Playing with ??? is a challenge, but his drawback also comes with upsides. His main gimmick relies on exploiting health based items or rooms.
- The Devil Room/Angel Room have an increased chance of spawning for ??? as not taking Red Heart damage on the boss increases the chances of these rooms spawning.
- The Devil Room will always offer items at the price of three Soul Hearts. However, certain items provide the player with Soul Hearts when picked up (The Pact with two, The Mark with one), making them more viable overall.
- Since ??? only has Soul Hearts and cannot acquire Heart Containers, the usually risky condition of having only a half-heart or no heart containers left is always present.
- Boss Challenge Rooms are always opened
- Challenge Rooms are always opened.
- The Whore of Babylon item will always be active.
- Trinkets or other items that activate when the player is down to half a heart are active every time the player takes damage (The Polaroid, etc.).
- Scapular is an exception, and will only activate when ??? reaches no soul hearts left. When this happens, ??? receives one. This effect can only occur once per room, to stop invincibility for ???.
- While Eternal Hearts can only turn into Soul Hearts, it's basically impossible to lose them by taking damage (since ??? will die from having no Soul Hearts left at first).
- Effects that temporarily grant the character an additional Heart Container will give ??? a permanent Soul Heart instead. Note, however, that this will put ??? at "negative" health, so the next health up he gains will put him back at "zero" health and give him nothing.
Tips and tricksEdit
- Buy Soul Hearts in Shops.
- Make deals with the devil that give you items that give soul hearts (like The Pact, or The Nail)
- The Poop recharges with every room. Always use it, as even its minimal chance of providing Coins can make the difference.
- Always pop the poop pile created by it before leaving the room, since it will despawn otherwise.
- Consider using it as an obstacle for enemies or their projectiles.
- Tinted rocks become even more useful because of the possibility of important Soul Hearts. Consider using your bombs on those instead of attempting to find the Secret Rooms.
- If the rocks are adjacent to a wall, place your bomb in between the rock and the wall, to keep the possibility of opening up a Secret Room.
- Having The Wafer allows you to make deals with the Devil for only half a soul heart, as long as you have at least 3 Soul Hearts.
- This way, you can actually get additional soul hearts from the devil if you take items that give you soul hearts (like The Pact)
- Curse Rooms have a high risk, high reward. You end up losing one Soul Heart (assuming ??? doesn't have Flight, or the ability to teleport back out), but have the chance of getting two or even four Soul Hearts back, acquiring a Devil Room/Angel Room item, Pills, and might also discover an adjacent Secret Room, or Super Secret Room.
- You can check them out on the first floor and reset the playthrough if it didn't work out nicely.
- Book of Revelations
- Super Bandage
- The Mark
- The Polaroid
- Bucket Of Lard
- Raw Liver
- The Nail
- The Pact
- The Relic
- Crystal Ball
- V The Hierophant, VIII Justice, and XI Strength (??? keeps the Soul Heart that it gives, on another character, it would add another Heart Container for that room only)
- Liberty Cap (has a chance to give ??? the large Odd Mushroom effect, which adds a soul heart that you keep)
- Balls of Steel and Health Up pills
- Book of Shadows, The Gamekid, My Little Unicorn, and VII The Chariot (Especially good because of a bug that allows an invincible ??? with at least 3 Soul Hearts to steal from a Devil Room)
- Celtic Cross (Keep in mind that it is redundant with the Polaroid.)
- Scapular (especially when combined with the Cursed Skull trinket, as it makes ??? invincible, but the player will be forced to leave the room uncompleted upon taking one hit)
- Whore Of Babylon (Permanent curse state)
- Lucky Foot (Increase the chance of getting Soul Hearts with the Fortune Telling Machine)
- Dark bum (Takes red hearts and converts them into black and soul hearts (if you have Rebirth installed))
- D20 (can be used to reroll heart pickups into Soul Hearts)
- <3 (will only recover Soul Hearts when ??? is below three Soul Hearts)
- Full Health Pills (will only recover Soul Hearts when ??? is below three Soul Hearts)
- The Tick (still takes 15% health off of bosses, but doesn't heal ??? and can't be removed as always unless you have Mom's Purse)
- Blood Rights (When you have invincibility shields up)
- Cursed Skull (Always activates upon taking damage)
- Razor Blade
- IV Bag (you can still use an IV Bag with invincibility granting items, same goes for Blood Donation Machines and Devil Beggars)
- Charm Of The Vampire
- Little C.H.A.D.
- Yum Heart
- Child's Heart
- Judas's Tongue
- Umbilical Cord
- Guppy's Paw (it is still advisable to pick it up in a Curse Room because of a potential Guppy transformation)
- Bloody Penny
- Isaac's Fork
- VI The Lovers
- 2 of Hearts