Friday, August 26, 2016

The Binding of Isaac: Instant Start Mod

I personally haven't played very much Isaac lately, but the racing community has chugged along making new mods and coming up with new ideas for races. I saw the details for an upcoming race (tonight at 6pm EST) that really got my brain churning. There's a mod out there that lets you give your character items at the start of the game, so you could start with a godhead or a brimstone or whatever. The race is to beat blue baby in the chest with all 13 of the characters in the game as fast as you can, with the added twist that each of the 13 characters has to use a different one of the starting items.

Whoa! It's one thing to figure out what the best item would be for each individual character but then adding in that extra restriction really kicks things up a notch. There are 3 characters, for example, that all really want to start with Judas' shadow. Most of the others probably want a knife or an epic fetus if I'm using my prior racing knowledge... But in previous races I couldn't start with a godhead if I wanted to, or a brimstone. Would those be better than a knife? Especially for me, who is distinctly mediocre with a knife? Oh, and then it turns out the mod has 31 starts, and some of them aren't single items, so it's really tricky to compare. For reference, the 31 starts are:

  1. 20/20
  2. Chocolate milk
  3. Cricket's body
  4. Cricket's head
  5. Dead eye
  6. Death's touch
  7. Dr fetus
  8. Epic fetus
  9. Ipecac
  10. Judas' shadow
  11. Lil brimstone
  12. Magic mushroom
  13. Mom's knife
  14. Monstro's lung
  15. Polyphemus
  16. Proptosis
  17. Sacrificial dagger
  18. Tech .5
  19. Tech X
  20. Brimstone
  21. Incubus
  22. Maw of the void
  23. Crown of light
  24. Godhead
  25. Sacred heart
  26. Quad shot + triple shot
  27. Technology + coal
  28. Ludovico technique + parasite
  29. Fire mind + 13 lucky foot 
  30. Kamikaze + host hat
  31. Mega blast + habit + battery + AAA battery
Some of those seem like silly things people wanted to fool around with. Having a fire mind that always explodes seems like a disaster when it comes to going fast, for example, and I can't imagine ludovico is ever very fast either. Mega blast feels like it would be very fast, but I just can't handle it. I tried it out on Maggie yesterday with no success at all, but I also didn't double charge it with the battery. But if I'm going to struggle through a few floors with Maggie... That's slow too!

Anyway, my initial idea was to run:

??? - Judas Shadow (10)
Maggie - (31)
Samson - Maw (22)
Cain - sacred heart (25)
Isaac - quads (26)
Judas - Magic Mushroom (12)
Eve - tech x (19)
Azazel - coal (27)
Lazarus - ipecac (9)
Eden - Epic Fetus (8)
Lost - Godhead (24)
Lilith - Knife (13)
Keeper - Brim (20)

I ended up making some changes on the fly. I gave Maggie the only other item with a speed up in it, the magic mushroom, and gave Judas 20/20 instead. Then I had real trouble using the knife on Lilith. I thought she'd get to use a knife even though she had the blindfold but that wasn't the case at all. On the suggestion of a viewer (who is also the guy running the race, it turns out) I ran epic fetus on her instead. She does get to use that item with the blindfold, which is sweet. I gave Eden the knife instead, and that was fine.

I died with multiple characters. Some of that was just bring rusty for sure, but some of it is how terrible The Lost and The Keeper are. I gave Judas' shadow to Blue Baby because his base stats are garbage and I hate how he can't get red hearts, but Keeper is even worse. Not being able to take any good devil deal is just such a deal breaker. So I think I need to give the shadow to Keeper. That means I'd need to find a new item for Blue Baby, and it should be a good one because he's pretty bad.

I think what I should do is give sacred heart to Blue Baby, shift 20/20 over to Cain, and tag in the crown of light for Judas. Apparently it adds a couple of soul hearts on top of doing double damage, which is good for Judas.

Azazel is also not really enjoying coal. I was hoping the tech 1 would override his short brim, but that was not to be. I think I'll give him the brimstone freed up in the previous swap. Does anyone else want tech+coal? Tech X is really good, but it hurts my hand to use, so maybe I should try giving it to Eve. Or actually, maybe the Lost should take it since he starts with spectral? Does spectral stack with technology in a good way? A quick test says yes, the laser goes the whole screen even over rocks. That frees up a godhead to use on Eve. So now I think my lineup is going to be...

??? - sacred heart (25)
Maggy - Magic Mushroom (12)
Samson - Maw (22)
Cain - 20/20 (1)
Isaac - quads (26)
Judas - crown of light (23)
Eve - Godhead (24)
Azazel - Brim (20)
Lazarus - ipecac (9)
Eden - Knife (13)
Lost - coal (27)
Lilith - Epic Fetus (8)
Keeper - Judas Shadow (10)

I'm certainly open to opinion and suggestions!

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