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Video Game: Parasite Eve

One of them is a police officer. The other is an ancient evil threatening all life on Earth. The horrifying bond between them will continue until something dies.

In 1998, Squaresoft released a video game called Parasite Eve, a sequel to the 1995 novel of the same name. It was unique among RPGs available at the time because of its blend of RPG, Action Adventure and the then still new genre Survival Horror.

The story revolves around Aya Brea, a New York City police officer whose mother and sister were killed in a car accident when she was a child. While Aya was attending an opera performed at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve in 1997, all hell breaks loose when both the actors and the audience burst into flames. The only survivors are Aya, her date (who runs away never to be seen again after the fire), and the lead actress, Melissa, who just so happens to be harboring a primordial horror inside her body known as Mitochondria Eve.

Aya discovers that contact with Melissa/Eve has granted her strange powers, called "Parasite Energy", and so she teams up with Daniel Dollis (her partner) and Kunihiko Maeda (a Japanese scientist and Mr. Exposition for the novel's events) to figure out Eve's motives and stop the strange mutations sweeping across Manhattan.

The game has two sequels, Parasite Eve 2 and The 3rd Birthday. The series is also available on the PlayStation Network. There is also a Drinking Game available for this game.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Not just that but it's only ever a few inches below ground. Even more grating since the games take place in New York City.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The game starts on Christmas Eve, with Aya shooting at monsters, and the next few days are more gun battles with creatures, and plenty of explosions.
  • At the Opera Tonight: The audience shall burst into flames! And later, it'll melt and merge into a giant blob.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Guns with high rate of fire effect. While you can attack enemies multiple times in a single turn, the damage output is less compared to a gun that only fires one shot at a time. On top of this, guns with high rate of fire roots Aya to the ground until she finishes attacking, which can leave her open to enemy attacks.
  • Badass Army: The Navy.
  • Bag of Spilling: An interesting inversion between the first and second games. Aya starts PEII with all her awesome mitochondrial powers from the first game gone; however, she has a couple of cool new ones, and can gain several more of pretty devastating power.
    • This is Justified if you complete the Chrysler building, as at the end after dealing with Truebred Eve, with the help of Maya, Eve's mitochondria are purged at the expense of all of Aya's Parasite Energy powers. According to the game developers, this is the canon ending.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Eve's last couple of forms (and the Ultimate Being's third) sport a distinct lack of auxiliary sexual characteristics. Whether to chalk it up to maintaining a rating below Adults Only or to the PS1's limited rendering capability is a toss-up.
    • Take a closer look at the backside of the 3rd form of the final boss. It looks like a giant ballsack hanging off the base of its phallic tail.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Several times. The last fight with Eve is the only one where you actually defeat her. In all the others she simply decides the battle is over.
  • Big Applesauce: For a JRPG, this is a rather interesting setting.
  • Body Horror: You are fighting sentient mitochondria that can warp bodies into various bloody masses, similar to The Thing (1982).
  • Body of Bodies: The Mixed Men enemy, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Three unfortunate humans fused into one quadrupedal abomination.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Climb the Chrysler Building. The enemies certainly wouldn't be out of place among the Legions of Hell, but the Chrysler building itself isn't very hellish. The building is more creepy than anything else, especially with its level design and the fact that no Eldritch Abominations are in plain view, like every other area in the game. A few bloodstains here and there, but after the Body Horror that Aya encounters everywhere else in the game, it's fairly tame. Now, the last level of the Chrysler? That qualifies.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends with the heroine going to the opera.
  • Boring but Practical: Pistols. While it may be cool to have a submachinegun, rifle, or a grenade launcher as your primary weapon, the Pistol wins out because it has the quickest aim time (that is, when Aya lifts up her gun and fires). This is the only thing you cannot improve with guns.
    • Pistols can become even more powerful when you mod them and/or beef up their stats once you got the items and points to do so, especially after several runs of New Game+. Combine all that on top of their fast AT recharge and you got a weapon that can easily shred enemies with little effort.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Given the trifecta of being a survival horror game, set in New York City, and with most of the characters as police officers, it's a little shocking that none of them are cowardly, corrupt, or incompetent.
  • The Cavalry: The US military eventually intervenes to try and stop Eve.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Maeda's handgun that he gives to Aya halfway through the game. It can shoot special bullets that cause a ton of damage to the Ultimate Being.
  • Chest Monster: Appears only in the Chrysler Building.
  • Collision Damage: Simply brushing against enemies inflicts Scratch Damage on Aya.
  • Continuity Nod: Aya's mother's name is Mariko, the same as the girl who received Kiyomi's kidney in the novel.
