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King Hippo is a recurring opponent in the Punch-Out!! series. He is known for wearing shorts that tend to fall down whenever he is caught off-guard and only needing to be knocked down once for the player to win against him due to how heavy he is.


Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!/Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream[]

King hippo

In Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, King Hippo is the most unique character of the World Video Boxing Association, being the only character who has no palette swap. His defense is impenetrable until he opens his mouth. When his mouth is hit, Hippo reveals his one weakness: his overly large trunks start falling down, and he has to keep pulling them up whilst trying to fend off Little Mac's body blows. Uniquely, King Hippo has no opportunities to get stars and therefore can only be hit by normal punches. However, once Little Mac floors King Hippo, he does not get up.


  • Jab: King Hippo raises one fist over his mouth before throwing a punch. Can be dodged or ducked, however, initiates no stun when dodged.
  • Guillotine Punch: King Hippo opens his mouth, shouts, raises his fist, and throws a more powerful punch. By punching him in the mouth, he'll reveal his stomach, which can then be punched for a stun.
  • Triple Punch Rush: King Hippo jumps around the back of the arena before performing a Guillotine Punch, a Jab, and then another Guillotine Punch.
  • Guillotine Punch Rush: When Little Mac gets tired, King Hippo will laugh and then perform 3 Guillotine Punches. If Mac dodges the first two, he can counter the third.


  • Jab: 27 damage
  • Guillotine Punch: 48 damage (103 damage if 1st hit after mac’s 3rd knockdown before dodging)
  • Guillotine Punch Rush (total damage): 103 damage (knockdown)
  • Triple Punch Rush (total damage): 103 damage (knockdown)

Punch-Out!! (2009)[]

King Hippo returns as the Champion of the Minor Circuit. As shown in his pre-match cutscene, King Hippo spends his days eating enormous quantities of food, then sleeps in a hammock when the sun has set. Before challenging him for the Minor Circuit title, selecting King Hippo will make him bellow with a foghorn-like noise while his crown flies in mid-air off his head. It is also worth noting that he wears the title belt on his shoulder as opposed to around his waist like the other Champions, likely because it does not fit around him. King Hippo's dialogue only consists of bellows akin to that of an actual hippopotamus, provided by Scott McFadyen.

Unlike his appearance in the NES, King Hippo now wears his crown when fighting. His shorts still fall down when he is caught off guard, but his underwear now has a print of the Super Star from the Super Mario video games. When stunned, pineapples circle around his head.

King Hippo fights somewhat similarly to his appearance in the NES game, using powerful jabs and overheads. He leaves his mouth wide open much more often than in the original fight, such as when he misses a punch, and still opens his mouth before throwing his overhead. After Hippo is stunned from a jab, he will cover his mouth to block any subsequent one. Hitting him with a hook will continue the stun, and once he is stunned from the jab and hook, any combination of punches will be able to land on him. While Hippo only needs to be knocked down once to defeat him, he has a deceptive amount of stamina to make up for his vulnerability and can tank Star Punches better than most other opponents (including Title Defense appearances), taking around nine of these to KO him. As a result, if the player is able to counterpunch Hippo for stars, it is highly recommended to save them for Three-Star Punches, then unleashing them for maximum possible damage.

He also gains a special attack which, similar to the Bear Hug, consists of a double hook that can only be evaded by ducking and deals massive damage. This particular attack can be countered with a hook to make Hippo's crown fall, causing him to recoil to the ropes (allowing the player the only chance they get to recover stamina outside of intermission), then lose his temper and come at Little Mac. No matter how much stamina Hippo had left until that point, it will raise to a little more than half. Countering this attack with a hook again, however, will yield a OHKO.

When King Hippo sees Mac before the fight, he looks at him in surprise and laughs, likely because he doesn't see Mac as much of a challenge. If Mac loses to him, Hippo will pound his stomach victoriously; this makes his pants comically fall down, which embarrasses him. When KO'd, Hippo falls out of the ring dramatically in slow motion as his belly jiggles, making him one of the few characters that have a special KO animation every time they fall.


