Lotus: Parasite Eve

It’s time to tackle one of Squaresoft’s gems! This is a horror RPG, where our goal is to take on a force of nature that we do not yet fully comprehend. It all starts with a massacre at Carnegie Hall in New York City. We’d better stop the enemy from doing something like this again. Let’s go crazy!

About Lotus Prince

I enjoy playing video games, and I particularly favor survival horror games.

26 comments

  1. I remember thinking this game was Square’s version of Resident Evil and was surprised it wasn’t. Are you going to also do the Sequel?

  2. This is an incredible game with an amazing sound track and a main character I love. I finally got a copy of the book and read it; it’s a little dry but a good read. I also found the live action movie. It’s pretty neat. The only thing I didn’t like about the game were the controls, but you get used to it right quick. The story is captivating, the cut scenes add to the story, and I love how everything comes together at the end.
    There’s also a Giant Enemy Crab Thing. He’s optional, if I remember correctly, and he’s pretty nasty.
    I also loved the sequel to the game. If I ever get a 3DS, I’ll pick up Parasite Eve Birthday, too. I love this series, the music, the visuals, and even the science. I heartily recommend it!

    • Yeah, the book does get bogged down with surgical detail, but its overall plot is fascinating. I haven’t seen the movie, though, but I’d like to.

      Also, I do take on the Giant Enemy Crab. 😀

  3. Yay! I remember when I requested this. It came faster than I expected! I didn’t know that it was a book first. I learned a lot before you even put in the game. Also, so far this game gives a good first impression.

    Your Eve voice was surprisingly good. Haha. In fact, all your voices were.

    The music is good. It’s like the best of 90’s. Also, I like the idea of something happening while the game is loading. I can’t wait for the next set of videos.

    • I didn’t know that it was a book at first, either. I only found out this year or last. 😀

      All of my voices? You must have some amazing ears, because while I kinda-sorta made some distinction between characters, I don’t try that hard, and usually end up using my normal voice for everyone, except for a little more melodrama with Eve. 😛

      Thanks a lot for your support!

  4. Don’t know if I’ll be sticking around to watch this Let’s Play, but I will admit that I missed hearing that theme music “Primal Eyes.” And the main piano theme throughout the game has always stuck with me as my favorite piece in video game history.

    You have fun with this series.

    • I always have a soft spot for the piano, so it’s great to hear how omnipresent it is in this game. 🙂

      The initial playthrough will be thirteen installments long, and I do plan to take on the Chrysler Building. We’ll see how long that takes.

      Thanks a lot for your support!

  5. This was the 1st game I bought for my PS1 (because a girl I was crushing on loved it) and the combat system was so unwieldy I stopped after the 1st random encounter. Although, ‘Somnia Memorias’ from the OST has been in my WinAmp since.

    • The battle system’s weird at first, but I actually like it better than those of other JRPG’s, if only because you can target multiple enemies at one time if your weapon fires more than one shot in one turn, and you can dodge enemy attacks on your own, rather than be frozen in place and just hope that the computer tells you that you did. It takes some getting used to, but I think it’s worth it. 🙂

  6. So Eve was named after an Eve who had her *birthday* on December 24th? That’s funny, because many countries have a tradition to celebrate certain names on certain days of the year, and Eve’s traditional *name day* in many countries is… December 24th.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_day

    • Well, Eve was named after a woman named Kiyomi (whose kanji apparently means “Eve” anyway), who was born on December 24th.

      That said, I wasn’t aware of the name day information. Thanks!

  7. Sadly hadn’t heard about this game before, possibly because I was born less than half a decade before it came out. ^_^’

    Quite like the idea of a game as the sequel to a book, and the story seems pretty good for its time so far. The only problem I have is that the mitochondria stuff is really really ridiculous. The doctor is right about what the attributes of mitochondria are (they are the energy converters of cells, can divide more quickly than cells depending on conditions, have separate DNA from the nucleus), but his conclusion is essentially the same as “The stomach converts energy for us, without it we are nothing, therefore the stomach is a sentient life-form with ESP powers and a consciousness greater than any brain!”
    Mitochondria’s division rates also don’t mean they have some evolutionary superpowers either, since evolution is about adaptation rather than a ladder that leads to superpowers. Otherwise, mayflies would be masters of ESP and bacteria would be divine beings.

