"Allow me to teach you an efficient way to engage the enemy. You can increase the number of actions by striking the weakness of demons."
Press Turn Battle (プレスターンバトルシステム, literally "Press Turn Battle System") is the turn-based battle system introduced in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
- Shin Megami Tensei IV
- Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse
- Shin Megami Tensei V
- Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2
- Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner
- Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2
In a Press Turn Battle, the process of switching between the player's and the enemy's turn is determined by the Turn Icons consumed from individual actions. Each side is able to carry out multiple actions at a time, and when all Turn Icons are used up, the phase switches to the other side and continues until the battle has ended.
The Turn Icon appears in the upper right corner of the screen in either blue/green, corresponding to the player and their allies, or in red (purple in DX2), corresponding to the player's enemies.
Generally, there will be the same amount of Turn Icons as there are units on each side, and under normal circumstances, every action consumes one Turn Icon. The Turn Icon issued at the beginning of each phase is always a "whole" icon, but depending on the result of the action, such as when exploiting a weakness, scoring critical hit, passing one's turn, etc., the whole icon may turn into a "half" (blinking) icon, effectively increasing the number of actions one side can take within that phase. However, a failed result will always consume more Turn Icons.
When the effective Turn Icons exceed the size of the team due to half-icon consumption, the action order will rewind back to the teammate who acted first and continue until all Turn Icons deplete. In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei IV, the action order is dictated by the agility stats of all combatants of one side. In the Digital Devil Saga series, the order can be manually arranged, regardless of the agility.
In Shin Megami Tensei V, casting Magatsuhi Skills does not cost a Turn Icon, and it also doesn't pass the user's turn to the next unit, letting the user perform two actions at once. When enemies collect Magatsuhi for Magatsuhi Skills, it costs them a turn icon, and they usually perform it at the end of their turn.
In the Digital Devil Saga series, the combo skills require two or three icons, depending on how many participants are required to perform the skill. If the remaining icons do not suffice (regardless of whole and half), the combo skill is not executable.
Variable consumption of Turn Icon
Basically performing any action consumes one Turn Icon, either half or whole. But other conditions may change the consumption:
|Action[note 1]||Effect on Turn Icon[note 2]|
|Using the skill "Beast Eye" or "Rage."||
|Using the skill "Guardian's Eye." (SMT4 only.)||
|Using the skills "Dragon Eye," "Psycho Rage" or item "Impel Stone."||
|Using the "Magatsuhi Gauge" (SMT5 only).||
- There is the priority of the outcome to determine which result on Turn Icon takes place if the outcome of the attack which targets multiple targets is mixed, from high to low: repelled/absorbed > dodged/nullified > critical/weakness > normal/missed/resisted.
- Effects on Turn Icon which have multiple possibilities for one type of action result are listed in the order from high to low which indicates the priority. Except for attack which deals critical damage or exploits the target's weakness, half icon is always consumed first.
- There is no real penalty if the remaining icon is less than the actual icons consumed in case of nullified or dodged attack. This means the player can safely use multi-target attack if any one of the opponents nullifies it but the other does not when there is only one icon remains.
- If the target is both weak/critical and resist to the attack, the weak/critical part takes place.
- Attack which has its own hit-rate (e.g. ailment or insta-death skills) and is not dodged by the target is regarded as performing action with 'normal' outcome and does not consume extra icon. Also "resisting" (reducing specific elemental damage) is treated as normal outcome as well.
Combo skills in Digital Devil Saga
Additional rules are applied for the inclusion of Combo skills which requires two or three party members to execute exclusively in Digital Devil Saga series.
|Action||Effect on Turn Icon|
|Duo or Trio combo attack being nullified or dodged.||
|Duo or Trio combo skill which deals critical damage or exploits the target's weakness.||
|Using duo or trio combo skill with "normal" outcome.||
Increasing Turn Icon
Some battle units may possess more than one press icon such as most bosses. In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, most bosses and semi-bosses have two Turn Icons initially. Demi-fiend himself will be bestowed with 1 more Turn Icon by Izanagi and Izanami after finishing the Burial Chamber challenge in the Labyrinth of Amala. In Digital Devil Saga series, some late-game bosses possess even more Turn Icons. For example, Garuda and Jatayu have 3 Turn Icons; Brahman and Satan have 5; Ananta has 7; and Orochi tops the ranking with 8. In Shin Megami Tensei IV, Masakado's Shadow (boss) possesses 6 Turn Icons, even though he is scripted to waste 3 Turn Icons in each turn for plot purpose. Shin Megami Tensei V boss Ishtar has 8 turn icons, though this can be reduced to 1 through external factors. Digital Devil Saga 2 includes two Karma Rings, "Variable Ring" which randomizes the wearer's Turn Icon from 2 whole icons to 1 half icon in each turn and "Turn Ring" which simply adds one more icon for the wearer when he/she participates in battle and is alive.
Many active skills which creates extra Turn Icons of that turn are mostly exclusive to enemies. In random encounter, the enemies who possess such skills usually cast it when they are fought alone. Shin Megami Tensei IV marks the first time in which the player has access to a Turn-increasing skill, specifically "Guardian's Eye" learned by Masakado's Shadow, though this skill can only be obtained by the player after purchasing the related DLC.
Even rarer still are items that create extra turn icons, which only exist in specific games. The consumable item Impel Stone creates four blinking Turn Icons while the Dimensional Hourglass and Relic of Revival grant one addition Turn Icon upon use and eight Turn Icons along with reviving all allies.
- In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, the maximum Turn Icon each side can possess is capped at seven, however, some enemies can potentially extend this further through Beast Eye and Dragon Eye.
- In Digital Devil Saga, the maximum Turn Icon each side can possess is capped at eight. While normally unobtainable, Orochi possesses the distinct honor of being the first demon to possess 8 turns.
- While Shin Megami Tensei V's Ishtar compares with having a maximum of 8 turns, the base amount of icons she has can be reduced down to 1 via means in the overworld.
- During Mot's boss fight in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, his AI may abuse the enemy-exclusive skill "Beast Eye" to increase his Turn Icon practically infinitely (the skill only consumes 1 MP, and unlike other bosses Mot can use it without restriction.) Among Japanese fans, this phenomenon is nicknamed the "Mot's Theatre/Drama" (モト劇場, Motto Gekijō)? for its absurdity.
- While difficult to verify, Mot's boss AI is seemingly adjusted to be less aggressive in choosing to cast Beast Eye in the HD Remaster release of Nocturne.
- In the earliest Japanese trailer of the original Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, one shot of the battle shows that the Press Turn was represented as a gauge (partitioned by the number of characters on one side) instead of icons.