Chocobo Racing Guide, version 1.3
3-28-99
Written by Joe VanPelt (chocobo@mindspring.com)



Chocobo Racing is one of the newer Japanese games that have special encoding so
that they only work on a Japanese Playstation system (these games will not work
on a US system with a mod chip or anything similar to that). To play the game,
you need to use the Gameshark code listed below:

D00AB72A 1040
800AB72A 1000

Basically, this game plays quite a bit like Super Mario Kart. There are eight
characters with varying abilities for acceleration, speed, turning, etc. There
are items and weapons that you pick up off of the road by driving over them,
things like that. The races are a little over-dependant on magic and not quite
dependant enough on racing skill, but it certainly takes skill to win. It's a
lot more fun than Mario Kart IMO, especially since you get to use Final
Fantasy characters.




                              The Characters-

Chocobo- Being the star of the game, most people are probably going to use
     him... but he's not really the best choice for beginners. Good
     acceleration, good speed, but not too easy to control. The chocobo is one
     of the best characters once you learn to control him, though.

Moogle- Good acceleration, and seems to have the highest top speed of
     everyone, but he's difficult to control.

Fat Chocobo- Great acceleration, low top speed, and his turning is weird. It's
     hard to make small turns, he always wants to do a big swerve.

Golem- Decent beginner character. Slow acceleration, average speed, but very
     easy to control.

Behemoth- About the same as the Golem... accelerates a bit faster, control is a
     bit different.

White Mage- All around average. She can fly over ice slicks.

Black Mage- Pretty average, too. Faster than White Mage, but a bit harder to
     control. Also can fly over ice.

Goblin- Best acceleration in the game, but the control on him is terrible (for
     me at least). He controls just like Yoshi in Super Mario Kart.

Bahamut- Slow acceleration, but high top speed and pretty good control once you
     get him moving. Can fly over obstacles like ice.

Beginners may also want to try one of the Mages, since they can fly over loose
dirt or grassy areas (off the track) without losing speed.




                              The Controls-

Pretty basic stuff...

Square   = accelerate
X        = brakes
Triangle = reverse (rarely necessary)
L1       = use special ability
R1       = use item/magic

This game also works great on the Dual Shock analog pad.




                              Game Modes-

Option- As you might expect, you can select game options. The list of options
     are: Course Records, Controller Configuration, Soundroom, Movie, Sound:
     Monaural or Stereo, and what appears to be "Hand/1P and Hand/2P", and
     Exit. I have no idea what "Hand" is, or if I even read that correctly.

Story- This mode is pretty fun. You start out with just Chocobo, and you go on
     an adventure to collect 8 Crystals. (I wish I knew more than that...
     hopefully someone will translate the story sometime). After beating this
     mode, you can play as Bahamut, and you can also race on Bahamut's track.
     You also get a Parameter Edit option, where you can select a character,
     choose a color, modify the characters abilities (speed, turning,
     acceleration, etc.) as well as give the character a name (English letters
     are included). I really don't know how this mode works though, nor do I
     know how to access it without going through all of Story mode. Once you
     beat this mode, you can watch the ending in the Options movie menu.

Time- Much like Time Trial in Super Mario Kart. Race by yourself and try to set
     new personal records for fastest lap or faster set of three laps.

GP- Gran Prix mode... race against computer opponents on various tracks, you
     get a certain amount of points depending on what place you get. After four
     races, whoever has the most points wins. If you win, you get to see a
     short movie for your character. Once you beat this mode, you can watch
     that character's movie in the Options movie menu.

VS- One on one racing against each other. In my opinion, GP or Relay modes are
     more fun...

Relay- Like VS mode, except you choose a team of characters. For instance, you
     could have a Golem doing the first two laps, then you pass the baton to
     your next character the Black Mage for two laps, and so on. If you run
     directly into your next character when it's time to switch, you get a
     burst of speed. Otherwise, it just goes on normally.

Data- Save and Load game data.




                              Special Abilities-

Yellow burst/red background- 5 second speed burst. Chocobo specialty.

Wings- Temporarily fly... it's useless for mages. Moogle specialty.

Blue hand- Steal an opponent's magic spell. Goblin specialty.

Barrier- Tired of losing to magic, instead of skilled racing? When your meter
     is full, you get a shield that lasts until you are attacked. Once the
     shield is gone, your meter starts building again, so you can get another
     shield. Especially useful in GP mode, where you get attacked almost
     constantly... White Mage specialty. 

