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Parasite Eve II is an action role-playing survival horror video game. Character control is accomplished in a traditional survival horror manner: Aya is able to move forwards, backwards, and pivot left and right. Camera movement is limited, generally being confined to a single view of a room or area, and cannot be altered by the player. Unlike Parasite Eve, there is no Active Time Bar that governs the order of actions during a battle. Battles take place in real time, so the player is free to act as they see fit. Another contrast is the absence of the 'range dome' seen in the first game, allowing the player to shoot at off-screen targets and engage targets from a safe distance. There are also no random battles; enemies will be found wandering in plain view, hence allowing the player to avoid confrontations and plan strategies. Aiming, as with most other games of this genre, is accomplished by cycling through the various 'lockable' targets within Aya's range. Equipment can be obtained through various methods, including finding, purchasing and 'creating' items such as body armor, weapons, ammunition and tools. Unlike most other survival horror games, ammunition is almost never in short supply. While Aya can only carry limited amounts of equipment with her, inexhaustible ammunition boxes exist in most areas and can be revisited as often as required for a top-up. This encourages the player to fight rather than run, which is essential to the gameplay as it is the only way to gain experience and thus for Aya to become powerful enough to succeed. While equipment follows the original game's concept of being customizable, in general the weapons and armor are quite limited in the alterations available. Armor, which not only reduces damage but also affects the amount Aya can carry, has the option of adding extra item slots up to a limit of ten. The Parasite Energies are divided into four areas: the offensive Fire and Wind elements and the defensive Water and Earth elements. Once the game has been completed, bonus items become available for the player should they choose to redo the game in Replay mode. Other modes also become available, such as Bounty Hunter and Scavenger which are more difficult for the player to complete. The most difficult mode "Nightmare" only becomes available after completing the game in Scavenger Mode.
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