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In a video of Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, a player managed to get "x12?" next to his health.

enter image description here

I know this stands for amount of times you can die without getting a game over.

What is the maximum number of lives that you could theoretically get by playing the game as is?

2 Answers 2

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These are the items that grants extra lives (only those with a graphical feedback on the lives counter):

The total will make 13?.

There's a way to increase that total, using Diplopia enter image description here (Afterbirth exclusive) on Dead Cat. In this way you can get another Dead Cat, therefore obtaining 18 extra lives. (Assuming you can use Diplopia only once in a run.)

Adding the remaining items will make an amazing total of 22? lives!

EDIT:

As EnragedTanker suggested, if you manage to have every extra-life item in one room (using some kind of game-breaking exploit like Blank Card + Jera) and then use Diplopia on them you will double each item.
In this case the total will be 26? lives.

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  • I believe the highest number of lives possible in a normal run is closer to 26? in the very rare situation that you're able to get every extra-life item in one room (through a method such as Blank Card+Jera on a gold chest containing an item) and use Diplopia. Nov 17, 2016 at 15:06
  • @EnragedTanker Didn't think about that, you're probably right.
    – pinckerman
    Nov 17, 2016 at 15:17
  • Can't you get a theoretically infinite number of Dead Cats? Or am I thinking of the original BoI?
    – Dallium
    Nov 17, 2016 at 16:07
  • @Dallium I've "broken" the game many times and I've never found multiple Dead Cats before.
    – pinckerman
    Nov 17, 2016 at 16:14
  • @Dallium You can though. As far as I know only from red chests and only if you have NOT picked it up yet. I've seen that to be the case like once. It's more likely you'll find it in a red chest, not pick it up and then find it on the same floor in the devil room.
    – Nutty
    Nov 21, 2016 at 8:04
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That depends on what you mean.

Programming-wise, you can get an infinite number of lives if, for example, you just picked up a whole bunch of Dead Cats. In a normal game this isn't possible, but with cheats/mods you could.

Theoretically, Guppy's Collar can bring you back an infinite number of times as well. The probability of getting more than two or three lives out of it is pretty low, but still, it's possible to get hundreds, thousands, even millions of lives out of that item. Same thing with the Broken Ankh.

However, if we're talking practically, then the maximum number of lives that can appear on the life list is directly related to the number of life-reviving items in the game. In Rebirth, the maximum would be "x14?", which can happen while playing as Lazarus and collecting the following items: 1-Up, Ankh, Dead Cat (x9), Guppy's Collar, Judas' Shadow, and Lazarus' Rags. Additionally, while carrying the Broken Ankh trinket, you also have an additional 22% chance of reviving as Blue Baby once all your other lives run out.

In Afterbirth, you can also collect the Mysterious Poster trinket, which will revive you as the Lost when you die. This effectively bumps the max to "x15?", though the on-screen number will not change.

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  • My bad for not being specific enough, I was thinking about the highest lives with just playing the game as is. Nov 17, 2016 at 7:57

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