Monday, May 6, 2013

A Small Guide to the Small Animals of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut

While raising my chao in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (which I named "Brkfast") for the Nintendo GameCube, I thought it would be neat to create a little list of which animals could be found in what stages and with what characters. I know other sites such as Sonic Retro and Sonic News Network have already been ontop of this for a long while, but I always found myself scrambling from one site to another trying to find the specific information I wanted. Often times I would only find the best stage in which to locate an animal and not a comprehensive list of which animals could be found in which stages. Despite later actually locating such a list, I still want to create my own little guide here because I already put the effort into it.

I should begin with a little warning: this guide, like other such references, will not capture a full picture of the animals or their effects on chao because of the two hidden stats Intelligence and Luck. Because there isn't any way to accurately measure these stats within the game (without hacking), it's impossible for me to determine which animals affect these stats and how. It is my understanding, however, that the animals within the blue group (moles, skunks, and koala bears) do raise the Luck stat.

[#1] Table of Contents

[#2] How to Use This Table of Contents

Because of the nature of Blogger, it's very difficult to properly make use of anchor tags. If I could, I would most definitely make a live Table of Contents. Unfortunately, Blogger likes to force its own HTML into the anchor tags code, and it's really more of a hassle than I'd like to deal with. In order to use this Table of Contents you must enter the corresponding letter code found in the brackets beside the section title and enter it into the search command of your browser. For most browsers you can access your search command by pressing the CTRL and F keys at the same time.

Table of Contents [#01]
How to Use This Table of Contents [#02]
What Are Small Animals? [#03]
Types of Small Animals [#04]
How Do Small Animals Influence Chao in Ways Other Than Stats? [#05]
Small Animals [#06]
  • Deer [#06-01]
  • Rabbits [#06-02]
  • Kangaroos [#06-03]
  • Gorillas [#06-04]
  • Elephants [#06-05]
  • Lions [#06-06]
  • Seals [#06-07]
  • Sea Otters [#06-08]
  • Penguins [#06-09]
  • Parrots [#06-10]
  • Peacocks [#06-11]
  • Swallows [#06-12]
  • Skunks [#06-13]
  • Moles [#06-14]
  • Koalas [#06-15]
Small Animal Skill Chart [#07]
Small Animal Location Chart [#08]
Where Can I Find Small Animals? [#09]
Thoughts and Theories About Small Animals [#10]
Closing [#11]

[#3] What Are Small Animals?

Small animals are a specific and related species of animal found within the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and dating back to the very first game in the series. Traditionally the small animals have acted as organic batteries for Dr. Robotnik's various robot organisms, literally having their life force drained to power machines. In Sonic Adventure and its sequel, Sonic Adventure 2, the small animals could be given to creatures called chao, who have the unique ability to adapt the physical qualities of these animals. Why chao can adapt the qualities of small animals but not other creatures has never been documented (but I do have some thoughts which I will share in my section on theories below).

[#04] Types of Small Animals

Small animals are divided into five color-coded groups which indicate the primary stat that they influence when given to a chao. These stat groups are: Running, Power, Swimming, Flying, and Luck. As stated before, the Luck stat is never measured in a way which can be seen by the player, so we won't be addressing it very much. Additionally there is an unseen Intelligence stat which lacks an animal group, and a Stamina stat which is influenced by a chao's diet and not by its companionship. The colors which respond to each stat group are as follows:

Yellow coded animals enhance the Swimming stat.
Green coded animals enhance the Running stat.
Red coded animals enhance the Power stat.
Purple coded animals enhance the Flying stat.
Blue coded animals enhance the Luck stat (with nothing subtracted from other stats).

If that last part of the information on blue animals has confused or frightened you, don't worry. While it's true that some animals will actually lower another stat while raising its own, this is largely inconsequential. Stats are measured by levels which serve as thresholds which cannot be crossed backwards, meaning that once your chao's Running stat reaches level two it cannot go back to level one, and so forth. The only matter reduced by some animals is how close your chao is to obtaining the next level of a certain stat. It's really nothing to worry about unless you are attempting to breed a chao who is strong in a very specific area. I will indicate which animals have a negative influence on certain stats when we get to them.

[#05] How Do Small Animals Influence Chao in Ways Other Than Stats?

Besides stats, small animals can influence a chao's appearance. The chao will often adapt various appendages of the small animal, such as feet, arms, and wings. Chao might also adapt the tails and plumage of the small animals they "absorb". Some small animals seem to influence chao in bizarrely specific ways, such as changing the shape of their emotional orb or making them become invisible.

Certain animals will teach the chao specific talents, such as drawing and singing. Some animals will also teach a chao to wear things over its head, and there are many hats designed for this purpose.

