The Ludovico Technique

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Item icon
Item altar

 
TableDividingLine1.png
 
 
Character appearance
 
Tear appearance
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Item Pool Treasure Room.png Treasure Room
Added in AfterbirthGreed mode onlyItem Pool Treasure Room.png Treasure Room
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Added in Afterbirth (page 3, column 4, line 5)
Removed in Afterbirth (page 4, column 4, line 3)

The Ludovico Technique is a special passive item.

Effects

  • Instead of firing tears, Isaac controls one floating tear that hovers over obstacles. This tear deals constant damage when held in place over an enemy.

Notes

  • Ludovico tear movement speed is determined by the Shot Speed stat.
  • Ludovico tear hits per second are determined by the Tears stat.
  • When Death uses his The Hourglass attack, the tear is slow to respond but then moves so quickly that it is nearly impossible to use effectively.

Synergies

  • 20/20 20/20
    20 20 Icon.pngGrants double shot.
    : One smaller tear orbits the main tear.
  • Added in Afterbirth 8 Inch Nails 8 Inch Nails
    8 Inch Nails Icon.png+1.5 Damage Up. Replaces Isaac's tears with nails, which have increased knockback.
    : The tear becomes a nail, increases in size, damage, and provides minor knockback in the direction the tear moves.
  • Added in Afterbirth † Apple! Apple!
    Apple! Icon.pngIncreases tears. Adds a chance to fire a high-damage razor blade.
    / Added in Afterbirth † Euthanasia Euthanasia
    Euthanasia Icon.pngAdds a chance to fire needles. If a needle kills an enemy, it bursts into more needles.
    / Tough Love Tough Love
    Tough Love Icon.pngAdds a chance to shoot a tooth instead of a tear, which deals greater damage than regular tears.
    : The tear can gain the damage multiplier from each of the items, using the appropriate appearance when it happens. Euthanasia retains its instant kill ability against non-boss enemies.
  • Blood Clot Blood Clot
    Blood Clot Icon.pngIncreases damage by 1 and range by 5 for tears fired from the left eye.
    : The tear steadily cycles between red and "normal," dealing more damage when red.
  • Brimstone Brimstone
    Brimstone Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period.
    : Tear takes the shape of a very large laser ring. Shot speed is ignored. The Tears stat is ignored and damage is dealt very rapidly at a rate equivalent to 2 tear delay. This ring will always be present and doesn't need charging up like normal Brimstone would.
    • Brimstone Brimstone
      Brimstone Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period.
      + A Lump of Coal A Lump of Coal
      A Lump of Coal Icon.pngThe more distance tears travel, the more damage they will do.
      : The ring increases in diameter, but not damage, the farther away it gets from Isaac.
    • Brimstone Brimstone
      Brimstone Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period.
      + Spoon Bender Spoon Bender
      Spoon Bender Icon.pngGrants Isaac homing tears.
      : The ring reaches out to attack enemies near it, reforming into a ring when no enemies are present.
    • Brimstone Brimstone
      Brimstone Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period.
      + Technology Technology
      Technology Icon.pngReplaces tears with a piercing laser with unlimited range.
      : The ring is visually identical to a normal Brimstone ring, but the 1.5x damage multiplier applies.
    • Brimstone Brimstone
      Brimstone Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period.
      + Wiggle Worm Wiggle Worm
      Wiggle Worm Icon.pngGives Isaac's shots a wave-like trajectory.
      : The ring takes the shape of a star.
  • Azazel: Same effect as with Brimstone, but damage is halved.
    • Azazel + Brimstone Brimstone
      Brimstone Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period.
      : Full damage of the laser ring is regained.
  • Chemical Peel Chemical Peel
    Chemical Peel Icon.pngTears fired from left eye do increased damage.
    : Tear will alternate between "normal" and red, dealing more damage when red.
  • Chocolate Milk Chocolate Milk
    Chocolate Milk Icon.pngGrants charged tears that deal greater damage when fully charged.
    : No damage increase, but results in -1 tear delay.
  • The Common Cold The Common Cold
    The Common Cold Icon.pngAdds a chance to shoot poison tears, dealing damage over time when inflicted.
    : The tear pulses green, poisoning enemies.
  • Added in Afterbirth † Compound Fracture Compound Fracture
    Compound Fracture Icon.pngIncreases range. Tears turn into bones, which shatter into 1-3 bone shards upon hitting an enemy or obstacle.
    : Shoots out smaller tears when attacking an enemy.
  • Added in Afterbirth Dead Eye Dead Eye
    Dead Eye Icon.pngIsaac's damage increases each time an enemy is hit. Damage is reset upon missing a shot.
    : Damage bonus increases until it hits the max of 2x. Since the controllable tear never hits the ground or wall, the bonus cannot be lost.
  • Death's Touch Death's Touch
    Death's Touch Icon.pngIncreases Damage by 1.5, reduces Tears by 0.3 and increases tear size. Grants piercing tears. Tears are replaced by Death's scythes, which is a cosmetic effect only.
    : The tear becomes a scythe (vanity), but increases in size and damage
  • Dr. Fetus Dr. Fetus
    Dr. Fetus Icon.pngTears are replaced by bombs that benefit from bomb-enhancing effects and slide a fixed range after being fired.
    : The bomb can be controlled until it explodes.
