As Chao grow, they take on many traits. At the end of their cycle, they enter a cocoon and are reborn--this you know...but if a Chao is cared for exceptionally well--just as you and the previous priestesses have done--it will evolve into something special--eternal!
— Tikal, Sonic the Hedgehog #263
The Chao are creatures that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by Archie Comics. They are a mystical species that dwells in various magical locations around Sonic's World.
The Chao are small creatures with pudding-like bodies. In general, Chao have round waterdrop-like heads with large eyes but no noses, round torsos smaller than their heads, smooth feet with no legs, and arms with no visible hands. Neither their arms or feet have digits. They also have a short tail, small wings, and an emotion-dot floating above their head.
While Chao gain various looks over time, basic Chao have light blue skin with yellow tips on their arms, feet and head, blue eyes and pink wings.
Characteristics and culture
Chao are mysterious but cute and lovable creatures similar to infants that live exclusively in Chao Gardens, and their mannerisms are pleasant and relaxing. Chao hatch from eggs, and usually spend their existence eating, sleeping, and playing. They grow and mature quickly, resulting in short lifespans. At the end of its life-cycle, a Chao will envelope itself in a cocoon and emerge as an egg once more. This egg will then hatch into a new Chao with all the characteristics it had in its past life.
Chao grow through loving contact and whoever raises the Chao affects its development: for example, Crusher, who belongs to the gruff Razor, is wild and vicious. In special cases, if a Chao has been cared for exceptionally well, it may evolve into a form that makes it immortal. Chao can also become attached to individuals, as evidenced by the friendship between Cream the Rabbit and her Chao, Cheese.
As seen so far, Chao diets consist of tree fruits. Chao can usually only speak one word which is their own species' name. However, they have a very distinct form of communication: their emotion-dot. The emotion-dot, which floats above a Chao's head will change shape depending on what it thinks or feels.
Powers and abilities
All Chao are capable of flight. To compensate for their short lifespans, Chao have developed the natural ability to reincarnate themselves by reverting themselves back to eggs at the end of their lives, thus rejuvenating their bodies, and can potentially achieve immortality. Chao are also very special in that they tend to borrow the traits of animals they come in contact with, with their shape and color changing as they mature. In fact, some Chao can develop incredible power for their kind, such as Cheese and Aquarius—the former having exceptional strength and durability, the latter having potent mystical skills.
About 4,000 years before Sonic's time, a Chao colony lived at the Master Emerald and Chaos Emeralds' shrine in the Mystic Ruins, where they were protected by their guardian, Chaos. During the Knuckles Clan's war efforts, the Chao and Chaos befriended chief Pachacamac's daughter Tikal, who in turn tried to protect the Chao from her father's plans to raid their shrine for the Emeralds. When Pachacamac and his warriors attacked the shrine, many of the Chao were harmed. This enraged Chaos, who wiped out the Knuckles Clan in his fury before Tikal sealed Chaos in the Master Emerald.
In ancient times, a Chao named Aquarius was discovered by Meropis's settlers, and taught the settlers mystic rites that could protect their city with a magic shield. The citizens made Aquarius their patron and the priestesses of the Eusebes Temple would watch over her for the next many generations.
Present day interactions
When Chaos reemerged and attacked Station Square as Perfect Chaos, only to be beaten and calmed by Super Sonic, the Chao that Chaos had protected reunited with their old friend as it returned to the Master Emerald with Tikal to live in peace. Dr. Nega later kidnapped several Chao to feed to the Ifrit to make it invincible. However, thanks to the efforts of Sonic, Tails and many other heroes, the Chao were freed.
Shattered World Crisis
- Note: From the readers point of view, this picks up from where the Chao's original timeline ended.
During the Shattered World Crisis, Aquarius entered her reincarnation cycle. When her emergence got delayed however, Aquarius' caretaker, Coral the Betta, was stripped of her priestess title as punishment. The residential Chao were later protected by Coral's friends when Dark Gaia Creatures invaded Meropis. Fortunately, Aquarius reemerged—now as an immortal Chao—in time to destroy the Dark Gaia Creatures by empowering the Mystic Melody, restoring Coral's title.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Sonic the Hedgehog #261, "Waves of Change Part Two: Current Events"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #260, "Waves of Change Part One: First Ripples"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Sonic the Hedgehog #263, "Waves of Change Part Four: Divine Waters"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sonic the Hedgehog #262, "Waves of Change Part Three: Terror in the Deep"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Sonic Adventure/Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut
- ↑ Sonic Rivals 2