At the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, Square Enix revealed racing game Chocobo GP exclusively for Nintendo Switch to launch in 2022, and as part of Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2021 Online, the developer has shared many enticing new details. We now have a clearer idea of all aspects of Chocobo GP, including its Final Fantasy-derived story mode, characters, ride selection, track locations, magicite, and special abilities, plus development insights directly from Square Enix Producer Hironori Okayama and Director Akihiko Maeda.
A spiritual successor to Chocobo Racing
For starters, Maeda describes the game as a “spiritual successor” to the Chocobo Racing IP that appeared on PlayStation 1. Since the game presents a “modern” racing experience, Okayama says “GP” was added to the title to differentiate the two racing games. One goal of the game’s development is to expand global brand awareness of “Chocobo” as an IP, since racing games have mainstream appeal, whereas a title like 2019’s Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY! does not, by Maeda’s admission. Chocobo GP will share the “Moogle (Atla) and Chocobo treasure hunter” setting in common with Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon though.
Details on Chocobo GP story, characters, rides, track locations, magicite, and abilities
The story premise for Chocobo GP is that Chocobo and friends enter a racing tournament where the winner gets “anything their heart desires,” and thus they race across many different places and meet many different characters along the way. Characters and locations will be revealed over time, but right now, we know about characters like Chocobo, Atla, a “Racing Hero X” Moogle, Camilla, Shirma, Ben the behemoth, Ramuh, Final Fantasy V’s Gilgamesh, and Final Fantasy IX’s Steiner and Vivi. Locations include hive of scum and villainy Zozo from Final Fantasy VI, famous amusement park Gold Saucer from Final Fantasy VII, and regal Alexandria from Final Fantasy IX. There is also a track called Cid’s Test Track.
Each character in Chocobo GP has different rides available with different core parameters of Speed, Grip, Acceleration, and Drift. During Chocobo GP races, you can pick up Magic Eggs to acquire magicite — magical powers — which come in three levels of power (think Fire, Fira, Firaga). You can power up a spell by collecting more of the same type. Aside from Fire for fireballs, Water drops water obstacles on the track, Doom curses one driver to crash at a set time, and MBarrier blocks one magic attack.
Finally, each character has unique “super-move” abilities that are more powerful than magicite and could dramatically alter the outcome of a race. So, yeah, the Mario Kart flavor is alive and well in this game.
These new Chocobo GP details on (pretends to inhale breath) story, characters, rides, track locations, magicite, abilities, and connection to Chocobo Racing are a lot to munch on, and Square Enix wants to maintain the excitement until it launches on Nintendo Switch next year. The best-case scenario is that Final Fantasy and Mario Kart fans alike will have an awesome new party game to play with their friends. Chocobo GP will be playable in multiplayer via splitscreen, local wireless connection, or online for eight players.