Parasite Eve

aka: PE
Moby ID: 3593
PlayStation Specs

Description official descriptions

An ordinary day in New York for rookie police officer Aya Brea. Christmas Eve is the present day, and you've decided to visit the opera theater. Now this is where the fireworks begin. Suddenly audience members are set on fire, toasted completely, and it appears that the lead vocal is the source of this burning terror. Yet you appear to be immune, and as a police officer you're always on duty, so you must confront the danger.

There has to be some connection between the two of you, as that seems the only rational explanation. What if mitochondria are a species on its own, more advanced then humankind, and using them only to create environments and civilization for themselves? What if humankind are just hosts? What if mitochondria are the natural enemy of humankind? That would make Aya their natural enemy, so the battle for survival and uncovering the truth has already started.

The game is played over six days, each day bringing its own quest. Environments range from Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History to a police office and hospital, all of them modeled like realistic places and most of them crawling with bloodthirsty mutant animals. Combat is different from traditional RPGs, as while you still take turns attacking and/or using parasite powers, you'll be able to run across the battlefield and dodge enemy fire or even strike from a better angle or behind. As Aya levels up she will gain access to parasite powers, such as healing or supercharging a bullet with energy. These powers will deplete a recharging energy bar, although the bar will recharge slower the longer combat drags on. Aya will find many guns of various types throughout the game, and every gun can be modified with extra stats, either with special items, or by breaking down another gun to move over its bonus stats or special effects. The same is true for armor Aya finds.

Spellings

  • パラサイト・イヴ - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (PlayStation version)

152 People (136 developers, 16 thanks) · View all

Producer
Director/Story/Planning
Battle Design
Character Design
Music
Based on a novel by
Localization Director
Executive Producers
CG Supervisors
Character Animator
Main Programmer
Event Design
Senior Vice-President of Technology
Technology Team
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 25 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 60 ratings with 4 reviews)

Loved by some. Misunderstood by many.

The Good
I'm not sure exactly what drew me to Parasite Eve. With a handful of screenshots and some insight into the new combat system that Square developed, I was intrigued. I reserved it and picked it up on the day of release.

Parasite Eve puts you in the role of Detective Aya Brea, just as her date at the opera is beginning. The events that occur here will set the stage of things to come and reveal an enemy who is now only a fraction as powerful as they will become. Aya herself will become stronger in more ways than she can imagine and she will find that there is more between her and her foe than the opera.

There are several things that set this game apart from other RPGs, namely the combat and equipment systems:

Combat - During combat, you're free to run around and avoid the enemy attacks as your AT (Attack Time) meter fills up. Once it's full, you're free to attack using a weapon or magic. Depending on what you choose, a dome-shaped grid will appear around you, showing you your range. Range will differ, of course, depending on weapon and magic. There are plenty of combat screenshots, so I recommend that you Google them for reference if you are thinking of trying this one out.

Equipment - Unlike most RPGs, your primary weapons will be guns and tonfa-styled batons. Armor, in traditional RPG fashion, isn't physically shown on your character. What sets Parasite Eve in this department is the customization of weapons and armor. As you'd expect, weapons and armor will become stronger as you progress. However, you can make them better through the use of tools. Got a pistol that allows you to input two commands, but you wish that you had it on your shotgun? Remove the option from the pistol and put it on the shotgun (assuming you have an option slot open). Beware, as standard tools sacrifice the gun that you remove the option from. Better tools that allow you to keep the gun that you steal from are available if you accomplish certain tasks, but you'll probably want to play through the game once before even thinking of attempting them.

The game is split up into chapters, such as Day 1, Day 2, etc. While you will level up normally, at the end of these days, you'll recieve Bonus Points to apply to different stats and to up you item capacity. Depending on your performance in battle, the number of Bonus Points you get could be higher or lower. Needless to say, if you want to build up, you definately want to get a good grasp of the combat system.

The visuals in the game are very well done. The pre-rendered backgrounds are beautiful and the enemy designs are creative. Of course, the character and enemy models aren't going to be on-par with the CGI versions found in the cutscenes(which themselves look rather out of date these days, though still great), but this is PS1. Don't expect grand beasts from old mythology, though. This is science fiction-based, and many enemies have been mutated on a cellular level just prior to your arrival, in order to slow you down or eliminate you.