  • Cool Guns: Though never referred to with a manufacturer's name, all the basic model numbers are accurate to real-life firearms (the textures considerably less so, at least until PE2), and a keen eye turned to PE1's roster can spot everything from the trusty Colt M1911A1 to the (normally disposable) AT4 rocket launcher to the Desert Eagle. A large chunk of the better guns in the game are found in the Chrysler Building.
  • Death by Racism: Maeda's introduction sees him accosted by a racist-sounding cop for his difficulty with English. Said cop gets his cells lit on fire five seconds after telling him to "go back to [his] own country."
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: See Eleventh Hour Superpower.
  • Dummied Out: Game Shark codes will grant you access to a "Debug SMG", which was a gun that had max stats and every attribute in the book on it.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The final boss fight is largely a cutscene, as bullets laced with Aya's cells are brutal anathema to the Final Boss.
  • Elite Tweak: Tools and Super Tools offer all sorts of weapon and armor customization possibilities, if you're willing to put up with their rarity and the regular Tools' destruction of donor equipment.
  • Expy: Hans Klamp bears a similarity to Professor Hojo from Final Fantasy VII. This becomes more apparent towards the end of the game where Klamp basically sets the plot of the game in motion to having Eve give birth to the Ultimate Being just for the sake of science and evolution.
  • Fight Woosh: A quick inversion of colors, accompanied by a heartbeat sound effect.
  • Gainax Ending: In the normal ending, while attending an opera with her friends, something happens with the mitochondria in Aya's cells. It has an effect on the people around her, causing the eyes of everyone in the audience to glow, The developers stated that "best" ending, not this one, is the ending in the Chrysler building followed by the sequel.
  • The Ghost: Lorraine, Daniel's ex-wife, who he keeps going on and on about, but whom we never see once, if you do not count the giant orange blob Eve makes her a part of.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: There are a couple of optional boss versions of these. Their weak points are only accessible once you take out the oversized pincers.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When Eve and the giant mass of genetic material that is birthing the Ultimate Being infest the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. government authorizes the use of a nuclear warhead to destroy the monster.
  • Grey Goo: It's the "pink" variety- the kind made from people.
  • Homage: A possible one— the dog transformation sequence holds some similarities to the infamous "kennel scene" in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982).
  • Ill Girl: Melissa Pierce, the body Mitochondria Eve takes over.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Super Tool Kit can be used to construct one.
    • The guns that Wayne makes if you give him junk have the best base stats in the game and when combined with the Super Tool Kit can be upgraded to something truly amazing.
  • Interface Screw: A result of the Confusion status ailment, which makes Aya move in random directions.
    • You move the opposite direction from where you point the controller. This is an improvement over the spinning uselessness experienced by the enemies Aya confuses with her powers.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Limit 50 items on Aya's person at any given time, from the gun and armor she's currently wearing to individual trading cards to bits of junk found on the ground to Maeda's damnable trinkets. Wayne only has external storage space for 128 items apiece (equipment and non-equipment), which gets somewhat frustrating when half the weapons and armors are one-time pickups from the Chrysler Building.
  • It's Up to You: Justified. As Aya is the only person unaffected by Eve's aura (which causes everybody else to burst into flame), the military gives her the task of personally delivering a tactical nuclear warhead to Liberty Island, where Eve is giving birth. This doesn't stop them from sending a squadron of helicopter gunships to Take The Bullet from the random combustions that await as Aya closes the gap toward her destination, though.
  • Little Black Dress: Aya's dress when she goes to the opera at the beginning.
  • Living Bodysuit: Mellisa Pierce, Eve's host.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: The Chrysler Building.
  • Mangst: Pretty much the whole cast. They all have legitimate reasons to be mopey and sad, but mostly they just get pissed off.
  • Metal Slime: The Chrysler Building's squirrels. Cute? Maybe, by NMC standards. Valuable? Definitely, dropping a Medicine 4 or Revive most every time. Annoying? Hell yes, as you have to kill them before they either escape or hit you with a nigh-unavoidable machine spray laser that causes Confusion, then escape.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Averted: after the Central Park crowd is melted down into genetic sludge, it becomes clear that Eve is a Person of Mass Destruction and the U.S. Navy blockades off New York City from the outside world. They launch an airstrike to try to kill Eve, but it fails due to Eve melting the pilots. When the genetic sludge becomes a giant monstrosity that takes over Ellis Island, the Navy receives authorization from the White House to use a tactical nuclear warhead on Eve, and they immediately put together an operation to recover Aya and send her to launch the missile as she's the only one who's immune to Eve's immolation abilities.
  • Mook Maker: The Mixed Men attack by lobbing bouncy brains at Aya. The brains count as NMC's in and of themselves.
  • More Dakka: Machine guns usually have attachments that let this be effective on all your firearm types.
