Tainted Jacob is a character added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance. He is the alternate version of Jacob & Esau. Tainted Jacob is unlocked by reaching Home and using either the Red Key or the Cracked Key to access a special room in one of the walls while playing as Jacob & Esau.
Tainted Jacob spawns with 3 red heart containers and Anima Sola in his pill/rune/card slot. Anima Sola can be used by pressing the button to use his pill/rune/card, and freezes the nearest enemy for 5 seconds. However, he is pursued through the entire game by Dark Esau, who will try to charge into and kill Tainted Jacob. Anima Sola always affects Dark Esau if he is on screen.
If Dark Esau touches Tainted Jacob or if Dark Esau dies, Tainted Jacob "dies" and gains the The Lost's special properties of flight, spectral tears, and a lack of health, similar to what happens when you touch the white fireplace in Downpour or Dross. Even if he’s shielded, invulnerable, or otherwise immune to damage (such as with Holy Mantle or Gnawed Leaf), Tainted Jacob will still be affected. Dark Esau deals damage to Tainted Jacob normally while he’s in this state, respecting shield and invulnerability effects if he has them and killing him if he doesn’t. The flames Dark Esau generates upon spawning on a floor will simply damage Tainted Jacob rather than putting him in this state, and the death explosion from Dark Esau does not kill Tainted Jacob if he was already in his lost state.
It should be noted that Tainted Jacob does not have an intrinsic Holy Mantle in this form, and unless he has picked it up prior in the run, any damage taken will instantly kill him. He can, however, take devil deals for free just like the Lost. His health bar is disabled entirely during this time, meaning the effects of any items that modify his health in any way (such as health up/down pills or soul hearts) will be ignored.
Upon reaching a new floor, Tainted Jacob will return to his living state.
Dark Esau[edit | edit source]
|Base HP||Stage HP|
Dark Esau spawns 20 to 40 seconds after Tainted Jacob goes to a new floor, emerging from a crack in the ground and creating rings of flame around him as he does. Dark Esau will continuously pursue Tainted Jacob by floating towards him, speeding up if he is far behind. He will also occasionally charge in the cardinal/ordinal direction closest to Tainted Jacob after getting close enough to him. Note that Dark Esau comes to a complete stop right before touching Tainted Jacob; he can only touch him by charging at him or if Tainted Jacob walks backwards into him.
Dark Esau cannot be damaged by enemies or environmental hazards such as spikes and fires (except for spiked rocks and red poops which will damage him), but he can be damaged by Tainted Jacob, and even be killed. However, if he’s killed, he creates a room-wide explosion similar to Mama Mega! that instantly "kills" Tainted Jacob and turns him into a ghost. This cannot kill Tainted Jacob if he’s already a ghost. This explosion only applies to the room Tainted Jacob is in, but this is not necessarily the room Dark Esau dies in; If Tainted Jacob goes to a new room before his death animation finishes, the explosion will trigger in the room Tainted Jacob moves to. After Dark Esau has died, he will not appear again for the rest of the floor.
Dark Esau is able to damage enemies as well as Tainted Jacob in the following ways:
- He creates 12 rings of 8 flames when he spawns, each dealing 6 damage to enemies they hit, dealing anywhere between 6-576 damage depending on how close they are to him.
- He deals 30 contact damage per tick to enemies and pushes them (60 damage per second).
- He deals an extra 10 damage per tick to enemies and inflicts Burning on them while charging at Tainted Jacob (300 damage per second).
- Finally, the explosion he creates when he dies deals 200 initial damage plus an additional five ticks of 25 damage to all enemies in the room, for a total of 325 damage.
Anima Sola can restrict Dark Esau's movement for 5 seconds, and always targets him if he's alive. When released, Dark Esau will always charge at Tainted Jacob immediately, charging directly at him rather than along the cardinal/ordinal directions.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Considering the damage Dark Esau can deal to enemies and the fact that Anima Sola can be canceled early by using it a second time, Dark Esau can become a powerful but very dangerous weapon to use against enemies by positioning Tainted Jacob in ways that manipulate him into charging into enemies.
- The explosion Dark Esau makes when he dies can open the doors to Boss Rush and Blue Womb, much like Mama Mega can.
- Blue Flies/Spiders and effects that damage all enemies in the room (such as Black Hearts or The Necronomicon) cannot damage Dark Esau.
- In Co-Op mode, the flames Dark Esau creates upon spawning can damage other players, but he otherwise ignores them completely.
- If multiple players are playing Tainted Jacob, then any Tainted Jacob who touches any Dark Esau will still be turned into a ghost or die. Tainted Jacob players will only be able to use Anima Sola on their own Dark Esau, and if one of the Tainted Jacobs is completely killed both Dark Esau's will begin to target the one that is still living.
- When Tainted Jacob completely dies and is turned into a small ghost baby as a Co-Op partner, if no other Tainted Jacob players are in the match then Dark Esau will still follow the ghost of Tainted Jacob, allowing them to still use him as a high damage weapon to help their teammates.
- In Co-Op mode, if Tainted Jacob was turned into his ghostly form by Dark Esau, then dying and being revived upon completion of the boss will have him revive as his ghostly form.
- If Tainted Jacob is dead at the start of a floor, Dark Esau will still spawn but will target one of the living players instead. Unless they are also playing Tainted Jacob, he will never hurt them outside his spawning animation.
- Dark Esau is considered a boss.
- Like every other "boss", Dark Esau can be spawned with debug commands. However, if playing as someone other than Tainted Jacob, the player will be immune to his attacks.
- When the console command "
restart 39" is loaded, the player will be spawned as a ghostly version of Tainted Jacob. The only differences is that Dark Esau never seems to spawn (even after about a 2 minutes of waiting, he never spawned) and that this version of Tainted Jacob has the health of The Lost.
- When Dark Esau charges while in fear, he charges away from Jacob.
Unlockable Items[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Bugs[edit | edit source]
|Bug!||If you save and reload after Jacob has been changed into his lost form, he will not switch back when changing floors, and Dark Esau will no longer spawn.|
|Bug!||Dark Esau can still take actions during the cutscenes of Dogma. This can kill Tainted Jacob when cutscene is playing, leading to an unexpected failure of the game. The only way to avoid this happening is to skip these cutscenes manually as fast as possible.|
|Bug!||If you exit to menu after defeating Dark Esau he will no longer spawn and Jacob will stay in his natural form|
|Bug!||In Co-Op, if Tainted Jacob is dead but Dark Esau explodes, then his ghost baby will appear to die and become a floating Isaac head. This is purely cosmetic.|
|Bug!||Using Clicker as Tainted Jacob while Dark Esau is present will crash the game.|
|Bug!||If you defeat Dark Esau and die from his explosion after exiting to an already cleared room, you can use Glowing Hour Glass to change back to his original form without Dark Esau spawning again for the floor.|
|Bug!||In Co-Op, if Tainted Jacob is revived after the boss' defeat in his ghostly form and is killed by Dark Esau, then his ghost baby on the next floor will have glitched sprites and appear as a disembodied Isaac head. When walking left, Isaac's head will be replaced by a headless body repeating the downwards walk cycle.|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Dark Esau may be based on a story in the Book of Genesis, in which Esau attempts to kill Jacob after both Jacob and their mother tricked their father Isaac into giving Jacob a blessing intended for Esau, resulting in Jacob fleeing from Esau's wrath.
- This is also further backed up by Tainted Jacob's unlock achievement name, "The Deserter."
|The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth|
|Achievements||Attributes||Bosses||Cards and Runes||Challenges||Chapters|