"What a glorious night for me to bring the fright!"
—Head of the Train, Death screen
The Head of the Train is a blue and purple anthropomorphic saddle-tank steam locomotive with yellow eyes. After uncoupling from the rest of the train, he looks similar to a horse, with his body raised above his wheels by four legs and a tail that ends in a light-bulb.
The Head of the Train is shown to exhibit signs of psychosis, as he grins maliciously during the fight. According to his death screen, he wants to bring the fright. He appears very distressed when he loses, as he flails his body with a hurt expression.
After defeating the Lollipop Ghouls from the previous phase, the Head of the Train will see Cuphead and Mugman passing by and sound his whistle in frustration, detaching himself from the carriages to gallop after them.
The Head of the Train has two attacks:
- Flaming Bone Wheel - The Head of the Train will shoot flaming bone wheels out of his nose. These bone wheels will fly around and stop at the player's horizontal position.
- Fire Flurry - When the Head of the Train's tail has been parried, his furnace will open, revealing a heart and some fire. Parrying the tail doesn't count towards the parry total. While his furnace is open, little fireballs will fall out in different places. Once his furnace closes, however, they'll stop falling out.
In Expert mode, the Head of the Train gallops faster, making it harder to reach and parry his tail, and the Pumpkimps return to distract players in this phase. Hitpoints = 4
Once the Head of the Train has been defeated, he will flail around looking very distressed.
- He is the only individual of the Phantom Express that doesn't appear on the Simple difficulty.
- Shown in Regular difficulty, the Head of the Train gets a damaged animation after beating the Lollipop Ghouls. Since the Lollipop Ghouls are pistons, (who get destroyed,) the Head of the Train gets steamed/damaged.
- The Head of the Train is one of the bosses that doesn’t have official names.
- If the Lollipop Ghouls are defeated either incredibly slowly or incredibly swiftly, this phase will never happen and the only enemies are the ghosts, thus causing a necessary restart .
- The number "4561" can be seen on the Head of the Train at one point. 4561 is a number for a LEGO train set.
- He, Ribby and Croaks ( in Phase 3), and Mr. Chimes are the only bosses whom you have to parry an object in order to make them vulnerable to damage.
Inspirations and similarities
- He may be based off of an oboroguruma, a type of yōkai in Japanese mythology.
- In terms of video games, he may be inspired by the Phantom Train from Final Fantasy VI. He may also be inspired by Sleeper Brakeman from Noitu Love 2: Devolution as both of them are locomotives on legs with a glowing object at the rear which has to be hit in order to make the boss vulnerable in some way. Another inspiration may be towards the Demon Train from Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
- Since the Phantom Express are based from different yokai, the Head of the Train may have similarities to the train-themed and vehicle-themed Yo-Kai from the Yo-Kai Watch franchise such as Headasteam and No-Go Cart respectively.
- In terms of the old cartoons, the Head of the Train may have been inspired by the two colliding steam engines from the 1936 Fleischer cartoon Play Safe.