Chocobo World Basics
Chocobo World was a minigame for Final Fantasy VIII released on the PocketStation, and while Chocobo World can be played as a stand-alone, its intended purpose was to serve as a companion app for Final Fantasy VIII. In it you'll take control of a Chocobo (default name Boko) who travels about to find events, which can include meeting characters or random battles. Winning battles will level Boko up, and items can be obtained in Chocobo World which can then be transferred to your main Final Fantasy VIII game... and some of these items can be quite potent for the time when you get them. Or just in general. In fact, some items in Chocobo World can only be obtained via this mini-game.
First, to play Chocobo World you might as well unlock it in the main game, otherwise there's little incentive to play through it. To do this you'll need to complete your first Chocobo Forest (see the "Chocobo Forests" section of the guide) and attempt to mount the chocobo you find. This will cause a character named Chocoboy to give you a chicobo (baby chocobo - default name Boko) which in turns allows you to play Chocobo World. Interact with this minigame via the "Save" menu, which you should now find a "Chocobo World" slot.
Here you'll have four options: "World", "Home", "Do over" and "How to Play". "World" sends Boko out into Chocobo World (otherwise he'll follow you around whenever you ride a chocobo in Final Fantasy VIII), and "Home" will bring Boko back from Chocobo World to Final Fantasy VIII... and any items he may have found there. "Do over" will reset your progress in Chocobo World - Boko will restart at LV1 and will lose whatever HP he gained by leveling up and whatever weapons (WPN) he found. You'll keep any imported items, and can continue to accrue more by sending Boko back out into Chocobo World. Finally, "How to Play" contains a bunch of useful information about Chocobo World.
How to Play
In Chocobo World you'll take control over... well, a Tamagotchi-quality rendering of Boko the chocobo, who roams over a non-descript plain. Since the PC is the only viable way of playing Chocobo World right now, those controls are the ones which will be discussed, and fortunately with a game this complex there are only a few controls worth mentioning. Boko can move up, down, left and right by pressing the corresponding button; [UP], [DOWN], [LEFT] and [RIGHT]. Your goal is to wander until you encounter an event, which can be either a battle with a random foe, or a random encounter with one of a narrow variety of characters.
More on those in a bit, just know that pressing [CTRL] while Boko travels will bring up a map/menu with black dots marking event locations. Move Boko toward these dots to start these events, or let Boko roam on his own - he'll usually do a good enough job getting to event locations on his own, meaning a great deal of this minigame is Boko walking about on his own, only rarely requiring your attention and input. Just be aware that Boko isn't a perfect agent, as he'll sometimes stop to rest or play (especially if his HP aren't maxed). When he does this press [CTRL] to interrupt him and get him back to work. Pressing [CTRL] also starts events when they pop up.
While in the map/menu screen (press [CTRL] while Boko is walking about) you can press [UP] or [DOWN} to set the direction Boko will walk (as indicated by an arrow to the right of the map). If you press [LEFT] or [RIGHT] you'll go into other menu screens, where you can see your WPN, LV and HP, check how many of each grade of treasure you currently possess, toggle the Event Wait option on or off or set MiniMog to Standby or Sleep, if you have him.
Aside from checking you treasure, it's advised you use the Event Wait option sparingly - normally you must press [CTRL] to advance events (which is fine, because your input makes battles easier) but if you want to passively play ("play" being used very loosely here) you'll want this option set to "OFF". If you do this, you may miss some events, namely the encounter with Koko at LV50, so if you're near that level, you'll need to manually play a bit until it has passed. The game will also automatically make choices for you while Event Wait is set to "ON", like picking WPNs when Moomba arrives - something you'd probably rather do yourself. If you really can't be bothered to even pay a little attention to Chocobo World, however, set Event Wait to "OFF" and just collect your loot every once in a while.
Battles are by far the most common events you'll come across as Boko explores Chocobo World, and when they start you'll find yourself facing off against an enemy - usually Creeps at first, but there will be more variety as you level up. Battles are simple affairs - at the bottom of the screen you'll see four numbers, from the left-most being your foe's HP, the center-left and center-right being your foe's ATB and Boko's ATB, respectively, and the right-most being Boko's HP.
