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Game Theory: Cuphead’s SINFUL SECRET Business!

Game Theory: Cuphead’s SINFUL SECRET Business!


*Snazzy music* Mmm Mmm Mmm Nothin’ blows my wig quite like the keen sounds of a doghouse and gobble pie pitching woo to the beats of a skin tickler! Oh come on, don’t be a tin ear! This platter is a ring-a-ding-ding, baby! *start rap music in background* Man, they talked weird back then. *phone rings* Speak to me bro. Oh, yeah. I know! Tonight’s party is gonna be lit AF!!! I’m low-key excited to get turned up!!! We gonna get savage tonight! Hit me later with the DM fam. Stay woke!! *Game Theory intro* Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory! The thickest show in gaming. That’s thicc with four C’s, a K, and a silent Q U E. If you’re looking for a break from these Well you’re in the right place. In a year FULL of great games, Cuphead is easily one of the best or, at least best from a gameplay standpoint. On the theorize-ability side there seems to be a little less meat on the bone. I mean the story seems pretty darn straightforward Our heroes Cuphead and Mugman find themselves in hot water with the Devil after gambling their souls away. Since neither of them really want to lose their souls, they strike a deal with the Devil and are sent out to collect soul contracts from the other inhabitants on the island to give the Devil his due. It’s all pretty cut and dry. But before you go running off to your kitchen to explain the dangers of the real world to your cutlery, I’m about to let you in on a secret that will completely shatter the way that you perceive our heroic bowl headed boys. For as innocent and heroic as Cuphead, Mugman, and Elder Kettle may seem, they’re actually no better than the Devil himself. When you look at the evidence it is clear that these three are active criminals. Participating in an industry of sin. Not gambling like the Devil and King Dice, but instead illegal alcohol sales. That’s right! Cuphead, Mugman and Elder Kettle are all moonshiners. Smack dab in the middle of Prohibition. Okay so you’re probably wondering just how in Inkwell Hell did I figure that one out? So let’s take a big gulp of liquid from our heads and start looking at the game. First it’s immediately obvious that this game is set in the 1930s. I mean if the animation and music didn’t already tip you off, the game reminds us of its setting VERY frequently. We’ve already covered this era of animation in our analysis of Bendy And The Ink Machine to death, so, no need to belabor the point here But, on this subject Here’s a really fun fact: When called out on Twitter for the inconsistent coloring of Cuphead’s hands and shoes, Sometimes white, sometimes yellow, brown, even the color of their shorts, The makers of the game, Studio MDHR, responded that it was to mimic the inconsistent coloring practices used by cartoons at the time. It’s just another reason to absolutely love this game and its attention to detail. Anyway, the reason I bring up the setting of the game is because it has everything to do with the Devil’s evil scheme on Inkwell Isle, and how Cuphead fits into that. You see, between 1929 and 1939, the world as a whole suffered from the Great Depression. An economic crisis that began in the United States with a crashing stock market but had devastating effects on markets around the world. In the US, the unemployment rate would eventually rise to 24.75 percent. Which meant that out of a workforce of 51 million people, 12 million people were left jobless. It was so bad, that the US Dollar wouldn’t be worth a whole dollar again, until 1944. So you had prices rising, the dollar losing its value, and people losing faith in the government to help with this job crisis. With no hope in sight people started to look for hope in… other places Like a big win on the craps table or at the bottom of a stiff drink. Tobacco, alcohol, and gambling all saw huge up swings during this period And thus, America saw the rise of what became known as the sin industries. Businesses that got their name by exploiting human addiction to… less than savory practices Think it’s a coincidence that the casino in Cuphead is run by the Devil? Absolutely not. In fact, the Las Vegas we know today owes itself to the sin industry boom of the 1930s. The legalization of essentially all forms of gambling happened in 1931. Everything from slot machines, to cards, to craps. And where have we seen all of those before? Oh yeah, Across Inkwell Isle. Tobacco use, meanwhile, took on a completely different tone from how we perceive it today. Cigars were associated with tough guys While smoking cigarettes was meant to make you look sophisticated and refined. Now look how we see smoking portrayed throughout Inkwell Isle. On the gambling boat with Ribby and Croaks, we see classy lady flies in the background And if you can make it out behind the fight with Mr. Wheezy, a living cigar, You’ll see twisted images of mysterious men in trench coats all smoking together. And again, both those fights are tied to gambling in some way By proxy, the devil. This is the 1930s sin industries. But of the three sin industries during this era, the most interesting was alcohol. Because this was smack dab in the middle of Prohibition. For those of you who don’t know, the Prohibition was a ban on alcohol that happened between 1920 and 1933 in the US. It was a governmental effort to reduce crime, solve social issues, and make Americans healthier By ceasing the production and spread of this so-called Devil’s drink But it actually just ended up doing the exact opposite. Organized crime and gang violence surged during this period as underground booze trafficking became big business. It was just… a total failure across the board. Just because it was illegal, people were still finding ways to get a hold of their alcohol. And if you pay attention to all the little details in Cuphead, you’ll notice that the only places you see alcohol are in areas owned by the Devil. The aforementioned gambling boat, and the Devil’s casino where you actually throw fisticups Haha, fisticups. Couldn’t resist. Fisticuffs against whiskey, rum, and a martini. But remember, this is 1930. It is literally in the middle of Prohibition. All of this is illegal. It would make sense for the Devil to be breaking those anti alcohol laws But it would be something else entirely for poor, innocent Cuphead to be doing it. Sadly though, that’s exactly what he’s doing. Cuphead, Mugman and Elder Kettle. Heroes by day, and moonshiners by night. Moonshiner was the name given to someone who made homebrewed illegal alcohol during the Prohibition. And while many were unsuccessful, And I mean REALLY unsuccessful, we’re talking “65,000 people dying from poisoned liquor in one year” levels of unsuccessful. Eventually the science did become refined enough that alcoholic beverages were being produced that didn’t necessarily need to include: “May cause death” on the label. Since making the stuff was illegal, most moonshiners tended to work far into the woods, near a water source, and in places that only they would know how to get to. You can make moonshine using practically anything, But at its most basic, all you need is a pan, a kettle, and a rubber hose. Once you have your juice it would be placed into jugs marked by X’s to indicate how many times they were distilled, AKA how much punch your moonshine was packing, and then they were delivered in secret to various businesses. From there, it would be common for your drink to be served by tea kettle or coffee pot into a tea cup or coffee mug to avoid suspicion. Now where have I seen all those things before? Moonshine, made using a kettle served in tea cups. But that’s not all. Think about where Cuphead starts his journey: Elder Kettles’ home. The only place that’s away from town and completely surrounded by woods. Just like where the moonshiners lived during the Prohibition era. And right next to a water source. Coincidence? Maybe, but consider this: You ever wonder why Cuphead lives on an island? It seemed like a weird choice to me, that Inkwell is just a series of small interconnected land masses all sharing the same name Well, the size, shape, and general topography of Inkwell Island is actually fairly similar to the Bahamas, a series of closely connected islands just off the coast of Florida. Now, have you ever heard of rum row? It was an alcohol smuggling operation that ran between Florida and the Bahamas during the Prohibition. They were producing alcohol at the edges of the Bahamas and using boats to smuggle that booze into the mainland, US. Now those boats around Inkwell start to seem like they have a real purpose. And it doesn’t just end with a few geographic similarities. Let’s stop for a minute and examine the fluid in Cupheads’ head. Some have speculated that it could be a Non-newtonian fluid, the kind that acts like a liquid, but when force is applied to it, hardens like a solid. Others have said that it could be similar to the water of life that Japanese Kappas have in their heads, But given the circumstances, it’s incredibly unlikely that the fluid is something magical. it behaves just like any other liquid in the game. You see it splash when the characters are hit, or do anything that shifts from side to side. In the opening scene, they’re kicked out of the casino and we get the best view into Mugman’s head, and we see that the liquid is white. Seeing a white liquid makes you immediately think it’s milk, right? Or… eggnog, I guess, but that would be really weird. Well, it’s not necessarily either of those. Researching animation techniques you immediately learn that when drawing a clear liquid, white is the color of choice for just about any artist. Given this old-timey style of animation, one that doesn’t use transparency, If they didn’t color it in, it would just look incomplete. Or on the flip side, if they were to use blue it would be more reminiscent of water, so cartoonists of this era tended to use white. In other words, yeah, it could be milk, but it could also just be any form of clear booze, specifically moonshine. Now consider this: before a fight the timid Mugman takes a huge gulp from his head to get himself pumped for battle. You’re not taking a swig of milk, and then suddenly being infused with courage and doing flips. But there is the stereotype of taking a stiff drink of liquid courage, alcohol, before a fight to get yourself all charged up. But for super solid evidence we need to keep looking back to the past, but this time not as far back as the 1930s. Instead back to 2015’s trailer of Cuphead, where he pours white liquid from a jug marked with three X’s into his head. Three X’s, the mark of bootleg alcohol. A triple distilled jug of moonshine. Which, in 1930, is expressly outlawed. So there you have it. Our innocent heroes are actually no better than the Devil in his casino. They’re agents of one of the Prohibition eras most nefarious sin Industries: Distilling illegal booze with Elder Kettle in their secluded shack in the woods on the outskirts of Inkwell. Can’t make it anymore black and white than that. But the editors can! But hey, that’s just a theory. A Game Theory! Thanks for watching. *Jazzy outro*

