Punch Out!! is a game that’s all about paying attention to smallest of cues, and to getting your timing right. It’s also one of the most difficult games of the 8-bit era, and has understandably caused gamers to search for as many cheats and tips as possible, over the near 30 years that have passed since its first release in 1987.
As such, in what has come as a surprise to many in the industry this week, it seems that this legendary game still has one or two hints and tricks hidden within those boxing gloves.
This latest hint comes thanks to Reddit user midwesternhousewives, who after nearly 30 years has discovered a small visual cue hidden within Punch Out!!’s crowd. This isn’t just any visual cue either, but rather one that makes one of the game’s most difficult secrets foolproof.
That secret is the one-hit KO punch on Piston Honda, a secret many have known about for decades now. However, in order to pull this off, Little Mac’s timing has to be near perfect, and many have been left wondering when exactly this window of opportunity is open.
However, thanks to midwesternhousewives discovery, this is now a problem of the past, much like Piston Honda himself. You see, hidden within the crowd is a bearded man who will literally guide you through this ultimate special attack. In turn making this once difficult fight a thing of the past.
So what exactly is this tip then? Well take a look at the video above, specifically the bearded man on the front row, about 7 from the left.
Keep a close eye on this man and you’ll notice that he doesn’t move a muscle throughout the entire game. Well, not until you reach the game’s second fight with Piston Honda that is, whereby he will nod to the player when the timing is right to hit that one-hit KO.
In fact, this same statue-like spectator provides the exact same tip when it comes to the second fight with Bald Bull. Again just like with Piston Honda, when the timing is right, this bearded man will nod to the player, and in the process help Little Mac in stopping Bald Bull’s infamous charging attack.
This isn’t the only tip to found in the Bald Bull fight though. A camera flash will also signal the correct time to throw the one-hit KO punch, something which can be seen in the video above.
This secret tip was kept hidden for 22 years years, finally being revealed in 2009 by the game’s artist Makoto Wada, and one of my personal heroes, the late Satoru Iwata, in one of his Iwata Asks roundtables.
In fact, given that Punch Out!! still holds many secrets all these years later, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to if another hidden hint hidden was discovered within the Piston Honda fight. Or any other for that matter.
So there you go, keep an eye on the friendly guy in the crowd, and some of Punch Out!!’s most difficult fights will become as easy as one perfectly timed punch. Let’s just hope that we find a tip to help beat Mike Tyson before another 29 years are up.