In Vampire Survivors And IRL, I Love Garlic

I don't cook much. When I was single, I ate way too much fast food and relied way too heavily on the few dishes I was confident in my ability to make when I did cook for myself. That meant a lot of grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, and granola with yogurt. Sometimes, I'd fancy those things up a little bit — pesto goes great on grilled cheese, and I loaded my scrambled eggs with pepperoni and shredded cheddar, with milk to make them fluffy — but, still, my repertoire of dishes was small and unimpressive.

This means that when my wife is cooking something that smells really good, I have very little ability to tell what it is. I'll say, "That smells good, what are you making?" and she will invariably say, "Just garlic and onions." That's right, I am gf number two from this viral tweet.

Garlic is one of life's simple pleasures. That's true in the real world and it's true in the flat bullet hell plains of Vampire Survivors. The small pale clove is famously anathema to large pale counts, so Vampire Survivors turns garlic into an actual weapon. And it's an incredible weapon, too. I'm slowly working my way through the game's five levels, and I was able to up my time in the library from 10 minutes to 20 minutes today. I have garlic to thank.

That's because garlic functions like a buzzsaw. If you select the upgrade upon leveling up, a massive beige disc will extend outward from your character's position. When playing as Clerici, who I've been maining so far, it soon shrinks back down to size. But if you upgrade it, you can boost it back up. Given that Vampire Survivors is a bullet hell game where enemies are constantly running at you and you have no recourse but to avoid them and wait for your auto-pilot weapons to fire, having a defensive shield that also serves an offensive purpose is really clutch. And, as you level it up, the damage it does increases until you can take out fairly sizable enemies just by touching them.

The best bit about garlic is that, even at level one, it immediately mows down those small, numerous enemies to let you focus on the big ones. Bats in particular just become a nonissue as soon as you grab your cloves. All you need to do is walk in their direction to kill them.

Garlic is especially great once you hit the point when it evolves, which happens when you level up Garlic and Pummarola. This transforms your white disc into a black one of the same size, which looks like the shadow a UFO would cast if it was hovering right above your character. This variation on garlic continues to deal damage, but also drains your enemies' health and adds it to your pool. So, now you're basically a bulldozer that can repair itself after getting some ghoul and ghostie gristle in its treads.

Vampire Survivors has a lot going on. I've only just reached the third level, Dairy Plant, for the first time and fresh horrors await me here, including terrible rings of enemies which I will have to burst through like a medieval Kool-Aid Man. I'm sure there are plenty of perks I haven't unlocked and enemies I haven't chopped through. But, whatever is waiting is going to have to be mighty impressive to top the power of garlic.

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