The long-running Mystery Dungeon series has taken many forms over the years, stretching all the way back to 1993 when Chun Soft spun the roguelike Taloon’s Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon off of its more traditional RPG Dragon Quest IV. Since then we’ve seen original characters, pokémon, and yes, chocobos join in on the dungeon-delving fun.
Well, potential fun. These roguelikes aren’t for everyone, with simple-feeling moment-to-moment gameplay paired with sometimes stressful amounts of difficulty (if you die, you tend to lose all your items). The Chocobo sub-series, which started with PlayStation’s 1997 Chocobo’s Dungeon and 1998’s sequel, is less punishing than many Mystery Dungeon games, but western reviewers back then gave the series a chilly reception.
Even so, the Mystery Dungeon series isn’t marking its 30th anniversary this year for nothing.
It has its fans, and just 10 years after the first Chocobo Dungeon, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon for Wii met a much warmer reception, as did that game’s eventual remaster on Switch and PS4. Like ‘em or hate ‘em, dungeon-delving chocobo are here to stay. — Alexandra Hall