Living the Binding of Isaac life #2

Well, shit. The Binding of Isaac clock says over 85 hours now. Has it been that long already? It doesn’t feel like it, but let’s see what progress has been made since last time.

Did battle with the dreaded Mega Satan! In Rebirth I only ever killed him once because it’s such a crazy fight and there weren’t any rewards for beating him other than a picture of him knocked out displayed on your save file. This is a super boss with a ridiculous amount of health (and no visible health bar for some reason), who also summons THIRTEEN other boss characters during the fight, then after all that, has an even nastier second form for you to fight. It’s nutty alright, and it’s the kind of fight that you shouldn’t even bother with unless you’re having a really good run with a lot of powerful abilities.

He’s actually not bad at all if you’ve become powerful enough. The trickiest part is just getting there at the right time really. The door to his fight is at the beginning of the later Dark Room or Chest areas, but you need to get the two pieces of the key to open the door and they can only be found by finding an angel room and killing the secret angel statue bosses or if you’re really lucky and have a lot of hearts lying around you can give a lot of damage up to a sacrifice room and get a chance to summon one. So you have to hope that you get these opportunities to successfully get the key and then make it all the way to the door AND have all the power you need to win. As usual with this game there’s a certain amount of luck involved.

Anyway, it turns out that they’ve added unlockable items for beating him now, so now there’s actually a reason to go back and kill him with all the other characters. Also unlocked an interesting new character, Apollyon, for killing him the first time. Apollyon starts with a weird new item, The Void, which can be use to permanently absorb other items to gain their abilities and boost your stats, providing an interesting new way to play. So, I’ve beaten him several times now, but still have many more to go to get all those unlocks.

On non-Mega Satan runs I kept killing The Lamb and ??? on the assumption that beating them several times would unlock the next sections, but as it turns out, this was wrong. The new final areas have a very different method of access. To get to The Blue Womb you have to do a speed run and get all the way to the end of The Womb in less than 30 minutes and a portal will appear. Oddly enough, it’s not a full level at all, it’s just a lobby area with a few treasures and a shop and then a giant boss room.

In this boss room you meet Hush, a new, giant superboss. He’s not terribly difficult, he just kind of sits there spitting bullets out all over the place, but he does have a ridiculous amount of health. It’s a battle of endurance really. Again, there is a bit of luck involved though, as you’ll have to pass up a lot of power-ups if you want to make it to him in time, so you might arrive a bit underpowered if you’re not lucky in your item drops.

Hush wasn’t that tough though. Things get much nastier when you move on to the final final area, The Void. This time there’s an actual level for you to go through, a very large level with something like 8 different boss rooms in it. The final boss is Delirium and he seemed damn near impossible in our initial battles. He just jumps all over the huge room, transforming into super mutant versions of all the other bosses, and shooting bullets fucking everywhere. It’s hard to get a good shot at him and his health is so ridiculously high that I barely seemed to hurting him at all. It doesn’t help that you have to get here via The Blue Womb either, so like I said before, you’ll probably be underpowered due to having to rush there.

After several annoyingly unsuccessful attempts, I realized that I was going about it all wrong again. Apparently all those other boss rooms are there for a reason. Each optional boss killed cuts a big chunk off of Delirium’s health bar. If you take all of them out he only has a fraction of his whole health. He’s still nasty, but much, much more manageable. You get item drops from each one too so you’ll have a nice power boost by the time you get there.

I’m not sure how this is going to go in the future though. My one win so far was because I had a map revealing item that let me see that one of the boss rooms was much larger than the others, so I knew which one to hit last. Without such an item, it seems like you could only pick boss rooms randomly and hope for the best. We’ll see…

After one Delirium victory I decided to move on to trying to finish up those challenges in order to unlock some more stuff. I didn’t make it very far at all. I finished #20, but have since been completely stuck on #21, titled Speed. This one wants you to not only clear up to The Womb with everything moving at super speed, you also have a time limit of 16 minutes, after which your health starts slowly dropping until you die. Fuck.

I’ve tried and failed at this many, many times now. I had two times where I just barely missed it. It’s absolutely ridiculous and seems to be almost entirely luck based. Unless you find some very powerful weapons very quickly, you just can’t move through the levels fast enough to make it in time, and even then, you probably still won’t have enough time unless you get a map revealing item or get really lucky in which directions you choose to move in. Basically if you don’t get one of the rare items that lets you have bomb tears, which allow you to kill enemies and bosses very quickly and blast open doors in emergencies, you’re probably not going to make it.

Things left to do:

  • Beat the damn Speed challenge
  • Beat the other remaining challenges
  • Try out Boss Rush and Greed modes
  • and many, many more…

BUT…I think I’m going to take a little break to play a couple other portable-friendly games I picked up, because this challenge is just pissing me off and burning me out on the game so I need to take a step back for a bit. I’ll definitely be returning to the game again before too long though. There’s still so much to be done!

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