9 Steps to Unlock The Forgotten in Afterbirth +

Getting the Forgotten in Afterbirth+ can be difficult. These 9 steps will make it easy! Isaac may be gone, but he's not Forgotten, and in just 9 steps, you'll be able to bring him back in Afterbirth+! It will all be over soon, young one.

How to Unlock The Forgotten

The final major update to The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + comes with a new character, The Forgotten. This skeletal version of Isaac has one of the most complicated and obscure requirements to unlock him. This guide will tell you how to find him.


Before The Forgotten can be unlocked, you have to have beaten The Lamb, the boss of the Dark Room, at least once. In order to reach it, you have to have beaten Satan at least five times to unlock The Negative. If you beat Satan while holding this item and enter the large chest he drops after he’s defeated, you’ll wind up in the Dark Room. Alternatively, you can make use of a Sacrifice Room, a special room with spikes in the middle. If you damage yourself on the spikes, you can get rewards that depend on how many times you’ve done so that floor. From 12 sacrifices onwards, you have a 50/50 chance of being warped straight to the Dark Room.


Part of the requirements for unlocking The Forgotten requries a good bit of speed. This means that you’ll want to choose a character that can move and kill fast. Out of all the characters in the game, Azazel is probably the best choice. He doesn’t start with any heart containers (instead getting 3 Black Hearts,) but he moves fast, flies, and can do good damage with his short-range Brimstone attack. Cain is also a good choice, due to his decent health and attack combined with having the highest base speed of all the characters.


The first step to unlocking The Forgotten is to reach and defeat the first floor’s boss in one minute. Pressing Tab will change the minimap and allow you to see just how much time you have. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll hear Mom shout Isaac’s name followed by the sound of running footsteps. Note that if you get ‘Curse of the Labyrinth’ on the first floor, you’ll have to defeat both bosses. If that happens, it’s probably best to reset.


The next step requires a bit of luck to get a bomb. After hearing the voice, return to the starting room. Notice that there’s now a shadow of what appears to be a shovel handle. Grab a bomb and let it loose in the room…
…and a shovel handle will fall into the room. If you can’t find any bombs on the first floor, you’ll be guarenteed to get a bomb if you use a Sacrifice Room, assuming one spawns. Make sure you’ve done all you need to do on the first floor before picking up the handle!



When you’re carrying the Shovel Handle, up to two copies of Mom’s Foot will repeatedly drop from above attempt to crush you. Stay on the move as you make your way to the exit. You’ll have to clear the next five floors while dealing with Mom’s Foot. Some minor tips:

  • Getting hit by Mom’s Foot is considered damage via an explosion. If you have Host Hat or Pyromania, you’re completely safe from the Feet.
  • If you’re daring, you can try to bait a Foot into stomping somewhere to destroy something, such as tinted rocks or other bombable obstacles.
  • The Shovel Handle is an active item that can be used to stop the stomping assault for the current room, or for the current wave if the room has multiple waves of enemies.
  • You can replace the Shovel Handle with another active item. However, don’t leave a room without the Shovel Handle, or it will disappear, and you’ll have to start over.


When you defeat Mom with the Shovel Handle in your inventory, you’ll be required to take The Negative and complete the Boss Rush before moving on. Normally, the Boss Rush is only available if you reach and defeat Mom under 20 minutes, but time isn’t an issue this time. You’ll face 15 waves of foes, each with two bosses chosen from a large list pool of bosses, and you’ll still have to deal with Mom’s Foot. Complete the Boss Rush, and you’ll be rewarded with the second part of the shovel. This will transform the Shovel Handle into Mom’s Shovel.

  • When you get Mom’s Shovel, you will no longer have to deal with Mom’s Feet, and the Shovel can be used to create a trapdoor to the next level, just like the item ‘We Need to Go Deeper!’
  • If you pick up an active item as your pre-Boss Rush item, you can carry it during the fight to avoid having to deal with Mom’s Feet. However, you must be holding the Shovel Handle when beating the 15th wave, or the second part of Mom’s Shovel will not appear.


At this point, the rest of the run should be relatively smooth sailing. All you have to do is get to the Dark Room, which is fairly easy compared to what you had to do to get Mom’s Shovel. When you get there, search the floor for an empty room with a conspicuous dirt pile in the middle of the room. Stand above the dirt pile, use Mom’s Shovel, and…


Congratulations! You’ve unlocked The Forgotten! In addition, you’ve unlocked Bone Hearts as a possible pickup. Bone Hearts are a major part of The Forgotten. They take three hits to deplete and can be refilled by picking up red hearts. However, once a Bone Heart is depleted, it disappears from your health bar permanently.


Like the Blue Baby, The Forgotten has a special health bar that can only make use of specific hearts. He can only use Bone Hearts, and any heart containers he earns are turned into Bone Hearts. He fights by swinging around a bone club, which can be charged to throw it similarly to Mom’s Knife. Finally, he can only have up to 6 Bone Hearts because he shares his health bar with another character…By pressing the swap key (CTRL for PC,) you can swap to another character called The Soul. The Soul is a flying character that shoots spectral tears and is tethered to The Forgotten, who goes dormant and cannot take damage. The Soul makes use of any Soul Hearts or Black Hearts picked up. The game ends if either character dies, so make use of each character’s abilities to their full potential. 


  1. I did all the steps and it wouldn’t give me the f****** shovel
    Just to dig him up

  2. i did followed the steps dug him up saw the soul leave but didn’t get him

  3. i had the forgotten unlocked.

    i did NOT go through these steps at all.

    i do not know how i unlocked him (Xboxone) perhaps there is another hidden way like a sacrifice-room-with-a-missing-poster-type-way to unlock him?

    • I remember distinctly using his bone to pick up items hidden behind rocks and opening chests by swiping at them. There absolutely is another way to unlock the Forgotten

  4. My favorite youtuber plays it

  5. i love the binding of isaac

  6. sup i like animal crossing

  7. i did this on a victory lap, and did everything dug up the dirt pile in the dark room and didnt get the unlock? is there some prerequisite unlocks??

    • Doesnt work on a victory lap or if u input the seed

  8. I have Afterbirth plus but I get bombs and bomb the starting point and it doesnt work

    • Have you beaten the Lamb?


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