  • Added in Afterbirth † The Forgotten: The tear follows the Forgotten when in its skeleton form. It can be hit with its melee attack to propel it, making it do more damage. When switching to the Soul, the tear spawns on top of the player.
    • Added in Afterbirth † The Forgotten + Added in Afterbirth Multidimensional Baby Multidimensional Baby
      Multidimensional Baby Icon.pngSpawns a familiar that will follow Isaac's movements on a 2.5 second delay. Tears that pass through the baby will be doubled and increase in speed.
      : The second tear acts exactly like the first and can also be hit to propel it.
  • Godhead Godhead
    Godhead Icon.pngIncreases damage and range while reducing tears and shot speed. Grants homing tears and tears gain a damaging halo.
    : The tear homes towards nearby enemies and gains a large damaging aura.
  • Guppy transformation: A large number of flies is rapidly deployed whilst controlling the Ludovico tear.
  • Added in Afterbirth Incubus Incubus
    Incubus Icon.pngA demonic familiar that follows Isaac and shoots tears identical to Isaac's in terms of damage, range, fire rate, and effects.
    : Isaac gains a controlled tear while also being able to shoot normally with Incubus. Incubus's tears gain piercing and spectral properties.
  • The Inner Eye The Inner Eye
    The Inner Eye Icon.pngGrants triple shot but decreases tears.
    : Two smaller tears orbit the main tear.
  • Lost Contact Lost Contact
    Lost Contact Icon.pngEvery tear has a small shield which will allow it to block one enemy projectile.
    : Tear will block enemy tears without disappearing.
  • A Lump of Coal A Lump of Coal
    A Lump of Coal Icon.pngThe more distance tears travel, the more damage they will do.
    : The tear becomes larger the further away it is from Isaac, increasing in damage.
  • Mom's Contacts Mom's Contacts
    Mom's Contacts Icon.pngAdds a chance to shoot petrifying tears, which stop enemies in place and prevent them from moving or attacking. Range up.
    : Tear randomly alternates colors, which randomly petrifies enemies.
  • Mom's Perfume Mom's Perfume
    Mom's Perfume Icon.pngAdds a chance to shoot fear tears and decreases tear delay by 1.
    : Tear gains a chance to give the fear effect.
  • Mom's Wig Mom's Wig
    Mom's Wig Icon.pngAdds a chance to spawn blue spiders when firing tears. Restores 1 red heart.
    : The item causes spiders to spawn rapidly when moving the tear.
  • Monstro's Lung Monstro's Lung
    Monstro's Lung Icon.pngIncreases damage and grants a charged shot that fires multiple tears in the same fashion as Monstro.
    : Tear turns red and does more damage.
    • Added in Afterbirth Tear becomes a cluster of variously sized tears spread over a small area. The tears move at the same speed when controlled but constantly move around each other.
  • Mutant Spider Mutant Spider
    Mutant Spider Icon.pngGrants quadruple shot but decreases tears.
    : Three smaller tears orbit the main tear.
  • My Reflection My Reflection
    My Reflection Icon.pngGives Isaac's tears a boomerang effect, and increases range and shot speed.
    : The tear moves much faster.
  • Number One Number One
    Number One Icon.png+1.5 tears, -15.77 range
    : The tear deals damage to enemies much faster, with the range penalty having no effect.
  • The Parasite The Parasite
    The Parasite Icon.pngIsaac's tears split in two when they hit something.
    : Shoots out smaller tears when attacking an enemy.
  • Added in Afterbirth † Pause Pause
    Pause Icon.png2 roomsFreezes all enemies until a fire button is pressed.
    : The tear deals damage, even if the enemies are stopped. Moving the tear unpauses the enemies.
  • Pulse Worm Pulse Worm
    Pulse Worm Icon.pngShots pulse in size.
    : The tear pulsates in midair, expanding and contracting. This works with normal tears as well as Brimstone Brimstone
    Brimstone Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period.
    .
  • Spoon Bender Spoon Bender
    Spoon Bender Icon.pngGrants Isaac homing tears.
    : Tear will slightly gravitate towards enemies near it
  • Strange Attractor Strange Attractor
    Strange Attractor Icon.pngPickups, trinkets, and monsters are magnetically attracted to Isaac's tears.
    : Enemies, items and even most bosses will be sucked to the single floating tear, dealing constant damage while keeping Isaac well away from harm, making this combination extremely effective in almost all scenarios.
  • Technology Technology
    Technology Icon.pngReplaces tears with a piercing laser with unlimited range.
    : The tear becomes a large laser ring, which visually looks like a shot fired by Tech X Tech X
    Tech X Icon.pngTears are replaced with laser rings that pierce through enemies and deal damage to enemies within them. Can be charged to increase the size of the ring.
    . Shot speed is ignored. The Tears stat is ignored and damage is dealt very rapidly at a rate equivalent to 2 tear delay.
    • Technology Technology
      Technology Icon.pngReplaces tears with a piercing laser with unlimited range.
      + Dr. Fetus Dr. Fetus
      Dr. Fetus Icon.pngTears are replaced by bombs that benefit from bomb-enhancing effects and slide a fixed range after being fired.
      : You have a ring of technology around you and you fire bombs normally.
  • Added in Afterbirth Tear Detonator Tear Detonator
    Tear Detonator Icon.png1 roomsWhen used, will detonate any tears currently on the screen and cause each one to split into 6 more tears which will fire in a circle, similar to Tammy's Head.
    : The tear explodes into six smaller tears, then reappears next to the player.

