Cuphead‘s long-awaited Delicious Last Course DLC is finally here, which means it’s time for Cuphead fans everywhere to do battle with the DLC’s new collection of visually striking and frustratingly difficult bosses.
Yes, if you thought that the Delicious Last Course would somehow take things easy on you after everything Cuphead put you through, you’re sadly mistaken. If anything, the difficulty level of the average DLC boss is roughly equal to the difficulty level of the absolute toughest bosses in the base game. Some even set a new standard for how challenging a Cuphead boss can be.
While every Delicious Last Course player will inevitably face that one boss they just can’t get past, here’s our rough ranking of every new boss in the DLC from easiest to hardest.
8. The King’s Leap (The Pawns, The Knight, The Bishop, The Rook, The Queen)
I was going to list these fights out individually, but I quickly realized they would all probably fall towards the very bottom of this list in roughly the order they are presented in.
These battles are entered separately, but they’re all united by their “chess piece” theme and the fact that they don’t allow you to use your weapons or charms. Instead, you have to rely on well-timed parries to take down each of these bosses.
I love the idea behind that gimmick, and I certainly love the creativity of these fights’ visuals. Ultimately, though, only being able to rely on parries proved to be more annoying than difficult. While some of the parry mechanics in these fights are actually pretty creative (like how the Bishop can only be parried if you blow out the candles in the arena), too many feel like simplified versions of full boss fights.
Unless you struggle with parry mechanics, these fights shouldn’t give you more trouble than many of the others.
7. The Angel and Devil
I thought The Delicious Last Course’s secret boss fight would surely be the DLC’s most difficult challenge. Instead, the battle against the Angel and Devil (or Angel and Demon as they’re sometimes referred to) proved to be more unique than challenging.
This fight always puts the Devil in front of you and the Angel behind you. If you try to look at the Angel, it will turn into the Devil. Since the Devil is the only one of the entities that can deal and take damage, you’ll need to be aware of your positioning at all times when fighting him. After all, there will be times when the best thing you can do is try to put your back to an incoming projectile and render it harmless. Of course, that also means that a previously harmless projectile coming from the other direction might suddenly deal damage.
It will take you a while to figure out that gimmick, but once you do, this fight isn’t that bad. While the “lightning cloud” that moves throughout the arena will occasionally throw you off your rhythm, it’s actually not that difficult to recover during this fight. This isn’t one of those boss battles where you’re constantly dodging more and more hazards being thrown at you (more on those in a bit), so the sooner you figure out what this fight expects you to do, the closer you are to beating it.
Having said all of that, I found this fight to be a ton of fun and would love to see an expanded version of it in whatever sequel to Cuphead we may one day be fortunate enough to get.
6. The Howling Aces
If I was doing a ranking of the coolest boss fights in Delicious Last Course, Howling Aces would almost certainly be near the top. In terms of difficulty, though, it’s only “very hard” rather than “please make this stop” hard.
This fascinating fight sees you stand atop the wings of a plane as you battle flying foes. Your space to move around is relatively limited, and the constantly shifting enemies are coming at you from nearly every angle. Indeed, the hardest thing about this fight may be the fact that the final phase occasionally rotates your screen and forces you to fight from a new perspective. It’s as annoying as it sounds, and it will frustrate you.
That final phase is going to cause a lot of cheap deaths, but this is really one of those Cuphead boss battles where it’s all about gradually becoming comfortable with a certain gimmick. By the time you get used to those screen shifts, you will almost certainly be comfortable navigating your way through the projectiles this boss throws out during the early stages of the fight.
Having said all of that, I can easily see this fight being a “roadblock” boss for many. It’s definitely one of those fights that demand patience and practice.
5. Mortimer Freeze
The good news is that the battle against Mortimer Freeze is a pretty “traditional” Cuphead fight. It’s just a tough-as-nails, multi-phase encounter that doesn’t rely on any central gimmick and instead requires you to master the game’s core mechanics. Unfortunately, that’s also the bad news.
The first phase of this fight is easy enough (it’s your basic “floating boss shooting projectiles” encounter), but that’s just a warm-up for what is to come. In the second phase of this fight, Mortimer summons a massive snow golem with shapeshifting abilities and erratic attack patterns. In the third phase of this encounter, you’re suddenly asked to bounce between rotating platforms while dodging attacks from nearly every angle.
While that first phase is honestly pretty easy, the next two can be a real nightmare. It will take you a while to figure out the projectile patterns during those stages, and the fact that the third phase asks you to stay on the move while trying to figure out what is going on is downright cruel. It’s just a kitchen sink encounter that gets a little more difficult as you go along.
Cuphead experts may eventually be able to breeze through the more familiar elements of this fight, but everyone else will need to put the work in.
