One of the hardest games to come out this year is Studio MDHR’s Cuphead for PC and Xbox One. The side-scrolling, boss-focused, platforming game is a serious artistic marvel, hearkening back to the days of Disney’s old 1930s animated cartoons. The title is no cake walk and you won’t be beating it with ease due to its masochistic design and punishingly unpredictable patterns. While the game itself isn’t very long, the boss fights can be absolutely tedious to the point of super frustration. Thankfully there are some walkthrough guides available to help you beat the baddies.
YouTuber fireb0rn has a video up covering each of the boss fights in record time, which you can check out below.
The game utilizes basic controls: You jump with ‘A’, parry by double-tapping ‘A’, shoot with ‘X’, dash in the air by pressing ‘Y’ after jumping, and you can use your special by pressing ‘B’. You can switch weapons by pressing the left bumper, and you can build up a max special by constantly shooting enemies and getting your card stack to five. When you press ‘B’ after your cards in the bottom left hand corner is full you’ll unleash a special attack if you have one equipped.
Early on you’ll want to do the Run-and-Gun segments that starts with Forest Follies, the side-scrolling platforming segment. Simply run through and collect the coins that you’ll need for later. You can only get coins from the Run-and-Gun levels that are sprinkled throughout each of the three worlds.
You’ll also want to talk to the apple sitting on the banister before you do the map in order to get three free coins. At the shop you’ll want to buy the chaser bullets and the auto-parry skill, both of which will help you out drastically.
If you’re planning on speeding through the game, and you’re not having much trouble running and gunning you’ll want to buy the weapon upgrades to unlock the charge.
Next up, fight The Root Pack carrot boss. You simply have to light up each phase of the boss until the fight segment kicks in where the carrot comes out and shoots yellow lasers at you. You can also shoot the carrots he shoots at you; don’t forget to jump dodge as well if the homing-carrots seem to be blocking you in.
Next up is Ribby and Croaks, the frog brothers. The first part of the fight is easy enough. Simply duck his punch and then keep firing until the next phase kicks into play. When the one toad begins to use the whirlwind, simply stay in the center, dodge the projectile from the toad on the left by jumping over it, and continue to pepper them until they transform into the slot machine.
The slot part can be tricky – you’ll need to use the parry on the handle by double jumping with the ‘A’ button and then when the mouth opens up dodge the obstacles and shoot the machine until it dies.
Next up is Goopy Le Grande at the tree just north of the side-scrolling segment.
His first segment involves bloating up his head and attempting to smack you while also jumping around. When his head bloats up simply duck and keep peppering him. In his second segment he gets bigger. Continue to dodge him and shoot him until he turns into a tombstone. Don’t stop moving when he turns into a tombstone. Keep shooting him while staying on the move to avoid being smashed.
Up next you’ll need to look at the blueprints for the aeroplanes before you can do the next stage. You can shrink using ‘Y’ and fire bombs by switching weapons with the left bumper.
You’ll then fight Hilda Berg. Fire on her until she turns into a ram. Either dodge up high or down low to avoid being gored.
You can also dodge the purple firing missiles or shoot them. It’s wise to parry the pink bullets in order to get an instant card upgrade. When she turns into a constellation, avoid touching her or the constellation.
Eventually she’ll turn into a giant moon with stars shooting out and saucers flying overhead. Simply dodge the saucers and keep firing on her face until she dies.
Up next is Cagney Carnation, a giant flower. If you fight him honestly you simply have to dodge his face when he sprouts out from either up high or below. He will also fire homing acorns at you. When he fires the flower at you simply go low – when it goes past the top it will circle back around to the bottom, so jump up high to dodge it.
Once you collect all the contracts in the area talk to the Dice Man to move to the next area.
Beppi the Clown is your next fight.
For the first part fire on him and also jump up and fire on the ducks passing by overhead. The reason for this is because if you attempt to dash while in the air you will lose a life if you hit the ducks. If you shoot the ducks they won’t do any damage to you. Keep firing on Beppi until he revs up the bumper car; once you see him rev up proceed to jump into the air and dash overhead. Rinse and repeat until he transforms into the balloon.
