Cuphead – Did You Know Gaming? Feat. TheCartoonGamer

Cuphead – Did You Know Gaming? Feat. TheCartoonGamer


(Here’s a real high class battle)
(And Begin!)
Did you know?
Brothers and Cuphead creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer
Always had the idea of making a game of their own
Though they lack the resources to do so for many years
After seeing the success of the indie scene in 2010
Especially with games like Super Meat Boy and Castle Crashers
The two realized it was possible for them to make a quality game
And development on Cuphead entered its early stages soon after
From the start the gameplay was inspired by run-and-gun games
Like Contra and Gunstar Heroes
But the game’s eventual look was rooted in 1930s cartoons
Notably from the works of Fleischer Studios
The brothers grew up watching cartoons from the era through VHS tapes
They got themselves or as gifts
The duo figured that as technology improved, someone would make a game in that style
But no one attempted it to the degree they hoped for
The idea of 1930’s visuals actually began as a joke they’d shoot around in brainstorming sessions
Thinking they’d be unable to pull the look off successfully, they dabbled in other styles
But always came back to that idea
Despite their lack of training, it was something that resonated with them
And they dove right into it
When thinking of designs for the game’s protagonist, there had been hundreds of ideas drawn up
But nothing was working for them at first
They wanted to steer clear of animals due to how common they were in platformers
Opting for something they could call their own
A Light Bulb character fittingly led to the idea of more inanimate objects for heads
And led to them being more experimental with their designs
Near the end of the process Chad would study background elements in cartoons for anything he could find
And over time they came to the design we now know
The designs also said to have roots in a 30s Japanese propaganda film
That featured a man with a Teacup Head
Some of the scrapped ideas showed up in the final game as NPC’s
Such as the Axe and Apple head designs
And Mugman’s character came from the desire of a two-player dynamic
Being the younger brother, Jared said he always identified as Luigi
And they wanted to give off a Mario Brothers vibe with the duo
The game started out simple and was planned to have eight bosses
In a similar structure to the Mega Man series
However with its popularity at tradeshows, the two felt the need to expand the game
To feature more content, what they originally envisioned before scaling back
It resulted in the team and development time increasing
But they were still set on seeing it to the end
The game’s animation process was said to slow down production by 80%
When compared to doing it digitally
They stuck with it because they wanted to be as true to the art style as they could
And to help keep traditional animation alive
It was even considered to color everything by hand
But it only would’ve gone to add years to production time
The style lent itself to the gameplay due to the wild, eccentric nature of 30s cartoons
Leading to near endless possibilities for boss ideas
That said, before coming up with a boss
They needed to know how it’d play out in advance
Depending on its size or location they designed it with that in mind
Coupled with the theme of where they’d appear in the game
There was one idea where a boss would be fought on a sheet of music
With the patterns relying on the levels actual soundtrack
This idea didn’t get off the ground as the pattern couldn’t be changed once implemented
Plus the track had to be different for each of the game’s difficulty settings
Despite the push backs in the 4 years since its first announcement the game proved popular through it all
Selling over 1 million copies in its first two weeks
The studio took many chances throughout development
But took things in small steps before getting to the game’s current scope
Gerardus said that had they known just how much work would go into Cuphead from the start, they likely never would have made it
Cuphead’s development was an intimate affair
Spouses, Cousins, and Friends of the brothers lend their talents to help bring it to life
Being as passionate as they were about the project and gaming as well
The game’s composer Chris Madigan was a friend of the brothers since childhood and was their go-to guy
Knowing he could deliver on the soundtrack they needed
That said the game was also a first for Madigan
Though he had studied jazz he didn’t consider it his strong suit on top of doing little actual composing beforehand
Game tracks often loop at a points in their songs
But for cuphead Madigan wanted each piece to be as long as it needed to be
Even if the player wouldn’t hear the full piece in game
Though there were limitations to how the music could interact with the action on screen
A staple of classic cartoons
Madigan instead went for the vibe of excitement and unpredictability, complementing the game’s nature
Each piece also has several different mixes and solos when one was recorded that have
Soloists play over the finished piece with a variety of instruments and improvised segments
Because of this when fighting the same boss again a slight variation of the theme can be heard
There are a few nods to other video games in Cuphead’s score
The Funfair Fever track has a similar segment to the Athletic Theme from Super Mario World
This bit according to Madigan was a crazy coincidence
The Mario series helped influence another track more directly
The elder kettles theme was initially made for a possible Waterworld that was cut from the final product
Madigan looked to Koji Kondo’s method of scoring for water levels
in the Mario Brothers Soundtrack 33 and a Third Book, noting that many were based on Waltz Numbers
Coincidentally, a master class he attended was covering how to write waltzes, and he saw it fitting to make one
There are dozens of references to games and animations sprinkled throughout Cuphead
With the team wanting them to act more as subtle nods than direct shoutouts
Goopy Le Grande’s look was inspired by early RPGs
Where enemies were commonly slime creatures, and was in Cuphead before their own boss formula
The third phase of dramatic finatic is another nod to JRPGs
With Sally stage play’s cut out bearing a striking resemblance to Kefka from Final Fantasy VI
Grim Matchstick has roots in Mega Man 2’s Mecha Dragon Boss
And his name references animator Grim Natwick who worked on many Fleischer cartoons
And like Matchsticks spoke with a pronounced stutter
Dr. Kaul shares his surname with one of Disney’s nine old men Milt Kahl
And the level perilous peer shows a building named Hotel Iwerks
Referencing animator and co-creator of Mickey Mouse Ub Iwerks
Baroness Von Bon Bon has design roots in not only cartoons
But also in actresses from the era such as Betty Grable, Bebe Daniels, and Loretta Young
The railroad Wrath bosses all have ties to Japanese Yokai
The ghost with Tenome, a ghost with eyes on their hands
The skeleton with Gashadokuro, a giant skeleton
The Train Pistons possibly with long neck Yokai such as Rokurokubi
and the head of the Train with Oboruguruma, Ox carts with faces that appear in the dead of night
The stage also draws parallels with Final Fantasy 6’s Phantom Train
As both have the player making their way through a haunted train before fighting the train itself
The level Clip Joint Calamity is one huge shout-out to the Street Fighter series
Ribby and Croaks start the fight with Ryu and Ken’s taunts and their moves reference other fighters
From E. Honda’s hundred Hand Slap, Guile’s Sonic Boom, Dawson’s Yoga Fire and even Blanca’s Roll
Their slot machine phase references the Street Fighter 2 bosses with U.S. Balrog depicted by the machine itself
And Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison by the slot patterns
As it shows Snakes, Tigers, and Bulls respectively
Lastly when the player dies to the devil in his second phase his death quote will be
“Anyone who opposes me will be destroyed”
Which is directly lifted from M. Bison’s game over quote in Street Fighter II
Did you also know that the sonic franchise’s Chaos Emeralds aren’t actually emeralds and should be named the Chaos Diamonds?
for more platforming facts check out our video on Sonic secrets and censorship
And if you want to hear me talk about cuphead even more here’s a little review
I did for just such the occasion check it out and see why I think it’s one of the best games I ever did play
Plus some other cool stuff about it too. Later haters!