Magic Up- When your meter is filled, your current magic will go up one level.
     VERY useful ability, especially for the Ice spell. Black Mage specialty.

Tire- Pretty much useless. When it's activated, you can bump into the walls on
     the side of the track and you'll be bumped towards the middle of the track
     again without losing speed. Golem specialty.

Red burst/yellow background- Short burst of speed, you can wreck an opponent by
     hitting them while this is activated. It builds really fast, too. You get
     more overall speed with this than with the yellow burst. Behemoth
     specialty.

Green hand- When you get hit by any magic, then you gain one of the spell that
     you were hit by. Useful in GP races, since you'll be getting a powerful
     spell every few seconds because of the constant barrage of attacks in that
     mode. Fat Chocobo specialty.

Mega Flare- Builds v e  r   y       s  l   o    w     l      y. Then when it's
     full, it's a free level 3 magic hit on every opponent. Bahamut specialty.




                              Magic Spells-

I like the how magic was implemented in this game, it was a pretty cool idea.
Pick up one spell (Fire, for instance) and you cast Fire 1. Pick up another
Fire spell, and you have Fire 2. Get a third, and you have Fire 3. The level of
the magic affects how hard you get smashed if you get hit by it. Level 1 will
make you spin out... Level 3 will launch you into the air, you'll bounce
around, and finally land after a long delay. One other thing... you can steal
an opponent's magic by touching the spell that's right behind him. You can hold
a maximum of three spells at a time, and high level magic counts as multiple
spells. For instance, you could hold Fire 1, Blizzard 1, and Death... or Fire 2
and Thunder 1... or just Fire 3. Once you are at the limit, you can't pick up
any more spells. But the spells on the track still do temporarily disappear
when you run over them, so you can still try to keep your opponents from
getting a spell.

? mark- a random spell.

Fire- One of the weaker spells. 1 gives you a straight fireball shot, 2 makes
     it heat-seeking, 3 is heat-seeking and extra fast, not to mention more
     damage. Fire 2 and Fire 3 never miss, they will seek out the opponent in
     front of you and keep going until they hit. It only hits one opponent at
     all levels, though.

Blizzard- 1 gives you a small ice patch on the road (fairly useless), 2 drops
     down six ice slicks on the road (not bad), 3 is an unescapable instant hit
     on every opponent (great). Try using Blizzard with the Magic Up ability.

Thunder- 1 is a small lightning bolt that hits maybe 50% of the time, 2 is a
     set of three bolts, pretty useful... 3 is a set of six bolts, which are
     impossible to avoid. Thunder 3 also hits all opponents.

Death- Only has one level. Using it causes the person in front of you to get a
     countdown over their head, which does level 1 damage when it gets to 0.
     You can pass the countdown to an opponent by bumping their car.

Ultima- Looks like a snowflake, I mistook it for an ice spell at first. It
     usually only appears when you are behind in the race. It never misses,
     even at level 1 (unlike other spells), though a Shield or Barrier still
     stops it. It hits all opponents, even at level 1.

Reflect- Sort of a pinkish colored item. It's very useful, since all magic
     attacks will eliminate your shield, instead of you... and the person who
     cast the spell gets hit instead! You don't even have to activate it, it
     works by itself if you have one and you get attacked.

Haste- The arrow item. A short burst of speed. At higher levels, the speed
     burst lasts longer.

Minimal- The purple colored spell. When used, some fairies appear around all
     opponents, and soon afterwards the opponents will shrink and lose speed
     accordingly. Minimal 1 is a 25% reduction in size and speed, Minimal 2
     makes them half size and half speed, and if you bump an opponent he will
     spin out. Minimal 3 makes them one-quarter of the original size and speed
     tiny, and they can also be run over. Level 3 shrunken racers can barely
     move up hills at all. This spell hits all opponents at all levels.





                              Course Information-

Cid's Test Course
Difficulty: *
Length: 1220 meters
Tip: Cut corners with flying characters.

Mogri Forest
Difficulty: **
Length: 1330 meters
Tip: Try to slow down as little as possible, only giving the brakes a
quick tap when it's absolutely necessary to make a turn. Flying characters
don't have to use the brakes at all.

Giant's Ruins
Difficulty: **
Length: 1340 meters
Tip: At the part with two passages, always choose the right-side tunnel.

