In the Spotlight: Aya Brea

Slender, blonde and generally easy on the eyes, it’s no wonder Parasite Eve protagonist Aya Brea has resonated so profoundly with gamers since fluttering her eyelashes for the first time on PlayStation back in 1998. No stranger to tragedy, Brea had the misfortune of being involved in a horrific car crash when she was just five-years old, which claimed the life of her mother, Mariko, and sister Maya. Brea barely escaped with her own life. Subsequently, our tomboyish heroine was raised by her father, until she was old enough to fly the nest and trained to become an officer of the law, studying criminology at the University of Virginia.

By the time she turned 24, Brea was snapped up by the New York Police Department’s 17th precinct division as a detective. What’s more, she found a father figure in fellow bobby and partner Daniel ‘Bo’ Dollis, who immediately took a shine to our fresh-faced heroine. Headstrong and possessing keen intellect, Brea’s raw talents as a copper would be pushed to the limit after witnessing the massacre of Carnegie Hall on the night of December 24, 1997, which saw the entirety of those in attendance barbequed alive. The culprit? An operatic singer known as Melissa Pierce. Having survived being lit up like a Christmas Tree, Brea takes it upon herself to track down the flame-throwing femme fatale and put a stop to her dastardly doings.

As her investigation got under way, our tenacious blonde bombshell would find herself inexorably drawn to her deceased sister, Maya. In a surprising coincidence, both Brea and Melissa had received an organ transplant from Maya, namely a cornea and kidney, respectively. Unbeknownst to the pair, however, Maya’s mitochondria possessed a lingering malevolence, which began manipulating Brea and Melissa’s genetic structure over the years. Unfortunately for the residence of Carnegie Hall, it was on this night that Melissa’s advanced mitochondria decided to awaken from its dormant state, prompting the metamorphosis of its host into the dastardly being known as Mitochondria Eve.

Brea faced a six day slog of battling the numerous mitochondria-induced creatures known as NMCs; however, her efforts were greatly facilitated by the powers she inherited as a result of the transplant. As a result of her evolved cell nuclei, however, Brea didn’t succumb to the mitochondria’s control unlike Melissa. After battling countless NMCs, our knackered but determined heroine rocks up at Liberty Island for a final confrontation with Eve, in which Brea ultimately triumphs. That’s not before Eve manages to push out a kid, though, that is, a rampaging monstrosity by the name of The Ultimate Being. Fortunately, Brea is able to overcome this adversary with a little aid from Danny boy and Japanese scientist Kunihiko Maeda.

After some Christmas downtime, Aya resigns from the local cop shop and joins up with the newly-established Mitochondrion Investigation and Suppression Team (MIST), an off-shoot of the FBI based in Los Angeles. MIST’s goals were decidedly clear cut—seek out and eliminate any remaining NMCs. While a team member in her capacity as a New York cop, however, Brea’s time at MIST was quite an opposite state of affairs, with Aya spending much of her time on her lonesome. And, while never taking advantage of her powers, they still have a profound impact on Brea’s life—for one, she never succumbs to illness, and appears conspicuously younger than her biological age.

September 2000 signals a trip to the Majave Desert, where Brea sniffs out a lead to the small town of Dryfield. Here, our heroine finds herself getting all chummy with Private Investigator Kyle Madigan, and the two subsequently form a partnership. Shortly thereafter, the pair unearths a facility known as the Neo-Ark, where unscrupulous lab coats are in the process of using Aya’s DNA to breed a race of ANMCs–Artificial Neo-Mitochondrial Creatures. At the center of this plan is Eve, Brea’s brainwashed doppelganger. Acutely aware of the fact these atrocities were created by her very existence, Aya feels compelled to rid the world of the Neo-Arks dastardly doings, and puts a stop to their plans sharpish.

It later transpired that MIST big cheese Eric Baldwin was a mole for the shadow government, and was subsequently banged-up for the crime of treason. Following these events, Brea parted ways with MIST. Back in civilization, Aya took the vulnerable Eve under her wing, developing parental bond with the young girl. And, thanks to some help from former MIST mate Rupert Broderick, Brea managed to have a profile made of Eve that officially confirms her as Aya’s sister. Furthermore, our heroine also later meets up with Madigan in New York City, who promptly disappeared after the Neo-Arks destruction. After a lengthy hiatus, Aya finally popped up again in the PSP spin-off The 3rd Birthday, looking just as divine as ever. And we love her for it.