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The Dark Id
Aug 13, 2005

Why
you
know
I
LOVE
THIS SHIT !!!!



”My god, what a crime... There's no toilet paper left." – Aya Brea, 2000

**********

The 3rd Birthday is a third person shooter crossed with a JRPG released by Square-Enix on March 29th, 2011 exclusively for the Sony Playstation Portable. If that description sounds vague, think… *groans deeply* Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. This is actually a sequel to the Parasite Eve games back on the original PlayStation. A series which managed to be a semi-real time combat strict JRPG, a Resident Evil clone, and now a full on third person shooter. It was originally announced as a mobile phone game for the Japanese market, before being expanded to a full PSP title. The Parasite Eve name was dropped from the title, since Square-Enix felt it was no longer marketable in the decade since the last game.

The 3rd Birthday was dubbed a “conceptual re-birth of Aya Brea’s character to reintroduce to the gaming community”. Which is fancy talk for a soft reboot. And the reimagining of the series protagonist is well… Have you ever played Metroid: Other M? You know Samus Aran’s lovely portrayal in that game? Yeah. She may as well be loving Ellen Ripley compared to Aya in The 3rd Birthday. It's incredibly bad!



If you’ve never played the earlier Parasite Eve games, don’t worry! I don’t think much of the writing staff did either. There are a handful of returning characters from the earlier games, outside of the core heroine, but they all may as well be in name only. And even Aya herself may as well be a completely different character. And the plots of those games are almost entirely inconsequential. I’ll probably be making allusions to Parasite Eve I & II, since I did like those games quite a bit. Unlike The 3rd Birthday.

I’ll get out in front and say I loving hate this game. This is probably the closest you could get to the spiritual successor to Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. Character designs are by our old friend Nomura, alongside the stiff stilted dialogue and directing like a Japanese soap opera really invoke that old late 00s Square-Enix feel. While at the same time having a plot that is a clusterfuck of poorly thought out ideas and plot holes, which actively shits on its predecessors in the same sort of way Chrono Cross’ plot pulled off. It’s a real goddamn mess! You don’t even know… It's a terrible idea that I'll probably regret. But here we are!

With that said, let’s begin…

The Dark Id fucked around with this message at 06:02 on Jul 5, 2016

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The Dark Id
Aug 13, 2005

Why
you
know
I
LOVE
THIS SHIT !!!!





Part I: A Series of Quickly Escalating Events
Part II: Meat Puppets



Part III: Optimal Loadout
Part IV: Flavor Text
Part V: An Encore Performance
Part VI: Feats of Strength
Part VII: Bernfried Rockel
Part VIII: Scaling Issues
Part IX: The World is Changing



Part X: Shower Mechanics
Part XI: Mixed Signals
Part XII: The Ol' Stinky Beans
Part XIII: The Queen of Spanish Harlem
Part XIV: HR Complaints
Part XV: Attack of the Buzzing Mess of Polygons
Part XVI: Unfortunate Series Continuity



Part XVII: Family Ties
Part XVIII: One Night in Neo Kobe
Part XIX: I Am Russo
Part XX: Skipping Steps



Part XXI: And Now For Something Entirely Different…
Part XXII: Maeda's House
Part XXIII: Mechanical Issues
Part XXIV: The Revisionist
Part XXV: Aya Brea Gets Nuked



Part XXVI: Science is Never Wrong
Part XXVII: Mudflaps, Meat Walls, and Bone Curtains
Part XXVIII: Berserker
Part XXIX: The Crooked Man



Part XXX: Aya Brea On Ice
Part XXXI: Flipping Out
Part XXXII: Parasite Eve
Part XXXIII: Sweet Dreams
Part XXXIV: The Third Birthday
Part XXXV: The Fourth Birthday



Datalog entries are additional information gathered in dry in-game text files. I've tried to make them interesting but... they're spruced up codex entries. There's only so much I can do. These entry summary updates were all made after the first update of their corresponding Episode.

