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Video Game / Chocobo Racing

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A Mascot Racer spinoff of the tire-burningly popular Final Fantasy series, specifically one set in the same spinoff continuity as Chocobo's Dungeon. It was released for the PlayStation in 1999.

As in other Chocobo games, the stakes are lower, the critters are cuter, and the humor is more self-aware. Within its Story Mode, Chocobo is tasked by Cid to travel the countryside and find out what mystical purpose the ability-granting blue crystal within his anklet carries, and whether anybody else has similar abilities. By the journey's end, the fate of the world might hang in the balance after all.

Upon its release, reception to the game was largely mixed, owing mostly to Nintendo's own Mario Kart series being better balanced and better looking (Mario Kart 64 had come out three years earlier), but Square had hinted in the years following its release that they were at least considering revisiting the concept...

And in 2022, they finally did, with Chocobo GP releasing for the Nintendo Switch on March 10, 2022. While this release was better received from a mechanical standpoint, Square's decision to implement mobile-style microtransactions lead to very mixed reviews overall. Though by the game's second seasonal event, drastic changes were made to the system in response to the criticisms which severely reduced its presence on the paid store. It received five seasons' worth of additional content before Square Enix pulled the plug on official support. Though on June 15, 2023, the game was re-released with all the content now able to be unlocked in-game with microtransactions no longer being involved.

These games contain examples of:

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    Tropes common to both games 
  • Anti-Magic: Comes in a few flavors. Racing has the Reflect magicite and White Mage's Barrier, while GP has the MBarrier magicite and Shirma's "Kurukuru Counter" ability.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: It's Final Fantasy, after all. There's Fire/Fira/Firaga, Blizzard/Blizzara/Blizzaga, and Thunder/Thundara/Thundaga all available to cast with magicite.
  • Fun Size: As is common in the Chocobo line of games, everyone is presented in an adorable chibi form.
  • Justified Tutorial: The story modes in both games gradually introduces the player to the racers, their abilities, and the various magicites available in races.
  • Rollerblade Good: Chocobo's Jet-Blades.
  • Special Attack: Along with magicite lining the race course, every racer comes with a personal move they can use once a meter has charged up.
  • Storybook Opening: The cutscenes in Racing's Story Mode are all presented as pages of a pop-up book. In GP they instead mimic a kamishibai production, just with animated panels.
  • Super-Speed: With the help of the Haste magicite. Also, Chocobo's default special power is a Dash move; Behemoth has a shorter-timed Charge version which turns it into a ramming move.
  • Video Game Stealing: In the first game, Goblin's Mug power lets the racer steal a Magicite from the first-place racer. In the second, Atla's Pom-Pom Crystal ability lets him steal the crystals of the character behind him which he converts into a boost.

    Tropes exclusive to Racing 
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Various things.
    • Bahamut's Mega Flare is powerful, cannot be deflected with Reflect, and Barrier won't save you from getting struck by it. However, it takes so long to charge.
    • Squall's Gunblade. Its function is to lead you to 1st place as fast as possible and it will slice any racers along the way (unless they have the Barrier ability on), basically like unlimited Haste 3 or Dash. However, it takes much longer than Mega Flare to charge and it will disappear when you get struck by offensive Level 3 Magic attacks and also Mega Flare.
    • The Goblin's "Mug" ability. It allows you to steal another racer's Magic Stone. The problem is that it is Gacha based so you won't know what Magic Stone you will get. It can be as amazing as Ultima 3 or as useless as the basic Fire Magic Stone.
    • Chubby Chocobo's Receive ability. Unlike the "Mug" ability, the racer with this will receive Magic Stone based on what is used on them. But similar to the "Mug" ability, it is Gacha based. Maybe something as great as Thunder 3 or as weak as the first stage of the Blizzard Magic Stone.
    • The Doom Magic Stone. It is more of a double edged sword. While good for players who can pass the countdown effect to other racers during the 10 seconds countdown so that you won't get stalled, it is impractical also because of the 10 seconds countdown because you won't know whether it will be passed onto you again unless you got the passive Barrier ability on.
    • The S.S. Invincible is the fastest racer in the game, allowing you to dominate Cid's Test Track easily in seconds. However, it is too fast to the point that any other race tracks beyond that, it fails horribly even for the AI itself, worst performances in Fantasia due to lots of cliffs that racers can fall off of and F.F.VIII Circuit where there's lots of turning points.
  • The Blank: Secret characters are represented as black silhouetted figures with question marks on their faces, with the sole exception of Squall Leonhart.
  • Boring, but Practical: Some of the abilities.
    • The Barrier ability. It is passive, needing to operate only once and, excluding Mega Flare, it will protect you from all magic attacks including the Gunblade ability as well as able to prevent the Goblin from mugging the racer's Magic Stones. Having 3 Reflect Stones will give further protection. The only downside to this strategy is that players won't be able to take other Magic stones if they want to race defensively until the end.
    • The Magic Plus ability. Players have no need to collect matching Magic Stones to level up their Magic Stones as this will do it for them. However, the downside to this strategy, if the Goblin is one of the racers, players are open to getting mugged by the Goblin so more than 1 Magic Stone has to be collected.
    • The Dash ability. Useful for most of the tracks. It functions like Haste 2. Unless needed to, players have no need to collect any Haste Magic Stones while focusing on stalling other racers instead.
    • The Charge ability. While only a short burst of speed compared to the Dash which lasts longer, this ability takes only 10 seconds to charge and it can also allow the racer to bump into other racers, causing them to crash.
    • The Grip Up ability. For racers with bad turning controls, this ability proves useful.
  • Character Customization: By completing story mode, you're given points you can spend on one of the regular characters to buff up their stats, as well as assign them alternate color palettes and a custom name.
  • Company Cross References: The secret characters include Aya Brea from Parasite Eve and Jack from The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The player winning races in the Story mode makes the opponent tag along on the journey. In Bahamut's case, he sees that mortals have come together peacefully since when Fantasia was sealed away, and he is happy.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": This game predates the Chocobo trend of naming the white and black mages Shirma and Croma, so here they're just called White Mage and Black Magician.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Mog is aware he's in a video game, often mentioning how Squaresoft will totally rename the game to be about him once they realize just how awesome he is.
  • It Was with You All Along: Mog's Magicite shard is inside his pom-pom.
  • Level Ate: Chubby Chocobo's track, Gingerbread Land, is full of various sweets.
  • Painting the Medium: The FFVIII Circuit vaguely looks like Squall's Griever pendant flipped upside-down.
  • Power Up Letdown: Flap is totally useless on the mages, Bahamut, or the S.S. Invincible, since they're already flying.
    • Lampshaded by Mog himself. His “Flap” becomes a “Flop”.
  • Retraux: A few of the secret characters are done in NES-style pixel graphics, including a separate Chocobo and the S.S. Invincible.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The characters are all sprites racing through a polygonal track.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Several of the secret characters race on foot, and they're the slowest characters compared to all the vehicle users and flyers.

