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Released in 1987 by Nintendo, Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! was one of the hallmark titles for the NES. Featuring a colorful cast of opponents with some impressive AI for the time, players take control of Little Mac in his debut effort to capture the title of WVBA champion and earn the chance to go toe to toe with Kid Dynamite himself. That is, of course, unless you were unfortunate enough to have a copy produced after August of 1990. I can see training hard in a pink sweat suit for a chance to go against Tyson, but Mr. Dream? Come on now.

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Single-segment: 0:15:12.14 by 'Summoningsalt'

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Author's comments:

As of July 2015, the record for this game was 16:24 by sinister1.  Now, in July 2016, just a year later, the time has been pushed all the way down to 15:12.  This is partially thanks to a number of new strats being developed by several different MTPO runners.  I'll go over those when I recap the run.

This game is incredibly frustrating to speedrun.  On top of extremely precise timings and often difficult inputs, the luck required to get a run like this is absolutely insane.  And, of course, at the end of it all is Mike Tyson, where if you don't land at least 20 frame perfect punches on top of getting a good pattern, you're out of contention to get a world record.  The luck that I got in this run was the best luck anybody had ever gotten in an MTPO run, and although the execution wasn't perfect, it was good enough to acheive my goal of sub 15:20.  Now then, on to the fights:

Glass Joe (42.00): Thanks to a strategy first thought of by ouijawii and later simplified by Chambers, 42.00, which incidentally ties both the IL record and the TAS record, is a guaranteed time.
    
Von Kaiser (36.25): This strategy is a modified version of the IL strategy, which zallard1 figured out.  I got both stars in phase 2, which guarantees a time under 37 seconds.  Best possible luck on this guy.

Piston Honda 1 (49.97): Pretty much the only fight with bad luck in the entire run.  He blocked my 2nd face punch in the first phase of the fight, which ended up costing me about 3 seconds.  Although not necessarily a bad fight, most future runs will gain time against this split.

Don Flamenco 1 (15.00): Couldn't quite match the TAS time, but thanks to zallard1's buffer strat, a time of 15.00 or better is guaranteed.

King Hippo (40.99): About 70% of runs don't make it past this guy, because in order for me to get past him, King Hippo needs to open his mouth a lot.  He has a 37.5% chance of opening his mouth on any given punch.  He opened 3 out of the first 4 opportunities in this fight, which happens extremely rarely.  Only crazy RNG can gain you time in this split, but probably about 85% of the time, you would be losing time.

Great Tiger (48.25): Pretty typical fight here.  This is the last fight without any RNG, and ironically, it comes right after a fight with one of the most RNG. Getting a .25 means that my execution was reasonably tight.

Bald Bull 1 (1:02.25): I had figured out a few strats for Bull 1 if you didn't get the lucky star in phase 2, but I did get it, along with a bunch of other stupid pieces of luck.  I got the lucky star (50%), rolling jabs in phase 2 (25%), the good refill in phase 3 (25%), and rolling jabs again in phase 3 (25%). That works out to 1/128, or a 0.78% chance of getting this luck.  Absolutely unreal.
    
Piston Honda 2 (45.97): A few months back, zallard1 found a new phase 1 strategy, which allowed you to get a 27 second time going into the second phase.  He then messed with the idea of using max damage stars in phase 2, but I wasn't able to land them consistently enough.  Then, I realized that if you buffer a left quick dodge, hold start and up, and then let go of up once his guard raises (4 frame window), it lets max damage star punches land.  Doing this was much easier than tying to time the stars manually.  It ended up being a huge discovery, as it ended up letting me save up to 10 seconds.  I ended up getting the good refill in phase 2 as well, which was yet again the best possible luck.

Soda Popinski (51.25): This guy and King Hippo are typically regarded as the two biggest run killers, because they are the most random.  In each phase, Soda can either throw uppercuts (good), or throw hooks (bad), with a delay somewhere between 0 and 4 in-game seconds right before them.  Not only did I get 3 uppercuts in a row, which is quite rare itself, but I got extremely small delays before each one.  The odds in getting a fight this good is probably about 1/30-1/40, so, once more, this was another fight with incredible luck.

Bald Bull 2 (1:30.25): A new strat I figrured ot for this guy was eliminating the chance of him blocking without retaliating in phase 1.  Unfortunately, he still has 3 chances to do it later, and he probably has about a 1/4 chance of doing on each of those punches.  He did it to me once, which is technically considered bad luck, but we only lost about a second because of it.

