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The Binding of Isaac

edited January 2014 in Video Games
This game is just too good to not have its own thread. I still play it regularly while listening to music or podcasts or whatever, because it's always fun. Basically it's an archetypical roguelike. Every playthrough is different and there are no savestates. As is McMillen's style, the art style is also pretty interesting by combining relatively cute drawings with really grim and horrifying subject matter. However, since there are so many items in the damn thing, particularly with the Wrath of the Lamb DLC, you hardly can play it without having the Wiki open in the background.

Today I managed to beat Satan for like the 2nd time or so. I did so with Cain having a fully upgraded Meat Boy and a Ghost Baby tow, while having previously traded two Hearts for Spirit of the Night (because the ability to fly is just one of the best things you can have in this game. I basically always trade life containers for an item that gives flight). Managed to sustain myself by using the Safety Cap as my Trinket spawning Pills for me, and a Book of Revelations. Never found a Health upgrade other than Health Up pills, but thanks to Cain's Lucky Foot I can't find bad pills so it's a safe gamble. Went into Satan with more than the entire top right in Soul Hearts and 4 full red Hearts, and killed him with 1 or 2 red hearts left. That fucker is really hard to kill.
Post edited by chaosof99 on


  • Just wait 'till The Chest. I clocked probably 200 hours in this game and stopped when I realized all I have left is to beat that shit with every character.

    I'll be back for Rebirth though.
  • I played Isaac when it came out for a while. Got my fill of it pretty soon and after I stopped playing it I never picked it up again. I can see how and why other people get really into it and play it endlessly, but it just doesn't work for me.
  • Just wrecked Satan's face. I was playing the "Meat 4 Ever" Challenge (you start with an L4 Super Meat Boy, but you get no treasure rooms). I had like 8 Red Heart Containers because I kept finding stuff like Dinner and Meat, and I also had the Sacred Heart, which is really just super-powerful. I was super-slow though and would have been slower if not for the Goat Hoof trinket.
  • I've probably put a good 50+ hours into it. Not really sure since I played it a lot offline and I don't think steam counts those hours. Seriously gambling is definitely worth it if you play it right. If you've already beaten the level's boss, do things like sell as much blood as you can and gamble with it and use up all of the leftover hearts that are probably strewn about the level. It can take some time but eventually you'll probably get a jackpot. I've gotten multiple in the same level before.
  • Played it. Beat it. Still on cooldown until I pick it back up again. I doubt I'll ever be able to do the challenges y'all are doing, though.
  • Meh, challenges are just a regular playthrough with some different starting conditions.
  • Love Binding of Isaac. 50+ hours on it. I played it so much that I was beating the entire hard run more often than losing. I think if it weren't prone to glitches, I'd rank it even higher as one of my favorite games ever. I will definitely be buying the update when it comes, just because I really enjoyed everything from the music, to the art style, to the difficult of this gem.

    I'll also say this. It is one of those rare times that it has an ending that is open to interpretation and it completely works.
  • edited February 2015
    Weird how we never posted anything about "Rebirth" coming out. Game is great, but more a remake than a sequel. In addition to all the content ported over from the first game, there are several new features, playable characters, and even a new level of your choice. I particularly enjoy playing with Azazel, though that's because he has flight from the start and I love having flight. Some of the challenges are frustrating, but manageable. There's also a seeding system now where you can "save" runs and reattempt them, or attempt runs by other people.

    Some of the new items I love: Epic Fetus, Ipecac, Blank Card, Best Friends Forever, Placenta.
    I also once had a run with The Ludovico Technique and Strange Attractor, which was brilliant because the single floating tear you have draws in enemies like a damn black hole and deals damage to them.

    Also, this:
    Post edited by chaosof99 on
  • The first game is very glitchy. Fired it up on steam a few days ago and it gave me the platinum chievo. So I have three or four chievos for the game with platinum being one of them.
  • Banta asked the following in another thread and I post my answer here to not clutter the Things of the Day thread:
    Banta said:

    Oh man, I just started playing that game. Any suggestions on how to not suck (besides get better at dodging and memorizing items)?

    1) Use the wiki. No shame in it since the game is huge and there there are so many items. At some point you will just memorize what each card does for example, but you won't initially.

