|| This article is about the playable character. For the monster, see Hanger.
Keeper is a secret character added in The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth DLC.
Keeper is unlocked by donating 1000 coins to the Greed Machine. Keeper starts with triple shot and 1 bomb.
Unlike other characters, Keeper uses coins as health. He starts with two health coins, loses one every time he is damaged, and heals for one coin every time he picks up a coin.
All types of hearts are transformed into Blue Flies, and Keeper cannot have more than two health coins. If Keeper falls to one health coin (Devil deal, Health Down,..), any HP Up will increase his health back to two health coins.
- Half red hearts are transformed into 1 blue fly, full red hearts are transformed into 2 blue flies, soul hearts are transformed into 3 blue flies, black hearts and bone hearts are transformed into 4 blue flies, and eternal hearts are transformed into 5 blue flies.
- Every time Keeper uses a coin to heal himself, that coin is consumed and isn't added to his current coin amount.
- Using a Nickel to refill health gives Keeper 4 coins.
- Using a Dime to refill health gives Keeper 9 coins.
- 2 of Diamonds can refill Keeper's health at the cost of 1 coin.
- Counterfeit Penny allows Keeper to obtain the full value of a coin while healing.
- Picking up A Quarter with Keeper will heal him. Using it to refill health gives Keeper 24 coins.
- Keeper's coin hearts count as red hearts, so all damage taken on a floor will directly decrease the chance for a Devil/Angel Room to open.
- If Keeper only has one health coin, using XI - Strength will give Keeper an additional health coin that does not disappear upon leaving the room.
- Blood Donation Machines give Keeper 1 or 2 coins per use.
- The coin(s) can be nickels or even dimes.
- The Blood Donation Machine can still pay out with Child's Heart and no coins.
- IV Bag gives Keeper 0 or 1 coins per use.
- Picking up Dead Cat will reduce Keeper's health to 1 coin.
- Dying with Guppy's Collar and being revived with it makes Keeper's health half a soul heart.
- Despite having an innate triple shot, Keeper does not actually start with The Inner Eye. Because of this, the item has a chance to appear in Treasure Rooms. Picking it up causes Keeper to fire six shots at once, at a slower firing rate.
- Due to its 2 health coin limit, Keeper can easily die to fast shooting enemies, and Devil Deals costing 2 Red Hearts will kill him. As all hearts turn into flies, Soul/Black Hearts cannot be found to protect Keeper's health.
- Keeper can take a 2 heart Devil Deal by spawning in a co-op baby, taking the devil deal, then quickly getting rid of the co-op baby, which will leave Keeper with one health coin.
- Leaving a few coins on the ground when clearing a floor makes Keeper able to heal himself in the case where he would take a hit from an enemy.
- In Greed Mode, as coins spawn during waves, Keeper can easily heal himself during each wave by leaving some coins on the ground, even if this will decrease the amount of coins he will be able to collect and spend in the Shop. Ultra Greed attacks make the player lose coins when damaged, which means that Keeper can heal himself as long as he possesses coins.
- It is possible to take a 2 Red Heart Devil Deal by using Judas' Tongue, a Health Up Pill or XI - Strength right after paying for the item. This would leave Keeper at 1 health coin (empty if it was recovered using the pill, but he will not be killed), which is quite risky as he would be one hit away from death. However, if the boss item is a normally-useless HP up ( Stem Cells, A Snack, etc.) it can make even a 2-heart Devil Deal effectively free if you possess a Strength Card and take the boss item after leaving the Devil Room.
- As Keeper starts with triple shot, his tear rate is quite low, and this can be troublesome against fast enemies or too many enemies. Finding Tears Up items/Pills in the early floors will be really useful to clear rooms. Items/trinkets increasing the tears hitbox are also useful as enemies can be hit by two or three tears more easily.
- Curse Rooms are very risky to enter as Keeper. Entering it through the door will leave you at one Health, which means if you don't find any coins there, it will end your run. Even with the Wooden Nickel unlocked, it's not guaranteed that you will leave the Curse Room alive. In addition, pills should be used outside of the Curse Room because using an "Addicted!" pill will kill you when you try to leave the room.