100 thoughts on “Cuphead – Did You Know Gaming? Feat. TheCartoonGamer”

  1. If you extract the game files the title theme changes and sounds nightmare like and theres a hiddin picture in the song

  2. You have a big issue with reading too much script and never giving a rest at the end of a sentence. With little to no emphasis on any words. It literally sounds like you are machine gun mouthing a script as fast as you can with being understandable.
    A half second at least btwn lines would make you less annoying to hear.

  3. Did you Know that if you somehow die in the tutorial the dead dialogue is
    'You're Not a Master, You're a begginer"
    The same game over screen of sagat
    A fighter of street fighter
    This text Also appears in a unused boss battle

  4. I'm personally glad they didn't use the character design found in the middle of the top row @ 1:28 for Cuphead and/or Mugman because it looks rather ugly and unappealing IMO.

  5. Cuphead

    And his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his pal Mugman and his

    Mugman army

  6. Just saying cuphead is the most underrated game of all time. I hope it goes down in history as one of the best games ever

  7. Dr. Kahl is also a reference because he's running away in a small fliying machine and is using a chaos emerald in the fight

  8. I think a lot of Cagney Carnation's projectiles are based on Mario's signature piranha plant, plus the platforms look like Pirhana Plants from Super Mario World.

  9. Seriously, not one word about how the devs are Canadian? Regina, Saskatchewan, come on, that's noteworthy. Right?

  10. Is that a typo? Because he said "….Athletic Theme from Super Mario World." In the video it's spelled, "Athetic."

  11. God this guy sounds more annoying then my dad when he comes home and beats my mother brutally while screaming about how I’m a disappointment

  12. I enjoyed the section on music quite a bit! I actually noticed the similarities to the Super Mario World theme myself, so I'm glad to have found some commentary on that.

  13. I genuinely don't think I will ever see a game that beats Cuphead on my favourite game list.
    Every good game has something that makes it unique. This game chooses a really cool theme and then references and implements that theme so perfectly.

    No game will ever be better than this.

  14. Fuckin hate this game. Love the art, but i hate games that are punishing make you cry hard, just for the sake of. Never finished it and never will. Takes the fun out of it.

  15. Hey all, started a Cuphead LP is anyone is interested in giving it a shot

    https://youtu.be/R8sCTivIBqQ

  16. Everyone: man, this game is completely handdrawn, took millions of years, nobody has ever done this before

    Me: points at Wario Land Shake It

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