World 1 Inkwell Isle I Guide – Cuphead

Featured image on World 1 Inkwell Isle I guide for Cuphead.

When you start Cuphead, you begin inside Elder Kettle’s house. Inside this house you gather some story information and can run through the tutorial. Besides that, there is nothing else of interest here, so head outside into the overworld. Cuphead features numerous paths and ways to play, so feel free jumping around this guide. Below I walk you through the Cuphead World 1 Inkwell Isle map.

NPC: Mac

Image showing the Cuphead NPC named Apple Boy.
This is an NPC named Mac.

Follow the only path you can take and make your way to the bridge. Here you can talk to Mac. Mac talks about adventuring and gives you 3 coins! With these 3 (4 if you did the tutorial) coins you can head to the nearby shop!

Shop: Porkrind’s Emporium

Image showing the first shop in Cuphead.
This is the first shop you will encounter in Cuphead.

Porkrind’s Emporium gives you access to various items which include shots, and charms. Buying shots and charms will help you on your journey. Use the 3 (4) gold you’ve collected to buy the items that you think will be useful for you (I like Spread shot personally). Finish shopping and leave. From here you have a couple of choices: fight two bosses, complete the Run and Gun, or complete the Mausoleum challenge.

Boss: The Root Pack

Image showing the overworld location of The Root Pack boss in Cuphead.
The Root Pack boss fight level.

Just down from the shop, you will see a garden that is moving. This garden is a boss level called Botanic Panic. Interact with the Botanic Panic level to trigger a boss fight against The Root Pack. The Root Pack features three different bosses to fight:

  • Phase 1 (Potato): The potato shoots four projectiles at you while staying stationary. This phase simply requires jumping over the projectiles (pink snake can be parried).
  • Phase 2 (Onion): The onion sits in the middle of the screen and cries. Avoid the falling tears while dealing damage (pink tears can be parried).
  • Phase 3 (Carrot): The carrot is the final and most difficult form. In carrot form, the boss shoots homing carrots as well as sonic waves. Avoid all the projectile and target the carrot. Defeating the carrot, complete the boss fight.

After completing The Root Pack fight, a stairway will appear which leads to the next boss fight. Proceed down the stairs an you will encounter another NPC.

NPC: Quint

Image showing the NPC named Quint in Cuphead.
Quint on the Overworld.

At the bottom of the stairs you meet Quint, a coin. Quint tells you that he doesn’t trust the bank and keeps all his coins hidden. This is a tip to the idea that there are hidden coins on every World overworld. After talking to Coin head to the boat level called Clip Joint Calamity for the next boss.

Boss: Ribby and Croaky

Image showing the level called Clip Joint Calamity in Cuphead.
The Ribby and Croaky boss fight level.

Ribby and Croaky serve as our first introduction to fighting multiple bosses as once. Luckily for us, the battle itself works very much like a single boss battle. There are three distinct phases to this fight. Defeat all three to complete the boss level.

Beating Ribby and Croaky makes a bridge appear that allows you to cross over the river nearby. Cross over to the bridge to reach the old Mausoleum there. This Mausoleum is home to a level you can complete.

Mausoleum I

Image showing Mausoleum 1 on Inkwell Isle I in Cuphead.
The first Mausoleum level in Cuphead.

Mausoleums are challenges that involve simply parrying ghosts. Completing a Mausoleum challenge will earn you a new Super ability. There are 3 Mausoleum challenges in Cuphead. This is the first one. To get an idea of how these challenges work, watch this video of me completing it.

Once you are done with the Mausoleum level head back to the shop. Head up from it and you will find a Run & Gun level you can complete. These levels are a bit different that the boss fights we’ve done up to this point.

Run & Gun #1: Forrest Follies – 5 Coins

Image showing the Run & Gun Forrest Follies overworld level in Cuphead.
Run & Gun Forrest Follies level.

Instead of fighting a boss, you make your way through a platforming and side-scrolling level. In these levels there are 5 coins to collect. Each world has two of these levels for a total of 30 collectible level coins in the entire game. This first one is located straight up from the shop. Complete it then head up to the tree shaking nearby.

Boss: Groopy Le Grande

Image showing the Ruse of an Ooze level in Cuphead.
The Goopy Le Grande boss fight.

The colorful shaking tree is home to another boss fight with Groopy Le Grande. When ready to begin the fight interact with the tree. The Goopy Le Grande fight consists of three stages: small slime, big slime, and tombstone.

Beating Groopy Le Grand unlocks the staircase you see in the upper – leftish portion of the screen. Go up the stairs and follow the path. Along the way speak to the NPC to learn about plane combat. Cross the bridge to reach the boss fight in the observatory.

Boss: Hilda Berg

When you are ready to star the Hilda Berg boss fight interact with the level. This boss fight is a little more complicated than ones up to this point as it is an airplane fight. This means you fly in an airplane during it. There are three phases to be aware of. Defeat all three phases to complete the boss level.

Beating Hilda Berg makes a stairway appear to the lower area (seen in pic). Go down the stairs to reach a new area. Here you will find another Run & Gun and the last boss of Inkwell Isle I.

Run & Gun 2: Treetop Trouble – 5 Coins

Image showing the Treetop Trouble run & gun level in Cuphead.
The Treetop Trouble level.

Run and Gun levels are exactly like they sound. Instead of fighting a boss, you make your way through a platforming level. In these levels there are 5 coins to collect. Each world has two of these levels for a total of 30 collectible level coins in the entire game. Complete this level then head down along the trees to reach the final boss of the isle.

Boss: Cagney Carnation

Image showing the Floral Fury level in Cuphead.
The Cargney Carnation boss fight.

Cagney Carnation is a giant flower that appears to like dancing. This boss is located in the field directly above the exit from off the island. When ready to fight interact with the level. There are two real phases to this fight. Defeat both to complete the boss level.

Upon defeating Cagney you will have completed everything on Inkwell Isle I. The only thing left to do is leave. To do this make your way over to the large red die building. Go through the die building to watch a cutscene then you will arrive in Inkwell Isle II.

This guide is part of HTR’s Cuphead guide and walkthrough. Check out the hub to see all guides we’ve written for the game. Otherwise continue onto our Inkwell Isle II guide.

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A lifelong gamer who has devoted the last six years to the creation and development of "Hold To Reset," a website tailored by gamers for gamers. Yell your hot takes at him on X.

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