A trademark listing suggests that Parasite Eve, Square's stylish action-horror series, could be set for a revival – and I couldn't be happier.
As reported by Gematsu (opens in new tab), Square Enix, the conglomerate successor to Square, filed a trademark (opens in new tab) for "Symbiogenesis" on October 13 in Japan. While the trademark covers merchandise, software, and peripherals (which a lot of trademarks tend to do), what is particularly interesting is what Symbiogenesis actually means.
According to the Journal of Theoretical Biology (opens in new tab), Symbiogenesis is "literally ‘becoming by living together’" and refers to "the crucial role of symbiosis in major evolutionary innovations". In Parasite Eve, genetics and evolution play a key role in the story, suggesting that Square Enix could be preparing to revive the long-dormant horror series.
The original Parasite Eve released on PS1 back in 1998. An unofficial sequel to the sci-fi horror novel of the same name, by Hideaki Sena, Parasite Eve followed New York cop Aya Brea as she attempts to stop Eve, an ancient biological evil that wants to destroy the human race.
A sequel to the game was released in 1999 (2000 for those in North America and Europe) but then, bar a re-release in 2010/11, inclusion in the PlayStation Classic lineup and a dreadful PSP threequel, the series became dormant. This may have partly been due to the series rights being co-owned by Sena, which caused the re-releases to be delayed, but a reason for the series going quiet has never really been shared.
What we do know, however, is that now is the perfect time for Square Enix to consider a revival of its classic horror series. After all, horror revivals are all the rage right now, with Konami bringing back Silent Hill, EA working on a Dead Space Remake, and Capcom finding success with its Resident Evil remakes. It's the perfect time to introduce new generations to video game classics.
The time is now
Remasters and remakes have been gathering steam in recent years, as they allow a new generation of gamers to play titles they perhaps missed and they allow those who have played the original games to revisit them with a fresh coat of paint. All without having to hunt down old hardware to do so.
Horror games, in particular, are seeing a resurgence recently. Perhaps because being scared silly doesn't age, even if the hardware, and the players themselves, do.
As a horror fan, I am crossing my fingers and toes that Parasite Eve gets a revival because the first game was only released in Japan and North America, not Europe where I live. It means that I, alongside many others, missed out on what is now considered a horror classic.
It's worth noting, however, that Square Enix hasn't confirmed a Parasite Eve revival is in the pipeline. While the publisher could simply be futureproofing the series in one way or another, the trademarked name isn't simply "Parasite Eve", instead it sounds a bit more like a moniker or codename. Here's hoping, then, that Parasite Eve: Symbiogenesis is on the way – even if it will prove a nightmare to type.