Misuriru Mine
Difficulty: **
Length: 1640 meters
Tip: Look for the tunnel shortcut.

Black Mansion
Difficulty: 1860 meters
Length: ***
Tips: Tap the brake once in a while to avoid hitting the wall on the long right
turn. Don't worry about the cage trapping you, you'll probably spend more time
trying to avoid it than you would if it did get you. Stay to the left after the
big jump, the track is sloped and you could fall into the lava. Try attacking
opponents while they're on that section of the track... sometimes after they
get hit, they slide into the lava so you get two attacks in one.

Mysidia
Difficulty: ***
Length: 1860 meters
Tips: Don't worry about bumping the side of the track now and then, just keep
your speed up through the winding turns.

Hungry Land
Difficulty: ***
Length: 1880 meters
Tip: Look for the shortcut on the map, be sure to always take it. If you come
out of it at the right angle, you can pick up multiple items at once when you
reach the track again. There's one jump on this course, and if you're not going
fast enough, you'll fall down to a spot about 1/3 of a lap behind. Try
attacking an opponent right before he gets to the jump, there's a chance that
he'll fall down below.

Gurugu Volcano
Difficulty: ****
Length: 2475 meters
Tips: Learn where the turns bordering the lava are, and get ready to brake hard
when you get to them. Use double- or triple-taps on the brake to turn quickly
at the part with the tall walls and consecutive sharp turns.

Bahamut's Course
Difficulty: *****
Length: 2605 meters
Tips: Keep your speed up, and use double-taps on the brake to make the sharp
turns... if you slow down too much, you'll never have a chance. The shortcut is
right before the downhill hairpin turns, but it's probably better left alone
since it's very difficult to use without falling.




                              General tips and hints-

To make somewhat sharp turns, hit the brake button once and turn while keeping
the gas held down. For very sharp turns, tap the brake button two or three 
times and you'll turn very quickly. I did say earlier that you can't hold in
the gas all the time for every track... but you can hold it in about 99% of the
time. (and I may still be wrong about that.)

You can get a burst of speed right at the beginning of the race if you start to
hold in the accelerator at just the right moment... Use the first three lights
to get the timing down, and hit the accelerator right as the race begins.

Generally, it's better not to use Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, or Minimal until
they're at level 2. They're not very useful until you've built them up...
well, Minimal is all right by itself, and it's harder to get a second one
since it doesn't appear as often as other spells... but still, get two and it's
more than twice as good.

If you see the Blue Hand coming to snatch your magic, you might want to use up
everything you have quickly, so that the opponent doesn't get anything. The
computer is especially good at stealing higher level magic spells, and then
using them against you.

Don't worry too much about getting hit by magic... it's going to happen, it's
usually unavoidable. Just get back on track as soon as you can and catch up.

Beat Story mode! It's fun, there are some cool movie clips, you get a hidden
character and hidden track, the ending is cool and so is the music at the end,
and it's entertaining watching the characters act too. My favorite, the moogle,
has kind of an annoying personality in this game, though...

Some tracks have hidden shortcuts. For instance, on the Giant's Ruins, look to
the left just as you enter a tunnel about halfway through the track. There are
plenty of shortcuts, including some insane ones on Bahamut's level. These
always save you a couple of seconds, at least.

Bahamut's track is difficult for most characters. I suggest the Fat Chocobo,
with the Magic Up ability. Try to get Ice 3 as often as possible. The Fat
Chocobo works best for me since his top speed is low, and his oversteering is
useful for the track's many sharp turns. Enter the hairpin turns at full speed,
hit the brake for just a second (you'll slide without turning much) and then
let go of the brake (he'll turn very sharply, and you'll make the turn at just
the right angle). The other characters can make the turns by tapping the brake
button a few times for each turn, but since the Fat Chocobo is braking less,
his speed stays higher.

Cid is rumored to be a hidden character... I haven't found him yet. There is an
open space on the character select screen, so I think it's very likely.

If you have a Dual Shock pad, use the analog controllers... they're really much
better than the normal controller.

If you can't read any Japanese... "yes" is the word with two symbols, while
"no" has three symbols (the first two are the same). The first symbol in
"load" is a square, so "save" will be the other choice.




Have any questions, comments, or things to add to the FAQ? I'm especially
looking for info on the Parameter Edit mode... Please email me at 
chocobo@mindspring.com, I would really appreciate it. If you have anything to
add to the FAQ, I'll be sure to credit you with it.