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Rumor Honeybottoms is a boss in Cuphead. She appears in Honeycomb Herald, and resides in Inkwell Isle Three.

Description

Appearance

Rumor is a very large queen bee. She wears a black and yellow dress with black sleeves with yellow cuffs and white gloves, and despite her full body wasn't shown in-game (even in the good ending) she wears a pair of high heeled shoes. Being the queen, she wears a crown and wields a large honey wand. Despite her size, her wings are quite small but still able to hold herself at the top of the screen for the entirety of the second phase. She also appears to be wearing red lipstick.

The Policeman Bee is a much smaller bee of stocky build, with a shaggy mustache and a distinctive auburn nose, wearing a 1800s style British policeman uniform and helmet, with white gloves, black trousers, and blue sneakers.

Personality

Rumor is one of the more clever bosses, sending out a Policeman Bee to test the abilities of her enemies. She seemingly fights Cuphead and Mugman mainly to keep her own honey protected, rather than preserve her own soul as hinted in the death scene in Phases 1 and 2. She may also be an amateur in transformations, as she uses a guidebook to help her transform. She also seems to be partially mindful of her surroundings from above her, as evident by the pained groans from when the spellbook is tossed aside.

The Policeman bee's personality, on the other hand, is akin to that of a stereotypical civil servant, striving to protect and serve his race, as is his duty. Much like Rumor, he also believes that Cuphead and Mugman are here for the honey rather than Rumor's soul contract.

Battle

Intro

Rumor is seen with a knife, fork, and a bib, hungrily looking at Cuphead and Mugman while licking her lips, and then snapping her fingers to call the Policeman Bee, who is promptly heard blowing a whistle in the distance off screen before flying in, as if on cue, before warning the duo to step away from the honey.
Police bee

The Policeman Bee with one of his bee bombs.

Phase 1

"Doggone! We got ourselves a good ol' fashioned honey heist!"
Policeman Bee, Phase 1 Death Screen

In this phase, Rumor sends a Policeman Bee after the players. The Policeman Bee will drop bee bombs that explode after a 5-second delay and release 6 spikes, 3 of which can be parried. In Simple and Expert mode, the bomb release 8 spikes and 4 of which can be parried.

Meanwhile, worker bees fly across the screen that do not directly attack the players, but you may get damaged if you run into them. Hitpoints = 8/8/8

Throughout the whole fight, the honey at the bottom of the screen is continuously rising upwards, and players have to jump up hurriedly to avoid the honey by using the platforms. The honey appears in the first phase and the second phase only, as in the final phase, it is replaced with Rumor in her airplane mode.

After taking enough damage, Policeman Bee will suffer an injury to his shoulder and a plaster will appear in that region. He then departs, rubbing his shoulder and moaning "Owww..." in pain, flying off the screen to the left as Rumor intervenes to continue the battle. This commences phase 2. Hitpoints = 250/264/336

It is recommended to use Lobber in this fight, as you can hit him at almost all times.
Rumor wand

Rumor using her wand.

Phase 2

"Hey sugar, this honey is off limits. Now scram."
Rumor Honeybottoms, Phase 2 Death Screen

In this phase, Rumor will appear on either of the screen and use her honey wand to cast one of two spells:
  • A spiky purple equilateral triangle that shoots off three little pink equilateral triangles from the tip three times, which can damage you if touched but can be parried to avoid getting damage. Two can be summoned at the same time. In simple mode, it only shoots out triangles twice. These will eventually drift off the screen in random directions after some time.
  • A stripy pink ball that follows the players slowly, which the players can parry continuously. Like the tetrahedron, two balls can be summoned at the time, and it will also drift off the screen in a random direction after some time.

In Simple and Expert mode, she casts only one spell.

Occasionally, she shows up in the middle dropping her head down to the bottom screen, which is connected by a chain to her body and spits out bee missiles on both sides that cover the entire arena in an 'S' like pattern. In this phase, the worker bees will stop coming out. In Simple mode, they will still come out, which means they will come out throughout the whole SImple mode fight essentially.

After taking enough damage, she will flip her magic book to supposedly find a new spell after which she chants the spell with her eyes glowing and transforms into an airplane. She then flies downwards off-screen and reappears at the bottom screen, which commences the final phase of the battle. In Simple mode, she will be defeated before she can use the spell, as the fight ends without her transforming into an airplane. Hitpoints = 750/432/490
Rumor airplane

Rumor as an airplane.

Phase 3

"Dominate and bombinate -- that's how I bee!"
Rumor Honeybottoms, Final Phase Death Screen

In the final phase, players now fight Rumor in her airplane morph spell on the bottom screen. She will move back and forth and attack by firing off homing fist missiles that move in a swirling motion to damage the players. Occasionally she will lean to either side and turn her wings into a buzzsaw to slice up the players if they are above her, which is telegraphed by her leaning to the sides of the stages and the sound of the buzz saw revving up.

After taking enough hits, Rumor is defeated as she is malfunctioned in her plane form, swinging her wings and spinning her head with crossed eyes and stick out her tongue. Hitpoints = 504/574

It is also recommended to use Lobber or Chaser in this fight, as both hit constantly.

