Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
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(in Afterbirth † and Repentance)

Backasswards is challenge #31. Isaac starts on the Mega Satan Head ingameMega Satan boss fight with 8-10 random items and 10 Heart Containers (exact number may vary based on the items). The goal is to play the floors backwards, hence the challenge's namesake. Every floor ascended will cost one Heart Container (if the player has no Red Hearts, it will take a Soul Heart instead), and the oldest item in the inventory. The player starts each floor with a boss fight (except the Dark RoomDark Room, which can be immediately completed), and will have to find the "starting room" to ascend a beam of light to the "previous" floor, similar to the effect of (in Repentance)Collectible Dad's Note iconDad's Note.

Difficulty[ | ]

Starting with a random selection of items, and starting on the Mega Satan Head ingameMega Satan boss fight makes this challenge very difficult at first. If Mega Satan and Boss Satan ingameSatan can be defeated, the rest of the challenge becomes significantly easier. However, no bosses need to be defeated to progress - teleporting out of boss rooms can make the challenge much easier. While treasure rooms are disabled in this challenge, bosses will still offer a reward upon defeating them.

Strategy[ | ]

  • Try to get some really powerful few-item synergies. Resetting is a perfectly good way to ensure good items.
    • Since Isaac will have at least 10 Red Heart containers from the start, Collectible Pyromaniac iconPyromaniac and items that grant exploding shots (Collectible Ipecac iconIpecac, Collectible Dr. Fetus iconDr. Fetus, and Collectible Epic Fetus iconEpic Fetus) combined is game breaking since as long as he gets caught by his explosions, he can heal indefinitely. They also do plentiful damage to enemies and can open closed doors. Isaac also can heal from Mega Satan's (except in Repentance)rock waves and mini-bosses spawned by him which spawn ignited BombBombs, Troll BombTroll Bombs or Mega Troll BombMega Troll Bombs.
    • Having Collectible Gnawed Leaf iconGnawed Leaf and something that can do damage while not moving, such as Collectible Daddy Longlegs iconDaddy Longlegs, Collectible Dead Bird iconDead Bird, or Collectible Smart Fly iconSmart Fly, can basically guarantee an eventual win. Damaging orbitals are also a big help. Finally, size-decreasing items, such as (in Repentance)Collectible Pluto iconPluto or items that block bullets, such as Collectible Trinity Shield iconTrinity Shield will drastically reduce the difficulty of most of Mega Satan's attacks.
    • Collectible The Wafer iconThe Wafer is an extremely useful item to receive in this challenge as well.
  • Even without powerful items or synergies, the challenge of Mega Satan (or any other boss) can be skipped by teleporting out of the room.
    • Isaac only needs a starting item that produces a tarot card on pickup, such as Collectible Magic 8 Ball iconMagic 8 Ball or Collectible Starter Deck iconStarter Deck. (in Repentance)Collectible Booster Pack iconBooster Pack has a high chance to produce a card that can teleport Isaac since it spawns 5 random cards. 0 - The Fool0 - The Fool, IX - The HermitIX - The Hermit, and XVIII - The MoonXVIII - The Moon are all viable teleportation cards.
    • Collectible Cursed Eye iconCursed Eye also works as a method of teleportation, but can come with the downside of unwanted teleportation.
    • Teleportation through resurrection by means of items like the Collectible Ankh iconAnkh is possible but dangerous since most resurrection items revive Isaac with very low health.
  • Taking a hit from Mom's HandMom's Hand brings Isaac to the starting room of a floor.
  • Going up a floor will remove one heart container and one passive item. If Isaac only has one red heart container, something as simple as leaving the floor itself will end the run.
    • For this reason, be wary of taking devil deals at low health.
    • Collectible Dead Cat iconDead Cat in particular can be a run-ender, as it removes all but one red heart container on pickup. Additionally, starting with this item will make the Mega Satan fight extremely hard due to the large health reduction it causes.
    • Beware of Collectible Experimental Treatment iconExperimental Treatment too, as it has a chance to remove heart containers.
    • Soul HeartSoul Hearts and Black HeartBlack Hearts are not affected by this if Isaac has any red heart containers. Thus, Collectible Guppy's Paw iconGuppy's Paw is an extremely useful item for this run.
  • Shops spawn as normal above WombWomb.
  • Rune of EhwazRune of Ehwaz and Collectible We Need To Go Deeper! iconWe Need To Go Deeper! generate closed exits to the next floor, so they cannot help Isaac skip the current floor.
  • Items to be removed first are the "first" items picked up. This is the item in the rightmost column, in the lowest row of that column. If powerful items are shown there, it is best to restart.
  • (except in Repentance) If a Mom's Dressing TableMom's Dressing Table spawns in the starting room, its icon will show up on the map even if the starting room has not been visited yet. This makes finding the passage to the previous floor significantly easier.
  • (in Repentance) Items that spawn effects in the starting room of a floor (such as Collectible Card Reading iconCard Reading and Collectible The Stairway iconThe Stairway) will have no effect in this challenge, as they disappear once Isaac is in any room other than the starting room.

Reward[ | ]

Notes[ | ]

  • Teleporting to the Dark RoomDark Room through Sacrifice RoomSacrifice Room brings Isaac back to Mega Satan's fight, and all previously encountered floors will be regenerated.
  • Collectible Halo of Flies iconHalo of Flies will take two entire floors to be removed. Only one fly will be lost per floor.
  • (in Repentance)Collectible R Key iconR Key will teleport Isaac back to the Mega Satan fight.
  • (in Repentance) Using Collectible Genesis iconGenesis after Dark Room may softlock a run, because the exit generated in the bedroom is closed. Escaping the room is possible if any item or pickup that allows escaping is generated. (eg. Collectible Teleport! iconTeleport!, Collectible Forget Me Now iconForget Me Now)
  • Boss The Lamb ingameThe Lamb cannot be encountered in the Dark Room.
  • Only Collectible The Negative iconThe Negative can be picked up after defeating Boss Mom ingameMom.
  • Glowing Hourglass, if used in the Boss Room, will send Isaac to the starting room for the floor rather than the previous floor.

Bugs[ | ]

Bug Bug! While entering an exit to the previous floor, if the player kills the process (isaac-ng.exe) during the versus screen before a boss fight, re-entering the game will lead Isaac to the starting room of the previous floor instead of the boss room. This allows the player to finish the challenge pretty easily without any actual fights.
Bug Bug! Sometimes the layout of the rooms makes traversing to the previous floor impossible. There might be a hole where the light is supposed to be and without flying, makes the run impossible to beat.
Bug Bug! If Isaac is teleported into the I AM ERROR room on the final floor of the challenge, there will be no exit, making the run impossible to beat.


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