Interactions

  • ???'s Only Friend ???'s Only Friend
    Blue Baby's Only Friend Icon.pngSummons a big attack fly that can be controlled with the shooting direction-keys.
    / Robo-Baby 2.0 Robo-Baby 2.0
    Robo-Baby 2.0 Icon.pngFires lasers at any enemy in its line of sight and moves based on the direction Isaac is firing tears.
    : The tear and familiar(s) travel together, as they are controlled in the same way. Because the familiars' travel speeds are not affected by Isaac's shot speed, they only travel in the same spot when Isaac has exactly the amount of shot speed to sync them up.
  • Anti-Gravity Anti-Gravity
    Anti-Gravity Icon.png-2 Tear Delay. Tears float in position until firing ceases, after which they will fly off in the direction they were shot in.
    : Overridden by The Ludovico Technique.
  • Cricket's Body Cricket's Body
    Cricket's Body Icon.pngGrants -1 Tear Delay and reduces Range. When tears hit an object or deplete their range, they spawn 4 smaller tears, whose Range and Damage scale with Isaac's.
    : Overridden by The Ludovico Technique.
  • Cursed Eye Cursed Eye
    Cursed Eye Icon.pngGrants charged tears that can be fired in a tight burst of four. Getting hit while charging will teleport Isaac into another room.
    : No effect.
  • Epic Fetus Epic Fetus
    Epic Fetus Icon.pngIsaac's tears are replaced with guided missiles, like those used by the Doctor's Remote.
    : Overrides The Ludovico Technique.
  • Added in Afterbirth Explosivo Explosivo
    Explosivo Icon.pngIsaac's tears have a chance to stick to enemies and explode.
    : Tear will alternate between "normal" and black. If it touches an enemy, it will stick to it, grow in size, then explode. The tear can not damage anything or be controlled when stuck to an enemy.
    • Added in Afterbirth † The tear will grow and explode very quickly when stuck to an enemy, instead of the normal Explosivo delay.
  • Fire Mind Fire Mind
    Fire Mind Icon.pngGrants flaming tears that deal burning damage over time. Tears have a chance to explode on impact with an enemy, which creates a fire at the location of the explosion.
    : Tears retain the ability to ignite enemies and explode. Tears respawn at Isaac's location after exploding.
  • Added in Afterbirth † Ghost Pepper Ghost Pepper
    Ghost Pepper Icon.pngAdds a chance to shoot a fire that damages enemies and remains in place until it deals enough damage or the room is left.
    : Fires created from Ghost Pepper will destroy the tear and cause it to respawn on Isaac.
  • Homing Tears: The tear slowly homes toward the nearest enemy. Once locked in an enemy moving the tear somewhere else becomes harder.
  • Hook Worm Hook Worm
    Hook Worm Icon.pngTears move shifting left to right forming a path of right angles. +10 to Range (effective range remains about the same).
    : Tear moves in a zig-zag pattern while controlled.
  • Invulnerability: Tear cannot be moved while in effect, but will still do damage.
  • Ipecac Ipecac
    Ipecac Icon.pngReplaces tears with explosive and poisoning projectiles fired in an arc from the mouth.
    : Overridden by The Ludovico Technique. (No damage increase or explosion.)
    • Added in Afterbirth † +4 damage bonus, no explosion.
  • Loki's Horns Loki's Horns
    Loki's Horns Icon.pngGives a random chance for projectiles to fire in all 4 cardinal directions.
    : The Ludovico tear will sometimes shoot 4 smaller tears in each direction.
  • Mom's Eye Mom's Eye
    Mom's Eye Icon.pngAllows Isaac to fire tears from the back of his head.
    : The Ludovico tear will sometimes shoot smaller tears behind it.
  • Mom's Knife Mom's Knife
    Mom's Knife Icon.pngIsaac's tears are replaced by a knife that pierces enemies, can travel through obstacles, and can hurt enemies while Isaac is holding it. Holding down the fire button before firing increases its range and power.
