The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 125: Boco Saves the World: Chocobo World Side Quest (by MagusofStars)

Boco Saves the World: Chocobo World Side Quest
There's been some interest in the thread about seeing Chocobo World. Cool Ghost has said he can't make it work, so I've put together a little mini-update to describe how it works. Note that due to some screwiness with screenshotting, I've borrowed some of these screenshots from Steam and Google, so I apologize in advance for the pictures not being a neat, uniform size.

Starting Chocobo World
Before you can even start playing, you have to send Chocobo off by clicking this button.

Cool Ghost - Update 102 posted:

It's greyed out for Cool Ghost here because it requires actually having the ability to play Chocobo World. If you're playing on the PSX version, this means a PocketStation, only in Japan. However, when it was ported it to PC by Eidos, they included Chocobo World as well (fully translated to boot). The PC Steam version also includes Chocobo World. In the PC and Steam ports, you just click this button and get a follow-up screen.

Pretty self explanatory, though the How to Play includes some backstory:

Um, okay. Right. There's also some discussion of how to play (obviously), but I skipped it since we'll get there.

Basic Screens

That's Boco. We, uh, aren't exactly talking about world-shattering graphics here. Even as someone who grew up on PC games in the 80's and 90's, this is definitely pretty bland.

Here's your status screen. The four numbers are your possible attacks based on your weapon. Attacks are chosen completely at random, so in battle, this Boco has a 25% chance of doing 2 damage and a 75% chance of doing 1 damage. Attack numbers range from 0 (useless) to 9 (big power). Lv (level) and Health should be pretty obvious. ID identifies your Boco versus someone else's; I have no idea if it has any actual purpose or whatever - maybe it seems the random numbers or something?

EDIT: A fellow poster, Vil, says the ID originally for the PocketStation basically determined the quality of your Boco - max HP, whether you could find better weapons, and the distribution of items you could find. As far as I can tell, this was changed for the PC/Steam version.

Vil posted:

This might have been changed in the PC port and/or the Steam port of the PC port, but in the original PocketStation version on the PS1, that ID stat dictated your rank. You could challenge other people to a fight of sorts, and if you won you had the option of taking their ID stat (in other words, this would be a way to upgrade your ID). There are seven ranks of them:

Rank 1: 211 (1 value)
Rank 2: 000, 008, or 777 (3 values)
Rank 3: All digits the same not counting the above (111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 888, 999; 8 values)
Rank 4: Last two digits are 00 not counting the above (100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900; 9 values)
Rank 5: Last two digits are 77 not counting the above (077, 177, 277, 377, 477, 577, 677, 877, 977; 9 values)
Rank 6: Last digit is 7 not counting the above (not listing, but there are 90 values)
Rank 7: Anything else (880 values)

Or put it another way, assuming your ID is a randomly generated 3-digit number, you've got a 0.1% chance of getting rank 1, 0.3% chance of rank 2, 0.8% chance of rank 3, 0.9% chance each for ranks 4 and 5, 9.0% chance of rank 6, and 88.0% chance of rank 7.

Rank, in turn, dictated the chocobo's max HP and best possible weapon (the game would only even be able to generate a 9/9/9/9 weapon if you're rank 1), but more importantly it dictated the relative odds of A/B/C/D items when bringing stuff back to FF8. A items, the good shit, have a 0% chance with ranks 6 and 7, and fairly low % chance until you hit rank 1 at which point it's 25% across the board. Which brings me to my disclaimer about why "this might have changed", since if MagusofStars is getting an even distribution with an ID of 016 (which would have originally given rank 7), then either a. the numbers were changed for which IDs gave which ranks or b. (more likely, since the multiplayer component of PocketStation battle would've been impossible the way they built Chocobo World on PC) the PC/Steam ports just said fuck it and made every ID be rank 1.

This is your map. It's basically a grid with black dots representing 'events' where something happens. Each of those black dots is a potential event. They appear and disappear at random, so your goal is to get to them and trigger them before they vanish. If you're actively playing the game, you can control Boco using the arrow keys to point him to the right spot.

You can also set Boco to run endlessly without your active input and sort of track down events on his own. Relatedly, you can also set Event Wait - which is whether the game will wait on your active input to resolve events (on) or if it'll just automatically handle shit (Event Wait Off). So you can turn on auto move on and Event Wait Off and the game will basically play itself in the background. I highly, highly recommend this in general.

This is the level-up screen. Every time you win a battle, it randomly places a jewel in any open spot on the tic-tac-toe grid. When you get three in a row, Boco levels up and the grid is emptied. So basically you level up every 3 to 6 battles, usually 4 or 5.


Events can consist of monster battles, a free Item, repeatable events or some 'plot' (term used loosely).

