For those of you who have never played modern Sonic games, this creature is called a Chao. They were introduced in Sonic Adventure 2 as a digital pet you could raise in an environment called a Chao Garden. You got to hatch them, train them, and do little mini games with them.
In 1998, the entire world fell in love with these things... everyone in the world except me. And every time I tell people I don't absolutely adore the Chao, I get the same baffled response: "What!? How!? I love them! They're so cute and wonderful! They're the best part of the series!"
Well, I've decided to finally publicly reveal why.
If everyone in the world is Goku, I'm Broly. And for those who don't get that reference, I'll put it in other terms: while everyone in the world fell madly in love with the Chao, I fell into deep loathing.
Everyone got to play in their Chao Gardens and experience the Chao for how cute and lovable they are. My experience was exactly the opposite.
I was poor. My family was poor. We were lucky enough to get a Nintendo 64, when the latest and greatest consoles were Gamecube and PS2. The Saturn and Dreamcast vanished from stores here within a year of their release. You couldn't get them anymore. And my family didn't have the money for a console that soon. The Dreamcast past me by. The one and only time I got to play Sonic Adventure (not sure which one it was) was for 30 seconds while at a Toys R Us. That was literally it.
My first exposure to the Chao was in middle school, right after learning what the internet was. (I told you, my family was poor. I didn't know what the internet was until 2002.) As soon as I had unsupervised access to the internet, I immediately starting looking up pictures of naked women. (Obviously, lol) But once I started to get down how the internet worked, I started looking into some of my favorite games.
Naturally, the first game that came to mind was the game with the biggest impact on my life: the Sonic series. And at the time, I'd only ever played Sonics 1-3, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Spinball, and the 30 seconds of Sonic Adventure. I hadn't even gotten to play Sonic and Knuckles or Sonic CD. (Still haven't played Sonic CD for that matter.) Oh, and I did watch some of the cartoons and got to read the Super Sonic vs Hyper Knuckles comic.
I found the Chao on wiki sites describing the canon characters. It annoyed me that people thought those things were Sonic characters, but I ignored it. All I knew is that they were stupid-looking, and one character I'd never seen before was basically conjoined twins with one. (Cream the Rabbit and Cheese Chao. Cringe...)
Sometime between the start of 2004 and the end of 2005, I rented Sonic Heroes.... and was introduced to Chao in the form of this thing...
So I got Omochao without Chao Garden as a flipside. If it stopped there, I'd just hate Omochao... but he was just the tip of an iceberg.
While playing Sonic Heroes, I completed Team Sonic and Team Dark first before taking on Team Rose and Team Chaotix. And let me tell you... Team Rose is one of the hardest to get through. Not because it's hard. No, it's actually the easiest. It's hard to get through because it's annoying. It was probably that play through alone that made me hate the Chao so deeply. Guess who's on Team Rose.
Cream is looking for her Chao-slave's friend, Chocola, and big is looking for his pet frog, Froggy.
After hours of listening to "Froggy!" "Chocola Chao!" "Froggy!" "Chocola Chao!" "Froggy!" "Chocola Chao!" all I wanted was for the whole team to die in some hilariously tragic accident, along with Froggy and Chocola Chao. I completed the game with Team Rose our of sheer principle, but principle was the only thing driving me at about Casino Park in the game...
After enduring that, next came Shadow the Hedgehog, shortly after. And in Shadow the Hedgehog, guess what annoying little cunt you have to help search for which annoying little kid and her floating little tumor for a whole level?
If you guessed Amy, looking for Cream, you're unfortunately very correct. It's not a particularly easy level, either. In fact, I had to switch to the emerald path just to shut her up, because I couldn't take it any more.
First you have to find Cream, then her annoying, flying bug. You eventually come across a room full of Chao crawling around, reminiscent of the Chao Garden. Keep in mind, I wasn't even aware the Chao Garden was a thing by the time I got here, and this is after Omochao and Team Rose. So it's just a room full of annoying, to me.
So we come up on this room full of Chao, and they all look alike, so I figured that one of them must be Cheese. I wander around, waiting for Amy to tell me which one was Cheese. Spoiler: none of them are, so I wasted a good 10 minutes trying to find him among them.
Out of desperation, I start running, and as Shadow runs fairly fast, he's pretty destructive. I end up hitting and hurting a Chao by accident, only to get lectured by Amy about not hurting them. As I'm trying to figure out where Cheese "Cancer Spawn" Chao is, after already resetting the stage in case I missed him, I end up back in the Chao room and accidentally hurting another Chao. It's rather hard to avoid. They're all over, they wander around, and unless you walk, you're going to end up hurting one. It's also grating to be in that room, because every damn Chao feels the need to remind you that it's a Chao, Pokemon style. So unless you know exactly where to look for Cheese, you're subject to a room full of creatures squeeling "Chao Chao!"...
I'm guessing I didn't take too kindly to the Sonic series' Obsessed Girlfriend character lecturing me about accidentally hurting another cancer blob... because my Dark Shadow urges came out like an angry nest of hornets. I'm assuming you're supposed to feel bad about hurting the Chao, but as I mentioned already, I didn't get the Chao Garden.
Let's just say I had a little too much fun playing wack-a-mole instead of looking for Cheese.
After finding out you can only attack each of the Chao one time, and inflicting trauma on the bunch, I did eventually find Cheese.
And finally... Sonic Battle came along to seal it. All of the main characters are in Sonic Battle, and you have to fight them all. Including Cream the Rabbit. She typically starts the battle by shyly saying "Go easy on me!". Considering she's just a child, and begged me to go easy on her, I assumed this would be an easy battle. Wrong...
She's actually the toughest character for a very large chunk of the game, and that's including Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, Shadow, Rouge, Amy, and E-102 Gamma. Only Chaos, final Sonic, Eggman, and final Emerl are harder. Short battle short, she kicked my ass, over and over and over. Whether you fight her up close, or keep your distance, her stupid cancer blob will hit you, even if you try to flee to the other side of the field to heal up, Cheese can still attack you, and you can't really attack him.
The only way I beat her was by spamming Shadow's chaos powers, keeping her from healing, while trying to keep my health up.
Emerl... the Gizoid, is actually canon. He has the power to clone moves and powers just by watching them. And in the actual canon chapter that Emerl is in, he beats everyone before finally losing to... you guessed it... Cream. How does a small child beat an unstoppable super-machine? Cheese gets in the way and blocks his view so he can't analyze Cream's moves or see her attacking him.
That bitch beats a character no one else could, simply by using her tumorous blob-thing to cheat for her...
Fate sealed. One missing factor most likely sent me in entirely the opposite direction from everyone else.
And now you know why I hate the Chao. I do tend to wonder what I've been missing out on, by missing Sonic Adventure. I have no excuse not to buy it, really. Now that I have my own money and can buy things off the internet, I could easily get a Dreamcast and stop missing out on Dreamcast gems.
And, sorry... for those of you hoping that it will change my mind once I finally get Chao Garden... it's too late. I'll never see them as anything more than annoying, tumorous blobs. You're going to need a time machine to change my hate. It's like they say: first impressions are everything.