The original Cuphead was known for its various secrets and Easter Eggs. Did anyone spot the Street Fighter reference in the frog fight? Hell, I thought it was about Battletoads at one point. With the game’s expansion, The Delicious Last Course, we get a brand new island to explore and hunt down boss fights. And, following in the footsteps of the original, the fourth island has a few secrets to share. One of which is an optional quest involving a ghost detective. Here’s how you can solve the sidequest puzzle in The Delicious Last Course, and what happens when you do.
First off, you won’t be able to figure out the puzzle until you make enough progress. Like the first game, the fourth island bars your way until you defeat specific bosses. In this case, you’ll need to progress far enough to unlock the area with the airplane hangar and graveyard.
Next to the graveyard is a ghost dressed like Sherlock Holmes. Talking to him presents you with the clues on how to complete the sidequest puzzle in The Delicious Last Course. The clues are:
- “That contest of skill.” “That broken artifact.” “This eerie graveyard.”
All will make sense in time.
The Delicious Last Course — how to complete the sidequest puzzle The broken artifact
Head to Porkrind’s shop. But make sure you have at least one coin in your pocket. At Porkrinds, purchase a new Charm item called the “Broken Relic.” This is the “broken artifact” mentioned by the ghost. Porkrind sells it for a single, glittering coin. If you don’t have the cash, you can complete one of The King’s Leap challenges, which rewards in two coins. If you’ve spent all those coins you earned, then head left and go under the waterfall near the graveyard. Hold left once you get to the top, and you’ll find a hidden coin.
The contest of skill
With the Broken Relic in hand, head over to the three mountain climbers to the right of Porkrind’s shop. This is where you figure out the “contest of skill” clue. The mountain climbers are standing on podiums representing (from left to right) second, first, and third place. Talking to them reveals the next set of clues on how to solve the mystery.
Each one talks about their win. However, you may notice that each conversation includes one kind of direction, like “up,” “down,” “left,” etc. These directions are referring to the graveyard, which is made up of a three-by-three square of tombstones. Be wary, though. One or more of the climbers may say “left up” instead of just left. This is an important distinction to make.
The eerie graveyard
Once you have three directions, head back to the graveyard. Now that you have the Broken Relic, you can activate the tombstones, which causes a blue ghost to appear. The only tombstone that doesn’t have a ghost is the one in the center. Activate the tombstones with the directions, starting with the first-place winner until the third (first-place directions, second-place directions, and third-place directions). For example, if the first climber said “up right,” then activate the tombstone on the very top-right of the graveyard, and so on.
If you do it right, the third ghost will celebrate, and a shaft of blue light will appear on the the center tombstone. Activating the center tombstone will cause a message to pop up, asking if you want to take a nap. Agree, and prepare yourself. You might not like the reward.
Why talk to the climbers first?
I confirmed that the climber clues are random with each playthrough. When I was playing the game for review, I got a certain set of answers. However, I played through the game on a new save just enough to make it to the fourth island. After making my way to the climbers, they gave me a completely different set of answers than before.
The final reward for completing the puzzle
You unlock The Delicious Last Course‘s secret boss fight after completing the sidequest puzzle. It’s likely going to be the hardest fight in the game. But once you win, the Broken Relic turns into the Cursed Relic. Equipping it as a Charm makes each boss fight even harder. Congrats! You start each fight with 1 HP, and parries fill your super attack meter at a much slower rate. Your weapon is also randomized, and will swap every time you release the fire button or use a dash.
You don’t get anything special for beating a boss with the Relic, as far as I can tell. I defeated one with the Relic and at the hardest difficulty, but nothing seemed to change. It apparently exists solely to please the most masochistic Cuphead fans.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is available now on PC.