So I’ve been continuing my playthrough of the original Final Fantasy VII and I think I’ve gone pretty far by now, especially considering I’ve been playing without using a walkthrough. I’ve managed to discover a few tricks and cheats by pure accident, like freezing the slots on Tifa and Cait Sith’s Limit Breaks by holding down the square button while it’s spinning and finding the Chocobo Sage while just flying around in the Highwind, which was a super thrill for me. However, I knew my time of not using a walkthrough was over the day I decided I was going to go after the Knights of the Round materia.
I’ve heard a lot about the Knights of the Round materia, how it’s the most powerful Summon in the entire Final Fantasy VII and the super convoluted way to get it. It does seem worth all the trouble, though, as the massive damage can really help with some of the more powerful bosses. Sure, it takes ages for the animation to complete as all of the mythical Knights of the Round have to fly across the screen at attack the beasts. The damage dealt, however… wow! I gotta have it!
You cannot get the Knights of the Round materia by normal means as it’s found in a waterlocked island even your airship, the Highwind, cannot land on. The only way to get to it is via Gold Chocobo, a special breed of bird which can climb mountains and even walk of water! Unfortunately, you can’t just find and capture a Gold Chocobo out in the wild. No, you have to breed one yourself. So, I had to hold of my quest of saving the planet from a giant meteor that’ll wipe out all life on the planet… to raise birds. It’s for a good cause?
However, now that I’ve actually managed to breed the legendary Gold Chocobo and retrieved the Knights of the Round materia over the weekend, I will say doing so was one of the most un-fun gameplay experiences I’ve had the un-pleasure of doing.
Let’s start with the fact I had to use a walkthrough to understand how to get a Gold Chocobo. You can probably go talk to the Chocobo Sage and follow his tips on how to breed one. The problem is he’s so old he keeps on forgetting how! So, you have to talk to him and, once he stops remembering the process, you have to go out in the world, fight a few battles and return to the Chocobo Sage and see if he remembers anything else. The entire world is about to be smashed by a meteor, old man! Who has the time to all of that? Just give me the darn walkthrough already!
So I did check out a written walkthrough and, I’m not sure if it wasn’t written well or my brain was just turning into mush because I had a difficult time understanding what to do exactly. I knew I had to capture Chocobos in a specific area as well as the ones who are surrounded by specific monsters. I knew I had to get “good” and “great” Chocobos as well as a “wonderful” Chocobo for the future. I guess the issue I had was due to the fact the walkthrough assumed you were extremely familiar with the monsters and town locations. Honestly, I kind of forgot the names of the smaller towns; the only ones I really remembered were Midgar, Cosmo Canyon and, of course, Gold Saucer. The rest of the towns, I just recall them using nicknames like “seaport town” and “laid-back town” and “Cloud’s hometown.” Yeah, I’m not a super hardcore Final Fantasy VII fan, am I?
I quit using the written walkthrough and went on the old reliable YouTube to get a guide. It did miff me a lot of the video guides touted you can get a Gold Chocobo quickly, which feels like a total lie now that I’ve actually done it. It may seem like it can be done lickedy-split but that’s only because of quick edits and cutting out all the times you have to run around finding the correct Chocobos and how many times you have to reset the game when you don’t get the desired results! Besides, I wanted to do it the legit way, meaning the way people did it when the game was released on the original PlayStation all those years ago. Maybe this was a mistake… but it’s too late now!
Now, I won’t bore you with the process but it is very long and repetitive! There’s also a lot of resetting involved as there’s a good amount of luck involved. Since you are breeding, you obviously need a male and a female Chocobo to produce offspring. Like in real life, this is something you can’t control! If you don’t get the right gender, that just means you have to reset, load the game and hope you get the right one. There’s also the factor of getting a Blue Chocobo or a Green Chocobo, but you do retain some control in this aspect. You can practically assure yourself of getting one of the colored Chocobos by having the ones you’re going to breed together win races at the Gold Saucer. This does add another layer of tedium because, as long as you max out their stamina by feeding these Chocobos with the most expensive Greens from the Chocobo Sage, you can pretty much have them run at full speed and they’ll win without you doing anything on your end.