    2) In the Options there is an advanced/extended hud. Activating it gives you an item tracker on the right hand side of the screen and the timer permanently on the top of the screen. This is good to help you with getting to Boss Rush and the Hush fight which are only available if you beat Mom within 20 minutes or Mom's Heart/It Lives within 30. The second one is easier to achieve, particularly if you pick up any form of mapping since the Womb floors have fewer special rooms of interest. To notice is that if you only have Treasure Map that the Boss fight is usually the room farthest from the starting room, and if you have the Blue Map that the second secret room (the one with the grey question mark). Both Boss Rush and Hush are not easy, but if you are capable of them they provide a lot of items beforehand and can be very good sources of upgrades.

    3) Related to the above: If you play on PC and play in a windowed mode, try increasing the size of that window. This lets you see more of the screen and is particularly helpful on large rooms and Greed mode. It is a little bit "cheaty" though.

    4) Speaking of secret rooms, it is often easy to find them even without a Blue Map type of effect. Secret Rooms are always adjacent to at least three other rooms. Super-Secret Rooms are never adjacent to more than one room. Neither can be attached to a "thin" or "small" layout room" (introduced in afterbirth) or the Boss Room. They can also not be adjacent to a room on a side where the wall is unreachable (either because rocks are in the way or because there is a gap you can't cross).

    5) Use cursed rooms and red chests. For a long time I thought both of these were awful and usually not worth the risk, but both of them can provide access to devil deal items, particularly Guppy items. Guppy items are especially valuable because the Guppy transformation is so very powerful with the flight and Mulligan ability.

    6) Look for tinted rocks. They often provide spirit hearts (the blue ones) which will protect your life. This is important to get Devil deals as taking "red heart damage" on a floor severely reduces the likelihood of one showing up after you defeat the boss. Devil deals have some of the best items in the game in them (Mom's Knife, Brimstone, Maw of the Void) and thus you want to have them. Also if you are unaware there is a mechanic called "precedent". If you refuse to take an item the first time a devil deal shows up (or are unable because its only red chests or a Krampus fight) makes it possible that you may get angel rooms instead of devil deals when you are eligible again. Angel deals give you free items but are mostly pretty shitty unless you get really lucky. Taking a Devil deal locks you out of getting Angel Rooms. This also happens if you find a Black market from a crawl space and trade a heart container for a shop item. Angel Rooms have their use when you try to go after a Mega Satan victory but I try to avoid them mostly. In general, in BoI damage is worth a lot more than health.

    7) Speaking of shops, don't forget that you can bomb the donation machine if you are short on money. Best is to place a bomb between it and the shopkeeper which will also blow up the shopkeeper which can yield some money (but occasionally will spawn some spiders, so look out). Bombing the machine raises your chances of finding a devil deal (as does bombing beggars). Donating to the machine raises the chance of Angel rooms. At first you should be looking to donate as often as possible since this unlocks some items at specific amounts and also increases the "shop level" which permanently increases the number of items that show up in the shop for sale even if you drop below that donation amount. One of the best items in the game, the Stop Watch, unlocks at 999 (don't donate more because the machine rolls over). Unfortunately it has recently been severely nerfed.

    8) Play the challenges. They provide unlocks for completing them, some of which are very valuable, particularly the runes.

    9) I also recommend watching some streamers or youtubers that play the game often (like for example Northernlion). The game is huge and some things you don't pick up on immediately. Watching other people play helps a lot.

    10) The Afterbirth expansion added a new game mode. Greed mode is has a new interesting mechanic in only providing money as item drops from defeating waves. Some of the best items in that mode are the D20 and Blank Card (the latter if you find a 2 of Diamonds card). Both of them can go "infinite" if the shop sells battery charges. Don't forget that you can reroll the shop into selling battery charges with the reroll machine by spending either money on it or bombing it. Bombs are pretty scarce in greed mode though unless you use the D20.

    11) Greed mode also has secret rooms. They are pretty hard to find though so don't go around bombing every wall as that is pretty wasteful. You can usually ignore secret rooms but if you get an item like Blue Map or Spelunker's Hat for cheap they can be decent enough.
  • Finally got through the Utero chapter:


    Homing and laser tears with max damage made it very easy. Prayer card is probably my favorite activated item; I was constantly running into batteries and ended up using it once or twice every floor.
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