Nostalgic games: Parasite Eve / Hebrew

Short description

Parasite Eve is a classic video game developed by Square Enix, originally released in 1998. The game immerses the player in a world of nightmares, where the main character, Aya Brea, must chase a suspect who can turn living things into charred bodies or terrible monsters. The gameplay is similar to Resident Evil, with exploration and battling monsters using various weapons. The game’s soundtrack, composed by Yoko Shimomura, received praise for its experimental sound. While there is no official Russian translation, an unofficial translation exists. The game is remembered fondly for its story, music, and gameplay.

Nostalgic games: Parasite Eve / Hebrew

Today, Square is not remembered fondly, but rather with a sad sigh, because it has disappointed fans too often over the past decade. The company, which once made beautiful, memorable games, these days, after repeatedly screwing up, sold the Western business for money and returned to where it started – work only on the territory of Japan. But let’s remember the years when almost every PS One owner fondly remembered Square and waited with trepidation for the release of a new hit from the Japanese, about the time before the merger with its main competitor (Enix), when the company had not yet turned into a typical corporate a monster chasing only profit. This was the era when such gaming titans as Front Mission, Final Fantasy, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Vagrant Story and Parasite Eve, which will be discussed in this article, roared.

Plot

The plot of the game is a continuation of the events described in Hideaki Sena’s novel Parasite Eve*. Every living cell contains mitochondria, the task of which is to produce energy. They have largely independent life activities and even their own DNA. The main idea of ​​the novel is the judgment that mitochondria are a conscious form of life that, once mutated, wakes up in the form of a collective mind. He was given the name Eve, in honor of the woman from whom all modern humanity inherited mitochondrial DNA. (Read about “Mitochondrial Eve” on the Internet, it’s very interesting!)

Hideaki Sena is a pharmacologist by training, which means that you won’t see the fantasies of a drunk screenwriter on LSD in the plot – almost everything in the game has a scientific basis, which contributes to even greater immersion!

*The Parasite Eve novel was not available in Russian for many years, but as far as I know, thanks to fans converting, it is now available to the great and mighty for you to check out.

December 24, Christmas Eve. A young detective of the New York Police Department, Aya Brea, goes to Carnegie Hall for an opera production with her boyfriend. During the performance, an inexplicable event occurs: all the people begin to be engulfed in flames, and they burn alive for no apparent reason. Only Aya, a young man who came with her and managed to escape in time, survives, as well as the actress who performs the main role in the production. Aya, considering the actress guilty of the incident, tries to detain her, but in the process of confrontation and a short dialogue, hitherto unknown forces begin to awaken in her: “Parasite energy”. Due to an unexpected flashback in the heroine, the actress manages to escape, turning all living things in her path into charred bodies or terrible monsters.

Trying to stop her and figure out everything that happened, Aya gives chase. Thus begins a week of nightmares, a week of loss, fear and unexpected discoveries.

Parasite Eve is a game that immerses the player in its world and does not let go until the final credits, after which he will say “Wow!”. And then, starting “New Game+”, he will realize that he did not see the canonical ending.

“New Game+” will repeat the events that were in the normal passage, with the exception that a new “dungeon” will appear – a 77-story building-labyrinth Chrysler Building, in which, in addition to new weapons, monsters and bosses, you will be able to see the true ending. But believe me, you will have to sweat to cope with this challenge!

Even greater immersion in the story is facilitated by the cinematics, which in some places are very reminiscent of John Carpenter’s cult film “Something”, so if you are a fan of his work, the game will pleasantly surprise you.

If it looks cool these days, try to imagine how cool it was in 1998.

Gameplay

Most of the time you explore locations and progress through the story, while searching for secrets, useful items and new equipment. At these moments, the gameplay and location construction are similar to Resident Evil or Dino Crysis. But as soon as the battle begins, the game immediately becomes like a cross between Vagrant story and Final Fantasy XII. You have an action bar, but it is only responsible for being able to use any of the main character’s abilities. It can be a normal attack, using Aya’s ability called PE (Parasite Energy) which is magic, using items and so on. Standard in this respect. The battle itself was not standard at that time. The fact is that bAboutMost of the battle you run around the field, dodging enemy attacks and waiting for an opportunity to attack yourself. I note that each weapon has its own radius of defeat, and if rifles shoot far, then, for example, a police baton hits in a very small radius. All the characteristics and abilities of any ranged weapon or armor can be improved by expanding the capabilities of your equipment.

