Parasite Eve is a survival horror with many RPG elements. Movement in the various environments is free. Movement in the "world map" (which is a map of Manhattan) is limited to specific destinations. Upon the player walking over a "hot spot," there's a constantly diminishing chance of a random encounter. Enemies materialize suddenly and though there is no shift to a separate battle screen, the player is bound within a perimeter of unseen barriers until the battle is over, either by defeating all enemies or using the Escape command. In battle, the player has an "Active Time Bar" (ATB) that sets the time for every turn to take action. Upon each turn the player may choose between attacking with their equipped weapon, using PE (Parasite Energy) for defense, assistance or attack, using items, changing weapon or armor, or escaping the battle. If the player chooses to attack, a dome symbolizing the range of the weapon appears. If the enemy is outside of the range, the shot is likely to fail. Even if the shot lands, the damage will be less than normal.
When the player decides to use Parasite Energy, they must choose from the menu the desired PE skill. The same goes for weapon, armor or items; however, if the player choose to escape, experience will be lost. Parasite Energy is slowly recharged over time.
When not in battle, the player has the option of altering the weapon and armor attributes and effects with tools and super-tools. The player selects the "tune-up" option, choosing the weapon that will be altered and the weapon from which the attributes or effect will be taken.
One of the principal RPG elements of the game is that experience-based levels are present. Each time the player's level increases, his/her attributes go up and BP (Bonus Points) are given. These points can be distributed to the ATB, item capacity, or attributes of a weapon or armor.
When the game is cleared once, a new mode appears, called the "EX game." It is different from the normal game in various aspects: the player has access to every item stored in the police station, the game begins with the final weapon and armor the player chose before ending the first game, and the bonus points (BP) given to the player at the end of the game are now available to use. However, the biggest difference from the normal game is the Chrysler Building, a progressive endurance test.
The Chrysler Building test allows the player the chance to save only every ten floors and only after defeating a boss. The items, weapons, power-ups and enemies are of a higher class. The best items, armors, and weapons are here along with the trading cards that allow the player to make customizations to the weapons and get the tool and super-tool kits. It should also be noted that every floor (except floors 1, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70-77) are completely randomized so each floor is like a maze. Most importantly, the boss in the last floor of the building (77) is the true final boss of the game and has the form of Aya's elder sister, Maya. This final boss explains to Aya that Klamp cultivated the cells of the original Eve to analyze. So when Melissa was giving birth to the ultimate being, she created a nest there. In case Melissa and the ultimate being failed, the purebred would remain. Aya speaks with her sister, and they engage in battle against the purebred. After the purebred is defeated, the mitochondria inside Aya begin to rebel against her. The explanation is that Aya's mitochondria have now reached a higher evolutionary stage than Maya’s, but Maya's personality has suddenly become dominant and begun to fight off the Eve persona. Maya eventually wins, purging the Eve persona from herself. Somehow, Maya protects Aya by preventing the original Eve from taking her over. Aya leaves the building by herself, although she apparently has gained some sort of connection with her dead sister.
Maya's body is not physically present in either scenario, only Eve is. What actually happens is arguable due to the scene's lack of camera angles for certain characters.
The game takes place over a five day span in New York City in 1997. The incident starts on December 24 and ends on December 29.
The game begins with Aya Brea, an NYPD rookie, attending an opera with an unnamed date on December 24, 1997. During the opera, everyone in the building spontaneously combusts, except for Aya, her date, and an actress on stage named Melissa Pearce. During the performance, Maya's advanced mitochondria, which had lain dormant in Melissa for eleven years, awakened and transformed her into Mitochondria Eve. Aya confronts Melissa backstage, and Melissa says that Aya’s mitochondria need more time to develop. Melissa then mutates into a winged beast and flies into the sewers, declaring that her name is now Eve. Aya would later discover that she was granted great power due to the fact that she possessed Maya's mitochondria (transferred to her body during the corneal transplant), but it was unable to take control of her as it did Melissa because of Aya's evolved cell nuclei. Soon Eve begins to spawn monsters known as Neo-Mitochondrial Creatures or NMC.
The next day on Christmas, Aya and her partner Daniel Dollis visit a scientist at the American Museum of Natural History named Dr. Hans Klamp. He tells them things about mitochondria that they find useless for their purposes. Later that day, they hear that Eve is in Central Park. As they arrive, Eve turns all the people around her into an orange slimy mass. Aya and Eve battle in Central Park, but Aya is knocked unconscious during the fight.
