Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
and Esau
Full red heartFull red heartFull red heartFull red heartFull soul heart
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Damage Stat Icon Damage
2.75 (*1.00)
3.75 (*1.00)
Tears Stat Icon Tears
Shot Speed Stat Icon Shot Speed
Range Stat Icon Range
Speed Stat Icon Speed
Luck Stat Icon Luck
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Starting Items
Starting Item Icon PickupsNoneNone
Starting Item Icon ItemsNoneNone
Unlock Method
Jacob and Esau Defeat Mother
(in Repentance)

Jacob and Esau are a character pair added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance. They are unlocked by defeating Boss Mother secondphase ingameMother with any character.

Jacob and Esau are controlled as one, move at the same speed, and use the same coins, BombBombs, and KeyKeys. Otherwise, they are completely independent in terms of stats, items, and health. Both characters have collision and can be separated, though the "Drop" button can be held to keep Esau in place while Jacob is free to move around the room.

If either Jacob or Esau die, they both die regardless of the other character's remaining health.

Notes[ | ]

  • If one character passes through a door, both characters move to the next room. Curse RoomCurse Room door damage will only be applied to the character that moves through the door.
  • With careful positioning, it is possible to take two items in rooms with multiple items that usually disappear upon collecting one (Ex: Collectible The Polaroid iconThe Polaroid & Collectible The Negative iconThe Negative). As a result, if the player can handle the increased difficulty from these optional chapter paths, item rooms in DownpourDownpour, MinesMines, and MausoleumMausoleum (including their alternative variants) have double their normal value.
  • Changes to the speed stat are only half as effective, but the stat is shared between the two characters.
  • When placing a bomb, both Jacob and Esau place one, but only one bomb will be consumed. This allows each bomb to cover double the area by positioning the characters in different locations.
  • When Jacob and Esau sleep in a bed, only the one who touched the bed will be healed.
  • Jacob and Esau can carry 2 active items, trinkets and cards/pills naturally (one for each).
  • Active items involved in Transformations count only for the character who touched the item first. This is most notable with books for the BookwormBookworm transformation: each character needs 3 different books. For example, if a LibraryLibrary is encountered, and there are 3 book active items, once Jacob picks up all 3 books, Esau can't get the BookwormBookworm transformation unless the pedestal is rerolled through Collectible The D6 iconThe D6 or other similar pedestal rolling items.
  • Transforming into a new character with items like Collectible Clicker iconClicker or Collectible Judas' Shadow iconJudas' Shadow will grant both of Jacob and Esau's collected items to the new character. All Esau's held cards/pills/trinkets are dropped on the ground. Esau's active item disappears.
  • Dice rooms with 6 pips will reroll held items of both characters regardless of whoever triggered the room. Dice rooms with 1 pip will only reroll the items of the character that triggered the room.
  • Collectible Key Piece 1 iconKey Piece 1/Collectible Key Piece 2 iconKey Piece 2 and Collectible Knife Piece 1 iconKnife Piece 1/Collectible Knife Piece 2 iconKnife Piece 2 will combine regardless of whether they are split up or carried by one character.
  • Devil deals are variable for Jacob and Esau, as the prices may dynamically change based on either of them, which can make it so the other may not be able to take the deal, but can also allow the deals to be underpaid.
    • Examples:
      • Jacob takes a deal that leaves him with no red hearts, the deals may change prices to accommodate for the lack of red hearts, so if the deal requires all soul hearts and Esau only has red heart containers, he will not be able to take the deal.
      • Contrarily, if one has 2+ red heart containers and half a soul heart he can pay for a 3 soul heart deal with only half a soul heart, or if one has 1 red heart container, he can pay for a 2 red heart deal with only 1 red heart. The extra required hearts will not be removed from the other character.
  • Despite flying items like Collectible Fate iconFate only affecting the one who picked it up, it's still very useful if you only focus on the brother that is NOT using it, as the flying one will never get caught on obstacles.
  • For the purposes of Room Clear Awards, the room drop rate depends on the total luck the 2 characters have. Meaning at base stats, they effectively start with 0 Luck for this purpose.
  • Resurrection items activate in a set order, regardless of who owns which item. If the two characters each own a copy of the same resurrection item, the game prioritizes removing Jacob's item.
  • If either Jacob or Esau have familiars and the other has Extension CordExtension Cord, electricity will also arc between both characters, and between familiars and the character that didn't pick them up.
  • When entering the Mirror World, only either Jacob or Esau need to be Character The Lost iconThe Lost while the other can enter it with full health.
  • The items you can unlock by getting certain endings as Jacob and Esau are very good for future runs (Ex: Collectible Birthright iconBirthright) so unlocking those items could be a priority as soon as Jacob and Esau are unlocked.
  • Jacob & Esau inherently get an exploration boost in Daily Challenges since Esau is considered an extra player.

