beating Tyson’s Punch-Out on Nintendo

intro screenI’m sure many of you remember playing on Nintendo (NES).  It was a legendary game, not only for its colorful characters, but for the difficulty of it.  Many people never were able to beat it.  If you’ve played it before, the list of characters will take you down memory lane : Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, Piston Honda, Don Flamenco, King Hippo, Great Tiger, Bald Bull, Soda Popinski, Mr. Sandman, Super Macho Man, and then Mike Tyson.  They just don’t make games this unique anymore.

I found a video / short film that chronicles the adventure of a kid in junior high who decided he had to beat it.  There’s a full story behind it, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.  If you have any interest in this at all, you’ll probably enjoy the movie. Little Mac training  It was well-done, and it captures the situation well.  It even has an authentic ’80s set to capture the feel of the era.  (You’ll probably notice several things, like cheese balls, Big League Chew, the clothes.)  It sure brings back some memories of junior high and competing against friends on video games.  It’s somewhat like going back in time, because I can relate to how the main character felt.

The video is 16 minutes long, and it’ll probably prompt you to install some software to watch it.  (The software is okay — DivX is a video standard, similar to MPEG4 on DVDs.)  Here’s the link : .

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve beaten Tyson over a hundred times (trying to get the best time), and even beaten him several times without him ever hitting me… even back in high school.  No brag, just fact.  🙂  I even have witnesses to verify these facts.  I think my best time was 1:09 in round 2 on the original Nintendo (not emulation).

Mike TysonNow, here’s a few quotes I’ve come across concerning how legendary and awesome this game was.

Sadly, defeating Mike Tyson at the end of this game was something I was never able to do.  It’s probably one of the most famous and most difficult accomplishments in video game lore.  If you were able to take out Tyson without using any cheat codes, you were the uber gamer. ~ Viper, at

The set of all natural numbers can not adequately represent the number of times I’ve been schoolboyed by Mike Tyson.  I’ve entered the “Tyson code” so many times it’s permanently etched in my brain.  I can’t remember my girlfriend’s middle name but I can remember 007 373 5963 by heart.  Crap, I can’t remember my social security number and it has less digits than the Tyson code.  No matter how many times I fight him I rarely make it into the second round and have maybe knocked him down twice in 15 years.  Twice in 15 years!  I’d like to think I’d have better odds fighting him in real life. ~ Hughes Johnson, concerning Tyson’s Punch-Out on Nintendo

I must admit, if you can beat Tyson (which is obviously an impressive feat, deserving of an audience) then you can do better than me.  I never was able to down that sucker! ~ Kri’, 1/19/05

So there you have it — according to other people’s words, I am “the uber gamer”… obviously.  🙂  I’m not surprised.  But I do feel honored.  It’s nice to be recognized by my peers for my greatness.  Thank you, thank you.  Ever since I started gaming in the late ’70s / early ’80s with my , I recognized that “I’ve got skills… I’ve got game.”  Even today, the legend continues… and grows.  🙂

I hope you enjoyed the movie.  Feel free to share some of your early gaming memories in the comments section.  I’d like to hear from you.

6 thoughts on “beating Tyson’s Punch-Out on Nintendo

  1. Kri'

    Man… why you gotta quote me on something like that? (blush) …

    I bet I could beat you at Goldeneye on the N64; I rocked at that game.

  2. Beppo

    Kri’, you don’t have to feel ashamed. Very few gamers have beaten Tyson’s Punch-Out. I’ll put on a clinic if you want. 🙂

    Did you watch the video? Did it inspire you to try again? You can do it.

    FYI, you can now get Punch-Out for the Wii Virtual Console for $5, although it features Mr. Dream instead of Iron Mike Tyson.

    BTW, I played Goldeneye also, and I could hold my own… although I never had a N64, so I didn’t play very much.

  3. danjewish

    I’m impressed. I’ve only beaten Tyson in split decision. It took me years to beat Tyson. The man is such a beast. Punch-Out…What an epic game.

  4. Beppo

    I’ve got the new Punch-Out! on the Wii, and it’s awesome! It stays true to the original, but adds just a little bit to each fighter to make it harder. And it’s definitely harder, but still beatable.

    And it’s a lot of fun to take turns playing with a group of guys, because of all the smack talking and couch commentary that goes with that scenario. 🙂

  5. Beppo

    BTW, just seeing the pictures above, I can “hear” the music and sound effects from the original game so clearly. It must be permanently etched in my brain. At least it’s good memories…

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