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Cuphead boss guide: The Root Pack in ‘Botanic Panic’

Not your average psychic carrot.

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.

If you go south from Porkrind’s Emporium at the very start of Cuphead, you’ll see a vegetable garden. Walk up to it and accept the fight. Time to take on the Root Pack, a group of satanic vegetables.

Phase 1: Potato

StudioMDHR Entertainment

This spud is extremely easy to deal with. He’ll sit on the right side of your screen and shoot clumps of dirt at you. The speed of his projectiles varies per volley, not per individual shot, so get in the rhythm of dodging them, using the first two as an example. His fourth projectile will always be a worm instead of dirt. Use Cuphead’s parry move on it to gain some cards.

If you are shooting the Potato constantly (and you should, since you never have to turn in this phase), he should go down after about three volleys.

Phase 2: Onion

StudioMDHR Entertainment

The Onion is somehow even easier than the first phase. Once the Potato is fried (so sorry), a giant Onion baby will erupt from the center of the arena. Stay on the left side and keep shooting. The Onion will soon start crying. The tears will rain down in droplets on either side of him, so sidestep them and keep shooting at the boss. Every few tears, a pink one will appear. Jump into and parry these to gain more cards.

By now you should have five cards. Make sure you spend them on power shots so new cards don’t go to waste, but save as many as you can for the final phase of the Root Pack. After only a few seconds on the field, the Onion will go down.

Phase 3: Carrot

StudioMDHR Entertainment

Carrot is where this fight really starts, meaning that it can get hectic. A psychic Carrot will spawn in the background of the arena. To damage him, start shooting toward his eyes.

Dump all of your cards on him the moment this phase starts to deal a lot of damage at once.

Unlike the other phases, Carrot has two different attacks.

  • First, Carrot will send baby carrot missiles your way. Shoot them out of the sky before they home-in on your location.
  • Carrot’s second ability, which is much harder to dodge, is his psi-beam. After dodging carrots, Carrot’s third eye will open, and out of it will pour death.

This psi-beam will track your location, so keep moving back and forth. When the eye blinks, it has set a location and is about to fire. Move away from where you were just standing and then stop. If done correctly, the beam will shoot where you were, not where you are.

Carrot will cycle between these two attacks a couple of times until you inevitably knock him out. Congratulations, you just beat the first fight in Cuphead.

StudioMDHR Entertainment

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