The sound effects are standard fare, but nice and clear. Enemies shriek and roar, gunshots ring out, and there's plenty of footsteps to hear. The soundtrack isn't what you're probably used to hearing from Square. Some people despise it, but it's one of my favorites. High-energy, mellow, menacing...it's all here. It may not be anything you'd want to listen to outside of the game, but when combined with the story, visuals, and gameplay, sets the mood quite nicely.

The Bad
Many people's complaints with the game is that it's too short. I'd have to agree that the main game is a bit too short, but that's only because I got into it and wanted more. Ever wanted to play through an entire RPG in a full day or a weekend of gaming, without having to use an emulator with fast-forward or using a cheat device? This is your game. Some have stated that you can beat it in 9 hours, but for the first time gamer, I'd wager that it's going to be in the 15-18 hour range. Good for leisurely gaming, but not good if you get hooked.

You also may have heard something about Aya's movement speed during exploration. You see, she has two speeds of movement, walking and running. However, running is more like watching her do the Running Man while moving forward. Her legs show that she should be really hauling, but her feet are sliding more than they're moving her. Not fun in long hallways. This is a minor annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.

The Bottom Line
Is this game worth getting for the measly prices it fetches these days? Yes. Did I think the same thing after getting it in 1998 for $50? You betcha! It may not have the largest following (the real gems rarely do), but it's a unique experience. Those of you who have had a bit too much Final Fantasy might enjoy the change of pace.

PlayStation · by DarkBubble (342) · 2005

Mitochondria's never been so dangerous!

The Good
Parasite Eve is one of those strange games that every recognized company has on its catalog. This game wasn't a best-seller, but it has a recognition because of its unusual mix of genres. Parasite Eve combines RPG with some Survival Horror elements... at least that's what Squaresoft attempted.

Reality is a bit different. Parasite Eve is just a RPG with a sci-horror story staged in New York City, which is an unusual stage for a RPG, in fact, I don't remember much RPG games in real contemporary places. That's something that makes the game unique from the start. Maybe Squaresoft sold this game as a RPG with some Survival elements just because of Survival Horror's boom, with games like Resident Evil or Silent Hill being successful for Playstation.

Storyline is as fantastic as most of Squaresoft games are, the only difference is the stage where everything happens because this time is a real one. Of course, like all the other Japanese RPG games, there are many mysteries and unsolved things in the story that will have their answers once you go further in the game.

Taking a deep look at the game, we take control of just one character during the whole adventure (again, something unusual for a RPG), a cop from NYCPD who is involved in a case from the beginning. Gameplay has the same structure that any other RPG, you control your character in static stages talking with different characters to get clues of the story and taking items to progress, like keys or security cards, as well as other items for the battle, like healing potions or better weapons.

As you may suspect, you don't have swords or any other strange weapon because of the context (and yes, it's a RPG). We only have a gun from the beginning, and then we'll find many other weapons like grenade launchers, shotguns or machine guns. Here we have something new, we have ammo for our weapons, but it's not a big problem because we have a lot of it. Every weapon has different properties, like attack power, range, rate of fire and special slots with some "powers" like freezing, or double turn. You can also customize your weapons with the correct item (a tool). With that you can translate your upgrades to a new weapon without loosing them (you'll only use the weapon with the original upgrades). The same with the armors. A good point for the game.

We have also PE, which works as PM in most of RPG games. With that we may use our special powers. To be clear, what we all know as "Magic", like healing, confusing our foes or making an energy shot. We have an explanation for the use of our PE during the game, so, it's not something out of place.

Battles are a bit random, but not as we know from other RPG games. We have the classic level system, the more level we have, the more attack power, HP, defense and other parameters we'll have. We have special points called "bonus points" to distribute them to our active time, inventory capacity or just upgrade some parameter of a weapon/armor. There are not many battles during the game, and we don't even have to spend a lot of time gaining experience to level up our character.

The battle system is good. It's not an action RPG system, but we can move our character as we please avoiding enemies while we're waiting for our turn. It's not a classic RPG battle system, but not an action RPG system either, it's something in between.

Talking about graphics, sound, and other technical parts, they're good. Characters' graphics are similar to Final Fantasy VIII in the way they are and scenarios are huge and full detailed (but that's not something good because it have a bad effect on gameplay as I'm going to point later). There are many different cinematics during the game, as good as they are in other Squaresoft games, with really good visual effects. Sound is on a par, with a main operatic theme for the game including real voices suitable with the game's aura. To sum up, technical aspects of the game has nothing to be reproached.

