In Day Four of Parasite Eve, Aya races to St. Francis Hospital to get to the sperm bank before Eve does. I have decided that, at least for the purposes of today, I am actually twelve years old and the whole concept of a sperm bank is hysterical. I’m going to try to mention it as much as humanly possible.
The hospital is a fun little area, in part because it’s the most Resident Evil-esque part of the whole game. Like the early RE games, you have to spend time tracking down keys and fuses and other puzzle pieces so you can progress through the building, but unlike RE instead of being needlessly complex and annoying the hell out of you, in PE it takes like an hour and then you’re on to bigger and better things. Now I quite liked Resident Evil 2, but seriously, how many plugs and keys does one really need to look for in one game? Come to think of it, a true lock-picker (and not a crappy one like Jill) would pretty much be God in RE. “You think I need the fucking ROOK PLUG? Well, aren’t you misinformed, stupid police station.”
There is Nothing About This Situation That Sperm Would Not Improve
As the NYPD struggles to maintain some semblance of order after the attack of the previous day, Maeda finally starts pulling his weight by figuring out Eve’s next move. Reasoning that Eve can’t handle the stress that the mitochondria are putting on her body for much longer, she must be looking to give birth to a new being that can withstand it, as the previous incarnation of Eve tried to do in Japan. For some reason, Daniel knows that there’s a doctor who specializes in artificial insemination at St. Francis’ Hospital, so off our intrepid heroes go. Daniel stays behind to watch the station and play deputy police chief (he sticks to this plan for all of two hours), and Aya and Maeda head to the hospital. Apparently the plan is for Maeda to stand outside and look pitiful while Aya goes in to take care of business, so I kind of wonder why he bothered to come in the first place. You never know though, it’s possible he might be needed for SCIENCE! reasons.
Aya and Maeda in the car together without Daniel to act as a buffer to absorb the awkwardness; would be really funny if Aya would stop asking questions like this.
After some puzzle solving that isn’t worth going into in any great detail, Aya learns that she can take out the sperm bank by turning off the supply of liquid nitrogen that keeps the sperm frozen. I want more games where my objective is to take out the sperm bank. Stupid sperm, swimming around like they own the place… anyway, Aya keeps seeing apparitions of Maya, and possibly herself, throughout the hospital. She also finds some medical records that have been rummaged through, presumably by Eve, which include information on her mother and sister. Apparently the extended Brea family, critically injured from a car wreck, was admitted to the hospital on the same day as one Melissa Pearce, a.k.a. Opera Singer of Death. You just know there was some organ-swapping shenanigans going on there.
Eve messes with Aya by cutting the elevator cables above her, something I have been terribly afraid of for my entire life. I would say it traumatized me, except I don’t think I could have been made any more afraid of that particular scenario than I already was. Scariest part of the whole game.
Not Broken, Just Awesome
Gameplay-wise, there are some very interesting enemies in the hospital. All of them have projectile attacks, meaning that you have to do a helluva lot of dodging if you want to earn those bonus points. One particularly interesting enemy is the mixedman, a strange crab-like creature that shoots balls of rock at you out of one of its orifices (I’m not speculating on which one.)
The cool thing about mixedmen that I’m pretty sure 99% of the people that have played this game don’t know, is that they will not shoot at you indefinitely; after a certain amount, they will actually run out of balls. I’m not sure what the exact number is, but after about 10-15 minutes, they will just stop firing them. The benefits of this are twofold; one, if you defeat a mixedman after it’s run out, whatever item it was going to drop is upgraded to the next tier. Since mixedmen often drop Tools, this means you can get virtually unlimited Super Tools before even going into the Ex-Game. Furthermore, you earn a few bonus points for every ball you shoot, meaning you get loads of extra BP that you can then pour into your stats. I only bothered to do it once this time around, and I still got about 800 extra BP and a Super Tool. I think I’m going to use my bonus Super Tool to properly mod a machine gun, just because I can.
Unfortunately, Eve makes use of a sperm sample before Aya can stop her; you actually see the empty vial on the floor. See, if only the NYPD had a zero-tolerance policy on sperm banks, liquid nitrogen, and opera, this whole sad situation could have been avoided. It should be about prevention.
Boss Fight: Big Ol’ Spider, and Confusing Plot Revelations
I’m actually slightly confused about an aspect of the plot here, and I’m really not sure if that’s due to the writing, the translation, or my own misunderstanding. After defeating the Boss Du Jour, Eve and Aya have one of their disjointed little chats and confirm that Eve is, at least partially, Maya, Aya’s twin sister. The thing I don’t get is that no one seems to understand the significance of the fact that Maya was Aya’s TWIN* sister. Eve merely refers to her as “your sister”, and everyone else seems to gloss over the fact that Aya and Maya were identical.
I mention this because people still seem confused about the source of Aya’s powers throughout the rest of the game, and they even provide a different explanation at the end: that Aya had a cornea transplant from Maya at the time of the accident, which is why she too has Maya’s powers. But why should she need a transplant from Maya to have the same powers? Genetically, she already IS Maya. I guess I’ll never know.
*Actually, since writing the above I’ve realized that they never actually confirm that Maya and Aya are twins- I just assumed that they were since their child-character models were identical, but I don’t believe any dialogue in the game either confirms or denies it, so I might have been off-base with this criticism. If Aya is Maya’s non-identical sister, despite their character sprites, the plot of the game actually does make more sense. We now return to our regularly scheduled sperm bank mockery.
Eve, who has apparently decided that she’s tired of waiting for Aya to get her act together and join her on the crazy side, tries to kill her by crashing a jet into the roof of the hospital. Aya gets away, and apparently Daniel has materialized in the interim to save Maeda’s ass from the scary exploding hospital. They meet back at the station and hear new information gathered by the other policemen; apparently Eve and Klamp have been in cahoots for a long while, even back when Eve was still called Melissa and had better hair. I guess Melissa must have had a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on, because she seemed to maintain her original personality until the events at Carnegie Hall; if she was Eve before then, she didn’t know it.
Race Against the Womb
In a quaint touch, Daniel gives Aya and Maeda walkie-talkies so they all can keep tabs on each other. Walkie-Talkies? I know this game came out in ’98, but I’m pretty sure cell phones existed back in the 90s. Oh well. The group vows to find Eve before she can give birth to an ultimate being, and that’s it for Day Four. I guess it’s just as well that they don’t find her during the birth of the ultimate being, because that would just be awkward. Would they deliver it, then kill it? Or would they get so involved in the whole “breathe Eve, you can do it!” process that they would get too emotionally attached to the baby to kill it? Actually, I think Aya could probably just kill the thing without a second thought, chasing down mixedman balls for a half an hour has probably taken its toll on her limited supply of patience.
Next on Day Five: Why I never go to Chinatown, the dinosaurs in the Museum of Natural History come to life (go Eve!), and the most useless rocket launcher in gaming. Seriously, it’s worse than the knife in Resident Evil; at least the knife is a amusing in a masochistic, I-could-beat-the-game-with-this-but-I-think-I’d-rather-kill-myself sort of way.