The Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series contains so many different demons that you can use in battle. Each game has a selection of monsters from across religions, lore, and myths to dominate the turn-based gameplay. In those turn-based battles, there are seemingly countless skills that you can use. One such skill is the focus of this particular Tarukaja guide.
I remember my very start with the Persona series, which was my introduction to this type of Atlus JRPG. I started with the original games, but my real interest and love for the series began with Persona 3.
In that game, I remember using the Tarukaja skill occasionally to triumph in the very difficult boss battles that existed there. It is a valuable skill, especially early on in an Atlus RPG, and you shouldn’t ignore its utility.
Find out all you need to know about Tarukaja and its other versions right here in this Tarukaja guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Tarukaja is a crucial buff ability that players can use in battle to boost their team’s stats or that of a single player. The general idea for Tarukaja is to raise the attack power of the user in question. In general, the buff only works for a single ally at a time, with higher versions affecting the entire party.
Tarukaja is available in almost every mainline game in the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series. Many demons learn this skill through leveling up, but it can also be taught to Personas through the use of skill cards.
One of the less flashy parts of the turn-based battles in the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series is buffing your party. I know that I am guilty of not using buff and debuff skills as much as I would like to. But I can’t deny that they are some of the most important parts of battles, especially against certain bosses.
Within the buffs and debuffs in the Persona series, one stands out as one of the most fundamentally important of them all: Tarukaja. This particular skill is a buff ability that lets you strengthen a party member on the team for a short period of time.
Tarukaja is so common in the Persona games, plus SMT as well. Still, it is one that is easy to ignore since it may not be as necessary as something like magic or physical skills. That said, I recommend Tarukaja to every team and every game since it can make the fights a lot more straightforward, especially on higher difficulty levels
Its importance is seen in the fact that Tarukaja is available in the entire pantheon of Atlus JRPGs. You can find it in every single mainline game to date, including the ones across the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series. There are only minor changes for it across the series.
For starters, Tarukaja is categorized as a buff skill that you can use. Both demons and player characters can learn these types of abilities alike. Buffs are probably the least used types of skills in all of the Atlus JRPGs since they are not as simple to learn as other types.
For instance, we all know we need attack skills to defeat the opponent and win the battle. We also know that recovery skills are necessary for healing up so we can continue fighting. But buffs and debuffs fall by the wayside due to not being as necessary as those.
However, buff skills are crucial for most bosses out there in the Persona games. These will boost the stats of a single player or the entire party, enhancing your performance in the battle, usually for a limited time. Of the buffs, Tarukaja is likely the most famous one.
How It Works
How Tarukaja works is that it simply boosts the attack of a single person. That is the base version of the skill, and it is relatively easy to understand in that way. If you use Tarukaja, it will consume some MP from the person using it in order to give that same character or another one a better attack.
That is relatively simple enough on its own. If you use Tarukaja, your attacks are going to do better. It is worth noting that this affects not just your basic attack but the skills that you use, too. In general, this also affects the physical skills that you use.
And in some games, Tarukaja will even boost the magical skills you are trying to use in a battle. As you can see, if you want to maximize your damage output in the fights you’re doing, Tarukaja is going to be your best friend. Without it, you aren’t making the most of your potential.
Tarukaja, in its basest form, is also only available for a single player. There are better versions that target the entire party. Still, the base Tarukaja will only grant a strength boost to a single demon or player character. Even then, there are some variations for Tarukaja across games.
In some games, you can stack Tarukaja, meaning that you can use it multiple times to add even more of a boost to your attack. In other games, how much you boost a particular character will vary. Some games do a 50% difference, so you will have roughly 1.5 times the attack you had before using Tarukaja.
But then you have some games where it is even more than that. Some games will literally double your damage with a single use of Tarukaja to then have 2x the damage. But then there is Persona 5, which has been datamined to determine that Tarukaja is weaker in that game. It only grants under 1.5x the damage when you use it, which is a bit lame and strange, too.
There are a couple of different versions of Tarukaja that you can find in the SMT and Persona games. These are enhanced versions of the original skill that allows it to do a little bit more out of the box. First off, there is Auto-Tarukaja, which is probably my favorite of the bunch.
What is intriguing about this one is that this is a passive auto skill, and you don’t have to spend any MP whatsoever to use it. How it works is that Auto-Tarukaja will automatically give the character who has it an automatic boost to their attack as soon as they enter any battle.
I will be the first to note that I am not a massive fan of using buffs in battles. That might sound like I am a cruddy player, but they bore me, and I prefer to stick to the usual damage and healing skills for the most part. However, Auto-Tarukaja is the perfect fit for a playstyle like mine.