    It also gets the concept of the mitochondrial Eve wrong. That name is just given because egg cells contain mitochondria, while sperm cells don’t, so it is only inherited maternally and as such one can trace the mitochondrial DNA back to find the most recent maternal ancestor of everybody alive today. Nothing magical about that specific person, just a result of the mathematics of descent (which also show that any ancestor any European has that lived more than 1000 years ago is in fact an ancestor of most living Europeans). The mitochondrial Eve isn’t even necessarily the same person as it was for the people alive a century ago, since the current Eve might have had a contemporary whose last maternal descendant died without maternal children during this century.

    So, in short: I apologise for rambling, I am eager to see where the game goes with its characters and story, but I will have to try not to laugh when they claim mitochondria are sentient because they make energy and have ESP. ^_^’

    • I think I’d heard of the game, but I didn’t play it until I was in college, and even then, it was on an emulator (I never had a Playstation, and I didn’t get a PS2 until well into the PS3’s life).

      The mitochondria coming to life is rather over the top, but it’s at least an interesting spin on the idea. As for Eve, yeeeah, it seems more like fan fiction than anything else. 😀

  8. In the first part of the videos you mentioned there were other games that used the same gameplay mechanics as Parasite Eve, or at least resemble it. As a big fan of Parasite Eve, may I ask which games these are?

    On another note, I am more than happy to help you to the best of my abilities, granted as far as I can do so is via the comments. I have played through the game no less than 100 or more times, and have done and found everything one can save with outside influences to the game play such as a gameshark or “hacking”. I have yet to find a guide on the internet that has fully completed the game to my level. I can find something missing from every walkthrough I have come across. (I probably should write one myself). I sound like I am tooting my own horn here, so I guess I should leave it at that. Its on the table if you need the help in the future.

    • Of all things in the world, Quest 64 had a kind of similar battle system. You could run around and dodge enemy attacks, although, unlike Parasite Eve, enemies froze in place when you attacked them. It’s not perfectly similar, but it still reminded me a bit.

      I very much appreciate any help you may offer, but note that I’ve already beaten the game and am currently working on the Chrysler Building. I’m past floor 20 at the time of this post. 😛 I did indeed miss a couple of chests in my playthrough, but they were of little consequence (medicine 1 outside the gate of Central Park, the trading card exploit in the hospital, which I actually got in my second run, etc). I have my ultra weapon and first-run ultra armor, and I’ll work on getting the super ultra armor later.

      Thank you very much for your support!

  9. I remember the only thing I didn’t like about this game was the Museum stage. It’s was just labyrinthine and tedious. Reminds me of the dungeons in Xenogears. Ugh. Years later I finished it properly by going through the Chrysler building which wasn’t hard (I believe I had far too many healing items) but utterly mindless and… see my second sentence.
    PSM’s review: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jvvxn52d5mz6ivc/IMG_2963.JPG?dl=0

  10. Okay, hopefully about to comment at a regular pace now! Took me a while to go back and look at all your videos after I realized you were back on the site, (posted some comments in all never alone and Q&A posts) but I must admit that I’m intrigued. Parasite Eve is a game I’ve heard a lot about so far, and I am eagerly looking forward to what it has to offer.

    To start off, I dig that the battle system lets us weave in between enemy projectiles and react in real-time, even if some attacks seem less dodgeable than others. I have a couple of questions on the battle system however, considering that I haven’t played this myself.
    I so far presume you can select a number of bullets to fire in one turn (the number being limited by what gun you have), and that the more bullets you shoot the more blue “action-meter” is consumed. So how does selecting different targets in one turn work- do you select two targets and then Aya just shoots the first target you picked and switch to the other targets IF the first one dies? How does different weapons alter the combat- is it like Fallout in that you can select between “bursts” that are less accurate with a SMG and “sniper” rounds which are slower but also more accurate and do more damage? And for that matter, how does melee work? I see that we get hit if we touch an enemy, but we can also hit them if we’re within striking distance? Is melee only a last resort, or is there ever a time when it’s worth consideration?

