Cuphead garnered most of its early attention not through word of mouth about its difficulty, but because of its 1930s cartoon aesthetic. Now that we've seen it all (for now) players are taking it upon themselves to imagine other games sharing a similar style.
Over on Reddit, most fans in the Cuphead subreddit are busy posting their near-miss encounters with the game's increasingly difficult bosses with the occasional jab at what makes the game so hard. Others are doing what comes naturally to 'fandoms' - making sweet artwork.
But while some of the best work to show up around the web is based on pre-existing Cuphead characters, it's the fan crossovers that stand out the most. They allow us to imagine how iconic games would translate to the Cuphead style both in terms of artwork and gameplay. Of course Bendy from Bendy and the Ink Machine plays a part in this due to being inspired by the emerging animation scene of the early 90s, but it's a Touhou crossover that feels more original right now.
The cleverly designed artwork - originally from Pixiv user 'ssack ssack' - depicts long-standing Touhou character Marisa Kirisame going up against Remilia and Flandre Scarlet, a team of vampire sisters who all first appeared in the sixth official Touhou game Embodiment of Scarlet Devil back in 2002. The Touhou project isn't far from the idea of Cuphead either, with both titles focusing on 'Bullet Hell'-style boss battles one way or another.
The artwork makes a case for those hoping to play around with Cuphead mod support in the future, but splicing in entirely different characters to fit with the game's twitch reflex mechanics and dependence on frame-perfect animation certainly wouldn't lend itself to a welcoming mod platform if it were to happen. Still, it's nice to imagine Touhou in a slightly different light.