In the year 1998, the evil mutant Eve sets her sight on world domination starting with the city of New York. All that stands in her way is our brave heroine Aya Brea, who alone has the power to put an end to Eve's evil plans. Can Aya make it through Eve's army, mostly general city wildlife (and dinosaurs), to save the world?
Best time: 2:25:17 by Adam 'puwexil' Dunn on 2011-07-19, done in 22 segments.
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RaneOfSoTN, Carcinogen, and Sir VG – for giving me advice and encouragement while I was working on adding this great game to the SDA library.
nfq – for doing the Parasite Eve TAS that I adapted much of my weapon progression from.
suarara – for posting Parasite Eve speed run videos on Youtube that helped me with a few parts of my route (most notably skipping chasing Klamp at the start of the Museum).
Flip, nate, Mike Uyama, and Breakdown – for all the countless things they do for the SDA site and community.
Last but not least, all of my other great friends in the SDA community (Essentia, MercuryZelda, PJ, UltraJMan, Lag.Com, Emptyeye, and many others). You all make gaming the social and fun experience that it should be!
Now, on with the run comments!
- First and foremost, Parasite Eve is a VERY random game. Aya starts battles with a random amount of ATB, which over time can add/subtract minutes from a speed run, several treasure chests have randomized contents, many enemies/bosses have randomness in their AI patterns, some battles are encountered randomly or include randomized enemy formations, and several battles depend on critical hits in order to optimize. Because of this randomness, I segment as often as possible without having to detour to save, and in a few cases accepted a few seconds lost due to execution errors like menu input mistakes or issues finding hotpots, if RNG-luck had meant many times over that in time savings.
- Analog Switching – when played with a DualShock controller, this game does not support simultaneous use of the d-pad and analog sticks (my theory is that DualShock support was added midway through Parasite Eve’s development cycle, and had to be rushed to not delay release of the game). Because of this, I use the Analog button on my DualShock2 controller to switch back and forth between analog/d-pad controls depending on which is more useful at the time (generally analog for field movement and d-pad for battles & menu work); and I make most of the switches during battle transitions and during load times between rooms.
- As with many late 90’s PlayStation games, cutscenes are unskippable
- Battle hotspots are almost all fixed the first time Aya enters a room (the only exception I found was the Chinatown Sewers); and then get replaced with a random battle hotspot on subsequent visits to the same room.
- Running away from battles is mostly useless, as Aya automatically moves back to the entrance to the room, and the hotspot for starting the battle gets reset. Random battles can be run from (which will reset the battle hotspot and give you another chance to avoid it), though since this is a segmented run I use resets to avoid the random battles when I have to backtrack through previously cleared rooms.
- Saving and loading the game will vastly increase the odds of getting a random encounter when backtracking through a room previously visited before the save/load, so in order to avoid random battles in the small number of cases where I have to backtrack through rooms cleared on a previous segment, I do additional steps to manipulate the RNG like leaving/reentering the room and/or moving inconsistently.
- I get a machine gun at my first opportunity at the start of Day 3, and use that weapon family for the rest of the game due to their high rate of fire and good ATB recharge rate. I put the x2 Shot ability onto both of my machine guns in order to deal more damage in fewer shots (the game divides weapon power between shots, so fewer shots equals more efficient battles – the game mechanics guide at http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/198265-parasite-eve/faqs/50263 provides an excellent overview of the damage/ATB mechanics).
- I use the Micro UZ machine gun for most of the run due to its 4 ability slots, none of which require Wayne modding to unlock.
- Weapons will auto-reload without a reloading animation if Aya ends a turn with 0 shots left, so I manipulate the number of shots each battle takes as much as possible to avoid mid-battle reloads.
- I use the Cm Vest family of armor throughout the game for their Auto-Heal ability, which allows me to use tanking strats for certain battles without having to spend time using medicine or waste PE on healing.
- Weapon critical hit rates are heavily affected by Aya's distance from her target, so I generally get as close as I can to an enemy before attacking (even if that means taking a second or two after my ATB bar is full to move closer, or risk taking contact damage from the enemy).
- PE Haste is extremely useful due to both speeding up Aya's movement and increasing ATB recovery for about 4 turns, so I use it on many battles that last long enough to justify using a turn for Haste (generally 3 turns or longer).
- Dying or soft resetting during a battle and then reloading will sometimes cause the music to pick up where it left off when the battle started, instead of restarting the track at the beginning.
- The worst foe lies within the self...
