Creating Cuphead's Most Ambitious Boss Fight

Game developers are often inspired by the works of others, and the experiences that have stuck with them often go on to shape what they make. Studio MDHR’s Cuphead, for example, very obviously draws its aesthetic from the 1930s era of Disney and Fleischer animation. However, beyond the gorgeous visuals, Cuphead’s developers also pay homage to classic video games across multiple genres.

We previously explored the fighting game influences of Cuphead, but in episode two of Audio Logs we caught up with lead game designer Jared Moldenhauer, who talked about how one of the game’s most memorable sequences–the journey through King Dice’s Dice Palace–is the studio’s love letter to Treasure and Sega’s shoot-em-up classic Gunstar Heroes, among other games.

In the episode, Moldenhauer dives deep into the design of Dice Palace, pointing out the small details that players may have missed amidst the chaotic action, revealing the sources it pulled from in crafting the memorable characters, and exploring the decisions the development team made to bring it together into what players know and love it to be.

Even if you’re super familiar with Cuphead, the expert insight reveals some fascinating details on the entire sequence. It also provides a look at just how much passion and energy went into not only creating Dice Palace, but also having it represent the games that Studio MDHR holds dear.

Audio Logs is a weekly show where the people behind the games we love tell us the stories of how they’re made. Episode one featured Cory Barlog, director of the acclaimed PS4 title God of War. As with Moldenhauer, Barlog delved deep into the design of one of God of War’s most memorable sequences, and revealed how it almost never even happened. You can watch Audio Logs episode one here.

Be sure to subscribe to GameSpot on YouTube to see more episodes as they’re released. You won’t want to miss it!

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