After beating the Moonshine Mob in the Bootlegger Boogie, or if you took the long way round, you’ll be up against The Delicious Last course High Noon Hooplah Boss, or Ernest Winchester.
High Noon Hooplah is especially difficult because of the sheer amount of things that’s happening on screen. A number of attacks in High Noon Hooplah do hone in on you, so it’s one of those levels you can’t ever stay still. High Noon Hooplah needs you to keep moving and keep your eyes out for any stray wayward projectiles coming your way.
But as with all Cuphead bosses, once you know what you’re really looking out for, you’ll slowly be able to adjust and actually figure out what’s happening, even with everything going on on-screen!
Best Equipment for High Noon Hooplah
First thing’s first, you’ll want the right equipment and perks for this fight. Although this level is a flying one, we found having Spread useful. Your Shot-B doesn’t really matter as your alternative fire in these levels will always be the dropped bombs.
- Shot A: Spread
- Shot B: n/a
- Super: n/a
- Charm: Heart Ring
Your main focus in these kinds of levels is the constant fire and your charm. Seeing how easy it’s to parry in these levels, we used Heart Ring, which will help keep your HP up and make up for any unsuccessful dodges. You can also use the default Shot A if you prefer but we found that using Spread damaged Ernest faster. You’ll want to alternate between the two forms of fire, using your Shot A but also your alternative fire too. Mixing the two shreds through Ernest’s defenses.
In High Noon Hooplah Stage one sees Ernest in the Saloon. You’re going to need to have a lot of spatial awareness. There’ll be a whole lot of projectiles and incoming things to avoid. But there’s a clear tell for each move and attack, so here are a few tips and what to look out for:
- The Cactus: Ernest brings out her lasso and reel in a cactus. This locks off that portion of the screen. If she’s on the bottom while doing this, swap to your alternative fire and reign bombs down on her. Otherwise, just focus on your Spread shot.
- Incoming dynamite: A bird flies from the top left of the screen. It drop some dynamite that, upon impact with the ground, has an initial spread of three sticks of dynamite that fly up in an arc, then a second wave of two.
- Snake Oil Guns: Ernest fires two shots of snake oil. The initial two shots focus on where you were at the time of firing. The two ink blots then arc backwards off-screen, turning into snakes that then bounce off the edge of the screen until they fly off to the left.
- Horse Fly: A literal horse fly occasionally flies in from the right of the screen. It then spits out a projectile that targets you. You can shoot the Horse Fly before it spits.
As you can see, there various things to look out for. It can get a little overwhelming but one of the things we found ourselves doing was focusing on looking at our character. In these kinds of levels, you don’t need to focus on your aim, you just need to fire. You can hold down the fire button and just focus on dodging. We managed to dodge a lot better when not really paying much attention to Ernest, only needing to when she got the lasso out.
High Noon Hooplah Stage Two opens with Ernest breaking down the saloon and bringing her vacuum out. This particular stage is all about dodging. There will be a number of moving projectiles across the screen so you just need to focus on dodging. As previously mentioned, you’ll find it a lot easier to dodge if you instead focus your attention on your character. Remember: you can turn into a smaller plane which is a lot faster to avoid incoming projectiles.
What to look out for in particular:
- The Vacuum: Ernest starts to pull various treasures off-screen into her vacuum. These projectiles come in from the left side of the screen, so make sure you’re paying attention there instead of the usual focus on the right side of the screen.
- The Vaults: After sucking in treasure, Ernest spits vaults up into the sky, each of which falls in a direct straight line. When they collide with the ground, money and cash flies out in random directions. Some of these can be parried.
This stage is all about endurance. Try to keep your eyes on the huge number of projectiles hurtling all around you and try your best to avoid them. At this point, you should have gathered enough charge for your Super. We recommend saving it for the next stage which can be quite frustrating.
Ernest is sucked into her own vacuum and cooked. This particular stage then becomes a matter of moving along with Ernest to get those shots in. She either moves to the top of the screen or the bottom. We recommend reigning bombs down on her with your alternative firethat when she’s on the bottom. When she’s on the top, just spray her with your regular fire. During this stage, you have two things to look out for: the sausage obstacles that sprout out a sausage-based barrier that can damage you. These cans point in the direction that the sausages come out from.
Moving between the stage with these cans is easy. What you really want to look out for is Ernest spitting out her steaks. These come out and spin in a wide arc, honing in on you before flying off the screen to the left.
- The Cans: The cans of sausages only spill their contents out if you shoot them.
- The Steak: The Steak might feel as though it’s honing on you but it only initially curves up towards you, then moves in a circular arc until it flies off screen.
High Noon Hooplah Final Stage
The fourth and final stage, High Noon Hooplah finishes off with the prairie dogs. Here you have to weave yourself between the sausages. You can move between the spaces. The sausages cross over the screen, forcing you to move between them while damaging the can of prairie dogs.
At this point, if you’ve got Super charges then unload all you have into them to through this stage as quickly as possible and score yourself that long-awaited Knockout!
High Noon Hooplah can be quite difficult and is one of the longer-feeling bosses of the game. But, usually these flying levels get easier and easier once you start to master the movement. Movement is the biggest factor in winning these levels considering there is rarely a chance to stop moving. With other bosses you might be able to stop and rest your eyes, High Noon Hooplah requires all of your attention and as such can be quite draining.
But don’t worry, keep trying and you’ll eventually get it. Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course isn’t an easy game but it’s worth persevering!