There were a couple of arcade machines and a Game & Watch version of Punch-Out!! released earlier in the ’80s, but it’s the Nintendo Entertainment System version, we’d wager, that’s the most fondly remembered.
Released 30 years ago as Punch-Out!! or Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! in some territories, it was a boxing game that required fast reflexes and a good memory to complete. The NES version of Punch-Out!! also introduced Little Mac – the diminutive fighter with dreams of Heavyweight glory.
The character may have been created as the solution to a hardware problem – the NES couldn’t recreate the wireframe player character of the arcade version, so they had to invent a small fighter so you could see your opponent looming over them – but Little Mac soon went on to become a much-loved videogame hero in his own right.
The video below, created by Youtuber Gaijillionaire, gives a light-hearted tribute to Punch-Out!! and its boxing hero. What really caught our eye, though, is just how much skill and good timing you need to beat the reigning champion; it may only be an 8-bit relic from the 80s, but the battle you’ll see in the second half of the video is properly intense. And yep, Little Mac finally won his belt on the 1st April 1987 – 30 years ago this month.