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How to Beat The Howling Aces Boss Fight in Cuphead

Here’s our complete guide on how to beat The Howling Aces boss fight in Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course DLC.

Cuphead is back with brand new content in its latest DLC, Cuphead The Delicious Last Course. There’s a bunch of new content ranging from interesting puzzles to uniquely designed bosses. But these bosses can be challenging and tricky to beat. That is why in this guide, we’ll help you defeat the Howling Aces known as the Doggone Dogfight!

The Howling Aces is the boss represented by an airplane on Inkwell Isle IV. You’ll have to get through 3 phases to complete the fight, with each phase having its own moveset and challenges to conquer. There is also a secret phase that you can access by performing specific actions in Phase 2, which we will discuss later. 

Although you can choose any weapon that you’re comfortable with, we’d recommend choosing the Spread Shot due to how many enemies you’ll have to deal with. It’s also useful in the second phase. With that said, let’s dive in and discuss how you can defeat The Howling Aces/Doggone Dogfight in the Cuphead DLC!

The Howling Aces Phase 1 

How to Beat The Howling Aces Boss Fight in Cuphead

As the fight begins, you’ll notice that your standing platform will be just an airplane that is being manned by the instructor that taught you how to fly. That’s the only moveable space that you’ll get throughout the fight, so you need to be careful while jumping around. 

The first phase will consist of a muscular bulldog flying an airplane right above you. The airplane will remain on the top third of the screen throughout the phase, so aiming at it will be quite easy. 

There are mainly 3 attacks that you need to worry about during the first phase. The first attack entails smaller dogs popping out of the cockpits of the plane and throwing 3 tennis balls at you. These are projectiles that you cannot shoot down and must avoid.

The second attack has the bulldog parachute down using his hat. As he lands on either the left or right bottom corner of the screen, he’ll shoot out three cross-shaped bones like a boomerang at you. It will bounce back, so be cautious as you jump to dodge it. If the bone is pink, you can parry it. 

The third attack of phase 1 is where the bulldog will again jump out of the airplane, but instead of parachuting down, it’ll fly in the left or right side with a jetpack while holding a cat. The cat will spit out up to 3 balls of yarn. Just like with the pink bones, you can parry any pink ball of yarn. These balls come in a straight line usually, so you can jump around them. 

As you’re nearing the end of the fight, the boss will also shoot Fire Hydrant Homing missiles at you. You can shoot them down before they hit you. Keep aiming for the bulldog and the airplane above you, and you’ll eventually clear the phase.

The Howling Aces Phase 2

How to Beat The Howling Aces Boss Fight in Cuphead

The second phase of the Howling Aces fight is relatively easier and shorter than the first one. There will be 4 smaller dogs that will circle and rotate anticlockwise around you using jetpacks. They will shoot alphabet-shaped arrows at you that you can destroy with your gun as well. 

As you shoot the dogs, gray smoke will start coming out, and eventually, they’ll fall one by one. The best tactic for the second phase is to simply shoot without aiming. As these enemies are circling around you, they’ll eventually walk into your shots. 

The second phase is also where you can activate a secret phase. If you manage to get all 4 of the jetpacks smoking gray without eliminating them, you’ll be able to initiate the secret third phase. 

The Howling Aces Phase 3

How to Beat The Howling Aces Boss Fight in Cuphead

The third fight is the trickiest of all due to how awkward the controls can get. It starts off with the Dog Chinook grabbing onto your airplane and surrounding the screen with its dog-like paws. There are mainly 3 different aspects of this phase that you need to familiarise yourself with.

The first attack that you should expect is the laser beam that will shoot out from mechanical arms reaching out from the paws. There will usually be two lasers, one from the left and one from the right, being shot twice in a row. You can predict the path of the laser by the dotted lines that’ll appear moments before the lasers are fired. Additionally, the pink lasers can be parried.

The second aspect of this fight is that, eventually, the entire screen will shift 90 degrees. When that happens, the Pilot Saluki will appear and throw red and yellow dog bowls at you which aren’t that hard to dodge if you time your movements correctly. It is worth noting that the red bowls will require you to jump over them and the yellow bowls can be dodged by crouching.

Continue to dodge those and shoot the Saluki. Eventually, the screen will shift 90 degrees again, and you’ll be completely upside down. The shifting will continue throughout the fight until you defeat the boss and will always be 90 degrees, taking you back to the initial stage and then continuing to rotate further. 

Whenever you’re upside down or the right way around, you should expect the lasers. And when the screen is shifted horizontally, you’ll have to deal with the Pilot Saluki. Simply keep shooting the paws or the Pilot Saluki and eventually, you’ll clear the final phase.

The Howling Aces Secret Phase

How to Beat The Howling Aces Boss Fight in Cuphead

If you manage to unlock the secret phase of the fight, you’ll skip the stage where the screen rotates around. Instead, you’ll be facing the right way up but will have to deal with the jetpack dogs and the Pilot Saluki.

They’ll be stationed inside the dog paws and will throw out projectiles like pineapples, and the Saluki Pilot will shoot a Fire Hydrant missile at you, similar to the one from phase 1. You can shoot both of the projectiles to avoid getting hit by them. But this time around, your main focus will be on shooting the paw pads and the Pilot Saluki that pops out of them. This phase is relatively longer, but without the chaotic screen rotations, it’s less complicated!


With that, you know everything about The Howling Aces boss fight! The third phase can be the trickiest, but if you get the secret phase, you’ll have an easier time.

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Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course is available to purchase on Steam.