Nomura On The 3rd Birthday’s Connection To Other Parasite Eve Games

By Spencer . October 27, 2010 . 4:02pm

image Is The 3rd Birthday a spin-off? Does it tie in with Parasite Eve at all? The short answer is no.


Tetsuya Nomura posted a longer answer on Twitter. While the past two Parasite Eve games had the mitochondria incident as a core story element, this game doesn’t have a connection to the mitochondria mutated crocodiles. Nomura asks fans to think of protagonist Aya Brea’s story as the core of the series.


Other than Aya, The 3rd Birthday has other familiar elements like the setting (it’s still in New York) and her twin sister Maya who makes an appearance in the PSP game.

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  • “Aya Brea’s story” as the core of the series?

    What, so now she lives an episodic life? One incident wasn’t enough? This is just another day in New York?

    • Happy Gamer

      Yeah I was in NYC this weekend, monsters everywhere…didn’t get to meet Aya among the mix tho :(

    • mach

      Or, you know, maybe the mitochondria incident is connected to a larger chain of events that revolve around Aya?

      But whatever. There was clearly some sort of licensing issue with the original Parasite Eve novel, which is probably why they can’t use the mitochondria element. Still, if licensing is restricting the story, I’d rather have a new PE game with a different story than no new game at all.

      • ShinNoKami

        Maybe this is a different “Arc”, so to speak? Just a guess.

  • I think that’s not quite the answer we’re expecting for(and wanted). >_>;

  • mach

    OMG. The new PE game isn’t exactly like all the old ones? Blasphemy! How dare they try to incorporate new ideas?! Nomura is a terrible director and he’s ruining Square! It’s his fault the company is abandoning its roots and not keeping pace with Western gaming advancements. I will only buy a Square-Enix game if it’s 100% identical to one they made in the 90’s, and only if it has modern gameplay features like a Bioware game. What do you mean those two are mutually exclusive? I require all my games to be new and innovative while also being totally unchanged from the way they were in 1999. That’s a completely reasonable thing to expect.

    • BOYLANmonk

      you have so many overused words and terms in your comment it’s boring

      • mach

        I know. I hate reading comments with words too. Guess picture books are more your pace, huh?

        • Hraesvelgr

          Haha, I lol’d.

        • Ereek

          Haha, I read that in Haskill’s voice.

        • BOYLANmonk

          no, i can read words just fine.

          you were trying to be funny but it didn’t work.

        • ThunderGod_Cid


        • Hey, forget you. Picture books are awesome.

    • karasuKumo

      If they were 100% like the ones in the 90’s it would be boring. The mistakes they have made will hopefully lead to improvements in the future. If only Square would listen to their true fans they could improve a bit faster. They have learnt that we enjoy exploration from XIII, and hopefully learnt that we don’t like our time limited and dislike copy and pasting from XIV.

  • MemeticRichard

    Why is this guy still allowed to make games again…?

    • Ereek

      Well, it’s a damn good thing (for you and the rest of the Nomura haters) that he’s not actually making this game, huh?I’m pretty sure the most he has is creative input and did the character designs. They’re attaching his name to it because it makes money.

      • thaKingRocka

        His creative input and character designs are exactly the things Nomura’s haters hate.

        • Ereek

          Nomura’s designs in the first Parasite Eve made the game and I would argue are easily his best work to date. Simple, yet effective, while also being stylish and realistic. PE2 doesn’t get the latter done as well, unfortunately.I’m not sure why it’s suddenly a bad thing that he’s doing PE’s character designs, because he’s been doing them from the get-go.It’s hard to say how much input Nomura has in this title. He’s certainly not involved in the development other than maybe the scenario and he’s not the director. I think people are placing too much blame on him for, well, everything he doesn’t need to be blamed for.Basically, all I’m getting out of posts like these is:Nomura’s in it! Everything I don’t like is his fault! Nomura is the only one making decisions about the game!

          • MemeticRichard

            I don’t care for him doing character designs… Hell, I like his artstyle, belts & zippers & all the little doohickies he loves.

            What I’m not so savvy about is the ridiculous amount of creative input he has. It’s like, the moment he takes interest in a project, or has a part in it, it horribly exceeds just *that* position. For example, the whole clothing thing in this game: It makes NO SENSE. She’s body hopping…it’s all in her mind. Yet, HER clothing takes damage…when she’s nekkid in some tube.

            …All because Nomura wanted to see her clothes tear.

            See, this is the sort of crap I’m talking about. It’s fine if he’s doing character art, or designing, or whatever. But the moment he oversteps his bounds and begins to change the nature of a project according to what he wants, that’s when Richard begins to get peeved.

          • Ereek

            …All because Nomura wanted to see her clothes tear.

