Parasite Eve scared the heck out of me when I played it. I must have played it a little over a decade ago now and I wasn’t even quite a teenager at the time. I didn’t think much of it at the time though only that it was scary and there was some crazy opera singer monster in it. Returning to the game years later I have realized that the game was much more than just a scary survival horror game but honestly a subgenre that I feel should have taken off. A turn based RPG horror game. The battles play out quite a bit like Final Fantasy however you maintain control of the main character during the battle scenes. You can sprint around and evade shots while battling your adversaries and then queue up your abilities and launch attacks at your nasty mutated enemies. It’s quite a blast once you get the hang of it and on the harder difficulties takes quite a bit of skill balancing healing items, the right attacks and dodging the varied attacks of the enemies that attack you. This can get especially difficult when there are multiple monster types in one battle scene.
This battle system will divide opinions on the game I’m sure but it still managed to get enough attention to spawn multiple sequels. I’ve only played the first one all the way through and have recently jumped on the second one but not gotten far. The plot hasn’t grabbed me as much but the fighting system has been refined. In fact, my main gripe with the original is that I’ve always hated random spawning battles. I want to see my opponent on the ground before I enter battle mode. Having the battles just appear such as they do in Final Fantasy 7 has never been enjoyable to me. I just didn’t think having random battles worked with survival horror but then again this isn’t your typical survival horror game.
That’s a small complaint though and that being said Parasite Eve still manages to have some interesting characters and a very interesting plot. It’s based off an older novel that even managed to spawn a cheesy Japanese made for TV film. I purchased the novel and enjoyed it very much. I’ll link to both of these at the bottom of the article if you are interested.
Despite the fact that the traditional survival horror “pop out of the wall” scare tactics aren’t as prevalent because of the battle system it still manages to get some scares in there just because of the cinematic qualities of the game. The devastation carried out by these mutated creatures and EVE herself is hugely apparent as the city begins to basically crumble. It’s eerie to see as you progress through the game. These creatures are hideous and generally can leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable whether you are fighting some unrecognizable creature made of mush or a dog with extra heads that looks like it came right out of The Thing. EVE herself is extremely intense and cinematic right from the get go. You face off with her at an Opera house on a date and she floats up into the air spreading her fleshy looking gel into the audience and lighting people on fire. She sings and opera music blasts and it sets the stage leaving you with a feeling of discomfort despite the fact that you know you are safe from danger since you aren’t in “battle mode”.
The music in the game is extremely well executed and goes beyond standard PS1 soundtracks. While the music can be described as “basic” its small electronic tunes as well as the operatic songs that play out through various fight scenes can build a large amount of tension. It was very enjoyable and made the horrific images the game presents you with more intense. I’ve read good things about a Parasite Eve Remixes album as well and am going to purchase it soon.
In the game you play Aya, a cop who is out on a date when an opera singer transforms into a monster and wreaks havoc on the patrons viewing the show. This is the first time you see Eve and as you progress through the story you have to chase her from one scene of carnage to the next with the help of your Partner Daniel and a Japanese man who knows about another outbreak that was much similar. You discover that some people want Eve to succeed and that she is trying to give birth to a monster described as the “ultimate being”. As you play you find out that Aya has more to do with the situation than she first realized and must face her past in order to save the future of the city and potentially the world.
If you are looking for a different type of survival horror game than Parasite Eve should be next up on your queue. It manages to be quite a good horror game even with a combat and leveling system built more for RPG’s and the storyline, cinematics and soundtrack make it outstanding. Give it a go! Also, watch that cheesy TV movie if you are feeling like it!
The movie YouTube Link
The book Amazon Link
The game (grab a used copy on there or do a emulator) Amazon Link