    I’m also a fan of how this game really seems to do a good job of integrating the gameplay mechanics into the world. Healers are paramedics, telephones are save points, the precincts gun locker is our weapon and armor “store”, and they even stock it with two characters who banter at each other and makes it feel like an actual place, not just a empty storefront that’s only there to be the portal that exchanges cash for arms. Always liked it when developers go the extra mile to make a world feel coherent with its mechanics. Also, just to ensure I got this right- the small “+Attack” and “+Ammo” and such that we’ve been picking up are NOT “Tools” to modify the weapons, are they? Are Mod Licenses the “Tools” or are they separate and I just didn’t get what separates them?

    Now I’ve been hearing that the story in Parasite Eve is a cut above the rest, and so far I will admit that they do a good job of throwing you into action and building a fairly likable cast. The situations here feel suitably “modern”, little things like cop cliches and Daniel being a father who tries to make working life gel with family time is stuff we can all get aboard with, and I liked Aya the minute she shoulder-checked her date and told him to amscray… buuut I’m wondering if this is going to be a case where the products age will definitely show.

    • Thanks for letting me know about your comments on earlier videos. I’ll check those out, too. 🙂

      Also, Parasite Eve’s combat system is uncommon, but it works quite well, and I really dig its story. Of course, it does have a precedent to go off of in that regard.

  11. My primary problem thus far is that the writing feels a bit clunky so far. of course, completely smooth and natural-sounding dialogue wasn’t exactly custom back then, but many little things add up to make the plot so far seem a little too on the nose.
    Like how Dr Kramp is just bafflingly hostile and happy to exposit right from the get-go, even to the extent where he makes it obvious he knows what’s going on but acts like he can just shut down a police officer without repercussions. And of course he’s connected to a dark and strange conspiracy with Aya at the heart of it, thank you flashbacks that spell things out for the audience but which the lead will be oblivious to, right up until the last-minute dramatic twist that she was experimented on which will be a massive shock to her but which we will have seen coming for AGES.
    Or the way the first and seemingly ONLY reporter on the scene of tens of people BURNING UP in Carneige Hall is your typical sleazy reporter asshole that a cop can just slug without punishment (and MAN would that scene not fly in modern times, even if we’re meant to consider the reporter a sleaze).
    Or that the concert wasn’t cancelled right away after Melissa was declared dead (though I guess I can sort of understand this one in that if Eve shows up to the arrangers in her human form and tells them that she managed to escape the fire, they’d probably be more concerned with ensuring the show goes on than ask questions of what happened with the fire, though you’d think they’d wonder if she was mentally fit to sing after something like that).
    Or that we encounter a clown who we don’t escort out but just leave to his burning fate (then again he WAS a clown, so perhaps Aya’s reluctance can be understood)…

    I get that many of these concepts the plot’s throwing around were new and fresh back then, but it seems like they’re moving things forward a little too fast and there’s not enough time to really let proceedings sink in or develop in a way that doesn’t feel like the writer had a dead-line and needed all ducks to fall in a row right this instant. Like how Aya defies orders and give the reporters the COLD HARDBOILED TRUTH right from the get-go during the conference, but there’s no time for disciplinary action because a scientist who knows mitochondria just happened to be watching at that time (from Japan?) and is eager to lend his assistance and the police chief is totally a-okay with arranging a meeting with him right away while letting Aya go to interview some other witness despite how she’d probably be contained or even quarantined by now…

    And speaking of that, Aya. While I was really on board with her from the start and liked her reactions to events and the way she took charge, her hostile relationship with the chief feels a BIT forced. Like… I get that having seen something super-weird and traumatic and then being forced to cover it up and keep it from the public would be frustrating. And maybe she’s not as in the dark as she appears- maybe the flashbacks are triggering old memories inside her that makes her feel stressed in ways the grainy model can’t quite convey. But the tone of the script doesn’t really convey that so far. It just sounds like she decides to spill the secret in the clunkiest, least informative way ever, just throw out words like mitochondria and Eve without explaining them to the reporters, and then get mad at Baker for a point he is 100 % right in- the people listening to her are going to think she’s maniac for mitochondria puffs, and that helps absolutely nobody whatsoever.

