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Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers


Imagine a society where technology and demonology combine to create something previously unthinkable, something impossible: utopia. Humanity boasts of its accomplishment, expanding ever further, dismissing all warnings. The Japanese government puts its most prized city at the centre of an ambitious network development project that allows its citizens to experience a fully virtual world, but an infernal secret is about to throw the world into darkness. As a member of an elite hacking group, fight to unearth the vile conspiracy beneath the city's glossy veneer. Talk to your allies – and your enemies – to unravel a compelling story filled with complex characters, challenging dungeons, and difficult choices that must be made.

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Acquiring Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

Follow this link to acquire Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers for the Nintendo 3DS. There are also Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation versions, though they are currently untranslated.



Anon Presents: An Overview of Soul Hackers

    Intro

    • Originally released in Japan on November 13th, 1997, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers is the sequel to the smash hit Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner. The game was originally developed for the Sega Saturn but also saw a Playstation 1 release in 1999 and a 3DS remake in 2012. The PS1 release was Japan only, but the game would see its first English localization in 2013 when the 3DS version was brought to the west.

    Story

    • Set a few years after the original game, you play as a young man living in Amami City. Thanks to a significant redevelopment plan put into action five years ago, this once sleepy city is now at the forefront of technological advancement. People flock to the city in droves, moving in as quickly as they can to witness the technological marvels. However, not everyone is happy with Amami City's changes. The Spookies are a small scale underground hacking group doing everything they can to uncover the truth behind the city's development plans. In an effort to learn more about the city, you hack your way into the beta of the city's latest project: A VR program named Paradigm X. It seems innocent at first, but things begin to spiral out of control once a man named Kinap makes contact with you and warns you of the danger ahead.

    Party

    • Your party has six slots, three in the front row and three in the back row. Typically, your party will have two humans (the protagonist and Nemissa) alongside a maximum of four demons. Attack order is determined by agility level. In the front row, you can attack with any melee attack or magic, but you're more likely to get attacked by enemies. In the back row, you're less likely to get attacked by demons, but most melee attacks won't be able to reach unless you have a long ranged weapon. You can always attack with guns from the back row. You'll get a game over if the protagonist dies. Even if Nesmissa or other demons are still alive, the protagonist dying is an instant game over.

    Demons

    • Non-dark demons can be recruited through negotiation in battle. All demons, including dark demons, can be created through fusion at the Goumaden. Negotiation mirrors modern SMT negotiation, so demons ask multiple questions with random answers followed by them either joining, attacking, doing nothing, or asking for items. Demons do NOT gain levels in this game, but they do have loyalty levels and personalities. Loyalty will be explained in the next section. Personality determines what moves a demon is more likely to do if they are either told to "Go" or choose to disobey commands. Magnetite is required to summon demons and keep them active in your party. You receive MAG from every battle, but you can also buy or sell MAG directly through the O.E.A. shop. Each demon you have out drains MAG with each step, and the CP stat shows you how much MAG a demon drains every 10 steps. If you run out of MAG, your demons will begin taking damage while walking around the field, eventually dying. While you can have any demons in your comp, your party can only contain demons compatible with one another. There are five demon alignments:
      • Extreme Law can only be in a party with Law and Neutral.
      • Law can be in a party with anyone except Extreme Chaos.
      • Neutral can be in any party.
      • Chaos can be in a party with anyone except Extreme Law.
      • Extreme Chaos can only be in a party with Chaos and Neutral.

    Loyalty System

    • Unlike other SMT games, you don't always have full control of your demons. There are five levels of demon loyalties, each representing a rough chance of how well your demons will listen to you. Demons typically start around loyalty level 2 or 3 when recruited, and fused demons will have a loyalty that's the average of the demons used in fusion. Note that Zoma demons will always have maxed loyalty.
      • Loyalty level 1: Demons will rarely listen to you and may even boycott your commands even when you say Go. If you let their loyalty get too low, they may even leave your party entirely.
      • Loyalty levels 2-4: Demons will listen to your commands, but may complain or boycott. A demon boycotting means they'll do whatever they want on that turn. This gets less likely the higher their loyalty is.
      • Loyalty level 5: Demons will always listen to you. They may even jump in front of you to take a fatal blow for you if you're lucky.

