Chocobo Hot and Cold (ここほれ!チョコボ, Kokohore! Chokobo?) is a Sidequest and minigame in Final Fantasy IX. It is regarded as the game's biggest sidequest, spanning a number of locations across the World Map and being the means to unveiling a number of new locations otherwise unvisitable. The minigame itself appears in two forms, one played in chocobo forests, and one played on the world map.
To be able to start the Chocobo Hot and Cold sidequest the player needs to obtain Choco, the game's chocobo. This is done as early as the party leaving Lindblum for the first time, and entering the Chocobo's Forest on the Mist Continent. They will meet a Moogle named Mene and earn the ability to ride Choco. After this point the player can use Gysahl Greens, which can be bought from the forest or earned during the minigame, to call Choco when standing on chocobo tracks in the field. They can then enter Chocobo Forests while mounted on Choco to play the minigame.
At a cost of 60 gil per game, Mene will allow Zidane to have Choco dig in the ground to find as many items as possible within 60 seconds. As Choco digs up items, the party earns points which can be redeemed with Mene for items, and Choco's break will grow stronger allowing it to dig faster. Finding Chocographs will reveal the sites of treasures hidden on the world map which can be found by having Choco dig at the appropriate spot. The treasures include rare items and can upgrade Choco with new powers that let him dig in new areas.
The player starts off only being able to access the Chocobo's Forest, and with the Reef upgrade Choco can reach Chocobo's Lagoon. With the Mountain and Sea upgrades Choco can reach new areas in the Forest and Lagoon, eventually finding the Sky upgrade that allows entry to Chocobo's Air Garden, the final digging site. Eventually the player can find Chocobo's Paradise, a chocobo utopia ruled by the Fat Chocobo with various rewards from him for Choco's performance in finding treasure.
The player can dig up other treasures as well as Chocographs which give points used to buy other equipment. The more points an item is worth, the rarer it is and the deeper it lies in the ground, thus taking longer to unearth. Dead Peppers cannot be obtained until Choco obtains the Mountain upgrade. Some rare items appear to require certain unknown requirements be fulfilled before they can be found.
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Points are earned every time the player digs up an item. The points won for items as listed above are their base values, won for digging in Chocobo's Forest. Item point values are doubled in Chocobo's Lagoon and tripled in Chocobo's Air Garden. The additional 5 points awarded for Chocographs and Chocograph Pieces are not affected by the multiplier. A further five points are available for finding an item within 5 seconds of finding the previous one. The bonus may also be subjected to the time and area multipliers.
If the player manages to find four items within the time limit, Mene will reward them with an additional ten seconds on the clock and all subsequent points will be doubled. The exception is Chocobo's Lagoon before the Sea ability is obtained; in that case, the game will end after four items.
It is not permitted to find more than eight items at a digging location, four in the Lagoon without the Sea upgrade; if the player reaches the quota within the time limit, Mene will complain that the player is driving him out of business and the remaining time will be exchanged for bonus points according to the following formulas:
- Chocobo's Forest (before mountain upgrade):
- Chocobo's Forest (after mountain upgrade):
- Chocobo's Lagoon:
- Chocobo's Air Garden:
The value for "chocobo type" is as follows:
- Field = 8
- Reef = 7
- Mountain = 6
- Sea = 5
- Sky = 4
Points can be exchanged for the following items:
|Robe of Lords||10,000|
The best place for earning points in Chocobo's Lagoon, assuming Choco has a very high beak level. The player should be able to achieve the limit bonus in most games, earning several hundred points. By contrast to the Lagoon, Chocobo's Forest has hills that hide treasure, wasting time, and has a lower limit bonus, while Chocobo's Air Garden is highly luck-based due to being separated into two sections, and traversing the two repeatedly wastes a great deal of time.
When digging, the player needs quick reflexes and should keep a mental track of where they have already dug so they do not waste time retracing empty ground. Treasures can hide in any small corner of the area so the player must be thorough in their search. Once the player has a "feel" of how wide an area Choco can detect treasures in, they can cover large areas with few pecks, optimizing the location of Choco's pecks to cover maximum ground in minimum time. When Choco picks up the general location it is a mere matter of digging around that area repeatedly to close in on the treasure's exact spot. Location can be precise so the player should edge Choco about while looking for the treasure once Choco knows it is nearby, being sure not to miss an area.