            This is the the type of comment that sounds ridiculous, though. I understand the rest of your concerns, but what makes you think this was Nomura’s idea, or even his decision in the first place?

            If you wrote it as:
            …All because the developers wanted to see her clothes tear.

            It would be far more accurate.

            You blame him, yet the only real power he has over the design of this game is input here and there. You’re using Nomura as a scapegoat to place the blame on him when there’s actually very little blame to be placed. What if it wasn’t Nomura giving out this information? Would you still be blaming him? Nomura is giving the information because he’s well known. He has fans. Him telling players about the game makes his fans listen.

          • Tokyo Guy

            I don’t mind the clothing issue at all really, because it’s actually realistic. It’s about time that game designers start taking into account things like viable battle damage and such if they are so obsessed with making games realistic. It’s a bit odd to see this in a PSP game however, but IMHO it’s a good idea.

            Though yes, I have no doubt there is a large interest in catering to otaku who will drool over something like this.

          • MemeticRichard

            @Ereek: …Uh, dude, it was *his* decision because in like, three interviews, he made damn sure the readers knew that *he* was the one who crowbarred that concept into the game.

            I’m fairly certain that Siliconera, too, has quoted that one or twice.

          • Ereek

            I’m going to need a source on these claims you’re making. If you can find me adequate proof that it was he who “forced” these ideas into the game, I’m willing to believe you.

            But remember, game development is never done by one person. It is a group of people who make decisions. Even Kojima, who has a reputation for being stubborn about “his” work still has to listen and work with his development team.

          • MemeticRichard

            @Ereek: I don’t feel like it. =_= Just siff through the interviews on Andriasang and Siliconera. You’ll run into it.

        • MemeticRichard

          :/ I like his character designs.

          In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here: Luxord is one of my all-time favorite Square Enix characters in terms of appearances.

      • MemeticRichard

        I take offense to the term “Nomura hater.” I’m just a staunch critic. I loved the hell out of the original Kingdom Hearts, as well as Chain of Memories.But it seems like after he’s gained all this popularity and power, it’s completely gotten to his head and he’s lost his mojo. He’s like M. Night Shyamalan. His latest efforts are half-assed, his creative input is cringe-worthy, and every time he speaks or tries to build up hype, a baby dies.I’d love to just go along the line of thinking “I really wish he can bring out something with HEART, like his first two games. Something that he put his all into.” But I have to be realistic – it ain’t happening.Hence…why is this man still keeping his job? Guys like him, who put their own dicks ahead of industry demands is what’s killing Square Enix. Now, he’s not the only guilty one – if anything, Wada is just as much to blame for feeding the troll.

        You guys may like him, and you may like his games. That’s cool – everyone has their tastes. But in my book, he’s not getting off the hook. He needs to either reinvent himself, or get disappeared and find a new line of work. Maybe he should pursue becoming a mangaka like he always wanted? …Oh, wait… He even admitted himself that his ADHD prevented him from doing so.

        Well, shucks. Suddenly, the world’s mysteries snap together…

        • Aoshi00

          Yep, me too, I actually like his art and char. design quite much (FF7,8,10, &10-2, haven’t seen much of his art for 13, a pity), just not other stuffs that he does, when he directs a movie, you get nonsensical stuffs like Advent Children, all style and no substance (Versus looks kind of like that at the moment, will see…in another 2-3 yrs) I so agree he’s the M. Knight of S-E..S-E is definitely weird these days, they don’t make the best Jpn games, they don’t make the best Western games, they don’t make the best hybrid games, they don’t even have the best graphics, gameplay, or storytelling anymore, not sure whose fault is it, Wada, Nomura, fake Toriyama, or whoever… Why do other developers make better games in shorter amount of time than S-E these days? Because they’re all over the place and not doing one thing right.

          Frankly I don’t know whom I should attribute the fault to. Every time I think about there’s still no Versus or KH3, Nomura’s name just comes to my mind. And then you’ll hear him speaking about 10 different projects he’s so excited about..

