Hello Basement Dwellers and Monster Slayers.
A few people around the forum have been experiencing some trouble making their way through the personal hell of Isaacs basement and beyond. So I'll try and give you all a few helpful tips I use to battle my way through to Mom and further (You'll see). Here is my top 5 most important things to look out for while you're traversing this nightmare of a basement.
These rocks are somewhat uncommon although easily noticed by their blueish hue compared to the normal brown rocks and will require a bomb to crack open for the gooey gooey insides, but are paramount to getting a foot up if you want to make it out of here alive. Tinted rocks should, most of the time, be encountered at least once or twice between both the Basement 1 and 2 and although they require a bomb they shouldn't be too much trouble seeing as Isaac luckily enough starts with one in his items. There's a very good reason we're going after these rocks at every oppurtunity. Spirit hearts. I cannot stress how impotant spirit hearts are on the earlier floors. I'm assuming all of you have come across a spirit heart at some point, they're small grey hearts that provide a temporary heart piece and let you take 2 extra hits before your HP starts going down (Or one extra hit if you come across a champion monster).
Obviously having these hearts is a great leg up, those extra hits allow you more time to fight before having to
replenish yourself with the life drops, keeping your red hearts full should always be your primary goal. The second reason we're going after these rocks if they have a high chance of spawning keys and bombs, which you should know are important if you've ever played the game. And lastly, although the most uncommon, is the number one reason we're blowing these little rocks to smitherins. Small Rock is an uncommon drop from tinted rocks. If I had to guess I'd say you have about a 25% of this item spawning and it provides you with a MASSIVE damage upgrade very early on in the game.
Poop and Fire
There really isn't a whole lot to say about these environmental pieces. They're in basically every second room on the basement 1 and 2. It doesn't take a smart man to know you need to avoid fire, it will take off one half heart if you get too close. These should be destroyed every single time you see one, they often drop pennies and on rare occassions drop key, bombs or spirit hearts.
You already know what these are, the glorious golden doorways you come across on every floor which provide you with an item, albeit executeable (Spacebar items) or Passive. This is the FIRST place you should try to find on every floor, no exploring to see how big the map is or any of that jazz. FIND THE TREASURE ROOM. You will need it as soon as possible. Whether you knew this or not, Treasure rooms will never have 2 doors. As soon as you land in your first room pick a direction and stick to it until you reach a dead end then head back to your spawn point and choose another. Thankfully the first two floors are relatively small so you won't have too much trouble finding it. These room become more of a gamble as you unlock more items and your chance of finding something useless increases but you also unlock another powerful item for Isaac called the D6, but I'll cover that in a future blog (Did I mention I'll probably do a couple of these to help people along as they progress?). A few things about a treasure room which I do personally, but hey, you might not like to do it my way, so you don't have to follow these tips.
- If I find a bad item in my first treasure room, I restart my game
- Spacebar items should always be saved for the boss fight, unless you know that they are not offensive items as most of these have a 3-6 room recharge rate (Recharges only proc if the room has enemies in it)
- Never, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever avoid picking up a passive items. Ever.
This may be a stretch to find for a novice or otherwise clumsy player but the
devil is a special room which can only be encountered on the basement 2 and beyond. He will only pop up AFTER the boss fight and you have to take as little damage on the floor as possible. The Devil room is often daunting for first time visitors due to his way of doing business. These "Deals with the Devil" result in you getting an item from a very special set which only the Devil has, and all of them are extremely powerful. The downside? You pay him with hearts, and I don't mean damage, you give him one of your heart containers, lowering your overall life.
These deals will cost anywhere between 1 and 3 hearts and on the rare occasion he will offer you deals for 2-3 spirit hearts. Seeing as your life should be guarded as closesly as possible you need to be careful with these deals. Luckily for you, 80% of the time bosses on the first 2 floors will offer you a HP up for defeating them. I recommend not making these deals unless you have at least 4-5 hearts. My rule of thumb is to never go below 2 heart containers.
Stores and Money
Pennies. Pennies everywhere. You are going to find so many pennies. I don't have to tell you why money is so important, money makes the world go 'round, even this completely surreal totally insane and dangerous subterranian nightmare world. Always pick up any money you can see, simple enough. But there are some things to know when dealing with these shiny little discs. You'll often find money trapped in spaces blocked off my rocks, never bother with these unless you have an abundance of bombs (Abundance meaning 5 or more) because very rarely it'll be more than one or two cents, and that's not worth a bomb at all (Bombs sell for 3-5 cents in the store). Speaking of which - The store, this room which can only be accessed by a key can make or break your run at times. More bullet points!
- Don't go into the store unless you have 15 cents or more, stores will always have a treasure room items, which costs 15 cents. Some times you will go in and find then on sale (Marked by the price in red text) for 7 cents, but it's better to never take the risk. 15 cents at least.
- Be prepared for a fight - Sometimes you will go into a store and be greeted with not only a lack of items, but some asshole named Greed. He can be a highly dangerous mini-boss. Everytime you are hit by Greed you not only lose life but he makes you drop money you already had. The upside to this fight? Greed drops money upon defeat, often a large amount, at least 10 cents. Or the very useful item "Steam Sale" which makes every items in the future stores on sale, or half price.
- It's a good idea to ignore stores all together if you can. If you haven't unlocked the character Cain yet, I suggest you do it. Cain is not only my favourite character, but is extremely useful for beginners. He is unlocked by collecting 55 cents in one run, as in having 55 cents on you at one time, not 55 cents overall.
That's about all I have for you for the time being, but as you can see, although the enemies in the game are daunting they are so unimportant to your success it's not funny. They're an annoying distraction.
I will have another blog possibly late this week or early next week going into a few more details about things. I know some of you are asking why I never mentioned item combos or boss strategies, these are random for the most part, it's hard to write a guide on something random, but I'll have something up about item combos to be on the look out for and character bios and strategies coming up very soon
Good luck and feel free to ask me about any questions you have in a PM or in The Binding of Isaac thread.