Don Flamenco 2 (1:26.99): Previously, this fight would typically yield times in the 1:40-1:50 range, or if you were really lucky, you could maybe squeeze out somewhere in the upper 1:30's.  Although these times are still very possible now, and you still will get a time in the 1:40's aroud 80% of the time, there now exist strategies where you can get times in the lower 1:30's, or if you're really lucky, even into the 1:20's.

Zallard figured out an opening for phase 1 where you have 9 chances at getting a random star.  Given that you have a 1/16 chance of getting a random star on any punch where you're holding a star, that works out to roughly a 44% chance of getting a star in phase 1.  After he found that, I put together a bunch of strategies of what to do depending on when you got a random star, how many you got, and what refill he gave in phase 2.  The odds in getting a fight this good ended up being around 1/50.  Funnily enough, I actually messed up pretty badly in phase 1- he blocked the first punch I threw.  The run probably would've been over if he didn't give me a random star right after, and he proceeded to give 2 more after that, along with a good refill.  Yet again, this fight gave the god luck  
    
By this point, I knew that this run was something special.  I felt like I was dreaming.  It was almost as if I couldn't get bad luck; the game wouldn't give it to me.  I was just hoping that I would be able to get a few decent fights to close out the run, but as it turns out, the game wasn't done giving perfect RNG.

Mr. Sandman (2:20.00): I press select to start with half health, because I want to take a knockdown late in the fight to get Sandman to do another dreamland express.  In order to get my health low enough, I take a few hits intentionally in the first phase.  

The two main pieces of RNG in this run are the refill Sandman gets for phase 3, and the delay he does once you get up from your knockdown.  I got the good refill (75%) and the shortest delay (50%), and this caused my time to be 2:20- pretty much as low as this fight can go for single segment.

Super Macho Man (55.97): In late 2015, MTPO speedrunner Ouijawii found out a way to sneak in extra hits on Super Macho Man.  When he told us the following day, the top 4 runners at the time (sinister1, zallard1, ouijawii, and myself) all collaborated for hours on sinister's stream and came up with 2 different strategies that use this mechanic to our advantage.  The first one gets him down at 30 seconds with either 1 or 2 stars, and the second one gets him down at 32-33 seconds with 2 stars guaranteed.  Having 2 stars going into the second phase is extremely beneficial, so I decided that I would use the guaranteed 2 stars strat if I was on a godlike pace, and if not, I would use the risky strat.

As it turned out, this was the most godlike pace I could imagine, so I went and did the safe strat.  I ended up getting the best luck possible in this fight, and although I don't know what the odds were in getting it, I would say probably <25%.  Even with the risky strat, you can't get less than a 53, so getting a 55 was pretty much ideal for the strategy used.

Before the Tyson fight, I had to pause to sort of appreciate the moment.  This was the best pace anybody had been on by a long shot, and it wasn't really because of execution.  It was because the game literally was trying to do everything nice to me that it could.  This pace was practically like a dream.  Nearly every fight had given me PERFECT RNG, which I didn't even know was possible.  Had I been on a pace a few seconds worse than this, I probably would have felt more nervous before Tyson, but instead, I was too in shock of the pace I was on to react.  I pretty much just assumed that the run was dead, and that I would choke on Tyson, or that he would give the 8 second delay.  As I pressed start, I didn't know what to expect, but I knew that regardless of how the Tyson fight went, this run would go down in history- whether it would be known as a world record or the greatest choke of all time, I wasn't sure.

Mike Tyson (2:27): If you don't know how the Tyson fight works, here's a run-down. In round 1, for the first 1:30, he exclusively throws uppercuts, and for the last 1:30, he throws hooks.  You can hit him twice after each punch, regardless of whether it's an uppercut or a hook. For the uppercuts, if you just dodge and hit him with the correct hand (same side of the screen as he threw his uppercut), your two punches deal 5 and 1 damage, respectively.  However, if you delay your 2nd punch just enough, that punch deals 5 damage instead of 1.  The timing on that window?  1 frame.  If you're too early, it deals just 1 damage, and if you're too late, he blocks it, and it deals no damage.  Tyson starts with 96 health.  That means that to do the first phase of the fight optimally, you need to land all frame perfect punches except for 1 (9 punches from Tyson where you deal a total of 90 damage, plus 1 punch where you deal the 6 damage necessary to get 96).  Unfortunately, you need to miss this punch by being early, or else you fall 1 damage short at 95.  He then would need to throw 1 more punch that you would need to dodge and counter, which on average, wastes 5 seconds in phase 1.

