Now Playing: Parasite Eve (1998)

Now this is a story all about how, my mitochondria got flipped-turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute just don’t you leave, I’ll tell you how I became the guy that wrote a post about Parasite Eve.

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Yyyyyyyep. So this was a weird series. It’s sort of survival horror, but also kind of a JRPG with a hybrid real-time/active-turn-based combat system, and despite its heavy use of JRPG mechanics and very JRPG feeling characters and plot, its only about as long as your standard survival horror game (not counting the fuckawful Chrysler Building. More on that later…). This game just oozes Playstation 1-ness though. The awkward-speaking blockhead characters, the clunky yet compelling gameplay, the heavy usage of cinematic cutscenes, and that fancy symphonic soundtrack…it just epitomizes the best times of the old PS1 days.

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Fuckin’ high tech!

So…this is the story of how some mitochondria becomes sentient and sick and tired of your shit, so it gathers in the form of Eve, swallows up a bunch of people in New York to turn into a giant incubator so it can birth…the ultimate being? Which is a weird goobaby that is also made of mitochondria, but somehow better mitochondria I guess, which will take over the world I guess? I don’t know. They were just awfully mad at humans for some reason. You play as Aya Brea who also has special mitochondria powers due to some organ transplant wackiness. Look, it was the 90s, stuff like this just happened, ok?

It had an interesting weapon/armor customization system too. If you find the tools for it you can basically rip the stats and/or bonus effects off of gear you find and stick it onto another piece of gear, so essentially you can just break down everything you find and stack it all up onto one thing, though you might give yourself some trouble by building an early piece up too much because while you can just keep stacking, you are still just building off the same base stats, so boy, wouldn’t that big stack look so much better on a gun with three times the base stats? Sure it would, but now you’ve put all the stack AND four different bonus effects all on this one thing and can only take off one thing at a time, which destroys the item in the process if you’re using the regular old tools, and naturally there are almost none of the non-breaking super tools in the game, so Y’ALL BE CAREFUL WIF DAT SHIT Y’HEAR?

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One thing I did NOT like though…this time I decided I was going to take on the mythical bonus Chrysler Building, which you can only enter in New Game+, or EX game as they call it here. The Chrysler Building is 77 floors of doom, filled with super tough enemies, lots of great treasure you can’t get anywhere else, and if you manage to get to the end, the REAL final boss which leads to the REAL final ending apparently.

So…this is 77 floors of identical fucking hallways, randomly arranged in annoying-as-shit mazes, which you have to tackle in chunks of 10 because that’s when you find a 10 floor boss that drops a key to the last 10 floors on the elevator, which is your only way out to go save or drop off gear or anything. It didn’t seem so bad at first, and really wasn’t even difficult at all for a good chunk of it, but damn does it get tedious. You will probably have had to spend a few hours farming junk to get an ultimate weapon to even consider starting, then you have to push on through 50 floors of boring easiness, and FINALLY on 50+ it starts getting hard, but at this point you’ll be about ready to kill yourself when you realize you’ve spent more time in this one building than you have in the entire main campaign already…BUT…I did it all and got to the super hard secret boss and beat her after several tries, only to find that the secret ending is completely half-assed, pasted together shit, just like the rest of the building was and it was basically a complete waste of time other than for bragging rights, which absolutely no one cares about in the present day. So…don’t do that, k?

Anyway, like I said, great PS1 classic that I would definitely recommend. Hell, you can get it for $3 or less these days. It has at least one great sequel too, coming soon to these very pages…although, oops, I said I was going to play the rest of those Jedi Knight games didn’t I? Well, whatever.

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