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Video Game / Soul Hackers 2

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20 Minutes into the Future, the world unknowingly faces an oncoming apocalypse. In order to prevent this, a supernatural being known as Aion creates two agents, Ringo and Figue, and sends them out to Earth, only for them to find the targets they were supposed to protect already dead. Using the power of Aion's "Soul Hack" ability, Ringo is able to bring one of them, Arrow, back to life and together they set out to unravel the mystery leading to the world's doom.

Soul Hackers 2 is the fifth entry in the Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner subseries and a sequel to Soul Hackers. It was released on PC via Steam and the Microsoft Store, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on August 25, 2022 in Japan and East Asia with the worldwide release a day later. The announcement trailer can be found here. As well as the International and Japanese/Asian websites.

Soul Hackers provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: In a series first, Hama and Mudo skills are not featured in the game at all. In their place, status ailment skills are now able to do direct damage and have been reclassified as Ruin element.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Every single battlefield eventually becomes this. As Stacks for Sabbath are gained the field initially takes on a faint purple and green haze that distorts the area, but once they hit four the battlefield normal battlefield completely fades away leaving nothing but a swirling black, red, green, and purple vortex until the Sabbath is unleashed.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In both endings, the gang goes their separate ways, but the second ending gives a clearer picture on what everyone other than Ringo ends up doing. For "Beyond the Infinite", Ringo starts hanging out with the Komadori orphans from time to time and waits for Figue and Aion to eventually return, while Arrow, Milady, and Saizo's whereabouts are a bit more of a mystery. "Paradise Lost" has Ringo and Figue continue to be Aion Agents and Its ambassadors to humanity, while the Flash Forwards from Arrow, Milady, and Saizo's Soul Matrix Vision Quests heavily implies that they start working together to gradually destroy the Phantom Society.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Enemies in dungeons appear as identical glitchy blobs that turn into a full group of demons when touched. To make sidequests that require you to fight a specific type of demon less annoying, a marker appears over blobs that contain the required enemy. Similarly, after fighting an enemy once, you can flag them in the enemy list to help continue to track them down for COMP upgrade materials and the blobs will have a target marker over them.
    • Unlike the Persona games and Devil Survivor 2, here, dialogue choices tell you which effect they will have on your Soul Levels, which is good, because unlocking the true ending requires getting all Soul Levels to 100, which, combined with hangout events, can be accomplished just by picking the option for whoever has the lowest Soul Level whenever a choice pops up.
    • Demon Negotiation is reduced to simply giving one thing to the demon, after which they are guaranteed to join, unlike most previous games, where you had to answer confusing philosophical questions and make multiple payments for a chance of the demon joining you. Also, if the demon asks for an item, they'll only ask for common consumables such as Medicine or Life Stones, while in previous games, demons could demand items like Mirrors and Bead Chains.
  • Appropriated Title: The previous game's full title was Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, and it was a sequel to the original Devil Summoner. This game, meanwhile, doesn't use Devil Summoner title at all.
  • Artificial Human: Ringo and Figue are AI's granted human-like bodies by Aion.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: The character designs in this game are markedly more angular, colorful, and stylized compared to the more grounded and realistically proportioned designs of the previous game. This is a consequence of Shirow Miwa of Dogs: Bullets & Carnage and LAM of hololive fame taking over as the character designers.
  • Back from the Dead: Using Aion's Soul Hack ability, Ringo can revive people by delving into their final moments and triggering their regret over death, although doing this too much takes a strain on her.
  • Brick Joke: After Figue inherits Milady's yellow Covenant, she opts to become the party's Mission Control and support them via a flying drone called Mimi. Ringo and the others question the practicality of using a flying drone with no defensive capabilities, with Saizo suggesting she make a "babe drone" to fight in. Apparently, Figue took Saizo's words to heart and created an identical proxy body, though it's spiked with a virus made with the intent of weakening Zenon as opposed to actually fighting.
  • Bland-Name Product: The De la Mancha stores are this to the real-life Don Quixote stores. Both are references to the same novel, and the music in the shop is a legally-distinct version of Don Quixote's advertising jingle.
