|Parasite Eve II|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing, survival horror|
Parasite Eve II (パラサイト・イヴ2 Parasaito Ibu Tsū) is an action role-playing survival horror video game released for the PlayStation. The game was developed by Square, published in Japan in 1999 and in both North America and, unlike the previous game, in PAL regions in 2000. It is the sequel to Parasite Eve and the second game in the series of the same name.
Parasite Eve II is set several years after the events in the original game. The protagonist from the first game, Aya Brea, also features in this game as the playable character. She becomes involved with another outbreak of Neo-Mitochondrial creatures. Gameplay diverges from the previous game: battles take place in real-time and the area of action is less restrictive. The approach is more typical of traditional survival horror games, although some role-playing elements are retained. The title was written and directed by Kenichi Iwao, who wrote Resident Evil (1996).
The game was well received by critics, although it was criticized for using a control system that was seen as being outdated.
Parasite Eve II is an action role-playing survival horror video game. Character control is accomplished in a traditional survival horror manner: Aya is able to move forwards, backwards, and pivot left and right. Camera movement is limited, generally being confined to a single view of a room or area, and cannot be altered by the player.
Unlike Parasite Eve, there is no Active Time Bar that governs the order of actions during a battle. Battles take place in real time, so the player is free to act as they see fit. Another contrast is the absence of the 'range dome' seen in the first game, allowing the player to shoot at off-screen targets and engage targets from a safe distance. There are also no random battles; enemies will be found wandering in plain view, hence allowing the player to avoid confrontations and plan strategies. Aiming, as with most other games of this genre, is accomplished by cycling through the various 'lockable' targets within Aya's range.
Equipment can be obtained through various methods, including finding, purchasing and 'creating' items such as body armor, weapons, ammunition and tools. Unlike most other survival horror games, ammunition is almost never in short supply. While Aya can only carry limited amounts of equipment with her, inexhaustible ammunition boxes exist in most areas and can be revisited as often as required for a top-up. This encourages the player to fight rather than run, which is essential to the gameplay as it is the only way to gain experience and thus for Aya to become powerful enough to succeed. While equipment follows the original game's concept of being customizable, in general the weapons and armor are quite limited in the alterations available. Armor, which not only reduces damage but also affects the amount Aya can carry, has the option of adding extra item slots up to a limit of ten. The Parasite Energies are divided into four areas: the offensive Fire and Wind elements and the defensive Water and Earth elements.
Once the game has been completed, bonus items become available for the player should they choose to redo the game in Replay mode. Other modes also become available, such as Bounty Hunter and Scavenger which are more difficult for the player to complete. The most difficult mode "Nightmare" only becomes available after completing the game in Scavenger Mode.
The game opens to reveal Aya Brea, the protagonist of the original Parasite Eve game, who is now an FBI operative in their Mitochondrial Investigation and Suppression Team (MIST) being dispatched on an urgent mission in central Los Angeles, where there have been reports of NMC sightings. The first chapter in the game puts Aya in the position of investigating the Akropolis tower where she finds a slaughtered SWAT team and an NMC infestation. She soon discovers that the NMCs can take on human form, and eventually encounters a different type of creature; a humanoid Artificial Neo-Mitochondrial Creature (ANMC) called Golem No. 9. She encounters this ANMC three times in the game. Golem No. 9. destroys the tower, but Aya along with her colleague Rupert, who has been at the scene before she arrives, escape in a police helicopter.
After a brief interlude, the next chapter finds Aya in the desert town of Dryfield. It is nothing more than a truck-stop on a seldom used highway, with a motel, garage and diner but little else. Upon arriving, she finds that Dryfield too is infested with NMCs. She later encounters a survivor (Mr. Douglas) and his dog, Flint, who will act as her source of news and equipment for much of the game. She later rescues Kyle Madigan, a private investigator who claims he is on a mission similar to Aya's. He tells her about "The Shelter", a nearby underground facility that may hold the answers to the recent outbreak of NMCs.
After spending some time in Dryfield, Aya and Kyle find an entrance to the shelter located in an abandoned mine. They part company and she proceeds to investigate the shelter alone. As Aya explores the shelter she discovers that the ANMCs are the result of genetic engineering in an attempt to artificially create superior life-forms, and that in some way she is closely involved. The game's storyline unfolds through various animated cut scenes that appear at regular intervals when plot points are triggered; one of these reveals that the ANMCs were created from her own DNA.
