Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
Isaac's   Awakening
Character Isaac appearance.png
Full red heartFull red heartFull red heart
Table dividing line 1.png
Challenge Number
Available Rooms
Item Pool Treasure Room.png: no          Item Pool Shop.png: yes
Boss Mother portrait.png
Spirit Sword Spirit Sword
Unlock Method

Isaac's Awakening Defeat Mother

Added in Repentance

Isaac's Awakening is challenge #39. The goal is to defeat Mother Mother. This challenge is unlocked by defeating Mother.


Players cannot attempt this challenge until they've completed a run to Corpse Corpse, and should understand that the main difficulty of the run lies in completing the necessary advanced areas (Downpour Downpour, Mines Mines, Mausoleum Mausoleum) without the benefit of Treasure Room Treasure Rooms on every floor. Instead, you are given some unusual equipment to help you along: the Spirit Sword Spirit Sword, the Trinity Shield Trinity Shield, and Mom's Bracelet Mom's Bracelet.

Isaac no longer fires tears. Instead, you can swing your sword for a powerful and very rapid melee attack. Attacking while you have no empty red heart containers will also launch a magical sword in the direction of your swing, allowing you to hit distant enemies (but at a much slower rate of fire than your actual sword attacks). Additionally, you can charge your sword by holding down the attack button, then release it to attack in a circle all around you.

The shield is more straightforward: whichever direction you are attacking is the direction Isaac blocks projectiles from. As for the bracelet, this greatly reduces your need for bombs and lets you toss around rocks, pots, mushrooms, and the like without wasting resources. Throwing an item causes the bracelet to suffer a short cooldown period before it can be used again, but simply dropping the item with L allows you to rapidly clear large areas of rock. While you may eventually want to replace it with something better suited for the final boss fight, it can make a huge difference early on if you find some early tinted rocks or Crawl Space Crawl Spaces.

Acquiring the Broken Remote Broken Remote grants you infinite teleports as long as you keep Mom's Bracelet Mom's Bracelet. This can be used to find Secret Room Secret Rooms, enter Curse Room Curse Rooms without taking damage, enter a Shop Shop without a Key Key or enter/leave Challenge Room Challenge Rooms.

Apart from your odd gear, this run is essentially a standard Corpse run. There are a few things to keep in mind, however:

  • Because the run needs a Treasure Room Treasure Room to exist for Knife Piece 1 Knife Piece 1 to be available, there is one such room in Downpour Downpour/Dross Dross II.
  • Entering Downpour Downpour, Mines Mines, and Mausoleum Mausoleum will not require keys, bombs, or hearts as in normal runs: you can enter them for free.
  • Exploring the reflection as The Lost The Lost is more dangerous than normal on account of your shield. If you are hit and then your shield contacts an enemy or projectile, your invincibility period from Holy Mantle Holy Mantle wears off instantly, likely killing you as the same enemy hits you a second time.
  • Rotgut Rotgut can pose a huge threat to your run, if not end it. His 3rd phase can be difficult / nearly impossible to beat with your current setup, as the Spirit Sword struggles to reach it. Unless you have a familiar or alternate damage sources, expect some major health loss. (Running off the edge and spamming the attack button can quickly be used to defeat the third phase, taking minimal damage as the shield can be used to prevent almost all tears from hitting Isaac.)
  • Unlike all the other bosses you'll encounter, the final battle with Mother will be a long one. Simply rushing in and slashing wildly will not take her down before she kills you. Know how she attacks and how to maneuver so as to dodge them.
  • Using items that provide invincibility, such as Book of Shadows Book of Shadows, which can be acquired from a Library Library, is helpful during the Mother Mother boss fight.
  • Spawning a Crawl Space Crawl Space that leads to the I AM ERROR I AM ERROR room will take you to Hush Hush's floor. Defeating Hush will grant the trophy as well. This can be done using a Rune of Ehwaz Rune of Ehwaz.
  • Obtaining size-ups (i.e. One Makes You Larger, XI - Strength XI - Strength, Mega Mush Mega Mush, etc.) will also increase the size/hitbox of the sword, allowing for Isaac to hit enemies from farther away.

Unlockable Achievements[]


  • This challenge's name and starting items are a reference to The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
    • The challenge is similar to I RULE! in that regard.
  • In Antibirth, completing this challenge would instead unlock Psy Fly Psy Fly.


Bug Bug! If you enter boss rush with a respawn with the Knife Pieces already used on the door to Mom's Heart, if you then die in Boss Rush, you will be teleported to the Mom fight with no knife and with the door sealed.
Bug Bug! If you teleport into the I AM ERROR room, after using the trapdoor, you will be put back on the regular completion path.

If this happens after Mines / Ashpit II, you will be unable to continue on the alt path. Upon entering Womb / Utero / Scarred Womb I, no trapdoor will spawn after defeating the boss of the floor, soft locking the player unless another error room is accessed. After defeating the It Lives boss, a trophy will spawn allowing the challenge to be completed.