When digging in Chocobo's Forest, the player should cover the ground before heading up the two hills, as climbing up and down them takes time and they are very small areas to explore and not worth going out of the way to access unless the player is certain the treasure is not on the ground. Choco cannot detect treasures on the hills while on the ground and vice-versa.
In Chocobo's Lagoon, an area that is easy to overlook is the passage out of the Lagoon, and the passage right up to the spot of light marking the exit can be dug in. When digging in Chocobo's Air Garden, it is best to only travel between the two areas if the player is certain that the item is not in their current area, as it takes 7-8 seconds to cross over at max speed. There is never anything hidden in Ozma's corner, so there is no need to waste time searching there.
Ultimately, the treasures are randomly placed in every location and the items dug up are random, so it comes down to a great deal of luck. The best advice is simply to not be discouraged and be willing to play several games with little success without giving up.
Choco's beak level determines how deep he digs with each press of the button. Finding rare treasures and accumulating more points will increase his beak level.
The three digging areas each give benefits or penalties to beak level:
- Air Garden:
- Choco's current type (Field, Reef, Mountain, Sea, Sky) also effects his digging power.
- Air Garden:
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The World MapEdit
Choco can find treasure on the world map while being ridden by the player. There are two types of treasures - Chocograph treasures, and Dead Pepper treasures.
- Main article: Chocograph
Whenever the player digs up a Chocograph, the player can use it to find treasures on the world map. They are given three clues: the picture on the Chocograph, the Chocograph's name, and a hint is also given by the Help-Moogle by pressing Select in the menu. The first Chocograph found will always be "Streamside" and upon being dug will be called "Stone with Patterns" which prompts Mene will explain what it is. Chocographs become available at different times during the game, and Mene will tell the player when there are no more Chocographs to be found in an area at the current time - this does not mean there will not be more after the player progresses further in the game.
Sometimes, instead of digging up a Chocograph, Choco digs up a "Chocograph Piece". Chocograph pieces are stones that give the player a hint as to the various places where Chocobo's Air Garden floats on the world map, as the entrance is always shifting. Once the player had collected all six pieces they are assembled into a Chocograph that rewards the Sky upgrade needed to reach the Air Garden.
Certain Chocographs instead contain upgrades that send Choco into Chocobo's Dream World, where the Fat Chocobo will upgrade him with a new ability so he can explore new areas on the world map and in the digging areas. This in turn allows more Chocographs to be dug up. Choco changes color to denote his current ability level.
|Field||Yellow||Can run across land.|
|Reef||Blue||Can run across reefs and rivers.|
Must access from beach.
|Mountain||Red||Can run across mountains.|
|Sea||Navy||Can run across the sea.|
Must access from beach.
|Sky||Gold||Can fly into the sky.|
Must take off and land in forests.
At some areas of the world map, the player may find foaming water or a mountainside with a crack in it. Using a Dead Pepper at these locations causes Choco to dive into the water or dig into the mountain, finding treasure. These treasures are separate from the Chocographs. The various Chocobos at Chocobo's Paradise will hint at their locations after speaking with Fat Chocobo for the first time.
Beneath Quan's Dwelling
The player must enter Quan's Dwelling and use a Dead Pepper on the ledge overlooking the water in the back of the dwelling.
Directly North of Iifa Tree
Between Mist Continent and Outer Continent
South Tip of Forgotten Continent
Eastern Part of Lost Continent
Northeastern Part of Forgotten Continent
Hidden Island in the Northwest corner of the Map
- Entrance to Chocobo's Paradise
Island North of Outer Continent
- Entrance to Mognet Central
There is one treasure to which there is no indication to where it lies in the sea. It is found in the exact former location of Shimmering Island after it disappears on disc 4. To find the treasure, the player needs to check the larger version of the world map where Shimmering Island is still marked.
After the player finds all 24 Chocographs and all hidden treasures, the player can talk to Fat Chocobo (using instead of ) at Chocobo's Paradise, and he will tell Choco to go around all the beaches in the world. There are eight beaches in the Mist Continent, four in Forgotten Continent (they aren't in the continent itself, but in the islands), seven in the Outer Continent and two in the Lost Continent.
The player must dismount and press on each beach. A chime will sound and at the last beach a message appears. After finding all the beaches, whenever the player presses on any beach, the party's HP and MP will restored and all abnormal statuses will be healed.