    • She doesn’t appear to have a hostile relationship with the chief. Aya got flustered at the press conference, and the chief was like “Oh, come on – I said don’t tell the press!”

  12. I don’t know- maybe it’s just the way the script is written and how the models can’t really convey mood and emotion and tone that well. But it just feels like she’s mad at Baker because she’s a rough rookie who plays by her own rules, and he’s the stuffy man trying to bring her down and why does Daniel obey that stuffy old man who’s just WRONG about how people are going to think she’s delusional, like for real-totes, insert radical 90’s lingo here… I mean, you can MAYBE get away with those cliches in a ordinary police drama. But this is police drama crossed with OUR CELLS ARE SETTING US ON FIRE AND SCREAMING VIVA LA REVOLUCION IN REALLY TINY VOICES. Aya acting the way she does feels somewhat petulant and short-sighted when seen in light of the stakes here. I dunno, maybe it’ll improve in the future. But when she doesn’t even bring in Kramp for further questioning when he’s obviously SUPER SUSPICIOUS, it kiiiinda feels like this story has more than a few off moments in it.
    Again, you can justify it with her being traumatized and unnerved by events and thinking they should inform the people- I totally see that. It just that so far it feels like the plot isn’t really approaching from that angle? I don’t feel like Aya reads as that unhinged and unnerved, but rather laid back and sardonic about the whole thing and that just doesn’t gel with me? Could just be me.

    Daniel is pretty awesome at any rate, if incredibly violent. Interested in seeing whether we will save him from further tragedy, and what role he will play in the proceedings. Wonder if he and Lorraine will remain divorced, or if the tragedy here will just make them magically reunite and find their love again because “a boy needs his mother” and so on. We shall see.

    But yes- aside from being a bit heavy on exposition and a pace to the story that’s so quick it’s almost a bit whip-lashy, and a main character that I can’t quite get a read on but have positive hopes for, I do like what’s happening here. Modern metropolises are an underused environment for RPGs, the game is pretty immersive what with how well it manages to ground it’s mechanics in the world and I am totally down with the zany sci-fi premise, as scientifically unsound as it might be. Just gonna hope the game will know when to slow down and let us digest things and maybe not be QUITE so heavy-handed with foreshadowing. Take a step down. Smell the roses a little. Unless the roses grow into flesh-eating monstrosities, don’t smell them then. Burn them. Gosh I like the monster designs so far, really cool stuff.

    Liking the graphics over all, in fact. I am as ever a sucker for the pre-rendered era of old PSX, and this game is doing quite well in that department. Sure, aiming for realism does mean they kinda make things easy for themselves- just take a couple of pictures of real buildings and paste that in. But that sewer level was quite atmospheric… though I wonder what it says about me that I find the most interesting graphic so far to be the model of New York we zoom out to when the game goes into transition scenes. I dunno, there’s just something rather charming about it, even if it looks kinda like a toy train-set. Maybe explicitly because of it, New York just seems so small and cute.

    Cut-scenes are at least pretty sweet-looking for the time, especially the monster models. Giant-hands Eve and the taser-gator are memorable fiends, and their fights aren’t TOO bad. The Gator was particularly interesting with different targets and attacks for them, and different approaches even- you could have just stood there and plinked away at his front, but risk the wrath of his tail club and get behind him for heavy damage. Have to admit that the laser blast looked pretty easy to dodge though, especially since he didn’t even track your position in between each blast. Also, was it really the case that you had to stand still to avoid Eve’s double-beam, or did you just have to try and “read” where she was going to shoot (which could not have been easy with a slightly tilted steady-cam)?

    • She’s not really the “I’m doing things MY WAY, Baker” kind of person. She’s actually pretty passive in this game, as far as her work environment is concerned. Her dialogue with Baker is always “Um…aahh…” and even her talks with Klamp are surprisingly polite.

      Daniel is freaking incredible. 😀

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