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Punch Out!!: An 80s Classic

In ourAnomaly podcast episode on classic games, among other favorites, Jen talked about “Punch Out!!”.

Punch Out is an arcade game released 1984 by Nintendo. It was the first in a series of boxing games that inspired an arcade sequel known as Super Punch-Out!!, a series called Arm Wrestling, a game for the Nintendo NES known as “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” as well as a version called “Super Punch-Out!!” ported for the Super Nintendo NES.

The arcade version featured characters like Glass Joe, Piston Hurricane, Bald Bull, and Mr. Sandman. It is also worth noting that Punch Out!! was the project for Koji Kondo, who would go on to write the famous music for the Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda series.

The player controls a green-haired, wire framed boxer. And during the game all you see is your character’s back.

It’s all about timing; the player must dodge and block in order to win each match. But if the player pays close attention to their opponent’s face, they’ll notice that the boxers each telegraph their moves. If the player watch their opponent’s eyes, they will be able to tell what the boxer will do next and act accordingly.

Once the player beats the last challenger, they must fight the opponents again. The boxers become faster and more difficult to defeat, in each round. The player only has one chance to land a Knock Out or (KO). The player automatically loses if they run out of time. If the player is defeated, the winner will insult the player. But the player’s corner man will encourage the player to try again, shouting:”Come on, stand up and fight!”. Players can only play through one time. There is no ending in Punch Out!! and the game will continue to loop until the player is defeated.

The game is controlled with a joystick and three buttons. Two of the buttons deliver punches, one for each arm. A large button on the console is slammed/smashed/pressed to use an uppercut or right hook. These punches can be utilized if the KO indicator on the screen shows “full”. When the indicator reaches that level, it flashes and the corner man shouts “Put him away!”, or “Knock him out!”. (Source: Wikipedia)

An updated version of Punch Out!! is available for the Nintendo Wii.

If you like this retro game article, check out Frogger »

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More on the History of Punch Out!!

Punch Out!! Arcade Game Play