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5 Health as an exchange currency

Health in general is also a way to obtain something money or even items, if you’re willing to risk losing life in these cases.

Special Case 7: Blood donation machine
Upon touching the blood donation machine, Isaac wil suffer 1/2 or 1 heart of damage, depending on the floor depth (see Special case 1) and will spawn 1 to 3 coins. Every donation also has a chance of exploding the machine, at which point it will spawn either the Blood Bag or the IV Bag items
Special Case 8: Devil beggars
Upon touching the Devil beggar, Isaac will suffer 1/2 or 1 heart of damage, depending on the floor depth. Every donation has a chance of spawning useful pickups13 or an item from the Devil Room
Special Case 9: Guppy’s Tail
Upon use, Guppy’s Tail will take away one heart container and give Isaac three Soul hearts. Has no effect if you have no red hearts
Special Case 10: Potato peeler
Upon use, it will remove one heart container and Isaac wil gain both a damage bonus and one copy of the item Cube of Meat. Has no effect if you have no red hearts

Although not exactly the same as the deals with the Devil, these cases are a way to not only obtain money and pickups, but also a safe way to get your health down to 1 or less red hearts. Why this is important will be covered in a later section.

It’s also worth noting that having multiple Cubes of Meat is an interesting tradeoff:

  1. Having one will give Isaac a literal cube of meat that orbits Isaac, blocks enemy bullets and makes contact damage.
  2. Having two is the same, but the Cube now occasionally shoots a bullet in the same direction as Isaac
  3. Having three or four will detach the cube and will transform it into a Super Meat Boy-like being that chases down enemies on its own and deals contact damage.
  4. Having more copies starts the cycle again (but you retain all previously gained Cubes)
Special Case 11: Blood Rights
Upon use, Blood Rights will deal one full heart of damage to Isaac and 40 unblockable damage to every enemy in the room.

4: Health as a Risk/Reward mechanismHealth in The Binding of Isaac6: Health as a marker of ‘run health’

  1. Either cards, pills or trinkets↩︎

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