Cuphead: How To Beat Dr. Kahl’s Robot

Once Cuphead clears Inkwell Isle Three’s introductory boss, Rumor Honeybottoms, the gateway to Dr. Kahl’s Robot opens up. This mechanical menace presents an aerial battle unlike any before it. To overcome Dr. Kahl and his nefarious creation, Cuphead will have to dismantle it piece by piece. With so many different functions built into it, this is a boss sure to stress players out. Check out these tips, trips, and suggestions to sway the odds in your favor.


Before heading into the Junkyard Jive, it’s important to ensure that Cuphead has the right tools to take down this colossal threat. Because this is an aerial confrontation, there are few tools that Cuphead can change for this encounter. All players will need to do is check to see that they have the Smoke Bomb charm equipped. Invoking the shrink command in the plane form will give Cuphead a brief invincibility period once this card is in play. As Cuphead can purchase this from Porkrind’s Emporium early on in the game, it’s likely you already have this item. If not, feel free to stop by the nearest shop and purchase this upgrade.

Phase One

Unlike most bosses in Cuphead, Dr. Kahl’s Robot exhibits the most challenge in its early phases. Kahl’s creation has a menagerie of attacks at its disposal at the very beginning of the fight. These moves include:

  • Laser Beam
  • Parry Laser 7000
  • Boterangs
  • Head Cannon
  • Robotic Arms
  • Homing Bombs

Before explaining how each of these moves works, it’s important to note how the boss functions. Dr. Kahl’s robot has three points on his body that Cuphead has to destroy before he can access its concealed heart. These points are the antenna, the chest plate, and the cooling vents. Each of these points has its own attack that it uses initially. Each attack is shown above for reference, so take a look, so you’re sure what to look out for.

The antenna fires off the Laser Beam. After a brief targeting period, the antenna will unleash a blast of energy in Cuphead’s direction; when the beam starts to charge, move far away, as this ability has a substantial reach. The antenna cannot be harmed when this move is in effect, so focus on the other weak points of this boss in the meantime.

The chest piece will unleash a robot known as the Parry Laser 7000. Once released, the Parry Laser 7000 fires a beam from the top and bottom of As the name indicates, this automaton can be parried for easy EX Gauge build. Not only this but parrying the device will halt its attack, freeing up space for Cuphead to move about. Try and parry as soon as possible to cut out the possibility of taking damage early in the fight.

Kahl’s Robot’s cooling vents will release Boterangs. These devices will loop around the stage from top to bottom in a boomerang-like fashion. These machines can quickly clutter the map if left to their own devices. To combat an overcrowded arena, try to destroy these minions as quickly as possible by firing at them with your plane’s primary fire function.

Now that you know how each of the first fire functions works, it’s important to know the most efficient way to tackle this phase instead of focusing on a single piece of the robot until it breaks. Spread out the damage you deal between each piece as evenly as possible. Once each of these pieces in the robot break, they’ll exhibit a different attack that is more difficult to deal with. Because Cuphead needs to destroy each part even to access the heart, it makes the most sense to destroy each piece in rapid succession.

Phase One-Part Two

When each of the bot’s pieces is destroyed, Dr. Kahl will activate a new ability.

Destroying the antenna will activate the Head Cannon, a move that fires off several golden bolts that spread out around the field (shown above.) Navigate carefully through the sea of metal by shrinking when necessary and staying back. The farther back Cuphead is, the more time for the bolts to separate and give an opening.

Decimating the chest plate triggers the Robotic Arms. The robot will send its arms off-screen to enact one of two commands. The first command causes its arms to join together and attack from behind Cuphead with a forward thrust. Once the arms retract, they’ll fire off lasers from the palms that stretch across the screen diagonally. Fly carefully above or below these appendages while watching for energy beams to avoid taking damage.

The cooling vents’ new attack will launch Homing Bombs (shown above) that target Cuphead no matter where he is on the map. To deal with this attack, either evade the explosives or shoot them to trigger an early detonation.

The goal of this phase is to destroy the heart as quickly as possible. Doing so will dismantle the bot further, giving Cuphead some breathing room. If you’ve got enough EX Energy, use your super to bomb the heart. When the heart shows deterioration, you’re almost done with Phase One. Keep the pressure on until it bursts, causing Dr. Kahl’s Robot to ditch its body and take to the sky.

Phase Two

With Phase One finally behind him, Cuphead will engage the disembodied head of Dr. Kahl’s robot in the air. During Phase Two, the robot will continuously fly around the map. When it’s at the top of the screen, it’ll fly to the left, and it flies to the right when on the bottom of the map.

While the bot flies around, Homing Bombs will spawn from off-screen, targeting Cuphead. Make sure to keep your eyes on the Homing Bombs, taking them out as soon as possible. Letting them clutter the arena can cause several unfavorable situations. If two bombs come into contact with each other, they’ll instantly detonate. Even if they don’t touch, they’ll eventually explode if ignored.

With that in mind, there are two ways to handle the robot flying around the map. When the robot is flying at the top of the screen, use Cuphead’s primary plane fire to get a few quick hits in. Be careful not to let this contraption get too close to Cuphead, as it will damage him if it makes contact. Be cautious, bowing out after a few bullets connect.

When the robot is flying at the bottom of the screen, away from Cuphead, switch to his secondary plane fire, his bombs. Head to the middle of the screen and begin dropping these weapons down. Landing one or two hits may seem inconsequential, but these do far more damage than an individual bullet and will decimate the bot’s health. Continue to use these tactics until Dr. Kahl’s Robot stops flying around, meeting Cuphead face to face, revealing Dr. Kahl in the process (shown below.)

Final Phase

With Cuphead at the Final Phase, players may think they’re close to the end of this fight. This is, unfortunately, untrue. The last phase of this boss starts when Dr. Kahl’s Robot hits roughly half of its health. Don’t relax just because you’ve made it so far; you’ve still got a while before you can celebrate, especially with what Dr. Kahl has in store for Cuphead. Dr. Kahl’s Robot may only have one move in its Final Phase, but it will have you using all the skills you’ve accumulated to come out on top.

Dr. Kahl will have his robot pull a Red or Blue Gem from its mouth, unleashing a relentless barrage of Diamond Shards that cover the screen. On top of this overwhelming attack, there will be Electrified Barriers littered throughout the stage at random meant to impede Cuphead and shave down his maneuverability.

Because of how bountiful the projectiles from this attack can be, it can be all you can muster to stay alive. Play the long game here. There’s no rush to beat Dr. Kahl. If you need to back off and catch your breath, feel free to shrink and evade for a moment. This attack is long, but it will eventually stop. When it does, revert to your plane form and let the bullets fly.

Keep peppering the boss, staying back to give the projectiles time to spread out. Some of these shards can even be parried. If you’re feeling bold enough, slap one to build up your EX Gauge. You should have just enough energy to unleash one last super. Keep shooting until you feel cornered, then activate the ability to save you from an otherwise fatal hit, damaging the boss in the process.

Eventually, Dr. Kahl and his robot will fall, relinquishing their soul contract to Cuphead soon thereafter.

Next: Cuphead: How To Beat Wally Warbles

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Tai Hofmann is a gaming guide writer for TheGamer and list writer for GameRant. You can find him on Twitter @MI2_PICKLES

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