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Gaming Rituals: New Year's Parasite Eve

I have always admired gamers who have their own distinct gaming traditions or even rituals. Alas, I haven't established any gaming traditions, but I have always wanted one. Fortunately I happen to know a person who does have his own gaming ritual and he gladly agreed to share it with me. I present to you my friend translater and his gaming ritual.

Illustration for article titled Gaming Rituals: New Years Parasite Eve

Hello internet! Quick question for everyone: Do you have any nerdy traditions?

Because if you do, you will absolutely appreciate mine :3

My tradition is simple yet amazing. Every New Year's Eve night I play through Parasite Eve 1 on PSone. If you read up to this point, I can assume that you're somewhat familiar with this fairly great action-RPG about NYC cops and mitochondrian madness. Parasite Eve is one of my favourite games of all time (Top 10 - easily). I bought it - hella bootleged version - in year 2000 and totally fell in love, first with Aya Brea, then with the rest of the game. Of course, my first 5-7 playthroughs weren't on New Year's Eve, I treated this game just like MGS, Xenogears and several other favourites at that time. Just played it whenever I felt like it. The idea of playing Parasite Eve once a year - every January 1st - came to me after I done this the first time, on January 1st, 2001. During the previous New Year's Eve nights I played some random games (can't even say which ones), but my first Parasite Eve night marathon had been so good, that I decided to turn it into - you guessed it - a nerdy tradition.


OK, some might ask: "Why the hell aren't you partying hard? It's a holiday for God's sake!"

The answer is: "I ALWAYS celebrate New Year's Eve with my family at home." Friends, parties and hookers happen on random days during the rest of the year. XD


However, the most interesting question is: "Why Parasite Eve of all games?"

Aside from it being one of my favs, there are several reasons why this game has such good chemistry with New Year's Eve night.

  1. The game takes place during Christmas! Yes, technically Christmas isn't New Year's Eve, but it's VERY close. I mean come on - it's basically the same holiday, just the dates are different. If I were American, I would've played it on Christmas, for sure.
  2. This game is atmospheric! First and foremost, this is a horror game. But it has a very different vibe compared to other horror games. A little less scary, but more mysterious and enigmatic. Descending to Carnegie Hall sewers right after the monster outbreak, exploring deserted American Museum of Natural History, talking to journalists at your busy police station... Also, the game's brilliant soundtrack by Yoko Shimomura contributes a lot. I mean A LOT!
  3. Perfect length of the game! 6-10 hours, depending on exploration rate. Very short by JRPG standards, but hella convenient in terms of finishing in one night.

So there you have it! Parasite Eve - an integral part of my holiday. And the interesting thing is: by following this tradition I am slowly maxing out my weapon/armour stats. While other games require 2 or 3 playthroughs to fully upgrade your gear, this game requires around 20 (!!!) New Game+ playthroughs to bring all stats to 999 points. Of course it's not really necessary, there is no in-game reward for this, but come on! I'm playing it yearly anyway, might as well kill two birds with one stone.

At this point I have almost forgotten how hard it was to beat this game the first time. Heads-up for anyone who wants to try: the last two bosses are BRUTALLY HARD! But after 3 or so playthroughs you'll upgrade your gear enough to make PE a walk in a park (on 2nd chapter - literally). But I don't need any challenge from this game anymore. Immersion is all that matters here!
And don't forget that every good tradition must have some restrictions to it. To make it more interesting. Mines are:

  1. I must start my playthrough within the first 4 hours of a new year, and finish it (watch credits) before Jan 2nd. There were several years when I went to bed in the middle of my playthroughs and finished the game during the day - it's acceptable, but not recommended. Getting good sleep the day before the holiday is a key to success.
  2. Only PSone. No emulators or downloadable versions. BTW, I purchased Parasite Eve on PSN a couple of years ago, just to support developers (or whoever took my money XD). Haven't played it for the obvious reasons.
  3. Only small "kitchen" CRT TV. Giving my fancy-ass living room TV a break for a day!
  4. I must drink Coca-Cola during the playthrough. I'm addicted to this thing, basically. Dear reader! Please consider sending me a bottle or two for my hard work on this article :3
  5. No internet browsing that night. Keeping it as old-school as possible.

Under no circumstances must I break these five rules.
However, there are some liberties that can be applied. For example, even though this is quite a personal expirience, other people are allowed to join the party. Ten years ago my brother was at my place during the holidays, and he watched the whole playthrough. Or a random parent waking up and going to the kitchen (where i always play this) to quench thirst.
Another fun fact - I can play Parasite Eve freely on any other day of the year. Rules don't forbid that. My intended raid to The Chrysler Building and killing the secret boss there will happen on some ordinary day, I'm sure. But until then (and after that) PE is as important for New Yers's Eve as New Year's Tree.


So, that's one hell of a holiday tradition, isn't it?!

My regards to everyone who made this superb game; also to Father Frost, Santa Claus, Xmas trees and everyone who reads this!!!


Yours faithfully, Alexander "translater" Alexeev

P.S. Oh, did I mention that Aya Brea is my waifu?! I'm a nerd after all. Must correspond XD


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