- However, it is possible to enter the Curse Room and remain on full health. This is achieved with a coin in the room right next to the Curse Room's door, most easily achieved with Wooden Nickel. The player can then walk into the Curse Room doorframe to take damage, quickly pick up the coin and heal, then walk through the door into the Curse Room while invincibility is still active.
- Pills can be risky to use as the Keeper since many have adverse effects and these adverse effects can quickly ruin a run should they happen. Picking up PHD is recommended before trying any pills.
- The Hematemasis pill will reduce your health, but in exchange, spawn many flies.
- Hold onto your Joker cards: you will probably be given an item that increases health at some point in your run, before taking it use your Joker to see if any one heart devil deals are available.
- Keeper's health coins count as Red Hearts for the purposes of a devil/angel door appearing at all, making Joker Cards or Goat Head invaluable in getting into devil/angel rooms.
- Co-op babies can be used to exploit Blood Donation Machines and Devil Beggars because babies still spawn with a whole heart while Keeper always has a full coin; thus, the baby's health can be replenished by spawning/respawning.
- In fights against Hush and Mega Satan bring X - Wheel of Fortune - they will not attack you until you get closer to the center of the room allowing you to spawn lots of coins from the slot machine for healing in mid-battle.
After beating Cathedral with Keeper, he will start with Wooden Nickel
, giving Keeper a source of potential free coin.
- It's usually a good idea to use the Wooden Nickel right after entering a room, because that way, a coin dropped will also work as emergency healing.
- The Battery, 9 Volt, Charged Baby and Car Battery help to further increase the amount of coins produced. Having Habit will recharge the Wooden Nickel whenever you're hit, allowing Keeper to potentially sustain itself endlessly, as long as the Nickel pays out.
- Sacrifice rooms can be used much more with the Wooden Nickel, as the coins gained from it can be spent on them.
After beating Sheol with Keeper, he will start with Store Key
, giving Keeper free access to Shops.
The following shop items are particularly useful for Keeper:
- Swallowed Penny is very powerful as Keeper will always be able to heal himself after taking a hit. However, invincibility after taking damage does not last long enough to pick up the money without risk of death. This can also grant unlimited money, since this will sometimes drop a nickel or a dime.
- If Keeper takes damage from entering a Curse Room, the coin will be dropped on the outside and can't be used to heal before leaving.
- However, if one quickly enters, exits to collect the coin, and the re-enters the room before the invulnerability period ends, the Swallowed Penny allows the Curse Room to be traversed with no net loss in life.
- Head of the Keeper is very useful since enemies will drop coins when hit, which will help Keeper stay alive.
- Piggy Bank works differently with Keeper and doesn't drop coins every time he takes damage.
- Pyromaniac is great with Keeper too, because now you can also heal yourself with all explosions. Combine this with a good bomb item like Kamikaze!, Dr. Fetus, Epic Fetus, Ipecac and you'll be almost immortal.
- Since every heart is changed into flies, items that give extra Heart drops like Gimpy, The Virus, Old Bandage, Fanny Pack, Bloody Penny, Serpent's Kiss, or The Relic become great sources to generate flies. Having Hive Mind also helps Keeper deal extra damage to enemies.
- Holy Mantle allows Keeper to enter and leave Curse Rooms with less risk.
- Flight is useful in general, and it also lets Keeper enter Curse Rooms with less risk.
- Because of Keeper's slow rate of fire, any Tears Up items are a boon to him. His tears stat can be raised higher than the normal Inner Eye cap with enough Tears Up. This is because his low Tears stat is actually separate from his triple shot effect, allowing him to hit the standard Tears levels while having triple shots.
- Dead Cat and 1up! will allow Keeper to trade all of his health coins in devil deals, reviving him with 1 health coin for Dead Cat and 0 health coins and 1/2 soul heart for 1up. Keeper can later regain lost health coins with health up items.
- Missing Page 2 will activate every time Keeper takes damage, making it an effective replacement to The Negative's The Necronomicon effect.