4. Glumstone the Giant
Given that Glumstone the Giant is one of the earliest boss fights in Delicious Last Course, you’ll probably go into the game assuming that he can’t be that hard. However, you’ll soon realize that the developers had no interest in easing you into this DLC.
In fact, Glumstone’s first phase is arguably the most difficult first phase of all the Cuphead DLC boss fights. This incredibly frustrating part of the encounter forces you to dodge incoming projectiles while doing your best to avoid a kind of “floor is lava” situation that forces you to bounce between constantly sinking platforms. Oh, and the boss will occasionally drag a cat across the screen which effectively eliminates the one potential safe zone you previously enjoyed. It’s a nightmare.
The second phase of this fight sees Glumstone attack you from both sides of the screen using hand puppets that bounce a ball between them. The third phase is a very strange section that sees you battle inside the giant while shooting at his stomach and bouncing between disappearing platforms. While those final two phases are a little easier than the first, that’s really not saying much. Indeed, this boss’ third phase is the kind of annoying final phase that is so easy to mess up because you’re just ready to be done with the whole thing.
That’s really what makes this fight such a challenge. There are so many little things in this fight that can kill you if you’re not constantly accounting for them and expertly avoiding them. Have fun with this one.
3. The Moonshine Mob
Like so many of The Delicious Last Course’s boss battles, the brawl against the Moonshine Mob is one of those fights that is as beautiful and conceptually creative as it is downright difficult.
This is the kind of multi-phase fight where every phase feels like it could have been its own boss battle. The first phase sees you battle a spider gangster who can not only summon reinforcements but occasionally drops deadly explosive web traps that greatly reduce the size of your safe zone. Oh, and you’ll also occasionally need to deal with “ant police” that pop in to spray some deadly pesticide attacks.
The second phase is arguably even harder. This fight sees a showgirl drop a phonograph into the middle of the arena that constantly shoots rotating deadly beams in every direction. While you’re avoiding those, you’ll also need to deal with dancing explosive barrels that wander in from both sides of the screen. Manage to survive this part of the fight, and you’ll need to face off against a giant anteater with a tiny hitbox. Finally, a secret fourth phase fakes you out with a fraudulent “knockout” screen before making you battle a tiny snail standing atop the fallen anteater. While the snail goes down in just a few hits, I’ve already seen a few players drop their guard and succumb to one of his surprising projectiles.
Again, this is just a gauntlet of an encounter that forces you to memorize a vareity of attacks and hazards. Don’t feel bad if you just keep forgetting how to get past one phase or the other.
2. Esther Winchester
In general, the Delicious Last Course bosses utilize more traditional “bullet hell” tactics than the base Cuphead bosses. In other words, many of this DLC’s bosses are capable of instantly filling the screen with deadly projectiles that are ridiculously difficult to dodge. No boss emphasizes the challenges of that style quite like Esther Winchester: this DLC’s only vehicle-based boss fight.
While I’m willing to admit that I may be especially bad at Cuphead’s vehicle sections, I think even those who feel comfortable flying around will struggle with this nightmarish encounter. Across four painful phases, Esther continues to summon a series of increasingly dangerous projectiles. Unless you’re one of those expert players who feels as comfortable in a plane as they do on their feet, I can pretty much guarantee you that you will die many times during this fight’s first three phases. The projectile patterns are intense, and it’s sometimes tricky to figure out which one of them is actually killing you.
The final phase of this fight takes things to a whole new level. It asks you to dodge even more projectiles while also squeezing your way through tiny safe zones that occasionally emerge in the giant sausages (you heard me) that move up and down the screen. In a game that already affords you so little margin for error, this section removes any room for even slight mistakes.
While not the most challenging shoot ’em up experience out there, this fight demands a specific set of skills that many won’t acquire until after they’ve failed time and time again. Good luck.
1. Chef Saltbreaker
It’s not exactly surprising that Delicious Last Course’s final boss is also the DLC’s most difficult boss, but I’m willing to bet most players will be at least a little surprised by just how tough this fight really is.
First off, I hope you have a lot of time on your hands to try to beat this boss, because this is absolutely the longest fight in the game. This is the kind of boss fight you will die during simply because you’re starting to feel fatigued. Mind you, even a shorter version of this boss fight would still be a nightmare. That’s what happens when you have a boss that keeps generating so many different kinds of death zones in so many ways.
Actually, the worst thing about this boss fight is the way that it always feels like there’s one projectile that is specifically designed to put you in the path of another projectile. From dancing flames to surprising sawblades, this fight is constantly throwing something at you while you’re already trying to avoid two other things. While the fight’s last phase (which sees you jump up a series of descending platforms while fighting a floating heart) at least removes some of the projectiles, I can easily see someone slipping up during that phase simply because their brain has been broken by that point.
Most players will inevitably run into that one boss they just can’t beat, but I can’t imagine there are many Cuphead players out there who won’t at least somewhat struggle with Saltbreaker.