Cuphead is a challenging platformer that looks like a 1930’s cartoon. Think Steamboat Willie, but with more color and a bunch of bloodthirsty enemies out to get you. You can make it look even more authentic if you manage to unlock the black & white mode. This secret mode was recently discovered by players, and it also allows you to use vintage audio instead of the regular kind. You’ll have to work hard if you want the Cuphead Black & White mode, though.
This visual filter is tied to P ranks, which are rewards for pacifist players. Every time you beat a level without shooting anyone, you’ll receive one P grade. If you manage to do this in all six of the game’s Run ‘n’ Gun levels (Forest Follies, Treetop Trouble, Fanfare Fever, Funhouse Frazzle, Perilous Piers, Rugged Ridge), you’ll get the option to turn on the black & white filter.
It may sound easy enough for an uninformed observer – after all, it’s just six levels. How hard can it be? As it turns out, very hard. If you want the pacifist grade, you’ll have to refrain from killing. You can still use your parry to kill the pink enemies that carry super charges, but other than that, you’ll just have to avoid everything that comes your way.
It all feels like an extra challenge for people who didn’t have too much trouble with the game itself. If you’ve managed to complete it without dying several thousand times, this might just be the thing for you. It’ll change how you see the game, and reward you with a cool new filter. If not, well… you can probably switch your monitor’s color scheme to black and white and avoid the hassle. You won’t get the vintage audio option, but you won’t have to work for the other one, either.