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Video Game / Chocobo's Dungeon

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Chocobo's Dungeon is a series of three roguelike games spun off from the ankle-sprainingly popular Final Fantasy series as part of Chunsoft's Mystery Dungeon (Fushigi no Dungeon) franchise. The main character is a Chocobo with only a player-given name, if any. Chocobo adventures through randomly generated dungeons, collecting treasure and saving the world. The games could be considered alternate continuities of each other, as Chocobo meets the same people (including Final Fantasy staples Cid and Mog and a white mage named Shir[o]ma), while living out different stories.


Games in the series:

Other Chocobo games:

  • Chocobo Racing, a Mascot Racer. (PlayStation, 1999)
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales, a minigame collection. (Chocobo to Mahou no Ehonnote  in Japan; Nintendo DS, 2007)
  • Chocobo to Mahou no Ehon: Majo to Shoujo to Gonin no Yuusha,note  sequel to Chocobo Tales. (released in Japan only, Nintendo DS, 2008)

This series provides examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: During the fight with the Destroyer in physical form. It's a standard of final boss battles in Final Fantasy.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Every Buddy adds some touch-ups to the initial Wii game.
    • Polishing Cream, a new item found in dungeons, allows you to hone talons and saddles without directly going to the Forge.
    • The Knight job can be gotten in Mayor Gale's memory dungeon at the very beginning, compared to when it was in Freja's memories.
    • The Buddy Registry shows which elements your monster partners (and by extension their enemy counterparts) are resistant or vulnerable to.
  • Badass Adorable: The titular Chocobo, able to single handedly- er, taloned-ly defeat entire swarms of monsters including the Destroyer in Fables. Somehow, seeing said Chocobo wear the classic Final Fantasy job outfits in Fables makes him even more adorable. Or badass, in the case of the Dark Knight.
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  • Badass Bookworm: The Scholar class in Fables. His low-end powers (among them are the ability to fill out the map for a dungeon floor, heal Chocobo a little and restore some Food, or identify every item in his pack) are indispensable for safe exploration in the random dungeons, and his high-end powers (one that doubles the power of potions, and one that doubles the power of spellbooks) can wreck bosses.
  • Badass Normal: Compared to the other jobs in Fables, the Natural Chocobo can be considered this. Whilst other jobs depend on power from various lost memories, the Natural Chocobo can be used throughout the entire game, and does exactly what you expect a large, yellow bird to do- it runs fast, digs, and kicks things to death, which, again, includes the Destroyer. And it works if you've been leveling said job properly.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The frog ailment in Chocobo's Dungeon 2.
  • Batman Gambit: The Destroyer needs Chocobo to try to save Memoria in order to free himself from Raffaello's body.
  • Big Eater: In Fables, the bankers are both rather hefty, but the one for item storage is even more so. In order to increase his storage capacity, Chocobo can bring him different fish.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • In Fables, pretty much anyone in Lostime that can be considered a 'cutie' qualifies, considering what the town witnessed: the Destroyer obliterating Lostime overnight.
    • Shirma gets this big time in Fables. Croma is revealed to be her sister, then apparently gets killed by the Destroyer, just like what happened to their parents. However, Croma is kept safe by Raffaello inside the Destroyer.
  • Bonus Boss: Leviathan in Chocobo's Dungeon 2.
  • Breakable Weapons: At least in the second game.
  • But Now I Must Go: Raffaello in the epilogue of Fables. Specifically to atone for his sins as the Destroyer.
  • Character Level: In Fables, not only does Chocobo himself have an experience level for his base stats, but each of his job classes (including Natural, the "job-less" one) has to be leveled up separately, gaining a different set of abilities for each. A few special dungeons limit his base level, but don't affect the jobs.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: After taking a certain amount of damage, the final boss of Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Glass Goth X, will transform into Glass Goth Z, who hits harder, but is a lot slower. It takes 1.5 turns just for him to use his regular attack, and his Mouth Beam, while visually impressive, locks him into charging until he is positioned in a straight line towards you to fire it. Thus, he is easily outmaneuvered, especially with Haste.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Inverted in Chocobo's Dungeon 2:
    • When you are invisible, no enemies except for bosses can detect you; however, if they become invisible, you can still target them with magic.
    • Some magic spells (such as Ultima) can hit outside the player's vision range, though there has to be one enemy within targeting range to use them.
    • Whenever the player character is morphed into a monster, either by Morph Tonics or a certain trap, they can use both a standard technique and one of the monster's special techniques. Said special techniques often take 2 or more turns when a monster uses them, but only one turn for the player character.
  • Continuing Is Painful:
    • Especially in Chocobo's Dungeon 2, where you lose everything you own.