Monster battles have four different enemies - creeps (first pic), blobs (second), bats and wendigos. There's no real practical difference. All that happens is just endless attacks back and forth until you or the monster is dead. Boco picks a random one of his four attack numbers and uses that. If you win, Boco wins a level-up stone on the tic-tac-toe map. If you lose a battle, Boco basically just sleeps for a while to heal up, then you go right back at it.

Getting items basically means you run into a pixelated Cactaur who says hello, gives you an item, then leaves.

Items are FF8 items. There are four different 'ranks' A to D, which roughly correlate with the usefulness/rarity of the item. So Rank C and D are shit like Potions or Screws, while Rank A is rare stuff like Elem Guards (teaches a GF Elem-Defx4). As far as I can tell, the item ranks are just a straight 25% A, 25% B, 25% C, 25% D. As mentioned above, this was originally based on the ID of your Boco, but this appears to be removed for the PC and Steam versions.

One interesting note here is that as far as I can tell, almost every item in FF8 can potentially be acquired - including some super rare stuff (e.g., Quistis' Dark Matter) and even oddball items that should be unique like the Solomon Ring or Magical Lamp (FYI, if you already have Doomtrain/Diablos, the extra item can't be used and just sits in your inventory). Yes, this does mean you can potentially get Doomtrain in Disc 2 when Chocobo World is first available.

As long as you're in Chocobo World, all you see is the rank of the item. In fact, the game doesn't actually even decide what item you get until you import Boco back to FF8. Yes, you can exploit this by copying your save file. You can also open your Choco World save in a hex editor and give yourself 99 of items A, B, C, and D so when you import back to FF8, you get flooded with stuff.

Repeatable events
Three things here:

(1) meet a Moomba who'll offer to trade a new weapon for your current weapon. This new weapon is randomly generated so it can (and often will) be a straight downgrade. If you're playing on Auto mode, the game will decide whether to take the upgrade solely based on the sum of the four numbers - so if we already had a 1/2/2/1 weapon (total of 6), it would get replaced by this 3/0/0/4 weapon (total of 7), despite the fact that a 50% chance of doing nothing is probably worse in practice.

(2) Encounter MiniMog. He gives you a free level-up stone and also serves as a pseudo-Phoenix in battle to try to save Boco if he loses a monster battle. This only happens once though, then you need to run into him again.

(3) Boco does some random shit like watching TV or eating to restore his health.

The 'plot' (term used loosely) is basically a love story with a female chocobo. Couldn't find any pictures of this (and no way I'm leveling for dozens of levels for this shit), but you've seen enough photos thus far that you can probably imagine the pixelated glory.
At level 20, Boco meets a female chocobo.
At level 50, Boco saves her from a pit. Worth noting that if you happen to be playing automatically with Event Wait Off (i.e., it doesn't wait for you to make choices), Boco will not save her, which ends the plot and basically screws you out of further upgrades. So if you're running this in the background, maybe keep an eye on it, then start actually playing when you're at level 48 or so.
After saving her, she's super grateful and you can randomly run into her again and get a pixelated kiss. Note that this kiss scene actually affects gameplay in main FF8 (!).
At level 100 (max level!), Boco fights the Demon Lord.

There's no magical extra strategy here; just a regular fight albeit slightly more difficult. But at this point, you should be rocking a great weapon and have lots of health.

Impact on FF8 proper
As for how this affects the 'real' FF8, it does so in a few ways:
#1: Those items can be imported into FF8. When you bring Boco back (same prompt from the start), he brings over his items. Most notably, there are at least three items which cannot be acquired in any other way:
- Ribbon teaches a GF the equippable Ribbon ability which provides full (?) status immunity, same as the usual
- Friendship is a consumable item which summon a Moomba to do some damage
- Mog's Amulet teaches GFs the MiniMog command which makes MiniMog appear in a dance studio to heal your GF's.

#2: Gyshal Greens are used to summon Boco in battle. From the start (and if you don't touch Chocobo World), he does Choco Fire, a small little fireball. Once you save the girl chocobo from the pit, his attack is upgraded to Choco Flare, then each kiss OR defeating the Demon Lord will upgrade it again two more times - first to Choco Meteor, then Choco Buckle ChocoBocle (FF7 reference). Note that Bocle can break the damage limit of 9,999. Also, the damage of all of these attacks (including the default Choco Fire) are based on his Chocobo World level, so if you can't/don't play Chocobo World, it's basically useless. However, since ChocoBocle has damage based on Chocobo World and breaks the damage limit, this could theoretically have some value in oddball challenges...but probably not.

If you're interested, this youtube video shows the Moomba, Mog, and Choco Bocle, starting at ~10:50: