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Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course: How To Beat Chef Saltbaker

"Cuphead" is primarily known for two things: its gorgeous animation style and its incredibly difficult boss fights. These two aspects are the main reasons it was considered one of the best games of 2017 and even one of the best PC games of all time. The game's 2022 DLC, "Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course," adds 5-6 hours of additional gameplay, including six brand new main boss fights and one secret boss. All of these new battles are challenging, but few hold a candle to the final boss.

The chief antagonist and final enemy players will have to face in this new DLC is Chef Saltbaker, a sentient saltshaker who owns a bakery and works to reanimate the dead. Most of the DLC is based around defeating other bosses in order to collect ingredients for him, but Saltbaker turns on the player when it's revealed that one of the ingredients he needs is a soul.

It's no surprise that this is a fight that a lot of players seem to have been struggling with, as Saltbaker will unleash a flurry of culinary mayhem that can feel nearly impossible to avoid. This fight is broken up into four phases, so let's take a look at how to beat him.

Chef Saltbaker: Phase 1

In the first phase, players will find themselves on Chef Saltbaker's cutting board. He will immediately start prepping all of the ingredients that the player has collected for him. As he brutally chops them up, the ingredients will then each come flying at the player in different ways. They are easy enough to dodge individually, but it becomes much more challenging when multiple ingredients are used at the same time. 

The sugar cubes will move in a wavelike pattern, the limes will spin in straight lines, the dough animals will leap at irregular intervals, and sliced strawberries will rain down at a diagonal angle. There will also be a tiny flame at the top of the screen (two on expert mode) that will drop down and go back up in a vertical line. Learning these patterns is essential for avoiding the constant barrage of attacks. Chaser is an excellent weapon for this section, even though it does slightly less damage than other weapons. Its homing attacks will negate the need to aim, allowing the  player to focus on dodging instead.

When the player has dealt enough damage to Saltbaker, he will slam his hands on the cutting board and put a glowing red mushroom inside his head. Then he'll grab the player and head to a new area for Phase 2.

Chef Saltbaker: Phase 2

Saltbaker is now extremely large and has a crack on his face. He will snap his fingers and four pepper-shakers will appear, one in each corner of the screen. At this point, the player will want to target the pepper shakers. Each time a pepper shaker is destroyed, it will rocket into Saltbaker's face before being replaced. Of course, you'll have to accomplish this while avoiding a new battery of attacks.

The little flames are now on the bottom of the screen instead of the top. These will occasionally leap at the player, forcing you to dodge. Saltbaker will then take a handful of pineapple mint leaves and throw them up in the air. These leaves will drift slowly down from the top of the screen. They would be easy to avoid on their own, but their slow movement limits player mobility. And then there are the pepper-shakers, which will sneeze peppercorns and other ingredients at the player in a straight line. These must be avoided, but the glowing pink salt crystals can be parried.

The roof will eventually start to cave in when Saltbaker loses enough health and Phase 3 will begin.

Chef Saltbaker: Phase 3

The third phase is probably the shortest and easiest of the four, as there are the least number of obstacles to track. It takes the fight outside, where you'll see the ruined remains of the bakery and the shattered husk of Saltbaker's glass shell in the distance. A buzzsaw (or two on expert mode) will go back and forth across the bottom of the screen, which you'll constantly have to jump over. Eventually, a pair of giant hands will come together in the distance and create a pair of spinning salt people. These are very large, taking up approximately a sixth of the screen as they bounce around while spinning like a top. They're difficult to avoid, but they are also your primary targets.

Players should try to give the spinning salt people a wide berth. Their outstretched legs makes their attack range deceptively wide, and it's easy to get trapped. The Roundabout or Crackshot both work well here, as they will consistently hit the top and deal more damage than the Chaser. The salt people will melt back into the floor when you've dealt enough damage.

Chef Saltbaker: Phase 4

The final phase of the battle is the only one that involves platforming. As Phase 3 ends, you will see a large construct of Saltbaker rise in the distance and then swirl into a tornado. Meanwhile, a pink, heart-shaped salt shaker appears and two cyclones of salt with dozens of faces appear on either side of the screen. Platforms of broken glass will begin descending from the top of the screen and players will have to climb them to stay in the game. Finally, the saltshaker will appear and begin targeting the player. This will represent the last bit of Saltbaker's health and the player's target.

This phase might not initially seem as complicated as some of the others, but it leaves the player very little room for maneuvering. It also has a time limit, as the salt cyclones will slowly begin to close in on the center of the screen. There is only one path up the platforms, so it's all but impossible to completely avoid the salt-shaker, but it can be parried so long as it is still pink.

Once the player has dealt enough damage to the evil saltshaker, Phase 4 will be complete. Then all that will be left is for players to watch the final scene and see Saltbaker sentenced to some much-deserved community service.