    • In Fables, it's all played straight, subverted and averted. Like before, you lose all items on hand (wing?), but you don't lose anything equipped on you. In special rule dungeons, since you're required to deposit everything on-hand before entering, death only makes you drop what you picked up. This especially softens the blow in some of the late-game bonus dungeons. Taken to its logical conclusion in the new Hard difficulty Every Buddy, where your equipped items are also lost on defeat.
  • Cursed Item: The series features cursed equipment. You won't know if equipment is cursed unless you use an identification item on it or you equip it. If you equip it, you can't remove it unless you have dispell tonic, or you wear the gear out.
  • Early Game Hell: The first few plot-required dungeons of Fables are the most challenging because you won't have had the chance to level up jobs or craft equipment. Once you make it past the first guardian's dungeon, the difficulty curve evens out.
  • Elemental Tiers: In Fables, the elemental talons and saddles (weapons and armor, respectively) feature a gradual progression of values for base strength and upgrade limit. The sequence is Fire < Water < Thunder < Ice < Earth.
    • The elements are expanded upon in Every Buddy, adding enemy resistances and weaknesses. This also applies to Talons and Saddles. The effectiveness order is Fire > Ice > Wind > Earth > Thunder > Water > Fire. Light and Dark are effective against each other akin to Granblue Fantasy.
  • Embedded Precursor: Pop-up duels in Final Fantasy Fables, which previously appeared in Chocobo Tales on the Nintendo DS.
  • Emotion Eater: The Destroyer's M.O. Specifically, he feeds off fear and suffering to gain power, which is why he attacked Lostime.
  • Enemy Scan: The Libra spell.
  • Fake Trap: They don't always go off, and some are beneficial.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Black Mage job starts with the Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder spells, and later on picks up Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga.
  • Fishing Minigame: In Fables, the fish you catch can be used to feed the Fat Chocobos at the bank to allow more storage space.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Raffaello reveals he has these while sleeping in the cocoon. They're memories of his past life as the Destroyer.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: In Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, the tolling of the Bell of Oblivion signifies that one person within earshot will lose very important memories. Its true purpose is to keep the townspeople from remembering the Destroyer so that the seal on him won't be undone. The "Raffaello" persona exists to break the seal and Chocobo unknowingly helps him accomplish this.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, a random Kuz you encounter at the beginning of the game eventually "grows up" to be the game's Big Bad.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In-universe for Lostime's residents. Croma mentions that it's useless to fight a beast that feeds on human fear as he keeps coming back, so the mayor decided to round up the oracles, call their guardians, and seal all their memories away, keeping the Destroyer powerless. Given what happened during the course of the game, it's safe to say that failed spectacularly. The Guardians themselves openly tell the people before sealing the town that all they're doing is giving themselves a momentary respite, a superficial peace, by running away from the problem, and that it inevitably will come back to haunt them.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Happens in the turning point of Fables. Raffaello changes from white angel wings to black "fallen" angel wings.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Many in Chocobo's Dungeon 2, including Shirma and Cid.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • In the second game, getting all the feathers in the most efficient manner requires breaking equipment at different levels. Determining which levels will get you the right feathers is best done by finding a guide. Additionally, the Spin-Kick Claws and Ribbon Saddle can only be obtained through crafting in a certain way (the former is especially bad because it's not intuitive at all).
    • Over a quarter of the "romantic phrases" in Fables must be discovered outside the game. The manual claims they're on the official website, which appears to be only partially finished.
  • Have a Nice Death: Fables, when not giving you suggestions on how to avoid dying next time, has some of the most encouraging Game Over messages this side of Undertale, mainly reassuring Chocobo to keep going.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Happens in Fables. Croma takes the bullet for Shirma, something that the Destroyer counted on happening as he absorbed her essence. She gets better at the end thanks to Raffaello.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Dungeon Hero X says that you're not allowed to use Teleport when fighting him, even though he himself uses Teleport in battle. Justified because he wrote that rule himself.
  • Infant Immortality: In Final Fantasy Fables, you follow an infant into a monster-infested dungeon, and he's always fine when you reach the last level. This is justified because Raffaello may well be a demigod.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The best Claws and Saddle in the second game are the Titan set. They can reach +99 with a base power of 40, and are extremely durable. They are also only available in the post-story game, and have to be crafted by getting the essence of a difficult boss, which means acquiring them may end up being more trouble than they're worth.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The "Confuse" status makes you move/attack in random directions. Part of the "Blind" effect is disabling the mini-map.
