Parasite Eve (video game)
|Release date(s)||JP March 29, 1998
NA September 9, 1998
JP November 4, 2010 (PSN)
NA March 15, 2011 (PSN)
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing, survival horror|
Parasite Eve (パラサイト・イヴ Parasaito Ibu?) is a 1998 action role-playing survival horror video game developed and published by Square. The game is a sequel to the novel Parasite Eve, written by Hideaki Sena. It is the first game in the Parasite Eve series. The game follows New York City police officer Aya Brea over a six-day span in 1997 as she attempts to stop the monster that is causing people to spontaneously combust, with the goal of sparking the creation of a creature that will destroy the human race. The game has the player move freely around several open environments, and uses a pausable real-time combat system, and also includes several role-playing game elements.
Parasite Eve was Square Enix first M-rated game, and the first major American and Japanese game development collaboration for the company. It was produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi and directed by Takashi Tokita. The soundtrack was composed by Yoko Shimomura, and sparked two soundtrack album releases. The game received positive reviews; critics praised the graphics and gameplay, but found the overall game too linear and with little replay potential. The game has been followed by two sequels: Parasite Eve II in 1999 and The 3rd Birthday in 2010, and was re-released on the PlayStation Network in 2010.
Parasite Eve is an action role-playing video game. Movement in the various environments is free. Movement in the "world map" (which is a map of Manhattan) is limited to specific destinations. Upon the player walking over a "hot spot", there's a chance of a random encounter. Each time the encounter occurs, the likelihood of the battle reoccurring decreases. Enemies materialize suddenly and though there is no shift to a separate battle screen, the player is bound within a perimeter of unseen barriers until the battle is over, either by defeating all enemies or using the Escape command.
In battle, the game uses a Pausable real-time combat system. In Parasite Eve, the player has an "Active Time Bar" (ATB) that sets the time for every turn to take action. While waiting for her turn, the player character Aya can be moved around to dodge enemy attacks. Upon each turn, the player may choose between attacking with their equipped weapon by pressing the attack button, using PE (Parasite Energy) for defense, assistance, or attack, using items, changing weapon or armor, or escaping the battle. If the player chooses to attack, the battle briefly pauses and a dome/sphere symbolizing the range of the weapon appears, allowing the player to target an enemy within range. If the enemy is outside of the range, the shot is likely to fail. Even if the shot lands, the damage will be less than normal. When the player decides to use Parasite Energy, they must choose from the menu the desired PE skill. The same goes for weapon, armor or items; however, if the player should choose to escape, experience will be lost. Parasite Energy is slowly recharged over time.
When not in battle, the player has the option of altering the weapon and armor attributes and effects with tools and super-tools. The player selects the "tune-up" option, choosing the weapon that will be altered and the weapon from which the attributes or effect will be taken. One of the principal RPG elements of the game is that experience-based levels are present. Each time the player's level increases, his/her attributes go up and BP (Bonus Points) are given. These points can be distributed to the ATB, item capacity, or attributes of a weapon or armor.
When the game is cleared once, a new mode appears, called the "EX game." It is different from the normal game in various aspects: the player has access to every item stored in the police station, the game begins with the final weapon and armor the player chose before ending the first game, and the bonus points (BP) given to the player at the end of the game are now available to use. However, the biggest difference from the normal game is the Chrysler Building, a progressive endurance test.
The Chrysler Building test allows the player the chance to save only every ten floors and only after defeating a boss. The items, weapons, power-ups and enemies are of a higher class. The best items, armors, and weapons are here along with the trading cards that allow the player to make customizations to the weapons and get the tool and super-tool kits. It should also be noted that every floor (except floors 1, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70-77) are completely randomized so each floor is like a maze. Most importantly, the boss in the last floor of the building (77) is the true final boss of the game and has the form of Aya's elder sister, Maya.
The game takes place over a six-day span in New York City in 1997. The incident starts on December 24 and ends on December 29.
The game begins with Aya Brea, an NYPD rookie, attending an opera at the Carnegie Hall with an unnamed date. During the opera, everyone in the building spontaneously combusts, except for Aya, and an actress on stage named Melissa Pearce. Aya confronts Melissa onstage, and Melissa says that Aya’s mitochondria need more time to develop. She flees backstage, with Aya giving chase. Backstage, Melissa then mutates into a beast and flees into the sewers, declaring that her name is now Eve.
The next day, on Christmas, Aya and her partner, Daniel, go to see a scientist at the Museum of Natural History named Dr. Klamp. He tells them things about mitochondria that they find useless for their purposes. Later that day, they hear that Eve is in Central Park, and to make matters worse, an audience has gathered at the park's theater intending to see a performance that Melissa Pearce was to give. Aya enters Central Park alone as Daniel is unable to pass through the entrance without spontaneously combusting. She makes it to the theater, but is too late to stop Eve, who causes the theater audience's mitochondria to rebel against their hosts and turns the crowd into a slimy orange mass. Aya chases after Eve and is knocked unconscious after a fight with her aboard a horse-drawn carriage.
