All Summon Night games have relationships between their main characters and party members. There’s always an opportunity to connect, influencing the ending as a result. Summon Night 5 is no exception. On the plus side, these relationships occur naturally throughout the story, making it easy to determine if you’re on the correct route.
Players learn about affinities early on in Summon Night 5, as well as Karma, but aren’t really exposed to either until the end of the first chapter. Folth and Arca’s landlord, Lorah, offers a brief explanation of the affinity and Karma system. She also happens to be the go-to person to check said levels.
As far as I have been able to work out from Summon Night 5, there are about 13 endings ties to people who join the main character’s party. At the end of each chapter, there will be an opportunity to enjoy a late night chat with one of the extra party members. Talking will reveal more about the character and fill up one of the five hearts next to their name. The goal is to get at least three hearts filled to earn the ending tied to that man or woman. Yes, gender isn’t an issue in Summon Night 5. These late night “dates” are the only way to boost affinity.
Actually picking the ending hinges on a conversation that happens in the fourteenth chapter of Summon Night 5. All characters with at least three hearts will be eligible for an ending. For those who aren’t good at making friends, the avatar’s Cross will always be available as an option, even if you didn’t have any late night chats. Dyth, Kagerou, Pariet, and Spinel will always be by Folth and Arca’s side.
However, there is one other ending option that’s tied to Karma. If party members fall in battle, Folth and Arca’s will build up negative Karma. Getting three stars worth of negative Karma and talking to your cross in the thirteenth chapter will unlock a Forbidden Magic User class for the hero or heroine. While having this additional option is nice, you can be trapped in the Bad Ending path if you earn five stars worth of Karma or have your character set as a Forbidden Magic User in the final battle.
Think of Summon Night 5 this way. Players get an opportunity to get closer to people or force them away. Getting to know them between chapters lets them in. Allowing them to fall in battle pushes them away. Keep an eye on your levels by talking with Lorah every few chapters, have a couple of save files going into Chapter 14, and you should be fine.
Summon Night 5 is immediately available for the PlayStation Portable via the PlayStation Store. It can also be played on a PlayStation Vita or PlayStation TV.