The hardest part of Delicious Last Course was getting it to work with Cuphead


At the end of June, Studio MDHR will no longer be haunted.

That’s when the studio finally releases its Cuphead DLC expansion, Delicious Last Course. First announced in 2018, the DLC started out as a series of ideas that didn’t make it into the original game. things like homages to classic games and cartoons, or inspirations such as the ghostly Cuphead character known as the Legendary Chalice. As studio head and executive producer Maja Moldenhauer explained, these were ideas the developers simply couldn’t let go of, even though it would ultimately take five years to bring them to fruition.

Lecture en cours: Cuphead: Le délicieux dernier cours Mme Chalice Gameplay

“Il n’y avait rien sur le sol de la salle de montage [when Cuphead was completed]”, Moldenhauer said of the DLC, in an interview with GameSpot at Summer Game Fest. “When we made the base game, every piece of paper [used for animation] It was things that were in the back of our minds [that made up the DLC]like homages to the cartoons we loved or the moves we loved, whether it was like an abominable snowman or a cowgirl or something like that, we were like, ‘We would like a boss like that.'”

“It was all in our heads and haunting us,” she said. “I don’t think we could have closed this chapter without releasing them. The ideas were just too good to pass up and move on.”

We spent some time trying out these ideas during Summer Game Fest, where Studio MDHR had one of the DLC boss fights available to play, using Ms. Chalice, the living ghost version of Legendary Chalice and the new character from Delicious Last Course. Playing as Ms. Chalice is very different from the original Cuphead and Mugman characters, however.

Where the original characters only have one jump, but can get more air by using a parry ability on certain types of projectiles, Ms. Chalice comes with a double jump from the, uh, jump. His parry ability is a horizontal dash, which is perhaps more reliable than the jump parry, but doesn’t give him any extra moves as a reward for executing it.

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Moldenhauer said Ms. Chalice was something the team wanted to do more with in the base game – and in a very real way, Studio MDHR achieved that ambition, thanks to the fact that you can replay all of Cuphead as Ms. Chalice. With the new mechanics, however, the idea wasn’t to make a character easier to use than Cuphead and Mugman, Moldenhauer said.

“What we were doing was just trying to make it complementary,” she explained. “So if somebody doesn’t have a good fast double jump for time parries, they have that parry dash. Vice versa, though, for me, I like playing with Ms. Chalice, but that’s an element I don’t like the secondary effect when you parry and what happens with it – I’m not great with that, so I’d rather play a parry level with Cuphead.

In practice, playing as Ms. Chalice requires some sort of rewiring regarding how you think about a Cuphead boss fight. Ms. Chalice’s double jump makes her a bit easier to use to dodge big enemy attacks that required careful timing with Cuphead and Mugman. Parrying, however, is an important part of a Cuphead fight: it not only allows you to instantly disable an enemy attack, freeing up screen space you sometimes need, but it also helps you recharge abilities. special and EX attacks that allow you to deal massive damage to enemies. Where pinning a parry with Cuphead was traditionally enough to knock you out of harm’s way for a while, thanks to the way the jump parry propels you into the air, Ms. Chalice’s parry works as if you completely absorb the attack. This can often leave you exposed and means you might ignore more parry opportunities or find them more dangerous than you would with Cuphead or Mugman.

Ms. Chalice has a few other character-specific traits that can give you a head start, but require trade-offs. To access Mrs. Chalice, you need to equip a specific Charm, one of the special items you can earn in Cuphead that grants your character useful benefits. The charm you get in the DLC swaps Cuphead or Mugman’s place with Mrs. Chalice – she comes alive while one of them becomes a ghost. So using Ms. Chalice costs you that charm slot when playing. In addition to Ms. Chalice’s other gameplay tweaks, the result is that while Cuphead and Mugman have three hit points, Ms. Chalice has four, making her a bit more forgiving.

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She also has a dodge ability unique among characters, giving you a brief window of invincibility when using her. Moving can be very useful in the right circumstances to avoid damage in a pinch, but it also depends heavily on the situation. In tight fights without much maneuverability or requiring precise placement of your character, like the boss fight we played, the dodge roll wasn’t that helpful. Like all of Ms. Chalice’s abilities, she will suit some battles in the game and not others.

Our hands-on session gave us the opportunity to fight a boss called Mortimer Freeze in the Snow Cult Scuffle level, which GameSpot had previously seen as part of a Delicious Last Course hands-on preview. The wizard Mortimer begins to float around the boss arena, harassing you with deadly tarot cards and living water droplets that march after you like soldiers. Damage it enough and it transforms into a giant, abominable snowman, which also transforms into an icebox, handing you angry popsicles like flying monkeys and bombarding you with mortars in the form of explosive icicles. Finally, you climb above the arena to stand on rotating platforms, where you fight Mortimer in the form of a giant, magical snowflake. The snowflake form spits snow cones at you and likes to pop out its own eye, which flies around, blasting lightning across the battlefield. It’s actually a bit rude.

Like other Cuphead battles, Mortimer Freeze isn’t child’s play – there are three phases in total that you have to go through, each with its own set of mechanics. Staying alive in combat is often a matter of careful positioning, like when the snowman summons icy swords from the ground below your feet, or when his icicles hit the ground and shatter into smaller cubes that tower above of your head. Playing as Ms. Chalice took some getting used to and feels very different from the base game characters. She excels in some areas, like jumping over the snowman as it turns into a giant snowball and stalks towards you, but isn’t necessarily perfectly suited for combat thanks to her dodging parry . Playing with the character suggests that you might want to swap between Ms. Chalice and the original characters depending on the battle – though playing her throughout the base game will certainly provide a new challenge.

Moldenhauer said creating this new challenge with Ms. Chalice was also the hardest part of developing Delicious Last Course.

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“It was easier to develop it with the new bosses that were coming out because we hadn’t defined what the gameplay was like yet, rather than having it work retroactively with the existing bosses, because we didn’t want to touch them. They’re all the same thing, and she had to work with them as well,” Moldenhauer said. “That was definitely one of the hardest parts of it all. Defining and coming up with different concepts and different bosses and boss fights and stuff like that, it comes very naturally because there’s so many homages from gameplay we want to play, or the reference art we’re looking at.”

There are also new references that influence what you’ll see in Delicious Last Course, though Moldenhauer said the team made sure the DLC wasn’t drastically different from the base game, even if it’s different. draws inspiration from a few new sources. . Influences still stem from 1930s animation, although Moldenhauer said Studio MDHR drew inspiration from works that appeared at the end of the decade, such as Fantasia, as well as cartoons that inspired the game. base. Because the two parts were so closely related since their inception, they are still visually very similar to each other.

With Delicious Last Course closing the book on this chapter of Cuphead, Studio MDHR may well be looking ahead – but Moldenhauer wouldn’t let much slip what the developers plan to do next.

“There’s no shortage of ideas in our heads. We’re full of weird, quirky things that we want to eventually come up with,” she said. “We love 2D animation, we love pencil on paper and the magic it brings to the digital age, so you can definitely expect that from us. We’re very open to different genres of gameplay. was the first of the gate, and we’ll have to see where that goes.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.

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