Once Tyson switches to hooks, your punches deal 2 damage each.  Meaning, each time he throws a hook, you can deal 4 damage to him.  Similar to uppercuts, there is a way to deal more damage- if you wait to throw your first punch until the last frame of Tyson's vunerability, it will deal 5 damage, and you won't get a chance to throw your second punch.  This is the optimal way to deal with his hooks, but it is very risky- if you're late, he blocks your punch, and instead of dealing 5 damage (or 4 if you're early), you deal 0 damage.  Note that even if you are perfect with your hooks, you can't deal as much damage to him here as when he does uppercuts.  This means that any time you lose to missing uppercuts in phase 1 ends up costing you more time overall, because the more uppercuts he throws in the 2nd phase of the fight (before 1:30), the more damage that can be dealt.

Tyson is also incredibly random.  He can do a variable delay after nearly every uppercut and hook, but the big killer is the 8 second delay that he has a 50% chance of doing in phase 1.  It actually wastes more than 8 seconds (typically between 10-16) because of the property that I explained above, so Tyson doing the 8 second delay pretty much kills any run.

In this particular fight, I start off by landing every frame perfect punch.  Then, I'm 1 frame too late, and I get blocked.  Thankfully, Tyson didn't do the 8 second delay, but I get my first knockdown at 1:02, which would've been 57 if I wasn't blocked.

He threw 5 uppercuts in phase 2, and he just BARELY got that 5th one out in time.  I hit all 5, and send him down for the second time at 1:42.  Given the same execution and pattern in phase 2, if my phase 1 had been a 57, the 2nd knockdown would've been 1:32.  

In phase 3, I hit 6 frame perfect punches on his hooks, which was good enough for a 45 second phase, ending the fight at 2:27 (would've been 2:17 if I wasn't blocked in phase 1).

In total, I hit 20 frame perfect punches.  If I had missed that one punch in the first phase by being too early instead of too late, it would have been 10 seconds faster.  In other words, even with the same amount of mistakes, this fight could have changed drastically.  Although, to be honest, it's a miracle to me that I pulled out a 2:27 on a pace this good.  2:27 is a really good fight, and although it could've been better, I'm fine with it on a run like this.

I'd like to thank the two guys who influenced me the most in terms of running this game- sinister1 and zallard1.  The reason I learned to run Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! was because of watching sinister's stream back in late 2013/early 2014, and his series of tutorials helped me learn some of the more difficult fights.  Zallard also was a big influence for me, as I watched his stream shortly after finding sinister's, and his encouragement helped me push this time down to as low as it is.  Without these two, this run would not have been possible.

In all, although this run is beatable, the luck required, as well as the execution on Tyson, would have to both be insane.  There are people who could do it.  However, I will say this- if this run does get beaten, without the use of any new strategies, I will not be the person to do it.

0:14:02.30

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Level Time Date Player(s)
Piston Honda 1 0:00:42.25 2014-04-09 'sinister1'
Great Tiger 0:00:47.48 2014-04-05 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Super Macho Man 0:00:48.48 2014-08-17 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Von Kaiser 0:00:35.61 2015-02-23 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Bald Bull 1 0:00:56.25 2015-02-26 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Piston Honda 2 0:00:44.00 2015-03-05 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Soda Popinski 0:00:46.25 2015-01-28 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Bald Bull 2 0:01:19.82 2015-03-12 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Don Flamenco 2 0:01:23.61 2015-03-18 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Mr. Sandman 0:02:16.97 2015-03-12 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Mike Tyson 0:02:07.00 2015-11-15 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Great Tiger (0:00:47.48)

Great Tiger (0:47.48): Instead of going for gut punches to gather stars, I go for face punches which is very slightly faster than gut punches. The difficulty of this strategy is that for a face punch to actually yield a star it needs to be thrown frame perfectly or else you get nothing. I tried to find a buffer to get these stars, but there simply doesn't exist a set of movements that let you get them, so I hit all 4 of them manually. Thankfully, I found 2 buffers that work for the final 2 punches of the phase to where I will get a 47.48 as long as I actually get all 4 frame perfect stars. This one attempt finally got it, although it deviates from a standard Tiger fight because I threw a star a bit earlier than usual, but since I did not lose track of the stars thrown, it did not matter and I still matched the TAS time regardless.

