The Chocobos sidequest is a time-consuming, but very rewarding quest. In the end, you'll have the chance to obtain various materia, from the close-to-useless HP<->MP to the allmighty Knights of Round, pieces of rare equipment and a good amount of GP to spend at the Gold Saucer. So why would you pass on such a wonderful opportunity?
The goal we're aiming for is to breed a Gold chocobo, able to travel on any surface, even water. Before that, we will have to breed a Blue chocobo (able to cross rivers), a Green chocobo (able to cross mountains) and a Black chocobo (able to cross both rivers and mountains). How are we going to do that? By following some (simple) steps.
Table of Contents
To start on this quest, you need to be able to reach the Chocobo Ranch, the Gold Saucer and the Chocobo Sage's house. This means that you have to possess the Highwind, because all three locations are on different continents. Having the W-Item materia is a great help too, as it will save up your money.
You need to do some preparation first. There are a few things to obtain and buy beforehand:
Once you've done all that, you're good to go.
In order to catch chocobos, you need to walk on chocobos' trails on the map, while having the Chocobo Lure materia equiped. (Note that we only point you toward the useful birds on our map.) The higher your materia level is, the easier it will be to encounter a bird in battle. When you start a battle with a chocobo, you'll hear a familiar music, indicating that you have entered a special chocobo battle. The battle groups are always fixed, which is good thing since it allows us to know beforehand what kind of chocobo we'll get. Now, we know you want a Wonderful chocobo, so here's a shortcut: when a battle with two Jumpings and a chocobo occurs on the northern continent, you know you're up against a Wonderful.
To catch a chocobo in battle, you need to kill every monster except the chocobo. In fact, you can't touch the chocobo at all or else it will attack you and run away (forget about multiple targets attacks. Well, don't really forget it, since you can obtain Chocobuckle that way). The chocobo can also leave by his own without any provocation: to prevent that you have to give him some Greens (Gysahl Greens work just fine: don't waste any of your high priced Sylkis Greens). You'll catch the chocobo if it's the only one standing at the end of the battle.
Once you catch one, you can mount it and ride it around; you can ride it around and then dismount. If you have rented at least one chocobo stable, you'll be given the opportunity to send the chocobo back to the ranch after releasing it. The chocobo will automatically travel to the ranch, and wait inside the fence. You can only send four chocobos to the fence this way. After that, you need to go back to the ranch, and either release some of them or transfer them to one of your stables.
There are seven places around the world where you can find chocobos' trails, but not all of them are worth your time. Again, check out the map. In order to breed the rare kinds of chocobos we're looking for, we must have the finest chocobos available. So, only three places will require our attention for the purpose of breeding, and one more place to get the Chocobuckle Enemy Skill:
Gold Saucer Area: You can find either Average chocobos or Good chocobos. Since we want the Good sort, we're only interested in chocobos that we meet in an enemy group with two Spencers - you can feel free to run from the other battles with a chocobo, because they will always be of the Average type.
Mideel Area: You can find either Fair chocobos or Great chocobos. We want the Great ones, of course, and they come along with Spirals. One of the chocobos here can also teach you the Chocobuckle enemy skill (see below on how to do it).
Icicle Area: You can either find Weak chocobos or Wonderful chocobos. Wonderful chocobos are found in encounters where the Jumpings are the only enemies (a Weak one comes along with a party consisting of a Bandersnatch and a Jumping: you can stay away from this one).
In order to breed the kind of chocobos we want, the couple destined to mate has to be in the finest shape possible. And for that, there are two things to do: raise their stats, and advance their class at the Chocobo Square.
The fastest way to raise the statistics of a chocobo is to feed him or her with a large amount of Sylkis Greens. If you feed one 90 or so, you're guaranteed to maximize its statistics.
To advance the Chocobo's class, you'll need to race it at the Gold Saucer, and win races. Note however that not every chocobo can advance to the S class: Yellow chocobos can reach B class, but rarely A class, while Blue, Green, Black and Gold can easily reach S class.
IMPORTANT NOTE: before mating any chocobos, save your game. If you don't get the chocobo you're looking for, reset and restart. Also, newly born chocobos and chocobos who just gave birth to a new one can't mate again right away: you'll have to spend some time before they can. Sometimes, just racing at the Chocobo Square to level up your chocobo's class will be enough, and sometimes it won't. Take it easy, spend you time on another sidequest, then go back to ask Billy if they are able to mate. Square didn't want you being a dirty Chocobo pimp.
Now you know where to find the chocobos and how to feed and train them. Below are the eleven steps to obtain the Gold Chocobo you're looking for.
So, what is there to do with this cavalry? Well, there is some stuff to do. You can mount your chocobo to travel around the world, and even get him onto the Highwind in his personnal stable, giving you the opportunity to reach specific locations, like the materia caves.
Race at the Gold Saucer: the Gold chocobo is guaranteed to win almost every race. Only Teioh will be a worthy opponent, and you will still beat him a good percentage of the time.
Get the HP<->MP materia: bring a Black chocobo north of North Corel, and cross the river to get to a cave. Examine the purple block of crystal to get the materia.
Get the Mime materia: bring a Green chocobo to Wutai, and head for the bridges area. Near the second one, head east and cross the mountain to get to a cave. Examine the yellow block of crystal to get the materia.
Get the Quadra Magic materia: head for the penisula at the far-eastern part of the map, and bring a Green, a Blue or a Black chocobo. Go to the northern part of the peninsula and enter the cave: in it you'll find a blue crystal, examine it to get the materia.
Get the Knights of Round materia: take your Gold chocobo to the far north-east corner of the map to find a round island covered with forest. Enter the cave and examine the red crystal to get the materia.
Get Vincent's ultimate weapon and limit - you'll need a Green, Black or Gold chocobo to reach the waterfall in the center of the Western Continent (you can also reach this area once you get the submarine).
Reach the Cactuar island: you'll need the Gold chocobo in order to reach the island, which is south-west of Gongaga. You can Morph the Cactuers you'll meet in the desert for Tetra Elemental accessories.
Get to the Ancient Forest without fighting Ultimate Weapon: just use a Green, Black or Gold chocobo to get there.
Grassland Area, near the Chocobo Ranch: In order to obtain Chocobuckle, you must first feed it some greens (Mimett Greens seem to be the Web's dish of choice for this task), then cast L4 Suicide on the chocobo: it will respond with Chocobuckle if your spell hits. Obviously, this will only work against chocobos whose level is a multiple of 4. That's why only chocobos originating from the Grasslands area or Mideel can respond with it (well, only some of them. You can check their level by using Sense on them).