Wally is a red-headed, blue-feathered bird of unknown species who wears a birdhouse that hides most of his body save for his legs, wings, and head. His legs are disguised as a pendulum before the battle with him begins. He has red and blue feathers and an orange beak and feet. Inside the house resides his son.
Judging by his aggressive appearance and his son's death screen line, Wally acts as the brawn of his family. He appears to be a protective father to his son, having a cuckoo house for him to be kept safe in while Wally deals with his own enemies. Wally is even determined enough to fight until the end, no matter what happens to him in the process, as evident by the fact that he continues the battle featherless and on a stretcher. He also seems to have a boastful side, as suggested by the death screens from phases 1 and 3.
Wally's son is the brains of his family, according to his death screen line. To defend his smart behavior, he is shown to carry around a ray gun that he most likely invented, despite his young age. He also seems to depend on his father when he is in a sticky situation, proven when he starts crying for his father to deal with Cuphead and Mugman at the end of his phase. As suggested by his giggling whilst brandishing his ray gun, he seems to be mischievous by nature.
At the beginning of the battle, Wally acts like a cuckoo clock, then his head bursts out of the clock's face and the cuckoo disappears. He then screeches loudly at Cuphead and Mugman.
"I own the air -- I fly where eagles dare!"
—Wally Warbles, Phase 1 Death Screen
At the beginning of the fight, Wally Warbles will use three different attacks:
- Scrambled Shots - Wally will start shooting eggs in a straight line that break apart upon contact with the edge of the screen, the egg fragments burst outwards in a spread shot of 3 bullets. In Simple mode, it only bursts into two fragments vertically. In Expert mode, the eggs will burst into five fragments, with both the Simple and Regular spread combined.
- Triple Headshot - This attack involves Wally turning his head into a hand with three fingers shooting three large bullets in a spread formation at the player(s) in an attempt to damage them.
- Ruffled Feathers - After taking enough damage, Wally will turn his head into a factory steam whistle and sound it in rage, and will then start flapping his wings furiously and firing constant radial bursts of eight feathers outwards. Eventually, he will tire himself out and temporarily leave himself open to attack. In Simple mode, he will be easily tired and the rate of each burst is slower. In Expert mode, the rate increases. During this process, what appear to be Grandfather Clock Gong noises can be heard in the background.
Throughout the first phase, he is accompanied by rows of four birds, each with a nail tied to them. The first three will be yellow, while the last one is always pink and able to be parried. They will fly at two specific heights, which are near the top or near the bottom. In Simple mode, there will just be three at each row. In Expert mode, they will fly faster across the screen at the same height as the player is. Hitpoints = 8/8/8
Wally shoots for you to get out of his way, entitling you to more damage. However, sticking to the side of the screen helps because there are more distance between bullets and (unless on simple) the egg shells don't hit you. Once Wally has taken enough damage, he will lose all of his feathers and fall out of his "house", after which the birdhouse explodes, revealing his son flying on a small birds nest.
Before Whistle Hitpoints = 1000/600/700 + After Whistle Hitpoints = 500/552/700
"My dad's the brawn and I'm all brains! Together, we bring the pain."
—Wally's son, Phase 2 Death Screen
In this next phase, Wally's son floats around the screen. He is accompanied by spiked eggs that block bullets and revolve around him. The eggs periodically expand and contract around the boss, damaging the player(s) if they touch them.
Apart from the egg shields, he can fire a single electric bullet at the player's direct location, which can always be parried.
Once he has taken enough damage, Wally's son will cry out for help and disappear, after which the original Wally appears for a final fight. If in Simple mode, his cry for help won't be enough, as the battle just ends.
Hitpoints = 500/552/532
"Even without my feathers, you're in for stormy weather!"
—Wally Warbles, Final Phase Death Screen
In this final phase, Wally is seen lying on a stretcher, wounded and naked from the last fight and being carried by two blue birds in paramedic uniforms. He has two primary attacks to damage the player(s):
- Trash Talk - His head will turn into a trash can which will spew out objects toward the player. Occasionally, pink boots will be fired, which can be parried.
- Heart Attack - He will occasionally stomp his chest with his legs to shoot his heart upwards, which then shoots three bullets in a spread formation before returning down. In Expert mode, the heart will shoot two bursts of bullets with the same spread. He cannot be damage during this attack.
The two blue birds periodically shoot pills up from their beak during Wally's attacks. After a short pause, the pill splits apart with one end targeting the player's location. Occasionally, the pill will be pink, signaling its ability to be parried.