    : The tear becomes a controllable knife that deals double Isaac's damage. Effective shot speed is lowered. Tears stat is ignored and damage is dealt at a rate equivalent to 5 tear delay.
    • Mom's Knife Mom's Knife
      Mom's Knife Icon.pngIsaac's tears are replaced by a knife that pierces enemies, can travel through obstacles, and can hurt enemies while Isaac is holding it. Holding down the fire button before firing increases its range and power.
      + Godhead Godhead
      Godhead Icon.pngIncreases damage and range while reducing tears and shot speed. Grants homing tears and tears gain a damaging halo.
      : Replaces the Ludovico tear with Mom's Knife but removes the Godhead aura.
    • Added in Afterbirth Mom's Knife Mom's Knife
      Mom's Knife Icon.pngIsaac's tears are replaced by a knife that pierces enemies, can travel through obstacles, and can hurt enemies while Isaac is holding it. Holding down the fire button before firing increases its range and power.
      + Technology Technology
      Technology Icon.pngReplaces tears with a piercing laser with unlimited range.
      : Creates an uncontrollable laser ring centered on Isaac. The knife becomes stuck under Isaac and cannot be fired.
  • Added in Afterbirth Multidimensional Baby Multidimensional Baby
    Multidimensional Baby Icon.pngSpawns a familiar that will follow Isaac's movements on a 2.5 second delay. Tears that pass through the baby will be doubled and increase in speed.
    : No effect.
    • Added in Afterbirth † An additional Ludovico tear is spawned when it passes through Multidimensional Baby, at the start of every room, and persists like the Ludovico tear itself. However, it cannot be controlled; it instead slowly follows Isaac.
  • Notched Axe Notched Axe
    Notched Axe Icon.png3 roomsIsaac holds the axe above his head for as long as the spacebar button is held (or until he leaves the room). While holding the axe, Isaac can break any rock he touches, but cannot attack or pick up other items.
    : The Ludovico tear cannot be moved while Notched Axe is held up.
  • Proptosis Proptosis
    Proptosis Icon.pngTears start out massive with high damage, and then shrink down and become weaker over a short range.
    : The closer the tear floats to Isaac, the larger it is. The farther away, the smaller.
  • Added in Afterbirth Pupula Duplex Pupula Duplex
    Pupula Duplex Icon.pngTransforms Isaac's tears into a wide arc shape which gives them a much larger hitbox. Gives Isaac spectral tears which allows them to travel through objects in the environment (i.e. rocks).}
    : Decreases the tear size by taking the form of a Pupula Duplex tear; however, it travels faster.
  • Red Candle Red Candle
    Red Candle Icon.png4 secondsThrows a persistent flame that deals high damage and diminishes as it damages enemies or blocks shots.
    : The tear disappears upon contact with a flame created by the candle and reappears near Isaac, slightly shrinking the flame.
  • Ring Worm Ring Worm
    Ring Worm Icon.pngGives Isaac spinning shots.
    : The tear spins rapidly in small circles.
  • Added in Afterbirth † Sinus Infection Sinus Infection
    Sinus Infection Icon.pngAdds a chance to fire a booger which sticks to enemies and poisons them.
    : The tear can occasionally stick to an enemy. If the enemy does not die quickly, the tear pops and a new one spawns.
  • Tech.5 Tech.5
    Tech.5 Icon.pngGrants a unlimited range piercing laser with random rate of fire that does not replace tears. The laser might occasionally fire with the effect of a random item or trinket, such as Hook Worm, Spoon Bender or Tiny Planet.
    : The tear controls as usual, and Isaac fires the laser towards the tear relative to his position, rather than in the direction the player is moving the tear.
    • Tech.5 Tech.5
