While all games under the Shin Megami Tensei branding are excellent JRPGs with great style, music, and gameplay, one aspect that the Persona sub-series brought into the mainstream was the social component. These games, more than any other, incentivized players to spend time getting to know and bond with not only their party members but a wide range of characters in the cast. While a system similar to this does appear in Soul Hackers 2, it is quite different from what those who are coming from a Persona game will expect.
Instead of Social Links, Soul Hackers 2 uses a system called Soul Bonds, where Ringo will earn points and gain Soul Levels with each of her companions throughout the game. These Soul Bonds are still important for learning more about the characters but have other new functions too. Soul Hackers 2 also puts a slight spin on how you increase Soul Levels. To make sure you don't miss out on learning all about your favorite characters in Soul Hackers 2, here's how to increase Soul Bonds and what it does.
Every teammate you get in Soul Hackers 2 has their own individual Soul Bonds that you can level up. There are a few ways in which you can increase their Soul Levels, some of which you will encounter naturally, but that won't be enough to see everything there is with each character alone. Here are all the ways to go about increasing Soul Bonds.
Step 1: Make dialogue choices.
At certain points during the main story, you will be given different choices on what Ringo will say or do. These won't have a major impact on the plot of the game, but each choice will appeal to a different party member and increase your Soul Bond with them by a few points. Thankfully, there's no guesswork needed here, since you will see which character likes each choice as you highlight them.
Step 2: Hang out at the bar.
After a few hours, Bar Heidrun will open up as a hangout spot you can invite your party members to spend some downtime. If available, you can select them from the list to start a little scene where you get to know them better, giving you a nice boost to your Soul Bond. Sometimes you can even hang out with your entire team at once, and there's no time limit between triggering these interactions. If they keep showing up on the list, grind out those Soul Levels!
Aside from the personal joy you get from learning more about this cast of characters, there are other reasons to increase all your Soul Bonds. The two primary ones relate to the Soul Matrix and Summoner Skills.
Each character has their own section of the Soul Matrix, which is essentially a dedicated dungeon you can go into whenever you like. However, you can't fully explore them all at once, even if you had a team strong enough to do so. Eventually, you will hit gates that require different Soul Bond levels with that character to unlock, letting you go deeper in.
The other main reward is unlockable Summoner Skills. These are passive skills for Ringo that remain active all the time, such as straight-up stat increases and increasing how many demons you can hold. These are not only very strong, but also free once you meet the Soul Bond requirements, so spend time with your pals and get stronger!
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