Box art for Punch-Out!!
|Platform(s)||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Release date||Gold Version|
JP September 18, 1987
Punch-Out!! is a boxing game released for the NES console. It stars Little Mac and marks the first console-released title in the Punch-Out!! series. It is a remake/port of both Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!!.
The storyline given in the manual states that Little Mac and Doc Louis met by chance one day and Doc began teaching him. Mac then proceeds to enter the World Video Boxing Association (W.V.B.A.). Mac proceeds, under Doc's guidance, to beat each opponent that he faces. Eventually, he becomes the World Champion after defeating Super Macho Man, then challenges Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream in a special Dream Match.
Genyo Takeda and his team, who also created the arcade version, were put in charge of creating the NES version. Since the NES didn't have as powerful hardware as an arcade machine, they made Mac smaller so the player could see the opponent over his head. Little Mac was named so as a play on the hamburger at McDonald's, the Big Mac, and due to his small stature. A Gold Version titled "Punch-Out!!" was released in Japan for the winner of the Golf U.S. Course Famicom Tournament, which was later replaced with Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! after the then-president of Nintendo of America, Minoru Arakawa, saw Mike Tyson in a boxing match, and was fascinated by his power and skill, so he was later implemented into the game as the final boss.
Nintendo chose not to renew Mike Tyson's licensing agreement after its expiration. Tyson had become the undisputed world heavyweight champion of boxing after the original contract had been signed, and a new contract would therefore be far more expensive than the original. In addition, Tyson was going through a very public divorce from his wife, who had made accusations of physical and emotional abuse. When Nintendo re-released the NES cartridge a few years later, they did so under the title Punch-Out!!, without Mike Tyson's name attached. Tyson was replaced in the game itself by a new character named Mr. Dream, who had a different sprite but fought identically to Tyson.
Years later, Nintendo would re-release the Mr. Dream version of Punch-Out!! for their Virtual Console and Nintendo Switch Online services under the new title Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream.
- A Button: Right Hook
- B Button: Left Hook
- A Button + D-Pad Up: Right Jab
- B Button + D-Pad Up: Left Jab
- D-Pad Right: Dodge Right*
- D-Pad Left : Dodge Left*
- D-Pad Down: Block
- D-Pad Down (x2): Duck
- Start: Star Punch**
*A quick tap of the D-Pad in the opposite direction resets Mac faster after a dodge.
** You can only do a Star Punch if you have a star; more information on how to get a star is in the Gameplay section.
Little Mac has six basic moves: left and right jabs, left and right body blows, left and right dodges, block, duck, and the Star Punch. Star Punches can only be used once the player has a star, which you gain by hitting the opponent right before or after they attack or other special circumstances.
The health in this game is represented by a meter that lowers each time Mac is hit. Once this meter is drained, Mac is knocked down, and the A and B buttons must be tapped to bring him back up before ten seconds pass. The opponents follow these rules as well. Another key feature of this game is the Heart Meter. The Heart Meter tells how many punches you can use. It goes down when you miss an attack, block an opponent's attack, when you get hit, and whenever an opponent blocks one of your attacks. If it hits zero, Little Mac will turn pink and cannot attack. The only way to fill it up again is by dodging opponent punches. The amount of hearts you have on the meter is different for each match.
There are 23 matches featuring various boxers split into four circuits. Losing a match in the World Circuit causes Mac to start that one over. Losing a match in any of the other circuits makes you start the match before you, and this may happen three times before you get a GAME OVER. However, in Another World Circuit, you have only ONE chance to beat all the boxers in the circuit. Losing once will make you re-input the code and use A + B + Select to enter.
There are three bouts within a match. If Mac loses two bouts, he loses the match. If he beats the opponent even once, he wins. There are three ways to win: TKO, when the opponent is knocked down three times in the same round; knock-out, when the opponent fails to get up after ten seconds; and technical decision after time runs out, which is decided by how many points the player earned. Note: Some opponents cannot be beaten using the technical decision method.
Number of Fighters: 3
Number of Fighters: 4
Number of Fighters: 6
- Piston Honda (rematch)
- Soda Popinski (debut of the name)
- Bald Bull (rematch)
- Don Flamenco (rematch)
- Mr. Sandman
- Super Macho Man
Difficulty: Extremely Hard
Tip: When Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream throws a one-hit uppercut, use this opportunity to do a jab.
Difficulty: Very Hard
Number of Fighters: 9
Note: ONE chance to win
- King Hippo
- Great Tiger
- Piston Honda
- Soda Popinski
- Bald Bull
- Don Flamenco
- Mr. Sandman
- Super Macho Man
- Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream (In Mike Tyson versions, the champion is strangely labeled as "Another McChampion," whilst Mr. Dream is labeled "Another Champion")
The simply-titled Punch-Out!! was a gold-colored Famicom cartridge with Bald Bull on the cover awarded to the winners of the Gold U.S. Course Famicom Tournament. 10,000 copies were distributed around at around the same time Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! was released in North America, although that version would eventually see Japanese retail. This seems to be an earlier version of the game, as there are a few graphical and audio differences, the text has instances of Engrish, and the final boxer was Super Macho Man.
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
This was the first version released to the general public. After Nintendo of America president Minoru Arakawa saw Mike Tyson in a boxing match, he was impressed by his skill and he was implemented into the game as a special guest.
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
In 1990, this version was released in America and Europe after Nintendo decided not to renew Mike Tyson's contract as he was no longer the champion. He was replaced with Mr. Dream, a recolor and head swap of the original sprite.
Punch-Out!! was included as a rare NES game in the GameCube game Animal Crossing, along with many other NES titles.
It was ported to the Wii's Virtual Console along with many other classic games for 800 points. In Japan, it was released on the 3DS 3D classics.
Finally, it was released as part of the Nintendo Switch Online's NES games. These all are ports of the Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream version.
Punch-Out!! has received praise and positive reception over the years. Allgame gave it 4 and a half stars. The Video Game Critic gave it an A+. In August 2008, Nintendo Power listed it as the sixth best video game, and praised it for putting arcade-style fun over realism. A GameSpot poll had it ranked 6th greatest NES game ever. In Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list, it was named 17th best game on a Nintendo system.
- Strangely enough, "DADDY PLEASE COME HOME!" appears on the newspaper, right next to Referee Mario. It is unknown what this means.