Most games in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise use some variation of their tried-and-true Press Turn system, wherein you get a free bonus turn every time you exploit an enemy’s elemental weaknesses. Some games, however, take things in a slightly different direction, offering different incentives to target weaknesses. Soul Hackers 2 is one of those games, and the incentive in question is the Sabbath. Here’s an explanation of Stacks and Sabbaths in Soul Hackers 2.
Soul Hackers 2: Stacks and Sabbath Explained
Just like in any other Shin Megami Tensei game, both the members of your party and the enemies they go against have various elemental weaknesses and resistances. By striking at a demon’s weakness through your party members’ own equipped demon skills, you’ll inflict a Weak shot on them, dealing bonus damage.
In addition to that bonus damage, though, you’ll also receive one or more Stacks, indicated by the meter on the top-right of the screen. You’ll get one Stack for every enemy whose weakness you exploit with an attack up to a maximum of 16. Some partner demons can learn Tandem Skills which can add bonus Stacks to the meter when you strike an enemy’s weakness, and you’ll also get bonus Stacks for dealing large amounts of cumulative damage to multiple enemies.
At the end of your party’s turn, Ringo will step up and transform all of the Stacks you earned into a Sabbath. A Sabbath is a huge attack where she summons up all of the party’s partner demons at once and unloads on the entire enemy team. The more Stacks you accumulated during your turn, the more powerful the resulting Sabbath will be, which is why you want to exploit as many weaknesses as possible on your turn. Again, demon Tandem Skills can enhance the Sabbath further, adding bonus damage, status effects, and even party heals.
As the story progresses and Ringo gets friendlier with her party members, she’ll unlock Commander Skills only she can use. These skills include the stuff you’d expect like party heals or quick escapes, but they can also be used to influence the upcoming Sabbath. For example, the Commander Skill Damage Condenser focuses all of the Sabbath’s might onto a single enemy rather than the entire enemy team, while the Commander Skill Stack Optimization increases how many bonus Stacks your teammates get from dealing HP damage.
Combining Ringo’s Commander Skills with proper demon weakness match-ups is the key to dealing the most possible damage to strong foes. Think of it like the All-Out Attack in the Persona games, but a bit more expedited.