    Raising Loyalty

    • A demon's loyalty can be raised in several ways. In battle, give the demons commands that it likes. This is the easiest way to raise loyalty as you'll tend to get one segment of loyalty for each correct command. Which command a demon prefers can be determined by its personality type. Outside of battle, you can give demons gift items to increase their loyalty. A demon's loyalty can also be lowered. When you ask a demon to do a command it doesn't like, they may boycott your action, reducing their loyalty. If a demon dies in battle, their loyalty may decrease.

    Personality Types

    • There are five personality types in Soul Hackers. These types indicate what a demon will do if told to Go and has its own gift likes and preferred commands. Personality types can be temporarily changed by giving a demon Sake.
      • Dumb: These demons don't like receiving commands. They gain loyalty whenever you tell them to Go as it shows you trust them.
      • Calm: "Seems to prefer what's most effective" according to the wiki, but somewhat unpredictable as a result
      • Wild: Prefers physical skills or the ATTACK command
      • Kind: Prefers healing/support skills and the GUARD command
      • Sly: Prefers magic attacks

    Which version should I play?

      • Sega Saturn: While the original version, this doesn't offer anything that the others don't already provide. Along with having no translation, the game's extra dungeon wasn't included with the game, instead being shipped out later on a separate disk as part of a sweepstakes. (the ROM is online, but good luck finding an original copy) A couple of notes regarding the Saturn version. There are two other disks you'll find that are NOT the game, both seen below:

      • Soul Hackers/Ronde is a demo disk for both games. Neither games' full version is on here.

        boxart_soulhackers

        Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Demon Compendium Second Collection is a demon compendium, similar to the disk that came with the first game's Special Box edition. This disk does not affect the main game in any way and functions as an artbook more than anything.

        boxart_soulhackers

      • Playstation 1: Comes with the Extra Dungeon by default and a digest that gives you a recap of the story whenever you reload your save. Better audio quality, but still has no translation. If you want to play a console version, this is the one you should pick.

      • 3DS: The only officially localized version and the recommended version. It has slightly compressed audio, occasional crashes (even on an actual 3DS), and the occasional visual text bug but includes the following new features:
        • Voice Acting (can be turned off)
        • Optional difficulty tweaks (can be accessed by tapping the touchscreen during gameplay)
        • New demons and a new superboss
        • Demon Compendium
        • A casino with powerful gear


    Differences Between Soul Hackers and SMT: Devil Summoner

      • The loyalty system is much easier in Soul Hackers. The number of levels has been reduced, and you can quickly gain loyalty through issuing correct commands in battles. The tiered command system is gone in favor of being able to issue any command no matter the loyalty level. The addition of Sake also helps you make sure that your demons do exactly what you want them to.
      • The alignment scale has been greatly simplified. Rather than a sliding scale, demons now have only five tiers of alignment.
      • Sword fusion has been brought back and slightly simplified. You can no longer fuse swords together to create new swords, but a sword's strength now scales based on the level of the demon fused into the sword. There's also unique swords that can only be created by fusing specific demons into swords.
      • Dungeons are complex but nowhere near as complex as Devil Summoner's maps, opting for more realistic building layouts as opposed to DS's mazes or Persona 1's hallways.
      • Demon designs borrow heavily from Devil Summoner, typically with their modern colors.
      • COMP Software (similar to later games' subapps) allows you to give your protagonist new perks. These can vary from a permanent Estoma, restoring HP on demons summoned in battle, or raising the chances of a first strike. You can only have five equipped at a time and some of the really useful ones take up two slots. You unlock more for purchase as you progress through the game, so be sure to check the COMP shop often!