- The Inner Eye/ Mutant Spider cause Keeper's fire rate to drop considerably, but he shoots 6/7 tears in an arc, allowing for greater damage output.
- 20/20 causes Keeper to shoot 5 tears in an arc, without decreasing his fire rate.
- Blind Rage has good synergy with money-dropping items. Since coins need to complete its animation before you can collect it, the extra invincibility frames gives you a bigger window of opportunity to pick them up.
- Placenta regeneration effect affects the health coins just like regular red hearts and will allow Keeper to regenerate 1 health coin every minute. As Keeper does not benefit from items that trigger at half a red heart, this item has no downsides.
- Both Leech and Yum Heart will heal Keeper.
- Tech X synergizes well with Keeper's triple shot.
- Diplopia/ Credit Card can be used to take Devil Deal items without spending any hearts.
- Lucky Rock can allow Keeper to get coins from rocks as long as he has bombs.
- Portable Slot can be used to generate coins to heal Keeper during extended fights and in some cases might be better than Wooden Nickel when money is not a concern.
- Greed's Gullet allows Keeper's health to extend past 2 coins, which is normally impossible.
- Glass Cannon works good in early game for killing bosses and large groups of fast enemies, especially when holding Dark Prince's Crown or Dead Cat. It's also useful for speeding up the run when the player's goal is Boss Rush or Blue Womb.
- Dim Bulb is very useful if you keep the Wooden Nickel, as using it at the start of any room or beforehand will grant a hefty boost to most stats.
- Health Ups are useless when Keeper has 2 health coins. However, if a Devil Room opens while the Boss Room item is a Health Up, the player can pay for a 1 Red Heart Devil Deal and then get the Health Up to get back to full health. XI - Strength can also be used to get back to two health coins, as the health bonus from the card is permanent for Keeper.
- Devil Deals requiring 2 Red Hearts cannot be taken unless Keeper has a resurrection item, Credit Card, Diplopia, Strength Card, a Health Up Pill or Judas' Tongue.
- The Polaroid, The Negative or Whore of Babylon cannot be triggered by Keeper, since he can't have half a heart of health. An exception is after being revived by Guppy's Collar, which is presumably a bug.
- Empty Vessel does not work with Keeper as health coins count as red heart containers.
- Maggy's Bow, The Jar, Dark Bum and Immaculate Conception will not provide Keeper any benefit, as all heart pickups turn into flies.
- Taking Abaddon will instantly kill Keeper, since it takes away all red health and Keeper cannot make use of the Black Hearts or the Bone Hearts given. Amusingly, it will spawn a lot of flies in the process.
- Guppy's Paw will remove a health coin and spawn 9 blue flies. Removing all health coins with Guppy's Paw will not kill Keeper immediately, but he will die upon picking up an item.
- It is not recommended to take Bum Friend or Bumbo as they will pick up coins off the ground that could have been used as health.
- Monstro's Lung will take a dangerously long time to charge.
- Keeper was publicly revealed to players through an alternate reality game created by the developers; however, files alluding to Keeper's existence already were found after the initial release of Afterbirth. With the conclusion of the ARG, a patch was released to fully add Keeper to the game as a playable character.
- In the games files, there is a character called "Old Man Keeper", which was most likely meant to be the 2nd Afterbirth character instead of Keeper. However, he was replaced with this Keeper. This sprite was later used for April Fool's Day 2016 and 2017, as Keeper's sprite was changed to this sprite for the day.
- Keeper having two coins instead of hearts for health is possibly a reference to Charon's Obol, a tradition in northern Mediterranean cultures, particularly Greek and Roman cultures, where one would place a pair of coins on the deceased's eyes to pay Charon, the ferryman of the river Styx, for the trip across, but also to pay for a return trip from the world of the dead if one was expected. This is further supported by the fact The Lost, whose starting coin is also suspected to be a reference to Charon's Obol, only has one coin and is depicted as a spirit, while Keeper has two and is depicted as a corpse, supposing he paid to bring his body back across the river Styx.