Damocles

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Damocles
Item icon
Item altar
"A king's fortune... but at what cost?"
Table dividing line 1.png
Item ID
5.100.577
Table dividing line 2.png
Recharge Time
One time use One time use
Table dividing line 3.png
Collection Grid
(page 5, column 13, row 5)
Unlock Method
Damocles Defeat The Lamb as Jacob and Esau Jacob and Esau
Added in Repentance

Damocles is an activated item added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance.

Effects[edit | edit source]

  • Upon use, summons a sword that hangs directly above Isaac. As long as the sword hangs above Isaac, all item pedestals and items spawned from Machines and Beggars are doubled, spawning an additional, free item next to them.
    • The extra item spawned will be pulled from the current room's item pool.
  • After Isaac gets hit once with the item activated, at any time without warning, the sword may fall, instantly killing Isaac regardless of his health. The sword has a 1/10000 chance every 4 frames to fall.
    • Self-damage (such as from a Blood Bank, Devil Beggar, Curse/Sacrifice room, or self-damage Active Items) does not count as damage taken for Damocles, and will not give it the chance to fall.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The chance for the sword to fall does not increase beyond the first hit taken.
  • In scenarios that have multiple items to choose from (such as double Treasure Rooms and Boss Rush), an additional set of items for Isaac to choose from spawns. Only one item from each pair can be taken.
  • The only way Isaac can survive the falling sword is if he's invincible at the time it falls or, by technicality, with a respawn item. After the sword falls, extra items will no longer spawn.
    • Losing a life before the sword falls does not de-spawn the sword.
  • If used while playing as Jacob and Esau, the sword will only gain the chance to fall if the brother who used it takes damage.

Survival[edit | edit source]

Given the 1/10000 chance for the sword to fall every 4 frames (0.133 seconds), Isaac has a ~4.4% chance to die for every minute of gameplay that passes after he takes damage with Damocles active. The following is a table for times Isaac could survive to after getting hit, along with the chances of reaching them:

Time passed Chance of Survival
2 Minutes 20 seconds 90%
4 Minutes, 57 seconds 80%
7 Minutes, 55 seconds 70%
11 Minutes, 21 seconds 60%
15 Minutes, 24 seconds 50%
20 Minutes, 21 seconds 40%
26 Minutes, 45 seconds 30%
31 Minutes, 45 seconds 20%
51 Minutes, 9 seconds 10%

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The item's appearance and effects are a reference to The Sword of Damocles, a story in which Damocles is offered to switch places with Dionysius on the throne for a day and have a taste of his power. Damocles accepts, only to find that Dionysius had a sword hanging over his throne by a single horse hair, causing him to beg to be exempted from the very fortune he accepted.


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