Ribby and Croaks are the boss duo in Cuphead. They are fought and encountered in the level Clip Joint Calamity on Inkwell Isle One. Although they are separate during the first two phases of the fight, they still share the same health pool.
The duo seem to be wood frogs, but Croaks is a brown frog with a light salmon underside and he wears a maroon belt, brown boxing gloves and red pants/leggings. Ribby is a green frog who is shorter than Croaks, and has a yellowish white underside. He wears red boxing gloves, a red belt and white pants/leggings.
Ribby and Croaks are well-meaning hooligans with hearts of gold and a lot of moxie—sometimes a little too much moxie. Ever since their childhoods, Ribby and Croaks have been tough and aggressive fighters that are always looking for a good fight ("We've had fightin' souls since we've been tiny tadpoles."). According to their second phase's death screen, they are from the wrong side of the lily pad, which is why they act crude and bad ("Crude and bad, 'cause we're from the wrong side of the lily pad."). The fact that Ribby bawls and Croaks bang his fist on the ground in anger when defeated in Simple mode implies that they may be somewhat dramatic and perhaps sore losers (although Croaks is such in a more aggravated way while Ribby is merely a wimp). Also, Ribby seems to sacrifice himself in order to help Croaks be stronger.
|Fireflies (Croaks only)||1||No|
"We've had fightin' souls since we've been tiny tadpoles."
—Ribby and Croaks, Phase 1 death screen
In the first phase, the two frogs take turns attacking the players in a set pattern that is easily memorized and avoided:
Hitpoints = 546/408/494
- Croaks will spit out seven fireflies, each has 4 HP (which are literally on fire) that will slowly inch closer to damage the players. These bugs are easily disposable by simply shooting at them. Because of this, Croaks' attack is much easier to avoid than Ribby's.
- Ribby throws fist shaped energy waves at the player in a set pattern, some of which can be parried: one close to the ground, one slightly higher off the ground and one high off the ground. The pattern reverses after the third energy fist. The entire pattern (including the reversion) is shot twice. In Simple and Expert mode, however, the pattern is shot once, with decreased speed in Simple mode, and increased speed in Expert mode.
In Expert mode, both Ribby and Croaks do their attacks in unison, rather than individually.
Once taking enough damage, Ribby rolls to the other side, attempting to damage the players, crashing into something off-screen. In Simple mode, Ribby rolls slower, In Expert mode, he rolls faster. He then comes back on the left side, thus commencing the second phase of the battle.
"Crude and bad, 'cause we're from the wrong side of the lily pad."
—Ribby and Croaks, Phase 2 death screen
Hitpoints = 854/714/741
In this phase, players are now surrounded by Ribby and Croaks in a militaristic pincer movement, with Ribby on the left and Croaks on the right. They will now attack simultaneously, although Croaks' attack is a little bit longer than Ribby's.
Ribby will periodically slap three ringed ball-like projectiles bouncing up and down, while Croaks will spin his body rapidly like a fan, blowing the players away from him and towards Ribby's attack in order to damage them. In Expert mode, the ringed balls bounce faster, and Croacks blows the players away with more force. Ribby's attack can be avoided by running away from it as it bounces, dashing or smoke-dashing away, even while being blown away.
In Simple and Expert mode, Ribby will be throwing energy waves like in the first phase after rolling. However, the pattern doesn't reverse after the third energy fist like it does in the first phase. Instead, it simply ends. He will then alternate between throwing energy wave punches and slapping ringed balls, of which he can also choose to slap either one, two or three.
After taking enough damage, Croaks will open his mouth and Ribby will attempt to damage the players again by rolling at Croaks. After that, Ribby will then roll into Croaks' mouth, making Croaks swallow Ribby and causing Croaks to transform into a slot machine. This commences the final phase of the battle.
In Simple mode, the battle will simply end with Croaks pounding his fists to the floor, and Ribby crying.
"You went for broke and now you're croaked!"
—Ribby and Croaks, Final phase death screen
Hitpoints = 578/665
In this phase, the players cannot damage the frog duo, who have now fused into a slot machine, in any way until they hit the crank by parrying it. Parrying the crank does not count towards the parry total.
Before players can hit the crank, the machine will spit out coins through a slot. In Expert mode, the slot machine will spit out more coins at a faster rate before the crank can be parried. By pulling the crank, the machine will turn through different symbols until all three land on a certain symbol, which signifies the attack that the machine will use. The machine will open a giant metal hatch in its bottom half which shoots out moving platforms with various properties changing between attacks. There are three possible attacks that can be performed:
- Tiger: Orange chips that have orange balls floating up and down on their centers, which must be jumped over to not get damaged.