Strategy credits: Matt Turk, Zallard1

Super Macho Man (0:00:48.48)

Super Macho Man (0:48.48): This is possibly the Punch Out IL run that I am most proud of, even when considering the other Punch Out games. Super Macho Man is one of the most complicated fights in the game in terms of tech since fast fights with him often require several techniques, some of which are completely unique to Macho. I apologize in advance for how long these comments will be, but I really have ALOT to say about this fight because of how complex it is and how insane it is.

The fight starts with a delayed dizzy destroyer, which is where Macho's guard is lifted by tapping up, then you hit him in the gut and buffer a face jab. Usually, dizzy destroyers have you let go of up after the face jab starts to come out or else Macho will block it, but I think in the case of these first 4 punches in the strategy, this isn't necessarily the case. The reason the first hit is delayed is because the second hit must "intercept" his uppercut that he's about to throw. The following gutter does the same thing with the next uppercut he is about to throw, which is advantageous for both accruing hits to gather the first star on the 4th hit and skipping 2 attacks to get to his mini spin pattern faster. After the gutter, a face jab is landed for the 4th hit to get the first star, and then 3 blocked punches are thrown to cancel his next 3 attacks so he initiates his mini spin waiting period where he just stands there.

Now this section is key, I need to deal a dizzy destroyer to gather stars and throw out 2 max damage uppercuts. For a star punch to deal max damage on Super Macho Man, depending on where Macho's guard is when you throw a star, you need to manipulate it with specific "up" taps on the dpad such that he cannot dodge your star punch even after you have hit him with 2 already. This not only ensures landing the star, but it also deals ALOT more damage. In this part of the fight, you need to hold up+start until you see Macho lift his gloves, then release. After the uppercuts, it is followed up with 1 dizzy destroyer, 1 more max damage uppercut, and finally 1 gutter to end phase 1. The ideal situation concerning the random stars left over would be to end the phase with 1 since it increases the likelihood of Macho rounding up your time correctly at the first super spin wind up. This was my first attempt that ever ended with a 25 second knockdown while holding a star, which is significant because gathering a star takes slightly longer than not getting one. I got past phase 1 maybe once every 150 fights or so for both the difficulty in executing it as well as the tremendous amount of luck.

Phase 2 opens with a face punch which can be thought of as "finishing" the dizzy destroyer based on the gutter that knocked him down in phase 1. Then a max damage uppercut is thrown and 3 VERY fast dizzy destroyer hits need to follow. If you do not get the 3rd hit in due to being slow, your attempt at this strategy is over. When Macho starts his wind up for his super spin punches, he freezes the timer by rounding up to the next second plus 0.99 seconds, so it's important to be sufficiently fast or else you lose an entire second. I actually got an unlucky star at this point in the fight which would've made Macho stop the timer at 37 seconds, but because of the miracle 25 second phase 1, he just barely rounded my time to 36. Now Macho backs up and a spin sucker needs to be executed to knock him down. A spin sucker is where you need to throw your star immediately after Macho completes his final spin. The way that sinister1 found to execute it consistently is by gauging when he stops by dodging his spin punches blind and looking squarely at the in-game clock to see when it starts up again. Once it begins, you must press start instead of dodging again and you will land the star before he can dodge it.

Phase 3 opens with a max damage uppercut (his guard is up, so you need to tap up briefly only after he drops it naturally). Once that goes off, he backs up to do his final super spin sequence. This moment is what made beating the previous record insane. Because I wanted to beat Turk's time, instead of doing the standard spin sucker that I described above, I had no choice but to "gamble" with his spin punches and quick dodge into his final spin. This is intensely risky this late in the fight and will end the entire attempt instantly if the guess is wrong. This was also coined as the "psychic feel" by sinister1 since there is an unknown cue during his final spin that you can use to tell when he stops spinning. I could not master this technique consistently, so instead I assumed Macho would stop on 3 spins. Once he stops on 3 and the star punch lands, his guard must fall before the double face jab can be landed to finish the fight.

Somehow despite the incredible odds, everything lined up perfectly. The luck to complete this fight is absolutely terrifying considering the amount of execution that also goes into it. Thankfully he is also a password character and can be restarted ad nauseam, but even then this fight is still wickedly daunting. Just to clarify, here are the luck events needed out of Macho to complete the fight thanks to McHazard:

Uppercut on the first punch (1/4)
Uppercut on the second punch (3/4)
Mini-spin pattern (5/8)
Longest mini-spin delay (1/4)
At least one random star out of three (1 - (5/8)^3 = 387/512, or slightly better than 3/4)
The right super spin punch delay twice (1/4).
The final spin stopping on the 3rd one (5/16)

The odds of the entire fight being successful are 29025/16777216 or about 1 in 578 if you assume that Macho stops on 3 spins. If you don't guess the spin or are consistent at the psychic feel, then it would be 5805/1048576 or about 1 in 180.

