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Chao raising is the process of raising a Chao in the games Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2. There are many different ways to raise a Chao, and the methods differ depending on the implementation of Chao raising in the game the player is using. It is also possible to transfer a Chao to either a VMU or a Game Boy Advance to raise a Chao away from the console.
There are three ways to hatch a Chao egg. The way an egg is hatched determines that Chao's facial expression for its entire lifetime. However, its initial reaction to hatching is just that: it has no bearing on their happiness or personality in the long term.
Remember! The Chao's face can never be changed once it hatches! Also note that, in Sonic Adventure, the initial faces of the two Chao from the two starting eggs are set and cannot be changed.
Edit: Actually, it's been proven that hatching will not effect the chao in any way. The face and other genes are determined when the egg is either born, or bought.
Basic Care of a Chao involves many simple actions, such as petting it, picking up the Chao, and feeding it an assortment of nuts. So long as these are performed regularly to a Chao, it should live a happy life.
However, negative actions, such as throwing the Chao, depriving it of food and sleep, and even going so far as to attack your Chao will likely result in a negative disposition towards the character, and the Chao will die a premature death, going into a grey cocoon and disappearing from your Chao Garden.
If a chao is treated well enough and is happy throughout its life, it will be reincarnated and will appear in an egg once it comes out of its dying cocoon.
Introduced in Sonic Adventure 2, Chao have Hero, Dark, and Neutral Alignments that can be determined early on in life by what characters interact with them, and how they are interacted with. If a baby chao is treated will by hero characters (Sonic, Knuckles, Tails), They will drift toward hero alignment, and start developing early features of a hero chao such as lighter skin tone and ball color. If they are abused or treated negatively by a hero character, they will drift alignment toward becomming a Dark Chao. The inverse of this is true for dark characters. It is more favorable to change the alignment of a Chao by treating it well, since, as stated above, abuse will shorten its life-span.
In Sonic Adventure DX and other updates of the game, alignment is still present, but only determined by purchased Hero and Dark fruit.
After evolution, chao alignment is set, but their opinions of individual characters can change. If a chao is somewhat fond of a character, it may stop and wave if it sees them. If a chao is very fond of a character, it will chase them around the garden and beg to be picked up, and then cheer happily as it is carried around. If a chao has a negative opinion of a character, it will hiss and mock them. It will also grumble and struggle if picked up.
Chao normally wander aimlessly, their movement path usually consists of finding a point in the garden and going there, and after a certain amount of time, finding another point or sitting down. This can lead to chao that constantly walk into the water no matter how many times you pick them up and take them out of it. When a chao is hungry, it may get the idea to walk toward the nearest food item. This can also make the chao curious, and it may run into a hat and decide to put it on, or run into a growing tree and water it while in its hungry state. Chao also sleep for about 5-10 minutes at a time, and waking one up will elicit negative reactions.
Chao behavior can vary based on multiple factors. These include how the chao is treated, what its highest stats are, what it has learned in chao kindergarten (SA2), what races it has won, and what traits it has picked up from animals. The stat part is as simple as speed affecting how fast the chao runs around the garden, flight enables them to fly, etc. Items won from races can give the chao more items to use, such as shovels or watering cans to plant seeds, crayons to draw pictures. Chao kindergarten can teach chao to play instruments or sing. Animal traits give some chao animalistic actions, face washing or backstroking while swimming. If a chao is treated poorly very often, it will sit and cry sporadically.
Chao mainly eat fruit. Food should never be of short supply in a garden, as there are several trees that grow fruit very fast. When given to a chao, the way they eat it will depend on how hungry they are. If very hungry, it will vigorously hack away at the fruit given to it with its face, if only minorly hungry, it will nibble slowly. If not hungry, or it dislikes the fruit, it will throw it away. Fruit shrink as they are eaten, and disappear when eaten fully. All fruit raise the stamina stat.
Chao can have favorite fruits, which can be purchased, or grown from seeds of that type. When given their favorite fruit, the chao becomes more fond of that character, if given a fruit it doesn't like, it will throw it away. Fruit and nuts have had other effects that vary game to game. In the Dreamcast versions of Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, the VMU could be used to obtain other seeds and fruit, such as a life seed, which would extend the life of a chao. In the tiny chao garden, fruit can raise and lower stats, and will fill up chao at different rates. These fruit can also be ported into SA2B and SADX, where they have textured models and give the same effects. Other fruit can be purchased that have specific effects. Chao Fruit will raise all of a chao's stats. Hero and Dark fruit will change a chao's alignment. The rarer mushroom will raise stamina twice as fast and it's said to improve the invisible "luck" and "intelligence" stats.
Each chao can have one of a few types of personalities. You can see what these are in SA2 by visiting the chao doctor. A few examples of these are Naive, Crybaby, or Short-Tempered. Chao personalities will have a slight, self-explanatory effect on how they behave, and they are known to shift occasionally. For instance, Carefree my turn into No Personality, and No Personality my shift to any other personality.
Chao Breeding is when a Chao goes into Mating Season, finds a partner to mate with, and results in a Chao Egg being layed. A Chao can go into Mating Season in one of two ways. The first is the natural Mating Season when it reaches 2 chao-years old, or about 4 hours after it evolves. The second way is to feed it a heart fruit purchased from the store. While in mating season, the chao will sit and show a heart over its head, surrounded by a ring of flowers. Not every Chao will mate with each other. Unevolved chao will not mate, nor will immortal chao such as chaos chao or special event chao. If both chao are not in mating season, there is a chance the one that is not will simply walk away.
Chao have five stats, the first four of which determine abilities in chao races. These stats go up whenever a Chao is given an animal or a stat altering item. When all 10 boxes are full, the stat will 'level up'. The maximum level for any stat is 99. They are:
The stat names are pretty self-explanatory as to what they represent. They indicate their strength during those parts of the race. The fifth stat, Stamina, indicates how far they can go during the race without pausing or even falling asleep. Stamina is affected by fruit (1 bite fills 1 box; hardest to raise), while the other stats are affected by small animals, and Chaos Drives in Sonic Adventure 2.
Giving a Chao a small animal not only affects its stats, but also its appearance and abilities
|Otter||Paws, feet, & whiskers||Backstrokes in water|
|Seal||Fins & a tail||Dances|
|Penguin||Eyebrows, fins, feet, & tail||Belly slides|
|Swallow||Wings, tail, & Mohawk||Does sit-ups|
|Peacock||Wings, tail, feet, & Mohawk||Struts/Poses|
|Parrot||Wings, tail, & feet||Sings|
|Deer||Hooves, antlers, & tail||Bows|
|Kangaroo||Ears, hands, feet, & tail||Back flips|
|Rabbit||Ears, paws, feet, & tail||Hops|
|Gorilla||Arms, feet, hair, & ears||Pounds chest|
|Lion||Nails, ears, & mane||Cleans face|
|Elephant||Arms, feet, & ears||Acts tough|
|Koala||Ears, paws, & feet||Plays trumpet|
|Mole||Nails & a tail||Digs holes|
|Skunk||Tail, hair, paws, & feet||Farts|
Note that the Chao will only do a backstroke if it has a Swim stat of 100 or higher.