Cup head is a very hard game. If you don’t know what you are doing, it’s pretty much impossible to beat or even play. But, as hard as it may be, once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy.

I’ve been playing cuphead for a few years now and there’s something I’ve learned: You have to stay on your toes. If you let your guard down, even for a half second, you will die (or at least, lose a life). Another thing I’ve learned is that there is a simple algorithm to beating the bosses. Once I beat the game, I went back and tried to figure out these algorithms and I now have them all down. I can now beat Cuphead without dying once.

The algorithms that go along with the game get more difficult the further you progress in the game. So I will split up the algorithms from easiest to hardest (Inkwell Isle 1–3).

If you are unfamiliar with all the cuphead bosses, this is all of them: Root Pack, Ribbit and Croaks, The Ruse of Ooze, Madam Balloon, the freaky flower lady, the genie, the clown, the candy land princess, the giant bird, the dragon, the bee, the pirate, the mermaid, Tom-and-Jerry-look-alikes, Giant Robot, Sally Stage Play, Ghost Train, Dice King, and finally, The Devil.

As you can see, there are a lot of bosses in the game. On top of that there are also levels. The levels are pretty random though. Here are all the algorithms to beat the bosses of Cuphead.

Inkwell Isle 1:

The Root Pack: This level is very easy, all you have to do is have any reflexes whatsoever. The hardest part of this boss is the carrot, though. All you really have to do is not stay in one place when he shoots his beam and you have to watch out for the homing-carrots flying in from the top of the screen.

Ribbit and Croaks: This is, by far, one of the hardest levels in Inkwell Isle 1. There is a lot to look out for. Not only are there lightning bugs in the first stage, there are also fireballs flying towards you as well. And that’s just the first stage. The second stage is easy. All you have to do is get the homing shot (the green one) and run towards the frog that is blowing the wind. The planets are very easy to dodge. The last stage is the hard one. There are three different casino rolls you can land on: Snake, Tiger, and Bull. The snake isn’t hard (if you have the homing shot), the bull isn’t very hard either, but the tiger is. Even though there is an equal chance for each of them to come up, for some reason, it seems like the tiger comes up a lot less than the others. And that’s good.

The Ruse of Ooze: This one is probably the easiest boss in the game besides the root pack. It’s very simple. All you have to do is run under the blue guy when he is jumping. The only sketchy thing is that sometimes he bounces off the wall and sometimes he doesn’t. Other than that, this boss is very easy. The parry aspect of this level is weird though because there are only three things you can parry: the pink things above his head when he becomes big. That’s it.

Madam Balloon: She is not too hard unless you aren’t good at the plane element of the game. The plane is actually (in my opinion) easier than the actual platforming. Not only are you going faster, you are much smaller and much more agile. And on top of that, the special move is very simple and does a lot of damage. There isn’t much to say about this level except that, you gotta be watching for everything because there are a lot of projectiles in this stage. Other than that, you will be fine.

Freaky Flower lady: There are two simple tactics to beating this level: STAY OFF THE GROUND AT ALL TIMES and PARRY THE PINK SEED 100% OF THE TIME. If you follow these rules, this level will be a piece of cake.

Inkwell Isle 2:

Genie: This is another plane level and it’s the easiest level in this Isle. There are some projectiles but the only somewhat-hard stage is the puppet. This is just because there is a lot going on. In the beginning of the level, what you need to do is get the swords to come out of the chest. Not only is this easy, it is a very good opportunity to get some free parrys.

Clown: This is a very difficult level. When I first got to this level, it took me probably 5+ hours to beat. Not only is it hard, it’s confusing and you really have to get lucky. I would recommend having the invisible dash power up for this level. Otherwise, you are going to hit the flying ducks. The really hard part is the last stage and only because of the stupid penguins. Just avoid their attacks and you should be fine.

Sugar Lady: This is a very easy level unless one of the mini bosses is the cupcake. He is difficult, but other than that, this level is easy. The last stage is easy because of the peppermints. Because the peppermints are pink, you can continuously bounce on it 3+ times and get your parry bar up dangerously quick. This can make it a very short boss fight.

Bird: This level is mildly difficult because of his 2nd stage. He throws feathers everywhere, and if you get hit, you lose a life. I recommend staying at the bottom of the screen and just moving up and down when a feather comes. Once you get over the feather go back down until another one comes. NOTICE: To beat this level, you need to talk to the airplane dude before because he gives you the bombs that you need. The level is impossible without those.

Dragon: This level is the hardest level in the game hands-down. I don’t even know why I struggle with it, I just do. You need the green shot for this one and you need to watch your back. The first two stages are easy if you pay attention it’s the last one that is difficult. Just don’t hit the fireballs and you will be fine. If you hit the fireballs they split into four fast-moving fireballs.

Inkwell Isle 3:

Bee: She is pretty easy except for her last stage. All you really have to do is get the green shot and watch her eyes. Whichever way she looks is the way she’s gonna launch her buzzsaw. The hardest part of this level is that the platforms are constantly moving down. Just stay on your toes.

Pirate: There is nothing to say about this level. It’s easy, there are no complicated aspects to this level except when he calls his animals. When he calls the animals, just look at the background, if you see a shark fin, get to the front of the deck, if you don’t, get to the back. That’s it. Also: duck when the boat shoots it’s lazar.

Mermaid: She is very difficult and to beat this level, you just have to get really lucky. It is a plane level but it’s really complicated, her first stage is easy if you know what you are doing, but her second and third are unbearable. She freezes you in stone and shoots a ton of projectiles at you, this is 100% impossible if you aren’t lucky and are in the right place at the right time. The third is the same too, except you can hide in the coral, but only a little bit, if you go too far, you will take damage.

Tom and Jerry: This level is easy, but it’s random. There is really nothing to say about this level, because it’s random you just have to look at what he does, that’s it.

Robot: This level is very hard. You have to worry about many things. The first stage is definitely the hardest though. The second stage you can by-pass by hitting him instantly with the special bomb move (single player only). The last stage is just like the birds second stage except there are moving walls coming towards you as well.

Sally Stage Play: This level is very easy. It isn’t random and she does the exact same moves no matter what stage she’s in. Besides her last one which you just have to jump.

Ghost Train: This level is long. It’s easy but long. It has 5 stages but they go by pretty fast. The only advice I can give you for this level is to not let any of the falling pink items touch your handles on the cart. If that happens, you will move. That’s all for this level.

Inkwell Hell:

Dice king: Out of the two levels in Inkwell Hell, this is the harder one. You have to go through at least 4 bosses to officially beat the level. Not only are the sub-bosses a little hard, the dice king himself is very hard too. Because you need to be quick, this level is very strange and difficult. My recommended set of rolls for bosses is 2,4,8. Those are the three bosses that are the easiest.

Devil: This level is difficult, but for being the last level in the game, they could’ve made it way harder. The first stage isn’t too bad, there are just a lot of attacks that the devil does at random that can throw you off. This level is definitely easier in single player. The second stage is the easiest stage of this level. You just have to look out for bats and battle axes. The 3rd stage is the most difficult, there are a lot of things going on. The last is easy if you can look ahead and see what’s happening.

This game is really well made and if you want to have fun with it, don’t only rely on my tips, learn your own strategies, This guide is here to help you if you are stuck on a level or you want to beat something. Overall, just have fun with this game and enjoy it because, while it can be really raging (it’s extremely hard), it is very fun and a good game to play for hours straight. I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to play it,

Written by: Jacob Cromley for a class blog assignment. 2021.

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Petra Mitchell

Petra Mitchell

High School English Teacher-Class Assignments

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