The goal with this fight was to try to improve the previous world record time held by Matt Turk at 48.82. I was really having doubts that when the time came where I got all the luck that I wouldn't even tie it, but when the game showed that I beat Turk's time by not just one, but TWO timer increments, I simply couldn't believe it. A 48.48 is what Turk postulated would be the absolute low to achieve in real time, which isn't far off from McHazard's theory TAS of 48.25. Special thanks to McHazard for breaking down the fight with some extra research for us, sinister1 for believing in me when it comes to running any fights in MTPO, and of course Matt Turk for his awesome record that ended up making me push it to this time.

Strategy credits: Daniel Teixeira, RedTom, Matt Turk, Adelikat, and Sinister1

Von Kaiser (0:00:35.61)

Von Kaiser (0:35.61): First off, major thanks to McHazard for adjusting the strategy ever so slightly to where Phase 1 is much, much easier in real time than the pure TAS strategy is. It starts off with a face punch, then buffer a right gutter, then hold up as soon as Mac's gutter starts to come out, similar to a reverse dizzy destroyer. This adjustment is 1 frame slower than the TAS, but luckily, the TAS time is the earliest frame in the 35.61 increment, while this fight ends up being the latest while still being a 35.61. After the right gutter, you want to buffer 2 left gut punches, then tap up really fast after the 2nd left gutter to keep his guard up so you can land the next 2. Now this next punch is the toughest part of the fight right here. You need to delay at least 1 frame after the left gutters before you throw a jab. You also need to make sure that you tap up+punch extremely fast so Kaiser guard does not react to it by raising his guard up. Given perfect execution, you still only have a 3/16 chance of the punch to connect in the correct way. Punch #8 is the same as the punch in most of the other Kaiser strategies where you just buffer it and let go of up at the correct time. If phase 1 was done frame perfectly, then you will get a 0:20 on the clock instead of the standard 0:21, which I happened to get! In phase 2, you have to tap up when Kaiser drops his guard, then throw 2 gut punches. I did not get a frame perfect phase here since you can actually get it to where it looks like he doesn't duck when the 1st punch connects. In phase 3, you need to do a frame perfect duck in order to save 1 frame vs a frame perfect quick dodge. I happened to get it in this fight, which meant of the frames lost vs the TAS, I lost 1 in phase 1 intentionally, and one in phase 2 unintentionally.

Strategy credits: Matt Turk, Miles Hardinson, Brian Picchi, and McHazard

Bald Bull 1 (0:00:56.25)

Bald Bull 1 (0:56.25): This was a pretty brutal fight for a variety of reasons. First off this guy is 4 fights into the Major Circuit, which means every time I want to fight him 3 times, I have to fight Don, Hippo, and Tiger x 3; not fun. Secondly, this fight is very random and has 2 very difficult punches that often end runs.

Phase 1 is the standard 17 second knockdown, so nothing too wild yet. The good stuff starts in phase 2 where I need a 50% random star from the first punch. This allows me to gather 3 stars and unload one since holding 3 stars keeps Bull from dodging them, then I hold up for the moment before his first hook to manipulate his guard, dodge, then star punch. Here is where a good chunk of my attempts that got this far died; I need to get a star off of Bull dropping his guard, but my punch has only a 2 frame window to hit AND I can't be holding up when the punch is going off. If I'm too late on that window, Bull attempts to throw a hook, which means he blocks my attack. After that, I need to counter his hook which has a 50% chance of giving me a star, then I need a 25% likely rolling jab pattern out of him to finish off the phase with 3 stars. It's also worth noting that I used a buffer strategy that I made to throw the star frame perfectly.

Phase 3 hinges on whether or not you get the 1/4 refill, if Bull goes into the rolling jab pattern (you DON'T want this to happen), and the final uppercut in the fight. So if you are late on the final uppercut, there is a 9/16 chance that he won't dodge the uppercut, but if your quick dodge is frame perfect, it hits 100% of the time! In this fight, I believe I was 1 frame too late on the quick dodge, so I was luckily bailed out by Bull not dodging the final uppercut. Sub 56 is possible, but just barely. This fight took 344 attempts since I started going after it again. I didn't track how many it took for him when I got the 57.00, so I guess add about 100-200 to that or so. I don't think I will pursue it considering the annoyance of getting to this fight to do attempts.

