Parasite Eve II is the follow-up to the first "cinematic RPG" by Squaresoft, Parasite Eve. The sequel features a completely overhauled battle system, as well as far greater variety of environments and enemies. Developed and published by Square in 2000, the game further explores the mystery behind mitochondrial evolution presented in the original game. An indirect sequel, titled The 3rd Birthday, was released on mobile phone platforms and the PSP in 2011.
The horrors of mutated mitochondria haven't ended for Aya Brea, as she discovers what happened in the aftermath of the original Parasite Eve. Seeing the horrific power of Melissa Pierce as Eve, the United States military has been busy studying the phenomenon and adapting it for their weapons program.
After the destruction of New York by the mitochondrial menace known as EVE in the original Parasite Eve, protagonist Aya Brea has left the New York Police Department to become an FBI operative. A special branch called M.I.S.T, the mitochondria investigation and suppression team, has been formed.
Brea is called to the Akropolis tower when reports of a mitochondrial infestation are reported. She is sent to rendezvous with a swat team, but arrives to find them slaughtered - she is now alone and armed only with her trademark pistol.
She discovers a new strain of creature from the first game, a Neomitochondrial creature which can take human form. One NMC, known as Golem No. 9, becomes the main antagonist. Wielding a machete, and wearing combat armor and a gas mask, he frequently cackles with maniacal laughter. No. 9 blows up the tower with explosives, and Brea escapes by helicopter with Rupert.
Taking a 70s sports car, Brea follows up this incident by investigating the Midwest town of Dryfield - a creepy, nondescript town consisting of a motel, a gas station, and a diner. She finds Dryfield riddled with NMCs. With the help of a gun-loving Midwesterner named Douglas and his dog Flint, she discovers the third area of the game, The Shelter.
The Shelter was originally an abandoned mine, but has military laboratories for genetic engineering hidden deep within. Brea learns that the NMCs were created by the United States military with her own DNA. Working with Kyle Madigan, a private investigator with a mission similar to her own, she finds the NEO-Ark, a showcase of creatures developed with the technology engineered from Brea's body.
Among the creatures created was Eve, a child cloned of Brea's DNA, making her Brea's daughter is a certain sense. Eve is kidnaped by No. 09, who has formed an entire army of NMC golems, who attack Brea. Escaping with the help of a platoon of Marines, Brea rushes to the final encounter.
No. 09 is trying to use eve with the technology of the Neo-Ark to resurrect the horror inflicted by Melissa Pierce in the first Parasite Eve. The United States military, acting on the orders of the president, attempts to destroy the evidence of their illicit weapons program. Firing on Dryfield from an orbital weapons platform, they attempt to destroy the NMC infestation. The floor cracks open, revealing a horrific giant monster that is several stories high. Eve's body has been absorbed partially into the creature. Brea defeats the monster, and escapes with her "child. " Hopefully, the horrors of the Neo-Ark have been destroyed.
The second game in the series departs somewhat dramatically from its predecessor in terms of the overall gameplay model. Parasite Eve II plays much more like an action game than an RPG, which is a fairly radical departure when compared side-by-side.
The RPG elements are intact in some form or another, as the health points and mitochondria points are used once again, but it is mostly the experience points that encourage RPG-style gameplay.
Perhaps the biggest departure from the original title is the removal of the ATB (Active Time Bar), thus eliminating the turn-based combat. The combat is now rendered completely in real-time, which allows more freedom for the player but also serves to alienate more ardent RPG fans.
The weapons and armor customization has been downgraded somewhat, but also expanded in scope to include many more options--just with much less depth. Ammo is practically unlimited, as nearly every area has a limitless supply available that mostly prevents gamers from getting backed against the wall against enemies.
Parasite Energy has returned, but has been specialized into more compartmentalized sections. Fire and Wind serve as Aya's offensive options, while the elements of Water and Earth compose what could be considered her defensive measures. There are a number of both old and new Parasite Energy skills, most of which are vital to completing the game.