Cuphead – How to Defeat Grim Matchstick in Fiery Frolic

This guide will help with defeating what is possibly the most frustrating boss in Inkwell Isle II: Grim Matchstick.

Guns and Charms to Bring


  • Charge
  • Peashooter (or Default)

Under no circumstance is it necessary to use the Roundabout gun. It’s hard to hit Grim in Phase 1 and 2 with it, and you shouldn’t use Roundabout in Phase 3.


  • Heart (Twin heart is NOT recommended; the damage loss is too crucial)

Super Art:

  • Does it really matter?


We will be dividing our strategy into three parts. Let’s start with Phase 1.

Phase 1

Not much to note here. Just remember that Grim always, ALWAYS starts with a Hypnotic Gaze attack, so you can either parry the first one and avoid the second, parry both (not recommended, but go for it, I guess) or just not parry either.

Use the Charge gun, but if you’re not confident in it, use the peashooter. Make sure to keep an eye out for Grim’s tail; you can tell if, and when, it is coming by the telltale sound of waggling and the tail tip somewhere on the screen. Move away from the tail, or it will stab you. And it will hurt. A lot. Not much to say about the fireballs.

Phase 2

This part isn’t hard; it’s just frankly annoying. The important thing to note here is that a fire creature with a maniacal grin is likely to jump at you, so be ready. Make sure to not get too distracted by the fire creatures, as the clouds still move, and you could move into Grim’s fire, and take damage.

Once again, you should use the Charge, but if you’re not confident in it, use the Peashooter. It’s just that the Peashooter is not recommended. While attacking, you must move into the horizontal middle third, face towards Grim (to the left, not the right), attack, and move out once a fire creature is going to hit you. Other than that, Phase 2 is really just mostly dodging.

Phase 3

The very reason why Fiery Frolic is so hard. The very reason why Grim in Fiery Frolic single-handedly managed to raise my death counter from 220 to 430. Hydra Grim has 2 attacks in this phase: the 3 heads take turns in spitting out fire bubbles, the other is that the middle head will turn into a flamethrower (don’t stereotypical European dragons have fire breath? I mean, I’m questioning that in the same world where a cup and a mug with bodies can snap their fingers and magically make bullets, so whatever, I guess) and engulf the entire horizontal middle third with flames.

The idea is that you need a gun that won’t accidentally pop the fire bubbles, so the flame curls won’t pop out. That may seem like something that anyone with at least a little bit of common sense to find out, but it’s actually a lot harder to find out in-game. This is the very reason why the Charge gun is so important in this Phase. You can’t use the Peashooter; it might accidentally pop the bubble, and you can’t Use the roundabout as it will definitely pop a bubble. Other than that, just remember to stay out of the middle third when Hydra Grim is using the Flamethrower attack, and use the same method of attack as in Phase 2.

And that’s about it! It does take a while to get used to, but it will hopefully improve your performance against this little infuriating dragon, his flame creatures, and his 2 amigos. I hope this helped!


And that's all for this Cuphead guide. Do you have any suggestions or tips to improve this guide for Cuphead? If yes, then make sure to leave a comment down below. This guide has been made possible by LowestDesert89. You can check him out by simply clicking his name.

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