Sonic HQ | Gaming Info | Game List | Sonic Adventure 2 - Sega Dreamcast
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See the zone guides for detailed info on the animals in each stage and where to find them. Listed here are the best places to get each of the Gold and Gray animals. Don't bother collecting them from the 3 Chao boxes. Play a level with easy access to an animal, then restart continually until you have a ton of them.
Expressions seem to mix 4 eye types (normal, bored, angry, happy) and 6 mouth types (triangle smile, triangle frown, big smile, wavy smile, wavy straight, toothy grin).
I think being hatched in the hero garden also causes them to be more likely to have cute features. The character you use to hatch them may also have an effect.
The hatching method definitely affects the face, although results are not consistent. If you REALLY want a certain face, you can "reset" a hatched chao back into an egg by turning off the power before saving.
A chao that copies an animal will get certain visual features from that animal. The features include arms, feet, tail, wings, and facial features that are specific to each animal. You can also get special effects with gray animals.
All these features can be mixed. Giving a chao an animal may have no effect on the features or it may effect all at once. The effects are partial, so, for instance, it might take quite a few gray animals to turn a chao "normal," and you can have mixed parts. Giving a chao a Cheetah and a Boar may give it boar ears with a yellow spotted trim. Givng a chao Penguins and Seals can give it wide dark blue flippers for arms. Giving a chao birds and other animals can give it both a crest and ears.
There are 15 "evolved" chao forms - 3 alignments (hero, dark, and normal) which can each be any of 5 types (running, flying, swimming, power, or normal).
After a certain amount of time in the chao garden, a chao will form a cocoon and change form. It will turn into any of these 15 forms depending on what characters you pet it with and what animals & chaos drives you give it.
Whenever an unevolved chao's dot forms a "heart" shape, it will change color slightly depending on the side of the character you're plating as. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles cause the chao to get lighter, and Eggman, Shadow, and Rouge cause the chao to get darker. Hitting a chao has the opposite effect. It's possible to turn an unevolved chao fully white or black. If a chao goes in 1 color direction, it's perfectly possible to cause it to go the other way by playing with a different character side.
Whichever side it's closer to is the side it will be - a white chao will evolve to a hero chao, a black chao will evolve to a dark chao, and a blue chao will evolve normally, looking a lot like the evolved chao from the first SA. Contrary to popular belief, you can pretty much use whatever characters you want to play with chao and still get the chao evolution you want. Just be sure to keep the chao fairly light, fairly gray, or close to blue, depending on which "side" you want, just before the chao evolves. I have a hero chao that was almost black at one point. By turning the power off before saving, I was also able to control the evolution by using certain characters just before the chao evolved.
Give a chao mostly green, purple, yellow, or red animals & chaos drives to get running, flying, swimming, and power chaos, respectively. I'll add more details on this on the next update.