Here's How Cuphead's Most Insanely Difficult Boss Was Made

Fly like a dragon, fight like a boss.

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Now Playing: How Cuphead's Most Notorious Boss Was Made


Cuphead's visual style is the most distinctive part of the game, as it's evocative of old, light-hearted cartoons like Steamboat Willie. But its gameplay is something different: challenging and sometimes punishing, but rewarding nonetheless.

One particular boss in the game has become especially well-known for its brutality. Grim Matchstick, the dragon boss who throws fireballs and rings, is a struggle in spite of his cheery aesthetic. If you've already fought Grim, chances are you hate him--but the story of how he came to be is still intriguing.

GameSpot sat down with Cuphead creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer and learned about the origins of the dragon. Among other things, they touch on the model castle in the background of the level, how it draws on Mega-Man, and how Disney cartoons inspired its final phase. Check out the video above.

Cuphead launched last month to critical acclaim, and it's already sold over a million copies. If you haven't played Cuphead already, it's worth a shot. In GameSpot's 8/10 review, critic Peter Brown lauds the game for its visual flair and "delightfully punishing" gameplay. If you're struggling to stay alive in the game, you can take a look at our guide to not dying.

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Avatar image for Pyrosa

HUGE SPOILER in the article list photo, GS jerks... That boss wasn't shown during any of the trailers, but once again you spoil the goods.

Avatar image for unreal_master

@Pyrosa: I'm all for don't spoil games but its been well over a month.

Avatar image for uncle5555

Thanks for spoiling this ***-Holes. >:-( Not everyone has finished the game yet, at least do spoiler tags or I dunno maybe don't show the boss in a ****-in thumbnail for the article how's about that....

Avatar image for unreal_master

@uncle5555: I'm all for don't spoil games but its been well over a month.

Avatar image for LPDisturbedHU

Honestly, I thought the most difficult boss was the stupid Robot. That was a load of bull.

I would possibly add the Devil into their too because of their being a small bug for section and also there being instances where he'll be using 3 attacks all at the same time.... but that robot was still worse.

Avatar image for ethario

@LPDisturbedHU: That was one of the easiest for me, weird how that goes. Dragon boss was def the hardest for me.

Avatar image for skippert

@ethario: Strangely enough this also happened to me in Dark Souls 3. I had such a rough time beating Aldrich in my first playthrough yet Nameless King and Dancer were not as challenging. For my friends that also played DS3 it was the reverse. Personally I think it comes down to the patterns and which come easier for each player to memorize in some way.

Avatar image for RaveNRolla

@skippert: i think it also comes down to RNG for a bit. the 1st few times i fought Sulyvahn and Maria they were super easy (even on higher ng+ cycles), it wasn't until the 3rd or 4th time i faced them when they totally destroyed me all of a sudden.

Avatar image for skippert

@RaveNRolla: That has happened to me on one of my characters aswell but I believe it may have been because I stopped my soul from levelling for duels.

Avatar image for RaveNRolla

@skippert: i capped/cap all my characters at 120 (bloodborne and souls) and the difference between say ng++ and ng+++ isn't that huge for it to make a difference. i think it really depends on what the particular bosses were actually doing, because Maria for example was just a pushover the 1st few times. i could just be really aggressive towards her and whittled her down fast. then out of the blue she suddenly shows me all those moves i've never seen before and totally kicks my butt. it also makes a difference if you're on a different build. if you're playing a mage and try to keep your distance for example, the boss uses different tactics (either to close in on you or using ranged attacks herself) than when you're on a CQC-build and you're basically face-hugging the boss the whole time.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

Nice to see behind the scenes stuff like this

Avatar image for deactivated-5a26032528a9b

I've got Momodora on Steam and am currently downloading Bloodrayne Betrayal from GOG. Do you think these games would be good practice for Cuphead?

Avatar image for Dark_Matters

It'd be awesome if this video loaded.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a26032528a9b

@Dark_Matters: I just use my Youtube app and search the title of the video.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a26032528a9b

@pmcollectorboy: Well that didn't work. :/

Avatar image for deactivated-5a26032528a9b

The road to hell is paved with conveyor belts.

Avatar image for restatbonfire

Currently stuck on the bee boss ):

Avatar image for LPDisturbedHU

@restatbonfire: I am not looking forward to that boss on Expert.:/

Let alone A-ranking each of the Isle 3 ones (I have everything else).

Avatar image for wretch1d

@restatbonfire: +1 match stick was hard but that damn Bee

Avatar image for Pr0ving4Gr0undz

lol thats exactly where im stuck at

Edit: just beat the dragon, so much easier with the charge shot.

Avatar image for Sam3231

The animation in this game is fantastic.

Avatar image for b00me

The dragon was a pain in the ass to beat, but that damn robot was a lot harder for me.

Avatar image for Pierce_Sparrow

@timmyp1982: Contra's not too bad. Ninja Gaiden and Battletoads, however, are two of the hardest games ever. Not just about memorization, but about quick reflexes.