Day 1 - Resonance (Segments 1-3)
- Normally when recording I don't skip title screen animations (for my first segment at least); but in Parasite Eve the in-game timer starts as soon as the title screen loads and not when you select New Game.
- I use Club 1 for most of the battles in Day 1 in order to conserve ammo for the frogs and crocodile.
- I was originally planning to do Day 1 in 2 segments due to the minor detour required to save in the dressing room; but after getting TAS-caliber luck on Eve I and winning in 4 turns instead of the usual 6, I decided to add the extra segment.
- I use an aggressive strategy against Eve II in order to set it up so that I hit Eve right when she starts charging her lasers (despite the risk of her using her claw attack instead), which will allow for another hit before she moves.
- I switch to the M84F handgun before the first frog battle due to the randomness in fighting frogs with a club (their jumping pattern is randomized and their hitbox is centered around their mouth, making it difficult to land hits if they’re facing away from Aya).
- I pick up the Offense Up in order to save a turn on each phase of the crocodile. If I ever redo this run I’ll also detour to pick up the 2nd Off Up in the sewers, and reset until at least one of them is an Off Up +2 (having 2 more attack power would make a big difference in Day 2).
Day 2 - Fusion (Segments 4-7)
- I pick up Cm Vest 1 for the Auto-Heal ability, but hold all armor stat boosting items until I get the Cm Vest 2 in Day 3 (so that I won't need to use a Tool to transfer the stats from Cm Vest 1 to Cm Vest 2).
- At my stats, most of the enemies in Central Park require critical hits in order to beat in 1 (birds, after leveling up) or 2 (apes/plants) shots, so I was OK with taking damage from being too close to enemies as long as I got a lot of crits.
- The minor audio slowdown for a few seconds of segment 6 was due to a capture glitch.
- The final phase of the giant worms battle can be skipped if the last 2 worms are beaten while they're both on-screen at the same time. Though the worms follow a fixed pattern, they can start to drift apart after a few cycles, so luck is required to be able to place final shots into both worms together.
- I manipulate Eve III by standing near her to mostly user her claws rather than her laser - though the laser is much easier to avoid, it makes the battle take longer due to having to wait for Eve to descend and become targetable.
Day 3 - Selection (Segments 8-9)
- Entering both the pharmacy and gun shop is required to activate the hotspot on Daniel's car and leave SoHo, so I just enter and leave the pharmacy.
- I pick up Club 2 at the gun shop as my route was originally going to use it to steal some Tools in Day 4. I ended up changing my route to skip some minor weapon mods, and didn't see a need to redo Day 3 to save probably 3 seconds spent picking up Club 2 and dropping off Club 1.
- Attacking Sheeva while he's pausing between attacks/moves usually results in his next attack being his unavoidable shockwave, though it's not guaranteed.
- Ideally Sheeva would be beaten without him using his healing move (each heal adds roughly 1 turn to the battle), though with how much good machine gun targeting luck I got on the previous battles, and with Sheeva not using his shockwave, 2 heals was a reasonable tradeoff.
Day 4 - Conception (Segments 10-14)
- The chest containing the Micro UZ in the hospital basement is randomized and may contain a much weaker weapon instead.
- Mixed-men are probably the most obnoxious regular enemy in the game (followed closely by the bats in Day 5), due to their spawning of bombs that count as separate targets - bad enough machine gun targeting luck can make those battles last way too long.
- Avoiding the giant spider's claw attacks without PE Haste (which I don't have yet due to skipping all random battles up through then) is more trouble than it's worth(to ensure no damage I'd have to keep Aya far enough away that I wouldn't get many crits), so I just heal up beforehand and use tanking strats.
Day 5 - Evolution (Segments 15-21)
- I detour into the warehouse to add the "1st" ability to my weapon, which gives a chance of starting battles with a full ATB bar.
- The "Burst" ability I acquire in the Chinatown sewers overwrites the "Random" ability the Micro UZ (and most other machine guns) starts with, vastly increasing my damage output against groups of enemies.
- Many of the fixed battles in Day 5 have randomized enemies - getting a frog instead of the usual 2 bats in the narrow North-South sewer tunnel was a lucky break.
- Using the d-pad to moving on the catwalk in the sewer pump room is quite awkward; but I do it so that I can use PE Energy Shot against the bat as soon as my ATB bar is full (unless the bat move far enough forward that Aya can run under it before it attacks, which it didn't do this time).
- For the giant centipede, I use Haste at the start of the battle to help with dodging the first acid shower (attacking with my first turn means an almost certain acid hit), then I stick to the side of its head where its bites and lightning can't hit Aya (took a hit due to reloading, though it counted as contact damage rather than an actual bite).
