How to Beat Doggone Dogfight – Cuphead DLC The Howling Aces Guide

How to ruff up The Howling Aces in Doggone Dogfight

Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course has officially released, so it’s time to dive back into this exceptionally difficult run and gun action game. Embracing the art of the 1930s, Cuphead originally told the story of two brothers who made a deal with a devil. Released back in 2017, the highly anticipated DLC (aptly named Delicious Last Course) has finally dropped and it’s even trickier than the base game. This time around, you are tasked with gathering ingredients to make a pastry so good it will bring Ms. Chalice back from the astral plane.

While there are quite a few tough bosses in the DLC, by far the easiest is The Howling Aces. Found in the Doggone Dogfight, this battle is broken up into three phases, two of which are remarkably simple. However, if you’re struggling, here’s a breakdown of each phase, their attacks, and some tips for beating them.

How to Beat Doggone Dogfight

Loadout

  • Character: Ms. Chalice
  • Shot-A: (Your Choice)
  • Shot-B: Crackshot
  • Super: Super I
  • Charm: Cookie Charm

Cuphead Doggone Dogfight

Phase One

Attacks

  • Tennis Ball Barrage: Throughout this phase, a dog will pop up from either the right or left side of the plane and throw three tennis balls down at you. These will fan out in a wide spray, making them fairly easy to dodge if you see them coming.
  • Bone Boomerang: The boss will fly down with his back facing the player and launch three bones horizontally across the screen. One of these can usually be parried. Remember, the bones will go to one side of the screen and then cross back to the other side.
  • Yarn Balls: If the boss appears and is holding a cat, he will fire three balls horizontally in a straight line. These can be dodged by just crouching under them.

Despite how much is being thrown at you, this phase is quite simple. The trick for this fight is to pay attention to which direction the boss is facing when he comes down the side of the screen. If his back is to you then you know it’s a bone attack, while the opposite direction lets us know he’s about to fire three yarn balls. Your biggest threat is the dogs throwing tennis balls down, because they will often come down right as the boss launches an attack. It’s critical that you keep an eye on the plane so you know when and where these projectiles will launch.

For this phase I used Crackshot, but you can definitely make good use of Chaser, Peashooter, and Twist-Up. You’ll want something with range since getting close to the boss can be quite tricky. Plus, Crackshot does solid damage and you don’t even need to aim at the boss to hit him. You’ll also want to be careful when parrying the bones since the momentum may knock you up into a different projectile.

Cuphead Doggone Dogfight

Phase Two

Attacks

  • BOWOW: The four dogs launch slow-moving letters at the player from all directions. Some of these can be parried.

Phase two is a joke. Four dogs spin around in a circle and fire letter projectiles towards your last known position. They are extremely easy to dodge —  especially  compared to a lot of the other bosses in this DLC and base game. I really recommend using Crackshot or Chaser, since these dogs are always on the move, which makes them a little tricky to hit. However, once you do enough damage to one it will crash, reducing the number of letters launched at you. Continue taking down this canine airforce until none are left standing (hovering?).

Cuphead Doggone Dogfight

Phase Three

Attacks

  • Laser Beams: Throughout the fight, the boss will summon several laser beams that either fire diagonally down at your plane or horizontally across it. If the laser is shot at the plane, it will always be pink, so parry if you need to build some Super meter. Otherwise, you can easily dodge the beams since they take a couple of seconds before firing.
  • Dog Bowls: The boss’ other attack is it will launch red and yellow dog bowls down at the player. These move at a moderate speed and usually come in pairs which can make them a little tricky to dodge.

The final phase in this boss fight gets quite trippy. When the battle starts, you will be upright but then the pilot will physically turn the arena to either side or completely upside down. Things get challenging because it won’t stop launching attacks when the arena isn’t upright. Because of this, I recommend sticking to the middle of the plane as much as possible. You should only need to make minor corrections to dodge the lasers and Ms. Chalice’s double jump gives her enough airtime to avoid the one fired across the plane.

Where you need to be careful is when the boss fires dog bowls at you. They can be tricky to dodge when the screen is turned, but I found that you can safely double jump over most of them. Remember to use your Super when the boss appears in the cockpit of the massive dog ship, otherwise it will miss entirely. However, if you are standing where I am in the photo above when you trigger it, the entire Super will hit the boss. This deals a lot of damage, which can help speed up this fight and make it much simpler.