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I just found a spacebar item called "Breath of Life", with the description "Invincibility at a cost." So what exactly does it do, and what is this "cost?"

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As per the comments, this item allows for the player to decide between a fixed rate of damage over time, or a possibly random rate, allowing for more control of your health.

This is taken directly from the new wiki entry:

While there are no visible bars on the item, it provides you with invincibility. In the next second, where another bar should have depleted, instead you take 1 heart of damage, and the item recharges. You cannot use Breath of Life while it is recharging, until it is full.

If you are careful, and good enough with timing, you can use this item to provide invincibility at no cost, by taking off spacebar before the next second after the last bar occurs, providing a limited invincibility good for areas where you require timing (Passing through spikes to get items, passing through hazards, etc.)

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    I would imagine it allows the player to choose between highly predictable, fixed rate damage and unpredictable, potentially hefty damage from enemies in certain situations.
    – JonK
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 1:01

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