  • Overhead: Hippo ducks his head into the shelter of his arms to block any jabs. Then he will charge, raise his hand, growl, and punch. This can be dodged or ducked under. Avoiding it will activate a stun long enough for six punches. If he is countered with a jab when he raises his hand (similarly to his fight in the NES version), he will be stunned longer for a total of ten to thirteen punches. Dodging, then hitting him with a hook yields a Star instead.
  • Jab: Hippo raises one of his hands up to his breast and punch. This can be avoided in any manner. Dodging will activate a stun long enough for six punches. Blocking it or dodging it early followed by a hook will yield a Star.
  • Ear Clap: Hippo's signature move. He growls, raises his arms, and violently brings them for a two-handed smash. It can only be ducked under. Avoiding it or countering it with a jab activates a stun long enough for ten punches. Countering with a hook right before the attack will make Hippo recoil to the ropes (causing his crown to fall off his head), then make him recover back with his temper thrown off. If his crown is already off and this attack is countered with a hook again, it'll result in an instant KO.
  • Pants Drop: Occasionally, Hippo's pants will start to drop, causing him to pull them up and flash yellow. Hooking him then and there will earn a Star.


  • Jab: 17 damage
  • Overhead: 25 damage
  • Ear Clap: 40 damage


  • Duck or dodge Hippo's overhead punch as soon as possible, then hook him as he remains vulnerable.
  • Block or dodge Hippo's jab early and counter with a hook.
  • Hook Hippo when he pulls his pants up.

Instant KO tricks:

  • Avoid his ear clap and counter with a Star Punch as his mouth is wide open.
  • Counter his ear clap with a hook to make his crown fall off. When he recovers from the move, counter the ear clap again with a hook to immediately KO him.

Title Defense[]

King Hippo returns as a challenger in Title Defense in World B. He sports a bigger crown (possibly to stop it from being knocked off like in Contender Mode) and a manhole cover duct taped over his stomach to protect himself from body blows. His pre-fight cutscene shows him wandering around New York City with his belly all bruised from the previous fight, looking for different items to protect his belly, including a frying pan and a colander, before settling for the manhole cover.

King Hippo's attacks, like other Title Defense opponents, are more varied than in Contender. He opens his mouth less often to attack, though any mouth-closed overheads or delayed jabs can be countered with a hook, which gives Mac a star. Similarly to his original fight in the NES version, Hippo can only be stunned when he is about to throw a punch and his mouth is open. In the case of his jab, he will never open his mouth if he misses (so if he repeatedly performs this attack, he can easily run the timer down), and it can no longer be blocked, though it still can be avoided any other way. Additionally, attempting to jab Hippo while his mouth is closed results in a quick jab to the face unless the player's heart meter reaches zero after blocking the jab.

Hippo also gains a version of his jab where he delays it by ducking to one side before throwing it. Fortunately, he frequently opens his mouth before this attack, but countering him will make him cover his eye, requiring another jab from a different direction before he can be stunned for good. His ear clap has gained a second attack, a double-axe handle that must be dodged to the side in order to counterattack him. Finally, Hippo is able to dodge Little Mac's Star Punch if he happens to have prepared an overhead punch when Mac releases it; otherwise, however, he'll take the hit. Nevertheless, it takes an even higher amount of Star Punches to deplete his stamina, so Three-Star Punches are encouraged much more.

Title Defense King Hippo

King Hippo becoming angry after Little Mac breaks a piece of the duct tape.

The fight consists of two parts. The first part consists of punching off the manhole cover covering Hippo's belly by ripping away the duct tape pieces over the manhole cover. Ripping off the first tape is required to win by KO or decision, as Hippo will only be able to take damage from hits after the player breaks the first strip of tape. He will mostly throw punches where he opens his mouth; by countering him when he opens it, he will cover his head, leaving one of his sides vulnerable for hooks. Successfully hooking the manhole cover three times will break a piece. Breaking the three pieces will knock off the manhole cover, playing a comical scene where the manhole falls on his foot and he hops on his other foot from the pain before becoming enraged. The fight will go on normally from this moment on.

If Mac loses to him, Hippo will stand proud and laugh confidently.


  • Overhead: The same as in Contender mode, except sometimes, he delays the overhead. Punching him when he raises his hand stuns him long enough for six punches. However, if he is countered before he grunts, he'll get stunned longer, for a total of ten punches.
  • Silent Overhead: Hippo does an overhead punch without growling. Hook him while his hand is raised for a Star.
  • Jab: Same as in Contender, but the attack can't be blocked, and Hippo will never open his mouth, meaning the attack can't be countered.
  • Delayed Jab: Hippo will put his hand in an uppercut position, growl, then throw a jab. While his mouth is open, jabbing him twice in different directions stuns him for six punches.
  • Silent Delayed Jab: Hippo will do a delayed jab without growling. Hook him when he starts the attack for a star.
  • Ear Clap Combo: An ear clap with a double-axe handle smash afterward. The ear clap can still be avoided by ducking, whereas the double-axe handle is avoided by dodging to any side.


