Abilities are various actions that The Hero can unlock and use in Drawn to Life. They consist of a set of advanced melee moves that The Hero can pull off to greatly improve their combat effectiveness and agility.
Each ability can be bought at Isaac's Shop under the "Abilities" tab for 2000 Rapo-Coins, but first must be unlocked by finding various Ability Tokens scattered around the game's levels in the form of Secrets. Each Gate has its own set of 3 Ability Tokens that corresponds to a specific move. Once all 3 Tokens are found, the ability becomes available for purchase.
The five abilities in Drawn to Life are:
The Flip is the first and most basic ability that a player can unlock. Its Ability Tokens are found throughout the Snow Gate levels. It is activated by jumping and pressing the button while in the air.
Once activated, The Hero will preform a back-flip and spin counter-clockwise, dealing of damage to any enemies that come into contact with them. After The Hero lands, they will be locked into a bouncing animation for a short time before being able to move again.
The Slide is the second ability available to be unlocked, its Ability Tokens being found throughout the Forest Gate levels. It is activated by running forward, then simultaneously pressing both the down key and the button.
The Slide bears a resemblance to the slide that The Hero can do while pressing the down key on a slope, except that it only deals one of damage, rather than outright killing an enemy.
The Dash is the third ability available to be unlocked, its Ability Tokens being found throughout the Beach Gate levels. It is activated by pressing the button while running.
Once activated, The Hero will assume a "Dashing" stance, and will be propelled forward with a sudden boost of speed, dealing one of damage to all enemies they come into contact with.
The Uppercut is the fourth and final ability available to be unlocked, its Ability Tokens being found across the City Gate levels. It is activated by holding the up key and pressing the button.
Similar to the Dash, the Uppercut will propel The Hero upward with a sudden boost of speed, dealing one of damage to all enemies that they come into contact with.
The Ground Bounce is the only ability that The Hero can use that is not required to be unlocked, being available from the beginning of the game and demonstrated to the player in the Snow Fields. It is activated by holding the button while in the air and pressing the down key.
The Ground Bounce is also used to reveal ammo from ammo piles for The Hero's ranged weapons. This ability is also used to break wooden crates in one hit.
- The Flip is the only attack the The Hero can do, along with the Ground Bounce, that deals double damage, making it potentially devastating to large groups of multi-health enemies.
- The Slide is arguably the least effective ability of the four, since it takes multiple button presses, only deals one damage, and slows The Hero down significantly.
- The Dash and Uppercut can be combined to send The Hero flying diagonally, and can be chained together to potentially allow the player to hurtle through levels with ease.
- Caution is advised though, since The Hero is vulnerable between activations, and can take damage if not careful.
- The Legendary Sword combines well with the Dash and Uppercut, having custom animations accompanied by a "slashing" sound when the player uses them.
- Since the City Gate only has three non-boss levels, there is an ability token found in each stage there.
The Abilities system in Drawn to Life is largely replaced in its sequel, Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter. Instead of having various unlockable unique melee attacks, the game features an "Upgrades" tab in Isaac's Shop where the player can both purchase new weapons and upgrade them to increase their combat ability and versatility. The only ability retained from the first game is the Ground Bounce, but is referred to as the "Butt Stomp" in this iteration.
Unlike Abilities, these upgrades do not need to be unlocked, and are instead available from the start, only needing to be purchased.
Upgrades are divided by the three different weapons that the player can acquire in game:
Both the Rapid Fire and Hyper Shot greatly increase the Shooter's rate of fire, effectively doubling and tripling it, respectively.
Rapid Fire costs 750 Rapo-Coins, while Hypershot costs 1500 Rapo-Coins.
The two upgrades for the Slasher, Dbl. Slash and Final Atk. adds a series of combo-like attacks that can be used in rapid succession. Dbl. Slash adds a secondary upward slash, while the Final Atk. adds a final downward stroke that moves the player forward a bit.
They each cost 750 and 1500 Rapo-Coins, respectively.
The upgrade Omni Shot allows The Hero to swing the Slinger in multiple directions, including up, down and diagonally.
The upgrade Hurricane adds a charge ability that allows The Hero to swing the Slinger in a circle around them.
Omni Shot costs 750 Rapo-Coins, while Hurricane costs 1500 Rapo-Coins.
- The Shooter cannot be fired diagonally.
- The Hurricane ability can be used as crowd control if the player gets surrounded.
- The Slasher is analogous to the Legendary Sword, while the Shooter is similar to the projectile weapons in the first game, most closely resembling the Snowshooter.