Try to kill Beppi as quickly as possible here because it can get difficult dodging all the balloon dogs and the roller coaster.
The final segment involves Beppi turning into a carousel – light him up as quickly as possible. He will then shoot out some green little men on the ground. Hop down and kill them as fast as possible because they will shoot homing baseballs at you. Rinse and repeat until he’s defeated.
Up next is Djimmi The Great. The first segment randomizes between him shooting homing knives, homing spinx, or random jewelry at you. Kill him quick and then proceed through the next segment. When he turns into the sarcophagus you’ll want to kill him as quickly as possible. You can use the bombs to drop on his head to take him out as fast as possible. Also, save up your cards for a special and hold on to them until he transforms into a puppet on marionette strings. Use your special on him and continue to pepper him.
Dodge his bullets and the genie hat projectiles until he dies. The final segment can be extremely tricky. You’ll need to watch for the floating pyramid eyes – when they open they will fire a void stream in four directions. The trick is to stay in front or behind the streams to avoid taking damage while also dodging the stream of near-transparent rings that the genie shoots off.
The next fight is against Baroness Von Bon Bon in “Sugarland Shimmy”.
The first part of the fight randomizes between a gumball machine, candy corn, and a ball of candy; dodge each one and light them up. The candy corn’s pattern randomizes so watch out. From there, the Baroness will pull out her shotgun and fire at you. Use the green candy wrapper platform to fire on her as her head rolls and obstacles pop out from the castle. She’s fairly easy so utilizing long range attacks will work best.
The next fight is against Wally Warbles in “Aviary Action”. The first part of the fight involves lighting him up while dodging his bullet-fingers and feathered frenzy.
Simply hold down your shoot button and pay attention to where the projectiles are aimed at you in order to overcome his attacks.
You can grab an extra card by smacking the pink birds flying overhead. When he turns into the small bird you’ll need to stay somewhat close as the eggs start coming in closer and farther away. Move around the eggs in a circular motion as they begin to get close and then move closer to Wally as they move farther away.
Grim Matchstick is up next. He’s probably one of the hardest bosses in the game because the clouds and his attacks are random. Watch out for his tail and move to the far left when you see it at the bottom to force it out of the way. Dash over the fireballs when they go low and try to stay above them.
For the part with the little fireballs on his tongue, be sure to listen for their giggle. Once they giggle then they will leap toward your position. Be mindful of how they leap because they leap in arcs, so try to jump over them as they’re coming up or duck them as they’re moving over you.
Chasers are good for Wally up until the final segment. For the final segment you do not want to use chasers because he will fire small balls of fire at you and if you shoot the balls they will explode into smaller fragments. Cautiously dodge the slow moving balls of fire and pepper Wally with your attacks. When he whips out the flame thrower go to the top of the screen and continue to jump over his flamethrower attack. It is possible to use the chaser bullets while his flamethrower attack is in use. Rinse and repeat until Wally dies.
Also don’t hesitate to do the mausoleum stages to unlock additional specials. The first special you get is easily the best one since it does maximum damage to an enemy when you use it. The second special turns you invincible for a few seconds, and the third special allows you to control a spectral, musclebound Cuphead who can do a lot of damage to enemies if you can keep him in the right position. To complete the mausoleums simply parry the ghosts and protect the urn. Using the auto-parry charm makes these stages go by really quick.
Following the defeat of Wally, you’ll need to proceed through the House of Die into the next and final world. The first stage is against Rumor Honeybottoms in “Honeycomb Herald”. The first part of the fight doesn’t even involve Rumor, but requires you to take out a lounging police bee while dodging worker bees and a bee bomb. The stage is a depressing commentary about the socialist struggles of the proletariat, and the unrewarding fervor required to keep the queen bee on top.
