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Aya Continues Efforts for News Trifecta
10.30.2007

KATIE CRANDALL
NEWS REPORTER


Square Enix

More information has been released concerning the upcoming mobile-only installation of Square Enix's Parasite Eve series, The Third Birthday. Five of the major participants on the project have been named, and they are all have other notable titles under their belts.

Yoshinori Kitase, of Chrono Trigger fame, has been named executive producer. Tetsuya Nomura, who worked on the original Parasite Eve and is also working on all three of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy XIII games, is creative producer and is in charge of concept design. Three other FFXIII staff members are contributing to The Third Birthday: the director, Hajime Tabata; scenario director, Motomu Toriyama; and art director, Isamu Kamikokuryo.

In a recent Famitsu interview, the team shed some light on several aspects of the game, including plot details. Recalling the first installment of the series, Birthday takes place on Christmas Eve, with Aya responding to a call at CTI: New York headquarters concerning monster attacks occurring across Manhattan. The creatures are mysteriously called Twisted, and they are said to come from another time via a contortion. Toriyama explains that Aya still appears to be in her 20s because of her mutated mitochondria, (as in Parasite Eve 2), but she is actually chronologically in her mid-30s. He states that "it's rare to be able to focus on a girl in her mid 30s in a game, so [the producers] are taking the opportunity to properly depict the thinking and lifestyle of a cool woman."

Birthday, according to Nomura, will continue in the series' tradition as a "cinematic RPG." He explains, I wanted to do something like a television drama. I wanted to show real suspense in a game, the feeling of really wanting to know what happens next." However, the producers are quick to note that the game is not an official sequel, which is why "Parasite Eve" is not in the game's title. Nomura adds that it is called "The Third Birthday" because this is the third time that the player sees Aya as a character, and that the design of the game is completely different from the first two installments.

What has not been released, however, are specific details concerning gameplay. Nomura does allude to an "overdrive" system for Aya, similar to Limit Breaks, that he says will play an important role with not only the battle system but also the storyline. He also adds that the system was tailored specifically with Aya in mind.

Though The Third Birthday does not have an official release date yet, Nomura says that a beta version will be released next year. He also adds to expect a "huge surprise" to be announced with the next game update, but doesn't say when that will occur.



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