Cuphead Wiki
Advertisement

The Howling Aces are one of the new bosses in the Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course DLC. They are fought during Doggone Dogfight. They are the keepers of the Pineapple Mint.

Description

Appearance

The Fighter Pilot Bulldog wears a sleeveless top, brown open finger gloves, trousers and a red beret, and his arms have two bone tattoos on his left arm that creates a cross. He has a bandage on his chin.

The Yankee Yippers are small and have cartoonish dog ears. They wear yellow piloting gear and jetpacks.

The Chinook Pilot Saluki, who serves as the leader of the team, wears a yellow pilot's suit with a red collar, a red chest pocket on the right, with a red armband and belt. She also wears brown open finger gloves and boots, and a red garrison cap. She has long ears resembling twintails and a long snout. A patch of forelock stick out from her hat.

The Dog Chinook is based on a dachshund as it has a long "body", with a few holes on its back that allows artillery to be fired, and has four wheels around each paw. It has a red bow on top of its front propeller; on its back, there is another propeller, a red ring and bone cross. It also has a extremely long tongue, hollow eyes, pink nose and teeth that can be sharp at any time with two big extendable paws.

Battle

Intro

Pilot Saluki and her tail salute as she stands on the tongue of the giant Dog Chinook, and then being carried away by the Chinook as its tongue retracts. The Chinook itself flies off to the right. In the background, Pilot Bulldog flies closer from behind in a fighter, flying over the player(s) Pilot Bulldog comes back down above the screen and the fight begins.

Phase 1

"You thought you were top dog, but you never had a sniff."
Fighter Pilot Bulldog, Death Screen

Death card mugshot dogfight ph1.png

Canteen Hughes flies the plane that the player stands on, and can move left and right by standing on the respective wings. Canteen will clap his hands every time the player clear a phase of the fight and is shocked when they take a hit. He also seems to have some beef with the aces. Only Pilot Bulldog himself can be hit, and not his plane, requiring precise control of Canteen's plane, well placed accuracy of your shots, or the usage of homing shots.

Pilot Bulldog has two attacks that he performs by first jumping off the fighter:

  • Pilot Bulldog dons a jetpack, and holds a cat in one arm like a rocket launcher. He squeezes the cat in his arm to make them fire three yarn balls that can be dashed over, or ducked under. In Simple Mode, the yarn balls are slower. In Expert Mode, they are faster.
  • Pilot Bulldog slowly descends with his hat acting as a parachute. He flexes three times, shooting the bone tattoo on his arm each time, and then flies back up through a sudden updraft. The bones fly towards the player, wait on the other side, and then back in reverse order. The tattoos have a chance to be pink. In Simple Mode, they almost immediate returns. In Expert Mode, the middle tattoo flies back first, and then bottom and top one in quick succession.

On the fighter itself, the Yankee Yippers inside the four hatches can come up and throw three tennis balls up, and they fall down on the player. In Simple Mode, they attack less often. In Expert Mode, they attack much quicker.

After a certain amount of health is depleted, the Dog Chinook flies in the background on the left, and starts firing fire hydrant missiles from random locations to support Pilot Bulldog. The fire hydrants are basic projectiles that follow the player, and can be destroyed. In Expert Mode, they are fired more often and reaches the threshold quicker.

After Pilot Bulldog is defeated, the fighter he is in sputters and shakes as Pilot Bulldog is frightened. The four Yankee Yippers inside the plane fly out with jetpacks, as the fighter explodes, and Pilot Bulldog rolls off into the background. Hitpoints = 660/532/608

Phase 2

"Afirm Roger Fox! Afirm Roger Fox!"
Yankee Yippers, Death Screen

Death card mugshot dogfight ph2.png

Canteen's plane slowly rises up, and the four Yankee Yippers appear around the plane in a plus shaped formation taunting the player(s), slowly revolving around it clockwise or counter-clockwise via their jetpacks. All of them have their own separate health bars.

The Yankee Yippers randomly bark out letters at the player that spin around and spell "BOW" or "WOW". The letters move towards the player's last position, and keep moving the same direction even when dodged. As each puppy is taken out, the remaining Yankee Yippers bark letters at the player faster. The letters have a chance to be pink and can be parried. In Expert Mode, they bark more often.

When a puppy is knocked out, their jetpack smokes up and explodes while the puppy waves their arms around with a close up panicked expression, and then flies away in the background. As soon as the last one is defeated, the Chinook comes closer. It is possible to tell how much health the Yankee Yippers have by looking at the shade of the exhaust that they emit, when they are gray they are on their last leg. Hitpoints = 59.5/68

In Simple Mode, this phase is skipped as the Yankee Yippers abandon the plane and not return and the Chinook comes the same way when going into Phase 3. Hitpoints = 238/272

Phase 3

"Looks like your skills have gone AWOL, fleabags."
Chinook Pilot Saluki, Death Screen

Death card mugshot dogfight ph3.png

After the Yankee Yippers retreat following their defeat in the second phase, Canteen's plane flies back down, as the Dog Chinook flies in the background, and then stops in the middle, behind the plane. It then brings its paws forward and to the sides of the screen, grabbing the camera's sides.

