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Punch-Out!! (NES)

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Title: Punch-Out!! (NES)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Piston Hondo, Von Kaiser, Punch-Out!!, King Hippo, Glass Joe
Collection: 1987 Video Games, Boxing Video Games, Nintendo Entertainment System Games, Punch-Out!!, Virtual Console Games, Virtual Console Games for Wii U
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Punch-Out!! (NES)

Front packaging of the re-release.

Developer(s) Nintendo R&D3[1]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Genyo Takeda[1]
Makoto Wada[1]
Composer(s) Yukio Kaneoka
Akito Nakatsuka
Kenji Yamamoto
Series Punch-Out!!
Platform(s) NES/Famicom, PlayChoice-10, Virtual Console
Release date(s) NES/Famicom
Gold Version
  • JP September 1987
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
NA 19871008October 8, 1987
JP 19871121November 21, 1987
PAL 19871215December 15, 1987
NA 19900808August 8, 1990
EU 19900808August 8, 1990
Virtual Console
PAL 20070330March 30, 2007
JP 20070403April 3, 2007
NA 20070416April 16, 2007
Nintendo 3DS
Virtual Console
JP 201202February 2012
PAL 201203March 2012
NA 20120308March 8, 2012
Wii U
Virtual Console
NA 20130320March 20, 2013
PAL 20130320March 20, 2013
JP 20130605June 5, 2013
Genre(s) Sports, Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player

Punch-Out!! (パンチアウト!! Panchiauto!!), originally released in North America as Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, is a boxing sports fighting video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) developed and published by Nintendo in 1987. Part of the Punch-Out!! series, it is a port of both the Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!! arcade games (particularly the latter) with some variations.


  • Development 1
  • Gameplay 2
    • Characters 2.1
  • Other versions 3
    • Gold Version 3.1
    • Punch-Out!! 3.2
    • Other releases 3.3
  • Reception 4
  • Other appearances 5
  • Power Punch II 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Genyo Takeda, who produced the Punch-Out!! arcade games, directed the NES versions. Because the NES was not as powerful as the arcade hardware, Takeda and his crew realized that it would be impossible for the NES port to faithfully emulate the arcade graphics. Instead of making the playable boxer wire-framed or transparent to see an opponent, they decided to shorten the playable boxer, so that players could easily see opponents over the large head room of the playable boxer. Other things added to the NES version that the arcade versions lacked were a rough plot, a background music track played during fights, animated cutscenes and a password system for saving progress.

Around the time the Gold Version was released, Nintendo of America's founder and former president Minoru Arakawa attended a boxing match featuring future heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. While watching the boxer fight, Arakawa became so astonished with the athlete's "power and skill", he was inspired to use the athlete's name and likeness in the upcoming port of the Punch-Out!! series to help the game sell well.[2] Tyson was rumoured to have been paid $50,000 for a three-year period for his likeness. This was something of a chance for Nintendo, as it occurred before Tyson won the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship from Trevor Berbick on November 22, 1986.[3]


A screenshot depicting Punch-Out!!'s gameplay. In it, Little Mac has punched at the right time to defend himself against Bald Bull's "Bull Charge", instantly knocking him down.

Punch-Out!! features a boxer known as Little Mac working his way up the professional boxing circuits, facing a series of colorful, fictional boxers, leading to a final fight with real-life boxer, the then-World Heavyweight Champion, which is Mike Tyson in the original version and Mr. Dream in the later version.

Little Mac has a limited repertoire compared to most of his opponents. His punches are limited to left and right jabs, left and right body blows, and a powerful uppercut. The uppercut can only be used once the player earns a star, which is typically accomplished by counter-punching the opponent directly before or after certain attacks are launched. The player can acquire up to three stars. To perform the uppercut, the player needs to press the start button once a star is earned. To defend, Mac can dodge left or right, duck, and block punches by putting up his guard.

Little Mac also has a heart meter, which decreases by three upon being struck by an opponent and one upon blocking an attack or an opponent blocking/dodging the player's attack. When the heart meter decreases to zero, Little Mac temporarily turns pink and appears exhausted, leaving the player unable to attack but still able to dodge or block. At this point, Mac can regain some hearts (and his normal color palette) only by avoiding the opponent's punches. He immediately loses all of his hearts upon being knocked down, but can regain some by getting up.

A bout can end by knockout (KO), if a fighter is unable to get up within ten seconds after being knocked down; by technical knockout (TKO), if a fighter is knocked down three times in one round; or by decision, if the bout lasts three full rounds without a clear winner. In order to win by decision, the player must accumulate higher than a certain point total by punching the opponent and/or knocking him down (different boxers require different point totals to win by decision). However, some bouts cannot be won in this manner and will automatically result in a loss for the player if the opponent is not knocked out. Mac can only get up three times during any one bout; if he is knocked down a fourth time, he will be unable to rise and thus lose by knockout.

When Mac loses his first bout to a ranked opponent, he will have a chance to fight a rematch. However, if he loses a Title Bout, he will fall in the rankings - one place for the Minor or Major Circuits, two places for the World Circuit. Losing a rematch causes him to fall one place (unless he is already at the bottom of his circuit), forcing him to fight his way back up. A third loss (not necessarily a consecutive one) ends the game. The exception is the final fight against Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream; a loss to them automatically results in a game over.


Many of the character sprites in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! are each used twice (including Tyson himself, whose sprites are shared with Piston Honda), just changing the head image, colors, and the unique special moves performed. King Hippo is the only character not to share his sprites with another fighter.

