Cuphead DLC: How to Unlock the Paladin Achievement

Cuphead is challenging at the best of times, but in order to unlock the game’s most cryptic achievement, you need to essentially turn on very hard mode via a similarly cryptic sequence of events.

Photo: Studio MDHR

Cuphead’s DLC, the Delicious Last Course, is a hearty meal full of new bosses, challenges, and achievements. While most of these digital trophies are self-explanatory, one of those unlocks is already making gamers scratch their heads. 

Mind you, it’s easy to understand all the confusion. After all, the elusive Paladin achievement in Cuphead simply reads: “Obtain great power.” That’s not exactly the most helpful of descriptions. Sure, that “explanation” implies that unlocking the achievement is no easy task, but unlike other achievements, the description doesn’t provide any actual instructions. How does one go about obtaining “great power” in the Delicious Last Course? After some digging, we have uncovered the path gamers need to traverse to unlock this achievement.

Before you can start, you need to buy the Broken Relic from Porkrind’s Emporium. The item costs only one coin, so it won’t break the bank, but the relic is crucial for the Paladin achievement (at least when fixed). In order to mend the item, you need to equip it and ask an old “friend” for help. To find this character, you have to solve that tricky graveyard puzzle.

The graveyard markers are arranged in a 3×3 grid, and interacting with them in the right order unlocks the path to the requisite character. However, the tombstones you touch and in which order is randomized for each player, and the only way to figure things out is by talking to the contestants near Porkrind’s Emporium. Converse with each NPC in order of how they placed (i.e., talk to the 1st place contestant first, the 2nd place participant second, and the 3rd place winner third), and they will provide some semi-cryptic hints. Use their clues to solve the puzzle. For instance, if the 1st place character says “upright,” you have to interact with the gravestone in the upper-right corner first. Once the middle gravestone starts glowing, you’ve solved the puzzle. If you need a little more help with that puzzle, this guide should help point you in the right direction.

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With that out of the way, you can finally have a “chat” with the NPC who will fix the Broken Relic. Surprise surprise, it’s the base game’s final boss, the Devil, and he’s ready for round two. The ensuing fight is relatively easy, as this version of the Devil only has two attacks (fireballs and a pillar of flame) that only hurt you if you face them head-on. For some reason, the Devil has split into two spirits, a red demon and a white angel (don’t ask us how), and his angel side is completely harmless. Oh, and turning around makes the two spirits switch sides. Once you inevitably defeat the Devil, the Broken Relic turns into the Cursed Relic, and the game rewards you with another secret achievement, A Horrible Night to Have a Curse. Now the real fun can begin.

In order to earn the Paladin achievement, you need to beat every DLC boss with the Cursed Relic equipped. The charm’s description reads: “Jinxed curio that inflicts various status ailments.” In gameplay terms, this item wreaths the player character in a purple haze, sets their HP to 1, and equips a random weapon whenever they dash or start attacking. This might sound daunting, but the relic throws you one bone. Once you start shooting, you can keep the randomly-assigned weapon so long as you hold down the attack button. 

If you can defeat every DLC boss with this horrendous handicap, you will earn the coveted Paladin achievement and some seriously sweet bragging rights.