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Honeycomb Herald is a level located in Inkwell Isle Three. This is the level where you fight Rumor Honeybottoms. It's depicted on the map as an office building in the vague shape of a beehive. Honeycomb Herald is one of the two levels unlocked after unlocking Inkwell Isle Three, along with Shootin N' Lootin. Upon defeating Honeycomb Herald, you unlock Rugged Ridge and Junkyard Jive!. You also unlock an NPC named Ludwig, which is a talking gramophone. During the actual battle, you're in an office building filling up with honey. You have to jump between platforms to get up and not get hurt by the honey. This boss has three phases: phase 1 is the Security Bee, phase 2 is Rumor Honeybottoms using magic, and phase three is Rumor as a plane. You do not have to fight phase three in Simple Mode.


  • Homing shots are incredibly useful for this boss and extremely useful for the last phase. It is also recommended to use Lobber, as in the Security Bee stage, the Lobber has the perfect trajectory, and it falls, so it is useful for stage three.
  • Make sure not to let the boss distract you entirely from the fact that you need to keep jumping.
  • If you want the coin from the clown in Inkwell Isle Two for four parries in a row before hitting the ground or the achievement for five parries before you hit the ground, the pink homing projectiles in phase two are perfect for it.
  • During the first phase, try to stay at the top of the screen, as it will make dodging the Security Bee easier.
  • Go against the barrier (where the honey waterfall is) to avoid the bee missiles.
  • Go on the left side, jump one platform each time the wing gets closer, and jump over the fist if it comes directly at you. Do all of that while using lobber.
  • use 2nd ultimate in last phase when she does the sawblade attack.



"Doggone! We got ourselves a good ol' fashioned honey heist!"
Security Bee, Phase 1 Death Screen

Before the battle begins, Rumor Honeybottoms is shown with a fork, knife, and a bib, looking at Cuphead and Mugman like she wants to eat them. Then her fork and knife become a wand and her bib disappears, as she snaps, calling the Security Bee. A whistle can then be heard, and the Security Bee comes into the arena while saying: "Oi oi oi!"

The Security Bee is fought throughout the first phase of the fight. He will fly near the bottom, occasionally dropping ticking bombs from his pocket. These bombs will tick for five seconds, then explode into six pieces. Three of those pieces are parryable. In Simple and Expert Mode, the bomb will explode into eight pieces, with four of them being parryable.

While all of this happens, worker bees with suitcases fly around, looking very sad. These bees will not attack the player(s), though if you run into them, you get hurt. You are easily able to shoot and destroy these bees.

It is recommended to use the Chaser for this phase since Security Bee moves frequently, and worker bees can also get in the way.

Throughout the first two phases of the fight, fizzy honey at the bottom of the screen will be continuously rising upwards, forcing the players to keep on jumping on the platforms to not get hurt by the honey. In simple mode, the honey moves much slower.

After the Security Bee has taken enough damage, he will fly away while rubbing his shoulder, which has two white bandages on it. Then the next phase will commence.


"Hey sugar, this honey is off limits. Now scram!"
Rumor Honeybottoms, Phase 2 Death Screen

In this phase, you actually start fighting Rumor Honeybottoms. There are two forms that she will turn into in this phase. Throughout the phase, she will change these forms, and it's at random when they change, so it does not matter how much you damage her, she will just randomly change.

  • In her first form, she will come in from either the left or right side (shown by a her hand) and attack the player(s) with a magic wand. Rumor can summon one of two things in this form:
    • The first thing Rumor can summon is a purple wavy triangle that'll fly around the screen. Occasionally, the triangle will shoot three parryable mini triangles from its corners. Two triangles can be on the screen at once, so be careful and watch where it shoots.
    • The second thing Rumor can summon is a pink parryable sphere that moves around the screen. You can parry this sphere endlessly until it disappears, so it is recommended to use this sphere to get a coin from the juggler in Inkwell Isle Two from parrying four times in a row. This sphere does not directly attack the player, but rather just homes in on the player slowly. After a while, the sphere will go off screen. Once again, two spheres can be on the screen at once; so be careful.
  • In her second form, she goes to the middle, then drop her head down. This reveals a chain in between her head and her body. She will then proceed to shoot Bullet Bees on either side from her mouth. These Bullet Bees go in an S shape pattern, and they move pretty quickly, so you must jump and crouch very fast. Beware that the magical projectiles from the first form can still be moving around from her first form.