Laser rays randomly come out of the the Chinook's paw pads, aiming down towards the plane, shooting a diagonal laser. One sequence will have a pair of rays at the bottom, shooting a pink laser across the player's standing area, requiring a jump to avoid. This laser can be parried with an early jump and a parry on top of it, or more difficulty, with a well timed parry dash from Ms. Chalice. One to two lasers can be fired at once, this is done three times in a random sequence. The lasers can be shot, and count towards depleting the bosses' health. In Expert Mode, two to three lasers can be fired at once.

After the laser sequence, the Dog Chinook twists its body, and flips the entire screen counterclockwise onto its side as it does so. The Chinook opens its mouth to reveal the control room on its tongue where Pilot Saluki is at the controls, vulnerable to being hit as she attacks. The plane is now right between the jaws of the Chinook, just barely over the bottom jaw. Keen eyes may notice the square teeth of the Chinook become fangs when swapping to this sequence despite the lack of a separation between its sets of fangs. In Simple Mode, the Chinook does not twist the camera.

Pilot Saluki starts pressing buttons on the controls quickly while she has her eyes closed. Red and yellow dog bowls begin to fall out from the Chinook's eyes. Both bowls fly towards the player when they've reached a certain point of their fall, which is dictated by their colour and affects how to dodge them. Red bowls fly across at the player's standing ground, requiring a jump to avoid. Yellow Bowls fly across a bit higher, requiring the player to move under them, as jumping over them may not be possible. In Expert Mode, the attack spawn bowls more rapidly.

After Pilot Saluki stops pressing buttons to dust off her hands as she waits for the attack to conclude, the Chinook snaps its jaws back together, and flips the screen counterclockwise again, returning to the laser sequence, but the screen is now upside down. This repeats again with the transition to the bowl sequence being turned counterclockwise once again (with the plane on the left side of the screen and players falling to the camera's "left", and then back right-side up on the next laser sequence, repeating until the boss is defeated.

There are two controls for this part: R-Control A and B. A will continue to treat the player as if they are right side up relative to the plane they are standing on. B will treat direction input relative to the normal screen, for example, left and right will still move the character(s) to the direction you are pressing even when upside-down, while up and down moves them "vertically" on the plane platform when it is the bowl sequence.

This boss has two knockout animations depending on when you finish the boss:

  • A knockout in the laser sequence makes the Chinook frown and lose some teeth, now showing the separation of its top and bottom teeth. Its tongue hangs out, the propeller and the bow on its head breaks and squeaks as it turns, and its head puffs out steam. Pilot Saluki comes out from the top right paw pad and cries while wringing her hat. This will always happen in Simple Mode.
  • A knockout in the bowl sequence shocks Pilot Saluki and makes her whimper as she holds one of her hands back and the other on her chest, while the Chinook twitches side to side rapidly, while it is also missing teeth and puffing out steam from its head. In this knockout though, its head propeller doesn't break, and still spins as normal. This cannot happen in Simple Mode due to the Chinook's inability to turn the camera in that mode.

Hitpoints = 440/630/720

Secret Phase

Death card mugshot dogfight secret.png

During Phase 2, the Yankee Yippers' jetpack produces white exhaust gas, when they are nearly defeated and left with 21% of their health (12.5/14.3), it produces grey exhaust gas. By carefully damaging all four of them into that state without knocking any of them out, the secret phase will commence. Their remaining health will be added to the secret final phase.

An alternate final phase will start, the Chinook comes from either the left or the right side of the screen and eats them all, licks its teeth, and flies away. It comes through the foreground and wrap back around then brings its paws forward and to the sides of the screen like normal. However, instead of the laser cannons coming out of paw pads, the Yankee Yippers and Pilot Saluki come out instead.

The Yankee Yippers pull out a pineapple grenade, pull the pins, and throw them at the player(s). When they take enough damage, they will retreat for a while and immediately stop their action. When the grenades are shot, they explodes and rain down three shrapnel. Some pineapple grenades are pink and can be parried. In Expert Mode, they can throw the grenades more often and they fall faster.

Pilot Saluki will swing her tennis ball wand to commend the Chinook to fire homing fire hydrant missiles just like Phase 1 when it was providing support to Pilot Bulldog. In Expert Mode, she shuffles around more often which also makes the fire hydrant missile fired more often.

They all shuffle around the six paw pads and the Chinook does not attempt to twist the screen sideways or upside-down. Only the damage to Pilot Saluki count toward damaging the boss.

