The giant yellow birds called Chocobos are some of the most recognizable mascots from the Final Fantasy series. They’ve also been featured in nearly every Final Fantasy games in some way, so they’ve gone through a tone of changes over the years. Please note that not every appearance of a Chocobo is listed here, but every mainline entry and most prominent spinoffs.
Chocobos didn’t technically appear in the first Final Fantasy, however certain statues in Castle Cornelia bear a striking resemblance to the giant yellow birds.
Final Fantasy II was the very first game the Chocobo appeared in. You could find the yellow bird in the forest south of Keshuan Keep, and use it to take a quick trip around the world map. Once you dismount the creature though, it instantly runs away.
Chocobos make a couple appearances in Final Fantasy III, with multiple Chocobo Forests dotted around the game’s world. You can also summon a Chocobo in battle, with a level 1 Summon Magic Spell. this also marked the first appearance of the Fat Chocobo, who stores items for you when given Gysahl Greens.
Final Fantasy V features what might be the most famous Chocobo of the series, Boko. The main character Bartz and Boko are steadfast friends, and the Chocobo remains a constant character throughout the game. There’s also a Black Chocobo you can find, and a Summon.
Chocobos return as rideable creatures, but finding them is a bit different. You can actually rent Chocobos from stables that are built in various towns and forests. Some options in battle like the Confusion spell, features Chocobos in their animations.
Final Fantasy’s leap to 3D brought Chocobos along with it, in some new and fun ways. There were the standard Chocobos you could ride and summon, but there’s also a surpsingly deep breeding minigame that has you trying to get the ultimate Gold Chocobo. Additionally, the Golden Saucer holds the colorful Chocobo Races that you can bet money on.
Final Fantasy XIII actually has two different variants of the yellow Chocobo, one from Gran Pulse and one from Cocoon. The cocoon ones match the normal style of the creatures, while the Gran Pulse ones are larger and tougher. Chocobos can be ridden on Gran Pulse to speed up exploration, and the character Sazh carries a tiny Chocobo Chick in his hair.
The Chocobos of Final Fantasy’s first online MMO have a bit different design from anything before, looking almost reptilian in design. To ride a Chocobo, players originally had to obtain a Chocobo License from a quest and rent them from a stable. With the expansion Treasures of Aht Urgan, however, Square Enix added a Chocobo breeding system.
Chocobos are a large part of the military forces of Akademia and Rubrum, helping soldiers in battle. They can be ridden around the world of Orience for faster travel, and a Chocobo breeding mechanic is in the game.
World of Final Fantasy is the newest spinoff title in the series, and it has a monster capturing system that has your recruiting “Mirages” for your party. There are multiple variations of Chocobos you can recruit, and they evolve from Chocochick to Chocobo. You can also ride them on the field map with a certain ability.
Chocobos will make their return once again in Final Fantasy XV. As you might expect they can be rented in various locations around the world and ridden around. Battle may even start while you’re riding a Chocobo, and if forced the birds will defend themselves.