Anyway, once you defeat the cop, Rumor will come down either on the left, the right, or the center. If she comes down on the left or right she will point to it from the top of the screen. If she doesn’t point then assume she’s coming down the center and stay out of the middle of the screen.
Pepper her with fire while dodging her attacks. If she comes from the left or right she will use either circular homing spheres that you can dodge by using your parry, or she will use a void triangle that will appear at your current position. For the spheres, simply stay on the move and avoid them. For the triangles make sure that you jump to the far left or far right of the screen either to the top or bottom. The triangles will automatically move out of the screen, so the closer to the edge you are the quicker they will leave the play area. If she comes down the center she will turn her head into a wrecking ball and fire bombs starting from the bottom of the screen going to the top. Pay close attention to your position on the screen and simply jump or duck under the bombs when they are adjacent to your position on the platforms.
Keep this up until she turns into a plane, and you can either shoot down on her with charged shots or you can use the chaser bullets to automatically target her while dodging her saw attacks.
When she goes to use the saw blade, she will rev up – move to the opposite side of the screen as quickly as possible until she stops the attack. Rinse and repeat the patterns until she dies.
Next on the list is Dr. Kahl’s Robot in the “Junkyard Jive”. This stage isn’t too hard given that there aren’t too many parts to it. For the first segment the main thing to watch out for is the satellite laser on the top of the robot’s head. It tracks your position, so the safe bet is to always stay at the top of the screen when it’s ready to fire. Once it gets done firing proceed to quickly kill all the little flying planes that come out of the bottom part of the robot.
Rinse and repeat dodging and shooting the satellite and its laser while also peppering and killing the tiny robot planes. Do this until both the satellite and the bottom segment of the robot are destroyed. Proceed to then target the robot’s heart until it gets destroyed. He will then turn into a giant missile head, which is probably a good time to use your max special (if you have it). Otherwise wait for him to come into the screen from the right side and use your special on him then.
For the final segment where the Dr. pulls a page out of Dr. Robotnik’s playbook, simply focus on dodging all the bullet-hell projectile fire while constantly peppering him with fire. Keep this up until you lay waste to him.
The next fight is against Sally Stageplay in “Dramatic Fanatic”. The first part of the fight involves waiting for her to jump and then running underneath her to avoid getting stomped. Simply keep running underneath her jump attacks and stay out of the way of her falling ceiling attacks until she switches scenes in the play.
When she shoots the hearts, parry them to stack your cards. The next segment can be really difficult. You’ll need to dodge the wind up mice cars while also avoiding the baby bottles. The multi-directional fire mode is a good upgrade for Sally, but it also wouldn’t hurt to use the chasers if you need to focus less on hitting her and more on avoiding all the junk during the house segment.
Try to save up your specials and use them all at once during the house segment to move on to the next segment as quickly as possible. In the next segment you’ll need to crack open the meteor but do not parry the pink star just yet. Sally will signal what attack she will use next, and wait for the “Big Wave” attack to get close to you and then use the pink star to dodge and parry over the wave.
For the lightning you’ll want to simply move close to her and then dash past them. For the final segment simply jump dash over the spinning umbrella and keep an eye out for the falling roses. Keep lighting her up until she perishes.
The next fight is against Werner Werman in “Murine Corps”. This fight can be overwhelming but is also not entirely difficult. For the first part simply dodge his random attacks. Use the springs on the ground to dodge his charge attack. Once he dies his next segment involves a crane operated flamethrower. When he goes up high, you go down low. When he goes down low, you go up high. Simply dodge the bottle-cap blades as they spring in from the side of the screen.
The final fight involves a showdown against a vicious purple cat, a clear homage to Tom & Jerry. When it uses its hands to reach in from the left or right, simply go in the opposite direction to the far side of the screen.
When the ghost of Werner appears on either side, quickly shoot them and parry their fire to use it to charge up your attacks. It’s best to use the standard fire mode here so you can quickly dispatch of the cat by using the blue fireballs – simply aim them up and take down the cat.