    • In Fables, the "Halt" status occasionally conflicts with the controls to pivot in place without using up turns, resulting in cheap hits if you're surrounded by enemies.
  • Item Crafting: Fusing weapons, which gets game-breaking in Final Fantasy Fables. For example, you could craft together a pair of talons that inflict sleep, blind and poison, boost your attack, and hit three squares, and a saddle that defends against the same ailments, several elements, and gives Chocobo permanent stealth. All with a ridiculous number of pluses and an innate rustproof effect that doesn't take up an effect slot, of course.
  • Kiss of Distraction: Enemies can cause a "confusion" status effect by kissing you.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Well, bell-guided.
  • Level Drain: Level down seeds, traps, and vampire monster attacks in the second game.
  • Living Statue: Titan in Chocobo's Dungeon 2.
  • Memory Gambit: The entire town of Lostime in Final Fantasy Fables.
  • Metal Slime: The Mini Cactuar in Fables and Every Buddy, dropping a tremendous amount of Job Points, provided you kill it before it successfully casts Escape.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: The shopkeepers, should you attack them, take only 1 damage from everything unless you abuse some equipment quirks.
  • No-Gear Level: In Final Fantasy Fables, all of the special dungeons prevent you from bringing in items including gear from outside; upon entering, your inventory is put into your storage (if there isn't enough room in storage, you can't enter). Upon leaving the dungeon you get to keep everything you found inside and can go to storage to retrieve your former gear as well.
  • No Name Given: The main chocobo doesn't get a name, but others of his species do.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Certain dungeons in Final Fantasy Fables reduce you to 1 HP.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The only person fooled by Dungeon Hero X's disguises is himself.
  • Perpetual Molt: Raffaello.
  • Shoplift and Die: In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, The Grim Reaper will attack if you steal from a shop.
    • In Final Fantasy Fables, trying to steal a super-rare item from the Moogle Shop gets you attacked by Dungeon Hero X. Notable for the fact that either winning this battle or using clever tactics (casting Sleep on him, using the White Mage Teleport ability, or simply outmaneuvering him) is the only way to get Thief's Memories.
  • Slasher Smile: Raffaello begins sporting these all the time once his true nature is revealed.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Bad things happen if you stay on a dungeon floor for too long...
  • Summon Magic: In Fables, defeating certain boss-level creatures causes them to drop a Magicite, which allows a one-time summoning for a special effect.
  • Surprise Creepy: Chocobuddy starts off with cool isekai and treasure-hunting adventures...and then suddenly a town of docile, incurious Stepfords is gaslighting a little girl and telling her how wonderful it would be to forget her own identity.
  • Tempting Fate: The Destroyer, after a clash with Croma, basically tells her that she'll need much more than Firaga and Thundaga to defeat him... as a Meteor spell starts screaming down in the background. It still doesn't hurt him, though.
  • Too Awesome to Use: In the second game, as your weapons and armor are breakable, the better ones can quickly become this if you don't have any Repair Cards.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: One of the side dungeons in Fables, Volg's Memories is a series of boss fights with breaks to switch jobs and restore your HP/SP. However, you don't know what the bosses are the first time around, and you can't bring along any inventory items, so you just guess which job to use and retry when you get it wrong. The character dialog between the first few floors seems to lampshade the scenario.
    Everyone makes mistakes.
  • Unidentified Items:
    • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon has talons and saddles (read: weapons and armor) that may harbor curses or stat bonuses, while collars, food, and flasks have generic descriptors until identified. Appraisal Glasses and Scholar's Glasses are consumable items for identifying one or all unknown items Chocobo is carrying, respectively. The Scholar job has the Appraise ability to analyze all items as well. Finally, wearing the Appraiser's Collar lets Chocobo automatically identify items as he picks them up.
    • Chocobo's Dungeon 2 also had unidentified items. An Identify Card let you verify one item, a Verify Card identified all of them, and an Amnesia Card made you forget all of them.
  • Universal Poison: To the point where, in Fables, Chocobo always takes 1 point of damage per turn and (almost) all enemies always take 10. Doesn't matter what level Chocobo is or what kind of enemy or trap inflicted it.
  • White Magic: Shirma specializes in it.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: A food meter requires you to keep Chocobo fed with Gysahl Greens. Different jobs get hungrier at different rates, and some equipment effects can further alter this. Fables has a dungeon with a special rule of "permanently at 0% food", so it's like battling a persistent Poison effect.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: An example in Fables. It's revealed that fifty years have passed since the Destroyer originally attacked Lostime and the town disappeared from the world. All the residents haven't aged a bit and are completely unaware of the outside. To drive the point home, the Destroyer mentions that he knew Cid's grandfather and didn't expect his grandson to take the bait fifty years later.

Example of: