The Delicious Last Course has been more than an upgrade for Cuphead. It's a whole new island, with a jazz orchestra providing the backing for the hand-drawn animation.
Have You Eaten Your Fill?
Cuphead and Mugman travel to Inkwell Island 4, known as DLC island in the trailer, to help Ms. Chalice on a quest. She can come back to life temporarily if one of the boys eats an astral cookie. They then will switch places with her during a boss battle or Run N Gun. The same goes for challenges in the King's Leap.
Island local Chef Saltbaker claims that he can bring Ms. Chalice back to life permanently. The cookies are temporary but with the Wondertart, he can pull her out of the astral plane and into a physical body. He simply needs ingredients from his neighbors, and he has them all on a list. Saltbaker gives the list to the Cups and a "recipe" tutorial that shows how Chalice can use her powers. It seems easy enough, except you forget something: it's Cuphead. The game is never easy.
We also have some questions: how does the DLC address new lore, and established stories? And where does Ms. Chalice fit into the mischief? The answers aren't that surprising, but they sure are fun!
Who Is Ms. Chalice?
Based on lore that you can find on Island Three in Rugged Ridge, Chalice was once a hero in her time. She and Elder Kettle fought against evils that scoured the Inkwell Isles. You can see their statues during the Rugged Ridge Run 'n Gun on Inkwell Isle III.
Something killed Ms. Chalice, turning her into a permanent ghost with none of the resets that the Cups receive. While the form is awesome in that it means she can suffer no damage and travel in lightning time, it also means that she can't walk, eat or do much. Ghosts in the various mausoleums can trap her within urns as she locates upgrades for you. Chalice doesn't mind because she can provide Cuphead and Mugman their necessary upgrades once you rescue her.
Personality-wise, Ms. Chalice toes the line between heroic and mischievous. She tricks Mugman into switching places with her to demonstrate the power of the cookies. Yet when she learns about the real price of the Wondertart, she refuses to consider that option. It's too unethical and may remind one of Fullmetal Alchemist. Ms. Chalice may be a trickster, but she is a trickster with convictions. Yet if you play her on the main islands, you can sell her soul to the Devil.
What About The Wondertart?
The tart seems simple enough, though I don't know why pineapple is there. That's just nasty. The others do make sense, though; you often combine lime with fruit filling to make sure nothing goes bad, and we have to get gnome berries. The distilled dough is also a necessity in this case because you need that for the crust. The sugar ice cubes are iffy, but you do also need sugar for the ingredients.
Saltbaker then pulls one over on us and grabs one of the trio's souls. Turns out that the last ingredient the Wondertart needs is a soul, to serve as the central power. He implies that he will use the power not to restore Ms. Chalice to life, but to take over the astral plane. As the Cups and Chalice prepare to fight him, Saltbaker sneers that their heads will make fine serving platters.
In the end, Saltbaker never makes the tart. He wastes the ingredients by sending them as ammo after us, the player, in the final battle. We have to dodge mint leaves, berries, sugar, and animals cut out of dough. One wonders why he did that to take down a few cups and Chalice rather than immediately cook the soul that he had trapped in a jar. As it is, Chalice refuses to use another's soul to bring herself back to life, saying that she knows she will find another way. The neighbors also press charges against Saltbaker for sending children to do his dirty work.
Despite this failure, the ending doesn't lack satisfaction. Ms. Chalice does get her body back, as the end credits show, and Saltbaker has to pay for his crimes. The Cups befriend everyone they attacked, showing no hard feelings from either party.
Alternatives to Baking The Wondertart
We never find out how Ms. Chalice gets her life back in the end credits, without needing to swap with the Cups. But maybe she had some help. You never know what you can do with the right ingredients and instructions
I was inspired to try and make the Astral Cookies, and an Astral Pie, from Cuphead. The recipes are below, after first being uploaded to my Patreon. (Feel free to join if you want one recipe a month and some good cheer.)
The source for this recipe is Cook. Craft. Love.
- 1 1/4 cup rice flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 teaspoon coffee
- 1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix together your flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. Leave out butter to thaw. When room temperature, cream with brown and white sugar.
4. Add the vanilla and egg to your butter-sugar mixture.
5. Stir in your flour. Add your coffee.
6. Place in the fridge to chill. I'm leaving it overnight.
7. Roll out 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough and press onto sheet, flattening.
8. Push the melted chocolate disc or Hershey's nugget on top of the dough. Top with another flattened bowl.
9. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-22 minutes on a lined or greased cookie sheet.
10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating, serving, or storing.
Distilled Dough (Gluten-free Pie Crust)
- 2 cups rice flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 stick butter, cubed
- Cookie Cutters (optional)
- Gnome Berries (Pitted and Stemmed Cherries, 1.5 Lb)
- 1 Cup Iced Sugar Cubes (Regular Sugar)
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Desert Lime Juice (fresh-squeezed regular limes)
- Mint Syrup (recipe below)
- 1 Tablespoon Bourbon
Pineapple Mint (Mint syrup)
- 2 Bags Green Mint tea (I used Moroccan mint)
- Boiling Water
- 1 Cup Sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. For your tea syrup, combine boiling water with the mint tea, and steep according to the instructions. Stir in the sugar and set aside.
3. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. A food processor is faster but I don't have one. Add your butter and shortening before stirring. When the mixture resembles coarse meal, add one tablespoon of water at a time.
4. Divide the dough in half and shape into circles. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. Use the fridge if planning to bake within the next few days, or in the freezer if you need dough in advance.
5. Combine the cherries, sugar and lime juice in a big pot. Cook on low heat for ten minutes, and then sprinkle in the flour. Add your mint tea syrup and stir.
6. Bring the cherries to a boil, and remove from heat after 3-5 minutes. Stir in bourbon once slightly cooled.
7. Pull the pie dough out of the fridge. Cover a surface and rolling pin with flour, and then roll flat. Press into a pie tin. Cover with parchment paper. If you have pie weights, use them and bake the pie in the oven for twenty minutes. I didn't have pie weights, so I did without.
8. Pour the cherry filling into the pie crust. Return to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
9. If you have extra pie dough, roll flat and either cut shapes with cookie cutters or a food-safe knife. My recommendation is star or galaxy shapes for the astral plane part. Bake on a tray with parchment paper for 10-15 minutes. Do not flip or they will break, as mine did.
10. Remove both from the oven. Place the pie shapes carefully on top of the cherry. Allow to cool before serving.
If you try either of these recipes, feel free to let me know! Also, tell me how you did with the fakeout with Cuphead DLC boss. It seems to snag everyone.
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