        • Tokyo Guy

          You know Richard, I could not agree more. I’ve felt Nomura has been an overrated nobody since the release of Kingdom Hearts 2. It’s sad really, because back in 1997 I remember being absolutely enthralled at his involvement with Square games, and recall applauding his character art for Final Fantasy 7 and 8, and Parasite Eve. When the PS2 came out and he did the artwork for The Bouncer (if anyone even remembers that game) it was getting better and better. Then of course, Square gave him his own project, and Kingdom Hearts turned out to be fantastic. Kingdom Hearts 2, however, is IMHO where his talent started to derail. The game was so convoluted and bloated that to this day I don’t even understand the whole story (despite having played through it twice) nor do I even care. Then you have the constant stream of games rehashing the first game (the most recent being Re:Coded, of which has been out two weeks and stores are already slashing prices) which, despite being “new”, are still just whoring out the one quality product he made. Then you have things like Dissidia, which I don’t give a crap about and it’s astonishing to see all the news updates for it. Does anyone really care? Maybe I’m just too old now (28) but the whole “I can play as X” and such really doesn’t mean squat. Heck I don’t even care about Parasite Eve enough anymore to actively read the news stories and that was once one of my most favorite game series. As for Parasite Eve, I have mixed feelings about this. Considering that Square has drastically altered the series over the years (2 was radically different from the original), it doesn’t exactly bother me that this game has a different approach, but at the same time I think removing the science from the game is just plain lazy. Parasite Eve was written by an actual scientist and the book contains an astonishing amount of reference/explanatory notes about the content. The first game (which was only loosely based on the actual novel) brilliantly incorporated those elements into the scenario. The second game did away with it, but still managed to make it feel like a legitimate sequel. This game however, seems to be more like the absolutely horrid Dirge of Cerberus “shooter” and thus I am becoming a bit skeptical.As for your question of why Nomura isn’t replaced, it’s basically because he is the only real “talent” Square has right now. You could look at the “talent” who made (IMHO the awful) Final Fantasy 13, but then again they basically make FF games. So you need someone else who can guarantee sales from other games.

          I am hardly a “Nomura Hater” per se, and in fact started out defending him against people who lobbed insults at his artwork and lauded (the IMHO horrid) Yoshitaka Amano. But it’s time to face reality: Nomura is a one-trick pony who, not unlike Akira Toyriama, continues to redraw the same characters over and over again, but who is someone whom people gravitate to because he is the latest “it” person in gaming. In many ways he is like a Japanese Reggie Fils-Aime without the trash talking.

          Though it’s not just Nomura who has become overrated. I also feel Level 5, for example, has totally sold out. Whereas the company once released games few and far between, now it’s like every other month. That might be fine and indeed a (positive) result of financial success, but come on: how old is the Inazuma Soccer game series and HOW many installments are there? How old is the Layton series and HOW many installments are there? The company has become nothing more than another “Generic Cash Cow” akin to Capcom (see Rockman) or Namco (see Tales of “XXXX”) wherein it keeps rehashing the same game over and over with modifications but they continue to sell more and more copies because kids buy them.

          Alas this has begun to turn into a cynical assessment of the Japanese gaming market on the whole. It’s a same that companies like Platinum Games aren’t getting the success they deserve, because Vanquish was one of the best games I played all year, and indeed finished it twice no less (though it was criminally short).

          • ShinNoKami

            If it means anything, I remember The Bouncer! I remember it quite fondly, really!

            And come on. I rather like Yoshitaka Amano. >:
            XD To each his own, of course. I respect your opinion.

          • RupanIII

            While I respectfully disagree about Amano, I’m with you on Nomura. I really liked his early work. I mean, his art for FFVII is totally iconic. Your point about the character cameos in inferior spin-off games just not being enough to get you interested is one I quite agree with. With the processing power of today’s consoles you could bring the characters back in proper, full-fledged prequel/sequels with the gameplay and similar aesthetics of the originals (updated somewhat naturally). But it’s easier to shoehorn them into some trite spin-off, because you know all the fans will throw money at it because of character X. I honestly haven’t followed Nomura enough to guess how much he’s really responsible for this kind of laziness, and I think it’s more just how SE operates as a whole these days. But he’s also one of the most vocal people they’ve got, so it’s natural that he might become a symbol of their overall policies. I really don’t see how people raising some salient questions/critiques makes them into these heinous hater types. At least, I haven’t read anything all that vitriolic.

          • Joanna

            I have to disagree about Level 5. Sure they’ve got a bunch of Layton (which I frankly don’t mind if the stories and puzzles are all as good or better than the first game) and Inazuma, but they have many new I.P.s too: Little Battlers, Fantasy Life, Time Travelers, and Ni No Kuni. I would agree with you if they were only doing Layton and Inazuma, but they are actually trying new I.P.s as well. They need to continue making the sequels to popular games to sustain their growth and possibly recover faster in case a new I.P. falls flat on it’s face.And anyways, each company, big or small, seems to have at least one “core” franchise as it’s safety that will sell to maintain their business and I see nothing wrong with that. Atlus has the SMT and Persona brands, MMV has Harvest Moon, NIS has Disgaea, Gust has Atelier, etc.

            edit: Also, you can’t really blame a company when fans continue to buy a certain product and not new ones. You are really coming heavily down on the companies, and while I’m not saying companies are blameless, painting the them as these horrible inhuman entities that just want our money and will pump out the same filth over and over is wrong. Some of the blame lies with us, gamers, for not supporting new I.P.s when companies do take the risk and release an unknown name.

