Here we are with the final course in the Chocobo Training, and definitely the most frustrating. The trainer wants to race you and the goal of this course is to beat her time. Things will work a little differently, though, with Catcher Chocobo, as you have the opportunity to improve (or make worse) your time during the actual race. The birds from the previous course are back and they can make your life a living hell in this one. Of course, the birds can hit both you and your opponent in the race, so you’re not the only one that’s going to be hindered in making it to the goal. Each time you get hit by a bird, you will have three seconds added to your timer at the end.
Besides the birds, you will also have balloons you can collect during the race. The placement of the balloons is completely random each time you do the race, so there is no memorizing their locations. Each balloon you collect will subtract three seconds from your timer at the end. While it’s a race between you and the NPC, the main goal of Catcher Chocobo is to collect as many balloons as possible, without getting hit by birds. Of course, beating the NPC isn’t really all that difficult, but there is an added incentive to doing really well in this course.
One of the items needed for Tidus’ Celestial Weapon, the Sun Sigil, is tied to this course. In order to get it, which is possible from the moment you unlock it, is to get under 0.00 on the timer at the end. This is incredibly frustrating, but it is definitely possible. To give a general idea of what you have to do, let’s say you finish the course normally at around 40 seconds. So, with the knowledge that each balloon knocks three seconds off, that means you would need to collect 14 balloons in order to get under 0.00 and that is without getting hit by a single bird!
Tips and Tricks
First and foremost, it was already said that the placement of the balloons are completely random, so there is definitely some luck involved. Second, the birds are the real problem with getting the Sun Sigil, but they become less of a problem once you understand them a bit more. They will come in pairs, and the game throws a set at you, as well as a set at the NPC. Note that it’s possible to get hit by any bird at all, so it’s in your best interest to avoid going underneath their spawn points. The reason for this is because one may spawn and immediately hit you, so avoiding their spawn points at all times is a good thing to do.
When you begin on the hill, you will want a favorable balloon placement, but you also don’t want to get greedy. If you see a balloon on the left side, right at the start, ignore it, as you can’t grab it before the NPC. You should concentrate on any balloons on the right side of the hill. At the bottom of the hill, you will want to make a tight turn, as most of the time, there will be a balloon right around the corner. As soon as you turn that corner, you will see birds begin to spawn. They will usually come from the left side, so it’s better to stick to the right side, but not too far right that you hit the invisible wall.
Upon running into one of the “walls” on the ground, the chocobo will cut back sharply, which can hurt you in the long run. After the initial bird spawn point, the second one will be on the same lane, but farther down. Once you reach the shadows, you can see that the birds will spawn from the one piece of shadow sticking out right in front of you, so avoid turning to the last stretch there. Speaking of the last stretch, it will be narrower than the other lane, so there’s a higher chance you will hit one of the invisible walls here. The birds will spawn from just to the right of the little dip in the ground.
Your reward for beating the trainer for the first time is a Lv. 3 Key Sphere. Any time you beat your own record, you will receive a Turbo Ether. As already mentioned, finishing with a time below 0.00 will net you the Sun Sigil. Getting 0.00 exactly will not result in getting the Sigil, as it has to be under that, even though the game doesn’t display your negative time.