The Bad
The worst point of the game is the gameplay out of battles. Our character moves really slow and many of the stages are enormous, so, we can spend a lot of time just walking around looking for items or any other things. That's so frustrating that you won't inspect every place of the game just because you'll have to come back to that place, and it'd take a lot of time. There's a button to run, but the speed is still ridiculous. During battles speed is better, but sometimes you'll have the same problem avoiding some concrete enemies.

Story's not clear. You'll have to pay a special attention to it if you want to understand everything, so, sometimes it's a bit confusing for the casual player. RPG players are used to this kind of disconcerting stories, but Parasite Eve is not a classic RPG, that's why I think that maybe a story much more accessible would have been better for this game.

Game's short, specially if we consider it a RPG. Besides, the classic point of no return near the end of the game comes soon, and you won't be able to be back once you've reached it. The problem is that there are some important battles after that, and it's possible that you don't have enough level to beat them, so, if you didn't save your progress in different slots you'll have to start the game again from the beginning.

Item capacity is a big problem in Parasite Eve. You can increase the number of slots that you have on your inventory by distributing your bonus points, but when you do that you'll realize that it's not worth because you'll only increase one or two slots, so, you'd rather increase your attack power or your active time.

The Bottom Line
Trying Parasite Eve as a Survival Horror game is a big mistake, as well as trying it as a classic RPG. However, the game is a good RPG with some interesting new features making this game an unique experience for the player. A nice offer by Squaresoft far from mages, swords and fictional worlds.

If you survive the annoying speed of your character movements you'll enjoy this game, and you'll realize that Parasite Eve will come off well in this strange combination of different genres.

PlayStation · by NeoJ (398) · 2010

A certain classic and one of top games in my collection :)

The Good
Oh boy, oh boy! I still can't believe I have this game. I mean, I never wanted to buy PlayStation just because I like some game that doesn't exist on PC, and yet, I'm a sucker to that point that I would buy a whole computer just for one game... that is, if it's good enough. Well here's how it all began...

January, 2001
'Hey there! I just came to see if you have any game to play, I mean, I've finished all of mines... except some bloody old games that I can barely play on my computer, I mean... hey, what's that? A Fajnel Fantazi? Oh, a Final Fantasy VIII, hey man, how did you wrote that title, I mean, I know you wrote it as we read, but this sure isn't correct nor for our nor for english language. Well, I've seen that game a few times, only a CD copy, not the game itself, was it worthy a shot? What, you have a PSX version? Can you play it on your PC? Oh, you can, but you cannot save games 'cos you have bad emulators! Well, never mind, that game exists for PC, didn't you know that? Looo-hooo-hoooo-seeer! Anyway, I'm a sucker for animations, so you can at least start the intro animation, just to see how it looks alike, phwah, as if I'll like Japanese anime - never did, never will!'

February, 2001 (Part I)
'Hey, was that a postman!!?? Okay, okay, I'll open! What's that... nooo way, already?? Whow, I sure have the best vendor in the world getting me this game at such price. Huh, guess now I realise why these silly americans like this game even though it has no speech. But I don't care, I'm here only for animations... ooooh, and a nice music I hear in the background... whow, and a story. Heck, lemme check on the internet what else carries the name of Square Soft!'

February, 2001 (Part II)
'Oh, another bell, I wonder what that could be, hehehe... oh, look, goodie! Another Final Fantasy, and it's the seventh part. Well, these animations sure look crappy, but with story and music like that, who cares! I'm beginning to like that Square Soft, only now I hav to find the way how to get myself games from them that can be played on my PC and yet do not exist as PC version. Games like Chrono Cross, Parasite Eve and Parasite Eve 2 with great animations and music, and stories. All the main elements included :)'

March, 2001
'Oh, now that I've ordered Parasite Eve from Chips&Bits, and they've gone off-stock, hehe, let's hope I'll be able to assemble this emulator... (few secs later)... now where would this plugg-in go... (few minutes later)... huh, it's even easier then I thought, now the sound... hey, what's wrong... (few hours later)... ahh, finally. No great work goes unrewarded. Let's Parasite!!!'