Eventually Aya discovers the game's fourth and final area, the Neo-Ark (Shambala in the Japanese version), the entrance to which is concealed in the shelter. She finds out that the Ark facility was intended to be a showcase of ANMC technology, divided into different habitats, with zoo-like visitor commentaries and viewing platforms throughout the area. Habitat containment has broken down and the ANMCs are loose. This area is now infested with the creatures too. The goal in this area is for Aya to disable the power generator, which allows access to an area that could not be reached in the shelter. Returning to the shelter, and reunited with Kyle, Aya rescues a girl that has been manipulated into controlling the hostile NMCs. She also finds out that the girl, Eve, was created from her own DNA, making her, in a sense, Aya's daughter. Eve is later kidnapped by No. 9.
Returning to the shelter entrance, Aya encounters a small army of Golems, but is rescued by the US Marines, who have been alerted by Aya's contacts at MIST. She later receives a gift from Mr. Douglas, via Flint, of supplies. She decides to use Flint to help her find Eve, giving him Eve's bear to let him track her scent. He leads her back into the shelter. Aya tracks Eve down to a room containing an enormous cocoon, to find No. 9 incorporating Eve into it. Kyle is there as well; apparently helping No. 9. Kyle eventually turns on No. 9, preventing him from placing Eve into the cocoon. After a cut scene showing a satellite weapon being fired per the President's orders, and Dryfield being wiped off the map, Aya and Kyle find themselves separated by a hole that has penetrated all the shelter's floors. She looks down to see Eve hanging onto a piece of debris on the edge of one of the lower levels.
Eventually, the cocoon breaks open having been dislodged by the impact of the weapon, revealing the largest NMC in the game. After defeating this creature, Eve herself transforms into a very fast and powerful winged NMC that resembles Melissa Pearce-Eve's second to last form from the first game. Again Aya must fight. Once this final battle is concluded, various cut scenes are shown depending on the actions of the player during the game. The good ending being Aya adopting Eve as her sister with help from MIST. One year later, Pierce gives them 2 tickets to the American Natural History Museum in NY where they meet Kyle Madigan again.
Development of Parasite Eve II was handled by Square, developers of the original Parasite Eve. The game was directed and written by Kenichi Iwao, who had previously worked in those roles for the 1996 survival horror game Resident Evil. Due to its popularity at the time, Square decided to design a new Parasite Eve game which emulated that style. The game was originally intended to be a spin-off of the first game with Kyle as the main protagonist; this was the main reason for the shift in genre and gameplay. During development, it was decided to turn the game into an official sequel to Parasite Eve, making Aya the main protagonist and removing Kyle as a playable character. Production was handled by an entirely new development team based on Osaka. The staff included several former Resident Evil staff members. Using feedback from the original game, the team decreased and smoothed the transition between exploration and battle, and adjusted the controls to be more user-friendly. The character of Aya had been created for Parasite Eve by the producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, and designed by artist Tetsuya Nomura. Her design in Parasite Eve II was to have been handled by a different artist, using her original design as a template. While most of the design was finalized, the designer quit halfway through the game's development, and Nomura was called in again. As the in-game model had already been created, he preserved what had already been done while adding touches of his own.
The score for Parasite Eve II was composed by Naoshi Mizuta and arranged by Hiroshi Nakajima. It took Mizuta a year and a half to compose the soundtrack. He states he was given quite a bit of freedom in his composition, and drew most of his influence from watching the game's already completed scenario. The game's music is depicted as being much more ambient than its predecessor. The sound effects of Parasite Eve II were influenced by futuristic and sci-fi themes. The 66-track two-disc Parasite Eve II Original Soundtrack was released by DigiCube on December 20, 1999, in Japan. The soundtrack was released in North America by Tokyopop on September 12, 2000.
Parasite Eve II was released in Japan on December 16, 1999. It was released in North America on September 12, 2000, and in Europe on August 25, 2000. The game sold over 220,000 copies in Japan during 1999. It broke the one million unit sales mark by February 2004, with 0.43 million sold in Japan and 0.66 million sold in the rest of the world. In late 2000, the game was re-released as part of the Square Millennium Collection along with a figure of Aya and a portrait of her character model, Yumiko Shaku. The game was re-released as part of the PSone Books best-seller line by Sony in Japan in 2002.
In early September 2010, posts made on Twitter in relation to the spin-off title The 3rd Birthday suggested that Parasite Eve 1 and 2 would be added to the PlayStation Network's game download service. On October 28 these rumors were proven to be correct, with Parasite Eve being given a November 4 release date and Parasite Eve 2 arriving on the PlayStation Network in Japan on November 24. Parasite Eve II was released on the North American PlayStation Network on August 23, 2011.
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