Hello all. This is probably a random topic for the most part and definitely a loose nostalgia dive for sure. I would think this is more of a niche topic for most Sonic fans and I am one of them...I recently hooked my Dreamcast up and decided to start a new garden and do some experimentation shall we say. I just wanted to delve into the Chao Garden, the VMU Chao Adventure mini game, and some of the stuff I discovered during this playthrough. I knew when I played this back when I was a kid, there was a kind of mystery to it in a lot of ways and I wanted to shed some light on that as well as share with you some experiences I had making my Chao gardens in 2021 where I figured out some interesting things.
First off this was a long process and the only thing I regret is that I don't have a capture card. Instead I am going to post two youtube video's via another person. They are a great representation of the types of chao you can get at the absolute highest level as far as aesthetics. I also used a lot of websites like Chao Island and some random spots on the internet to find information to help me along the way. Shout out to the og Gamefaq's as well!
As you all know this game was a lot different than Sonic Adventure 2 and Adventure 2: Battle. Even Sonic Aventure DX's Chao Garden was completely different as far as mechanics, races, etc. Sonic Adventure DC Garden was way different in fact and people don't remember it as much as SA2B by far. I am not going to go into the "basics" of the garden for you, well maybe a little...overall that would be boring though so I will make sure it's interesting. I will list things that happened or a discovery I made along the journey. I will try to have it in a semi order also.
-Hatching eggs is simple af. I Just pick them up and shake it for a few. No matter what it will pop out. There are 2 eggs in each garden to start. 3 secret eggs. Black egg with purple spots, Silver egg, and the Gold egg.
-The faces are interesting. There are many forms and it seems they even change shape and when you evolve chao into certain forms. See Power/Power chao's or Swim/Power chao's with their mini snouts. Even their eyes can be completely different and are pretty random.
-Fruits are interesting. Chao's will never toss them away and no matter what eat the whole thing. I don't know the exact sleep % your chao gets after eating one but it usually goes to sleep right after or will start yawning. I believe fruits give the chao .4% to their hp but this number isn't exact it seems.
-This leads me to hp. Hp slowly declines over time, but only if you are in the garden. Pausing won't let time pass either thank God...Your chao as a baby has around 10-15 hp to start typically and will go up as you feed it nuts from the trees inside the garden ONLY. Hp also goes down faster as your chao get's older...
(FYI 1 hour in the garden = 1 year for your chao. Typically 5 years is when your chao get's to it's oldest age, which is 5 hours in the garden. What I have noticed is that the hp will decline way quicker when it's in the garden at an old age...I don't know exactly how quick though of course.)
-While leveling up and evolving my chao's I wanted to get as many different types as possible. I did just that and it was a process. Here are two video's showing 16 different types of chao's and how their final evolution looks like.
FYI - Make sure to turn your volume off since it only appears in your left ear...Also the quality is low since it's old but these videos are the BEST ones on the internet I could find that demonstrate the chao's you can achieve aesthetically when you push them to the absolute limit.
-In the video's you see chao of all sorts. They are all adult 3-5 year fully developed. I copied what this guy did in his gardens, but had a few different types than him. I also had vmu's with my "Prized" chao's with all sorts of unique types. Let's move onto raising these boyos.
-So I will say, the hardest part about this process imo is the F*%$&ING animal parts and erasing them. There are NO skeleton dogs in this version. It's an absolute brutal process to get these chao's to look perfect. Trust me when I say I put close to 5-7 hours sometimes just perfecting them with no animal parts.
-Essentially this is what my process had to be due to the brutal nature of the animals. After evolving them into exactly the aesthetic I wanted, I grabbed blue birds to take away any animal arms and animal head parts. While this is great, they also gave your chao bird feet, a tail, and wings. To counter this you need a seal to take away their feet and wings... Now here's the catch, seals have a chance to give your chao tails and arms also so it could possibly erase what the blue bird just fixed! What's even worse, is I have absolutely no clue what the % is for your chao to lose/gain parts. There were so many times where I would give it and it would just give me the part back while erasing therefore negating any progress I made. The next step if I did achieve perfect arms/legs was getting a Gorilla. Gorilla's were the cherry on this sunday. They erased tails and backs parts...these assholes of course won't let you off easy though because they have a chance to give your chao ears and arms! I won't go on anymore, you get the picture at this point... On top of all this btw, there are no guides anywhere online that tell you the best method or % of part gains...So odd.
-My personal favorite that I made was my "Super Sonic" Chao. He was hatched from a Gold egg and I made him a Run/Power chao on top of that so he looks just like Super Sonic. He stays in one of my vmus.
-I made a Chaos chao in this version too. It's actually pretty easy and it will NEVER die. Raise a chao and give it nothing but nuts in the garden. It will evolve to a normal chao. Let it live for 5 hours aka 5 years in Chao garden...it will eventually reincarnate. It needs to do it twice more...Then, when it finally comes out give it every animal ONE time. It will eventually evolve into a chao that looks like Chaos if you have done it right.
-Now onto the vmu, Chao Adventure and Chao stats.
-Chao Adventure is the mini game Tamagotchi/virtual pet Chao sim on your vmu. It's actually pretty underrated imo and was a good relic of the time it came out in. 1999.
-The vmu is actually pretty fun and extremely useful for the garden. In fact it's the only true way to get your chao's stats to it's max. Max stats are 999 in swim, fly, run, and power. All useful in the races, as well as inside the vmu. Your chao will become a super Saiyan with max 999 in everything. It's incredible really to witness it in the garden and especially in races.
-Getting your stats up is an absolute grind in the garden. Animals are obviously how to do that, but that not only ages the chao but the parts are a problem. (Chao's don't age in the vmu) Once I perfect a chao I throw them in the vmu and play Chao Adventure to get their stats 999. It's a grind btw, that's no freaking lie. However, if you were to do the garden route your chao will die before it ever maxes out.
-Getting stats you say? You can get stats by getting fruits, (lemons, plums, grapes, cherrys and chaonuts) They all give stats, aka +4 in each category, while chaonuts give +4 to all. You get them by either playing a matching mini game or letting the chao walk in the adventure. You can find treasure chests with possible chances to get fruits or battle it out with other random chao to win chests also. You also can meet up with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Big, and E101. They each give you +10 stats respectively in each category.
-As for chao races, I won't go too hard because I feel like this deserves it's own topic. But all I will say is Chaclon, Silver Gang and Gold Gang. If you know you know.
Sorry if this post is too long. I just got bored and decided to document what I learned and share the nostalgic trip I took recently with you guys.