  • Overhead: 25 damage
  • Silent Overhead: 25 damage
  • Jab: 17 damage
  • Delayed Jab: 25 damage
  • Silent Delayed Jab: 25 damage
  • Ear Clap Combo (total damage): 80 damage


  • Counter his silent delayed jab with a hook.
  • Counter his silent overhead punch with a hook, on the uncovered side of his belly.
  • Counter his ear clap with a hook.

Instant KO Trick: Successfully avoid his entire ear clap combo, then hit him with a Star Punch as his mouth is wide open. The timing is strict.

Infinite: Counter the ear clap, and as soon as he jumps back to the middle of the mat, use the Star Punch to hit him, This will prompt him to use his ear clap combo again. Repeat the process for an infinite.

Glitch: If a Star Punch hits King Hippo just before his reaction, when he comes back, he will still do the reaction.

Exhibition Challenges[]


  1. Win the fight... without getting tired.
  2. KO a CROWNLESS King Hippo!!
  3. Defeat King Hippo with ZERO landed jabs!!

(Hint: It's possible to do all Contender challenges at once. Keep landing stars on him until he beats his belly and does an ear clap. Counter it with a hook to make his crown fall. Counter it again with a hook to immediately KO him.)

Title Defense:

  1. Knock King Hippo's Manhole Cover off in under 30 seconds!
  2. Win the fight and never get knocked down!
  3. Land a Three-Star Punch when King Hippo's pants are down...

Other Appearances[]

Captain N: The Game Master[]


King Hippo as seen on Captain N: The Game Master.

King Hippo appears in the cartoon as one of Mother Brain's top henchmen. This incarnation of him has blue skin, yellow eyes, a smaller crown, burgundy shorts, and a tiny nose. He is frequently paired up with Eggplant Wizard from the Kid Icarus series. Hippo and Eggplant are very comical and bumbling lackeys who often screw up their missions and get into arguments with each other. He speaks in English like his NES counterpart and was voiced by Gary Chalk. He also appeared in the comic books based on the Captain N series.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[]

King Hippo-0

King Hippo's spirit battle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

King Hippo makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a spirit. In his spirit battle, he possesses the body of a King K. Rool puppet and the battle takes place in the Boxing Ring stage. The battle has the King K. Rool puppet giant and the battle format as a stamina battle. Upon beating the battle, the player will then win King Hippo's spirit. He is a support spirit that strengthens the player's shield when equipped.


King Hippo has been featured in Punch-Out!! merchandise for every game he has appeared in.

Punch-Out!! (NES)[]

  • King Hippo was featured on a Nintendo Video Game Stick-Ons sticker sheet in 1988.
  • He was featured on the packaging of a Punch-Out!! pinball toy manufactured by Largo Toys Ltd. in 1988.
  • He was featured in the Punch-Out!! Topps trading card series published in 1989. He is featured in his own scratch-off card, a tip card illustration of Little Mac punching his stomach, and another tip card featuring his face in a line-up with Great Tiger, Piston Honda, and Bald Bull.
  • He is featured in a Hasbro trophy figure with Little Mac called "Little Mac Levels King Hippo." The figure has a spot where players can write their name, their high score, and the date it was set.
  • He appeared alongside Little Mac and other Nintendo characters in a series of Applause action figures 1989.
  • He is featured in the Punch-Out!! section of a 1990 Nintendo calendar.

Punch-Out!! (Wii)[]

  • King Hippo was featured in a Heavyweight Contender Kit that included a small punching bag, a chocolate bar, a replica of his crown, and a pair of boxers resembling his own. This set was sold exclusively on Amazon.com in 2009.


Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream (NES)[]

  • "Do you like my new trunks? They are size XXX Large! Ha, ha, ha!"
  • "Ha, ha, ha! I am the king! Ha, ha, ha!"
  • "I feel like eating after I win. Let's go to lunch! Ha, ha, ha!"
  • "I have my weakness. But I won't tell you! Ha, ha, ha!"

Punch-Out!! (Wii)[]

