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On a certain level of this basement, I found 2 locked doors but only 1 key. I think I have cleared out everything I can from this level but I still only found one key. Are there always as many keys as there are locks or should I simply move on?

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Keys are completely random, just like all other regular drops. – Mr Smooth Mar 28 '12 at 8:52
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, no.

In my experience, there won't always be enough keys for every door. There will be a few times when you get 2 keys, but there will be 3 locked doors, requiring you to try and decide which (if any) door you want to open.

The exception to this rule is the Skeleton Key which can be found randomly in the treasure rooms or challenge rooms (kill x number of enemies after opening a chest). It awards you with 99 keys, which is enough to open ALL the doors (assuming you don't get the Bombs are Key pill).

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Are you sure? There are usually lots of hidden rooms on every floor (as you can see if you have the X-ray glasses) - how do you know there aren't more keys hidden in rooms you just didn't find? – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Mar 28 '12 at 17:25
@BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft I'm sure. There's usually only 1 hidden room per floor, and the items found in those rooms is completely random. While it may be the last key you need for that floor, it could just as easily be a Tarot card, Slot Machine, or Blood Bank. – Fluttershy Mar 28 '12 at 17:39

In my play throughs I've run into situations where there are simply not enough keys in the level to open every lock or chest.

There are several ways to get keys but you might not be able to get enough in a level so use them wisely. My best suggestion is to use them on the item rooms, shops (if you have enough money to possibly buy things), golden chests, and lastly, locked blocks, in that order with some exceptions.

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Conversely I've had levels that give me more keys than I immediately need - usually at the expense of bombs. In any case, the order of precedence you gave is generally effective. – Grant Palin Jan 30 '13 at 1:42

I had a run where I reached mom without receiving a single key beyond the one you start with. I died to her for obvious reasons. So I would say, no, keys are not a sure thing.

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While we appreciate you sharing your experiences, this is, for all intents and purposes, the same content as other existing answers without adding anything at all. It doesn't really benefit a question to have a multitude of answers that are exactly the same in content. It's essentially the same as saying "me too" which is generally unproductive at answering the question any better. – skovacs1 Sep 12 '13 at 3:54

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