It’s one of the bosses with multiple mini-bosses, each of which has its own set of abilities and attacks. The Bootlegger Boogie might try to tell you it only has three stages, but it’ll hit you with a surprise ending, a false Knockout!
As per usual with Cuphead bosses, you need to memorize their moves, anticipate the next one and hope your hand-eye coordination is up to the task. But remember, these bosses are meant to be hard so don’t be too tough on yourself if you’re struggling. Take a break, step away from it and try again.
Some equipment and builds are going to be significantly better than others. Although we tried out a few, we quickly learned that Roundabout is the best shot for the Bootlegger Boogie. It’s the most useful one for all three of the main stages. But if you’ve not got Roundabout, we have second set-up that worked, though not quite as quickly.
- Shot A: Roundabout
- Shot B: Spread
- Super: Your preference
- Charm: Astral Cookie
- Shot A: Converge
- Shot B: Twist-Up
- Super: Your preference
- Charm: Heart Ring
We also played as Chalice during this boss, her double jump and parry dash made maneuverability a whole lot easier. Not to mention Chalice’s extra life was a godsend when we were fooled out of a knockout by the Bootlegger Boogie.
Bootlegger Boogie Stage One
Stage One begins with the Mobster’s Spider. This stage is an obstacle course and requires you to manage your space. The Spider slowly begins to fill the space with his Web Bombs or his Mobster Goons. It’s up to you to keep damaging him while also clearing space for you to move around. Here are a few things to remember about this stage:
- Web Bombs: You can detonate the web bombs and dash away before they damage you, clearing that space. It’s best to do this as soon as they show up otherwise you’ll quickly be overwhelmed.
- The Cops: At the very edge of the screen, you’ll see a cop fly show up and fire at the spider. These flies never shoot at you but the smoke cloud from their shot can still damage you. These smoke clouds can be parried.
- The Goons: The Goons will appear in the background where they’ll join the stage, giving you a chance to get out of the way. You can shoot and kill them as soon as they’re on stage otherwise they will continue to fly off-screen.
- The Spider: The Spider will move off-screen either to the left or right, but the side he leaves on tells you on which side he’ll return. If he left the stage on the right side, he’ll come back from the right side.
The easiest and quickest way to get past this stage of the Bootlegger Boogie is to use Roundabout. Drop onto the same level the spider was on, and fire reverse roundabout shots onto him. Then move onto the next level, and as long as you’ve been clearing the stage of hazards, this is a really easy thing to do. But here are the Spider’s main attacks and how to spot them:
- Calling in the Boys: The Spider will stop and produce a phone, during this time you can fire on him. At this point, the Spider’s Goons will start to appear on the stage.
- The Web Bombs: The Spider will stop and quickly pull out a button, pressing it and dropping down three to four web bombs across the stage.
- Caterpillar: The Spider might bring out an caterpillar which he will throw out. The caterpillar then becomes a hazard that bounces across the stage in an M shape.
Once you pick up on the patterns, you’ll be able to beat the Spider and move onto stage two in no time.
Bootlegger Boogie Stage Two
Stage two might seem quite hectic; there’s a lot happening on screen and you might feel like you can’t stop moving. But that’s where you’d be mistaken. This stage, though a little frightening at first, is actually the easiest once you know what you’re doing. But first here’s the main things to look out for:
- The Wasp and music player’s hit box: It’s a whole lot bigger than you might think, so make sure you give them a lot of space otherwise you might stray a little too close and take a hit.
- Explosive Barrels and Cops: The top and bottom level occasionally have a cop or explosive barrel move across them. They won’t linger for long but you can shoot and kill either of them.
- The Music Streams: There are six lines, three of which move clockwise and the other three anti-clockwise. They will turn yellow to indicate they are going to become hazardous. You can still touch them while yellow but, when they’re red, outrun them or use Chalice’s invulnerable roll.
Now how do you beat stage two of Bootlegger Boogie? Have Roundabout equipped and stay in the middle lane. Turn and shoot at the wasp, then, when you see which music streams are going to be hazardous, move with them onto the opposite side of the stage. Keep your distance from the wasp and the music player and you’ll very quickly deal with this annoying wasp.
Careful – even when you’ve beaten her, both she and the music box still have a hit box. If you move onto them, you’ll take damage. Instead, make your way to the right side of the screen and wait for Stage three.
Bootlegger Boogie Stage Three
Stage three introduces the ant-eater and gives you a glimpse of the Mob’s snail beneath his hat. The Anteater is quite easy to read as long as you have quick reactions.
It starts with its mouth and tongue on the left side of the screen, so as soon as you beat stage two, move to the right. Only the mouth and tongue take damage, so you need to focus on that. The mouth moves between levels, either using a short tongue attack or it’ll charge up, and its tongue moves across the whole screen, grabbing a bundle of flies that it’ll spit back out. These flies move quickly across the screen but you can destroy them. Using Roundabout, you can line up your shots perfectly, leaving you with a chance to focus on dodging.
To beat stage three of the Bootlegger Boogie, the safest way is just a matter of patience. Try and move onto the right platforms so your Roundabout shots hit the Anteater, moving to the opposite side of the screen when it moves. We also highly suggest you save your Super charge until the next stage, at this point you might be on one HP and after this fight, you’ll want to be done as soon as possible.
A false knockout! The Mob’s boss, the snail, appears from beneath the Anteater’s hat and throws projectiles down at you in an arc. At this point, ideally, you’ll have your Super, and all you need to do now is hit him with it, killing him instantly. If you don’t have your Super, then just reign down on him with your Spread attack while dodging his projectiles.
And there you have it, you’ve beaten the Moonshine Mob in Bootlegger Boogie.
If you still didn’t get them, don’t worry. Remember, don’t give up. Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course is hard. Take a break from the game, and let your brain process the information and patterns. You’ll see that when you go back, it’ll be a whole lot easier.