now playing: chao garden (neutral)

welcome to the chao garden!

unlike most virtual pet stuff i love, almost all of which i got into when i was still a kid, i only got into chao relatively recently! i was watching a playthrough of sonic adventure 2 for background noise, which has since become one of my favourite games, but it was the chao that caught my immediate attention. i couldn't stop thinking about them, researching them, until i finally caved and played through sonic adventure 2 myself just to be able to raise my own! i've been obsessed with them ever since

part of what drew me so much to chao is the cuteness of their designs and the complexity of the mechanics; there are so many possible ways to raise chao and so much variety in looks based on stats. with most virtual pets they tend to stay in one static form or change dramatically from stage to stage - but with chao you can watch them change in real time with every item you feed them or every time you pet them with a hero or dark character.

it really makes it feel like every action makes a difference, and this even comes through in their behaviour. the way they react to different characters based on their treatment towards them makes them feel so alive, enough to make me feel absolutely horrible if i ever accidentally make a chao upset and it remembers the incident enough to dislike the character i was playing as. on the flip side of this though is how they can express favouritism towards a certain character, and if they really like them they'll come running over and wait by their feet to be pet or picked up.

the chao garden is truly one of the most fascinating things in any game series, at first it seems like a small side activity you can do between levels, but there's more depth in it alone than in entire games. by the time i had finished the story of sonic adventure 2, my first chao still hadn't even evolved! the amount of grinding through levels and spending time in the gardens required to have a chao live one full life cycle and level up its stats enough to win races would probably take me days if not weeks.

although if they ever did revive chao raising i'd much prefer it to take less time than in the original games, it's still an amazing testament to the depth of the chao gameplay, and i'm very grateful the developers experimented with chao in the ways that they did. they left their mark on sonic - and gaming - history forever for me, and i hope one day we'll see them back again in a meaningful way. until then though, i'm going to keep raising mine in sonic adventure 2!

favourite chao types

note: the following images are from chao island's 3D chao viewer. their site is a great resource for chao info and their viewer is a great way to look at different chao type combinations!

neutral/fly chao

this chao resembles nights from nights into dreams! as you can see i have a particular fondness for purple chao, meaning fly-type chao are always my favourites. this one is so cute, i was delighted when i was able to raise one of my own (see pics below!)

dark/fly chao

this chao (and the chao below) resembles reala from nights into dreams. this is probably my favourite of all chao, i love the colour scheme and the angry eyes! the colour of the wings goes so well with the dark purple body. i also have one of these chao in my own game.

dark/fly/fly chao

this chao is also based on reala. since this chao is raised to specialise in fly stats later in its life all the features of the regular dark fly chao are exaggerated even more. the all purple/pink looks great!

angel chao

this chao is my absolute dream to raise! it's extremely difficult to do so, since it requires feeding it one of every animal in the game, but one day i'll grind to get it. it has such a beautiful colour scheme and a really pretty design overall.

dark/normal chao

this chao is just a grumpy little guy! this one starts off with the usual red accents that the younger dark chao have but changes to a more pink/purple tone as it grows older.

neutral/swim chao

i love this chao's green colouring and sleek design, it's very frog-like and really conveys that it's a good swimmer. it's also just plain adorable.

dark/run/run chao

this chao's design is based on shadow the hedgehog, the objective best sonic adventure 2 character. i really want to raise one of these, i love the idea of turning such an edgy brooding character as shadow into a cute little baby like this.

my chao

more info on my chao coming soon!

for now, here's a random selection of screenshots of some of them!

chao images

here's a collection of some of my favourite chao images, sprites and wallpapers! feel free to right click and save, none of these are mine.