A chao's color is also influenced by the animals it interacts with, although this is only true for Normal Chao. Chao whose breeds are of a specific color seem to resist being influenced by animals. Because this post should be more about the small animals than the chao they influence, I'll try not to go into too much detail on chao and their breeds. Perhaps that's a study for another day.

[#06] Small Animals

[#06-01] Deer

Deer are of the green color group, which means they primarily enhance the running stat. Being elegant creatures, the deer can teach a chao to bow politely with enough exposure. Deer can be found in Twinkle Park, Speed Highway, Final Egg, and Hot Shelter. They have a positive influence over the running and power stats and a negative influence over the flying and swimming stats.

[#06-02] Rabbits

These pink-colored rabbits bear more than a passing resemblance to the Energizer Bunny and are probably related to Pocky and his extended family from the earlier Sonic games. It enhances Running, and Flight (interesting, since these animals were introduced before Cream the Rabbit was created), but its small stature and light frame has a negative influence on the Power stat. They don't seem to have any influence over a chao's ability to swim. Rabbits can be located in Twinkle Park, Speed Highway, Final Egg, Emerald Coast, and Casniopolis, making them the most frequently found member of the green group. Rabbits will teach a chao to hop.

[#06-03] Kangaroos

The Small Kangaroos are a weird bunch, in both design and statistical influence. Unlike their larger relatives, these little guys are a green color. I guess that goes along with the Sonic franchise's tendency to make animals bizarre colors, though, so it isn't too out of place. Just a little unexpected. Another oddity is the fact that kangaroos have a negative influence over a chao's ability to fly, which is weird considering that a kangaroo spends a certain portion of its life in the air (albeit, by hopping). They also have a negative influence over swimming, but a positive influence on running. Their strong legs also give them a positive influence over power. Kangaroos will teach your chao how to perform back flips, and can be found on Speed Highway, Twinkle Park, and Final Egg, making them the least common animal of the green group.

[#06-04] Gorillas

Gorillas are fearsome beasts with very few benefits. They have a negative influence on swimming and flight, for obvious reasons. They seem to have no influence over running, but they have a larger influence of power than the other animals. Despite this, they're the worst of the red group, in my humble opinion. Gorillas will pass on their boastful behaviors, teaching a chao to beat its chest triumphantly. They can be found roaming around Red Mountain, Lost World, Icecap, and Final Egg.

[#06-05] Elephants

These pink elephants don't behave at all how you'd expect them to. What do elephants do with their trunks? They spray water. What does a famous elephant do with his giant, floppy ears? Fly. Despite this, the elephant has a negative influence on both a chao's ability to swim and fly. They balance this, in a way, by having a positive influence over running and, naturally, power. Elephants will teach a chao to act tough, which can be a detriment in chao races. They can be found trumpeting through Red Mountain, Lost World, and Twinkle Park.

[#06-06] Lions

Lions are the best of the red group animals. They have a positive influence on power, running, and swimming with their only negative influence being over a chao's flight. Chao who are exposed to lions are tidy creatures and learn how to clean their face. Lions can be found in Red Mountain, Lost World, and the Sky Deck.

[#06-07] Seals

These red seals look more like fish, but their unmistakable "arf arf" shows the blubbery mammals for what they are. Despite a lack of legs, the seals seem to have no influence on the chao's ability to run. They do, however, detract from the chao's flight. They have a positive influence over power and swimming. Seals can be found on Emerald Coast, Icecap, Hot Shelter, and Windy Valley, and will teach your chao to dance.

[#06-08] Sea Otters

Sea Otters are cool little guys who can help your chao run and swim, but they won't be doing any favors for power or flight. Only found on three stages (Emerald Coast, Icecap, and Hot Shelter) the Small Sea Otter is the least common member of the yellow group. Chao who interact with the sea otter will learn how to backstroke in the water.

[#06-09] Penguins

These penguins are a bunch of tough dudes. They'll teach chao how to slide on their bellies and enhance their swimming, flying, and strength. The only negative influence penguins will have on your chao is over running. Penguins can be found on Emerald Coast, Icecap, Hot Shelter, and Lost World.

[#06-10] Parrots

Unfortunately, parrots won't teach your chao how to talk. They will, however, teach them how to sing. Parrots will also have a positive influence over power and flight, and no influence on the chao's ability to swim. They have a negative influence on speed, but they more than make up for it by the body parts they share. In my opinion, parrots produce the most stunning-looking and beautiful animal parts a chao can adopt, followed at a distance by the peacock and swallow. Parrots can be found squawking about Windy Valley, Casinopolis, Sky Deck, and Red Mountain.