Daniel discovers that his son, Ben, was at the park, but escaped being turned to slime. He also learns that Manhattan is being evacuated due to the threat that Eve poses. While Manhattan is being evacuated, a Japanese man named Kunihiko Maeda manages to sneak into Manhattan.
Aya awakens in an apartment with Daniel and Maeda at her side. Maeda reveals the origins of Eve. A scientist tried to culture the cells of his wife after she was involved in a car accident, and the mitochondria in her cells took over her body. Maeda believes that Eve may be trying to give birth to an "Ultimate Being."
The next day, the three go to see Dr. Klamp again, and he tells Aya that the nuclei in her cells are fighting Eve’s mitochondria. After he asks a few questions of her, they leave Dr. Klamp and head for St. Francis Hospital, where Maeda thinks Eve may try to get sperm for the Ultimate Being. When they arrive, they find that Eve is already there. Eve takes the sperm and escapes.
The next day, Aya witnesses the orange mass of people from the park enter the city water supply. She goes to Dr. Klamp one more time, and discovers that Dr. Klamp has engineered special sperm for Eve so that she can create the Ultimate Being. He then spontaneously combusts. Aya finds Eve in another part of the museum, where the orange mass has surrounded her, forming an impermeable shield to protect her while the Ultimate Being gestates in her.
After several failed attempts to attack Eve, the military asks Aya to attack her from a chopper, as she is the only one who can get close without combusting. The plan works, but Aya has to personally finish the fight on a now-wrecked Statue of Liberty, where Eve finally succumbs.
As Aya rests on a naval vessel, the Ultimate Being is born and attacks the surrounding ships. Aya does battle with the Ultimate Being, but its mitochondria causes it to evolve at an alarming rate, and even fuse with objects onboard the vessel. Aya sets the vessel's boiler pressure dangerously high, so as to destroy it with the Ultimate Being onboard.
After the events in the game transpire, she, along with her friends tried to make up for a lost Christmas by going to the opera at Carnegie Hall once again. During this time, Aya communicates with the entire audience's mitochondria and their eyes begin to glow a pinkish red. The meaning behind this ending is debated by many players. Some say that this is what Eve meant when she told Aya: "The more you use those powers, the more you become like me." This leads up to this ending possibly being non-canonical, where if the player plays through the Chrysler Building and defeats the Purebred Eve, Aya will lose her mitochondrial powers (albeit gaining newer, less superior ones leading up to the sequel) thus, saving the audience as well as all of mankind once again.
- Main article: Parasite Eve Original Soundtrack
Yoko Shimomura composed the game's soundtrack, including the intro, "Primal Eyes", and the ending, "Somnia Memorias", is performed by Shani Rigsbee. A score met with great critical acclaim, it is known as one of her more original soundtracks, using influences from both opera and electronica. A separate Parasite Eve Remix album was also released, containing 10 tracks remixed and remastered from the original game by various DJs.
- Main article: Parasite Eve (manga)
There was also a two-part manga released in Japan called Parasite Eve DIVA that never saw an American release.
It follows the locations and events listed in the game, however there is an alternate spin with three new characters (one being Aya's romantic interest) and characters live or die in this version that didn't in the game.
|Aya Brea - Daniel Dollis - Kunihiko Maeda - Melissa Pearce - Mitochondria Eve|
Maya Brea - Ben Dollis - Lorraine Dollis - Hans Klamp - Douglas Baker - Torres Owens - Wayne Garcia
|Armadillos - Bacterium - Bats - Bears - Cats - Centipedes - Chameleons - Crows - Dogmen - Flymen - Frogs- King Bacterium - Mixedmen - Moles - Monkeys - Parrots - Plants - Pterodactyls - Rats - Ratmen - Spiders - Scorpions - Squirrel - Snakes - Treasureboxes - Troodons|
|Alligators - Bees - Cockroaches - Craps - Dogmen EX - Eve - Giantworms - Kerberos - Spiderwoman - Triceratops - T-Rex - Ultimate Being|
|American Museum of Natural History - Carnegie Hall - Central Park - Chinatown - Chrysler Building - N.Y.P.D. - Soho - St. Francis Hospital - Subway - Warehouse|
|Weapons - Soundtrack|