Chocobo Square is a location in the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII. It is home to the Chocobo racing minigame, which can reward several unique Materia and boost Chocobo stats, helpful for Chocobo breeding.
There are four ranks: C, B, A, and S, and each rank has stronger opponents. The player will go up a rank each time they win three races in their current rank until reaching S rank. Racing is a vital part of Chocobo breeding; Chocobos who have reached a higher rank in the races have better odds of producing special-colored offspring. While C rank is the easiest to win, it is also the most time consuming, regardless of the status of the player's Chocobo, because to end the race, there must be two Chocobos crossing the finish line. This means even if the player crosses the finish line 30 seconds before the runner-up, they must wait for the second-in-place to finish. As the player advances in rank, the race is less time consuming but gets more difficult.
When leaving Corel Prison, Cloud must win a race on a Chocobo the race manager Ester provides him. Cloud meets the jockey Joe in the backroom, who notes they may race against one another one day. After the party obtains the buggy they bet on Chocobos on the track to win GP and items. When the party returns to Gold Saucer to obtain the Keystone from Dio, the owner of Gold Saucer, they must stay the night when the ropeway breaks down. Cloud goes on a date with a party member but during it discovers a fellow party member Cait Sith has stolen the Keystone. Cloud and his date pursue Cait Sith through the park until they reach the Chocobo Square entrance where Cait Sith tosses the Keystone to Tseng of the Turks who flees on a helicopter. Despite being revealed a Shinra spy, Cait Sith blackmails the others into allowing him to continue traveling with them.
Later, when the party can rent stables at the Chocobo Farm (after acquiring the Highwind) and Cloud has returned to the party, the party can bring their own Chocobos to race. If the party rises in the ranks they can take on Joe, the number one jockey, and his black Chocobo Teioh.
The entrance has paths to the other Gold Saucer attractions. When in Gold Saucer the first time, before heading to the Battle Square, entering here has Cloud observe Shinra soldiers. During the date sequence the chase of Cait Sith ends here.
Reached from the Entrance area, the player can buy tickets to bet on Chocobos at the booth. If they have a Chocobo of their own they can register for a race, Ester is found on the left side of the screen and talking to her allows the player to partake in the races directly. During the date night Cloud also pursues Cait Sith through the ticket office.
The Waiting Room is visited once: when Cloud must win a race to bail his party from Corel Prison. The waiting area for jockeys is accessed via an elevator from the Corel Prison, and cannot be visited again after winning the race and moving on in the story. If the player loses the race, they end up back in the Waiting Room and must try again with a new Chocobo provided by Ester. The player can meet Joe here for the first time, and find the Ramuh Materia on the floor. If not picked up before winning the race, the Materia is missed. After a time an announcement rings calling for jockeys to head to the track, and talking to Ester, who appears soon after, lets the player race.
There are two courses: a short one, and a long one, but they have the same prizes. Both courses take place on the same track, but for the short course a part of the track is blocked off. There are six Chocobos in a race. The player can participate by either betting for the Chocobos who place first and second, or by riding a Chocobo and going for the win.
A programming error reverses the abilities of blue and green colored Chocobos. Green Chocobos are unaffected in the space section of the short course as well as the water section of the long course, while blue Chocobos climb hilly terrain easier. This can be seen easiest in the short course; given the same or comparable top speed, the blue Chocobo will conquer the rising spiral at the beginning far more handily than a green or yellow Chocobo. Black and gold Chocobos are unaffected by both terrains and regular yellow Chocobos, as well as all normal AI-controlled opponents, are slowed in both parts.
Upon winning the race the player wins an item, which they can take or exchange for GP. The items available in higher ranks include Megalixirs, rare Materia, Hero Drinks, and some equipment which can only be acquired via racing, like the Cat's Bell accessory. This is the best place to quickly earn GP—the currency used at Gold Saucer—provided the player's Chocobo is fast enough.
The player might encounter the famous Chocobo jockey Joe and his black Chocobo Teioh, and race against them on the track. Teioh's stats are determined by the player's Chocobo, and are always higher, meaning Teioh can have stats exceeding those capped for the player; his speed will always be the player's speed +10%, and his stamina will always be the player's stamina +25%. Teioh never appears if the player only bets on a race. Because Teioh is a black Chocobo, it is never slowed by the courses' space/water sections. As such, beating Teioh without the use of a green, black, or gold Chocobo is difficult if not impossible. As soon as the race starts Joe will teleport behind the player and will keep tailing the player's Chocobo until sprinting to the finish line.
If the player wins ten times in a row in S Rank they will receive all of the special items (the items symbolized by the circles on the prize menu), excepting the Magic Counter Materia, from the S class races: Sprint Shoes, Precious Watch, Cat's Bell, Chocobracelet and Counter Attack Materia.
If Tifa or Cid are in the party, there is a 50% chance they will ask to race instead of Cloud. This doesn't affect anything apart from the racer's appearance. If both are in the party Tifa will take precedence.