      Tech.5 Icon.pngGrants a unlimited range piercing laser with random rate of fire that does not replace tears. The laser might occasionally fire with the effect of a random item or trinket, such as Hook Worm, Spoon Bender or Tiny Planet.
      + Added in Afterbirth † Analog Stick Analog Stick
      Analog Stick Icon.png+0.3 tears up. Allows Isaac to fire tears diagonally.
      : Laser is fired directly at the tear while it is being moved, instead of being limited to cardinal directions.
  • Added in Afterbirth Tech X Tech X
    Tech X Icon.pngTears are replaced with laser rings that pierce through enemies and deal damage to enemies within them. Can be charged to increase the size of the ring.
    : Overrides The Ludovico Technique.
  • Technology 2 Technology 2
    Technology 2 Icon.pngDecreases damage and replaces right eye tears with a unlimited range, piercing laser which fires continuously.
    : The tear controls as usual, and Isaac fires the laser towards the tear relative to his position, rather than in the direction the player is moving the tear. Technology 2's damage penalty still applies.
    • Technology 2 Technology 2
      Technology 2 Icon.pngDecreases damage and replaces right eye tears with a unlimited range, piercing laser which fires continuously.
      + Added in Afterbirth † Analog Stick Analog Stick
      Analog Stick Icon.png+0.3 tears up. Allows Isaac to fire tears diagonally.
      : Laser is fired directly at the tear while it is being moved, instead of being limited to cardinal directions.
  • Tiny Planet Tiny Planet
    Tiny Planet Icon.pngRange up and makes shot tears revolve around Isaac until they drop.
    : The tear controls strangely. It orbits Isaac slowly when not controlled, and when controlled, the tear's movement is distorted. Additionally, the tear's range becomes limited to Tiny Planet's orbit distance.
  • Added in Afterbirth Tractor Beam Tractor Beam
    Tractor Beam Icon.pngIsaac emits a beam from his face. Isaac's tears travel in the path of the beam.
    : The Ludovico Technique overrides the beam's effect.
  • Trinity Shield Trinity Shield
    Trinity Shield Icon.pngIsaac gains a shield that protects him from enemy shots.
    : The controls of the tear and the shield overlap, making it impossible to consistently control both.
  • Added in Afterbirth The Wiz The Wiz
    The Wiz Icon.pngTears simultaneously fire out of both eyes diagonally, similar to the effect of the R U A Wizard? pill. Isaac's tears also travel above all obstacles.
    : A smaller Ludovico tear will spawned and revolves round the main one. Also, the Ludovico tear now moves in a very unusual way, up is up-right, down is down-left, left is left-up, right is right-down. This can be counteracted by holding the keys or d-pad in its associated path (up-right to make it go up and so forth with the other keys).

In-game Footage

Trivia

  • The Ludovico Technique is a reference to Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange and Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation, where it was referred to as "Ludovico's Technique." The technique involved headgear which forced the patient's eyelids open (hence "Controlled Tears") while watching violent films under nausea-inducing drugs, conditioning them against violence.

Seeds

 PC  KPRZ M83V (First floor treasure room)

 PC  ZYS1 ONMS (Treasure room adjacent to spawn)

 PC  VLZW 7CJ8 (Treasure room adjacent to spawn)

 PC  Added in Afterbirth MX26 V47J (treasure room adjacent to spawn) (both modes)

 PC  Added in Afterbirth KYSL MRKZ (treasure room adjacent to spawn)

 PS4  S11S E632 (First floor treasure room)

 Vita  0H0T MKNS (First floor treasure room)

 3DS  DQBE T9RH (First floor treasure room)

 3DS  GEYN TXS7 (First floor treasure room)

 3DS  KK92 7DTD (First floor treasure room)

 Switch  191Z NVJA (Treasure room adjacent to spawn)


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