As the battle ensues, both Boko's ATB an the foe's ATB numbers will count down, and whichever side reaches 0 first gets to attack. Seems simple enough, but keep in mind that the slower side will not get to attack that round - only the side that reaches 0 first attacks, after which both combatants have their ATB numbers reset. The starting numbers are RNG-based, but they're not exactly set in stone, as you can speed up the rate at which Boko's ATB ticks down by mashing the [LEFT] and [RIGHT] buttons on your keyboard. This is really the only performative aspect of battles that you control, but it also means that, for the most part, you can button mash your way to victory, as all but the worst RNG ATB settings can be overcome, leaving your foe simply incapable of responding.
When a combatant attacks, they deal a random amount of damage. For Boko, this damage is determined by his WPN, which is just a collection of four numbers. To start Boko's WPN might deal something like 1-1-1-0 damage, with each number of having a 1/4 chance of occurring when he attacks. Gaining new WPN stats has nothing to do with leveling or battle, so we'll leave it at that for now.
Every time Boko wins a fight he'll gain one XP ball, which is randomly slotted (you can humor yourself and pretend your input has any meaningful effect on the ball's placement) into a tic-tac-toe 3x3 grid. Boko levels up when he completes a row or column (the game calls this a bingo!), so essentially Boko will level up every 3-6 victories, depending on XP ball placement. Boko sometimes gains more HP when he levels up, but otherwise, the benefits are lacking. Enemies also level up when Boko does, gaining more HP, and more varieties (usually stronger) enemies may start appearing.
As Boko explores Chocobo World he'll stumble onto events (marked on your map by black dots). While most of these are battles (see above), other events can also occur. They'll be listed below in order of rarity.
Cactuar Encounter: You'll run across Cactuar, who will give you a bag of items. These items are graded from A rank (highest quality) to D rank (lowest quality), and can be transferred to your main Final Fantasy VIII game by accessing the Chocobo World option from the Save menu and picking the "Home" option.
The items range from the odd crafting component to ammo and healing items, but can also include seriously potent items - chiefly items that teach GFs new abilities. This is, in our opinion, the chief reason to bother with Chocobo World, as you can gain items that are extremely rare or outright inaccessible in the main game with relative easy via Chocobo World. Since Chocobo World requires little attention you can easily leave it running while you play Final Fantasy VIII, checking on it whenever Boko reaches an event (or starts slacking off!) to keep things moving.
To get a better grasp of what sorts of items you can find in Chocobo World and just how potent they can be, see the "Chocobo World Items" section, below.
Warning!: Chocobo World can be... somewhat buggy. Sometimes after selecting the "Home" option, Chocobo World will desync from Final Fantasy VIII and not allow you to transfer Boko back to Chocobo World via the "World" option, giving you a bogus excuse that Boko is already in Chocobo World. If this happens, you may have to start over Chocobo World (pick the "Do over" option), as you won't be able to bring items back from Chocobo World until you do. Granted, all the items worth getting can be obtained at the beginning, but if you want to get the achievement for getting Boko to LV100, you might just need to refrain from bringing Boko back "Home" until you're done.
This bug seems to occur when you're transferring items via the "Home" command in Final Fantasy VIII and during this process an event occurs in Chocobo World. This includes whenever Boko decides to nap or goof off.
Note: You can sometimes evade the aforementioned bug by keeping Final Fantasy VIII and Chocobo World running and picking the "Do over" command. After Boko goes through another encounter on Chocobo World, pick the "Home" command, and if it works it'll replace the new, LV1 Boko with whatever is still running on Chocobo World - ideally your old, higher level Boko.
Note: The PC version of Chocobo World is glitchy in your favor, as well. While leaving both Final Fantasy VIII and Chocobo World running we were able to constantly transfer over items from the latter to the former without those items being cleared from Chocobo World. To do this, we just selected "Home", then "World" in the Final Fantasy VIII Chocobo World menu, then returned to Chocobo World and entered the map/menu screen. If you want to be extra sure, check your items on this screen to confirm that they're not being depleted after every transfer. Incredibly cheap, but it allows you to farm items at an even greater pace from Chocobo World.