Episode 1 Timeline: The Story So Far That Nobody Mentioned
Episode 1 Datalogs: Just the Facts, Ma’am
Episode 2 Datalogs: Fly Fishing Lore
Episode 3 Datalogs: Citation Needed
Episode 4 Datalogs: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Episode 5 Datalogs: Updated My Journal
Episode 6 Datalogs: Unlockable Email
The 3rd Birthday's Name Game

The Dark Id fucked around with this message at 14:48 on Jul 4, 2016

The Dark Id
Aug 13, 2005

Why
you
know
I
LOVE
THIS SHIT !!!!

Part I: A Series of Quickly Escalating Events



Welcome to Parasite Eve 3 The 3rd Birthday. We will find out what the hell that title means about fifty updates from now. It will be an incredibly dumb revelation. But much the same can be said about much of the proceedings before us. Okay most of the proceedings…



Almost all of it…

Before we begin, you may notice our old pal Tetsuya Nomura is doing character designs here. Despite the train wreck of fashion that usually entails, The 3rd Birthday’s character designs are remarkably restrained. Though, I don’t think Nomura actually worked on very much here. In 2010/2011, he still would have been busy with not finishing Kingdom Hearts 3 and not finishing Final Fantasy Versus XIII.


New Music: The Babel – Genesis




It’s worth mentioning, the director of The 3rd Birthday, Hajime Tabata, would go on to take over directing duties for Final Fantasy Versus XIII XV. Meanwhile, Nomura has been cast into the Phantom Zone until he finally finishes Kingdom Hearts 3.





We open on Manhattan, New York on Christmas Eve of 2012. This would place this exactly 15 years to the day after the events of the original Parasite Eve began. Manhattan really bounced back from the Mitochondria evolved mutant outbreak, the scores of people being roasted alive or turned into goo, Liberty Island being coated in exploding biomass, and a dozen naval vessels detonating in the harbor. I wonder how long it took to shovel all of that genetic sludge out of the Chrysler Building.





The holiday season brings a change of scenery, as office workers are out of their suits and in festive outfits...



What is it dear? Do you want to go home?
Is it so much to ask to spend one solitary afternoon with your mother?!



The television displaying the earlier weather forecast with the woman whose head was completely obscuring the state of New York ominously flickers off. I’m sure it’s just a careless last minute Christmas shopper tripping over a plug. Nothing to worry about.







C’mon now. In the grand scheme of terrible things that can potentially happen in Manhattan in fictional media, a blackout is fairly tame.





And how did people manage to immediately get into a traffic jam. I’ve been to Manhattan many times. Unless they mowed over a dozen people jaywalking during the red light, this is a highly unlikely occurrence. Especially in Times Square.





Alright. A building suddenly collapsing into the street is cause for worry. Manhattan in this universe already suffered a 100 ft. tall monster made out of the biomass of an audience in a Central Park amphitheater serving as the uterus for the birth of an evil space baby stomp around the city. What’s the worst that could happen here?





…Giant tentacles erupting from the ground. I err… Alright?





Time Square might be getting reamed by tentacles of unknown origin. But at least the rest of Midtown Manhattan seems no worse for the wea—





…Never mind.



Assorted news reports and other radio chatter begins playing over the scenes of destruction engulfing Manhattan. That borough just cannot catch a break.



While several hundred story tentacles are a new one in the grand scheme of hosed up things plaguing the Parasite Eve universe. It is worth mentioning that Resident Evil-esque mutants roaming the country were already a thing to the point the FBI had a division devoted to hunting down and killing ‘em. And also cyborg super soldier mutants. Parasite Eve is a weird series. But don’t worry about any of that, as that fact will never be brought up in The 3rd Birthday.







How would you describe what you are seeing here? Is it something along the lines of “Uhh… like a mass of tentacles and poo poo…? I dunno”? Well, I do hope you like that sort of design ethos as hard to describe poo poo with tentacles is The 3rd Birthday’s jam.



