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Chao (jap. チャオ - Chyao) are small creatures from Sonic the Hedgehog franchise created as a form of artificial-life. Within the game, they are living, prehistoric creatures known to live by clear water in special protected enemy-free sanctuaries called Chao Gardens.
Chao are little creatures with a big drop-like shaped head and big oval eyes, a small round body with wings, and small limbs and tail. Chao also have an floating spherical ball above its head which it uses to show its emotions and mood.
Usually, Chao are a light-blue colour with pink wings, yellow highlights and a yellow emote ball, but as the Sonic Adventure series progressed, Chao were able to be seen in many other colours and textures.
Chao made their first appearance in Sonic Adventure in 1999 (December 23, 1998 for Japan) as a launch game for the Sega Dreamcast. Chao (pronounced "chow") were given a canonical history within the existing Sonic universe. Chao were seen to have existed since an ancient time, protected by a creature named Chaos; who was also the original guardian of the Master Emerald.
Chao do not possess the ability to decide their own course of evolution, and it is influenced by the players treatment, care and interaction with the Chao and what items the player gives to it.
The player has been able to raise Chao for themselves in all the Sonic Adventure games, as well as a few other Sonic titles. The Chao are an evolution of the 'A-Life' system that Sonic Team originally created in the Sega Saturn Game "NiGHTS into Dreams…" using small creatures called 'Nightopians'. The Nightopians would change their behaviour depending on their treatment.
The story of Chao is that they, and Chaos, were found by a young echidna named Tikal at the Master Emerald Altar around 3000 years before events of Sonic Adventure. Ever since then, Chao began to appear around the world in Chao Gardens in harmony with the rest of humanity.
古（いにしえ）のナックルズ族の族長の娘。 心優しく、誰にでも分け隔て無く接することから、異物として恐れられたカオスとも唯一意思を通じ合った。 他の国を侵し覇権を得てゆく父・パチャカマに対しては批判的であり、常に対立していた。 パチャカマの侵攻によりカオスが暴走した際、自らを封印としマスターエメラルドにカオスを封じることとなる。『ソニックアドベンチャー』で、様々な状況でソニックらを導く紅い光球こそ、彼女の魂が現代に現れた姿で ある。復活したカオスに悲劇を繰り返させないために。
Not possessing the ability to decide its own course of evolution, fragile, fleeting, consequently a pure and lovable life-form. Typically they live by clear water. They adapt to survive in various environments by being able to capture features of other life-forms that they touch. Watching their exceedingly cute behavior is relaxing.