Friday, 26 June 2015

Platinum God, Almost

I took a break from King's Bounty: Dark Side because it turns out the latter half of winning on impossible is a horrible slog. I've got the units and the magic strength to basically beat anything, but sometimes beating anything takes a long time, and there are a lot of things to beat.

In the meantime I've been playing Fallout: New Vegas, Borderlands, Dead Space, and The Binding of Isaac. Amazingly, I am very nearly a Real Platinum God at Isaac, despite the fact that I will still insist that I suck at it.

How can I say I'm bad at Isaac when I've beaten ???, the Lamb and the boss rush on hardmode with the Lost? Partly, I'm really not sure if I could do that again. I only played about a dozen games with the Lost before I came across two completely absurd sets of items - the kinds of items sets that you could only dream about - that allowed me to accomplish these feats.

To beat ??? I had Epic Fetus, the Holy Mantle, Dead Cat, and Pyromaniac. For those who don't know, that means I got to ignore the first hit of every room, I had 9 lives, my tears were replaced with airstrikes that do tremendous damage and can blast open doors, and I was immune to explosions - protecting me both from my own missile strikes and from Mom's stomps.

To beat the boss rush and then move on to the Lamb, I had Brimstone, the Ludovico Technique, Dead Cat and the Stopwatch. Brimstone and the Ludovico Technique combine to give you a red ring of death that extremely rapidly kills anything it touches, especially with numerous devil deal damage up items. The Stopwatch is probably the most unfair item in the game, slowing all enemies and their projectiles to extremely slow speed, which also reduces the range of enemy projectiles dramatically.

I guess I probably have a reasonable chance of winning with the Lost if I get the Stopwatch and very good damage items. I have a lesser but non-zero chance of winning with the Holy Mantle and very good damage items. Dead Cat very much helped my ??? run, but actually didn't get used when I had the Stopwatch. Without extremely broken items, my chance of winning is very close to zero. I think that I can beat boss rush only with Stop Watch and a stupendous damage combination, and I still felt extremely lucky to beat Mom even with that - I am so bad at Mom.

But I guess that means I don't suck completely.

So why don't I have Platinum God or Real Platinum God yet? Well, in order to get those, you have to get a touch on all of the items. Some items really don't show up very often in the game. I was extremely surprised, however, at how few of the items I actually needed. I had touches on more than one Angel Room Only item that I had no recollection of at all - The Sacred Heart, the Dead Dove. I also don't recall ever finding the Skeleton Key, I guess I have.

In fact, after finding Godhead, there were only a few items I'd never found. A couple of them weren't that rare at all. The Razor, for example, has shown up in my games plenty of times but I guess I just never picked it up - it seems terrible, so I never bought it from the devil. I had never bought the Red Candle from the shop either. These items and one or two others were remedied in a dozen or so playthroughs before I actually completed the hard mode lost tasks.

This left me with one item left to find, and it turned out it was one I hadn't even unlocked. You unlock the d4 by destroying 30 slot machines. It's hard for me to comprehend how I never did that, but I managed to do it pretty fast once I found out I needed to. It turns out the last obstacle in my way to becoming a Real Platinum God was an item that most people probably unlock before they even know what the Lost is.

Of course, this will only put me in with about the top 3% of Isaac players on Steam. It's amazing how dedicated people are to this game.

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