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Chao

From Sonic Retro

Neutral Chao from Sonic Adventure.

Chao (pronounced /ˈtʃaʊ/, plural form also Chao) are relatively small, sentient creatures found in numerous Sonic the Hedgehog media, especially the video games. They serve as a way to introduce both artificial life (in the programming, not in the franchise's universe) as well as more plot to the franchise. They are based on earlier forms of the technology behind them, known as A-life, which appear in NiGHTS into Dreams with the Nightopians. Chao appear in the following Sonic games:

Lifecycle

2 Chao have created an egg after mating.

Chao begin life in an egg, similar to many animals in the real world (particularly non-mammals). When they hatch, they can be trained in many different ways, having multiple different attributes and emotional states. The chao from Sonic Adventure 2 can also favor "dark" and "hero" sides which can lead to variations in visual evolution. Depending on the game, they take various times to evolve. When evolving they go back into their cocoon state (similar to their normal egg state) for a small amount of time. In Sonic Adventure 2, it will take about 8-20 hours spent in a Chao Garden before they either die or reincarnate (depending on how you treat them). They can only reincarnate two times, even if treated well before dying. When they die for the final time, they go into a white cocoon. Chao can also be trained to "ultimate forms" such as the Chaos Chao, the Devil Chao and the Angel Chao. The three variations are all immortal, but do not have the ability to mate and make more chao.'


Raising Chao

Chao can be trained with Chaos Drives from GUN robot enemies in Action Stages or animals either found out in the open or in various badniks made by Dr. Eggman. Red represents power, Green represents speed, Yellow represents swimming and Purple represents flying. (Getting the drives could also be done by trading them for rings in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.) Animals can also affect their appearance; for instance, rabbits can give chao rabbit ears. Various fruits can be bought either in-game (like in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle), in Chao Adventure, or in the Tiny Chao Garden that serve a similar purpose. Plus, in the first Sonic Adventure, feeding the nuts found on the trees gives chao different stats, but it depends on who you play as (for instance, Sonic raises their speed, Tails raises their flight, Big raises their swim... the only one who has no effect is Gamma).

Chao are based on a special technology called A-Life, which originally came from NiGHTS into Dreams on the Sega Saturn where it was used for the Nightopians. They looked like small elves (peach colored) with bald heads and little blue clothes. However, despite their lower IQ to chao, the Nightopians did have emotions which were reflected in the music they sang and the music in the stages. They could die and become cross-bred with stage enemies (creating things called Mepians), and were born from small white eggs similar to those of the birds.

Possibly the most famous Chao is Cheese the Chao, the invincible partner of Cream the Rabbit (the walking, talking and flying rabbit) which can be seen in action in Sonic games (Namely Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Heroes) as well as being a character in Sonic X, a Sonic anime that is now airing in America and a cameo in GameCube's Sonic Adventure DX, a remake of Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast.

As with the Chao of earlier Sonic manga and magazines, Cheese retorts "Chao Chao Chao" instead of talking. This is said to be taking advantage of the Pokémon craze, but this is not true as many fictional Japanese animals said their name rather then talking long before Pokémon. However, this speech aspect is not true to all Chao, as Chao from the games often purred or make simple noises rather then simply saying their name.

Description

Chao come in many forms, and the way they are raised has a large impact on their physical appearance and emotional growth. There are however a few 'basic' forms of chao that can be achieved through selective breeding. These too are divided into two groups: alignment and attributes.

Alignment

Chao begin life in a neutral alignment. During their first stage of life, their later development is determined on how they are treated. They can, after they evolve, become either a Hero Chao or a Dark Chao. In Sonic Adventure DX, alignment is altered based on special foods given to the chao. In Sonic Adventure 2, being good to the chao, such as picking them up, rocking them, and petting them, will make the chao favor the alignment of the character that is doing the action. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are the Hero characters in the game, while Shadow, Rouge, and Dr. Eggman are the Dark characters. Harming the chao, via throwing them, stepping on them, or actively attacking them, makes them favor the opposite alignment of the character.

In Chronicles

In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Chao eggs can be found scattered throughout the game, from Green Hill Zone to the Nocturne fortress. Chao hatch from these eggs over time, and are deposited in the "Chao Garden" (which is not an actual accessible location as in the Sonic Adventure games, but can be viewed from the game menu).

The various Chao which hatch have profound usefulness in the game's combat system. Equipping a fighting character with a chao confers a variety of different combat advantages.

