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Video Game / Parasite Eve

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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- new Survival Horror genre.

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:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Sort of. Saint Francis Hospital does have two nurses (one who leaves right away) and a patient (who also leaves) as survivors, but for the most part, everyone is either dead or gone and the music that plays when the lights go out add to the creepy atmosphere.
  • 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.
  • Adult Fear:
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  • Antagonist Title: The titular Eve is the Big Bad.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Daniel fires his gun at the entrance to the SoHo gun shop while Aya is standing in the way. Lampshaded when Maeda immediately asks him if he's really a police officer.
  • 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. Likewise, rocket launchers look and sound awesome and they can cause splash damage to multiple targets, but they have their own ammo supply (which is extremely limited), have to be reloaded after every shot, and has the slowest AT charge compared to other weapons.
  • Badass Army: The Navy.
  • 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. However, a closer look at the backside of the Ultimate Being's 3rd form will show what 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.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Aya (a noted Fair Cop), Maeda (The Smart Guy), and Daniel (The Big Guy) respectively.
  • 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.
  • Bookends: 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.
  • Brainy Brunette: Maeda, the Asian and Nerdy scientist from Japan, and Klamp, the Big Bad's resident Evil Genius Mad Scientist.
  • 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 one exception gets incinerated in short order.
  • Canis Major: The final boss of Day 3 is a mutated K-9.
  • 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: Bumping into enemies will cause Scratch Damage unless your armor's defenses are absurdly high.
  • Counterattack: Some weapons will have this as a special effect, allowing you to attack back if you are hit by an enemy.
  • Combat Stilettos: At the start of the game, Aya kicks ass with the high-heeled sandals she wore on her date at the opera.
  • Continuity Nod: Aya's mother's name is Mariko, the same as the girl who received Kiyomi's kidney in the novel.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • In regards to the Bonus Boss. After beating Maya, the original Eve, Aya states that her body has returned to normal before she had ever met Eve, meaning her powers were now gone. Word of God says this ending is the true ending that leads into the sequel. However, the sequel states that Aya willingly sealed her powers after the Manhattan Blockade Incident so that she wouldn't freak people out. The contradiction could stem from one of two things: Either the developers weren't anticipating a sequel and probably forgot about the events of the second ending from the first game when it came to making the sequel or there was a hiccup in the script's translation.
    • The game also can't decide if Aya was the sole survivor of the opera on Christmas eve, or if her sort-of-boyfriend made it out too. The other cops were laughing that said boyfriend Screams Like a Little Girl, so it's unlikely that they were lying about his survival. However, the press reporters maintain that Aya was the only one to make it out.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Where to begin? The Hero happens to attend a play which the Big Bad (or rather, her Living Bodysuit) is part of. Then turns out, the Big Bad's Livingbodysuit had a kidney transplant when she was young and the donor happens to be The Hero's late twin sister. Oh, The Hero also received an eye transplant when she was young, from the same donor above. And who performed the surgery to the latter case? The resident Evil Genius. On a slightly minor note, the Older Sidekick happens to take a glimpse at the Evilgenius' computer screen for him to see that his ex-wife and child are part of a list for the Evil Plan.
  • 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."
  • Degraded Boss: A pair of the Sewer Gator that was the final boss of Day 1 can be encountered in a specific spot in the second sewer stage in Day 5 as a normal enemy.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: See 11th-Hour Superpower.
  • Developers' Foresight: The last good luck charm Maeda gives Aya cannot be put into storage. There is actually a gameplay reason for this. At the final battle when Daniel gives Aya the special bullets to Maeda's gun, they replace the good luck charm in the inventory. Thus, it ensures the player will always have the space necessary to receive the bullets.
  • 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.
  • 11th-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.
    • Bonus Points can be spent on the ATB gauge, inventory limit, or on buffing weapons and armor. Only the last option can carry forward into New Game+, though.
  • 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.
  • Foreshadowing: Looking out a particular window in the hospital grants a view of the Chrysler Building encased in Eve's mitochondrial goo, alluding to its importance in the EX Game.
  • 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.
  • Giant Spider: The final boss of Day 4. You'll engage it in a Rooftop Battle.
  • 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.
  • Going Through the Motions: Each character has a set of stock animations that they go through in scenes, but the oddest example is Aya just fidgeting in place while talking.
  • 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).
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Aya's parasite energy recharges at a slower rate the more you use it in battle and further use can make it stop charging completely. Only by changing your armor in the middle of the fight can her energy be recharged at a normal rate again. Nothing in the game or the manual ever tells you this.
    • Fighting Maya can be very difficult due to her helper healing her for 1000 HP and further healing boosts it by another 1000 points. You can prevent Maya healing herself by not attacking her when her help is summoned, but good luck figuring that out on your own.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Eve makes herself known on Christmas Eve.
  • Iconic Outfit: Aya's Little Black Dress, which is her most popular outfit in the entire series.
  • Ill Girl: Melissa Pierce, the body Mitochondria Eve takes over.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The M8000 dropped by the T-Rex boss. It has solid power and stats with the only dual-move skill available for the first playthrough.
  • 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.
