The 3rd Birthday

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Our heroine, Aya Brea, is having one of those days... again.

The 3rd Birthday is the third game in the Parasite Eve series.

It was originally announced for Japanese cellphones but has since been changed to a PSP game; it got a December 2010 release in Japan and a March 2011 release everywhere else. Speculation is that the game is not billed as "Parasite Eve" because Squeenix doesn't want to pay to keep using the license—fair enough, since due to the radical gameplay departure between this and previous titles, it'd really matter just for the name.

Christmas Eve 2012 sees the rise of massive tentacled structures known as the Babels throughout Manhattan and other parts of the globe, spawning time-distorting monsters known as the Twisted. Fast-forward one year later, to the U.S. government's Counter-Twisted Initiative launching their campaign against the creatures using Aya Brea and her Overdive ability to insert her consciousness into key SWAT troopers and National Guardsmen in the past and make key strikes against both the Twisted and the Babels. But why does Aya have no recollection of her past, and what is the meaning behind her dreams of a bloodstained wedding?

For added star power, Yvonne Strahovski and Jensen Ackles provided the voices for Aya Brea and Kyle Madigan respectively for the English version.

Tropes used in The 3rd Birthday include:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes
  • Army of the Dead: When you fight Hyde in the time-frozen ice-skating arena. At this point, he can Overdive just like you, and since there are so many bodies for him to jump to, you can't even begin targeting him. You can't do a thing except run around while being savaged to death. Game over, man. Not quite. Your dead friends -- Blank, Thelonius Cray, Gabriel Monsigny, Kyle Madigan -- are suddenly there, providing their bodies for you to Overdive to. They even haunt Hyde, their floating bodies tracking him no matter where he tries to run to.
  • Badass Abnormal: Aya
  • Bad Boss: The "Boss," in charge of the Overdive project, who disapproves of everything and refers to Aya as "a thing."
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: See Out-of-Clothes Experience below.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Aya's default outfit.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Real!Aya at the end of the game when she shoots HighOne!Hyde.

"Leave her alone, will you?"

