Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki

(in Repentance)

Bethany is a character added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance. She is unlocked by defeating Boss Mom's Heart ingameMom's Heart or Boss It Lives ingameIt Lives in hard mode with Character Lazarus iconLazarus without losing a life.

Bethany starts with three Red Heart containers, four soul charges (2 Soul HeartSoul Hearts), and Collectible Book of Virtues iconBook of Virtues.

Bethany is unable to utilize Soul HeartSoul Hearts and Black HeartBlack 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.

Notes[ | ]

  • Bethany's Collectible Book of Virtues iconBook 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.
  • 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 RoomAngel 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 Collectible Book of Virtues iconBook of Virtues is Bethany's signature starting item, it is not intrinsic to her and can be removed via Dice RoomDice Rooms, Butter!Butter!, or 'M'M.
    • However, this also means that Book of Virtues will not be removed when turned into a different character with items such as Collectible Lazarus' Rags iconLazarus' Rags or Collectible Ankh iconAnkh.
  • Bethany's intrinsic soul charge mechanic is, while almost always seen with Collectible Book of Virtues iconBook 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.
  • As Bethany can only ever have red heart health, Collectible The Negative iconThe Negative will prove to be a more useful option overall for the +1 damage boost, if the final run target is not Boss ??? ingame???.

Item Interactions[ | ]

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:
    • Collectible Abaddon iconAbaddon: 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.
    • Collectible Guppy's Paw iconGuppy's Paw: Takes one heart container and gives 6 soul charges.
    • Collectible Book of Revelations iconBook of Revelations, Collectible Satanic Bible iconSatanic Bible, Collectible The Nail iconThe Nail: Grants the corresponding amount of charges.
  • Items that do not use charges to function cannot be used via spending the soul charges:
  • Collectible Alabaster Box iconAlabaster Box: Can be charged by soul charges that Bethany has already acquired prior to picking it up.
  • Collectible Converter iconConverter: Unusable, as Bethany cannot hold soul/black heart containers normally.
  • Collectible Birthright iconBirthright: Activating an item using soul charges is free 50% of the time.

For the many Item Interactions concerning the Collectible Book of Virtues iconBook of Virtues, please consult that item's page.

Favored Items[ | ]

  • Bone HeartBone Hearts and Rotten HeartRotten Hearts: Bethany's deal chances are always at risk due to her inability to shield them with Soul or Black hearts, but she can still obtain Bone and Rotten Hearts which won't ruin her chances upon getting hit. Although, do note that Rotten Hearts take double damage compared to Red Hearts, so it's more of a risk/reward scenario.
  • Collectible Book of Shadows iconBook of Shadows/Collectible Unicorn Stump iconUnicorn Stump: Using the Book of Shadows or Unicorn Stump 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.
    • Unicorn Stump is even more effective as its single room recharge can render her almost unstoppable.
  • Collectible Brittle Bones iconBrittle Bones: Removes Bethany's red heart containers and grants her 6 bone hearts instead. Because Bethany cannot use Soul Hearts as health, the bone hearts will be greatly appreciated to protect her deal chances as much as possible. Breaking these bone hearts also gives her a permanent tears up.
    • Collectible Marrow iconMarrow is also a decent item to protect Bethany's deal chances - moreover, it spawns heart pickups to immediately fill it and grant the acquired bone heart further sustainability.
  • Collectible Charm of the Vampire iconCharm of the Vampire: Allows Bethany to easily heal from killing enemies.
  • Collectible Compost iconCompost: With just a few soul charges, allows to exponentially increase one's amount of flies.
  • Collectible Duality iconDuality/Collectible Eucharist iconEucharist: Guarantees free Angel Rooms over costly Devil Rooms.
  • Collectible Eraser iconEraser: Soul charges can be used to throw it, allowing Bethany to erase large categories of enemies from the run.
  • Collectible Glass Cannon iconGlass Cannon: If broken, can be fixed instantly with soul charges.
  • Collectible Glyph of Balance iconGlyph 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.
  • Collectible Hypercoagulation iconHypercoagulation: Because Bethany can only ever have red health, the ejected hearts will always be of use to her. Great for farming Blood Donation Machines, Devil Beggars or similarly-themed machines with sufficient speed.
  • Collectible Prayer Card iconPrayer Card: Immensely helpful to build up health, and can be fueled with soul charges to accomplish this even faster.
  • Collectible Tear Detonator iconTear Detonator: 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.
  • Vibrant BulbVibrant Bulb Works with items that are fully charged with soul charges even if it's not completely full from room charges.
  • Collectible Void iconVoid: Although it cannot spawn wisps by itself, it spawns the wisps of every active item it has absorbed while Bethany is holding Collectible Book of Virtues iconBook of Virtues potentially allowing her to rapidly accrue a large amount of wisps.
  • Collectible Yum Heart iconYum 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.

Disfavored Items[ | ]

  • Apple of SodomApple of Sodom: Has a chance to take away red hearts she could use to heal herself.
  • Collectible Book of Revelations iconBook of Revelations / Collectible Satanic Bible iconSatanic Bible: If used with 4 or more Soul Charges, these items result in a net charge loss without any palpable benefits: The former will replace bosses with a harbinger and negate chances for Bethany to gain precious health ups instead, while the latter replaces the boss drop with a Devil Deal item, which takes away her health as well.
  • Collectible Crown Of Light iconCrown Of Light: Will not be constantly active if Bethany does not have full red health, which she can only use rotten hearts as a buffer for.
  • Collectible Scapular iconScapular / Monkey PawMonkey Paw: Grants two soul charges upon dropping to half a heart of health, nullifying their defensive utility.

Neutral Items[ | ]

  • Collectible Dark Bum iconDark Bum: While it may be useful for additional soul charge generation, it also takes away from red hearts which Bethany could use to heal herself.
  • Collectible Delirious iconDelirious: Allows Bethany to summon up to 9 friendly bosses with the drawback of not being able to spawn wisps as often.
  • Collectible Yuck Heart iconYuck Heart: Grants a Rotten Heart upon use. While rotten hearts do not count in regards to loss of Deal chances, each individual rotten heart counts as half a heart of health, essentially halving Bethany's effective health if her health bar is exclusively comprised of them.

Unlockable Achievements[ | ]

Gallery[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • In Antibirth, Bethany was unlocked by having a total number of 12 Soul HeartSoul Hearts or Black HeartBlack Hearts at once.
  • Conceptually, Bethany first began as the main character for a game envisioned by developer Kilburn as a college research project, originally named "Dora".[1] She was added to The Binding of Isaac: Antibirth (the fan creation that would later become Repentance) after Kilburn deduced that she wouldn't be out of place [2] in the game.
    • Her name is a reference to Mary of Bethany. She was the sister of Character Lazarus iconLazarus, and is sometimes identified as Mary Magdalene or as an anonymous sinful woman in the Gospel of Luke.
      • Bethany, the village Mary lived in, was a town in the West Bank of Jerusalem. Martha and Lazarus likewise lived there, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead occurred there as well.
  • Bethany's locked Icon shows her bound in chains.

References[ | ]