 because "It was done early, and is now ready to go".[2]

Reception[edit]

Chocobo Racing is sometimes accused of merely being as cash-in attempt for the kart racer genre originating from Mario Kart series. The resulting game was received as average among several reviewers, criticized as being of low quality, with unpolished graphics, crude track designs, and poor controls. The game scored a 4.4 in GameSpot's review and a mediocre 5.6 in IGN's review.

Reader reviews are considerably more receptive; Chocobo Racing scores a 7.2 among readers at GameSpot and a 7.1 average among IGN subscribers. The game was not successful commercially, as it only sold 300,000 units in Japan.[3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Chocobo Brings Surprise Extras. IGN. Published December 11, 1998.
  2. Chocobo Racing Moves On Up. IGN. Published May 27, 1999.
  3. Creative Uncut - Square Game List
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