Monday, 29 June 2015

Platinum God, For Real Now

I found the d4, completing both Real Platinum God and Platinum God at 9:27 this morning - thanks Steam for time stamping that for me. In the afternoon I finished beating hard mode boss rush, chest and dark room on Eve, rounding out everything there is to do in the game. This is the second game on steam that I have all the achievements for.

Maybe I have to upgrade my claim of sucking at the Binding of Isaac to say that I'm not all that good at it. My highest wins streak, after all, is five.

On one of my runs to complete everything on hard mode with all characters I got an unexpected combination of items that was completely mind blowing. I know I had picked up Sacred Heart before because it was checked off on my item collection screen, but I didn't recall it. It turns out greatly increases your damage, reduces your tears and gives a homing effect. I also had polyphemus, which greatly increases your damage and reduces your tears as well. Most importantly, though, I had rubber cement, which makes your tears bounce off of enemies and walls. The bouncing seems to extend the range of the tears - I don't think it's a full reset when they bounce, but certainly with many bounces they can stay on the screen much longer than they normally would.

The powerful homing effect of sacred heart meant that sometimes after bouncing off an enemy the massive tears would turn around and hit that enemy again. The second time they would be moving slower and bounce less, and then they'd end up just resting against the enemy, killing it very quickly.

My tear rate was very slow, but I was clearing nearly all rooms with only a few shots. I cleared some rooms with a single shot - rooms that don't seem remotely possible to kill with a single shot. Killing a a boss with a lot of health with one shot is one thing, but killing three super sloths with one shot seemed just plain weird. The giant white ball of death homed over to one of them, killed it very quickly, bounced off, headed to the next one, bounced off, and headed about halfway across the room to kill the third. I killed two fallen with one shot. The shot simply hung around the first fallen until it split, bounced back and forth to kill both the small fallen, then headed over to the other fallen and killed both of them as well. The Lamb, with it's massive health pool, managed to take three tears to defeat.

It's pretty neat that even as I was rounding things out I still found a new brutal combination of items, even if it involved Angel Room items that you'll almost never get. I think that the expansion is due in the next couple of months, and I'm sure I'll be playing the hell out of that - and being not all that good at it by some absurd standard.

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.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Impossible: Creation

Baby ear infection time is over, and hexagon tactics time is back again.

Creation is a spell that recharges the charged abilities on your units. At maximum level it can affect units of up to level four and gives three charges to each ability.

For example, Heresiarchs can cast resurrection twice a fight. Cast creation on them and now they can cast it three additional times. Necromancers can cast magic lock once, animate dead three times, and plague once. Cast creation on them and they can use each ability three additional times.

This spell is dumb as hell. When I first played the game on the succubus, one 16 mana creation on my stack of heresiarchs gave me three resurrections, each one about twice as powerful as my 30 mana resurrections spell, and able to target level 5 units, which resurrection was not. Used on units with summoning abilities it seems even more ridiculous.

And then there are some abilities that really were not meant to be used more than once. Here is me beating a fast moving enemy force with a wolf.