*shuffles around papers and clears throat*
*pauses for gravitas*
“…hosed.”









”Oh, for Christ sake! They just finished rebuilding that thing last fall. Thanks Obama!”
“The ocean!”
“Aaaaaah!”





Let’s be real here. What kind of jackasses go to visit the Statue of Liberty on Christmas Eve? You all had it coming.





And so we have the title card as the Statue of Liberty gets felt up by subterranean tentacles. Despite the lingering shot of Lady Liberty and several pieces of concept art featuring the severed head of the statue in the wreckage of Manhattan we… never see the statue again.



The official response from their offices say, and I quote: “Do you not see the crazy goddamn skyscraper sized tentacles engulfing the city?! No, it is not a loving earthquake! Jesus!” End quote.



Oh. Yeah, sure. The Babel. Let’s go with that. Why not? Nothing calls forth biblical allusions like writhing masses of tentacles of unusual height.





We now cut to blurry cellphone camera footage. How many iPhone revisions deep were they by 2011? You know what? Don’t answer that question. I don’t care.





That right there is a goldmine of ad revenue when this gets posted on YouTube, friend.









I don’t think cellphone cameras cut out to film static when the signal is interrupted. But, I feel like we should just embrace the inevitable future where media begins screwing up the technicalities of older technologies functions.



Welcome to Episode 0 of The 3rd Birthday. The game is broken up into seven episodes, counting this prologue and an epilogue episode. It’s like they were going for the Days in Parasite Eve 1 but couldn’t help themselves with narrative bloat. Each episode’s length varies from several hours to about 25 minutes.


New Music: Investigation of the Past






We now jump to a year following Manhattan getting uprooted. No, you shouldn’t know what organization CTI is an acronym for. Nor should you know what an Overdive Room entails.





A young woman gasps at the YouTube footage of that token black guy being the first to get smoked by low level Final Fantasy mutants.



Meet Aya Brea, the protagonist of The 3rd Birthday and the Parasite Eve series prior to it. If you think that’s an unusual name for a blonde haired, blue eyed white girl, that’s because Aya is supposed to be half-Japanese. So it’s okay for Japanese nerds to think she’s hot and Nomura to be really creepy sexual with her concept art in the games. Despite that not really being reflected much at all in the actual games. Well… until The 3rd Birthday.

Aya is also pushing 40, despite her youthful looks. That’s because the mitochondria in her body have de-aged her to keep her in top physical condition. She can also shoot fireballs with her mind and turn into a naked kung-fu angel. It's a long story... But don’t worry about any of that. This game certainly will not!



The game will be introducing the core cast here. Beyond Aya, everyone here is new. That is not to say there aren’t any returning characters from previous games. Though… you might wish they hadn’t bothered when you see some of their new incarnations.



Meeting the rest of the CTI team, we have Hyde Bohr. Dressed in a white suit and looking like Albert Wesker’s nerdy cousin. I’m sure he’s on the level. If this were a Metal Gear Solid support team, Hyde would be the Colonel Campbell.



Sir, my mission?
Rally with the National Guards and aid in the destruction of the Big Orb.
Yes, sir.
This is the proper noun, “Big Orb”. Correct?
That’s right. Capital B, Capital O. Big Orb.
I just wanted to be sure.




No soldier has seen the heart of the Babel and come back to tell his tale.
I… know I just flipped from a parenthood analogy to a soldier one. Err… on the battlefield, you have to be ready to adapt to the situation.



If you’re still wondering what “CTI” stands for, it is “Counter Twisted Investigation”. No, I’m not going to tell you what the hell that means. I’m not made of bloody answers! Thelonious here is a soldier man and knows combat stuff. Like Master Miller, but not secretly Aya’s evil British twin brother wearing sunglasses. Just a really stupid first name.