The only vulnerable segment of the boss is Wally himself when he shoots his heart out, the heart will be the only part that can be damaged, not even his body counts. Bombs are nearly required for this stage, however, the player can damage Wally from the bottom of the stretcher.
Once Wally has taken enough damage, he is defeated and left dizzy. The two blue birds, without hesitation, prepare to make a meal out of him by wildly sprinkling him with salt and pepper, with their medic hats being replaced by chef hats.
Hitpoints = 696/868
|Wally spitting out an egg projectile.|
|Wally whistling in frustration.|
|Wally attacking with his feathers.|
|Wally trying to catch his breath.|
|Wally's son using his pistol.|
|Wally's son crying.|
|Wally trash talking.|
|Wally Warbles defeated.|
|Normal Mode||Expert Mode|
- Wally is one of the few bosses that are not seen at the ending, implying that he was eaten by the two cannibalistic medics, who shake salt and pepper on him after his defeat.
- He is also the second boss that is implied to be truly dead, with the first being Goopy Le Grande.
- Alternatively, his absence from the ending can be explained by the fact that he couldn't get there, as without his feathers, he can't fly.
- His old line was "I'd say that was more of a crash landing."
- The quote "I fly where Eagles Dare!" is a possible reference to the songs written by Iron Maiden or The Misfits.
- "Ride of the Valkyries", a composition by Richard Wagner, plays for a brief moment during the song for Aviary Action!.
- It's possible that Wally's cuckoo clock form is more than just a disguise as when he does his three-fingers attack or start firing his feathers, cuckoo clock sounds can be heard.
- A prototype of his track was used as a placeholder for Captain Brineybeard's battle in the 2015 demo.
- Early footage of Cuphead implies that Wally was supposed to be fought in Inkwell Isle One.
- Despite art assets and a pattern code that would have supported the use of an additional feather type, a pink parryable one, the blue feathers are hard-coded to be the only ones that appear.
- A turret bird minion is mentioned within the code for this fight but got cut for unknown reasons. Based on the code, it would have probably moved up and down the side of the screen, like Warble's early phases. At the start of the fight two will come out immediately and they will aim and shoot at wherever the players are. Hitpoints = 8
- The unused projectile was the original bullet Wally uses in phase 1 for his finger gun attack.
- In early development, the stage was titled "A Fowl Afoul".
- This most likely could have been scrapped because Wally Warbles does not resemble a Fowl, which is a species of Hen. Rather, he seems to resemble a type of Woodpecker.
Inspirations and resemblances
- Wally's name may be a reference to Walter Lantz, founder of Walter Lantz Productions and creator of Woody Woodpecker.
- Wally shares a striking resemblance to the giant roc named Rokh from Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor. He also looks similar to the buzzards from the 1931 Silly Symphony cartoon The Cat's Out.
- Wally's son resembles Woody Woodpecker's early design with the difference being that the eyes are yellow instead of green.
- The pills that Wally's medics spit out seem to resemble the Megavitamins from Dr. Mario.
- His last name is a play on words on "warbler."
- Wally might reference Cuckoo Condor from Wario Land 4, as both are birds hidden inside cuckoo clocks. (Wooden Clock for Wally and Mechanical Clock for Cuckoo Condor.)
- Wally might also be a reference to Stu from Donkey Kong Country Returns, as both are birds whose body's are hidden by an object with only the head, legs, and wings being visible. (Cuckoo clock for Wally and Cauldron for Stu.)
- The intro and end of Wally's first phase are also similar to Stu's intro and death animations.
- His eggs look similar to Yoshi eggs from the Super Mario franchise.
- His method of attacking via spitting eggs might be a reference to Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie series who is also a bird that can spit eggs as one of the methods of attack.
- The vehicle that his son uses has a similar appearance and model to Bowser Junior's clown car.
- Disturbingly enough, Wally's son's voice and crying resemble that of a male toddler.
- Wally's son could also be a reference to Stewie Griffin from the adult animated sitcom series Family Guy, as both characters are highly intelligent infants that carry a ray gun. Additionally, the gun Wally's son wields shares a similar design and color scheme as Stewie's gun in the latter's promotional art.
- Similarly, the screech Wally emits at the beginning of his battle is very similar, if not the same, as the "Chicken Scream" emitted by Ernie the Giant Chicken when he fights Peter Griffin in Family Guy.