Item Interactions[ | ]

If not listed here, and if applicable, an item will always apply all its effects on the character who picks/uses it only

  • Collectible Birthright iconBirthright: The character who picks up the item gains copies of three of the other character's latest picked up passive items. Note that items that add pickups, such as Collectible A Quarter iconA Quarter, will not add pickups again when copied.
  • Collectible Bone Spurs iconBone Spurs: Bone projectiles spawn when either brother kills an enemy.
  • Collectible Dead Cat iconDead Cat: Only the character that takes it will be reduced to one heart container, but if either of the characters die, both characters are resurrected with one heart container.
  • Collectible Death Certificate iconDeath Certificate: Two items can be taken from any given room, one for each character, if they're taken at the same time.
  • Collectible Dr. Fetus iconDr. Fetus: Tears from Jacob can interfere with aiming bombs fired by Esau and vice versa. Be cautious when taking this item.
  • Collectible Eden's Blessing iconEden's Blessing: Items gained through Eden's Blessing at the start of the run will only be given to Jacob.
  • Found SoulFound Soul : When the ghost dies for one character, it will still be there for the other . Hence if the ghost dies it is a reliable strategy to switch the 2 character's trinkets to make him reappear.
  • Collectible Gnawed Leaf iconGnawed Leaf: If Esau is the one holding the Gnawed Leaf, he can turn to stone while Jacob is moving (by holding the drop button). Jacob is able to slowly push Esau around the room without deactivating Esau's invincibility, which can be used to enter Curse RoomCurse Rooms, open Spiked ChestSpiked Chests, etc. without taking damage.
  • Collectible Infestation 2 iconInfestation 2: Blue Spiders will spawn from enemies killed by either character.
  • Collectible Isaac's Heart iconIsaac's Heart: Only the character who picks up the item gets the benefits.
  • Collectible Lachryphagy iconLachryphagy: Both character's tears will feed the shot, regardless of which character picked it up.
  • Collectible Luna iconLuna: The character who doesn't have Luna can also use the beams of light.
  • Collectible Lusty Blood iconLusty Blood: The character who picked up the item will get a damage boost when an enemy is killed regardless of which character gets the kill.
  • Collectible PHD iconPHD / Collectible False PHD iconFalse PHD: All pills will be identified for both characters, but only the character who picked up the item will have the negative effects turned into the good ones and vice versa.
  • Collectible Remote Detonator iconRemote Detonator: Only the bombs placed by that character are affected; bombs placed by the other will explode as normal and cannot be controlled by the detonator.
  • Collectible Star of Bethlehem iconStar of Bethlehem: Both Jacob and Esau gain the stats of this item, making it extremely favorable as it essentially is twice as effective.
  • Collectible Taurus iconTaurus: The speed changes apply for both characters, but only the character that is holding Taurus gains invincibility.
  • Collectible Technology Zero iconTechnology Zero: Connects both characters' tears with electricity, even if only one character has the item.
  • Collectible There's Options iconThere's Options/Collectible More Options iconMore Options: If both characters are lined up and touch both item pedestals at the same time, they can both get an item.
  • Collectible Yum Heart iconYum Heart: Heals the character who uses it for a full red heart and the other for half a red heart.

Unlockable Achievements[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • Jacob & Esau are the twin sons of Isaac from the Book of Genesis. Esau is described as being "red all over" when he was born, hence why his skin is red in the game. The reason why Esau has a sorrowful grimace may be of a story in Genesis in which Esau traded his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a stew, a decision which he later regretted and hated his brother for.
    • This is the reason for both the Collectible Birthright iconBirthright and Collectible Red Stew iconRed Stew items.
    • Jacob & Esau's parents both had a "favorite" son. Their mom favored Jacob which might be why they are unlocked by beating Boss Mother secondphase ingameMother, since the character is reffered to as Jacob before he is unlocked
  • Jacob & Esau stats reflect how they are described in the Book of Genesis, where Esau is stronger but more unfortunate than Jacob.
  • Esau resembles the DopleDople monster (In both coloration and the distinct face pattern visible on the cheeks on Esau.) who mimics Isaac's movements in a similar way to how Esau mimics Jacob's movements. On top of this, they both fire blood shots.
  • Only Jacob's items will be listed in the pause menu. On Isaac's Last Will, only items of the brother who died will be listed.
  • Esau can be played alone by using the debug console command "restart 20"
  • Their starting health and attack are respectively listed as "III+I" and "I+III" on the character selection screen.
  • Before they are unlocked, they are only shown as "Jacob" on the character select screen.
  • Jacob's locked icon shows him bound in chains, with Esau hidden behind him.
  • On Game Over, Jacob and Esau's name appear as "Jacob + Esau" on Isaac's Last Will.
  • Besides Character Eden iconEden and Character Tainted Eden iconTainted Eden, Jacob and Esau are the only playable characters to start with a flat change to their base damage, rather than a stat multiplier.
    • As such, Jacob has the lowest flat starting damage of any character, while Esau has the highest, again besides Eden and Tainted Eden.
    • Despite this, Character Tainted Magdalene iconTainted Magdalene has a lower starting damage than Jacob, and several characters have a higher starting damage than Esau, owing to their starting damage multipliers.

Gallery[ | ]