I didn't know you had a daughter.
For all you know, I don't.
I specifically didn’t use gendered pronouns for my vague, botched metaphor. I could have a son. Or the child could not exist. Or it could be my cat standing in for my...
Okay, okay. Got it. Back to work.



Reprogramming codes I can do, but you're the only one who can reprogram the past. Do it for all of us! Well? What do you say, Aya?

Oh yeah. By the way, this game heavily features time travel. Just a heads up for what kind of a narrative clusterfuck we’ll be wading into here.



Finally, we have Dr. Blank. Who would be the… Mei Ling, I suppose, of our support staff. I’d say Otacon. But there is another character later on that fits that niche. Even if that is rather insulting to poor Otacon… Dr. Blank does not have a first name, to make up for Cray’s pretentious rear end sounding naming. There’s a reason for that. But that’s an info dump for another day.



She doesn't need any more pressure. Is that understood?
*nods and walks off*



…which means technically you die. You need to stay on your toes at all times.
That’s right. If you die in the game, you die for real!

…That is not amusing.
:smith:


Right. Also throw away any of the pseudo-science fiction business the Parasite Eve games went for with even the faintest touching on reality. The soul is a tangible thing here and the device in this room can blast it back in time. Cuz why not?



*sigh* So, we're sending a rookie, huh? That's… comforting.



You can also forget that Aya Brea had been fighting horrible abominations for several years and was basically a professional monster slayer for the FBI the last time we saw her. She’s now a raw rookie in The 3rd Birthday. There’s a reason for that here. But, I’ll let the game explain it. Go ahead and guess the most cliché reason why our protagonist would have lost all her combat experience between games. You are probably correct.



The ever-expanding research budget, the overall safety of the planet - every last thing.
*glares*
But… umm… no pressure, Aya.








*deep breath*



Before you do, would you mind telling us what the hell is going on? I feel a bit lost here…







Are you sure it’s safe to be standing in front of this thing when she does this?
*shrug* I dunno.








Oh yes, as it turns out the soul is buck naked. Full on soul birthday suit. It’s a good thing the only person who can do it is an attractive woman who is eternally in her early 20s. This would be a far different game if the protagonist was say… the dumpy not-Danny Glover cop from the original Parasite Eve. Much… much different.





So, about the details of the Overdive. You see, a naked Aya Brea isn’t actually getting transported into the past. No… You see…









This game is actually anime Quantum Leap. Just with a lot more murdering. And not solving anyone’s problems and indeed making more problems if anything. Okay, maybe it's more like an anti-Quantum Leap. Honestly, the narrative/gameplay conceit in play is completely hosed up. But we'll get to that in due time.



Tune in next time and maybe we’ll get an inkling of what in the flying gently caress is going on in The 3rd Birthday. Spoilers: Nah. Not really. If anything, we’ll end up even more confused. gently caress this game.






Video: The 3rd Birthday Intro



Video: Part 1 Cutscenes
(Recommended Viewing)





Aya Brea Concept Art – If you are wondering why Aya is wearing jeans that look like they were shredded by an unruly dog, the answer is: This is what happens when you take excess belts and zippers away from Tetsuya Nomura.

The Dark Id fucked around with this message at 15:19 on Jun 20, 2016

Geostomp
Oct 22, 2008

Unite: MASH!!
~They've got the bad guys on the run!~

Back to insane anime biology nightmares. Just like old times.

busysignal
Nov 28, 2013


This game is amazing at stripping away just about everything good from the Parasite Eve series. At least the soundtrack's good, since they got back the composer of the first game.

Roman Reigns
Aug 23, 2007



I...I'm having a hard time with the quantum leap stuff.

MelvinBison
Nov 17, 2012

"Is this the ideal world that you envisioned?"
"I guess you could say that."



Pillbug

Based on Terminator rules of time travel, Aya should be glad that much of her pants came through.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Hahahaha yes it's back to the terrible games :allears:

Hargrimm
Sep 22, 2011

W A R R E N


TDI, did someone cast a hex on you requiring you to constantly be LPing bad games? I thought you'd need a long, long break after suffering through FFX's endgame.

