2015 has been a great year for games, perhaps darkened only by the passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. There have been many fan tributes to the visionary man, who would have celebrated his 56th birthday today. Binding of Issac: Afterbirth was always a game that was influenced by Nintendo at its best, with its dungeons being directly inspired by the underground passages of the original Legend of Zelda game on NES. So it makes sense that the developers of Issac would come together to pay homage to Iwata in their own special way.
If you own the recently released Binding of Issac: Afterbirth expansion for the game, you can load up today’s daily run, which features a custom Iwata character sprite who starts with the Game Kid item and the Cartridge trinket. In addition, the first treasure room of the run contains the new Crown of Light item which turns your tears into blue pixels that deal double damage as long as you have only soul hearts. Defeating bosses seems to give you nothing but different mushroom items, an obvious nod to Super Mario.
The idea for the run seems to have originated from this Reddit post on the Issac subreddit by CivilizedPsycho, although I can’t imagine that they would have envisioned a custom sprite being added into the mix.
It may be a strange way to celebrate the great Iwata on his birthday, but I do really appreciate the extra work put in here. Like most things with Binding of Issac, things are being kept mostly under wraps and there has been no announcement about the run, but I figured that ruining the surprise is worth it if it allows more casual Issac players a chance to check this out. Also, I’d love if you could unlock this sprite for use in other runs, but unlockable cosmetics are probably way outside the scope of what the game is going for.