[#06-11] Peacocks

Peacocks, like the parrots, will produce some stunningly beautiful chao. To be a little biased, I feel that the birds give chao the best physical features of all the small animals in both games (SA and SA2). Unfortunately, the stats that a peacock shares aren't nearly as dashing. They have a negative influence over both power and speed, but positive influences on swimming and flight. Which is weird, because I don't think peacocks can swim. They'll also teach your chao to strut their stuff. Peacocks can be found on Windy Valley, Casinopolis, and Sky Deck, making them the least common bird in the game.

[#06-12] Swallows

Regrettably, I couldn't find the animal icon for the swallows. They don't look too different from flickies, however. A swallow will buff your chao up and teach them how to do sit ups, which is a really weird trait for any bird to have let alone pass on. They only have a negative influence over running, having a positive influence over strength, flight, and swimming. Swallows can be found on Windy Valley, Casinopolis, Sky Deck, and Speed Highway (where they probably shit all over the windshields).

[#06-13] Skunks

Stinky Small Skunks are the least common animals in the game, not only being members of the elusive blue group but also only appearing on the Sky Deck and in the Hot Shelter of the Egg Carrier. They'll teach your chao to fart, which is... something. Like all members of the blue group, skunks have a positive influence over all stats (except stamina).

[#06-14] Moles

These purple moles are among my favorite of the small animals not because of the stats they give, but because they're just kind of weird and goofy-looking. Moles will teach chao to dig holes and have a positive influence over all stats (except stamina). They have appear on the most stages of any animal, but are still somewhat difficult to find as they belong to the blue group. They can be found digging around Windy Valley, Red Mountain, Icecap, Lost World, and Final Egg, all of which are located in the Mystic Ruins.

[#06-15] Koalas

If you've noticed the pattern for the blue group, then you'll know that koalas are found in Station Square. They can be seen dragging their butts around Emerald Coast, Speed Highway, Casinopolis, and Twinkle Park. Koala bears will teach your chao how to play the trumpet and have a positive influence over all stat groups (except for stamina).

[#07] Small Animal Skill Chart

Since I got a little wordy about the animals, I made a nice chart to spell out just how they're going to influence your chao.

[#08] Small Animal Location Chart

Again because I got wordy, I've constructed a chart of where you can locate small animals in the game.

[#09] Where Can I Find Small Animals?

Small animals can be found on every stage of the game and by every character (including Metal Sonic, although he cannot enter the Chao Garden). The character you play as will not influence which small animals you find as they are designated to specific regions. Each stage houses a primary group of animals and all three members of that color group can be found there. Each stage also houses one additional animal from another color group and one blue animal, meaning a total of five unique animals can be found per stage.

For specific animal locations, see the chart in section [#08].

[#10] Thoughts and Theories About Small Animals

Small animals are bizarre creatures which present a number of interesting ideas about the world which Sonic and co. inhabit. They seem to have developed in the opposite direction of Sonic: while Sonic, Amy, and Tails are all anthropomorphic animals who are larger than the real life counterparts behave like humans, the small animals are (generally) smaller than the real life counterparts and act as exaggerations of the real animal.

There also seem to be some kind of relationship between the small animals and the Chaos Emeralds, something which isn't really demonstrated until the Sonic Adventure titles, and even then only if you're really looking for it. This relationship is first noticed in the way small animals interact with chao, having their traits absorbed into the chao. This mirrors the way a chao absorbed the power of the Chaos Emeralds to become Chaos, the God of Destruction, although this can be considered a "super" form for chao as the Chaos Emeralds can grant power to any creature.

The relationship is further cemented in Sonic Adventure 2 when we are introduced to the concept of chaos drives--artificial energy batteries which G.U.N. uses to power their robots. Like the small animals, the chaos drives can be used to enhance chao stats. Because chaos drives and small animals share the same purpose (powering robots and enhancing chao) it could be said that they share a number of properties. It could be that the small animals contain some portion of chaos energy, and that is why Dr. Eggman can use the to power his machines.

Some of you may have also noticed that throughout my guide I did not capitalize the term "small animal", nor did I capitalize "chao". This is pretty contrary to the usual, but I have reasons for it. First and foremost, both of those terms refer to a non-specific animal species and not a particular breed. Had I mentioned Blue Chao it would have been capitalized, and I believe I did so once when talking about Small Kangaroos. Additionally, I consider the small animals to consist of one specific species where the individual animals are actually various breeds.

Also: "Small Seals" is not correct as in Sonic Adventure 2 there are blue seals instead of red, so they should be referred to as "Small Blue Seals" and "Small Red Seals" if one prefers capitalizing. I'm not certain about "Hero", "Dark", or "Chaos" chao quite yet, but I'm leaning towards capitalizing those as well, primarily because they are titles as opposed to breed or species.

[#11] Closing

In closing I'd like to thank you for taking the time to have read through my small guide to small animals, and I hope you found something at least interesting or useful in all this!

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