Artix
Apr 26, 2010

He's finally back,
to kick some tail!
And this time,
he's goin' to jail!


Christ Id, why do you do this to yourself? You had earned that break after dealing with FFX's bullshit endgame!

Arist
Feb 13, 2012

who, me?




Oven Wrangler

Oh. Oh noooooooo.

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013

Mucho Mucho


Nap Ghost

This will be fun. For me.

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


Oh, no. Oh no, no. Oh God no.

Cirosan
Jan 3, 2012



I never know quite how to feel when I see a new DarkId LP thread pop up. Pity? Joy? Sympathy pain? I'll need a new liver by the time you're done if that third one is the case.

Accordion Man
Nov 7, 2012




Buglord

No Id, please no.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



I can't help but think that "combat data" is the answer to at least one of our questions.

Accordion Man
Nov 7, 2012




Buglord

Also this game is the textbook example of how Square can no longer write a female character to save their lives anymore.

Hold on to your butts everyone.

Hargrimm
Sep 22, 2011

W A R R E N


You're one who likes typos being pointed out so you can fix them before the archive, right? Hopefully.

The Dark Id posted:

We open on Manhattan, New York on Christmas Eve of 2012. This would place this exactly 15 years to the day after the events of the original Parasite Eve began. Manhattan really bounced back from the Mitochondria evolved mutant outbreak, the scores of people being roasted alive or turned into goo, Liberty Island being coated in exploding biomass, and dozen naval vessels detonating in the harbor. I wonder how long it took to shovel all of that genetic sludge and out of the Chrysler Building.

The Dark Id posted:



We now jump to a year following Manhattan getting uprooted. No, you shouldn’t know what organization CTI is an acronym for. Nor should you know what an Overdrive Room entails.

The Dark Id posted:

I specifically didn’t use gendered pronouns for my vague, botched metaphor. I could have a son. Or the child could not exist. Or it could be my cat standing on for my...

Llab
Dec 28, 2011

PEPSI FOR VG BABE


Ground floor on a game that Id actively hates. It's gonna be a good LP.

I haven't played any of the PE games besides a demo off of one of those discs everyone always got. I remember being a very confused kid playing it. Maybe now is a good time to see what they're like. Not this one, though. gently caress this game.

e: ^ the screenshot actually says Overdive room. Which is so stupid, it hurts my head.

venom3053000
Dec 29, 2013


I have the feeling am going be rereading previous parasite Lps so that my memories of these games are not forever tainted by this

NeruVolpi
Apr 23, 2016


Is it just me or Aya does look a hell lot like remake / Crisis Core Cloud?

Hargrimm
Sep 22, 2011

W A R R E N


Llab posted:

e: ^ the screenshot actually says Overdive room. Which is so stupid, it hurts my head.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



The Dark Id posted:



Meeting the rest of the CTI team, we have Hyde Bohr. Dressed in a white suit and looking like Albert Wesker’s nerdy cousin. I’m sure he’s on the level. If this were a Metal Gear Solid support team, Hyde would be the Colonel Campbell.

Also, that's clearly Hojo in a blonde wig.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Third Birthday, more like Turd Birthday amiright? :v:

It's been too long since you played something that sucked on every level- Limbo of the Lost was like 6 years ago, right?

Jack-Frost
Feb 26, 2016


But this game don't exist . How can you RP it?

gently caress you SE.

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


I have heard things about this game, but besides its reputation I know literally nothing about it. Still, Japan with biblical names and time travel don't exactly fill me with confidence. Come to think of it, Sonic 06 did that too :ohdear: -well, Mephistopheles was Goethe and Iblis is from the Qu'ran, but it's close enough for horseshoes.

For now my guesses about her rookie status are

1) a clone, hence "3rd Birthday" since she is only a few years old
2) they caught her clubbing (hence the clothes) and she is drunk out of her gourd. :v:

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.



