Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

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  • Much of the basic system stuff from Nocturne still applies; but the shield

spells are extremely useful in some fights. And because weaknesses/strength have such a huge effect, make sure to analyze everything, and get the spyglass when you can to save the skill slot.

  • Never ever ever EVER not have the following skills in your party: Fog Breath, War Cry, and (and to a lesser degree) Taunt. Other buffs will work too but Fog Breath and War Cry can make lots of fights ridiculously easy and Taunt can make a high defense enemy more managable as long as you have a few kunda debuffs to drop his damage.
  • Abuse -kaja buffs and -kunda debuffs whenever possible. You can get 1k hits off on bosses just by buffing and debuffing for a few turns before going balls out on damage.
  • Your main character also should have Focus and a decent physical ability.
  • Don't afraid to be versatile. Each character has a pretty specific role and when you're stuck with only one or two you may have to be pick up slack on healing, physical, or magic because the character best suited isn't available.
  • Horde SP items, they're useful but don't stretch real far.
  • When the intro says that devouring is the only way to survive, it's not kidding.

Well, it's the only way to get enough skill growth. Get at least one of your characters a good eating skill + shared atma + iron stomach and try to munch as many enemies to the death as you can. If in P3 the basic random encounter formula is "hit weakness to knock down, all out attack" here it's "hit weakness to scare, devour".

  • Elemental defences are grouped with the attack magics of the same kind, so it is probably a good idea to have Serph spend some time learning fire magic.
  • It's really counterintuitive, and can definitely come back to bite you in the ass if you don't plan ahead, especially in DDS2, though in 1 you still see a bunch of it.
  • The most important thing to do is to take every character down the elemental nuke tree opposite of their alignmen - he one they're weak against. So, Agi for Serph, Zio for Gale, Zan for Argilla, etc. This is because, at the end of those trees is the skill that lets you null that element, which saves an immense amount of hassle, especially if you beeline for them.
  • To keep things simple, just use Argilla and Gale, as soon as you get him, and don't bother with Heat or Cielo. You have to use Cielo for one dungeon, but it's an easy one, and if you keep your skills broad enough on Gale and Serph, you'll be fine, and can switch him out for the boss anyway.
  • The Ancient God Mantra, and the two that follow it, are far and away the most handy skills you'll get. MP Thief lets you run for a really long time and counts as a weakness hit against mute-weak enemies, and the ones after that give you MP walk abilities, which mean you can be cheap and lazy.
  • Ultimately I preferred Serph as a physical fighter, but having a buttload of MP and Mana Walk means you'll never need to worry about healing, since his MP will be pretty much endless. I did Magic my first time, and physical my second, but both definitely work just fine. Hunt skills are more effective on physical dudes in general, though.