First released way back in 1987, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out was not only one of the first notable boxing video games but also one of the first major instances of a gaming company shelling out big bucks to a high-profile professional athlete in the hopes that their name and likeness would help sell more copies. The strategy worked, with Punch-Out becoming a huge hit with consumers of the day and ultimately carving out a lasting legacy as one of the most revered NES games of all time.
With the amount of analysis and retrospect often applied to Punch-Out, one would think that the title is long out of new secrets for players to discover. One would be wrong though, as evidenced by the fact that an eagle-eyed fan recently uncovered something within the game that it appears has never been noticed in the nearly three decades since Punch-Out's original debut.
First discovered by Reddit user midwesternhousewives, the heretofore unnoticed trick applies to the player character's second fights with formidable 8-bit foes Piston Honda and Bald Bull. In the somewhat amorphous blob of pixelated spectators that gathers to watch each Punch-Out fight, there is a bearded man about one-third of the way into the first row. This particular audience member does not normally move during fights, which is why the Redditor in question was surprised to realize that the man does actually animate at two points during each of the aforementioned Honda and Bull fights. If one watches closely, when the bearded man ducks, it's time for the player to strike, leading to a satisfying one-punch knockout in both cases.
Interestingly, Punch-Out players have known of the existence of a one-hit KO during Honda's second fight for many years, as it would occasionally be triggered accidentally. Still, it's nice to know that there actually is a method to pulling off what Mortal Kombat would likely refer to as a "flawless victory." Similarly, a one-hit KO method has been long known for the first fight against Bull, with the player being advised when to attack by a quick camera flash effect. This was revealed by late Nintendo executive Satoru Iwata in 2009.
Sadly, no such instant win strategy yet exists for Punch-Out's infamously difficult final boss fight with Tyson himself, or his counterpart known as Mr Dream that has been included on subsequent Tyson-free releases of the game. It seems that going toe to toe with Tyson/Dream will perhaps forever be a perilous task for players to undertake, assuming that another secret strategy isn't discovered ten years from now.
Source: Reddit [via Polygon]