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Punch-Out!! Arcade game introduced in 1984

The Punch-Out!! arcade game was released in Japan in December of 1983 and then came to America in February of 1984. It was such a success that a sequel, Super Punch-Out!!, was released in Japan in September of 1984 which then came to America in 1985. The franchise has gone on to great success especially with Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! for the NES in 1987, but it all started with the original arcade Punch-Out!!

Punch-Out!! Japan Punch-Out!! U.S.

The boxing game was developed by industry greats Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendo. Punch-Out!! arcade gameTakeda was lead developer and Miyamoto handled character design. The legendary Miyamoto is responsible for classics like the Donkey Kong franchise, the Super Mario Bros. franchise and The Legend of Zelda franchise among many others. Takeda was later credited with developing the revolutionary battery backup function used in games like The Legend of Zelda. You had some of the best ever working on this game so the results are not so surprising. Punch-Out!! was a great success with the arcade versions and went on to even greater success in the home gaming system market later on.

The arcade version of Punch-Out!! was unique because it featured two monitors. The top monitor featured character details and statistics while the bottom monitor featured the actual game play. One of my most distinctive memories of the game was the audio commentary describing each punch thrown. Over all of the other arcade game sounds, you could hear "Body blow! Body blow!" and then "Knock him out!" The other most memorable part of the Punch-Out!! games is the roster of opponent characters. Each had their own style and personality (though admittedly some relied on ethnic stereotypes). To refresh your recollection, here is a rundown of the Punch-Out!! characters in the order you would face them in the game…

Glass Joe1) Glass Joe

Glass Joe

Piston Hurricane2) Piston Hurricane

Piston Hurricane

Bald Bull3) Bald Bull

Bald Bull

Kid Quick4) Kid Quick

Kid Quick

Pizza Pasta5) Pizza Pasta

Pizza Pasta

Mr. Sandman6) Mr. Sandman

Mr. Sandman


Not much changed in Super Punch-Out!! except you gained the ability to duck and also faced a different gauntlet of tougher opponents. Here are those characters in the order you would face them in Super Punch-Out!!

1) Bear Hugger

Bear Hugger

2) Dragon Chan

Dragon Chan

3) Vodka Drunkenski (changed to Soda Popinski for the NES version)

Vodka Drunkenski

4) Great Tiger

Great Tiger

5) Super Macho Man

Super Macho Man


Just seeing those screen shots brings back such nostalgia for me. I can almost hear the "body blow" calls right now. Hope it brought back some fun memories for you, too. Many of these characters return for Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! in 1987, but that can be a subject for another article all by itself.

Mike Tysons Punch-Out!!

Punch-Out!! has been one of my favorite games since the first time I gave it one my quarters in the arcade. And it has certainly gone on to be one of the most popular and successful video game franchises of all time for Nintendo. Despite the incredible technological advances in video games today, Punch-Out!! still holds its own in my opinion. And, yep, it is just another awesome origination from the 80s.

Thanks, as always, for reading! My regular blog site for Kickin’ it Old School has been down for a while now. But you can still please like/follow us on our Facebook page  (, on Twitter @OldSchool80s  ( and Instagram as @oldschool_80s too ( We also are in the process of re-publishing our awesome interviews over at Rediscover the 80s and you can read them here (

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Vaporman87 Posted on Feb 21, 2019 at 01:54 AM

Punch Out was one of the games I looked for in any arcade, as well as Rampage, Galaga, Arch Rivals, and then later on the TMNT, X-Men, and Street Fighter games.

Benjanime Posted on Feb 21, 2019 at 12:01 AM

glad the arcade punch out is on nintendo switch now, i always wanted to play that version of the game "without pirating issues, lol"

NLogan Posted on Feb 20, 2019 at 10:22 PM

You are too right! No 80s arcade worth its salt didn't have one and I distinctly remember the Body Blow, and Knock Him Out if I close my eyes I can hear it.

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