When they are knocked out, Pilot Saluki and the Chinook have the same knockout animation as when they are in the laser sequence. The Yankee Yippers will be dazed, one looses some teeth and gets a bump on their head saluting, and one is coughing with their eyes closed. Hitpoints = 680/777

Gallery

Walkthrough

Regular Mode Expert Mode
How_To_Beat_The_Howling_Aces_NO_DAMAGE_(A+_Rank)_-_Cuphead_DLC How_To_Beat_The_Howling_Aces_on_EXPERT_MODE_(S-Rank)_-_Cuphead_DLC
How_To_Beat_The_Howling_Aces_SECRET_PHASE_NO_DAMAGE_(A+_Rank)_-_Cuphead_DLC How_To_Beat_The_Howling_Aces_SECRET_PHASE_on_EXPERT_MODE_(S-Rank)_-_Cuphead_DLC

Trivia

  • They were first revealed in the Edge magazine.
  • Fighter Pilot Bulldog, Chinook Pilot Saluki, and the Dog Chinook are literal description of the bosses and not their official name.
  • The cat that Pilot Bulldog pulls out in the first phase greatly resembles Katzenwagen. It's unknown if it is Katzenwagen, or said cat was Katzenwagen's inspiration.
  • "Afirm Roger Fox! Afirm Roger Fox!", translating to "ARF! ARF!". It is the RAF radiotelephony spelling alphabet, used by British soldiers when using radios to talk to each other from 1942 to 1955. Due to the crackling of the radio, they would have to speak in separate words in order to be clear on what letters they are pronouncing and have others understand them. It is similar to a NATO phonetic alphabet and has been standardized to also use it since 1956.
  • The Pineapple Mint appears to just be the mint leaves. The pineapple appear to be a garnish and is an actual grenade, even including a pin. This is a visual pun referring to grenades being referred to as pineapples.
    • The Pineapple Grenades are used in the secret phase of the fight and the dog bowl holding the ingredient is used in the normal third phase.
  • They are one of the few bosses to have different defeat animations depending on how they were defeated in Regular Mode or harder.
  • They are another boss to skip a phase in the middle for Simple Mode, similar to The Root Pack.

Inspirations and Similarities

  • They are a literal example of a dogfight since they are dogs that are battled in the sky.
  • The usage of bulldogs may be inspired by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who lead Great Britain during World War II and came to have the nickname of the "British Bulldog" due to his appearance similar to the canine, thus becoming a symbol for the nation during this time of crisis.
  • Some designs were based on Street Fighter franchise, like Pilot Bulldog's attire was based on Rolento, while Saluki's forelock, fluffy ears and red garrison cap was inspired from Cammy. Their death screen poses are also inspired by them respectively, Pilot Bulldog holding both arms up and looking back; Pilot Saluki putting one hand on her hip while looking back and giving a thumbs up.
  • Pilot bulldog's design seems to be inspired from Spike from Tom and Jerry.
    • The cat that Pilot Bulldog pulls out may represent Tom.
      • Due to his usage to shoot projectiles, it may be a pun on the Tommy Gun.
  • Several elements of this fight may be based on the series of cartoons based on Disney canine Pluto:
    • The Chinook is in the form of a canine face similar to Pluto's.
    • Pilot bulldog may be influenced by Butch, Pluto's bulldog rival in several shorts.
    • The Yankee Yippers may be an anthro take on the puppies of Pluto and Fifi from the Disney short Pluto's Quin-Puplets.
    • Pilot Saluki may represent a combination of two of Pluto's most famous female companions in his shorts: Fifi (a Pekinese, shown with her fluffy ears and tail) and Dinah (a Dachshund, shown with her long muzzle and body).
  • The player character standing atop the wings of a biplane and being able to move the plane the same way as the player might be a nod to the Sky Chase Zone level of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
    • It may also reference Orange's boss fight in Gunstar Heroes, which takes place on a helicopter that moves back and forth.
  • The second phase of the fight with the puppies may be a reference to the second phrase of Kurono's boss fight in Kero Blaster, where four enemies fly around the center of the screen and shoot projectiles towards the player.
  • The Yankee Yippers' letters attack may be a reference to Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars. Its dog enemies also attack by spitting out letters that spell "BOW" or "WOW", and the two even share the same typeface.
Bosses
Inkwell Isle One
The Root Pack (Sal SpudderOllie BulbHorace RadicheChauncey Chantenay)
Goopy Le GrandeHilda BergCagney CarnationRibby and Croaks
Inkwell Isle Two
Baroness Von Bon Bon (Lord Gob PackerKernel Von Pop
Muffsky ChernikovSargent Gumbo GumbullSir Waffington III)
Beppi The ClownDjimmi The Great
(Cuppet) Grim MatchstickWally Warbles (Willy Warbles)
Inkwell Isle Three
Rumor Honeybottoms (Security Bee) Captain BrineybeardSally Stageplay (Sally's Husband)
Werner Werman
(Katzenwagen) Dr. Kahl's RobotCala Maria
Phantom Express
(Blind SpecterConductorLollipop GhoulsHead of the Train)
Inkwell Hell
King Dice (Tipsy TroopChips BettiganMr. WheezyPip and Dot
Hopus PocusPhear LapPiroulettaMangosteenMr. Chimes) The Devil
Inkwell Isle Four
Glumstone The GiantMoonshine Mob (Spider MobsterLight BugAnteaterAnnouncer Snail)
The Howling Aces
(Pilot BulldogYankee YippersPilot Saluki) Mortimer FreezeEsther Winchester
Chef SaltbakerAngel and Demon
The King's Leap
The PawnsThe KnightThe BishopThe RookThe Queen
Advertisement