While you can increase your chances of getting a colored Chocobo, what you can’t control is what color Chocobo you get. This is when I really got frustrated. I managed to get a Green Chocobo and now I needed a Blue Chocobo. So, I waited a while and try to breed another colored Chocobo with the hopes of getting a Blue one this time. What I got was another Green Chocobo. Alright, no problem. I’ll just reset the game and try breeding them again. No such luck because what I got was another Green Chocobo. This lasted for 8 resets! I kept getting Green Chocobos! So I looked through the guides again and I found out you can get a colored Chocobo by breeding a normal Good Chocobo with a Great Chocobo. They don’t have to be both Great Chocobos, which were the ones I had!
On the off-chance this was the actual method of getting a Blue Chocobo, I went to the place to get a Good Chocobo and I got a couple just in case. While the walkthrough mentions you only need to race one of the Chocobos to increase your chances, I didn’t want to risk it so I went and raced both of them to the required amount of wins. After that, I tried breeding the male Good Chocobo with the female Great Chocobo and I finally got a Blue Chocobo… but it was the wrong sex! What happened is I now had a female Blue Chocobo and a female Green Chocobo! That won’t work. What’s worse is I forgot to save the game before I started the breeding process! I had to do a few battles before trying to breed the two again but this time I made sure to save. This was a good thing because I got another female Blue Chocobo. Thankfully, after resetting the game, the third time was the charm and I finally got my male Blue Chocobo.
By the way, throughout all of this, I had to make Cloud shlep all the way to the Gold Saucer to race to improve my chances, fly all the way to the Chocobo Sage to keep buying the most expensive Greens and back to the Chocobo Ranch to feed the Chocobos! Even with the magic of the PlayStation 4 version making it possible to speed up the game, this still took hours upon hours of going to these locations, racing at the Gold Saucer, feeding the Chocobos, saving before trying to breed the Chocobos and getting into random fights to push time forward because you can’t make Chocobos baby factories! You have to let them rest and grow up before you breed them. Still, I persevered and, by the end of the weekend, I got my Gold Chocobo as well as all of the hidden materia scattered throughout the world.
I will say I’m glad I got the Gold Chocobo since I now have the most powerful (and most time consuming) summon, Knights of the Round, as well as some weird ones like Mime, which I still have to figure out how to use. Now that I’ve done it, I’m actually pretty amazed how people found out about this when Final Fantasy VII came out on the original PlayStation years ago because of how convoluted the process is and how much of it is left to chance. This isn’t really something most gamers have to put up with today so maybe that’s why it added to my aggravation. Getting the best stuff in games today isn’t really left up to how lucky you are but more relied on if you were paying attention or rewarding you with your exploration skills. I know I wouldn’t have been able to get a Gold Chocobo without someone from the past collating all of this information and putting together a guide for everyone else to follow.
While I am happy I have the most powerful summon, I’m not sure I feel all that fulfilled. The process was just too frustrating and the mere fact I would never be able to solve it myself irritates me as well. Not the best way to spend a weekend.
Were you able to get a Gold Chocobo and Knights of the Round? Let me know in the comments section below!
4 thoughts on “Episode 474: Raising Chocobos in Final Fantasy VII is a Terrible Way to Spend a Weekend”
Yeah, trying to get the Mime down on some of the ultra-weapons you face later on is pretty gnarly. at least it was for me. I don’t know how many times I died trying to get it down where you can use the summon and mimic it (I think) for the Knights materia.
I kind of wonder if they’ll keep the breeding system the same on the new FF7 remake? If so, we’ll… guess I better get popcorn and be ready for a long weekend like you pulled.
Still have to try to beat the Weapons though. I’m trying to level up as much as possible before doing so.
I think they’ll keep the Chocobo breeding in Remake but it’ll be super streamlined. As in they’ll explicitly tell you how to mate them to get the right breeds. I actually think it’ll be a side quest of sorts… involving Johnny.
I haven’t played FFVII in a long time, but I remember breeding chocobos. The only part I liked where the races.
The racing is fine but it’s a little too easy as you can beat everyone once you get a Gold Chocobo and max out its stats. Just set it to Manual and run at full speed.