    Tropes exclusive to GP 
  • Adaptational Modesty: Terra's appearance in Chocobo GP has her permanently in her esper form with her regular human form's outfit (which itself appears to be a simplified version of her human form's Yoshitaka Amano design, minus the patterned leggings, bracers, cape, and shoes). This is unlike in Final Fantasy VI, her game of origin, where she is naked while in her esper form (albeit with Barbie Doll Anatomy).
  • Butt-Monkey: Gilgamesh, who always gets asked, whenever he shows up after the first encounter on Cid's Test Track, "Who are you?" During the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, it is stated that he became a comedian who becomes the butt of their jokes.
    • Racing Hero X; each time he reintroduces himself, he gets interrupted by Atla.
  • Demonic Possession: Racing Hero X has been consumed by an amethyst, a sentient crystal which consumes its host's desires and uses them to achieve a goal.
  • Demoted to Extra: Bahamut was a playable character in Racing, but is turned into a magicite power in this game. Not to mention that he's stuck serving Queen Brahne's interests instead of ruling over the summons. In universe, Bahamut bemoans this demotion, commenting that the main reason he can't join them is a proper racer is the fact that he cannot find a vehicle that fits him to adhere to the new rules of the tournament.
  • Desperation Attack: Ultima has been repurposed as this. You can only acquire it by either consistently being in last place or by continuing to collect magicite after you've already filled your stock, and each racer can only use it once in a race. Needless to say, it's a very rare sight in casual play.
  • Double Unlock: Progressing through the story mode usually unlocks the characters involved in any given chapter, but in the second half, they'll just be unlocked for purchase with player tickets in the shop, instead.
  • Hidden Agenda Hero: Clair the Fat Chocobo has a mysterious air and joins up with Chocobo for an unspecified purpose. Turns out he's an amethyst hunter, and Racing Hero X is possessed by one.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Camilla's Pa, the father of the female Chocobo racer, really is named "Camilla's Pa". He mentions in the Epilogue that his parents took great care in choosing it for him, and not only is he forever grateful for it, he's worried that changing it now would cause people to stop recognizing him.
  • Insistent Terminology: All the characters' vehicles are referred to as "rides" at all times.
  • Microtransactions: A highly contentious part of the game, as despite being a full-priced release, GP makes use of mobile-style battle passes and premium currency to let you unlock additional characters, skins, etc.
  • Overly Long Gag: Nobody can recognize Gilgamesh. The more characters join Chocobo and Atla in their quest, the more line up in a row to ask who he is when he shows up.
    Gilgamesh: Unbelievable... Absolutely unbelievable. We've reached the climax, and yet you persist with this nonsense!?
  • Play Every Day: Another mobile-style integration, players are rewarded with player tickets, gil, or other rewards for completing daily/weekly tasks.
  • Remixed Level: The game offers nine general locations to race in, with a few track variations available within each one.
  • Rewards Pass: The game has battle passes that change up every two months. The very first pass grants access to Cloud Strife and Squall Leonheart along with various additional skins and wallpapers. The fact that this is being implemented in a paid retail release has been a big sore point in the fandom.
  • Running Gag: Several including Atla constantly interrupting Racer Hero X's dramatic speeches, Terra's intentional overuse of Speaks in Shout-Outs confusing or annoying the rest of the cast, everyone pretending not to remember Gilgamesh to annoy him, and Leviathan being annoyed that everyone else ignores him.
  • Sentient Vehicle: Asura doesn't have a car of her own, so she turns her husband Leviathan into one. He's not too happy with the treatment.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: Various characters love to quote from their games of origin, with Terra doing so the most often.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Instead of bringing Croma back, GP integrates the popular Final Fantasy IX black mage Vivi Ornitier.
  • The Unintelligible: As usual, Chocobo only speaks in kwehs, though the other characters know what he's saying. Newcomer Mecha Chocobo's speech is rendered as various punctuation marks.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: The Swap magicite deploys two portals, with the intent being for the user to enter the blue and exit the red. However, since they linger in place for a while, anyone who enters the red portal will zip backwards to the blue one, forcing them to regain some lost ground.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending tells you what all the characters went on to do once the story wrapped up.