Strategy credits: RedTom, Martin Charlebois, Matt Turk, Jack Wedge, McHazard, Zallard1

Piston Honda 2 (0:00:44.00)

Piston Honda 2 (0:44.00): This was the first boxer that McHazard ended up revolutionizing. At the time, the TAS by adelikat scored a 50.25 on Honda 2, but McHazard wasn't convinced this was the end-all time for this guy. He asked sinister if you could do max damage uppercuts on Honda 2 similar to Super Macho Man, but sinister was told by Matt Turk and adelikat that it was impossible. McHazard ended up proving them wrong with a WIP TAS with just the Honda 2 fight that handily got a sub 40. This inspired sinister to get 48.00 and then 46.61 with a few different strategies. If you want to check them out in detail, here is his Honda 2 strategy evolution video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXYUuom92FU

Now, for this 44.00 fight, I went in on this fight having no experience with the previous strategies, so I immediately went in on the hardest strategy that was realistic for a real time run. With this strategy, I had to kind of scrape together some of the stuff sinister had in highlights and piece it together since there was no completed fight out there with a 44/43 second time. Phase 1 was the same as the 46.61 video, but for phase 2 I had to look around until I found a highlight that sin had with a much faster phase 2. The huge caveat of getting a 44/43 strategy to be successful is the amount of max damage uppercuts you have to perform in one fight. The 48.00 strategy used one in phase 2, while the 46.61 had 2 max damage uppercuts in the first 2 phases. This 44.00 fight upped the ante to 3 max damage stars, although the 3rd one doesn't necessarily need to deal max damage, it just needs to connect. Performing the max damage uppercuts on Honda 2 are very strange if you are used to the ones on Super Macho Man. If Honda's guard is already up, you need to press start as his guard drops naturally, then tap up really fast near the end of the star punch going off. The window for this is far tighter than Macho's, and I need to emphasize how important it is that start needs to be pressed AS his guard falls and never before it does. The other max damage star situation is if his guard is already down, then you need to do start+up on the perfect frame relative to when Honda was idle, then release both about 12-16 frames later for the star to do max damage and connect.

This fight had a flawless phase 1 as far as I could tell. It might be possible to do the first max damage uppercut slightly faster, but you're somewhat dictated by when he goes into the first barrage of attacks, so it's about as good as it'll get without a major strategy change. Phase 2 had an extra random star rewarded to me, which actually wasted a few frames because it takes longer for the star to register because of the little animation it has. I also just barely pull off the hard max damage uppercut in this phase, because his guard shifts down exactly 1 frame before the star connects, which is literally as close as it gets. Phase 3 was all about landing the star. Because I have not collected the amount of stars to where Honda will take an uppercut, I have to do another max damage star. Luckily, since he gets up on a 1 count, the only thing that matters is that the star connects, so the "max damage" part of the star punch is irrelevant. If anyone is wanting to improve an IL on SDA, this is probably a good one to shoot for. Considering he's a password character, you could do pretty much the same exact strategy and potentially get a faster time than this if you don't get the "unlucky" star in phase 2. It might also be possible to out strategize this fight, but it would make it absurdly brutal if that ends up being the route a future runner takes.

Strategy credits: Matt Turk, Adelikat, Sinister1, and McHazard

Soda Popinski (0:00:46.25)

Soda Popinski (0:46.25): So, for the longest time, this record was pretty much the one that sinister and I thought we'd never see on SDA. The luck required is absurd and it just seemed like there wasn't enough there to get a time as low as this without knowing precisely what Matt Turk did for his run. I am pretty sure this strategy is different than what he used, because this was just baaarely possible thanks to a number of really important factors; the first being McHazard. He told us straight up that the TAS gutters were simply not recommended in real time for IL purposes. Even if they were reliable to execute, each one makes the luck for the fight skyrocket, which is not exactly something ideal for real time runs. However, he shared a strategy that can potentially beat Turk's 46.48... if you are real close to frame perfect. You also have to assume you get the ideal pattern every time of course, so you cannot slowly improve your PB into the 46.xx range; it's all or nothin' with this fight! Soda has this quirk with his uppercuts where if you are holding down, he will freeze in his crouch animation and allow you to punch him, which sets a flag that allows him to be knocked down with any subsequent star punch in that phase. You basically needed to do ducks where you don't let go of down then intercept Soda's uppercut early. Also, when that duck happen, you need to tap punch ahead of time, assuming you get the best possible delay out of Soda every single time. You also cannot have the punch button held for any significant amount of time, or else Soda reads your input and decides to uppercut your face. I didn't realize how important assuming the best pattern was until recently when McHazard pointed it out to me, so up until now I could never ever land the early uppercut counters. So I ended up getting a 46.82 in a mere 8 attempts... which is very unusual considering the ~1/150 odds required for all the luck. Check out the VOD here: http://www.twitch.tv/zallard1/c/5958592

