Cuphead is no walk in the park. Even the game’s earliest levels have given players trouble, so it’s no surprise that the boss fights in its Finale world are even more challenging. One of the most difficult boss fights in the entire game is in that Finale, and it’s against the absolutely ruthless King Dice.
Arguably even more difficult than the final battle against the Devil, the fight against King Dice is enough to make some gamers rip their hair out. However, there are some tricks to the fight that make it a little less frustrating. For those having trouble with the King Dice boss battle in Cuphead, read on to learn the best strategies for defeating him.
Preparing for the Fight
Since the battle with King Dice is one of the hardest boss fights in the entire game, Cuphead players will want to properly prepare themselves beforehand. This will include equipping the best weapons, supers, and charms to make the fight a little easier. Luckily, by the time players reach this fight, they should have quite a hefty chunk of change, so purchasing and equipping whatever they need shouldn’t be an issue. Anyone missing a few coins should return to previous worlds and collect the hidden coins that are scattered around the world maps.
For the fight with King Dice, we recommend players use a combination of the Peashooter weapon and the Charge weapon. Those that are having difficulty landing accurate shots may want to swap the Peashooter for the Chaser. Those three weapons are generally going to be one’s best bet at beating King Dice, but if players are more comfortable with other weapon combinations, then they should feel free to try those instead.
When it comes to supers, players will want Energy Beam or Giant Ghost equipped. The Invincibility super is far more useful for the game’s Run and Gun stages than it is for boss fights, and that holds true for the lengthy fight against King Dice as well. To earn supers, players will need to complete the three mausoleum challenges that can be found in the game’s first three worlds.
Finally, players will need to decide which charm to have equipped. Now, this is going to be mostly up to how players play Cuphead, as they should select charms that compensate for their weaknesses. So someone that has difficulty parrying (which is very important for this fight), may want to have the Sugar equipped, as it automatically parries the first in a combo. Those satisfied with their parrying abilities may want to consider having Coffee equipped, as it will continuously fill their super meter. And finally, players that tend to die a lot should have Twin Hearts equipped, even though it comes with a slight damage reduction.
Once players are properly equipped, they should be ready to enter the casino and begin the fight against King Dice.
Rolling the Die
The boss fight against King Dice is not only one of the most difficult battles in the game, it’s also one of the most unique. The premise of it is that Cuphead and Mugman need to make their way across a board to a tile marked “FIN.” Like a board game, the amount of spaces Cuphead and Mugman can move are determined by the number they roll on the die. Besides FIN, players can land on safe spaces that let them skip mini-boss fights, a number that represents a mini-boss battle (there are nine total and players have to defeat at least three to move on to King Dice himself), a boss battle that includes an extra hit point, and START OVER, which puts players back at the beginning of the board.
By hitting the die at a certain time, players can determine which number it will land on. It may take a few times against King Dice to nail the rhythm, but this way players can determine exactly where they are going to land on the board. We recommend trying to fight the same three bosses every time to master their patterns and hopefully with enough practice, players will be able to reach the actual King Dice battle with full health.
Before taking on King Dice directly, Cuphead and Mugman have to face off against his underlings, which include nine mini-bosses total. Players only have to fight and defeat three of the mini-bosses to proceed to the King Dice encounter, and while they are simpler than many of the bosses encountered elsewhere, they are still fairly challenging.
Below is a list of the possible mini-bosses and quick tips on how to beat them.
- Space 1: Alcohol – The anthropomorphic booze will just hang out on the right side of the screen. Occasionally whiskey waterfalls will fall from the sky, a little wave will spill across the ground, and bat-winged olives will fly around and shoot projectiles. Otherwise, this fight is fairly simple and basically amounts to shooting at the alcohol while avoiding the dangers on-screen.
- Space 2: Chips – A stack of betting chips wearing a cowboy hat is the second mini-boss in the casino. Deal damage to the chips from close or afar, but when it starts to separate, dash to the opposite side of the screen. This will yield enough time to react to the formation of the chips and avoid being hit.
- Space 3: Cigar – This battle is actually one of the easier ones on the board. Simply jump from one ashtray to the next, avoiding the cigarettes in the middle and the fireballs that the cigar shoots out of its mouth. Keep repeating this pattern until the cigar is defeated.
- Space 4: Domino – To the left will be a spike wall, and the floor below is a treadmill with even more spikes on it. The Dominoes will occasionally shoot bouncing balls, which are easily dodged, and the pink ones can be parried.
- Space 5: Rabbit – For most of this fight, stand on the playing card in the center of the stage. The rabbit has two moves; it will make a circle of skulls appear around Cuphead, and it will make playing card symbols drop from the sky or come up from the ground. Either jump through the gap in the skulls or drop through the playing card to avoid them, and parry off the pink card symbols to avoid taking damage from that attack.
- Space 6: Horse Bookie – This stage is an airplane level. Don’t forget about shrinking the plane to move faster using the Y/Triangle button and you shouldn’t have too much trouble. The horse will shoot presents that explode into horseshoes, with one of the horseshoes pink for players to parry and avoid taking a hit. Also beware of the ghost riders on the bottom of the screen, as those will fly upwards once they pass the player.
- Space 7: Roulette – The chips floating in the middle of the screen can be converted into usable platforms by parrying them. Balls will sometimes fall out of the sky that need to be avoided as well, but otherwise this is a straight-forward fight. Smoke bomb is a very useful item here, as it lets players teleport through the roulette wheel’s legs.
- Space 8: 8-Ball – The 8-Ball will stay at the top of the screen, firing projectiles while chalk tries to smash Cuphead and Mugman at the bottom. This is also one of the easier boss fights to choose in the lead-up to King Dice.
- Space 9: Monkey – A monkey toy with cymbals. This is a unique airplane fight because no damage can be done to the monkey while the cards are still in the background. To make the monkey vulnerable, match two cards together. Players can flip the cards by parrying the pink button in their center.
Upon defeating three bosses and reaching the FIN space, players will be ready for the final showdown against King Dice.
The final fight with King Dice, like the mini-bosses before him, is relatively simple in mechanics compared to previous boss battles in the game. However, it’s easy to take damage here, and the difficulty comes from lasting long enough to survive this endurance test of a boss fight.
King Dice has one move, but it is deadly for those that aren’t good at parrying. He will make playing cards walk across the table, and touching any of these playing cards means damage for Cuphead and Mugman. However, it’s possible to parry the pink ace cards, which is necessary to survive the attack. Those that aren’t great at parrying may want to consider equipping the Sugar charm to make this stage of the boss fight a little easier.
While parrying from one pink ace to the next, players should constantly be pummeling King Dice’s head. With enough perseverance, King Dice will be defeated, and players will be one step closer to completing the critically-acclaimed platformer.
After defeating King Dice and his mini-bosses, Cuphead and Mugman still have to tangle with the Devil himself. While players still have a challenging fight ahead of them, the defeat of King Dice means that one of the game’s hardest levels has been conquered. Anyone still having trouble may want to consider finding a co-op partner or trying out a different control scheme to make things a little easier.
Cuphead is available now for PC and Xbox One.