  • "GRAAAAaa!!!!" (before the ear clap)
  • "RAAGH!!"
  • "GEEEUUHGgggh!!!" (Ear clap gets countered)
  • "GREGH?" (Ear clap misses in Contender)
  • "Buhh..." (Ear clap combo misses in Title Defense)
  • "GRAH...huh? Gruh heh heh heh heh. Hm. (snort)" (Before Contender Match)
  • "BLEH!! HUUH, HEEAAH. Hrrrm! (snort)" (During Contender Intermission)
  • "GRRMM! GRAAA!!! GRRMM!" (During Contender Intermission)
  • "Mueheheheheeheh! Mehaha!" (Before Next Contender Round)
  • "GUEH!?" (Contender Victory)
  • "GRR...GRAAAH! Hiss!" (Before Title Defense Match)
  • "GRAAAW! HISSSSS!!!!" (After he loses his cover)
  • "GRAAA!! GRRM! GRAH!" (During Title Defense Intermission)
  • "GRAH! GRRM! GRRM! GRAAH!" (During Title Defense Intermission)
  • "GRRRRRGH! GRHAAA! Grrgh! Rragh!" (Before Next Title Defense Round)
  • "GRRRR! Muhahaha!" (Title Defense Victory)
  • "Eegghh..." (Star Punch Reaction)

Doc Louis Tips[]

  • "Serve this sucka a platter of Star Punches! He'll never want to eat again!"
  • "This sucka's defense is tough, Mac. Make him shut his wide open mouth."
  • "Hey, kid. King Hippo loves to eat. Why don't we feed him a knuckle sandwich!"
  • "I'll tell you one thing, son. I never want to face this sucker on a food eating contest!"
  • "Hey, Mac. If you can dethrone this king, the Minor Circuit is yours." (Career in Contender only)
  • "Ol' Hippo's wisin' up, baby. His mouth ain't open all the time, but when it is, feed him that knuckle sandwich, baby!" (Title Defense)
  • "Hey, Mac baby. Maybe after you win, you could take the ol' Hippo out to lunch."
  • "Hey, Mac baby. Show King Hippo who's the king of the ring!"
  • "If this sucka's the King, I wouldn't wanna meet the Queen!"
  • "Okay, Mac baby! King Hippo's weakness is his belly! That's the target, baby! Hit it when it's wide open!"
  • "The only thing that's holding his manhole cover on is the tape. Let's break the tape, baby! Let's break that tape!" (Title Defense, if Mac has not removed the manhole cover yet)
  • "You're the champ, Mac baby! Show this sucker who's the king of the ring!"
  • "There's gotta be a way to break that tape! Make this sucker raise both of his hands, then go after the edge of his manhole cover, baby!" (Title Defense, if Mac has not removed the manhole cover yet)
  • “Mac baby! Looks like the Hippo wants a second help in’! Feed him a knuckle sandwich! Punch his lights out, Mac! Punch him out!!”

Rule Infractions[]

As per the unified rules of boxing established by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combat Sports:

  • His height, weight and age are unknown, meaning he did not obtain a legitimate boxing license.
  • In his Title Defense fight, he wears a manhole cover on his stomach using tape. This counts as body armor, which is not allowed.
    • Said manhole cover rolls off the ring and into the crowd when it is removed, which could endanger them, however this could also be pinned on Little Mac.
    • King Hippo holds the manhole in place with tape, which cannot be worn in boxing unless in an amateur match.
  • Ear claps are not allowed as they can damage the opponent's eardrums.
  • It's possible for his pants to fall when he is stunned. Boxers must have perfectly fitted pants to avoid their undergarments being exposed.
  • The band-aid on his stomach also counts as body armor, which is not allowed.
  • Double ax-handles are not allowed.
  • Instead of boxing shoes or boxing boots, he wears slippers.
  • While he would be allow to wear his crown in Contender Mode as the Minor Circuit is equivalent to independent circuit boxing, he also wears it in Title Defense Mode and in Title Defense Mode he competes for the World Circuit champion title. Professional boxing does not allow boxers to wear headgear during the match as it's deemed unconvincing.
    • Even if he did wear the crown in Contender Mode only, it is unstable, as evidenced by it leaving his head when he is hit, meaning his crown isn't approvable.
  • It's possible that the band-aid on his belly means he has stomach disease or belly disease (such as stomach pain or belly pain). If he does, King Hippo would not be allowed to be box until his stomach state or belly state improves.
  • His tape that was used for the manhole cover is evidenced that, after taking out the cover, some tape still remains in King Hippo's belly, meaning the tape also counts as body armor.
  • His taunts during corner breaks in the NES game are disrespectful and unsportsmanlike, though it's up to the referee to decide.

King Hippo has 12 infractions.