Weapons are divided into two types: melee and ranged. If everything is simple with close ones (knives, police batons and so on are included here), then long-range weapons are divided into subclasses that differ in loss, range, rate of fire and reload time.

You are free to carry pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, rifles, grenade launchers, and even rocket launchers. Despite such a large selection of weapons, the developers did not fool around with cartridges, and there are only two types of them: bullets and rockets. This greatly simplifies inventory management and allows you to focus on the most important details of the gameplay.

Sometimes you will encounter bosses. As a rule, these are giant mutants, to which you need to choose your tactics and remember the timing of their attacks in order to dodge. I think it would be safe to say that some of them will make you replay battles multiple times before you can win. But at the same time, the difficulty is sufficient so that the battles do not turn into torture.

Role system

By participating in battles and gaining experience for winning, you will level up. The main character gains skill points when leveled up, and also learns the new Parasite Energy (magic). Skill points can be spent both on leveling Aya herself and on leveling her equipment. There is no particular depth in leveling up the character, you can improve the speed of filling the action bar, increase the inventory or improve the basic characteristics.

With the pumping of weapons and armor, the situation is already more interesting.

In addition to the basic characteristics and bonuses, there are additional special properties. These can be poison/incendiary bullets, the ability to use two abilities at once in battle, automatic use of first-aid kits, protection against poisoning, and many, many other properties. With certain tool items, when you level up your weapon or body armor, you will be able to transfer all of the leveling and some properties to any other piece of equipment. On the other hand, if you like a certain item, by improving it, you can go through the game using only it.

Localization

There is no official Russian translation.

I hope I will please you if I say that there is an unofficial translation of the game, albeit not perfect, but of good enough quality, thanks to which you can comfortably immerse yourself in the story. And so that you don’t have to look for the right image with a translation, I posted a link to the archive in my Telegram channel. It has the emulator I’m using, an image of the game, a bootable BIOS, and a game skin that you can use to customize the look of the emulator.

Sound accompaniment

The music of the game is magical. Being either melancholic or full of drive, it perfectly correlates with the atmosphere of the game, and the main opera theme runs as a leitmotif throughout the game, creating the right mood. I think the best way to understand my words is the melody from the intro game. I get goosebumps while watching it, it’s so exciting and the music is magical.

Parasite Eve’s soundtrack was composed by Yoko Shimomura, who later became a well-known video game composer for her work on the Kingdom Hearts series. She wanted the music to be experimental, something between ambient and techno. One of her main goals was to create something inorganic and recognizable. Well, I think she did the job perfectly!

The main disadvantage of the soundtrack, as in many subsequent games of the Square company, is the lack of character voice acting. Not that it interferes, but for some it can become a negative point.

Cons

In fact, there aren’t many downsides to the game. In addition to the usual graphics for a PS1 game and the lack of character voices, I can only add that the location of the key items for the passage is not always clear. There are only two such moments in my memory, but in the last resort you will be saved by going on the Internet.

Why play?

When you play a game about modern times, in which something unusual or fantastic happens, while almost every aspect of the game can be explained from a scientific point of view, you begin to believe in the world of the game, in its events, and therefore you immerse yourself more and more. If you add to this an interesting combat system, as well as a pumping system, several endings, many stunning cutscenes, an additional dungeon that opens after completion, and a lot of interesting things, then you understand that the game is truly a diamond of its time. Even though I tried playing it as a kid, I only made it to the end that year and it was pretty cool, literally in one sitting. The game is almost not outdated, it is pleasant and comfortable to play in modern realities. I’m hoping that Parasite Eve will do the same thing as the first three classic Resident Evils, namely a fan HD mod (google HD mod by Teamx). I think she deserved it! Personally, like the movie “Strong Nut”, the game creates a New Year’s mood for me, and the exciting plot and exciting gameplay, I’m sure, will make you come back to it more than once. And so, as a conclusion, I strongly recommend you to familiarize yourself with the game if you missed it at the time, and those who have already played do not need any recommendations, they already know how great this game is.

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