    Gameplay Tips

      • A good rule of thumb for demon recruiting is to memorize their levels. Typically, giving 100 MAG per level or 1000 Yen per level should convince them to join you. So for example, a level 34 demon would probably join you if you gave him 3400+ MAG or 34,000+ Yen.
      • If you're playing through the 3DS version and a demon gives you something in Japanese, it's most likely a life stone.
      • Enemies don't have health bars, but the color of the damage text indicates how much health they have left. Yellow is ~50%, red is 25%.
      • The O.E.A. is the best way to make money. Sell off excess MAG for easy money, then buy it back whenever you need it. The price doesn't fluctuate until you go into dungeons, so you don't need to worry about the price changing whenever you go into the other shops.
      • In the Haunted House dungeon, there IS a way to tell which door is correct. Keep an eye on the ceiling as you go through the each maze, as there's something you'll find near only one of the doors that will indicate it's the correct door.
      • The Pet Shop in Paradigm X can give you good prizes, such as demons with unique skills or info on how to fuse rare races.
      • There are three build paths for Nemissa depending on a selection you make at the beginning of the game.
      • The VR Park has no enemies, so don't summon your demons until the end.
      • Use the CAPS LOCK subapp during the primate lab dungeon to save yourself a lot of time. It functions like a permanent Estoma and all of the enemies in that dungeon are significantly below your level.
      • Be sure to check the Paradigm X forums regularly, as there are some limited time sidequests that can only be found there.
      • There are two different final bosses depending on a selection you make halfway through the game. Both give the same ending, but they have different attacks and weaknesses.
      • The game has a New Game+, but it requires some post-game exploration to find it.
      • The Extra Dungeon is unlocked after beating the game and uses whichever save you pick. However, you can't save while you're in the dungeon. If you need to grind, you need to do so in the main game with that save.
      • MC should focus on Luck and En, with some Ag. MC learns no skills, so he will never be your main source of damage.
      • Nemissa should focus on Ma, and some Ag and In.
      • St increases physical attack damage, not useful on either MC or Nemissa.
      • In increases Magic def, MP, and slightly increases Magic damage.
      • Ma Increases Magic damage and slightly increases MP.
      • En increases Defense, very important for MC, death is game over.
      • Ag Increases Evasion rate, turn order, and slightly increases Accuracy.
      • Lu increases accuracy, evasion (both to damaging skills and to ailments, as well as to Hama/Mudo), item drops and negotiation.
      • Nemissa's skill path is determined by an early question about Hitomi. When Spooky asks what she's like, you get to pick from upbeat (Fire and Expel skills), calm (Ice and Death skills), and sexy (Electric and more Almighty skills).
      • Conserve MAG by not having a full party of demons out unless you need to. MC, Nemissa, and Zeed are often enough to get through dungeons.
      • Demons have a chance of disobeying depending on their loyalty level. You can increase their loyalty by ordering them to do things they like or giving them gifts from the Item menu. The digital manual (home screen, touch 'Manual' on the bottom screen when selecting the icon) and the game give you good descriptions of each personality type. You can also give demons booze to change their personality for a small amount of time.
      • Zoma Zeed is a special demon you unlock at some point in the game. It takes no MAG to summon or upkeep, is always at Maximum loyalty, and is also great at inheriting skills, but it has lower stats than demons at the same level. When you initially fuse it, it'll gain the level of the other demon. It's level will change to the average of its and the other demon's level on subsequent fusions, but you can reset him by fusing him on New moon. Since it's weak, it's often put in support role, with healing, buffs/debuffs, etc. Or used as a decoy in random encounters.
      • The best way to acquire yen is to sell MAG.
      • In the casino you can acquire amazing swords and armor which can easily last to the endgame, though they're not the best in the game. Use back-upper to save outside the casino and try either Vs. Poker or Dice Game, reload if you lose too much money. In the case of Dice Game, always bet 100 on your 3 picks (2, 3, 11 and 12 tend to give the most money) and max out the Frost Bet. You can then keep doing bonus rolls to quickly multiply your coins, but if you get a 7 you lose them.
      • After maxing a demon's loyalty, you can go to Victor and use Mystic Change to turn that demon into an item. A lot of demons give great equipment.



nakajimaPortrait

Nakajima says:

Contact the webmaster at smtgen@protonmail.com!
Last updated 2.26.22!

yumikoPortrait

Yumiko says:

Hack you!