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How to use Soul Shield in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin borrows almost all of its gameplay mechanics more from action games than Final Fantasy titles. Even the more action-focused games in the series, such as Final Fantasy 7: Remake and Final Fantasy XV, are very different compared to how this game wants you to interact with it. This makes sense when you realize it was developed by Team Ninja, the team behind the Souls-like Nioh series. While Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is certainly not a Souls-like game itself, it has a lot of mechanical depth that you would expect to find in those games. Outside of the more basic and streamlined RPG mechanics, the default abilities Jack and crew have to combat Chaos require a higher level of execution to master.

Outside of attacking, blocking, dodging, and parrying, a new system introduced in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is the Soul Shield. As the name implies, this is yet another defensive option but is also a way to vastly expand your options for offense. The game does try and make sure you grasp how it works, but especially for those not too familiar with action games like this, the concept may not be as clear as it should be. Get your edgy rock music ready because this is how the Soul Shield works in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin to help you finally kill Chaos.

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What Soul Shield is and how to use it

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Rather than just adding a second block, which wouldn’t make much sense, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin gives you an alternative to the normal block and parry with the Soul Shield. This is a special defensive move that is used to block a specific type of attack, although it can be used against normal strikes as well (even if it isn’t very advisable) and does more than just negate damage.

By pressing and holding either Circle or B, Jack will bring up his Soul Shield. While active, it will block any incoming attack as you would expect. However, where things get interesting, is that any attack you block will allow you to do a follow-up attack, almost like a normal parry. That’s good, but the two best features are when you use Soul Shield against attacks that are labeled with a purple background. If you block one of those with the Soul Shield, two things happen: You regain some MP and get an Instant Action attack. Depending on the attack you absorb, that stored Instant Action attack will change to match what you caught, such as a fire spell.

This makes the Soul Shield great for not only giving you an additional way to block, but also restoring MP for your spells and abilities, plus stocking up on special attacks you can throw back at your foes. It can also be used to stagger enemies that wouldn’t be phased by your normal block. However, you shouldn’t forget your normal block and just rely on this new defensive option. There is one major downside to the Soul Shield.

When to avoid using Soul Shield

Jack fights with the Samurai Job in Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin.

Summoning your Soul Shield will constantly drain your Break Gauge. You only get a few precious moments with it out before it drains fully, leaving you completely vulnerable to the next hit that lands. You should reserve using it against smaller, weaker foes and preserve your Break Gauge. Also, remember to swap Jobs to replenish your Break Gauge if it gets too low. It is also not a good idea to pull it out against enemies that dish out long combo strings since that, again, will be too much of a drain on your gauge. If you’re good enough, you can treat the Soul Shield like a parry, just tapping the button, and you should always aim to have it out for as little time as possible.

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