  • 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 Raining Men: When Aya is seemingly unable to damage the Final Boss, Daniel (who is watching the fight from a helicopter) takes the special bullets that Madea meant to give to her, jumps out of the chopper, throws the bullets to Aya while he catches on fire as he falls down, and crashes into the freezing sea below. Somehow, he survives without a scratch.
  • It's Up to You: 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.
  • Kaizo Trap: After defeating the final boss of Day 4, you must evade a falling jet and then immediately fight a Mook.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Aya is wearing a Little Black Dress throughout Day 1.
  • Kill It with Fire: Anyone except Aya who comes close to Eve will combust to death.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The Ultimate Being is almost Nigh-Invulnerable by constantly evolving to heal itself of whatever damage Aya does to it. In its final form, its defenses are so high that Aya's powers and weapons are effectively Scratch Damage (unless you abused the hell out of New Game+). Maeda's special bullets come into play and they cause massive damage (in the 4 digit range!) to the Ultimate Being since the bullets are laced with Aya's cells. Ergo, Aya's mitochondria are extremely harmful to the creature.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Maeda encounters a racist cop who makes fun of Maeda's choppy English and tells him to go back to his own country. A few seconds later, said cop gets lit ablaze as his mitochondria rebel against him.
  • 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.
  • Marathon Level: The Chrysler Building has no save points at all and until you can get an elevator key, you're forced to trek up the building via stairs. If you don't feel safe and want to leave so you can save your progress, the return trip will be just as long.
  • 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.
  • 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". Aya's levels and stats are reset, but she brings with her a bunch of Bonus Points as well as the gun and armor that Wayne engraved for her aboard the Navy ship.
  • 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.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Daniel and Aya respectively. In fact, Daniel is a contemporary and former partner of Da Chief.
  • 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.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The NMC Dogmen appear to look much like a conventional werewolf and one of their main attacks IS a howl. Otherwise, they possess no lycanthropic traits.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The museum is the best place for Level Grinding as monsters there give you thousands worth of Experience Points. Of course there's also the Chrysler Building.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • Burst fire. You effectively do the same amount of damage spread across multiple bullets.
    • Random fire as well, since Aya is stuck being unable to pick her target.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Point of No Return: Several areas in the game are closed off once you go past them in the story, so you better make sure you explored and obtained everything before moving on. This is more apparent towards the end of day 5 and the start of day 6 where the final battles take place outside of the city.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The Chrysler Building's floors are given random layouts except for ones that contain bosses, and they can rearrange if you leave and come back. Killing a boss locks in the layouts for the preceding floors.
  • Recurring Boss: You will fight Eve four times through the game.
  • 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.
  • Second Episode Introduction: The entire NYPD besides Aya and Daniel, Maeda, and Daniel's son Ben are all introduced throughout Day 2.
  • Sewer Gator: The final boss of day one is a mutated alligator in the sewers beneath Carnegie Hall. A couple more can be optionally fought in the sewage treatment plant under Chinatown.
  • 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).
  • Sidequest: The warehouse. While the story says the warehouse could be a place Eve is hiding in, she actually isn't there. You don't need to go to the warehouse to finish the game, but going there anyway can net you some good items, weapons, and a rocket launcher if you can survive the tough random encounters and the boss of the place.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Melissa Pierce, the Living Bodysuit of the Big Bad, has green eyes and auburn hair.
  • 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+.
  • Standard Status Effects: Has the general flair. Poison damages you over time, Paralysis slows you down or makes you completely immobile, Darkness reduces the range of your guns, Confusion remaps your directional controls to random directions, and Defense Down does exactly that and is the only effect that cannot be cured. All effects vanish when the battle ends.
  • Storming the Castle: The final act of Day 3 has Eve causing chaos in Aya's precinct by mutating the dogs and other animals there. Aya returns the favor by attacking the museum, Eve's Supervillain Lair, in Day 5.
  • 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. It looks like it's ready to do so in the intro. Combined with the chilling Primal Eyes playing in the back, it can be rather creepy.
  • 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.
  • That Man Is Dead: Used to terrifying effect; Melissa tries to call herself by that name, before correcting herself and declaring herself to be Eve. The way it is worded heavily implies that this is the moment Eve took over completely despite Melissa's efforts, figuratively killing Melissa in the process.
    Melissa/Eve: I'm Melissa... No... I am... I'm... I am EVE!
  • Token Trio: A variant. It has The Hero with Mixed Ancestry, the African-American Older Sidekick, and the Asian and Nerdy scientist.
  • 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.
    • This is a subversion: When Maya and Mariko died in the accident, they were listed as organ donors. Melissa received a liver transplant from Maya and was on immunosupressants because the doctors thought her illness was rejection syndrome, not parasitic infection. Aya's awakened mitochondria also came from her sister: a corneal transplant. Mysticism related to this is why she sees her sister at random moments through the game.
  • Touch of Death: The Final Boss will crawl after Aya and slowly pick up speed. If it reaches her at any point, it will glomp her from above and instantly kill her.
  • True Final Boss: The original Eve (A.K.A Maya).
  • Two First Names: Melissa Pierce, the Living Bodysuit of the Big Bad.
  • 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 11th-Hour Superpower to Aya, but Daniel holds him back initially, assuming it's just more voodoo junk.
    • There's 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: Justified. 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, which is when shit first goes to hell. 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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