This game :argh:

Aya's name is great in the first game where she kept remembering her sister named Maya, so you got dozens of subtitles like
"Aya: Maya..."
But at least you could rename the character then.

AradoBalanga
Jan 3, 2013



NeruVolpi posted:

Is it just me or Aya does look a hell lot like remake / Crisis Core Cloud?
Well, TDI did just say that Tetsuya Nomura was the character designer.

Blackunknown
Oct 18, 2013




Don't do this Id, there are less painful ways to kill yourself then this. I mean didn't you forbid all mention of this "Game" during your Drakengard 3 LP? Although I can honestly say I've been looking forward to this ever since you uploaded the Intro Video to your Youtube channel, I look forward to experiencing this trainwreck.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.



NeruVolpi posted:

Is it just me or Aya does look a hell lot like remake / Crisis Core Cloud?
Worse. In Japan T3B Aya and FF13 Lightning were voiced by the same actress. Bear that and appearance similarities in mind whenever the game strips her for reasons, like it did just now.

NullBlack
Oct 29, 2011

I'm as confused as you are.


The Dark Id posted:

Oh. Yeah, sure. The Babel. Let’s go with that. Why not? Nothing calls forth biblical illusions like writhing masses of tentacles of unusual height.
Allusions?

Rangpur
Dec 31, 2008



The Dark Id posted:

Thelonious here is a soldier man and knows combat stuff. Like Master Miller, but not secretly Aya’s evil British twin brother wearing sunglasses. Just a really stupid first name.


"Well gently caress you too, buddy."

Gensuki
Sep 2, 2011


So Dr. Blank is either a stormtrooper style clone, or she's a robot/android.

Aya has AMNESIA as the obvious bit, how she got it, I won't bother guessing.

Theolonius is gonna eat it, while protecting his daughter. Possibly betraying us in the process.

Ramc
May 4, 2008


Oh dear. I've heard thing about this game. Good luck.

YOTC
Nov 17, 2005
Damn stupid newbie

OH god... not this game. Godspeed.

grandalt
Feb 26, 2013

I didn't fight through two wars to rule
I fought for the future of the world

And the right to have hot tea whenever I wanted

May there be mercy on you, this game is terrible.

Woodbeam
Dec 30, 2012


SelenicMartian posted:

Worse. In Japan T3B Aya and FF13 Lightning were voiced by the same actress. Bear that and appearance similarities in mind whenever the game strips her for reasons, like it did just now.

Wasn't there some cross promotional content between this game and Dissidia too? I know Lightning had an Aya costume in Duodecim.

YOTC
Nov 17, 2005
Damn stupid newbie

Woodbeam posted:

Wasn't there some cross promotional content between this game and Dissidia too? I know Lightning had an Aya costume in Duodecim.

Spoilers but there was a lightning outfit for aya in 3rd birthday.

NeruVolpi
Apr 23, 2016


SelenicMartian posted:

Worse. In Japan T3B Aya and FF13 Lightning were voiced by the same actress. Bear that and appearance similarities in mind whenever the game strips her for reasons, like it did just now.

OMG She's ALSO voiced by Sakamoto Maaya?
Well... she kinda voices a lot o people...like Aerith...and Sherry Birkin in RE6...

Gonna have some trouble getting the
Aya = Cloud = Lightning = Sherry = Aya
Outta my head now

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rudecyrus
Nov 6, 2009

fuck you trolls



Wow. Only the prologue and I have no idea what's going on. I was a fan of the original Parasite Eve games, and I've heard this one take a big steaming dump on those. Can't wait!

As for why Aya's a rookie...amnesia seems like the most cliche reason, so let's go with that.

edit: I mean, the original games at least tried to stay tied to reality, even though the science was questionable at best. This is just straight-out fantasy poo poo.

rudecyrus fucked around with this message at 03:15 on Apr 29, 2016

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