  • Bloodier and Gorier: While the first games had a certain amount of blood and gore (mostly during the mitochondria transformations), The 3rd Birthday appears to be ramping that up. People snatched by the Twisted are reduced to piles of gore; you're likely to feel guilty if you have to abandon one body only to hear the screams and crunches left behind by the poor soldier.
  • Body Horror: possibly less here than in others in the series, but still a lot.
  • Body Surf: A major gameplay feature. Aya is projecting herself to the battlefield via a machine called the Overdive system; she's lending her powers and mind to the soldiers she takes over and hopping from body to body is how she obtains new weapons or how to move around otherwise-impassable terrain. Trying to use Overdive on monsters doesn't allow you to take them over; however, it does damage them, in a variant on Tele Frag.
    • It's also how Eve accidentally sets into motion the events in the game.
  • Bottomless Magazines: An unlockable cheat.
  • Chickification: Aya apparently undergoes this. Although, to be fair, she's really Eve.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Subverted with costumes/armor. You can only change outfits(and repair them) at checkpoints or the Overdive Room. Repairing clothes costs BP too.
  • Video Game Cheats: The internal variety. Where most of the replay value lies. Beating the game a certain number of times under different difficulties and meeting the requirements of certain feats unlocks different cheats that change gameplay.
  • Check Point: used in two ways—in save stations mid-mission where you can also buy/customize weapons, change armor, and customize DNA; and in checkpoints mid-level where you can restart if you die.
  • The Chessmaster: Hyde, in his quest to go back to Time Zero.
  • Clothing Damage: The more Aya is damaged, the more her clothes will rip and fall off. This eventually cuts off when Aya's shirt and pants are essentially reduced to her bra and underwear. This is more than Fanservice: she takes more and more damage the worse her clothing condition is, so it's to your benefit to keep all her outfits repaired.
  • Continuity Snarl: This game has a combination of things which are hard to understand and which are explained if you pay careful attention... and things which are just incomprehensible.
  • Cursed with Awesome
  • Cutscene Incompetence: No matter how powerful you actually are in the game, Aya gets pushed around quite a bit.
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Due to all of the checkpoints, dieing doesn't set you back too far.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Many, if not all enemies in the series tend to be this, but the ones in "The 3rd Birthday" take the cake. ESPECIALLY the boss enemies. They're not called "The Twisted" for nothing; they warp out of holes in the space-time continuum and have nearly-impossible shapes.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer
  • Exposition Break: Whenever you talk to Maeda.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress
  • Fan Service: See Clothing Damage.
  • Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: Aya
  • Free-Fall Fight: The fight with the Queen.
  • Harder Than Hard: It's called "Genocide Mode" for a reason.
  • Healing Factor: Aya can take hits until her clothes disintegrate, but if she takes too many before her Healing Factor kicks in, she'll die.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In order to prevent the creation of the Twisted and the High Ones, Aya switches bodies with Eve and has Eve (now in Aya's body) shoot Aya-- thereby cleanly killing Eve's body (the source of the High Ones), and Aya's soul (the source of the Twisted) at once.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard Hyde's desire to combine with Eve and his subsequent forcing her out of Aya's body was what lead to his own demise.
  • Hold the Line: This one has more than its share of situations where you simply have to survive until reinforcements arrive. Also can happen in boss fights if you mismanage your troops and suddenly find that you're the only one left on the field.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first time you encounter a Reaper, you're told to run like hell. The thing is invulnerable to your current weapons, it can Flash Step, and it creates barriers to keep you from escaping. You can Body Surf into someone on the other side of the barriers, but no suck luck for the poor soldier you leave behind.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The High Ones, before turning into their monstrous forms.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Played literally straight, where Aya's gun vanishes in a flash of light whenever she switches to another one. Of course, this is because she's using a form of time travel.
  • It's Up to You: Aya is the only one able to use the Overdive system thanks to her unique biology.
  • Jerkass: "The Boss" kills the whole CTI team and tries to get Aya killed in a battle against Twisted-Gabriel.
  • Kill Sat: A few times, you're forced to encounter enemies that are all but invulnerable to conventional weapons. Fortunately, a soldier with a Hammer Of Dawn shows up for you to possess in these situations.
  • Man in White: Hyde Bohr
  • Manipulative Bastard: Hyde Bohr's using Aya to kill High Ones to allow him to go back to time zero.
  • Mental Time Travel: The apparent function of the Overdive system in The 3rd Birthday. Which accidentally creates the Twisted.
  • More Dakka: What the T498PS lacks in accuracy and handling, it more than makes up for in brute power.
  • The Multiverse: Theorized by Blank in one of his emails to be the secret behind Aya's "time-travel" ability.
  • New Game+: Up to Eleven - The game requires you to beat it several times for certain costumes, cheat codes, Deadly and Genocide difficulty modes, and an unlockable alternate ending.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Everything in The 3rd Birthday happened because Eve Overdived into Aya to try to save her when she was nearly shot to death. The result was basically Parasite Eve 1 confusingly crossed with Quantum Leap, with Eve confusing herself with the now dead Aya and creating a stable time loop.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Played straight. Justified, in that a meido outfit would look pretty weird in a serious cutscene.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: How Aya appears in The 3rd Birthday when between bodies. Naturally, Barbie Doll Anatomy is used.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The wedding dress in the trailers.
  • Puppeteer Parasite
  • The Reveal: Aya Brea = Eve Brea throughout the game.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Aya has this, but the rest of her team do not. This means that they have difficulty believing that Aya has time-traveled at all. As far as the team is concerned, each time is her "first" time diving into the past. This makes the Bad Boss even worse.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Subverted. Gabrielle didn't want to attack Aya...
  • Rule of Cool: The law that defines the entire game, arguably. And...
  • Rule of Sexy: Aya.
  • San Dimas Time: While Aya is in the Overdive machine, her support staff can follow her actions and give advice.
  • Save Point
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lots with Final Fantasy XIII, most notable Lightning's gunblade and her outfit.
    • For Final Fantasy in general, there's also a helicopter named "Bahamut."
    • The Shower Scene is a Shout-Out to PE2
    • The way The Club scene Plays out is similar to the opera scene from PE1 except the audience bursts into blood instead of flames.
  • Shower Scene: Upgraded to soft-core porn, with Aya's body, which is inhabited by the questionably young Eve.
  • Stop Helping Me!: The Boss's directions are like this when he takes over near the end of episode 2, especially annoying since his voice is so Obviously Evil.
  • Super Mode: "Liberation", formerly a spell that wiped out nearly everything in the original installment, returns as a meter that fills up as you take or receive damage. Activating it causes Aya to Flash Step instead of walk, makes her invulnerable to damage,[1] and makes her weapons do much more damage.
  • Teased with Awesome: The occasional times you get to use the Kill Sat.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The game involves Aya using a machine that projects her into the past via a Body Surf system, and the Twisted monsters themselves appear to be invaders from another time and place due to the way they emerge from warping holes in the space-time continuum. Just to mess with your head further, Aya's memories have been damaged and she's flashing back continually.
  • Universal Ammunition: Ammo recharge points just happen to have a full stock of whatever ammo your weapons need at the time.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: When all deaths provide example for Body Horror, it's hard to not care about the poor soldier/civilian whose body you hijack. The fact that number means strength in Crossfire also helps. A case of Fridge Brilliance too: you that's, Eve is doing your namesake: being a protective mother. Without your Mental Time Travel, they would have died left and right.
  • Voice Grunting: What you get for the few bits of dialogue that aren't voiced.
  • Was Once a Man: Implied to be the origin of The Twisted in The 3rd Birthday. The weakest Twisted still have human-like legs and most of the bosses are apparently humans who transform directly.
    • Even worse with the High Ones, who can take human form.
  • We Can Rule Together: Hyde's offer to Eve.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Hyde believes that if he kills Aya in the past, he will be able to prevent the disasters that occurred in the last two games from ever happening.
  1. Reapers can still damage her, however little it does