  • Monumental Damage: Eve brings her giant pile of mitochondria to Liberty Island and starts covering the Statue of Liberty with it, necessitating a bombing run.
  • New Game+: Finish the game and you can unlock the "New Game Ex".
  • Nuke 'em: The government resorts to this to take out Eve and her baby. It kind of works, but Aya has to finish her off twice and blow up the baby again. It is an oddly small nuke, only destroying the Statue of Liberty.
  • One-Woman Wail: Eve's theme.
  • One-Winged Angel: Eve goes through three forms. The Ultimate Being goes through five, and the last one in unstoppable.
  • Psychic Powers: Sort of. The "awakened" mitochondria in Aya's body allow her access to Parasite Energy, and when invoked she can heal herself, create a protective barrier, and cure status ailments. Her more potent abilities are a concentrated energy ray and a berserker rage that allows her to attack all enemies onscreen multiple times. In the sequel, she loses most of her original powers, and they're replaced by different ones.
  • Pixel Hunt: Annoying when most of the good weapons and items are not in boxes and have to be found by mashing X at random pieces of scenery, particularly in Soho. Made more aggravating by the fact that on a real PSX, the low resolution of TVs makes this worse. PS1 emulators can heighten the contrast and increase the resolution to the point of making this much less severe.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted. A single rookie cop says she saw a woman turn into a monster and light everyone on fire, and all her co-workers start searching Manhattan for the monster. The same rookie cop says she saw the monster turn another group of people into a pile of orange goo, and Manhattan is immediately evacuated.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: If you could stomach calling one of the more common enemies a rodent anymore.
  • Save Point: Aya uses telephones to contact NYPD headquarters to save her progress.
  • Scratch Damage: Getting your armor's defenses high enough will result in this, but making your armor even stronger beyond that will make you immune to damage.
  • Shout-Out: There is a Chocobo banner hanging in front of the Museum of Natural History (and a stuffed Chocobo just before the Back To Back Bosses).
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Of the "Polygons on Bitmap Background" sort.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The True Final Boss fight with Maya Eve atop the Chrysler Building in the New Game+.
  • Super Window Jump: Day 5, after Dr. Klamp spills the beans on his role in the plot, Eve combusts all living beings in the museum, but Daniel and Maeda narrowly escape death by jumping out a second floor window.
  • Taking You with Me: Klamp attempts this in a bid to rid Eve of her enemies. It doesn't work, mainly because of Aya's quick reaction time and her own evolved cells.
  • Tears of Blood: The Statue of Liberty looks like it's crying blood, just before the reconstituted and nuked cells of the Central Park patrons knock it over.
  • Tech Demo Game: Parasite Eve was, by and large, a tech demo for the graphics engine that would later fuel Final Fantasy VIII. Luckily, it still managed to be a decent game in its own right.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The woman who plays host to Eve. Prior to her performance, she was taking her medications in extremely high amounts in fear that she might get ill and be unable to play her part in the opera. The problem with that? Her meds were immunosuppressants, meaning that they make her immune system weaker, so she was increasing the likelihood of becoming ill, not reducing it. From the description given in her journal, she was taking enough that a minor infection would have been fatal to her, let alone something like Eve.
  • True Final Boss: The original Eve (A.K.A Maya).
  • Ultimate Life Form: The Ultimate Being, which is the final boss of the regular game.
  • Underground Monkey: The majority of the Chrysler Building monsters.
  • Universal Ammunition: The only weapon that doesn't share ammo is the rocket launcher. So if your 7.62x51mm battle rifle is running low on ammo you can borrow a few rounds from your 9mm service automatic and your 40mm grenade launcher. Especially since what normally are considered ammo properties are attached to the guns and transferable.
  • Useless Item: Lampshaded by Maeda's 'charms', which he hands over to Aya throughout the game. They each fill an item slot but serve no purpose. In the finale, Maeda tries to deliver the Eleventh Hour Superpower to Aya, but Daniel holds him back initially, assuming it's just more voodoo junk.
    • Subverted with an item actually called "junk." It does nothing but take up space while you have it, but collecting enough junk is the way to get one of the Infinity+1 guns.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where Aya keeps her badge while dressed for a night on the town. Where she keeps her gun in that outfit remains a mystery. Don't even ask about her billy club and body armor.
    • A velcro holster strapped to the inside of Aya's thigh would do the job nicely, the dress isn't that high-cut.
  • Video Game Stealing: You can steal items off monsters with the use of nightsticks that have the ability to steal items. Don't think about it too much.
  • We Can Rule Together: Eve's stock offer to Aya throughout the game, until she discovers Aya is the ultimate subversion of herself.
  • With This Herring: Averted: at the beginning of the game, Aya's on a date at the opera and has her badge and gun, which as an NYPD officer she would be required to carry even when off-duty. The next day, when Captain Baker assigns her to the case, the first thing he does is to give her a permit that authorizes her to take an M16 rifle out of the police armory which is in the words of the armorer, "the most powerful gun I can allow you to have."

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