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Headscratchers / Cuphead

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  • Where did Cuphead and Mugman's Finger Gun power come from?
    • The prologue shows that their caretaker, the Elder Kettle, gave them a special magical potion that gives them their abilities.
  • Cuphead and Mugman fight Ribby and Croaks in a high-class club... for flies. I have so many questions. For starters, what are the frogs even doing there? Looking for their lunch?
    • The frogs probably came to eat the flies and Cuphead and Mugman are saving them.
    • They might be security guards or bouncers. Few troublesome flies would be willing to tango with much bigger frogs willing to eat them.
    • Also remember: it's a cartoon world that's supposedly modelled after the 1920's of America. Chances are the flies all have guns on them, and they're clearly enjoying the fight, meaning they might be betting on who wins. As for why the frogs don't just eat them, maybe it's just not that kind of world and for the viewers, that's the joke.
  • In the last phase of Baroness von Bon Bon's battle, there is no transition between the Baroness standing on top of the castle and her going back into the castle, and vice versa. Not to mention that the castle's face returns to the way it looked in the previous phases of the battle when the Baroness goes back in. Considering how much detail was put into everything else we've seen so far, this single instance of Limited Animation is a little jarring. What happened there? That's not going to be in the final version, right?
    • That's just a bug. It will be removed before the game is released.
  • So Dr. Kahl didn't owe a debt to the devil but his robot instead? How does that work?
    • The robot had sentience/sapience, and wished for something without Kahl's approval. Maybe a soul?
      • It traded its soul to the devil so that it would have a soul with which to trade? That's... then how... I don't... <boom!>
      • It's likely that Kahls Robot struck a deal to borrow a soul from the Devil so it can enjoy the joys of being close to living, on the condition that it returns the soul on a certain date and comes to Hell to work for him.
    • I assumed that the robot was a Soul Jar. Perhaps even Dr. Khal's soul was in it. Who knows.
  • in the fight against Verner Vermin, the cat is revealed to be a robot manned by the rodent himself. That leaves a big question, who were the ghosts that fly out of the cats mouth? Were they enemies of Verner? War criminals?
  • Why do Cuphead and Mugman work for the Devil anyways? Apparently, all the other people who are in the Devil's debt got away pretty easily if it weren't for Cuphead and Mugman going after them. So if Cuphead and Mugman just don't hunt them down and go their merry ways, what could the Devil do, given that he seemingly couldn't collect all those other debts himself and also seems to lack other enforcers? It just seems like the Devil lacks a proper way of putting pressure on the Cupheads.
    • They bet their souls, so they had to give them to the Devil right then and there. The bosses' debts due at a definite date, and on that day they dashed and didn't pay up.
    • Also, considering that the Devil had a list of each debtor, it's likely that he was prepared to go after them, it's just that when Cuphead and Mugman begged for mercy, he decided to take advantage of the opportunity to make them do the dirty work instead.
    • Elder Kettle also specifically told Cuphead and Mugman to collect the debtors' contracts. They went to him since they were convinced he would know what to do. The alternative wouldn't have been great: Cuphead and Mugman would have to either hold down the fort until the Devil himself or another gambling addict would come and try to take their souls.
    • Elder Kettle also explains to Cuphead and Mugman that with enough practice, they may one day be strong enough to fight King Dice and The Devil. Collecting the contracts and getting through the levels helps get them ready for the real task at the end of the game.
  • So if all the bosses are on The Devil's pay roll, that means they all at some point made deals with him. This begs the question; what did they ask for in return?
    • Probably all the crazy powers, equipment and transformations we see them using. This would explain why they're so huge during gameplay, but look relatively normal-sized in the ending. They've been Depowered due to their contracts being destroyed.
  • What’s that liquid in Cuphead and Mugman’s heads? It looks like... milk, maybe?
  • If destroying the soul contracts frees the debtors from the Devil's agreement, why didn't the bosses just destroy them when they had them?
    • My guess is only the literal fires of Hell could actually destroy them, considering they did it back at the Devil's palace. And why would they go back to Hell and risk meeting the Devil again?
    • The Devil would still be after them. The burning of the contracts could only stick if The Devil is also put in his place.