Moomba Encounter: When you find Moomba, he'll give you a random WPN, which isn't always an upgrade over what you currently possess. Fortunately you don't have to pick whatever new WPN the Moomba brings, you'll get two rows of numbers - two WPNs, as it were - to choose from. Just press [UP] or [DOWN} to select whichever one you prefer. As mentioned earlier, you deal damage in combat based on what WPN you have; each WPN has four numbers, one of which is randomly chosen each attack. For example, you might start out with a WPN that deals 1-1-1-0 damage, which means 75% of the time you'll deal one damage, and 25% of the time you'll deal 0 damage. There's no defense stats involved, no resistances, Hit% or anything like that. Whomever goes first deals damage that turn... well, unless they deal 0 damage, anyways.
Generally what weapon you pick should just be the sum total damage it can deal, as this number divided by four is essentially your damage per round. That said, some weapons are less reliable than others - an 8-0-0-0 or 7-0-4-1 weapon can be frustrating, for obvious reasons. All things considered, when given a choice between weapons with an easier spread, like 4-3-3-3, you might want to pick that instead of constantly suspecting the RNG.
MiniMog Encounter: As an uncommon encounter you may run into MiniMog, who will thereafter join your party. How he functions depends on whether you have him set to "STANDBY" or "SLEEP" in the map/menu. If he's asleep, he won't do much of anything in Chocobo World, but you can use the MiniMog command in Final Fantasy VIII... provided Boko isn't exploring Chocobo World (pick the "Home" option to send him home and keep him there by refraining from picking the "World" option thereafter) and provided you used Mog's Amulet to teach GFs the MiniMog command. If he's set to "STANDBY", however, he'll attempt to intervene if Boko falls in combat, and if he fails he'll leave the party. He can be encountered again later and will rejoin the party.
Koko the Chocobo: What counts for Chocobo World's "story" (again, used very generously here) involves Koko. In Final Fantasy VIII Boko might be a wee little chicobo, but in Chocobo World he's a hormonal bird, and Koko is the object of his affections... and damsel in distress. Boko will have guaranteed encounters with Koko at LV20, LV50 and LV100, and after LV50 she may appear randomly to upgrade Boko's attacks. Just be sure you have the Event Wait option set to "ON" when you meet, else you'll fail the LV50 encounter and won't be able to progress with the "story", for what that's worth. If this happens, your only recourse is to start over via the "Do over" command in Final Fantasy VIII's Chocobo World menu.
Chocobo World Items
Note: While the items you can obtain via Chocobo World are indeed quite useful, they will not be factored into the main walkthrough for the purposes of parity with the vanilla Playstation version. This means we won't be discussing build advice, including what GFs to teach which abilities, nor will we be accounting for Chocobo World items in any way during the walkthrough. Use the descriptions in this section to make informed decisions as to what items to use and how to use them.
Below you'll find a select list of items that can be found in Chocobo World - mostly excluding mundane items like curatives, stat-boosting items, ammo and components, although some of these can be exceptional in their own right. Only the more interesting items will be recorded here.
Aegis Amulet: This item teaches GFs the rare Eva-J ability, naturally possessed only by Cactuar and Eden. Otherwise you can only obtain one by refining fifty Barrier items (GFAbl Med-RF), which can be obtained from Behemoths, or by defeating the... UFO? You really only need one extra of these to cover the entire party, but you can gain this ability significantly earlier in the game via Chocobo World.
Bomb Spirit: Otherwise requiring you to refine 100x Bomb Fragments, this item is more easily obtained via Chocobo World. It'll teach a GF the Kamikaze ability, which kills - and removes from battle - one character in exchange for dealing six times their maximum HP as damage. It can natively be learned by Cactuar.
Dark Matter: If you see this show up - jackpot! This item can be refined into a whopping x100 Ultima spells. Sadly, you need Forbid Mag-RF to do this, which only Bahamut knows natively. Drat. It can also refine into the otherwise rare Luck-J Scroll (GFAbl Med-RF), and can be used to teach Quistis the Shockwave Pulsar Blue Magic ability. The only other way to get Dark Matter is via refining one hundred Curse Spikes. Yikes.
