The Binding of Isaac Wiki

An Ankh.


Isaac wears an Ankh, and gains eye shadow.

When Isaac is killed, he respawns in the previous room as ???, regardless of whether ??? is unlocked. After respawning, all future Heart Container upgrades will be Soul Hearts only.

For ???, the Ankh will revive him in the previous room with 3 Soul Hearts (similar to 1UP).

Only works once.


  • If you defeat any end game boss in the revived ??? state, you will receive the reward for ??? instead of the character you picked at the start of the game.
    • This is especially useful for unlocking The Dice, which requires you to beat Mom's Heart with ???.
  • If you respawn as ??? and hold R, you will restart your current run as ??? instead of the character you started as regardless of whether you've unlocked him or not. This is most likely a loophole.


  • The Ankh revives Isaac before the Dead Cat does
    • If Isaac dies as ???, Dead Cat revives him into his previous character state with 1 Heart Container.
  • Whore Of Babylon is always active for ???, especially useful for Eve in post-The Depths levels when all damage deals 1HP as opposed to 1/2HP.
  • If you have collected 1UP and Ankh and die, only 1UP will trigger. The ankh will only trigger if you die a second time (provided you do not have another 1UP).
  • If you collect 1UP while respawned as ??? using the Ankh, if you die you will respawn with no hearts shown on the screen and will only have one hearts worth of health before dying.


  • The Ankh is the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for life.
  • Possibly a reference to Spelunky, where the ankh respawns the spelunker after death.
  • The character being reborn as ??? hints an imperfect resurrection. This is remiscent of classical mummy horror movies, where Egyptian revival rituals tend to produce similar imperfect results as well.
  • Dying as ??? will show the name of your original character on Isaac's Last Will.
  • The Ankh is a symbol often associated with and worn by members of the Goth subculture, and Isaac's eyeshadow may be a tongue-in-cheek reference to this.


  • Different characters respawn with different number of soul hearts.
    • Judas and Samson: 5
    • Cain and Eve: 4
    • Others: 3
    • During the revived ??? state however, if a new run is started without dying, the game will treat the player as the previous original character chosen upon the next death. Thus any character can respawn with 3-5 soul hearts.