List of Sonic Chronicles chao

There are 45 different chao in all, five of which (the "viral" chao) could not be accessed with through conventional play. These five "viral" chao were supposed to be unlocked at special Sega events - which were later apparently canceled. Multiple copies of each of the 45 chao can be collected. (Note: The descriptions for the viral chao were presumably not giving to beta testers and as a result not checked over. Though they work, 3 of them have descriptions that are longer than the game can display. The full descriptions found in the ROM image are listed for those.)

Name Rarity Appearance Effects
Baki Viral* Ninja-style black with a black head-orb and pink face Bonded character making a successful counter move will automatically get free attacks against the enemy.
Barbo Common Dark blue with red/white extremities and a green head-orb Increases Maximum HP of bonded character.
Belgog Rare Blue with light blue extremities and a pink head-orb Bonded character is much harder to hit.
Bepke Rare Black/white with white horns and a red head-orb One enemy will automatically attack the bonded character instead of other team members.
Blayze Rare Light grey with brown extremities and a red head-orb Bonded character does much more damage in battle.
Bobo Rare Black/magenta with magenta horns and a yellow head-orb Bonded character will always find an extra reward item after combat.
Cheese Unique** Cream's best friend in the whole wide world: Light blue with a red bow and yellow head-orb Greatly increases the luck of all team members.
Cheezlet Common Light blue with white extremities and a yellow head-orb Bonded character does more damage in battle.
Choo Common White with magenta extremities and a pink head-orb Bonded character regenerates PP at the start of each combat round.
Choopaloo Unique Orange with horn-like ears, purple extremities, and a light blue head-orb Increases XP gained from each battle.
Churdle Common Aquamarine with light blue extremities and a pink head-orb Bonded character has a better chance of hitting targets in battle.
Dusty Rare Purple/yellow with blue extremities and a blue head-orb Increases the chance that the team will catch a fleeing opponent.
Farfinkle Viral* Ninja-style black with a black head-orb and orange face Bonded character automatically inflicts a random status effect on enemy when making a normal attack.
Ferox Unique Green with a grey muzzle, aquamarine extremities, and a red head-orb Bonded character automaticly succeeds using their POW moves.
Fess Rare Black/blue with blue horns and a light blue head-orb Increases the odds that Chao eggs will hatch rare or unique Chao.
Fimbley Viral* Ninja-style black with a black head-orb and blue face Bonded character will automatically be missed some basic attacks each round.
Ghise Common Dark blue with pale blue extremities and a light blue head-orb Bonded character's attacks do Water damage.
Gibber Rare Purple with blue extremities and a pale blue head-orb Bonded character has greatly increased resistance to damage.
Griff Common Pale blue with brown extremities and a gold head-orb Bonded character's attacks do Ice damage.
Hayda Rare Dark green with a black stomach and a scarlet head-orb Regenerates PP at the start of each combat round for all team members.
Jirna Common Yellow with grey extremities and a purple head-orb Chao creates an earth shield to protect against damage.
Joy Rare Pink with scarlet extremities and a blue head-orb Regenerates HP at the start of each combat round for all team members.
Kayla Rare Red/black with red horns and a green head-orb Reduces the team's chance of being ambushed.
Keroyo Rare Green with light green extremities and a yellow head-orb Increases odds of enemies fleeing from battle.
Knickt Common Gold with pale yellow extremities and a blue head-orb Chao creates a shield of lightning to protect against damage.
Koolet Common Pink with pale purple extremities and a light blue head-orb Bonded character is harder to hit.
Korus Common Orange with ochre extremities and a black head-orb Chao creates a shield of fire to protect against damage.
Luunan Rare Pale yellow with an orange stomach, turquoise extremities, and a blue head-orb Greatly increases the maximum PP of bonded character.
Oldarg Rare Red with a white stomach, scarlet extremities, and a dark green head-orb Bonded character has a greatly increased chance to hit targets in battle.
Oolean Common Pale yellow with white extremities and a dark blue head-orb Increases maximum PP of bonded character.
Ovus Unique Yellow with orange extremities, white stomach, and a magenta head-orb Bonded character is automatically revived once during a battle.
Perty Common Dark green with light green extremities and a red head-orb Chao creates a shield of water to protect against damage.
Pooki Viral* Ninja-style black with a black head-orb and red face Bonded character takes less damage from enemy attacks and spreads the remaining damage evenly among other team members.
Pyraz Common Red with white extremities and a blue head-orb Bonded character's attacks do fire damage.
Radu Rare Light blue with blue extremities, yellow stomach, and a black head-orb Greatly increases the maximum HP of bonded character.
Rugle Common Pale pink with ochre extremities and a green head-orb Bonded character has increased luck.
Seeri Common Purple with aquamarine extremities and a dark green head-orb Chao creates a shield of wind to protect against damage.
Seggo Common Yellow with brown extremities and a purple head-orb Bonded character's attacks do Wind damage.
Spartoi Unique Purple with mauve, cog-like facial markings, golden eyes, and a yellow head-orb Bonded character's attacks may cause instant KO against enemies.
Stebsly Common Black with blue extremities and a pink head-orb Bonded character regenerates HP at the start of every combat round.
Stilgin Common Red with dark red extremities and a white head-orb Bonded character's attacks do Earth damage.
Stugs Viral* Ninja-style black with a black head-orb and white face Bonded character is avoided by enemy attacks except as last surviving target.
Velk Common Light purple with pale blue extremities and a blue head-orb Bonded character has increased resistance to damage.
Zimba Common Grey with pale orange extremities and a purple head-orb Bonded character's attacks do Lightning damage.
Zousar Rare Yellow with pale blue extremities and a pale dirt-brown head-orb Increases the team's chances of Ambushing opposing teams.
  • * Referred to as Unique in game.
  • ** Cheese is even more unique than the other "unique" chao in The Dark Brotherhood; s/he can't be hatched from a Chao egg, and must instead be picked up in Green Hill Zone as part of the mission to recruit Cream.
  • In the Japanese version of the game, four of the viral chao can be unlocked by entering a cheat code in the Chao Garden.
  • For Western players, Stugs is the only viral chao for whom the release event was actually held. The only way to acquire the other viral chao is through savestate manipulation or Action Replay cheats. When unlocked, several of their descriptions are apparently longer than the game can display.