Elem Guard: The elemental equivalent of the Status Guard, this will teach a GF the Elem Def-Jx4 ability, which is otherwise only possessed by Alexander and Doomtrain. You can gain an Elem Guard in the main game from the late-game boss Krysta (drop only), by refining five Diamond Armor items (GFAbl Med-RF), or by using Card Mod on the Selphie card. Not really necessary to farm in Chocobo World, considering the abundant external sources, but like Status Guard, it'll allow you to junction more spells to your Elemental Defense earlier than you could otherwise acquire Alexander and/or Doomtrain.
Friendship: Another item exclusive to Chocobo World, you can use this item to summon a Moomba in battle. It will reduce a target's HP to 1, or deal 9,999 damage if that target has more than 9,999 HP.
Glow Curtain: Teaches the Auto-Reflect ability, otherwise learned natively by Carbuncle alone. While of dubious value in most fights, it is an otherwise rare item that can only be obtained by refining 100x Dragon Skins (GFAbl Med-RF) or using Card Mod on the Carbuncle card. It can be refined into two Monk's Code items (GFAbl Med-RF).
Healing Ring: Teaches a GF the Restore ability, which can otherwise only be learned by Leviathan. This ability fully Restores a character's HP, making it... quite useful. That said, you probably only need one character with it at any given time. The only way to get one sans Chocobo World is by refining 100x Whispers (GFAbl Med-RF).
Hero-Trial: Makes a character invincible for a period of time. There are other ways to get similar items (like using Card Mod on the Giglamesh card to score ten Holy War items), but these are still potent enough items that it's worth pointing out every opportunity to grab them.
Hundred Needles: Hundred Needles is more interesting than useful, as it teaches GFs the Return Damage ability. While active, enemies will suffer 1/4 the damage they deal to you... but since enemies tend to have orders of magnitude more HP than you, this is a dubious boon, at best. Hundred Needles items can otherwise only be obtained via refining Cactus Thorns (GFAbl Med-RF), and the Return Damage ability isn't otherwise natively known by any GFs. Even if you don't care to teach this ability to any GFs, Hundred Needles can refine into a Spd Up item (Forbid Med-RF).
Hungry Cookpot: Otherwise obtainable only via the PuPu Card - teaches a GF the Devour ability. This ability allows you to use the Devour command, which can have a variety of effects if successful, most notably being to permanently increase stats. Other than by teaching a GF this ability via the Hungry Cookpot, only the Eden GF naturally has this ability.
Knight's Code: Teaches a GF the Cover ability, which is only natively learnable by the Brothers GF. Otherwise, you'll have to flush five Holy War items down the train to get a Knight's Code (GFAbl Med-RF), which is just... a terrible trade-off. You can also refine a Knight's Code into a Vit Up item. The Cover ability is arguably not really all that useful, but since Knight's Code is an incredibly rare item in Final Fantasy VIII, it's worth pointing out that Chocobo World is the best place to get it.
Med Kit: Another item listed for being rare, if not useful, the Med Kit can teach a GF the Treatment ability (natively learned by Siren), which removes a host of status effects. With ST Def-Jx4, Ribbons and Esuna spells available, it's hard to really get excited over this, but the only way to get more of these in-game is to refine 100x Dragon Fangs (GFAbl Med-RF), so it's definitely easier to acquire them in Chocobo World. They can be refined into two Megalixirs, should you have no other use for them (Forbid Med-RF).
Mog's Amulet: MiniMog is one of the first GF cards you can acquire in Final Fantasy VIII - technically the first, really. It may have surprised some western gamers, then, when no such GF appeared in the game. What gives? Well, to summon him you'll need to find a Mog's Amulet, which will teach a GF the MiniMog ability, and since Mog's Amulet is only found in Chocobo World... well, there you go. To use MiniMog in battle, you must have acquired MiniMog in Chocobo World (not just a Mog's Amulet) and he has to be in the party with Boko. This can be done via a random event. Once you have MiniMog, him and Boko must not be exploring Chocobo World - you'll need to bring them "Home". Once that's done, he can be used in battle just like any other command, healing all junctioned GFs when summoned.
