Cuphead blasted onto Windows and Xbox almost two years ago on September 29, 2017. Since then, the game has accrued quite the cult following and swept up several awards in the process. The game is also being ported to other platforms later this year. Cuphead, produced by Studio MDHR, is praised for its bright 1930s cartoon allusions, authentic and painstaking art style, and original jazz music.
While Cuphead boasts a slew of positive reviews and awards, it also hosts another, less amiable trait: being hard as heck. Because of that, we’ve grouped 10 of the hardest boss fights together along with some quick tips. We can’t cover every point here, but we’ll be sure to give you enough to come out on top.
10 Wally Warbles
Wally Warbles is as annoying as a broken alarm clock. Here’s a good way to stifle those cries for good. For Wally’s first phase, do your best to avoid the birds. The final form is probably the most difficult consistently. Watch the bottom of the screen for Wally and the two small birds carrying him. He’s injured, but he’ll still fire bullets at you. The birds will fire objects as well. The pills they fire will split so dodge them and continue to shoot every opportunity you can. If you’re confident in your skills, you can even take out your bombs to finish off this aggressive, avian threat.
9 Cala Maria
Phase one shows Cala Maria boasting a vast array of attacks, but phase 2 is probably the most annoying because of one ability: petrification. In phase 2, Cala Maria becomes the infamous Gorgon Medusa with the help of her electric eel friends. If you’re turned to stone, wriggle free and dodge the bullets. You can also shoot the eels. Keep this up and eventually, it’s off with her head and on to phase 3. In Phase 3 Cala Maria’s head tries to flee into a dangerous cave. Dodge the spike traps and skulls she launches at you while you continue to shoot. She’ll also turn you to stone here so watch out for that. Keep your wits about you, and she’s as good as gone.
8 King Dice
King Dice is legit a nuisance and a half. Though as the Devil’s right-hand man, we suppose this should be expected. The most difficult aspect of this fight is the potentially random nature of the mini-bosses. There is a total of 9 possible mini-bosses. You must defeat at least three of them before you can proceed to King Dice himself. Of these, one of the harder bosses comes from tile number 9.
Tile 9: Here you’ll face a cymbal monkey moved about by a mechanical claw. Dodge the monkey and the music notes he fires from his cymbals as you shoot him. When the cards drop in the background, quickly flip over the matches and finish off that cymbal toting simian. Be sure to take down King Dice in the finale or you’ll have to run the gauntlet all over again.
7 Captain Brineybeard
In phase one, you have quite a few enemies to dodge, but they’re not too difficult once you learn their pattern. First is the barrel that looms menacingly overhead. Stop underneath it, and you’re as good as gone. Do your best to keep moving. Brineybeard himself has but one attack: an octopus cannon that fires bullets. There are between three or four of them each time he uses the attack. Parry or dodge these and continue to blast. Next is a shark, if you see a big fin in the background when Brineybeard whistles, get close to the boat to avoid being dinner.
If you see a submarine scope appears when he whistles, get ready to shoot down some vicious sea dogs. Don’t stick too close to the boat if they appear and keep on shooting. You’ll win in no time. The rest of the phases are simpler, just watch for cannonballs and in phase 3 DUCK if the ship opens its mouth. You’ll get hyper beamed if you don’t.
6 Beppi The Clown
Beppi goes through several carnivals themed transformations that shouldn’t give you too much trouble if you take your time and remember to parry when you can. Phase 3, however, is a bit of a doozy. Let’s go over it. The coaster that appears in phase 2 is still here so keep on dodging it when it shows up, but now Beppi is back and riding a carousel horse. If the horse is green, he’ll fire two horseshoes that weave up and down across the screen.
If the horse is yellow, he’ll shoot a rapid-fire of horseshoes in a long line. Dodge them and be careful as the yellow ones will come back to the middle of the stage and drop to the ground. In other words, you’ll need to spend this fight sticking to the left and right sides of the screen depending on the danger. Keep shooting Beppi and it’s time for phase 4. Keep up these strategies and you’ll fell that horrendous harlequin.
5 Rumor Honeybottoms
The first two phases will find you testing your dodging skills, but phase 3 is where things get hairy. Phase 3 shows Rumor dropping from the sky reading a book. Get as much damage in here as you can because it’s gonna be hard to land hits once she’s on the attack. She transforms into a plane that fires homing fists from the bottom of the screen.
If you’ve got the Chaser you’re going to want to use it. Find a spot on the platforms that allows you to keep track of where the fists are exiting the screen so you can react in time if they come back and keep shooting her. After a bit of damage, it’s good riddance queen bee.
4 The Devil
All of your training has led you to this trickster, and it’s time to take him down. The first phase is the most difficult so we’ll cover that one. You’ll want to keep an eye out for his minions. Watch the sides of the throne to figure out where they’ll come from. The Devil has multiple forms that deal attacks in this phase. In Goat Form, the devil becomes a goat that uses his arms to try to smash you. The timing very specific so pay close attention. After this happens, you’ll want to jump and do an aerial dash to keep you airborne and away from his hooves.
In Spider Form, the devil will change his head into a huge spider that drops to the ground and hops around. Just dodge him or run away, but we’re sure we didn’t need to tell you that (*shudders*).
In Dragon Form, the devil will slink himself across the stage. The only way to dodge this is to position yourself just left of the throne if he comes from the right and just right of the throne if he comes from the left. Stand still, and he should pass right over you. If you see The Devil’s pupils disappear, he’s getting ready to cast magic. He’ll spin his pitchfork (DON’T let it touch you) and launch one of three attacks: homing fireballs, bouncing fireballs, and circling fireballs. In each of these attacks, there’s something you can parry. If you can’t catch the parry, just do your best to jump and dodge.
3 Phantom Express
This is another four-part fight, but we’ll cover the third because those piston dudes are all kinds of difficult. Phase 3 brings out two pistons you’ll need to slay. Slide your platform all the way to the right and hug the right wall. You should be safe here to shoot down the piston closest to you. Watch out and shoot any ghosts that come to give you the spooks. Jump to shoot down the last piston and slide your platform all the way to the left in preparation for the final phase.
2 Grim Matchstick
(*Breathes deep*) We’ll level with you. This. Fight. Sucks. Here are a few pointers to for you, but remember some elements of this fight are completely randomized. You’ll need to stay on your toes if you want to walk out of this one without getting your mug cracked. Do your best to dodge his attacks and keep an eye on the clouds. They are randomized so there’s no pattern for you to remember. In phase 3 stick low or high to avoid being roasted by his mighty dragon breath.
1 Dr. Kahl’s Robot
This fight is odd, long, and hard. The first phase has mini phases, so we’ll give you some pointers on that one. There are three spots on the robot you can aim for. The head, chest, and tummy each with its own weapon and attack pattern. Parry any pink attacks while dodging the others. When you defeat one piece it becomes a different, more powerful weapon. Dodge and counter with your shots and you’ll have no problem in the phases that follow…we hope.