Sounds

Description Audio
Overworld
Sfx world3 bees
Rumor's introduction.
Sfx level bee queen intro vocal 01
Sfx bee queen intro finger click 01
The Policeman Bee enters.
Sfx level bee guard spawn 01
Rumor Honeybottoms snickering before dropping below.
Sfx level bee queen warning 01
Sfx level bee queen warning 02
Sfx level bee queen warning 03
Sfx level bee queen warning 04
Rumor tossing her spellbook aside and beginning her transformation.
Sfx bee queen spell toss 01
Sfx bee queen spell cast 01
Rumor flies downward as an airplane.
Sfx level bee queen spell fly down 01
Rumor using her buzzsaw to attack.
Sfx bee airplane saw start
Sfx bee airplane saw loop
Sfx bee airplane saw end
Rumor defeated.
Sfx bee airplane death

Walkthrough

Regular Mode Expert Mode
Cuphead - Rumor Honeybottoms in Honeycomb Harold

Cuphead - Rumor Honeybottoms in Honeycomb Harold

Cuphead - Honeycomb Herald -Expert-

Cuphead - Honeycomb Herald -Expert-

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Policeman Bee is one of the only bosses that does not have an official name.
  • The Policeman Bee is a reference of "bobbee", which is a pun on "bee" and "bobby" - a British policeman, the term being a derogatory reference to the founder of British Law enforcement, Sir Robert Peel.
  • The Policeman Bee acts like a British police officer as evident by the shouting of "Oi Oi Oi" and the outfit he wears, although oddly enough, he uses old-fashioned Andy Griffith-esque American slang in his death screen (See above).
  • Oddly, in early gameplay footage, the triangles in the second phase had a hitbox and would disappear if it took enough damage.
  • There are two unused laughs for Rumor Honeybottom in the game files. It is unknown what they were going to be used for.
  • The Policeman Bee seems to be inspired by a policeman ant from the 1940 cartoon Ants in the Plants.
  • Rumor's level is the only level to have vertical scrolling while some of the others are horizontal scrolling.
  • Sometimes, the circles from the second phase can be seen on the sides of the level during the third phase.
  • A glitch is found where the final phase can be defeated without taking damage. If dealt enough damage before last phase, Rumor can be defeated during the transition to last phase (Rumor using magic to turn herself into a plane). It can be seen here.
  • This glitch is due to Rumor not transitioning to her third phase if she is currently performing a second phase attack, instead first finishing the attack and then transitioning, allowing for the player to infict massive damage.
  • The theme that plays during the fight is one of the few boss themes that isn't used in Admission to Perdition or One Hell of a Time. The other ones are Murine Corps, The Kings Court, and Shootin' n' Lootin'.
  • The bee missiles in the second phase bear a striking resemblance to the Banzai Bills from the Super Mario franchise. Rumor herself when her head drops with a chain attached bears a slight resemblance to the Chain Chomp also from the aforementioned franchise.
  • Rumor's third phase is very reminiscent of the second phase of Acro boss fight from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
  • Some of the honeycombs in the background have hotel-like rooms similar to those in the 1936 cartoon The Cobweb Hotel.
  • Rumor's crown is similar to a crown worn by two queen ants, one in the 1940 cartoon Ants in the Plants, the other in the 1934 cartoon The Grasshopper and the Ants.
  • The triangle attack that Rumor sends out in her second phase resembles the triangle used by The Sunken in Oxenfree.
  • Rumor’s intro pose is similar to Q-Bee’s win pose from Darkstalkers, as shown when she’s carrying a knife and a salad fork like Q-Bee.
  • Rumor is a bee-themed character that turns into a plane and shoots out bullets. This is actually a pun in reference to the V-1 "buzz bomb". Another attack of hers is also using the same pun when she uses a buzz saw to attack. It could also be seen as a play on the B-52 ("Bee" versus "B").
  • An attack called "BlackHole" is identified alongside the sphere and tetrahedron attacks, this attack seems to be similar to the tetrahedron, using the cube sprites found within Rumor's assets, it would have shot projectiles, alternating between up/down and left/right, rather than the corners. As the name of the spell suggests, the attack would pull the player towards the cube. It may have been too chaotic when two cubes are cast to limit the player's action when the battlefield is always scrolling.
    • Seemingly this would have been the only shape spell that the player would have been able to damage the main entity (10000 HP) and the projectiles (1 HP), though the value that controls the ability to damage the shapes could have just been left on for debugging purposes as the tetrahedron and sphere have the same health values, but the damage controller for them is turned off).
      • In early versions of the game, the shape is shown to be able to receive damage when being shot and the shape itself has no hitbox so players can pass through them, unlike the final game.
  • The office-like structure of the battle stage is similar to the monotonous appearance of life as seen in the 1928 King Vidor film The Crowd.
    • The usage of male bee workers during this stage may be a play to the term "office drones".
    • Taken together, the bee workers and the level's design resembling a combination of an office building and a beehive could be seen as a play on the term "sticky business".

Unused Content

Cuphead Rumor Honeybottoms unused Black Hole (Cube) attack

Cuphead Rumor Honeybottoms unused Black Hole (Cube) attack

References

  1. I think this picture may help you out!
Bosses
Inkwell Isle One
The Root Pack (Moe TatoWeepyPsycarrot) • Goopy Le GrandeHilda BergCagney CarnationRibby and Croaks
Inkwell Isle Two
Baroness Von Bon BonBeppi The ClownDjimmi The GreatGrim MatchstickWally Warbles
Inkwell Isle Three
Rumor HoneybottomsCaptain BrineybeardSally StageplayWerner WermanDr. Kahl's RobotCala MariaPhantom Express (Blind SpecterT-BoneBlaze BrothersHead of the Train)
Inkwell Hell
King Dice (Tipsy TroopChips BettiganMr. WheezyPip and DotHopus PocusPhear LapPiroulettaMangosteenMr. Chimes) • The Devil
Scrapped/Unused
ToastBetty BeetRadishJelly The OctopusGiant SpiderPachi-PachiThe LightCardDemon Bat