The player can choose to bet on Chocobos as soon as they can visit Gold Saucer, but the odds of winning are random; the Chocobo with the best stats will not necessarily win, and the birds' colors are purely cosmetic and are effectively the same as the regular yellow Chocobo.
The numbers in the grid are for which Chocobos will come in first and/or second place. E.g. betting on "1-2" means betting for Chocobos #1 and #2 to come in first and second in either order. The prizes are random.
On automatic, the player's Chocobo cannot be controlled. The AI will not make optimal decisions, but if the Chocobo has much better stats than the others, one can easily win the race with no input required.
Since Teioh always has stats higher than the player's Chocobo, one only needs to worry about having sufficient stats to outrace the normal Chocobos. If Teioh is in the race, the player should switch to manual mode and immediately accelerate to max speed by hitting the accelerate button several times. There is no indicator to tell when one hits max speed.
The player should try to stay directly in front of Teioh to block him from passing. Joe's AI does not accelerate to maximum speed often or dash until the final stretch. After the space stretch on the short course, the player can dash all the way to the finishing line. A gold or black Chocobo should have sufficient stamina to run at full speed till the finishing line in the short course.
The Chocobo will run the race on its own even in manual control. The most the player can do is steer and adjust the speed. Chocobos with poor intelligence will be difficult to steer.
|Control (PS)||Control (PC)||Function|
|[LEFT] and [RIGHT]||Move Left or right with chocobo.|
|[CANCEL]||Slow down chocobo's (average) speed.|
|[SWITCH]||Speed up chocobo's (average) speed (drains stamina).|
|[OK]||Dash (drains stamina quickly).|
|+||[PAGEDOWN]+[TARGET]||Holding the buttons slowly refills stamina.|
|[START]||1. Pause during the race|
2. After crossing the finish line, exit the race screen early.
|[ASSIST]||Toggle between Auto and Manual control.|
In every race the player has a chance of winning one of three possible prizes. The common item has 7 out of the 15 tiles (~46.6%), the uncommon item 5 out of 15 tiles (~33.3%), and the rare item only 3 out of 15 (20%).
In the PlayStation version items with a GP value of 200 or more are always rare items. This differs from the PC version, which has a different set of rare items and item appearances by class. The GP value for each individual item is the same in both versions, however.
|Prize||GP||Class (PS)||Class (PC)|
|Potion||5||C||B, A, S|
|Phoenix Down||10||C, B, A, S||C, B, A, S|
|Hyper||10||C, B||C, B, A|
|Tranquilizer||10||C, B||C, B, A|
|Hi-Potion||15||C, B, A||C, B|
|Hero Drink||15||B, A, S||B*Only appears after the party has the Highwind, A, S*Appears as a rare item only|
|Antarctic Wind||20||C, B, A||B, A, S*Appears as a rare item only|
|Bolt Plume||20||C, B, A, S||A, S*Appears as a rare item only|
|Fire Fang||20||C, B, A||C, B, A|
|Ether||30||C, B, A||A, S*Appears as a rare item only|
|Ice Crystal||50||B*May not actually appear in B-Class, A, S||C, B, A|
|Fire Veil||50||A, S||N/A*Does not appear in the PC version of the game at the Chocobo Square|
|Swift Bolt||50||A, S||B, S|
|Turbo Ether||150||B, S||C, B|
|Elixir||200||B, A, S||S|
|Counter Attack*Says "Counter" in the prize list||300||A, S||A, S|
|Enemy Away||300||B*Only appears after the party has the Highwind, A, S||A, S*May appear as a common, uncommon, or rare item|
|Megalixir||300||S||C, B, A, S*May appear as a common, uncommon, or rare item|
|Sneak Attack||300||A, S||A, S*May appear as a common, uncommon, or rare item|
|Cat's Bell||500||A, S||A, S*May appear as a common, uncommon, or rare item|
|Sprint Shoes||500||A, S||A, S|
In the PlayStation 4 version, winning the race the first time earns the Chocochampion trophy.
"Racing Chocobos - Place Your Bets!" (本命穴チョコボ, Honmei Ana Chokob?, lit. Place Chocobo) plays in the Chocobo Square of the Gold Saucer. "Fiddle de Chocobo" (フィドル・デ・チョコボ, Fidoru de Chokobo?) plays during the racing minigame. "Jackpot!" (大当たりぃ~, Ōatarī~?) plays if the player wins a chocobo race. "Tango of Tears" (涙のタンゴ, Namida no Tango?) [lays if the player loses a chocobo race.
Serendipity, the casino that exists outside of time, alludes to the Gold Saucer from Final Fantasy VII. It has a chocobo racing minigame the player can partake in after catching some chocobos from the wild. The player doesn't ride the chocobos, however, it is a betting minigame.
In Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn the Manderville Gold Saucer is an allusion to the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII. A similar version of the chocobo racing minigame exists there, with its own theme.