Character Chao

  • Some Sega characters have had their appearance used for the basis for Chao with a specific raised stat and alignment.
    • A Neutral Chao with a raised Run stat resembles Sonic.
    • A Dark Chao with a raised Run stat resembles Shadow.
    • A Neutral Chao with a raised Fly stat resembles NiGHTS
    • A Hero Chao with a raised Fly stat resembles a Flicky.
    • A Dark Chao with a raised Fly stat resembles Reala, the antagonist in NiGHTS Into Dreams.
    • A Neutral Chao who has regenerated twice, then evolved again after contacting all animals at least once resembles Chaos.
    • A Chao resembling Tails can be obtained through the game Phantasy Star Online.
    • Chao resembling Knuckles and Amy were attainable through a special Sega event.
Characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog game series
Heroes   Sonic (Super, Hyper, Darkspine, the Werehog, Excalibur) | Tails (Super) | Knuckles (Super, Hyper) | Amy Rose | Cream | Big | Blaze (Burning) | Emerl | Silver (Super) | Marine | Lumina Flowlight | Chip | Shahra | Knights of the Round Table | Caliburn | Yacker | Sticks
Anti-heroes/ Neutrals   Shadow (Super) | Rouge | Espio | Charmy | Vector | Mighty | Ray | Chaos (Perfect) | E-102 Gamma | E-123 Omega | Bean | Bark | Jet | Wave | Storm | Shade | Merlina
Villains   Dr. Eggman | Metal Sonic (Kai, Neo, 3.0) | Mecha Sonic (Super) | Fang | Witchcart | Battle Kukku Army (15th, Speedy, Dr. Fukurokov) | Tails Doll | Metal Knuckles | E-Series | ZERO | Void | Biolizard | Gemerl | Eggman Nega | Black Doom | Angelus | Iblis | Mephiles | Solaris | Erazor Djinn | Captain Whisker | Johnny | Master Core: ABIS | Ix (Super) | Dark Gaia | King Arthur | Orbot | Cubot | Deadly Six (Zazz, Zomom, Master Zik, Zeena, Zor, Zavok) | Lyric | Hard-Boiled Heavies | Infinite
Teams   Sonic/Heroes | Rose | Dark | Chaotix | Babylon
Other   Gerald & Maria Robotnik | Froggy | Chao | Omochao | Cheese | Chocola | Vanilla | Tikal | Pachacamac | E-101 Beta | Illumina | President | G.U.N. Commander | Elise | Duke of Soleanna | Coconut Crew | Vikings | Professor Pickle | Wentos | Don Fachio | Heavy and Bomb | Flicky | Animals