          • Tokyo Guy

            Well consider that Ni no Kuni, IIRC, isn’t even original IP. It’s basically Level 5 licensing out from someone else. And yes I realize it has many games and that it needs a lot of revenue to keep themselves in business, at the same time it has (as with Nintendo and Pokemon) totally sold out. I mean you can get Layton toys, candy, there are movies, etc. Is this good? Financially yes, but at the same time as companies become more successful with commercial exploitation, they often start changing their overall mentality and/or practices. Arguably Level 5 was “doomed” once they developed Dragon Quest 8…

            Also I don’t think that Nomura is responsible for Square’s problems. He no doubt has many ideas. The question is if SE is pushing him to endlessly rehash the old ones, or if he genuinely thinks that Re:Coded and such are actually genuine good ones. But yes, there are tons of people who choose to label anyone who doesn’t worship Nomura as a “hater.” Seems to me, however, the the very people complaining about Nomura are the ones who have been buying Square products since the Famicom era and thus have a better “perspective” as for how the company has changed.

    • mach

      Because lots of people enjoy them and they sell *extremely* well? I don’t like FPS games. Doesn’t mean I go around asking questions like, “Why is Bungie still allowed to make games again…?”

  • joesz

    nomura haters’s hatred will eventually disappear.

    • Aoshi00

      Maybe when we see FF13 VS in 2012 (and KH3 in 2015), and that is if it’s good :)

      • joesz

        But seriously do we have to wait one more year for the arrival of versus?

  • so basically. this is a prequel

  • Saddens me to see some of our better commenters subscribing to the blind Nomura hate. He’s not as much a developer as he is a “brand.” Judge him by the games he has an actual hand in developing.

    I also very highly doubt he wants to keep making Kingdom Hearts over and over again. Why do you think all the latest games have been outsourced to other teams and companies? KH is a franchise that sells well, and as long as it does, someone will be forced by Square management to make it.

    • MemeticRichard

      Actually, you hit the nail on the head for me – majority of my criticisms stem from the fact that he very much is a brand.As for keep on making KH games? I honestly don’t care lol. If he wants to make five hundred games in one year, then they at least had better be good. And facts are facts – nothing he’s directed so far has come even close to KH1 or CoM.And, as odd as it may sound, I’m almost convinced that Kingdom Hearts would probably be better off in someone else’s hands at this point. Someone like….Tatsuya Kando! :D

      See, *that* man is the kind of unrestrained talent that SE really needs to make more use from. The World Ends With You was easily Square’s single best game since they first released Chrono Trigger. Not letting a guy like him be more creative shows exactly what kind of company SE is, and what kind of person Nomura is.

    • karasuKumo

      I don’t understand the haters, I personally see him as an inspiration. He managed to go from a very basic designer to being the lead in projects and having his name on almost anything SE related. I don’t agree with some of the things he has done but I still respect him. I hate that SE has prioritized other titles over their FF titles but what some people fail to understand is that Nomura didn’t decide that and they instantly blame him.

      How can FFXIII VS take 4-5 years to develop? It’s the main reason I bought a PS3 instead of a 360 and I know so little about it :(.

  • Aiddon

    soooo, this is basically not a PE game but they’re trying desperately to brand it as one because they think people who liked the first two will buy it blindly because Aya is on the cover. Nomura, Aya’s story IS mitochondria, that was ALWAYS the source of her conflict and was even the source of conflict in the novel that spawned the series. PE without mitochondria that is like RE without BOWs of some sort, it’s the entire lynch-pin of the series. Maybe I should be surprised at his comments, but considering that he had NO creative input in the series beyond drawing its characters maybe his lack of really getting the point of the series is somewhat understandable. I don’t wanna bash him, but this kind of excuse is not going to cut it.

    Also, there’s no way in hell Maya could be in the game. Maya’s been dead since Aya was six.

    • Ereek

      I think he actually means Aya’s clone, from PE2. Spencer’s been mentioning her in the last few articles as “Aya’s sister.”

  • tubers

    I’d still buy this game if I ever had a PSP or at least watch the LPs in youtube. I am more interested on how the story will go. After playing PE2 and getting the true ending, I expect the next game to have Aya, Eve and Kyle in them and this game has it. I have already gotten over the licensing issue and it’s still officially a spin-off so I hope the PE purists wouldn’t bleed their hearts out.

    As for PE2 followed RE gameplay trend, I can’t find this game’s gameplay any surprising (We do have a bunch of TPS this current gen right?).

    So the author was referring to “Eve” and not “Maya” right? It would be awesome if this game had Maya too :)

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