I don’t want to waste a character’s turn using this skill but having it automatically at least means I can benefit from it for a time. I know that I used this a lot in games like Persona 4 Golden. Of course, the downside is that in some games, Auto-Tarukaja only lasts for the first few turns of a battle.
Besides the automatic passive version of the attack-boosting skill, there is also the enhanced version that targets more than one party member or demon. This is known as Matarukaja and is a skill that you can use to grant a boost to attack for everyone in the party.
This is a much better version of Tarukaja since it will target everyone in the group rather than a single person. That is honestly part of the reason why I rarely use buffs since I don’t want to sit there and waste four skills just to buff everyone in the party.
Unfortunately, Matarukaja is a relatively rare skill, and it is only found on a few demons in the games. I will honestly note that I have used Auto-Tarukaja and even the base version more than Matarukaja. I wish it was a little bit more common, especially earlier in Atlus JRPGs, rather than much later on in the story like in many of them.
Tarukaja is a staple in almost all of the Atlus JRPGs out there. You will find it in most Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games alike. Here are all of the titles where Tarukaja is available as a skill:
- Shin Megami Tensei
- SMT II
- SMT if
- Persona 2: Innocent Sin
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
- SMT Nine
- SMT III: Nocturne
- Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army
- Devil Summoner 2
- Persona 3 and all of its versions
- Persona 4 and Golden
- Shin Megami Tensei IV
- SMT IV: Apocalypse
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
- Persona 5 and Royal
- SMT Liberation Dx2
- Persona 5 Strikers
- Shin Megami Tensei V
As you can see, almost every game has it featured. There are a few strange exclusions like some spin-off games, but the core mainline titles all have Tarukaja in one form or another.
How to Acquire Tarukaja in SMT Games
For the most part, the way that you acquire the Tarukaja skill is the same across almost all of the Shin Megami Tensei games that it is in. The first of these has to do with the demons that you have in your possession. The demons learn skills as they level up throughout your journey.
There are some demons that naturally learn the skill Tarukaja, but they are generally few in number. That is the first way that you can get Tarukaja in these games. The second is by passing on the skill from an old demon to a new one through fusion.
This is the primary way of passing along the skill to other demons that would not be able to learn it otherwise. Finally, the last way that you can learn Tarukaja is by using the protagonist themselves. This differs from game to game, but the general idea is to use whatever mechanics the game has in place to learn the skill for yourselves.
In the case of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, for example, the Demi Fiend that you play as has the Magatamas that he can equip. You can equip the right Magatama and learn the Tarukaja skill that way. On the other hand, the protagonists in SMT IV and Apocalypse learn the skill through Demon Whisper with certain demons in those games.
How to Master Tarukaja in the Persona Games
On the other hand, the Persona games are a bit unique compared to the system of learning the Tarukaja skill in the SMT parent series. What is the same, at least, is the fact that you have certain demons that will learn the Tarukaja skill naturally.
This part is exactly the same, and there is nothing too unusual that is going on here, specifically. There are a handful of demons in each game, depending on the title, that will learn Tarukaja naturally when you first receive them or by leveling up over time.
In general, the demons that know Tarukaja differ in each Persona game, so don’t expect the same ones to learn that skill in every game. But the next method is, like SMT, to fuse these demons with other ones that have the skill already. You can then pass it along this way to the new demon.
However, it is the final method that is unique to the Persona games. There are skill cards that exist in the modern Persona games that are like TMs in the Pokemon series. You can use these rare items to teach specific skills to demons, and there is typically no restriction on who can learn what.
Tarukaja is considered a lower-level skill that you can find relatively quickly in the Persona games, so, in my experience, it is pretty easy to find the skill card for it. In both Persona 4 Golden and 5, I found the skill card for Tarukaja rather quickly in those games.
With the skill card for Tarukaja in hand, you can instantly teach it to whatever demon you prefer. If you’re having trouble getting the skill card, try to negotiate and execute every demon you have in those games. It is a bit random, so you aren’t always guaranteed to have it happen.
What Personas Learn This Skill
Of course, the easiest way that you can unlock the Tarukaja skill in your playthroughs is by just finding the right Persona that has it in their skill set. This will be the optimal way of passing along Tarukaja because, even if you don’t like that particular Persona, you can take that skill and give it to someone else instead.
Every Persona is helpful in this manner since it can essentially be sacrificial material to pass on to the Persona that you actually care about.
