Cagney Carnation is a boss and anti-hero in the 2017 shoot 'em up Cuphead. He is a giant carnation flower who can be found on Inkwell Isle 1 within the level "Frolic Fury".
Despite being malevolent in appearance, he is not evil. He is only antagonistic because he is defending his soul from falling into the hands of the Devil.
As his name suggests, Cagney Carnation is an anthropomorphic carnation flower with a yellow head and orange petals. He has a notably long nose, similar to Hilda Berg, and a large evil grin. His body is made up of a green, thorny stem with four-fingered hands and four leaves at the root.
In his passive form, Cagney takes on a less intimidating appearance, resembling a friendly flower with smaller eyes and a more inviting face.
In his final phase, Cagney takes advantage of his roots by using them to cover a large portion of the arena. His face becomes more ferocious and his petals now resemble a lion's mane, which is fittingly accompanied by lion-like roars.
Cagney likes to catch his opponents such as Cuphead and Mugman off-guard by using his passive form to lower their guard, as evidenced by his intro. His facial expression also demonstrates that he takes a lot of (negative) pride in battle and fights aggressively.
In his final form, Cagney becomes more beastly, becoming more aggressive and ferocious by his lion-like appearance and vocalizations.
At the beginning of the battle, Cagney Carnation will take on a friendly appearance, before suddenly roaring and revealing his true form. He will begin to perform his signature hand dance, which he will use while idle during the first phase of the battle.
During the first phase, Cagney will use one of three attacks, each of which has different variations to their execution:
- Lunge: Cagney will cover his face with his petals to resemble a fist, before popping his head out and stretching it to cover either the top-half or bottom-half of the stage.
- Gating Gun: Cagney's head will transform into the barrel of a gun and fire an unspecified number of seeds into the air, which will float down and release one of three different Venus flytrap-like enemies known as "Toothy Terrors" depending on the color of seed that is released. Blue seeds will release green Toothy Terrors which will fly slowly at the brothers as a homing missile. Purple seeds release black Toothy Terrors that act as ground hazards. Pink seeds are the only seeds that can be destroyed before reaching the ground via a parry; they release flying orange Toothy Terrors that will release pink projectiles that can also be parried. All the Toothy Terrors can be destroyed by simply shooting them.
- Magic Hands: Cagney will signal this attack by shouting "OOH!" before clustering his hands together. Once he opens them, he will release one of two projectiles in a sequence of three consecutive attacks. Either three acorns that will target the brothers and fly in the targeted direction, or a sycamore seed boomerang that will travel across one half of the screen before returning from the other half.
Once he sustains enough damage, Cagney will begin to pull his petals in frustration before releasing his roots to cover the lower half of the stage, thus making it permanently hazardous. He will also become notably larger, and his petals will transform to resemble a lion's mane.
During this phase, Cagney will release dandelion projectiles, that will float across the screen, occasionally being a parable. Meanwhile, vines will uproot and cover up to two of the three platforms, making them impossible to stand on for a considerable amount of time.
Except for the orange, flying variants, any Toothy Terrors left over from the first phase will be destroyed during the second phase. The flying Toothy Terrors will continue to harass the brothers by firing pink projectiles if left untouched.
Once Cagney is defeated, he will begin to yell in agony skywards. Afterward, he will sign his respective soul contract.