So, I was ready to give up on this unless something new were to be found, and I'll be damned, something new popped up the day after I did this! Enter Jack Wedge. I've actually conversed with Jack in the past in the early early days of routing Punch Out Wii on the GameFAQs forums, so I know he's a pretty great Punch Out player & overall strategist. He also had a history with MTPO related things, and his blindfolded endeavors seemed to conveniently bring him back just in time, because Soda IL attempts were starting on my end. He was in the middle of finding interesting random stuff for Soda, two of which actually give you more options in single segment runs if the luck goes sour! However... the 3rd thing he found was exactly what was needed... a way to execute a buffer strategy in the Soda fight. There are no options for buffers, except the duck. But because the duck locks your down input and freely lets you punch, it seemed like the duck was required. Well, Jack found that you can buffer a right dodge and tap punch then down sequentially, which both let the punch get thrown, and keeps Soda frozen to take the hit. This little strategy has been named the Screwdriver by Jack. The Screwdriver may seem minor just because it accomplishes the same thing the duck does on the surface, but the kicker is that this maneuver is consistently frame perfect in real time, whereas the duck cannot be because of the nature of the input. This was the consistency I needed to convince me to keep going on attempts, because the increments are about 3 frames long on average for Soda. Considering the Screwdriver saves ~6 frames on average compared to the 46.82, this simply had to be included in the fight. Amazingly enough, I got the run a mere 46 attempts after the initial 8 to get the 46.82, totaling out at 54. Did I mention that this fight has ~1/150 luck? Because these sets of attempts sure could have fooled me...

The other 46 attempts: http://www.twitch.tv/zallard1/c/5990665

This concludes the journey of not only getting every single MTPO IL WR onto SDA, but getting each record to have a video at all. This was a team effort between me, sinister1, McHazard, and Khananaphone (with special mention to Jack). RedTom's website listed records in the form of text, with no video attached to any of them, so it's real great to have been able to honor every one of Matt Turk's records as legitimate competition to raise the IL table to the standards this game truly deserves. Even though I have not spoken to you in great excess, thank you Matt Turk for giving this game all the time you did. You always have, and always will be, one of the greatest MTPO players of all time, and this is proof that your efforts will never be forgotten.

Strategy credits: Daniel Teixeira, Chrome Virus, Adelikat, McHazard, Sinister1, and Jack Wedge.

Bald Bull 2 (0:01:19.82)

Bald Bull 2 (1:19.82): Because I was going for multiple IL's at once, I paired this with Honda 2 attempts for efficiency reasons since you need to go through that fight to get here anyways. Not much has changed since sinister's 1:20.82 submission not long ago aside from tighter execution, but I'll recap some of the more important info. The original strategy for real time runs of Bull 2 would include a technique called the "Bull Dozer" which gave you a 1/16 chance at an extra star. Matt Turk had a time of 1:21.82 which included two dozers, which is 1/256 luck, pretty rough to say the least. However with McHazard on the case, he found a way to effectively gutter Bull 2. Thankfully each gutter only required 1/4 luck as opposed to 1/16 like the Bull Dozers did, which is an enormous advantage! The fight needed to be worked around how the gutters work, but this seems to be solid.

Phase 1 starts off with provoking 2 attacks and gathering stars with delayed gut punches. I do a left gut punch because it's a few frames faster and the HP ends up to where the extra damage from both rights isn't needed. As I throw the star punch, I'm holding up so Bull's guard is raised during the uppercut. Then I need to buffer a left gut, and immediately as Mac's punch goes off, I need to hold up again. After the gutter is landed, the rest of the phase is pretty self explanatory. Phase 2 starts by holding up+B to get the freebie star, then I buffer B and hold up as soon as Mac's gut punch goes off, same as the gutter in phase 1. Then you use 2 stars and pray he goes into an "ear-run" pattern at the end of the phase. The odds of it happening are 1/4 likely, but once it lands, the rest of the fight is mostly over. Phase 3 you just need to land the gut punches and finish the fight off like normal. As far as any improvement to this, the most likely thing you could do would be to fit in another gutter in phase 3 to mirror the one in phase 2, but that increases the luck to 1/256. Not completely impossible or anything, but still quite a grind considering the execution for this is also really tricky. I might revisit this one one day, but until then, sub 1:20 is pretty great. This fight took 124 attempts to get.

