Chao are creatures that appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. They are a mysterious species that dwells in various locations around Sonic's world. They are often treated as companions, with some of the inhabitants of Sonic's world keeping Chao in their homes like pets or training them for Chao Races.
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 a floating dot above their heads.
Characteristics and culture
Chao are overall cute and lovable creatures similar to children and their mannerisms are pleasant and relaxing. However, some Chao can be mischievous or even malicious. Chao can also become attached to individuals, as evidenced by the friendship between Cream and her Chao, Cheese. They are likewise loyal companions who will go to extreme lengths in order to protect their loved ones. Chao are thus usually friends with the inhabitants of Sonic's world, whom they often live alongside with. Some are even trained by people to compete in Chao Races, which are a form of sport with prizes.
In terms of biology, all Chao are by default genderless. Chao come as well in three broad types: basic Chao like Cheese, Hero Chao, which are Chao with benevolent features, and Dark Chao, which are Chao with malevolent features.
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: It becomes a heart when the Chao is happy, a question mark when the Chao is confused, an exclamation point when the Chao is surprised, and a swirl when the Chao is unhappy.
Powers and abilities
In the past, a Chao named Cheese would accompany his friend and companion Cream on many adventures. Together with Cream, Cheese lived in Floral Forest Village with their twin Chocola, Vanilla, and eventually Gemerl. In addition, a Chao Race trainer named Clutch the Opossum would acquire a number of Chao. Howevr, those that failed to win Chao Races for him would be mistreated by being locked up in a cage.
Tangle & Whisper
When the Faceship invaded Floral Forest Village, the giant vessel poured a large batch of the Metal Virus into the village, creating a Zombot outbreak. As chaos erupted in the village, Cheese and Chocola took refuge in Vanilla's house. While Chocola tried helping Vanilla barricade the door, Cheese and Cream wanted to help their neighbors, but Vanilla convinced them to stay home. Eventually though, Zombots broke into the house. In an attempt to protect his family, Cheese attacked the Zombots, causing him to get infected with the Metal Virus. He was soon caught by the Zombot though, causing Chocola to try and rescue him. However, he too got caught and infected. Converted into Zombots themselves, Cheese and Chocola tried to attack Cream and Vanilla, only to get interrupted by Sonic, who trapped them in glass jars. After Sonic left though, Cheese and Chocola began to break free.
The Last Minute
After freeing themselves, Zombot Cheese and Chocola made their way to Central City, where they came across Tails at his lab but he did not notice them. Regardless, Cheese and Chocola found the power supply for the lab and destroyed it. Soon after, Tails rushed out of the lab in his Cyclone, prompting the Zombot Chao to chase after him. However, Tails managed to pull off enough evasive maneuvers to leave the Zombot Chao in the dust.
All or Nothing
After the Deadly Six had taken over Eggman's plans, Zavok used his powers to lead a large horde of Zombots to Angel Island, which included Cheese and Chocola. After the Faceship was effectively destroyed, Zavok grew to a giant size and grabbed a handful of Zombots, including Cheese and Chocola, and threw them onto the island's surface to face the survivors there. On the island, Cheese and Chocola cased after Tails until they managed to infect him. Fortunately, Super Sonic and Super Silver managed soon after to remove all of the Metal Virus from around the world and destroy it, thus curing Cheese, Chocola and everyone else.
Out of the Blue
Cheese soon after came to Cream's aid when Zavok threaten her. Fortunately, Zavok was soon restrained. A while afterward, Cheese and Chocola came with their family to the Chaotix Detective Agency's office where they helped manage the office work while the Chaotix got to work. The two Chao later attented a party in Spiral Hill Village with Cream until Eggman crashed the party in a new that used Omega as a core. Cheese proceeded to help Cream battle Eggman's mech until Sonic arrived and finished it off while saving Omega.
Chao Races and Badnik Bases
Some time later, Cheese and Chocola were enjoying some family downtime when Amy called them to ask for Cream and Cheese's aid on a mission. After being permitted to go by Vanilla, Cheese traveled with their friends to White Park Zone to compete in the White Park Chao Racing Circuit. There, several Chao and their owners/trainers had met up to compete in the qualification round, including the Dark Chao owned by the reigning champion, Clutch the Opossum. When the race began, Cheese managed to hold their own despite a rough start, but fell behind when Clutch's Chao knocked them off-course. Despite this, Cheese managed to advance to the next round, although they sensed something from Clutch's Chao. The next day, the Chao who had passed the qualifying round took part in the races that preceded the semi-finals. In the meantime, the Chao that Clutch had encaged were discovered by Shadow. At the day's final race, Cheese managed to get to the semi-finals after beating Clutch's Dark Chao, who got locked up with the other Chao that had failed Clutch. Cheese later played a part in Rouge's plan to turn the tables on Clutch when he wanted to obtain Cheese legally. When Shadow later knocked out Clutch, he showed the Cream, Amy and Rouge the encaged Chao. Cream thus decided to free all the Chao trapped by Clutch. When Clutch unleashed his Badniks upon the heroes however, Cream asked the imprisoned Chao to help her friends defeat the Badniks. The Chao agreed, and as soon as Belle opened their cage, they flew out and helped destroy the Badniks. Afterward, the Chao participated in the evacuation of the chateau before an avalanche could hit it. After that crisis had passed, Clutch's Chao came to Tails' Workshop where they had a picnic with Cream and Cheese, finally free and happy.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #34, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 2"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #33, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 1"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #36, "Chao Races and Badnik Bases, Part 4"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Roll Call"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #18, "Victims"
- Evan Stanley on Tumblr. Tumblr (15 October 2020). Archived from the original on 16 October 2020.
- Sonic the Hedgehog #29, "All or Nothing, Part 4"
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Tangle & Whisper #1, "Imposter"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #21, "The Last Minute, Part 1"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #25, "A Sudden Shift"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #28, "All or Nothing, Part 3"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #30, "Cured"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #31, "Recovery, Part 1"
- Sonic the Hedgehog #32, "Recovery, Part 2"