When the game came out in 2017, Cuphead took everyone by surprise. Behind its cute graphics and 1930s cartoons vibe is a pretty hardcore game, where each mistake can lead to the player’s untimely death. In 2022, Netflix premiered The Cuphead Show, an animated series that follows the adventures of Cuphead and his brother Mugman. But how does the show compare to the game? Here are the biggest differences between the Cuphead game vs. Cuphead the show. It goes without saying: there will be spoilers below!
No guns allowed
The Cuphead show gives life to some of the most iconic characters from the game. Cuphead, Mugman, and Ms. Chalice look just as they do in the game. Only their gloves are different: Cuphead and Mugman traded their white gloves for yellow ones, while Ms. Chalice’s fingers are way thinner in the show than in the game.
The biggest difference between the game and the show is that Cuphead and Mugman cannot use any weapon in the animated series. The brothers have no special ability and they don’t fight any boss in the show, so those core components of the game are not featured.
Ms. Chalice looks just about the same in the animated series as she does in the game, but her personality is noticeably different. She is far from being a damsel in distress in the Netflix show. Her mischievous behavior gets her everything she wants, and the two brothers get into trouble for following her example.
Before being a playable character in the Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course DLC, Ms. Chalice was a spectral NPC called The Legendary Chalice. In the show, Ms. Chalice does turn into a ghost, but she doesn’t look like her original NPC appearance. She dropped her halo and ornamented necklace and instead wears a straw.
No more Casino
The first story difference between the Cuphead game and the Netflix show comes in the first episode. In the game, Cuphead and Mugman wander far from home and end up in the Devil’s Casino. They play craps and go on a winning streak. The Devil then appears and offers to raise the stakes: if the brothers can win one more time, the Devil will give all its money. But if they lose, the Devil will take their souls. Of course, the brothers lose. To keep their souls, they become soul collectors for the Devil.
The show takes a different approach to the story. In the first episode, Cuphead and Mugman do meet the Devil, but it’s not in a casino. They enter the Carnevil, a place where if you lose a game, you lose your soul. Cuphead is once again winning everything until he eventually loses. Mugman prevents his soul from getting absorbed by the Devil and the brothers run away. But Cuphead still owes his soul to the Devil.
Dressed up frogs
Ribby and Croaks, the two fighting frogs, have their own dedicated episode. They launched a business but spend more time fighting than doing anything else. Their animations are similar to the game, even if the pace of their punches is slightly faster. The theme song of the Ribby and Croaks fight appears in the Netflix show when they start chasing Cuphead and Mugman on their boat.
The transition from the game to the show gave Ribby and Croaks new clothing and shoes. The frogs traded their martial arts belt for a suit, as they are now the owners of their own business. They also have some open shoes to go with their brand new outfit.
King Dice changed his job
The right-hand man of the Devil, King Dice, tries to get Cuphead’s soul for his boss. Compared to in the game, his appearance in the show only changed slightly. The buttons on his waistcoat are black, his bowtie is fuchsia purple, and his eyelids are silver. His shoes also have a different design.
In the game, King Dice is running the Devil’s casino. He first appears when Cuphead and Mugman are playing craps, right before the Devil shows up to raise the stakes. He then makes sure the brothers complete their part of the deal by blocking parts of the Inkwell Isle until they collect all of the soul contracts.
In the show, King Dice is a game show host. His show, Roll The Dice, selects a random candidate from the audience. If they can guess the correct answer to a blind test and general culture question, they can roll the dice and enter a mystery prize room. But there is no gold or gifts in this room, only a device that will steal their souls. King Dice wants to get Cuphead’s soul for his boss, but since he isn’t the smartest cup in the room, his mission is harder than expected.
If you would like to see more comparisons between the Cuphead game and the show, check out the latest video from The Leaderboard.