Other versions

Gold Version

Before the release of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! in North America, Nintendo released the game in a gold-colored Famicom cartridge simply titled Punch-Out!! in Japan, without Mike Tyson in it, as a prize for the Golf U.S. Course Famicom Tournament in September 1987.[4] The final opponent in this version was Super Macho Man, who was also the final opponent in the Super Punch-Out!! arcade game.

When Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! sold well in North America, Nintendo later released the Mike Tyson version in Japan.[5]


After Nintendo's license to use Mike Tyson as a special Punch-Out!! character expired (Nintendo decided against renewing it due to his recent defeat by James "Buster" Douglas), Nintendo replaced Tyson with a fictional character called Mr. Dream and re-released the game as simply Punch-Out!! in limited quantities in North America in August 1990[6] and in Europe in 1991.[7]

This is the version used in all Virtual Console releases.

Other releases

In Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube, it is one of the rarer unlockable NES games that can be obtained within the game.

Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream was released on Wii's Virtual Console service on March 30, 2007 in Europe and Australia, on April 3, 2007 in Japan, and on April 16, 2007 in North America; it was released on the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console service on February 1, 2012 in Japan, on March 1, 2012 in Europe and Australia, and on March 8, 2012 in North America; it was released on the Wii U's Virtual Console service on March 20, 2013 in North America, Europe and Australia, and on June 5, 2013 in Japan.


Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame [8]
GameSpot 8/10[9]
Gen4 90%[10]
The Video Game Critic A+ [11]

Punch-Out!! has been well received by critics. A GameSpot reader poll ranked it as the 6th greatest NES game. It was rated the 17th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list.[12] In August 2008, Nintendo Power listed it as the sixth best Nintendo Entertainment System video game, praising it for putting arcade-style fun over realism.[13] Author Steve L. Kent called it the second major game of 1987.[3] Author Nathan Lockard cited the graphics, violence, controls, and the variety for it being a "true classic" and one of the best NES games.[14] GamesRadar ranked it the 11th best NES game ever made. The staff called it a "brilliant puzzle game [disguised] as a sports game."[15] Punch-Out!! sold in excess of 2 million copies.[16] Game Informer ranked the Mike Tyson version as its 14th favourite game ever in 2001. The staff noted that no boxing game since Punch-Out has been as "beloved."[17]

Other appearances

Punch-Out!! was featured in the comic books of Valiant's Nintendo Comics System. Three stories are based around Little Mac, Doc Louis, and other boxers from the NES version, and Mac briefly appears in the comic that introduces the story of Captain N: The Game Master. Mac doesn't appear in the Captain N stories himself; however, King Hippo is featured as a villain. Also, in the opening sequence of the Captain N TV series, the protagonist Kevin Keene was seen playing Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! before being forced into a vortex that formed in his television's screen.[18]

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Little Mac appears as a regular Trophy and an Assist Trophy. In the same game, the music from the Manhattan skyline scene in Punch-Out!! can be heard in the song titled "Famicom Medley." In the Wii game titled Captain Rainbow, Little Mac appears as a supporting character. Little Mac makes his debut as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Punch-Out!! made an appearance in The Tonight Show on October 29th, 2014. Mike Tyson, being one of the guests that night, was challenged by the host, Jimmy Fallon. He was asked to defeat himself in the game on live TV. The real Mike Tyson was defeated in the first round and lost by TKO.

Power Punch II

After the release of Punch-Out!!, Krome Studios Melbourne began developing an official sequel starring Mike Tyson with manager Don King. Originally titled Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch, the game was supposed to take the series into outer space where Tyson would participate in an intergalactic boxing tournament against various space aliens.

The game's production ran into immediate trouble, however, following Tyson's 1991 incarceration for the rape of Desiree Washington. Beam changed the Tyson character's name to Mark Tyler and modified King but did little to change Tyson's in-game character sprite.

Nintendo saw the game and disliked it, refusing to publish it due to lack of quality. Eventually, American Softworks Corp. published the title, and the game was released on the NES as Power Punch II, despite the fact that it was the first Power Punch title.


  1. ^ a b c "Investigating a Glove Interface". Iwata Asks: Punch-Out!!. Nintendo of America, Inc. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Profile: Minoru Arakawa". N-Sider. 2003-01-02. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  3. ^ a b The ultimate history of video games ... - Google Books. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ 賞品版パンチアウト (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 12, 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  5. ^ "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!". Famicom World. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  6. ^ "Bulletin Board – Nintendo Classics Reissued!".  
  7. ^ "NES Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!". nindb. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Hoffman, Joshua. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! – Overview"".  
  9. ^ Navarro, Alex. "Punch-Out!! Review".  
  10. ^ Gen4, issue 7 (December 1988), pages 24-25
  11. ^ ! "The Video Game Critic's NES Reviews". Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "NP Top 200", Nintendo Power 200, February 2006: 58–66 
  13. ^ "Nintendo Power - The 20th Anniversary Issue!" (Magazine).  
  14. ^ The good, the bad, and the bogus ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  15. ^ "Best NES Games of all time".  
  16. ^ Game over: how Nintendo zapped an ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  17. ^ Cork, Jeff (2009-11-16). "Game Informer's Top 100 Games of All Time (Circa Issue 100)".  
  18. ^ "The Unofficial Captain N Home Page". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 

External links

  • Punch-Out!! at MobyGames
  • guideMike Tyson's Punch-Out!! at StrategyWiki
  • Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! at NinDB
  • Fanpage!!Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!
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