Cuphead: Why don’t bosses have health bars? The authors’ response

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In an interesting interview published by the British magazine Edge to Studio MDHR, the authors of Cupheadswe also get the official answer to a question that probably everyone will have asked themselves at least once: why don’t bosses have health bar?

In fact, anyone who has played Studio MDHR’s masterpiece will have found themselves grappling with the difficult interpretation of the level in which you are fighting a boss, given that there are no precise references to their energy and therefore it is difficult to understand how many shots are scored and how many still have to collect the cursed villains before going KO.

The answer of the co-director and founder of the team Chad Moldenhauer to tell the truth it is understandable, that is, the choice is simply based on the desire to remain as faithful as possible to the idea of ​​staging a real cartoon from the 30’s.

Cuphead, a boss fight

From a practical point of view, a health bar for the bosses would have been useful and the developers had thought about implementing it, but it clashed with the general style of the game.

“None of our preliminary mockups satisfied us, in terms of what we were trying to achieve: make Cuphead a real playable cartoon, coming from the 30s,” explained Moldenhauer. “But also from the point of view of designwe felt that such an inclusion would risk leading players into a negative drift, pushing them to optimize for an ideal DPS [damage per second, ovvero danni al secondo] and perhaps leading them to lose some indispensable visual elements to be captured on the screen, to rather look at the bar”.

There is therefore astylistic but also practical need at the basis of the choice not to include this bar, replaced by a very ingenious idea: the summary graphic representation of the point where the players have arrived at the moment of game over with respect to the conclusion of the battle, through the “race” of the characters it also signals the various transformations the boss went through.

In the meantime, Cuphead has expanded and we evaluated it again in the Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course review, while the physical edition including the large DLC was also presented.

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