I’ve always been a fan of the “Your home base is now infested with monsters” event. Familiar territory becomes exciting again, and as an added bonus, for once you know where the hell you’re going. When they say “Ben is upstairs”, you already know where the upstairs staircase is! Sweet.
Aya and Co. arrive at the station to find the place looking as though it were hit by a hurricane. They speculate that this is probably somehow Eve-related, and Aya suggests going off on her own to check things out. Daniel refuses and runs off, because Ben is in the station. Lucky for him, Eve actually isn’t there this time, so no one is spontaneously combusting, otherwise that would have been the last stupid decision he ever made.
Aya heads into the station to investigate, but not before Maeda gives her a useless good luck charm that will sit in your inventory until you dump it into storage. He will do this twice more before the end of the game. There is actually a reason for this– the charm is meant to keep a space in your inventory open so it can be replaced with a clip full of special bullets at the very end of the game. However, the burden on your already strained inventory is unwelcome. Maybe the developers thought that Maeda was just too likable?
Inside, lots of the regular characters are injured but still alive. A few nameless uniformed officers have died, however (redshirts!) But alas, there is an actual death: Torres, the older man who runs the weapons department. A giant, mutated dog from the Kennel burst into the room, and Torres was mauled to death. Apparently Torres was actually armed, but didn’t use his gun on the monster because he’s hated guns ever since his daughter died from a handgun accidentally going off. According to Wayne, the whole reason Torres took the job in the weapons department in the first place was to try to keep guns OUT of people’s hands, which explains his reluctance to give Aya a gun early in the game.
It may seem stupid that Torres didn’t shoot when his life was in danger, but I’ve seen so many people demonize guns– as though the gun itself is somehow sitting in a room, petting a white cat and planning to kill people– that it rings true for me. At least in America, the whole dialogue involving guns is so messed up that everyone on both sides is made to sound like an idiot about 99% of the time: on the left, they tend to go on and on about the few children each year who die in gun-related accidents (know how many kids die annually in cars? Do you have ANY IDEA?), and on the right they drone on endlessly about the second Amendment– as if everything we ever do in this country should be dictated by a bunch of dudes who lived 200 years ago, because clearly they were omniscient.
Don’t get me wrong, there are real issues there and difficult moral choices to be made, but I can count on the fingers of one hand the times in my life that I’ve ever heard someone address them directly and not the layer of bullshit surrounding them. It’s not my intention to get on a soapbox and try to change anyone’s mind from whatever their current opinion on the subject is, the point is that the fact that PE deals with this issue in such a sensible way is like a breath of fresh air– not because it’s brilliant or anything, but because the bar has been set so low for this subject.
With the spiders constantly trapping you in their webs, this fight really should be pretty annoying, but somehow I just dig running around the police station so much I don’t really mind. Besides, when in doubt, there’s always Energy Shot….
Anyway, Torres’ body is dealt with off-camera, and Wayne (who is now in charge of the weapons department by default) gives Aya the M9-2, Torres’ gun. Now, it would be really cool, and a nice farewell to the character, if Torres’ gun was a kick-ass weapon that would cause you to trash Aya’s rifle immediately, and take to the hallways of the station eliminating mutant dogs with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the M9-2 kind of sucks. It has more customization slots than any other weapon in the game, but the only time that would matter is late in the EX-game, by which point you’ve sunk so much time into the game that Aya’s nearly invincible anyway. And it’s base stats are super- low. Oh well.
Meanwhile, Sheeva, the police dog who has been keeping Ben company all this time, is starting to feel the effects of mutation that has already transformed all of the other dogs into hulking monsters. I think the implication is that Sheeva holds off the change longer than all of the other dogs because she’s trying to protect Ben for as long as she can. Awwwwwww. Ben has run off after her, and all of the wounded officers implore Aya to go after Ben before he gets himself killed. Awwwwww.
Aya has to fight her way upstairs and through the second floor of the police station, taking down mutated rats, crows, spiders, and giant dogs, in order to get to Ben. Somewhere around this point, something wonderful happens: Aya learns Energy Shot, her first offensive power. This means that she can now channel all of her Parasite Energy into a bullet and shoot it for tons of extra damage, all the while generating a cool glowing effect.
To be honest, I’m not sure how useful this really is overall since a properly-leveled Aya with a properly upgraded gun can get along just fine without using any spells, but it looks really cool, and frankly that’s all that matters. I then proceed to pummel everything in sight with Energy Shot for no good reason– pathetically inefficient, but one hell of a good time.
Ben catches up to Sheeva in an unused room on the second floor, and tries to hug her. Police Chief Baker (remember him?) picks Ben up and carries him away, putting himself between Ben and Sheeva. Sheeva then bows to the inevitable and changes into a horrific three-headed beast. Baker tries to hold her off with a handgun, but quickly runs out of ammo. Ben screams; clearly they need some serious rescuing. Aya had better get there as soon as possible!
Except, I now take this time to backtrack through the police station and use the new keys I’ve found on the second floor to get more guns and things. I mean, sure I care about Ben, but he’s a tough little bugger. And Baker’s huge, so chances are Sheeva will be full for a while after eating him anyway. Besides, Aya has a moral responsibility to upgrade her weapons before facing the boss, I mean what kind of an example would it be setting to get there on time but with a crappy gun? We have to set an example for Ben.
Clearly I’m the only one here thinking of the children.
Boss Fight: Kerberos
This is the hardest fight so far, not for me because I’m a Parasite Eve Super-Pimp by this point, but in general. Kerberos has several different attacks, and there just isn’t enough space to avoid all of them. No matter what you do in this fight, you’re going to be taking a lot of damage. Kerberos has three heads, and I believe disposing of them in a certain order has some effect on her weaknesses, but frankly I’ve never bothered to experiment with that and just killed her the old-fashioned way.
Oh, you call that an energy attack? Please allow me to provide you with a brief, yet effective, educational course on that subject; you have been misinformed.
I would love to be able to regale you with interesting anecdotes from this boss fight, but frankly I just shot her in the head(s) a whole bunch of times with Energy Shot while giggling to myself, and then it was over. Sheeva would have wanted it that way, maybe.
After disposing of Sheeva, Aya learns confuse (the status spells are just there to mock you, I swear), and Daniel bursts in– quite a gift for avoiding actual combat, that one. It must be a family trait. Daniel thanks Baker for protecting Ben until Aya could get there, and the injured Baker asks Daniel to stop treating him so formally, and reminisces a bit about their past together. I like the fact that they show that Baker is actually a decent guy before all intents and purposes writing him out of the game; Daniel is now the de facto police chief. That will go about as well as you would expect.
Later, Ben asks Aya if she’s going to stop the person who hurt Sheeva, and Aya says that she will; it seems like she isn’t just answering Ben, but that she’s admitting to herself that she’s chosen her path. She’s done worrying about herself, what she is and what she may or may not be capable of, and is ready to focus all of her energy on taking Eve down.
Next Time: Everyone figures out what Eve was trying to distract them from with the half-assed attack on the police department, and Aya must stop Eve from getting a bunch of frozen sperm. I don’t even know where to START with that, everyone make up your own jokes.