  • Is there some deeper pun/reference to Rumor Honeybottoms' name, besides the obvious? What do rumors have to do with bees, anyhow?
    • It's based off the slang term for rumors and/or gossip: "buzz". As in "have you heard the latest buzz around town?" There's your bee pun.
  • How did all the debtors steal their soul contracts from the Devil? It's happened enough times that he as a list of all those who succeeded, so either they're just left out in the open, or security is Hell is pretty lax.
    • Their contracts probably represented that they had to give their sould to the Devil at a certain date, and didn't show up when that date came.
  • The pink die in King Dice's battle is clearly cube-shaped, yet somehow has only three sides that you can land on. How?
    • He made the die for the game that he puts the brothers through.
    • It's the devil's die. There's no particular reason it has to confirm to our mortal concepts of shape.
    • For tabletop games, it's called a d3. It has 1-2-3-1-2-3 on the six sides. So there are only three numbers, but it's still got six sides.
  • So for the Phantom Express boss, was it the train itself that made the deal with the Devil? How exactly does that work?
    • It might have been a collective deal, like with Ribby and Croaks
  • If Cuphead/Mugman's shots can't affect ghosts, how can they affect the blue, slim ghost on the Phantom Express?
    • They affect ghosts if they pacted with the Devil.
    • Maybe there are different types of ghosts, and the one on the Phantom Express is a different "species" than the Mausoleum ghosts.
  • So, King Dice's only job was to make sure Cuphead and Mugman had all the soul contracts and then let them through? Why didn't he collect the contracts himself whenever the Cups visited a Die House, and then deliver them to the Devil himself? Then King Dice and the Devil could have avoided being cheated out of the contracts...
    • King Dice bet on the boy’s abilities to do so with the Devil, presumably against them, since he’s so pissed when you’ve gotten them all. He was most likely trying to hinder your progress as much as possible (his own Villain Song mentions he doesn’t play fair; ‘I never play nice’). Besides, he was there under the guise of making sure the Cups are fulfilling their deal, since the Devil said he ’’may’’ spare their souls, if they go get the debtor’s soul contracts, and if they try to get to the Devil without them all, then presumably Old Scratch ain’t gonna be pleased.
  • Why have Ribby and Croaks turn into a slot machine? Why not save a slot machine boss for King Dice's level? What do slot machines have to do with frogs, anyway?
    • They're boxers in a floor show at a clip joint, which is a term applied to both nightclubs and casinos that overcharge or cheat their customers out of money. Both boxing matches and gambling were often fixed by organized crime, so the connection is more between those two than frogs necessarily.
  • Grim Matchstick question: Do his other two heads have personalities, or are they all him? If they're all different, why doesn't he have them out all the time, even at the end when he's standing with a look of approval at our heroes on the stage?
    • This definitely falls under WMG, but it's very likely the extra heads are what Grim sold his soul for. If that's the case, then he wouldn't have them at the end because after losing his contract he lost them too. The reason he doesn't have them out during his other stages probably falls under Rule of Drama: he goes from seemingly dazed and injured to leering at the camera instantly, meaning he was saving the heads for when it was "coolest".
  • How the heck does the crane in Mr. Chimes' battle have such a good grip on him? Just think, the one time a crane game doesn't let the prize fall, and the prize is trying to kill you. What a ripoff.
    • It's the Devil's crane game, so it's designed to work against you in every way whether it makes sense or not. (So, a normal crane game).
  • Since the fluid in the brothers heads is their souls how come it can leak and spill with no repercussions?
    • Presumably, the fluid just goes right back into their heads using Toon Physics.
    • They could also be using a minor case of Negative Continuity, or their souls simply regenerate.
  • Just before fighting The Devil, there's a cutscene where he tells you to hand over the soul contracts... and join his team. Wait, what? Since when was that second thing part of the deal? The whole point of the journey was that Cuphead and Mugman would be off the hook if they did what the Devil said. Granted, it's in the Devil's nature to cheat, but if you die during the first phase he scolds you for breaking your promise. It's also a bit mind-boggling that saying "Yes" is even an option, as if anyone would agree to hand over their souls after working so hard to keep them.


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