- For the 2nd phase, I Energy Shot the tail segment in order to maximize damage while still being able to kill one of the pieces before they attack (Energy Shot plus 1 bullet will kill the tail segment, whereas Energy Shotting a body segment will waste about 50 damage due to their low HP, and the Head's HP is too high to be able to kill it before the first attack). After 2 pieces are down, I just tank the last 2 so I don't have to spend time running away to dodge their attacks, or spend a turn using PE Haste.
- The segments' movement during the 2nd phase is randomized - some of their patterns for switching places with each other allow Aya to hit multiple segments in one shot with the Burst ability while they're airborne, but they didn't do it this time.
- I pick up all ammo drops in the museum to ensure I'll have enough ammo for the final battles without having to detour for many ammo chests.
- Chasing Klamp through the west wing of the museum is unnecessary, and skipping it will also remove the fixed battle from the rainforest exhibit room.
- The giant scorpion is quite dangerous due to the small battle area, the massive hitbox of its tail attack, and its high rate of attack; so I use PE Haste to catch it in an AI loop and then finish it with PE Energy Shot.
- I reenter the security office after leaving in order to manipulate RNG and remove 2 of the random battles in the following rooms. I need to fight 1 random battle in the museum in order to reach level 33 and learn PE Liberate by the end of Day 5, so I refight the armadillo/pterodactyl.
- The triceratops' lightning patterns are random, though many of them can be dodged by staying to the right of its head (or to the triceratops' left).
- Got extremely lucky in getting the rare Offense +2 drop from the triceratops instead of the usual Ammo +6.
- The tyrannosaurus' fire breath can be avoided by staying to its left. The meteors are random, though staying close to the tyrannosaurus' body gives probably the best chances of avoiding them. The hitbox for the bite attack is much larger than it looks, and is still there even while the t-rex is pulling back.
- The "Double" ability I get from the M8000 dropped by the tyrannosaurus quite literally doubles Aya's damage output due to getting twice as many shots without lowering the damage per shot like the x3 Shot and x5 Shot abilities do, or allows for both attacking and using PE Haste.
- The lobby elevator button is an extremely finicky hotspot, so I use the fact that it sometimes takes a few seconds to find it to manipulate RNG for avoiding the 2 random battles backtracking to the triceratops' room. This is also why I leave/reenter the 2nd floor exhibit room twice.
- The different sound effect Aya's gun makes in the last museum battle is due to an glitch in the game that occasionally changes sound effects in battle - for a much more humorous instance of this glitch check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngzK1YoUsVo
- Eve IV can be manipulated easily by moving Aya slightly towards her before you make your first attack (otherwise, she'll use a different pattern that includes her spinning + energy waves that's extremely difficult to avoid) - after her first leg attack she'll use either her grab or beam shower depending on how close Aya is. I use PE Haste during the beam shower so that I can more easily dodge grabs (if I use Haste at the start of the battle, it will usually run out before her last grab).
- For Eve IV's 2nd form, I use PE Liberate to deal most of my damage so that I don't have to deal with her fast and random movement.
Day 6 - Liberation (Segment 22)
- Beating U.B. I before it uses its unavoidable explosion attack is pure luck, depending on how many crits I get.
- U.B. II normally separates from its wings after it's taken about 800 damage and becomes much faster, but it won't do so if it's in the middle of an attack (ideally the dual laser attack, which takes longer and is much easier to avoid than the energy orbs), so I exploit that to deal extra turns worth of extra damage before the separation. Sometimes I've been able to kill the wings with the Burst effect during my first turn afterwards, but it didn't happen this time.
- Against U.B. III, getting full damage with my first attack is only possible if the U.B. moves towards Aya instead of away (have to use PE Haste within a few seconds of the start if I want to dodge its charge attack). It moved away this time, but I was still able to win in 7 turns thanks to crits.
- U.B. IV and the final chase are no different from a regular playthrough.
I could probably improve this run by a few minutes through grinding for an Offence Up +2 in Day 1 (to speed up a few battles in Day 2), using a more complex Day 5 weapon progression that includes Super Tools (so that Random can be added to my machine gun in order to get more shots off against the bosses, then switched back to Burst for Eve IV and the U.B.), and having faster/cleaner menu work; but overall I'm quite satisfied with beating the Ultima Garden time attack by 20 minutes and coming in 17 minutes behind the TAS.
Thanks for watching! If you have any questions about this run or Parasite Eve in general, feel free to contact me through any of the following:
SDA forum: http://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/profile/puwexil.html
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