Daniel discovers that his son, Ben, was at the park, but had left the audience at the Central Park theater when he began to feel ill and when his mother began to act strange. He also learns that Manhattan is being evacuated due to the threat that Eve poses. While Manhattan is being evacuated, a Japanese man named Kunihiko Maeda manages to sneak into the city, witnessing a police officer combust into flames in the process. Aya awakens in an apartment in SoHo, with Daniel and Maeda at her side. Maeda reveals the origins of Eve: A scientist tried to culture the cells of his wife after she was involved in a car accident, and the mitochondria in her cells took over her body. Maeda believes that Eve may be trying to give birth to an “Ultimate Being”.
The next day, the three go to see Dr. Klamp again. After examining cell samples from that of Eve and Aya's, Maeda concludes that based on selfish gene theory, Aya and Eve's mitochondria are in an evolutionary race for survival. Dr. Klamp suddenly appears and asks a few questions of Aya in a hostile manner. The three leave and head for the St. Francis Hospital, where Maeda thinks Eve may try to get sperm for the Ultimate Being. When they arrive, they find that Eve is already there. Eve takes the sperm and escapes.
The next day, Aya sees the orange mass of people from the park enter the city water supply. She goes to Dr. Klamp one more time, and discovers that Dr. Klamp has engineered special sperm for Eve so that she can create the Ultimate Being. He then spontaneously combusts. Aya finds Eve in another part of the museum, where the orange mass has surrounded her, forming an impermeable shield to protect her while the Ultimate Being gestates in her.
After several failed attempts to attack Eve, the military asks Aya to attack her from a chopper, as she is the only one who can get close without combusting. The plan works, but Aya has to personally finish the fight on a now-wrecked Statue of Liberty, where Eve finally succumbs to necrosis due to her unstable cells. As Aya rests on a naval vessel, the Ultimate Being is born and attacks the surrounding ships. Aya does battle with the Ultimate Being, but its mitochondria causes it to evolve at an alarming rate. Aya sets the vessel's boiler pressure dangerously high, so as to destroy it with the Ultimate Being on board.
After completing the game once, the player can access the Chrysler Building and have access to the final boss, who takes the form of Aya's sister, Maya. She explains to Aya that Klamp cultivated the liver cells of the original Eve to analyze. When Melissa was giving birth to the Ultimate Being, she created a nest there. In case Melissa and the Ultimate Being failed, the purebred would remain. Aya speaks with her sister, and they engage in battle against the purebred. After the purebred is defeated, the mitochondria inside Aya's body begin to rebel against her. It is explained that Aya's mitochondria have now reached a higher evolutionary stage than Maya’s, but Maya's personality has suddenly become dominant and begun to fight off the Eve persona. Maya eventually wins, purging the Eve persona from herself. Somehow, Maya protects Aya by preventing the original Eve from taking over her. Aya leaves the building by herself, although she apparently has gained some sort of connection with her dead sister.
This game is notable for being Square's first game to be rated Mature by the ESRB. In contrast to previous Square titles, the development team for Parasite Eve consisted of both Japanese and American staff members, with a large part of the production taking place in the United States. It was produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi and directed by Takashi Tokita. In the North American market the earlier copies were packaged with SquareSoft on PlayStation 1998 Collector's CD Vol.1, a collection of demos of future Square games. Different concepts for the games opening were considered, including different designs for Aya and Melissa transforming into Eve right on stage.
Yoko Shimomura composed the game's soundtrack including the main theme, "Primal Eyes". The ending vocal song, "Somnia Memorias", is performed by Shani Rigsbee. The score met with great critical acclaim, using influences from both opera and electronica. Shimomura stated that she tried to compose "inorganic" music for the game, what she described as "something unique" for the game. A separate Parasite Eve Remixes album was also released, containing 10 tracks remixed from the original game by various artists. The idea for the work came from a simple suggestion to Shimomura that the game's music be remixed rather than rearranged. "Somnia Memorias" was also included on the Square Vocal Collection in 2001.
|Parasite Eve Original Soundtrack tracklist|
|Disc 1 (52:34)
1. "Primal Eyes" - 2:21
3. "Overture [from opera "La mia verita"]" - 2:16
13. "Out of Phase" - 4:02
18. "Phrase of Mitochondoria" - 0:42
22. "Missing Perspective" - 3:40
|Disc 2 (54:40)
1. "Matrix" - 2:44
7. "A Piece of Remain" - 1:20
12. "Theme of Aya [Reprise]" - 1:14
15. "Consensus" - 1:56
18. "Influence of Deep -CM Version-" - 2:43
|Parasite Eve Remixes tracklist|
|Disc One (63:25)
|This section requires expansion. (February 2015)|
Parasite Eve received positive reviews from critics. It received a score of 76.72% on GameRankings and 81/100 on Metacritic. IGN called the game "Good", citing its beautiful graphics and cinematic sequences, but noted the games linear plot structure and limited replay value.
The game has sold over 1.9 million copies as of February 2004, with 1.05 million sold in Japan alone and 0.89 million sold in North America. In Japan, it was the number 6 top-selling game of 1998 with 994,000 copies sold. The game was re-released in North America under Sony's Greatest Hits label. In 2000, the game was ranked number 16 by the readers of Famitsu magazine in its top 100 PlayStation games of all time. In 2010, GamesRadar chose it as one of the "Top 7... '90s games that need HD remakes".
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