Chocobo Forests are optional locations in Final Fantasy VIII. There are seven forests, and in six of them the player can catch a chocobo by solving a series of puzzles involving chicobos. The forests are connected, in that each can be reached via chocobos taken from any of the other forests.
If the player does not want to go through the process of catching the birds, they can simply ask the resident Chocoboy to catch one for 1,200 Gil. This does not count towards earning the reward at the Chocobo Sanctuary, but allows the player to ride a chocobo without needing to do the puzzle. Catching a chocobo in the Steam version earns the achievement Chocobo.
To gain the reward from the Chocobo Sanctuary, the player must befriend all the chocobos by completing the minigame in every forest without paying Chocoboy to call the chocobo. The player must also find the treasure of the forest to befriend the chocobo of that forest.
How to play
The puzzles involve catching a mother chocobo by using a special whistle called the ChocoWhis, given by Chocoboy when talked to for the first time. The ChocoWhis consists of two separate parts: a ChocoSonar, used to find specific spots, and a ChocoZiner, used to make chicobos appear and disappear when Squall is standing on these spots. Once only one chicobo is out in the open, a mother chocobo will appear when the player interacts with the lone chicobo, and the player can either ride her or have her assist in digging up a hidden treasure within the forest. The treasure is located by using the ChocoSonar, and the mother chocobo is told to dig it up by using the ChocoZiner. When the treasure of a given forest is found, the mother chocobo of that forest is considered befriended: the player can return to that forest and she will be waiting for them to ride, without having to catch her first. Chocoboy will also no longer be in that forest.
The ChocoSonar can be activated continuously by holding the activation button. This means that the player can keep it active while moving instead of constantly pressing the button. This is also true of the ChocoZiner, although this is not advised, as it will be stolen if used on a wrong spot: if this happens, the player must buy a new one from Chocoboy for 700 gil.
Visiting the forests is optional and the player can complete them in any order. After the player has caught their first chocobo, Chocoboy will reward the party with Boko: he is a chicobo that will follow the mother chocobo when they player rides her on the world map, and he can be summoned in battle by using Gysahl Greens, which can be purchased from Chocoboy for 600 gil apiece (depending on the forest, he will sell them individually or in groups of 5 or 10). In the PlayStation and PC versions, he can be sent to the Chocobo World add-on game, where he can unlock certain items as well as level up to gain more powerful attacks. As Chocobo World is not playable in Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, its exclusive items can be found elsewhere, and Boko has all of his attacks available natively, which attack he uses in battle depending on Squall's level.
The Beginner's Forest
Try to find a spot where only one falls down.Chocoboy's hint
The Beginner's Forest is in northern Trabia on Winter Island, near Shumi Village. The player must call down three chicobos in the lower right, one at the top left, and then dismiss the three and talk to the lone chicobo to summon the mother. The treasure of the forest is an Aura Stone, found at the back right corner.
The Basics Forest
Have to blow the whistle twice.Chocoboy's hint
The Basics Forest is on Trabia's Sorbald Snowfield, roughly south of the Shumi Village, on the same landmass that Trabia Garden is located. The player needs to call down five chicobos onto the clearing, then dismiss the two backmost birds, then dismiss the birds in the front and right, leaving only one bird in the lower left corner of the forest. The treasure of the forest is a Flare Stone, found at the left side of the forest.
The Roaming Forest
Be careful where the Sonar reacts.Chocoboy's hint
The Roaming Forest is in Trabia's Bika Snowfield, north of Trabia Garden. As soon as the player starts the puzzle, two chicobos fall onto the clearing. The player should ignore them and find the spot near the entrance to the forest to summon a lone chicobo, and then dismiss the two other chicobos, and talk to the one at the entrance to summon the mother. The treasure of the forest is a Shell Stone and a Holy Stone, found at the back of the forest.
The Forest of Fun
Chocobowling with four bottles, one ball.Chocoboy's hint
The Forest of Fun is in Centra's Lenown Plains, east of Edea's Orphanage. The player must call down a triad of chicobos from the front of the clearing, and then find the spot slightly to the right of the front-most chicobo to call down another chicobo to the far left side of the forest. The player can then call down one more chicobo right behind the back left chicobo of the triad. With all four chicobos on the clearing, the player can find the spot in front of the lone chicobo on the left to sound the sonar, and the left chicobo will "play bowling" by running and scattering the other chicobos away. The player can then talk to the one chicobo left to summon the mother. The treasure of the forest is a Meteor Stone, a Flare Stone, and an Ultima Stone, found at the back right corner.
The Enclosed Forest
Collect on outer side, then go in.Chocoboy's hint
The Enclosed Forest is on Talle Mountains, southeast of the Centra continent adjacent to another forest. Sounding the sonar in the spot where the player starts calls down two chicobos. A spot near the backmost chicobo calls down another chicobo near to it, but dismisses the chicobo at the front. The player can call the front chicobo back down by using the ziner on its spot, and then find a spot at the back of the forest to call down a fourth chicobo. The player should then use the ziner in the middle of the quartet to dismiss all of them and call down one lone chicobo; talking to it summons the mother. The treasure of the forest is a Meteor Stone, a Holy Stone, and an Ultima Stone, found at the right side of the forest behind the rock.
The Forest of Solitude
Search carefully where the Sonar reacts.Chocoboy's hint
The Forest of Solitude is on Centra's northern tip, on Nectar Peninsula, found by following a path along the coast, on the same continent where the Centra Ruins are located. There is only one chicobo here, found on a specific spot a little bit up and left of where Chocoboy is standing . After having found the mother, the player must challenge Chocoboy to a game of cards, but rather than playing, ask him to move: Chocoboy is standing on top of the buried treasure: a Protect Stone and a Meteor Stone.
The Chocobo Sanctuary
After having befriended all of the mother chocobos in the forests, the player must return to the Roaming Forest and take the chocobo for a ride, then head east through the Bika Snowfield, cross the shallow water and enter the Grandidi Forest to reach the Chocobo Sanctuary. This secluded forest can only be reached with a chocobo. In addition to Chocoboy and a lone chocobo who is already present, the Sanctuary contains as many chocobos as the player has befriended, for a total of seven chocobos. Once all treasures have been found, the player will witness the "Dance of the Chocobos", after which all seven chocobos will be gone, and the chicobo that remains will offer the player the Chicobo Card. Afterwards, the player must talk to Chocoboy for him to summon a mother chocobo, allowing them to leave the area; once this is done, Chocoboy will depart and never appear again (alternatively, the player can simply exit and reenter the forest after gaining the Chicobo Card: Chocoboy will be gone and the mother chocobo will already be summoned). However, the player can still get Gysahl Greens from the chicobo for 600 gil apiece.
Behind the scenes
The mechanics of the Chocobo Forest minigame are a precursor to Final Fantasy X's Cloister of Trials. The player has to solve increasingly difficult puzzles and recover hidden items before the forests/cloisters are considered complete.
食う / くう / kuu is a rough way to say "eat", whose volitional casual form is 食え / くえ / kue ("let's scoff 'em down!"), leading to Kweh!