At the end of 1998, Sega released their first Sonic the Hedgehog title for their last console, the Sega Dreamcast. A quirk of this console was that the game's memory was kept on a small device called the Visual Memory Unit or VMU. Many Sega titles included downloadable games that could be played on the VMU using the screen, and would either operate independently or benefit the console game. For the Dreamcast title Sonic Adventure, the VMU title was Chao Adventure.
Unlike the main game's Chao Garden feature, Chao Adventure is a short narrative where the Chao communicates to the player directly with words. The Chao companion sets out on an adventure that the player helps direct. The adventure does eventually end and encourages the player to return the Chao to the Chao Garden, reflecting its new experiencce in the 3D space.
The majority of time spent with the game will be the Chao moving forward on a landscape. This can mean walking, swimming, climbing, or flying. When the Chao reaches the end of an area, it will ask the player to choose where to go next, option 1, option 2, or either. The player can check the Chao's progress in menu's MAP option, naming the location, showing meter for visual progress, and a distance number that increases every second. This menu option also shows the map in a branching pyramid, outlining where the Chao has been before.
There are many encounters that can occur as the Chao goes on its adventure. The most common encounter is a fight. Fights are fought using a timed stop in which the Chao's attack only lands if you succeed at making the timed stop. | After defeating a Chao, the player can choose one of three options to open a chest, sometimes giving a fruit, and otherwise giving nothing. Chests can also be randomly encountered on their own.
Other encounters include Sonic and friends, who tend to get a reaction of surprise by the Chao. The Chao may also encounter a wild animal that will distract the Chao, or choose to be lazy and not go anywhere. The Chao may also trip, even when flying or swimming.
Name, Status, Items, Game
What the profile contains and how the Chao asks about it
Mating, Battle, and Friends
A key feature of Chao is that how they are treated impacts their behavior. If treated well, the Chao will be happy around the player, and if treated poorly, the Chao will act rudely toward or frightened by the character. While Chao Adventure has no feature for treating the Chao poorly, the Chao's treatment in the Chao Garden can result in some negative behaviors. This includes refusing to eat nuts, showing an animation of the Chao kicking the nut.
Chao do not age in the game and evolved Chao take on a special appearance