Living the Binding of Isaac Life #4

Yessssss! Finally beat that fucking Ultra Hard challenge! All challenges complete! That was the worst thing ever. If I ever lose all my progress in this game again, I’ll probably still play it again someday, but I will never, ever do these challenges again. The Speed, Brains, and Ultra Hard challenges took significantly more time to complete than the other 32 combined. Ultra Hard was so bad that I almost gave up, but I just didn’t want to let it go with 34/35 challenges done. The obsessive-compulsive part of me just can’t let that go. Anyway, now that’s all done with. Whew.

So…what’s next? Well, I thought I’d tackle something a little easier so I decided to give Victory Laps a try. A Victory Lap in Binding of Isaac is when you beat The Lamb at the end of the Dark Room, which was sort of the “real” end of the game before Delirium came along, and the game gives you the option to do a Victory Lap, which is a little like a New Game+. You start over from the beginning of the same run you just did with almost all your items and power-ups still intact. Sounds super easy doesn’t it?

Well…it is the first time, but then the next time it takes away a few more of your power-ups and the difficulty increases. Then the 3rd time you have to play as The Lost, a secret character (who I still haven’t unlocked) who has 0 health and can’t gain any more by any means (in other words, one hit and you die). You have to finish this 3rd run to unlock Rerun mode though! I got lucky and did it on the first try, only because I’d managed to pick up multiple shielding items that blocked almost all projectiles and gave me a free damage free hit every room.

Next on the list was to finally try Greed ModeGreed Mode is a whole new game mode that’s a lot different than I thought it’d be. You go through the same set of level themes, but they’re all rearranged into one big room in the middle with a big button in the middle, always surrounded by one free item room, one locked item room, and a shop. Unsurprisingly, getting a lot of money is the goal here. When you press the button the first time, waves of enemies come out with a short timer between them, and this can obviously get pretty nasty if you aren’t quick enough because they don’t stop coming out just because you aren’t ready.

If you survive you’ll still have to hit the button one more time to face a timed pair of boss fights before the exit to the level will open. You can also try your luck at hitting the button one more time before you leave to open up an angel or devil room, but this is a big gamble that often leads to even nastier boss fights with no good rewards for it.

Anyway, you need to grab as many coins as you can along the way because you’re going to need them all badly. You’ll need them for buying health and an occasional high-power power-up in the shop, but you also want to try to do that as little as possible too because the ultimate goal here is to have as many coins as possible to put into the greed machine, which only appears at the very end. This machine operates much like the shop donation box in that the more you spend on it, the more things you can unlock from it. There’s even a new character or two to be gained here.

Unfortunately, even if you manage to make it to the last level of Greed Mode, there’s still one more huge obstacle to overcome, the super-boss Ultra Greed. This is one tough customer, with a huge amount of health, some really annoying room-filling attacks, self-healing, and the ability to constantly summon little enemies to assist him. It’s one of the nastier boss fights in the game and it took me several tries to get the hang of Greed Mode enough to be powerful enough to actually beat the guy, but I finally got him.

So…NOW what? Well, after beating Greed Mode with Isaac, I had finally obtained all the icons on Isaac’s character sheet (well, all the normal difficulty ones anyway), so that was nice. There’s still so much to go though. I gave Daily Runs a try, hoping to win the unlock that beating 5 daily runs in a row, but I stumbled on day three!

Alongside that I moved to the next character on the list and tried to get all the normal icons cleared for Magdalene (you unlock something each time you get one of these by the way) and was able to successfully finish her up too, Greed Mode included.

Now I think it’s time for another break again though. At least this time I’m taking a willing break on a high note instead of out of frustration! I just thought it would be a good time to stop to check out a few other new Switch games. Picked up another new ultra hard game, Slime-San, and Dead Cells is about to come out on there, so I might be a while banging my head against those before I return to Isaac again, but I WILL be back!

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