Or, as the developers put it in the game menu, a ‘challenge of recycled assets’
With patches rolling out all the time, staying caught up with Vampire Survivors hasn’t been easy, but it’s been fun pretty much every step of the way. The new content in patch 0.9 feels a bit on the light side from the outside looking in, yet when you actually try it out, it’s memorable. The biggest addition is Boss Rash, an arena-based survival mode. If you can survive 15 minutes, you’ll be able to unlock a wonderfully strange new character.
Before you can enter Boss Rash, you’ll first need to unlock Hyper Mode on the five regular stages — Mad Forest, Inlaid Library, Dairy Plant, Gallo Tower, and Cappella Magna. Hyper Mode will open up once you slay the boss that appears at the 25-minute mark on these stages; if you’ve been an avid Vampire Survivors player, you should be good to go.
I already had every Hyper Mode ready to go before patch 0.9 showed up, but to make Boss Rash appear, I needed to play a match and then quit out. That did the trick.
Before I go into any more specifics, there’s one good-to-know tidbit to cover.
Going forward, save data will be located in %APPDATA%/Vampire_Survivors_Data — this change is meant to “avoid Cloud conflicts and issues on Steam Deck.”
If you want to be as efficient as possible (and you’re feeling confident), try playing Boss Rash with only one weapon using the “Max Weapons” toggle — that’s the criteria for the new character, Gyorunton, who wields a Bracelet. It looks like a long-lost Pokémon!
As much as I like this colorful character design, I’m not sold on the projectile Bracelet, which evolves into a Bi- and then Tri-Bracelet without needing to pair it with an item.
Vampire Survivors patch 0.9 also brings two new arcanas: Twilight Requiem (unlocked by reaching level 99 as Dommario) and Gemini (reach level 99 as Pugnala). The former generates explosions when certain weapons expire, and the latter creates a counterpart for Peachone, Ebony Wings, Phiera Der Tuphello, and Eight the Sparrow.
Boss Rash is the clear highlight. The final moments are challenging, even with a beefed-up character. You’ll have to face multiple reapers — even the big boss — all at once in an uncomfortably tight space. Granted, for egg-hoarding grinders out there, it’ll be a breeze. But I narrowly made it to the 15-minute mark with revives lending a last-second hand.
Not much longer now, right? 1.0 feels close.