Comments (100)

  1. Here’s a urban legend if you say a youtubers name five times you’ll get pinned

    Matpat
    Matpat
    Matpat
    Matpat
    Matpat

    will it work?

  2. Huh…I don’t really buy it, it just doesn’t flow with the whole cartoony style with two boys try not to get out of debt

  3. I think that the theory might me right because I have a cup head shirt and it has a jug with xxx on it

  4. Sorry Mat, but you might have missed that the creators of the game stated that the liquid in their head is their soul.
    Also, could you maybe do a new episode covering their super abilities, how the cards are supposed to give the cups power, mausoleums to save the magic pot angel and how could that be all tied together? You could do it after the sequel comes out with the new character (this is just a suggestion, I’m not trying to sound demanding)

  5. YES!! I KNEW IT THIS WHOLE TIME! IT'S ALCOHOL INSIDE THE CUPS, YES!!!

  6. The cringe of the intro is 100

  7. WTF was that intro 🤣🤣

  8. No cuphead is the the real devil (think about it he was the one to get in the mess and he poured moon shine in his head) for all you know mug man is still fine (also energy drinks were invented back then soooooo… Got you there mat pat!

  9. This video kind of offends me because cuphead is one my favorite games

  10. Mat you literally missed the biggest hint in the game!
    Elder kettle has a booze maker in his Dining room!
    And I thought you were smart
    (Jk) ur smart
    Just pointing it out
    And your not snapping your rubbing your TWO fingers on ur thumb

  11. That last one made me go home! 😂

  12. 2017-2018:
    The hypocrite of the 1930's language.

  13. i got cuphead and im SO BAD i cant get past the first island

  14. Guys during the great depression was prostitution also apart of the sin industries

  15. Am I the only one who watched the first 40 seconds and just thought "don't you ever do that again"

  16. If they lived in the Bahamas they would not be breaking the law

  17. The stuff in mugman and cuphead is actually the essence of their SOULS.

  18. Mat, never NEVER use lingo ever again

  19. Paying Attention to detail by not paying attention To detail, love it

  20. They have the things to make alcahole in the house

  21. thank god there was translations in the opening 🙂

  22. have a taste of my burger dance

    burger burger burger

  23. Did u know that Stan lee was in the Great Depression

  24. 4:14 "sin industries"
    Me: sindustries?

  25. When I herd that song 0:00 I thought I pressed lemmino’s video

  26. Well this theory is simply disproved because Studio MDHR said that it’s the essence of their soul. Still like the theory but it’s disproved

  27. *….HOW CAN I UNDERSTAND THE OLD TALK AND THE "COOL" TALK?!?!?!?! ×Texan screeching in the background×

  28. The intro creeps me out

  29. BUT MATPAT the nintendo switch add says that the liquid IS milk

  30. Why would you care about the what type of milk it is onus head lmao

  31. MUG MAN:Frike U mat

  32. The liquid in cuphead’s head is his soul

  33. The liquid in cuphead’s head is his soul

  34. but hey thats just a theory A GAME REALITY

  35. Us 2000s watching 1970s movies : They talk weird
    Still us 2000s talking to friends : Yoo watup mannnnnn

  36. Also when cuphead and mugman enter the house if you look to the left of Elder kettles house(inside) you can see the same thing that you said they use to make moonshine.

