“Punch-Out!! in the news!!”


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.


Screw political correctness! Bring on the racial stereotypes, 1987!

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 


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5 thoughts on ““Punch-Out!! in the news!!”

  1. Punch-Out!! is one of my favorite games and definitely underrated in gaming today. It still holds up for me as an arcade puzzle twitch-based fighter. As far as the new discovery is concerned, I wonder if there are more little things like that in the audience that the developers may know about. I also would be curious to know whether the head ducks because of some graphical limitation or if it were even purposefully put there to help the developers know how to pull off the one hit punches. Interesting stuff and always glad to see Punch-Out!! in the news!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, this is a really unusual cue and now that you say it, seems like it could’ve been strictly for the developers. I wonder how this guy even discovered it himself. I was never very good at Punch-Out!! but I love NES games and it was great to see this one back in the limelight for a day, again.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is a fun one. I’d forgotten about this game and was stunned to see it in the news. Last memory I have of Punch-Out!! was some guys and I pretending to be all into it like it was a real boxing match, while it was actually just a playthrough, and yelling at the tv animatedly when my wife’s girlfriends came over. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

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