After originally being announced in 2019 and then delayed until 2022, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is finally here. Cuphead, Mugman and new character Ms. Chalice face off against a band of new enemies in a faraway land to try to gather ingredients for a very special recipe.
Not only is Cuphead a fantastic game, the developers are also big fans of fighting games, and peppered some of the boss fights in the original game with clear references to Street Fighter and other classic titles. It looks like the Moldenhauer brothers have added some more fighting game references to the new expansion, and now that we’ve spent some time on the latest DLC, here are some of the potential ones we’ve spotted so far. spoilers ahead.
Ken’s Street Fighter 3 Third Strike taunt
This time around, I didn’t feel as much clear fighting game references were added in the various boss fights. Of course, there are probably others hidden throughout the game’s various fights, but so far most of what I’ve uncovered seemed to be in the Horse Knights boss fight in the King’s Leap.
Essentially, King’s Leap is a series of challenges that pit you against mini-bosses of sorts that you can’t use any of your traditional weapons to fight them. Instead, you’re limited to relying only on parries to defeat them.
The horse knight is equipped with a sword and a shield and throws different types of attacks at you. Throughout the game, the jumper will take a few seconds to taunt you, and during this taunt he will stand up and smack you with the “Bring it on” hand gesture.
Now we know that Ken’s Street Fighter 3 Third Strike taunt in the boss fight was clearly mentioned by Ribby and Croaks in the base game Cuphead (and the Moldenhauer brothers have confirmed this), but every time the knight has done it I couldn’t differently you’re reminded of the classic taunt – especially considering he does it as often as you’d see a competitive Third Strike Ken player do in a real game.
Granted, the left arm position doesn’t quite fit here, but it still feels like a bit of a callback.
Sabrewulf’s Eclipse Uppercut in Killer Instinct (2013)
Another move I couldn’t get out of my head when fighting the Knight was Sabrewulf’s Eclipse from Killer Instinct. The horse’s upward swinging charge could probably be compared to several fighting game moves – Leona’s uppercut in King of Fighters or Decapres in Ultra Street Fighter 4 – but the animation and stance here looks pretty darn close to Sabrewulf’s.
Nash’s crouched middle punch in Street Fighter 5
That was odd, and while I don’t know if the move is prominent enough to inspire an attack in Cuphead, you can’t deny how similar these two look.
Every time the Horse Knight would do that upward swing I would tell myself I’ve seen that before in Street Fighter… I personally hate fighting Nash in Street Fighter 5 and that’s probably why his crouched mid punch burned into me is brain.
These two moves definitely look like they go together very well, with the horse knight’s pose being very close to Nash’s pose for his attack. However, Horse Knights Normal is a much better anti-aircraft.
Chireitou by Hsien-Ko from Darkstalkers
This is one I discovered from the gameplay demo we saw during Summer Game Fest. It looks the same in the launch version of the DLC and is very similar to Hsien-Ko’s Chireitou.
In Cuphead, the big snowman boss hits a ground pound and makes big swords pop out of the ground. They emerge in the same fashion and pattern as Hsien-Ko’s, and the blades themselves even look very similar in shape and color.
Funnily enough, the snowman’s ground pound animation actually looks similar to one of Victor’s attacks, who also happens to be a character in Darkstalkers.
The final clue here is clear as day, and you’ll see it once you get into the Doggone Dogfight boss fight on the DLC island. The first of the canine enemies you’ll face here is a pilot dressed entirely like Rolento from Final Fight / Street Fighter Alpha.
He has the same outfit and colors as the classic fighting game character, and some of the attacks that appear on screen might even be references to his kunai and grenade moves, as we see three crossbones flying at you at once, and another smaller one Dog drops three tennis balls at once.
Have you spotted any other potential references to fighting games in Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course? Let us know in the comments below!