  37. I can relate to the first joke

  38. I new or thought that drinking out of you head was weird and I guess I was right I'm like when matpat did the whole what's in their heads thing I'm like whisper screaming MUGMAN!!!MUGMAN!! WHAT ATE YOU DOING MUGMAN!!!!!!

  39. Which is more complicated?

    Past Slang

    New Slang

  40. Ok but this isn’t the real world this is cuphead

  41. Game theory the show that made slurpy boi theories

  42. 1:08 – 1:11
    What is this? Dark Souls?

  43. OR ITS JUST ACUTTALY MILK CUZ THERE KINDA 12 YEAR OLDS AND THAT MOONSHINE THEY JUST SAWPED IT WITH THE MILK SO THEY CAN AT LEAST FOCUS

  44. Greatest add ever baby shark intensifies

  45. I’m pretty sure it’s just me but i remember the opening gag differently? Like the says the same thing just looked different

  46. OMG I JUST NOTICED THE PICTURE OF THE CHILD PLAYING WITH MONEY BRICKS MY HISTORY USE THE SAME ONE IN A PRESENTATION NO WONDER IT LOOKED FAMILIAR WHEN HE SHOWED IT

  47. 1:44 I was just looking at those lol

  48. Stay conscious!

    What's really sad is that I might have say that at once point.

  49. I would like to mention that the last point was while they were hyper at n the devils casino and only cup head did it mugman was waving him to stop

  50. I’m disappointed they didn’t call it a SIN-dustry

  51. Matpat:snaps fingers
    Spiderman : Mr.stark I dont feel so good

  52. Get youre mountin dew

  53. It ain't moonshine, it's their soul essence and if you don't believe me search it up.

  54. still trying to beat the devil

  55. Bruh I use fam all da time I’m English

  56. n e v e r
    u s e
    t h e
    w o r d
    l i t
    a g a i n

  57. That hidden Golden Freddy in intro at the monitor…

  58. You really should have called sin industry sindustry

  59. hhHhHH- why are you always right-

  60. The cartoon at 7:26 is called the booze hangs high from WB stoudios

  61. Al Capone/ mafia episode, nice

  62. How to learn history

  63. (big fan) i'm literally 0:47 seconds into the video and laughing to myself. can't laugh out loud cause A, not one to show that much emotion, and B, wife is trying to sleep, but that was actually hilarious. love the vids. and sorry for watching a year old video, but i got it on a playlist. lol

  64. Studio MDHR have confirmed that the liquid inside the cups is actually their soul essence. Further proof is indicated by the fact that when you lose your soul in the bad ending, no liquid can be seen. However, I could be mistaken by the fact that camera angles in the ending aren’t great, and it would be hard to see liquid if there was any.

  65. That intro game me several cases of PTSD and I am now in rehab

  66. God DAMN Matpat looks good in a fedora

  67. 🙂 = matpat theory

  68. I’m sorry, this is an ATTACK on Mugman.

    But yeah, Cuphead’s believeable

  69. Please stop being cringe for lolz. Thats not funny anymore.

  70. game theriost there is going to be another fnaf game but in a mall

  71. Well technically, we don’t know that they mean that it is alcohol. Because mdhr is a studio in Canada.

  72. To alcohol!
    The cause of and solution to all of life’s problems!

  73. Seriously Matt pat you added the flash I don’t care I love the flash but seriously

  74. that intro is literally every facebook post

  75. Sin Industries?
    More like Sindustries.

  76. Hmm prohibition……..kinda like what people are trying to do with firearms today. But just like the alcohol people will still find a way to get firearms…..lol

  77. What about hookers?

  78. 0:23 NEVER thought he could get SO CRINGY!

  79. 10:30 And you know what…… " Kappa "

  80. 3:22 Also the dust blow was happen in this time as will (1930-1936)

    Tyler Melton H&M

  81. 3:22 WW2 stared in 1939.

    Tyler Melton H&M

  82. 5:29 Prohidition. This how Moonshine got big. Also a sport came out of the moonshine.
    The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
    70+ years a go a of (2019)

    I know this not apart of Cuphead. But it is histroy

    Tyler Melton H&M

  83. 6:40 Just like NASCAR

    Tyler Melton H&M

  84. 8:14 like the FL keys?

    Tyler Melton H&M

  85. Can I subscribe more than once to you matpat?

  86. Git Gud

    -Elder Kettle

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