Bethany is unable to utilize Soul Hearts and Black Hearts as health. When picked up, they instead are converted to a resource unique to Bethany called "soul charges" at the rate of one charge per half heart. The number of soul charges currently owned is listed along with the pickup counters. Soul charges can be consumed to use Bethany's activated item when the item isn't fully charged, at the rate of one soul charge per empty bar of charge.
- Bethany's Book of Virtues starting item, combined with her unique soul and black heart usage, means that she is a character who sees significantly more Angel Deals than other characters – but at the expense of generally requiring beating floors without taking damage to do so.
- Since Bethany can't use soul and black hearts as a buffer, Angel and Devil Deals are much harder to get. This will usually mean beating floors without taking damage.
- Ways to allow Bethany to protect her devil deal chances include picking up an eternal, rotten, or bone heart.
- It's recommended to maintain a large amount of wisps from the Book of Virtues to keep up a barrier around Bethany, protecting her from taking damage (and thus losing out on a Deal).
- Devil Deals are riskier to take – reducing the red heart count leaves Bethany more vulnerable than other characters.
- An Angel Room will always spawn as Bethany's first deal room due to her starting item, the Book of Virtues.
- The item also means that Bethany will continue to have a chance to spawn more Angel Rooms even if she takes a Devil Deal later on.
- Even though Book of Virtues is Bethany's iconic starting item, it is not intrinsic to her and can be removed via Dice Rooms, Butter!, 'M, or XVII - The Stars? card.
- Bethany's intrinsic soul charge mechanic is, while almost always seen with Book of Virtues, entirely separate from it. In the rare event that the book is lost, she can still spend soul charges to use whatever applicable active item she has.
- Because Bethany starts with a book item, she is more likely to find libraries each floor. (Unconfirmed)
- As Bethany can only ever have red heart health, The Negative will prove to be a more useful option overall for the +1 damage boost, if the final run target is not ???.
Due to Bethany's special soul charge mechanic, and her inability to actually have soul/black hearts, certain items function differently.
- Items that grant black/soul hearts gives charges instead:
- Abaddon: Brings Bethany down to half a heart of health, and removes all but one of her Heart Containers. The black hearts she would have gotten are all converted to soul charges.
- Guppy's Paw: Takes one heart container and gives 6 soul charges.
- Book of Revelations, Satanic Bible, The Nail: Grants the corresponding amount of charges.
- Items that do not use charges to function cannot be used via spending the soul charges:
- Birthright: Activating an item using soul charges is sometimes free.
- Converter: Unusable, as Bethany cannot hold soul/black heart containers normally.
For the many Item Interactions concerning the Book of Virtues, please consult that item's page.
- All good active items that you may use multiple times in a row without recharging to unleash their power, like The D6 or Teleport 2.0.
- Compost: With just a few soul charges, allows to exponentially increase one's amount of flies.
- Baby-Bender: Since wisps are treated as familiars, they are affected by the Baby-Bender effect, granting them homing shots.
- BFFS!: Increases damage dealt by the wisps.
- Book of Shadows: Using the Book of Shadows will render Bethany as well as her wisps invulnerable, making it easier to stack up on wisps, while also transforming them into a very effective source of damage, as Bethany can freely ram every enemy in a single room without the wisps dying. A secondary positive is that soul charge makes it possible to activate the invulnerability at will, making it easier to complete a whole floor without taking damage.
- Car Battery: Doubles the wisps generated from activating Book of Virtues, allowing many wisps to be generated quickly.
- Charm of the Vampire: Allows Bethany to easily heal from killing enemies.
- Duality/ Eucharist: Guarantees free Angel Rooms over costly Devil Rooms.
- Eraser: In addition to being used once per floor, soul charges can be used to use it.
- Forgotten Lullaby: Increases the fire rate of wisps.
- Glass Cannon: If broken, can be fixed instantly with soul charges. Can also be used to generate high-damage wisps while outside of combat.
- Glyph of Balance: Will produce soul hearts every room clear when Bethany has more than 5 bombs, 5 keys, a trinket, less than 6 total Red Heart containers of any kind, and full health. This allows you to stack up hundreds of soul charges.
- Gnawed Leaf: As Bethany turns invincible, so do her wisps.
- Lodestone: The wisps' tears are attracted to the magnetic enemy, making it much easier to connect all of the wisps' tears on an enemy.
- Multidimensional Baby: Can multiply the wisp's shots, allowing for extremely high damage potential.
- Prayer Card: Prayer Card is immensely helpful to build up health, and can be fueled with soul charges to accomplish this even faster. Wisps created by this item also have homing tears and increased damage, similar to Sacred Heart.
- Schoolbag: Allows carrying two active items, increasing the rate of wisp generation.
- Shoop Da Whoop!: In addition to regular effects, spawn an orbital. When used again, all orbitals spawned by this item will share this effect with main character. Since the amount of this type of wisp is not limited, it will be a good damage dealer.
- Spin to Win: Creates a ring of Wisps every 3 seconds that provide a lot of protection and high DPS. However, Spin to Win wisps cannot be retained between uses.
- Tear Detonator: If you are willing to wait a few minutes for it to repeatedly regenerate its single charge, it is possible to always have eight orbitals at the start of each room with no resource expenditure. Better still, spamming the detonator while firing results in a tremendous amount of carnage in exchange for a single soul charge per button press. This is especially helpful in Greed / Greedier mode, as each wave fully recharges it. Be careful, however, as spamming the detonator too aggressively may crash the game.
- Unicorn Stump: While the item is active, the wisps become invincible and continue to deal contact damage, creating an effect similar to My Little Unicorn, but with only a one-room recharge, allowing you to use it in every room, or even multiple times per room through use of soul charges allowing for near permanent invincibility.
- Urn of Souls: A no-cost, spammable item capable of keeping the wisp count maxed out. Additionally, the wisps spawned may shoot tiny The Candle-like flames capable of blocking shots.
- Vibrant Bulb Works with items that are fully charged with soul charges even if it's not completely full from room charges.
- Yum Heart: As Bethany relies on red hearts to stay alive, Yum Heart can be very valuable and can be fueled with stockpiled soul charges when necessary.
- In Antibirth, Bethany was unlocked by having a total number of 12 soul hearts and black hearts at once.
- Bethany is a reference to Mary of Bethany. She was the sister of Lazarus, and is sometimes identified as Mary Magdalene or as an anonymous sinful woman in the Gospel of Luke.
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