Next up is one of the hardest boss fights in the game: Captain Brineybeard in “Shootin N’ Lootin”.
The fight can go by really easy with the multi-directional projectile by getting in close and using it right at the start of the fight to light him up. Staying in close, you can wait for him to pull out the squid and parry the pellets to quickly build up your cards.
Max out the cards and then use your special on Captain Brineybeard. Watch out for the barrel up above, which will drop on your head once its eyes turn angry. If you’re doing two-player mode, have the second player kite the barrel and keep it away from the first player.
The Captain will also call in help from some prairie-dogs, an octopus and a shark. For the prairie-dogs simply aim low and shoot them as they pop up onto the dock. For the octopus, fire on it once you see it, otherwise if the ink blots hit you it will cause the screen to go dark. For the shark, simply move all the way to the far right to avoid being bitten.
Once you move further in the boat will start shooting cannonballs at you. Time your jumps while also dodging the barrel up above. Keep this up until the boat ejects Brineybeard and begins fighting you itself. You’ll have to shoot its tonsil while also dodging the oil orbs. The orbs move in a circle motion, but go high near the far left side of the screen, meaning you can go to the far left and duck to avoid getting hit.
The boat will also fire a giant pink laser. Simply jump up on it to parry it and score cards, or duck it to avoid getting it. Light up the ship’s mouth with your specials to kill it.
Cala Maria is the next fight. She’s not that hard but it relies more on reflex and your dodging skills. When she shoots the ghost at you move to the far top or bottom of the screen and turn small to avoid them. Use your missiles as soon as you get them.
Cala will then turn into a Medusa head and turn you to stone. Use the left analog to wiggle out. You can kill the other hydra heads and shoot Cala until her body gets destroyed. In the final segment you’ll need to avoid touching the pink coral while also dodging the skeletal orbs. She will also automatically turn you to stone; quickly wiggle free and keep peppering her with fire while avoiding the spiked totems. Keep this up until she perishes.
The final contract is against Phantom Express in “Railroad Wrath”. This is a fairly easy boss fight that simply requires you to avoid letting the enemies control the rail cart you’re on. The left and right pink wheels will move the cart to the left and right of the stage. For the first part simply keep your distance, kill the eyeball ghost and make sure you don’t let the bricks hit the turn-wheels.
For the next segment against the giant skeleton head, simply avoid getting smashed while shooting the skeleton head. The auto-parry charm is essential for this stage because you’ll need to parry quick and often.
For the next segment, the head on the right always starts shooting its laser down at you. So keep the cart to the far left. Kill the head on the left first and continue to keep the cart to the far left to finish off the head on the far right.
For the final segment, the train’s locomotive engine will get up and start trolling you. Simply parry the back part of the engine to open up the side of the train and then shoot inside until it dies.
The sub-boss before you finish the game is King Dice in “All Bets Are Off”. Now this is a tedious, hard, tricky segment in Cuphead. You’ll have dice that you have to roll to determine where you land on the board to fight additional bosses and finally reach the end.
So here’s how to easily and quickly beat King Dice: The trick is that you’ll want to roll the dice in your favor. In order to get the dice roll that you want, simply pause the game while the dice is spinning. Quickly pause the game to see where the dice is and get close to it so that when you unpause the game you can jump on it when it’s on the number that best benefits you. The trick is to pause and unpause the game until you reach the roll that you want (between one and three).
The best option is to roll a ‘2’ at the start, and then roll ‘2’ again, and then roll on which slot has the heart. Proceed to roll onto the “Safe” slot. Pause and unpause the game until you land on the die that will allow you to land on the ‘8’ on the board, and then roll another ‘2’ to land on “Safe”, and then roll another ‘2’ to finish.
Now, once you hit finish King Dice will automatically slap his hand on the table and roll out a series of cards. You’ll have to jump on top and parry across each of the pink cards until the row finishes. Shoot his head, parry the cards, and rinse and repeat this method until he dies and then you can go on to face off against the devil.