Parasite Eve… a science lesson in horror
One of “old school” Square’s first attempts at a cinematic rpg. This game featured a lot of science lessons, a semi-survival horror theme, and a cool female heroine! What else can you ask for…..well besides not wanting to barf on yourself when you see some of the monsters transform…ugh yuck!
So yeah I can say right off the back that I was never a big fan of disgustingly gory images, videos, things of that nature. I will however watch them with unrelenting, yet disgusted, fascination if necessary. It’s like the car wreck where you know you should just keep driving to keep traffic moving, but you just can’t turn away.
Don’t worry however, because Parasite Eve isn’t that bad. I think I’m just slightly exaggerating on the gory parts a tad bit.
What I can point out however is that I think this game was Square’s answer to rpg fans who liked Resident Evil (or maybe survival horror in general). Resident Evil actually came out in 1996, and of course everyone loved it. Since RE hit it off so big in 96′ Capcom eventually released RE 2 in 1998. That same year Square released Parasite Eve in Japan in March, and US got it in September.
There was a HUGE survival horror craze (on the Playstation) around 97-00′ and in my humble opinion I think Square was trying to get there foot in the door initially with this game, because this game had pretty good success according to their sales numbers ;).
Eventually they released Parasite Eve 2 in 2000 which wasn’t that far off from Resident Evil 3 which was released in late 1999. That’s a game for another day to talk about, unfortunately for you. But enough about the history, you came here to find out what I think is important about this game, so let’s delve right in shall we?
Taken directly from the game manual:
“Mitochondria” -A microorganism that lives within human cells, and has existed symbiotically with the nucleus for hundreds of millions of years. Critical for production of energy within living things, mitochondria has its own genetic code, and the ability to evolve and multiply.
After exhaustive DNA research, it appears that all mitochondria can be traced to a single source: a female human in ancient Africa, identified as “Mitochondria Eve”.
What if this organism had “her” own intentions and was waiting for the day to take over the human race…?
Christmas Eve. New York. “She” awakens on this destined day.
And now the final battle for survival between the human race and the mitochondria is about to begin…
That’s some pretty serious sh**. That’s me speaking in layman’s terms, since this game throws a lot of scientific terms at you. Besides all of the science and stuff you’ll be involved in reading and learning about, the story is self is pretty original in it’s presentation.
The game itself actually takes place over a six day time span, at the end of 1997, in Manhattan, New York. In the very beginning intro before things pop off, you get to see our heroine (one of the few that actually exist in rpg games ~more on that later~) Aya Brea.
She’s heading to the opera with some shmuck…. I mean unnamed gentleman. While she does seem totally uninterested in said gentleman, things are about to get very exciting once she sits down to watch the show!
Now to the part some people quit many games over, regardless of storyline. The gameplay. First off as you can see, the game is definitely not the best looking out of Square’s other games, that is if you’re comparing it to the games that they release nowadays. It was however, at the time very good looking, and actually in my opinion it still doesn’t look that bad now.
Besides the graphics, the actual battle system is very similar to Vagrant Story. The really big difference here is that you still can’t see the damn enemies. But it’s not a real random encounter! The way they set it up is so you’ll be walking down a hall or pathway, and eventually you’ll hit a hotspot. The hotspot will then activate your “random” battle. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s nice cause once you know where the hotspot is you can just avoid it, or grind out some levels…totally up to you.
This imo, is a much more simplified version of Vagrant Story’s battle system, which is perfect for this game.
You can still target the enemy quickly with the touch of a button and switch enemies. You’ll be able to see the wire grid pop up which represents your range. Also on boss battles you will be able to target different parts of there body, which in turn stops those attacks and sometimes gives you something extra…
I think it’s a very effective battle system, because you’re not restricted to staying in one spot when you fight. Actually it’s in your best interest to keep moving…
The battles in the game stay somewhat realistic, so yes, you will have to monitor you bullet usage, however that particular game mechanic is a joke, because the shooting is not really happening in real time.
The best hint I can give you now that I think about it is the closer you are to the enemy you fight the less bullets you’ll waste. Regardless of the range of your weapon you should always run as close as possible and shoot. That way you won’t waste any bullets, since the battle system still works like other rpgs and calculates your hit ability into if you miss or not.
Going back to the dodging bullets, kamehameha waves, and furry critters. You want to dodge everything as much as you can. Of course this should be common sense and I’m not saying it to be a smart arse, but the game gives you bonus points at the end of each fight. Once you reach 100 bonus points (aka BP) you get 1 point to add to an attribute, etc. So you can kind of build Aya how you’d like her to be.
The other thing that makes this game original in execution is being able to customize your weapons and armor. In the beginning of the game you will find little boosts to your weapon such as Offense +1 or even Defense +1. That’s just the beginning however, because eventually you will find a new piece of armor or a better weapon. So I’m sure you’re asking yourself why couldn’t I just wait one more minute before I found this rocket launcher with 20 bullet slots to add my +50 offense upgrade to it.
Well my answer is why wait? In the game you will find an item called a “Tool”, and basically what it does is allow you to transfer any upgrades that you’ve made to a previous weapon/armor, and transfer them to a new one. The catch is you have to have enough slots on the new weapon or armor i.e. you can’t transfer 3 upgrades to a 2 slot upgrade weapon. I can’t remember now, but there also might be a way to upgrade weapons to have more slots….
- You will be fighting a lot of small mutated animals, bugs, etc etc. So don’t be surprised if you don’t see anything else in the game for a while. Also some of the ways they present enemies is kind of gory or creepy so there is a little gore, and scariness to it.
- This game has some interesting secrets so make sure you check corners, and behind where you can;t see. You might just find a secret chest or even a secret room with more chests. lol
- After you beat the game, you get a New Game + option that allows you to take your last weapon & armor with you, and whatever items you had get stored in the police station. You also get a new dungeon called the Chrysler building that has random stages, and 77 floors, with the lass boss giving you the true ending of the game if you defeat it.
Did you know?
Parasite Eve (the video game), is actually the sequel to the original Parasite Eve which was a book written by Hideaki Sena. It came out in Japan in 1995, and finally became published into English in 2005.
The storyline for the book has various things written in it which makes the storyline to the Parasite Eve game more understandable. Definitely worth a look if you love sci-fi, horror type themes in your readings.
There is a sequel to the Parasite Eve game which is just Parasite Eve 2. I’ll make sure to do my info post on that soon :).
There is also supposedly another Parasite Eve game coming out! It’s called The Third Birthday, and according to rumor and gossip it should be coming out on the Playstation Portable sometime late in 2010. Don’t quote me on that however lol.
So here’s a copy of the crappy US manual for Parasite Eve: Parasite Eve Manual (us).
But the reason why I call the us manual crappy is because the Japanese manual looks so much better… you can find that here: Parasite Eve Japanese Manual.
Oh and this game requires the good ole Playstation 1.
So if you’re looking for this game as always I’m here to provide you your options:
This image gallery contains art, and screenshots for Parasite Eve on the Playstation 1.
So overall this game sits high up there on list of great rpg games. I actually like that it uses a modern theme. I think it’s because of the science aspect of it. A lot of cool theories, were used in the production of this game. And it uses (even though this game came out first), a lot of the same elements from Vagrant Story, which I loved by the way. This is one of those games that was made for an older rpger I think, due to its mature themes.
After you get a chance to check it out, tell me what you think.
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