Focusing solely on the Persona series in this particular section, here are all of the Personas in the entire series that naturally learn Tarukaja through leveling up. I will also note what games they are in and when they learn the skill, starting with the first Persona and going in chronological order:
- Azrael: Learns at rank 7
- Michael: Rank 3
- Otohime: Rank 7
- Pallas Athena: Rank 7
- Yama: Learns at rank 8
Here are all of the Personas that learn Tarukaja naturally in Persona 2: Innocent Sin:
- Bacchus: Rank 6
- Cu Chulainn: Rank 4
- Nezha: Rank 4
- Pallas Athena: Rank 5
- Seioubo: Rank 4
- Shiva: Rank 4
- Susano-o: Rank 8
- Vulcanus Prime: Rank 7
Now for the Personas that learn it naturally in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, which is surprisingly a little bit different from its predecessor, Innocent Sin:
- Bacchus: Rank 2
- Cu Chulainn: Rank 4
- Huracan: Rank 8
- Kanshou: Rank 5
- Nata: Rank 3
- Pallas Athena: Rank 4
- Seioubo: Rank 6
- Shiva: Rank 4
- Susano-o: Rank 8
- Wong Long: Rank 6
From there, we move to the modern 3D games with Persona 3’s Tarukaja demons, which are far less than the past two games for some reason:
- Berith: Automatic at level 13 when acquired
- Forneus: Automatic at level 7
- Tam Lin: Automatic at level 13 (exclusive to Persona 3 Portable)
- Taraka: Automatic at level 32 (base game), level 38 (FES and Portable)
- Zouchouten: Automatic at level 14
Here is Persona 4’s few Tarukaja demons:
- Ara Mitama: Level 20
- Flauros: Automatic at level 36 when acquired
- Forneus: Automatic at level 6
- Izanagi: Level 5
- Obariyon: Automatic at level 13
And last but not least, here are the Persona 5 and Royal Tarukaja demons:
- Andras: Level 11 (base game only)
- Berith: Level 10 (Royal only)
- Cait Sith: Automatic at level 5 when acquired (Persona 5 Royal)
- Eligor: Automatic
- Fuu-Ki: Automatic
- Hecatoncheires: Automatic
- Inugami: Automatic
- Ippon-Datara: Automatic
- Izanagi: Automatic
- Kodama: Level 14 (base game), 15 (Royal)
- Mokoi: Automatic
- Pixie: Level 5 (base game), 4 (Royal)
- Queen’s Necklace: Automatic
- Rakshasa: Automatic
- Shiki-Ouji: Automatic (but different fusion levels in the base game and Royal, though)
- Sudama: Automatic (Royal only)
- Thunderbird: Automatic (Royal only)
Question: What is Tarukaja in Persona?
Answer: Tarukaja is a base buff in the Persona games that raises the attack power of a single target ally for only three turns. It usually only costs a single digit amount of MP to cast.
Question: What does Auto Tarukaja do?
Answer: Auto Tarukaja is precisely what it sounds like. It gives you an automatic version of the Tarukaja buff that is a passive skill version. Instead of making you target someone and spend a turn plus some MP to boost your attack, it automatically happens when you enter every battle.
Question: What Persona turns into Rakukaja?
Answer: Rakukaja is the defensive version of Tarukaja, boosting your physical defense stats. Here are just some of the lowest-level demons that naturally learn Rakukaja in the entire Persona series:
• Yama: Persona 1
• Poltergeist: Persona 2 Innocent Sin
• Tenhou Gensui: Persona 2 Eternal Punishment
• Ara Mitama: Persona 3
• Izanagi: Persona 4
• Agathion: Persona 5
What Skill to Master Next
Tarukaja may not be the most crucial skill you can use in the Persona games, but it is still worth knowing about. Even if you are like me and don’t use it to increase your attack power that often in battles, it is still worth knowing about since many enemies will use it, especially in boss battles. The bosses will use Tarukaja to increase their own firepower, so to speak, in battle.
But Tarukaja is far from the only skill and feature you need to know about that can directly affect your gameplay. Suppose you would like to know more about other crucial features of Atlus games. In that case, you should learn more about the Kagutsuchi feature, a massive part of some of the Shin Megami Tensei titles. I’ve got your back with everything you need to know to master this otherwise underexplained SMT system.
- Ishtar Persona 5 Guide: How to Unlock Ishtar in Persona 5 - March 29, 2023
- Persona 5 Vinyl Guide: Where to Buy the Best Persona 5 Vinyls - March 21, 2023
- Zenkichi Persona Guide: Phantom Thieves’ Wolf Explained - March 16, 2023