- Snake: Smaller but faster green chips that need to be jumped on continuously, or else they will cause damage.
- Bison: Red chips appear in the middle of the screen that will have blue fire shooting above or below the players.
In Expert mode, the platforms spawn and move faster.
Once players pull enough damage, the slot machine is defeated with x-ed out eyes and the slots are shown with skulls on them.
|Croaks' introduction, followed by Ribby.|
|Ribby using his fist attack.|
|Ribby accidentally crashing into a something|
|Croaks using his arms to create a fan.|
|Ribby and Croaks fusing into a slot machine.|
|Normal Mode||Expert Mode|
- Everything in this level is a homage to the fighting game, Street Fighter.
- Their appearances are probably based on Ryu and Ken from the Street Fighter series, because of their attire: Ribby wears white pants, red boxing gloves and a belt, similar to Ryu wearing a white gi, red gloves and headband; while Croaks wears red pants, brown boxing gloves and a belt similar to Ken wearing a red gi and brown gloves.
- In their intro before the match starts, Ribby and Croaks will respectively perform Ryu and Ken's taunts from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Ribby's taunt may also be similar to that of Akuma from Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
- Ribby, when on the same side with Croaks, gives an attack that combines Ryu's Hadouken and E. Honda's Hundred Hand Slap.
- Croaks' animation when spitting firebugs looks rather similar to that of Dhalsim, a different Street Fighter character, when using the Yoga Flame.
- Ribby's animation when rolling at the player looks similar to Blanka, when doing his Rolling Attack move.
- Ribby, when throwing his ball-shaped projectile attack, does so with an animation that looks uncannily similar to another Street Fighter attack, in this case, Guile's Sonic Boom.
- Croaks, when spinning his upper body like a fan, looks somewhat similar to Zangief's Double Lariat.
- The symbols on the slot machine supposedly references three Street fighter characters:
- The Bull references Balrog with his attacks Charging Buffalo and Bursting Buffalo. It could also reference M. Bison in terms of name seeing as how the bull, the buffalo, and the bison are all bovine.
- The Tiger references Sagat with his attacks Tiger Shot, Tiger Uppercut, and Tiger Knee.
- The Snake references Vega with his snake tattoo.
- The background of a crowd of flies cheering is a reference to the background of Street Fighter which usually have a crowd in the background, also cheering when a character is defeated.
- Both Ribby and Croaks may have been inspired by the Battletoads. With Croaks having the brown color scheme of Pimple from the original 1991 Battletoads. With Ribby having either Rash or Zitz green color scheme. This may also be true since both Ribby and Croaks can turn themselves or parts of themselves into machinery, plus both are pugnacious amphibians.
- Their color schemes may also have been inspired by the Frog and Toad stories by Arnold Lobel, especially since Ribby is a frog and Croaks is a toad. The only difference is the heights are switched -- if they were truly inspired by Frog and Toad than Ribby, the Frog, would be the tall one and Croaks, the Toad, would be the short one.
- Their appearance are a direct reference to the character Flip the Frog from animator Ub Iwerks' 1929 Silly Symphony Springtime.
- The names "Ribby" and "Croaks" may be a play on the names of two iconic boxing characters, "Rocky" Balboa and Apollo "Creed".
- The second phase may be a subtle reference to the common "Pincher Attack" strategy, a common military maneuver in which two armies surround their foe on both sides.
- In the final phase, there is an unused asset that is an Oni or a Devil for the slot machine. When landed on, it would have spawned chips that move on the ground, shooting pink fire upward continuously for the player to parry over. The unused video is modded and combined all four types of chips into one attack, the slightly recolored version of tiger chips having pink hurtbox and green parry area showcased what a demon chip attack would look like, probably with pink fire like the blue ones from bison chips if it made it into the final game, and being the only type that show up when landed on.
- Ribby and Croaks, along with Captain Brineybeard and Cala Maria, are the only bosses to have a custom knockout animation on Simple mode.
- This boss battle is the only boss that has two individuals fighting at the same phase of the entire fight.
- If the player dies via Ribby rolling into Croaks' mouth, they will still get the final phase death screen.
- Ironically, even though the slot machine they turn into is one of the things that are commonly found in casinos, Ribby and Croaks are not henchmen for King Dice.
- This boss' music was used as placeholder music for The Root Pack as seen in footage for the 2016 demo.
- Ribby (Simple difficulty) and Baroness Von Bon Bon are the only bosses in the entire game to cry during their knockout.