Who knew crying babies could generate so much news? Anyone who knows new parents, I suppose. Jokes. But here I mean The Binding of Isaac [official site], which has exciting new things going on with both its original Flash version and the fancy remake Rebirth.
BoI’s ultra-difficult ‘Eternal’ update is now out, introducing a new difficulty mode full of ridiculous bullet-spewing variants of enemies. It’s somewhere between challenging and trolling. We also have more word on the ‘Afterbirth’ expansion for Rebirth, with a glimpse of new alternative levels and talk of making secret character The Lost maybe actually fun.
First, the Eternal update. Only available for BoI with the Wrath of the Lamb expansion, it fixes a few long-standing bugs but mainly cranks up the difficulty. Who fancies an Envy fight where the split heads merge if you don’t kill them quick enough? Monstro which sprays loads of bullets and splits into two horrible Monstros? Mullibooms which spray Ipecac shots? Both bosses and regular enemies can come in Eternal variants, which largely sound like horrible speedy horrors spewing shots everywhere. It tops off the difficulty with tweaks like giving the D6 a chance to re-roll items into nothing.
The Eternal update’s the work of original BoI co-creator and programmer, made for funsies after Edmund McMillen moved onto Rebirth. It’s live for y’all now, if you fancy a crushing challenge. Here’s Himsl playing a little and talking about impending bug fixes:
Speaking of unfun and difficult things, Edmund McMillen’s latest Afterbirth dev update talks about making The Lost less of a horrible chore one suffers through to unlock godly items. His current ideas are to start The Lost with the D4, D6, D20 and either more speed or spectral tears; you can vote on which you’d prefer.
“I personally think any of these edits will push The Lost from an optional challenge most people don’t want to admit exists to a more realistic challenge I think players will have a lot more fun diving into,” he says.
The Lost was created as a super-secret character, unlocked through a convoluted series of events and teased only by mysterious clues that McMillen had hoped it would take the community months to put together. Then someone peeked into the game’s files and told everyone within two weeks.
“As you can imagine, I thought that was kinda shitty, but honestly I half expected it to happen, just not as soon as it did.”
Anyway, more on Afterbirth: it’ll bring new variants of each floor, or subvariants more accurately. Each set of floors will have a variant theme that ups the difficulty but also offers greater rewards. You might find yourself in a fiery version of the Basement or Cellar, for example, where enemies have different stats and are ablaze, and rocks might be fire pits.
That’s enough babytalk for now, though.