It is recommended to use the Charge or Spread on this phase to deal maximum damage due to her giant hitbox. Chaser is discouraged as the spells will also be a focus for the shot and drag away damage from Rumor.

After dealing enough damage, she will go back up to the top of the screen, then come back down with a book in hand. She will flip through the pages of the book, then point at a page of the book, seeming like she found what she wanted. She then puts the book away, and does a magical thing. She will then turn into a plane, and fly to the bottom of the screen. The next phase commences.

In Simple Mode, the fight just ends here as she stops and closes her eyes.


"Dominate and bombinate -- that's how I bee!"
Rumor Honeybottoms, Phase 3 Death Screen

This phase is not fought in Simple Mode.

During this phase, Rumor Honeybottoms turns into a plane. She will stay at the bottom of the screen, and shoot hand missiles which home in on you. Beware that some of these hand missiles can go off screen, then come back. So it's recommended to stay in the middle of the screen, unless Rumor's attacking you with her buzz saw.

From time to time, she will turn her hand into a buzz saw, and take up half of the screen. In order to know which side she's striking at, just look at where she's looking. If she stops and starts looking to the right, she will strike the right side of the screen. If she stops and starts looking to the left, she will strike the left side of the screen.

It is recommended to use the Lobber, Roundabout or Chaser. You can aim upwards for Roundabout, straightforward and upward for Lobber, or everywhere for Chaser. Peashooter, Charge, and Spread are harder to use since they need to be aimed down. It is also recommended that you always move, as the hand missile moves in a set but unpredictable pattern.

Once Rumor takes enough damage, the fight will be over. Rumor's head will pop off, with cross eyes and her tongue out, while she waves her wings all over the place.


Regular Mode Expert Mode
Cuphead_-_Rumor_Honeybottoms_in_Honeycomb_Harold Cuphead_-_Honeycomb_Herald_-Expert-

Sound Effects[]

Description Audio


Version Soundtrack
In-game soundtrack Cuphead_OST_-_Honeycomb_Herald_In-Game_Version
Original soundtrack Honeycomb_Herald
Beta soundtrack Cuphead_Beta_Music_-_Old_Honeycomb_Herald_Music
Game over soundtrack Cuphead_-_"Honeycomb_Herald"_Game_Over_Screen_Version



  • There are a few examples of wordplay throughout the boss fight. The plane that Rumor transforms into is a buzz bomb, and she attacks with buzz saws. Additionally, "buzz" is another word for a rumor.

Inspirations and similarities[]

  • Some of the honeycombs in the background have hotel-like rooms similar to those in the 1936 cartoon The Cobweb Hotel.
  • The office-like structure of the battle stage is similar to the monotonous appearance of life as seen in the 1928 King Vidor film The Crowd.
  • The bee workers and the level's design resembling a combination of an office building and a beehive could be seen as a play on the term "sticky business".
  • The fact that honey arises from the bottom of the level could be a reference to the battle with Dr. Robotnik in Labyrinth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).
Boss Levels
Inkwell Isle One
Botanic Panic!Ruse Of An OozeThreatenin' ZeppelinFloral FuryClip Joint Calamity
Inkwell Isle Two
Sugarland ShimmyPyramid PerilCarnival KerfuffleAviary Action!Fiery Frolic
Inkwell Isle Three
Honeycomb HeraldShootin N' LootinDramatic FanaticMurine CorpsJunkyard Jive!High Seas Hi-Jinx!Railroad Wrath
Inkwell Hell
All Bets Are Off!One Hell Of A Time
Inkwell Isle Four
Gnome Way OutBootlegger BoogieDoggone DogfightSnow Cult ScuffleHigh-Noon HooplaA Dish To Die ForOne Hell Of A DreamThe King's Leap (The King's Gauntlet)