Monk's Code: Can be used to teach a GF the Counter ability, which causes that character to counter attack with a free melee attack whenever they're targeted with a single-target melee attack. Fair enough, but given how many enemies use magic and attacks that target the entire party, it's less useful than you might think. You can refine two Glow Curtains into a Monk's Code (GFAbl Med-RF) or Card Mod the Eden card. A Monk's Code also refines into a Str Up (Forbid Med-RF).
Moon Curtain: Teaches a GF the Auto-Shell ability, which can otherwise only be natively learned by Doomtrain. Moon Curtains can be obtained in Final Fantasy VIII by refining an absurd 100x Malboro Tentacles, 20x Magic Armlets (both GFAbl Med-RF) or using Card Mod on the Alexander card. Chocobo World is clearly an easier solution, and can allow you to acquire these items sooner.
Moon Stone: Can otherwise be obtained from Elnoyles, Imps and Toramas, Moon Stones serve two purposes - refining into Holy magic (L Mag-RF) or Holy Stones (Tool-RF) or used to create Irvine's ultimate weapon, Exeter. Not terribly hard to get in Final Fantasy VIII, these do allow you to get Irvine's ultimate weapon earlier than you otherwise could.
Power Generator: You can normally obtain this item as a rare drop from a high-level Blitz, or failing that, you're waiting until Lunatic Pandora to get on as a guaranteed drop... and even then, only if you did certain things during the second Laguna dream. This item can teach Quistis the Ray Bomb Blue Magic ability, and can be refined into twenty Pulse Ammo (Ammo-RF).
Ribbon: A mainstay of the Final Fantasy series, it's a travesty this item is only found in Chocobo World - a fact that bothered us poor westerners back in the day! Unlike most games, the Ribbon isn't an accessory in Final Fantasy VIII, for obvious reasons. Instead it'll teach a GF the Ribbon ability, which when equipped will prevent all status changes. Yep, it pretty much renders all your Status Defense junctions moot, but it's somewhat overkill for most fights, and it really depends on whether you'd rather use an ability to achieve this effect, or just use Status Defense junctions to protect you on a more targeted, situational basis. Most enemies don't use many status attacks, after all. The peace of mind the Ribbon provides is quite welcome, however, and it's probably one of the best items you can find in Chocobo World.
Rocket Engine: Otherwise obtained from the late-game boss Tri-Point (drop only), by refining ten Jet Engines (GFAbl Med-RF) or by using Card Mod on the Irvine card, this item teaches a GF the Spd+40% ability. Not all that useful until you have Spd-J, and probably redundant with Auto-Haste, but it's still rather rare. It can also be refined into x50 Triple spells, and five of them can be refined into a Spd Up item (Forbid Med-RF).
Solomon Ring: An item required to obtain Doomtrain, you can find one in the main game, but you can find more in Chocobo World... not that having more is really useful for anything. It does allow you to acquire Doomtrain earlier, however.
Status Guard: Otherwise obtainable in the Shumi Village, from the Tiamat boss, by refining a Ribbon (GFAbl Med-RF) or by using Card Mod on the Doomtrain Card, this item teaches a GF the ST-Def-Jx4 ability. This ability is natively learned by Cerberus and Doomtrain, so you really only need one more to protect the entire party, and that "one more" can be gained via the aforementioned Shumi Village quest. Still, Chocobo World will allow you to get these earlier than you'd otherwise be able to acquire Cerberus and Doomtrain.
Steel Curtain: Like the Moon Curtain, this is another hard-to-find item that can be more easily acquired - and acquired earlier - in Chocobo World. It teaches GFs the Auto-Protect ability, which can be learned natively by only Bahamut. You can only acquire them sans Chocobo World by refining 20x Adamantine (GFAbl Med-RF).
Three Stars: A very rare item which can only be obtained in Esthar late in the game, from Omega Weapon and Ultima Weapon, and by using Card Mod on the Squall card. It'll teach a GF the Expendx3-1 ability, which is natively known only by Eden. This ability allows you to only expend one spell whenever you cast a spell while under the effects of Triple. It can also be refined into a whopping x100 Triple spells (Time Mag-RF), which is very good for junctioning.