  • Blood Sport: Mentioned in a bar discussion with Arrow. Summoners in desperate need of work can participate in sports games where use of demons and violence are allowed, while rich people bet on the outcome of the match and whether or not there will be any fatalities.
  • Body Wipe: Used to switch between field exploration and combat, usually with Ringo, except when a boss has a strong connection to a specific party member.
  • Breaking Old Trends: In a franchise with mostly male, silent and/or nameless protagonists, Ringo breaks all three of these at once.
  • The Bus Came Back: 2 brings back some demons that haven't made an appearance in some of the more recent SMT games (barring remakes like Strange Journey Redux). The most noteworthy example is Turbo Granny, who hasn't been seen since Soul Hackers, released back in 1997.
  • Circus of Magic: This time Victor's Gouma-Den, the place where you fuse Demons, is modeled after a circus.
  • Combination Attack: By striking an enemy weakness, Ringo accumulates Stacks, which can go as high as the number of demons in your stock. At the end of the Player Phase, Ringo lets her demons loose for a combined attack, with damage scaling to the demons' total level and how many Stacks were accumulated.
  • Cooking Mechanics: There are multiple meals that can be purchased from shops. Figue can make new recipes after tasting certain meals, which will be put on sale at Heidrun.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: When confronting Iron Mask at Ozaki Hope Towers, the entire party is ambushed and easily paralyzed by Mothmen, despite many of your demons almost certainly blocking Ruin and/or status ailments at this point.
  • Double-Edged Buff: The Trance skill increases damage dealt by an ally's next Fire, Ice, Electric, or Force skill, but doubles its MP cost. Megido Trance does the same thing for Almighty skills.
  • Dual Boss: Zenon is fought alongside Iron Mask in their first and second encounters.
  • Flash Forward: The fourth vision quests in the Soul Matrix are not flashbacks into Arrow, Milady, and Saizo's past, but rather their futures. In these vision quests, Arrow is becoming as jaded and cynical as Raven was, Milady succeeds Paul Taylor as Iron Mask and now leads the Phantom Society, and Saizo has settled down with Ash and has a child. While the former two vision quests unsettle Arrow and Milady, Saizo is ecstatic to know he and his girlfriend might have a happy ending after all.
  • Foreshadowing: The game gives you subtle hints that Iron Mask is not who he claims to be.
    • At the start of the game, Iron Mask orders Milady's death and the retrieval of her Covenant despite Milady having already promised to give it to him when it was time to summon the Great One. It's also established shortly after that Covenant-holders can recognize another holder on sight. Milady also mentions how Iron Mask stopped meeting her in person six months ago. As Raven did not inherit Paul Taylor's blue Covenant, Milady would instantly realize he was an imposter.
    • When Ringo and the others catch up to Iron Mask, he's well aware that Ringo can revive the dead via Soul Hack and had Zenon devour Mangetsu Kuzunoha's body to see the limits of her resurrective abilities. The reason Iron Mask knows about her power is because Ringo told Raven about Soul Hack when they went to ask him to help track down Mangetsu.
    • After the party defeats Zenon, the Covenants held within the Zoma are released. Among the collected Covenants is the blue Covenant, which Milady stated was in Iron Mask's possession.
  • Future Me Scares Me: In Arrow and Milady's fourth vision quests, they confront potential future versions of themselves. Arrow is disturbed to learn his future self is becoming as jaded as Raven was, as well as the implication he'll experience the same things that made Raven become a Fallen Hero in the first place. While Milady isn't surprised by her future self's decision, she's clearly uncomfortable after having gone through some Character Development up to that point. Ironically, the only one not perturbed by their future self is Saizo, who is happy to learn he and Ash will have a kid at some point.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Your first encounter with Zenon and Iron Mask will either end in the party running for their lives or getting wiped. Iron Mask takes no damage from the party, and after your first turn, he activates a skill that renders both him and Zenon invincible to all damage, including Almighty. In-Universe, this is explained as Zenon being empowered by several Covenants, which enhance and bring out the holder's latent abilities. It takes Figue infecting Zenon with a virus to weaken the Zoma and allow the party to beat him and Iron Mask in their second encounter.
  • Gag Penis: Mara, natch. Interestingly, he's locked behind paid DLC this time.
  • Glowing Eyes: When executing Soul Hack or initiating a Sabbath, Ringo's eyes will glow.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted, Ringo and Milady both use Melee weapons while Arrow and Saizo both use guns. Downplayed with Ringo though as also carries a gun but largely only uses it during Sabbath attacks. Played straight with Figue, who gets two guns from Flamma at the beginning of the game. She also uses gun attacks as Cyber Aion.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Ringo wields a collapsable sword in battle as well as when she is running around the overworld, which becomes her default attack weapon. However, she also uses a hi-tech gun in her other hand when initiating Sabbath attacks.