And so did I start my first PSX game on my PC and finished it like vry next day or two. The absolute best thing about this game is that no matter you cannot save your game whenevr you like (likethat goes with PC games), you can achieve victory quite with easy effort. Of course, you have to posses at least my gaming skills to do so, hehe. And as for the final enemy, no matter how many times it morphed, it is not hard to kill it, as it usually is hard with ever Final Fantasy frickin' games. And hey, I hate when I simply cannot pass the final boss without some cheat, or if I didn't upgrade my character strong enough through the game. Just when I think of great games like Half-Life or Half-Life: Opposing Force where you can kill the main boss in less then couple of mins, and with not much effort for solid gameplayer, now that's what I like.

Since I'm still in 'what I like' section, it doesn't really matter what I'll start with first. But okay, let's start with the story... which is really great. Of course, my mom left the building as soon as she sensed there might be some horrifying scenes, like burning terror on the stage, but I don't care, as long as I have Aya on my side :) Well, EVE is actually some kind of advanced mitochondria, and people around her are set on fire quite quickly, except it doesn't work with Aya. Well, the story goes way back when Aya lost her mom and sister, so there was some transplanting of organs in Aya and/or Melissa (EVE), not sure anymore, but Aya (your character) has the resistance on her own mitochondria inside. You'll see what I mean when you gt to the ingame point when you'll look her blood sample on the microscope. Aya is, as for those who don't know, a police officer, six months on the job, and with a partner, Daniel, who has rather 20 years of experience. They're so called 'father and daughter' team, and you can say they go by that, since Aya lost her family in a crash accident. Well, not to spill more beans, take the game and play it if you like it.

As for the animations, there sure is a certain touch of oldnes in characters, but I like it. I like it a lot, actually, though I've seen how Aya looks in Parasite Eve and I like that even more... speaking of animations, that is, hehe. The battle system is simply great, especially if you compare the one from Final Fantasy or Chrono Cross with this one. You can freely run, shoot, use your powers, or whatever you can select from a menu. Also, when you battle, you battle at the same position where you encounter a battle. If you don't know what I mean, just remember how whole screen changes when you battle in Final Fantasy series. As for the music, it's amazing. Great, very good quality, and I just like Square Soft game music in general, and not long ago I wouldn't even know if anyone asked me about Square Soft. I'd probably reply like Square what? LOL!

The Bad
Why are good games always short? ;) I mean, I just love this game, and the limit was like 10 hours of playing. Sure, there is repetitive playing ability with all the power and experience you gained throughout the game, but, playing it twice, I don't think so. Of course, I also love Blade Runner (not too keen on the movie, though) from Westwood, and that game sure is short, but has many paths and endings so it can be played again and again and... you got the point :) Well, it may be better that this game was short, or else, I'd end up playing it like I did with Final Fantasy VIII, every day, 'til 4am in the morning, with continuation at 6am same day, hehe. Well, at least we know that whenever we see something that's short, it sure means it's great, hehe, and if it wears title like Square Soft or Westwood Studios, then we don't even have to doubt about that :)

The Bottom Line
There are always two type of players - ones that don't like the game, and ones that do absolutely love it. You can guess where I count :) As for the final, the game has interesting story, characters are really nicely done, music is great, animation level is high as well as adrenaline while you play, and there is also infinite number of enemies so you can gain experience, hehe. However, on the contrary to Final Fantasy from SquareSoft, the enemies will encounter only at the same spot. You won't like run to enemy at some place you never did, but where you do encounter them, as long as you walk upside down that place, you'll be able to battle as long as you want. Hey, I'm just glad that' I'm the one to added this game to MobyGames :)

PlayStation · by MAT (238621) · 2012

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Inspiration

The concept for Parasite Eve was based on a Japanese novel of the same name. The events of the novel take place one year before the game, and, while no characters from the novel show up, the events are referenced. There is also a movie and a manga series based on the novel.

Soundtrack

Like most Square Soft releases, a soundtrack for Parasite Eve exists. Of course, music from the game cannot even be compared in quality with the soundtrack score, as this is orchestrated, far more better quality and digitized.

Information also contributed by Lain Crowley and Satoshi Kunsai

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3593

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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

PS Vita added by Fred VT. PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0.

Additional contributors: Alaka, formercontrib, DreinIX, Trypticon, Rik Hideto.

Game added March 29th, 2001. Last modified June 23rd, 2023.