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Cuphead boss guide: Cala Maria in ‘High Seas Hi-jinx’

A good name for a fun boss.

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Are you sick of airplane fights? Well, you have one more before the game ends. Cala Maria is a gigantic mermaid located in Inkwell Isle III. You can find her by going past Captain Brineybeard and following the dock. When you reach the shipwreck you’ll find Cala Maria.

Phase 1: Cala Maria

StudioMDHR Entertainment

Start the fight by shooting at Cala Maria. While she isn’t particularly tough in this first phase she does have a ton of different attacks:

  • Yellow fish: When Cala Maria dives down, she can grab a yellow fish. This little fella shoots out a horrible little electrified dolphin that will fly around and try and kill you. Dodge it.
  • Red fish: When Cala Maria dives down, she can grab a red fish that shoots in a spread like a shotgun. Use your small plane and fly between the projectiles.
  • Ghost pirates: Cala Maria will occasionally open her mouth wide, spitting out ghost pirates that will launch themselves toward you. Transform into the small plane to quickly slide out of the way.
  • Turtle: Cala Maria will summon sea creatures to help her. One of those is the turtle, which shoot bombs at you from the ocean. Either dodge his attacks or shoot at him until he sinks.
  • Sea horse: Cala Maria will summon the sea horse, who will spit water at you and push you into the sky. You can dodge the water or just shoot the sea horse. Either way, this guy is more annoying than lethal.
  • Puffer fish: Occasionally, Cala Maria’s summon will bring in an army of puffer fish from the sea. Weave your way between them to stay safe.

After you’ve defeated Cala Maria, some electric eels will come out of the water and bite her, transforming her into a terrible medusa.

Phase 2: Medusa

StudioMDHR Entertainment

Her hair will now be snakes and her everything will be green. In this phase, Cala Maria only has one real attack: She’ll turn you to stone. Wiggle your movement back and forth very quickly to get out of this.

The only other thing you must avoid are the bullets that the eels around her fire. This becomes a problem if you are in stone when the bullets reach you, so wiggle fast and pray. If you want to make this easier, shoot at the eels rather than Cala Maria.

Eventually, her head will separate from her body, and the final phase will begin.

Phase 3: The cave

StudioMDHR Entertainment

Cala Maria’s head will retreat into a cave. Follow her.

The cave is the biggest obstacle here, as it has walls and spike traps for you to hit. Maneuver your way around those while avoiding Cara’s skull spitballs (which float slowly toward you) and her eye beam (which once again turns you to stone).

Keep firing on her head, and she’ll go down.

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