  • Metal Slime: Taking inspiration from Etrian Odyssey's Rare Breeds, there are Rare Enemies that may occasionally spawn indicated by a golden enemy instead of the usual red which runs away if it sees you. Getting into combat with them reveals them to be sparkling versions of normal enemies with extremely high evasion that quickly retreat from combat. Should you defeat them you get a decent amount of EXP and rare items meant to be sold for large amounts of money.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If the group had never explained Soul Hacking to Raven, then he wouldn't have been able to find, let alone, know to have Zenon eat Mangetsu to prevent his resurrection.
  • Multiple Endings: Like the previous game, there are two endings you can get. Unlike the previous game, you can get either one without having to do New Game Plus to acquire it. There is a degree of Last-Second Ending Choice if you do unlock the second ending. The main thing that happens in both endings is that the Covenants disappear.
    • Beyond the Infinite: Can be obtained one of two ways: either beat the game without diving too deep into the party's Soul Matrix dungeons or fulfill the requirements for the second ending but choose the "let her go" option after the final boss. After defeating the Covenant and Aion enhanced Figue, she and the rest of Aion simply disappear, leaving Ringo behind as the last remaining scrap of Aion's power in existence. Despite feeling "stuck in some kind of limbo", Ringo decides to stick around until Aion and Figue return, while Arrow, Milady, and Saizo go their separate ways.
    • Paradise Lost: Obtained by completing the 4th Floor of the party's Soul Matrix dungeons, entering the 5th Floor of each one, then choosing the "reach out to her" prompt after defeating the final boss. Ringo uses the Soul Hack on the dying Figue in order to save her. Despite Figue wanting to die, Ringo is able to pull her back from the brink, restoring Aion at the same time. After everything, Aion decides to finally reveal itself to humanity. While Ringo and Figue continue to be Agents of Aion, as well as Its ambassadors to humanity, the rest of the crew (Arrow, Milady, and Saizo) eventually start setting up the pieces to hopefully destroy the Phantom Society once and for all.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power Ups: The fourth tier of each upgrade is considered a Master Upgrade, of which only one can be installed on a COMP at a time. Purchasing a second one will erase the first and require that its materials be obtained again.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Any recipe made by Figue can no longer be unlocked after she leaves in the final chapter.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: Since Figue prefers a backseat role as the teams' Mission Control, she uses an owl-shaped drone called Mimi to accompany the party and analyze the situation.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Discussed and justified. Ringo is quick to complain at the start of the game that the forms Aion bestowed on its agents are limiting in a number of respects, but Figue insists it was done for a reason. Later it is indeed established that a humanoid form is necessary for the development of a soul, and in turn the harboring of Covenants.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Truce Zone: Devil Summoners won't fight in Realms, as all sides use the facilities located in them.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: According to the introduction, the game takes place in the "mid-21st century". One NPC places this around the 2040s, nostalgic for The New '10s about 30 years ago.
  • Variable Mix: The music in dungeons gains more instruments when a demon is chasing you.
  • Wainscot Society: Realms are entire towns, built by Devil Summoners and hidden from muggles.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Inverted in certain battles - battles against enemy Summoners end as soon as the Summoner is taken down, even if they have demons left. This is how the earlier Devil Summoner games worked, so it makes a certain amount of sense.
  • Wham Shot: After the party beats Zenon, the Covenants he's devoured up to this point are released...including the blue Covenant Iron Mask supposedly inherited after he killed Gen Mayumi, the Covenant's previous holder.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Justified for Ringo and Figue, who are otherworldly beings, but other characters, like Saizo, have lime green hair.


Video Example(s):


Arrow is already dead

In the beginning of Soul Hackers 2, Ringo and Figue are supposed to prevent the deaths of two targets: a scientist named Ichiro Onda, and a Devil Summoner known as Arrow, since their deaths would culminate in the apocalypse. Unfortunately, by the time Ringo reaches Arrow, he was already shot dead.

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