The Binding of Isaac has a touching annual tradition that lets you play as late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. That event has been going on ever since the Afterbirth expansion launch in 2015 – shortly after Iwata’s death – and every December 6 gives us a new chance to highlight it. So we’re going to do that. (Never mind that it’s a bit late.)
There are daily challenges in BoI, and there are 52 special ‘curated’ challenges that show up on certain days of the calendar. Some coincide with actual holidays from Valentine’s to Christmas, and some pick up on obscure occasions like National Be Late for Something Day. December 6 is Satoru Iwata’s birthday, and there’s one such unique challenge there.
Iwata’s sprite replaces Isaac, and you start equipped with the Gamekid and Cartridge. Special rooms will spawn Nintendo-themed items pulling from the likes of Mario and Zelda – the latter of which, of course, is a major inspiration for Binding of Isaac. Though, as Rock Paper Shotgun notes, not all the items are so nice – and your Iwata might end up looking a little… gross.
That’s par for the course in BoI, but it’s still a lovely tribute to the former boss of Nintendo. Iwata was uniquely beloved among game executives for his personable presence, long history as a developer, and his oft-repeated outlook that games should be for everyone. It’s good to get one little extra chance to remember him every year.