Strategy credits: Matt Turk, Adelikat, Daniel Browne, and McHazard

Don Flamenco 2 (0:01:23.61)

Don Flamenco 2 (1:23.61): This fight is dumb, outrageously luck based and doesn't deserve intensely detailed comments, so I'll just go over some of the basic guidelines. You need to hit the Select button before the fight even begins to reduce your health by half. This considers you as damaged, which unlocks a 1/8 likely refill in phase 3 that's far lower than usual. The first counter off of Don 2 will yield a star, and as long as you're holding a star in reserve, you also have a 1/16 chance of a subsequent counter to also yield a star. You do get a guaranteed star every few counters or so (forget the # of counters at the moment), so that helps a little. You want to end phase 1 at around 44-45 seconds or so for most of the situations you will likely get for phase 1. Phase 2 is dictated by your refill, which is 50% likely to be useless. Phase 3 also depends on the luck/execution from phase 2, but is most often the same as the one in this fight. Of all the IL's on this table, this is the one that is the most improvable, but good luck on that grind if you go for it, you'll need it all and then some. This fight took 689 attempts to get just to give you an idea.

Strategy credits: RedTom, Matt Turk, Adelikat

Mr. Sandman (0:02:16.97)

Mr Sandman (2:16.97): I have to give HUGE shoutouts to McHazard for this improvement, because the dude was very helpful in breaking down this fight to me to where I could even cut this much time off. He tested pretty much everything I suggested almost immediately. Thanks man!

As far as the fight goes, in light of McHazard's findings in his new MTPO TAS, it is now possible to deal more damage to Mr. Sandman in the first 50 seconds of the fight compared to the older strategies where you have to punch Sandman in the face. If you raise Sandman's guard before he starts any of his jabs, you can land gut punches that deal extra damage, which let you skip 4 punches in the Nightmare combos for phase 1. However, because of how optimized my Sandman time on SDA already was, this time I opted to completely forgo the Nightmare combos and go straight up with the full TAS strategy for phase 1. This saves a very miniscule amount of time while ramping up both the difficulty and the luck of this fight significantly! You now need Sandman to naturally throw hooks, which is quite rare. You also need to hit Sandman with a frame perfect right gut punch in order to deal the correct amount of damage without getting blocked. Thankfully, McHazard found a right-quick-dodge buffer strategy that eliminates this concern, making this realistically feasible. For the final attack in phase 1, I hit Sandman's gut after his natural hook, then quick dodge into a jab, which results in a really minimal frame loss for the buffer while maintaining 100% consistency, which is so important in this fight now.

Phase 2 starts with 2 Extended Nightmares, then here's the unusual part, I buffer 3 left dodges, but I am required to tap the A button during the dodges to heighten the odds of Sandman doing a secret faster delay that would be 0% without any button manipulations, then I quick dodge all 3 uppercuts in the Dreamland Express to where I don't waste 2 frames on the final dodge (this lets me deal the max amount of punches in his stun). Because of the intense luck of this fight, I do not even risk the frame perfect gutter like last time because a left quick dodge only costs 2 frames, which is very miniscule in this fight since Sandman has the longest timer for round 1 compared to every other boxer in the game. At this point I have a 1:51, so I can provoke Sandman into throwing a punch so I can quickly get some extra damage in before he knocks me down after 1:59 + 1 frame (I can't get knocked down earlier than 1:59 + 1 frame or else Sandman wont do the 2nd dreamland express). I deal 3 hits since my pace is more similar to the TAS's pace than some of my previous submissions.

As soon as I get up for the final phase, I buffer a left dodge so I get a perfect visual cue on when to start dodging Sandman's Dreamland Express, which is the instant I see Mac completely centered. This allows me to dodge before he even flashes, which saves a nice chunk of time. Plus considering the extra damage I dealt before I got knocked down, I get to throw far less punches than older strategies. This is the only 2:16.xx Sandman time performed on console at the moment and rests a mere 0.49 seconds away from the TAS time. It also took 635 attempts of just fighting Sandman to get this particular fight. I will never improve this time... and this time I actually mean it.

Strategy credits: RedTom, Matt Turk, Adelikat, Sinister1, Zallard1, McHazard

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