Swarm is an XBLA game Derek and I played at PAX East. To quickly sum up Swarm it’s like a platformer combined with Pikmin and Lemmings. You control a group of (up to 50) tiny blue creatures called Swarmites, and you have to get them from point A to point B. What makes it hard is that you have to reach a target score in order to unlock the next stage. You increase your score by constantly collecting orbs, and also by killing Swarmites to make your multiplier go up. BUT if you kill all Swarmites you lose your multiplier and restart at a checkpoint.
We got the game as soon as it came out, and enjoyed watching Swarmites die in many different ways very much. Especially in the menu screen where it says in big text “Do not push the Y button” and when you do, you can watch a Swarmite on the screen get killed in different ways. The game is fun, but as we unlocked more stages, the more difficult it got to get the required score. And by “more difficult,” I mean “almost impossible.”
So, out of our frustration, I decided to take revenge on the Swarmites in person.
Non-bento #34: Swarm
Created and eaten (some of it) on: 4/23/2011
Before I start, as I mentioned about “blue food” on my FAQ page, when I make bento I keep blue colors to an absolute minimum. But after a bit of hesitation, I do make exceptions sometimes such as Tingle from Tingle bento, Ryuk from Death Note bento, Lilith from Evangelion bento, Google chrome bento, and Quack from Peep and the Big Wide World bento.
However I did not hesitate to make these at all. They’re Swarmites. They’re helpless and stupid (that’s because I can’t control them right) things you love and want to kill so badly, over and over again… but not all of them. If you’ve played the game, you know what I mean. I also realized that I made blue eggs for Prinnies, which also come in large quantities and explode. Maybe there’s something about a pack of small blue creatures with suicidal tendencies.
Anyway, moving onto my post.
I dyed hard boiled eggs naturally by using red cabbage juice. You just chop red cabbage up, put it in water and microwave it. No food coloring! Eggs dyed in cabbage juice don’t taste anything different from regular hard-boiled eggs. It doesn’t smell or taste like cabbage. You can see a how-to for this on “How to dye eggs (blue, pink and yellow) naturally.”
After I dyed the eggs, I made their bugged eyes with cheese and black sesame seeds, put a mouth… aaand you have Swarmites!
And now let the games begin.
Looks a bit harsh and disturbing to stab and slice the cute looking Swarmites? Well, it’s pretty much what the game is, actually. And even if you go “awwww” to Swarmites in the beginning of the game, you’ll totally understand how I feel later in the game.
As I mentioned, the blue hard boiled eggs are as delicious as regular hard boiled eggs. So I decided to make egg salad with Swarmites.
Fun fact #1: Red cabbage juice contains anthocyanin (which makes the juice reddish purple) a natural pH indicator that changes colors according to the acidity of the solution. Read more about anthocyanin and pH indicator here.
Fun fact #2: I found this out while I was in Japan. Japanese grape Fanta, the soda by Coca Cola, is colored ONLY with anthocyanin and caramel! All natural and no artificial coloring. What do they use in grape Fanta in the U.S.? RED40 and Blue1.
Other Fanta flavors in Japan also use natural ingredients to dye the soda as well. I wouldn’t normally be surprised about the Japanese soda industry using natural ingredients, but what surprised me is the same soda company making the same product differently in separate countries. I wonder which countries uses natural ingredients to color their Fanta now…
If you live in a different country, and have access to grape Fanta (or any other flavors), check the label and let me know what kind of method is used to dye the soda at AnnaTheRed[at]gmail[dot]com!
I made a Swarm set on my flickr, so you can see all the Swarm massacre photos at your convenience.
For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento and non-bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page. (On the photos in the “Bent and non-bento!” set on my flickr, you can see the notes on the food explaining what they are.)