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.
Updated February 17, 2021 by Gene Cole: Cuphead fanatics are both excited and anxious for the release of the game’s DLC, The Final Course, but delays have unfortunately given us a longer wait time than expected. Many players are spending this time by revisiting Cuphead while they wait, and those trying certain bosses on Expert Mode might need some new strategies for some other unsuspecting bosses.
15 Baroness Von Bon Bon
Baroness Von Bon Bon is really several bosses in one, with her random desserts coming out one-at-a-time with their own small moveset. On the surface, this seems quite easy, but their variance can mean you’ll never have a consistent pattern you can practice against.
The best trick is to make sure you move as little as possible, as quickly darting around the small arena can quickly lead you to lose your footing and accidentally run into damage. These minions also have quite low health, so try saving your special moves for the final stage where you fight the Baroness in her moving castle.
14 Hilda Berg
Much like the Baroness, there are tons of different forms that this boss can take that each have unique moves, all leading up to a final fight against her crescent-moon self. These stages have a lot more health, and even a small plane stage in-between that takes a huge number of additional hits.
The best trick is to use your specials on each Constellation mode, as you’ll usually get enough hits in her plane form to charge up a heavy strike. Once you reach the last stage, just try to hide at the back edge of the screen so you can easily plan around stars and UFOs trying to hit you in the middle of the sky.
13 *Cagney Carnation
This deadly spiked flower is one of the first serious challenges in the game, and for a good reason. Having the small ladybug platforms floating slightly above the ground makes it really hard to dodge certain moves, and she creates tons of small enemies that you might not even see while trying to rapidly strike her.
If you want a specific place to hide, it’s usually best to remain on the left and center platforms. This gives you enough time to dodge attacks coming from Cagney, but many of Cagney’s effects will eliminate the soil beneath the platforms, making it better to stay airborne as much as you can.
Most of the mini-boss fights in the leadup to King Dice are fairly easy and straightforward, but Mangosteen near the end can be a bit more intimidating. This floating 8-ball only fires a few occasional hits, but the chalk cues flipping around can be really unpredictable with where they’re going to land.
The best way to beat this one easily is by staying on the left or right, as jumping into Magnosteen will cause you to take damage and lose your footing. If you want the battle to end faster, you can always try staying underneath him so that your bullets strike quicker, but this can also make dodging the chalk cues way harder.
11 King Dice
The climactic showdown with King Dice specifically is deceptively quick, even though you’ll have to take down an army of mini-bosses on your way. That said, it’s hardly a walk in the park, as his army of playing cards and many other attacks fill up far more of the screen than nearly any other boss in the game.
A key trick with this powerful move is that you can parry pink playing cards multiple times, letting you stay more steady and avoid dodging rapidly while waiting to land on the ground again. That said, unless you’re going for a no-hit run, the real best way to beat King Dice is to make sure you have some spare health left as being able to tank some hits can easily give you an opportunity to find a safe position.
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 tons of objects as well, and 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.
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 Mr. Chimes
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 are 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.
Here you’ll face a cymbal monkey moved about by a mechanical claw, and also take flight in your plane for the first time in the King Dice marathon. 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.
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 keep moving. Brineybeard himself has but one attack: an octopus cannon that fires bullets. 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 appear 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 as you try surviving the rising platforms, but phase 3 is where things get hairy. 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 flying murder machine 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 to queen bee.
4 The Devil
All of your training has led you to this unique trickster, and it’s time to take him down. The first phase is the most difficult, as you’ll have to ignore him slightly and focus on the sides of the throne to figure out where they’ll come from. He has several stages with many moves, but making sure to study his different habits will let you breeze through the earlier stages with each attempt.
If you see The Devil’s pupils disappear, he’s getting ready to cast magic. He’ll spin his pitchfork and launch some homing, bouncing, and circling fireballs. In each of these attacks, there’s something you can parry, but 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.
Also, 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
We’ll level with you. This. Fight. Sucks. Here are a few pointers for you, but remember some elements of this fight are completely randomized and impossible to deal with, so you’ll mostly just have to be quick on your toes.
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
The fight against this menacing classic robot 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.
It’s especially important to parry any pink attacks while dodging the others, since using your special will save you tons of time. 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 (or, so we hope).
Next: Nioh 2 Bosses Ranked From Easiest To Most Difficult
Reneaux is a military brat from a one-horse town in Louisiana. While he prefers to travel by chocobo, most of his traveling has been done by cars and planes (lame right?). When he’s not writing, you can find him playing video games, board games, reading, or laughing like a dummy at dank memes on his phone. He’s described as having “RBF”, but loves to talk to new people, especially if those new people have cake or coffee.
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