When was the last time you saw the 1987 NES boxing-classic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! in the news? Depending on your age, maybe never.
So then imagine my incredulous and skeptical left eyebrow-raise when I came across some of these headlines today: “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! still has secrets to share, 29 years later!” “New Punch-Out!! Visual Cue Discovered 29 Years Later!” and “Man still playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! after being dumped 29 years ago!” A little artistic license on that last one.
For anyone who remembers the original Punch-Out!!, you’ll recall that it’s a game of timing rather than brute force. Waiting for specific graphical cues, Little Mac is able to K.O. his opponents with ease. If you’re particularly inattentive, you’re going to get hammered. And not with drinks. With fists.
But what someone has recently found is a new, previously undiscovered graphical cue to indicate the precise moment when a few of the game’s bosses can be knocked out, specifically Bald Bull and Piston Honda (gross). It’s a minute detail and I wonder how anyone ever noticed it at all.
In the background of the boxing arena is a huge audience of 8-bit faces. In the lower left of the crowd stands a single bearded man. Who is he? Why is he there? Is he a ghost in the machine? Nobody knows, but when he ducks it signals the exact moment when Little Mac can deliver a crushing blow to his foe.
It’s absolutely insane that this game can still relinquish its secrets even after all these years have passed. It’s from an age before the internet, or at least before the thing was at all efficient, so it took the advent of the information age to bring this little secret to light. Maybe somebody had discovered it before, but they just had no means to tell the world of boxing fans.
Watch the video below for the original explanation:
You can read more about this retro discovery here and here:
Long live the NES!
-The Well-Red Mage