  • King Hippo is one of the two characters in the series to not get up when knocked down, the other one being Doc Louis in Doc Louis's Punch-Out!!.
    • Because of this, he cannot be TKO’d.
    • When knocked down in the NES versions of Punch-Out!!, Mario might stop the count as if King Hippo was trying to get back up (like every other boxer) before continuing the count. This has been tested and it happened the most on the 5 and 9 counts.
    • Knocking him down in the NES versions with a specific punch results in King Hippo moving to the left or to the right, as he moves backwards before falling down.
  • He is also one of the two Punch-Out!! characters who is from a fictional country, the other one being Mr. Dream, who is from Dreamland.
    • The fictional country that King Hippo is from could be based on Nauru, a real-life island in the South Pacific that is known to have the highest rates of obese inhabitants worldwide.
    • There is a Hippo Island in real life, though it is located in Antarctica and is much smaller than the Hippo Island in the Punch-Out!! universe.
  • Though his height and weight are a mystery, he is shorter than the 6’6 Soda Popinski and appears to weigh far more than the 440 pound Bear Hugger due to being unable to get back up when knocked down unlike Bear Hugger.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!/Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream[]

  • Normally, it is impossible to win by decision. However, if a cheat is used to reduce the points required for split decision, King Hippo's victory animation will play if Little Mac wins by decision.
  • He is the only character to not have any star opportunities.

Punch-Out!! (Wii)[]

  • In one of the American live action commercials for the game, Little Mac said he lost his title to King Hippo in 1989. A real-life version of King Hippo can be seen in another commercial made for this promotion.
  • During the intermission in Contender, Hippo will rub his stomach in pain and gesture for Mac to aim at his face instead, inadvertently hinting at what must be done to win the fight.
    • This ironically contradicts his refusal to tell Mac his weakness in the NES game.
  • King Hippo is one of the two characters with an item that can be knocked off for the remainder of the battle. The other is Don Flamenco, who loses his toupee.
  • After losing his crown when defeated, Hippo will still be wearing his crown when he's seen in the Minor Circuit ring. Something similar happens in Title Defense; if the manhole is knocked off and he is defeated, he will still wear it after the fight in the ring.
  • During his KO animation, someone can be heard screaming right when King Hippo falls.
    • Strangely, the sound also plays in Practice Mode, even though there is no audience.
  • When he gets hit in the face in Contender, it will instantly form a bandage on his cheek.
  • It is possible to win by decision in the Title Defense fight without breaking off the tape over the manhole. The jabs required to expose his stomach cause minimal damage, but if the player throws as many jabs and dodges as many punches as they can, Mac can win by decision.
  • One of Doc Louis's tips has him suggest Mac to "take the ol' hippo out to lunch". This is a reference to King Hippo's own line in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! where he says, "I feel like eating after I win. Let's go to lunch! Ha, ha, ha!"
  • King Hippo's crown falls off his head during his special KO animation in Contender matches, but stays on his head in Title Defense.
  • King Hippo's Title Defense bout is the only fight in Punch-Out!! that needs more than one punch at minimum to win.
    • In order to deal damage to Hippo, players need to land four consecutive punches at the first phase's interception sequence: one during the attack animation and three on the side Hippo faces Little Mac with after being stunned. This will break the tape and the next punch the player lands to his face will be able to deal damage afterwards. This means that the player must land at least five punches to win by decision.
  • If the player uses a cheat that allows them to constantly use three star punches and knocks King Hippo out while he still has the manhole cover on, his KO animation will play with the manhole cover still taped to his body.
  • There is an unused animation in the files of the Wii game which only consists of the start of King Hippo's overhead animation.
Punch-Out!! characters
Punch-Out!! (1984) Challenger · Glass Joe · Piston Hurricane · Bald Bull · Kid Quick · Pizza Pasta · Mr. Sandman
Super Punch-Out!! (1985) Challenger · Bear Hugger · Dragon Chan · Vodka Drunkenski · Great Tiger · Super Macho Man
Arm Wrestling Challenger · Texas Mac · Kabuki · Mask X · Alice & Ape III · Frank Jr.
Punch-Out!! (1987) Little Mac · Doc Louis · Glass Joe · Von Kaiser · Piston Honda · Don Flamenco · King Hippo · Great Tiger · Bald Bull · Soda Popinski · Mr. Sandman · Super Macho Man · Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream
Super Punch-Out!! (1994) Little Mac · Gabby Jay · Bear Hugger · Piston Hurricane · Bald Bull · Bob Charlie · Dragon Chan · Masked Muscle · Mr. Sandman · Aran Ryan · Heike Kagero · Mad Clown · Super Macho Man · Narcis Prince · Hoy Quarlow · Rick Bruiser · Nick Bruiser
Punch-Out!! (2009) Little Mac · Doc Louis · Glass Joe · Von Kaiser · Disco Kid · King Hippo · Piston Hondo · Bear Hugger · Great Tiger · Don Flamenco · Aran Ryan · Soda Popinski · Bald Bull · Super Macho Man · Mr. Sandman · Donkey Kong