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: 0:17:06.24 by 'sinister1'.
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First off a huge thanks to Matt Turk and Adelikat who both helped me quite a bit with my MTPO endeavors. Thanks to SDA for verifying and hosting awesome speedruns.
A few things about single segment MTPO:
1) You have to be somewhat insane to attempt this run because you need to hit a frame perfect trick 4 fights in, get reasonable luck with the RNG (a tall order in this game), and beat Mike Tyson in round 1 at the very end of the run, a task that is probably one of the hardest to accomplish on the NES console.
2) You have to be very patient and prepared to put in quite a few attempts because 80% will end before you fight Great Tiger. I completed the game in sub 17:30 (my original goal) less than 2% of attempts.
3) Literally half the boxers in this game (7) can ruin or end a run simply by giving you bad randomness regardless of your execution.
On to the fights!
Glass Joe (42.25) : I do not reset at the loss of .25 seconds because quite frankly it is just not worth it in a run this long. I would rather get the extra attempts afforded to me by taking a 42.25 which is really only a few frames slower than 42.00. My success rate on Glass Joe was 84.4% a number that would have been much, much lower had I only taken 42.00 fights.
Von Kaiser (38.25): No random star means I lose 1 second in this fight. Again not something I would reset over, just not worth it in the long run.
Piston Honda (48.48): Again luck is not on my side and I get the bad refill which costs 2 seconds. I would take anything 50 or less on this guy though as he is more than random than he appears.
Don Flamenco (14.97): Doesn't get any better than this...a frame perfect fight which equals the TAS time.
King Hippo (1:00.25): This is actually the fight I am most upset about and I almost reset here, but this is about the outer limits of what an acceptable pace is, so I keep going and hope for the best. It also miffed me that it was my fault that I got this time and I can't even blame the RNG like usual.
Great Tiger (48.00): Almost perfect, 47.99 which is 1-3 frames faster is the absolute low for this strat.
Bald Bull (1:13.25): No random star to open phase 2 costs 4 seconds, but the good refill in phase 3 gains minimized the damage. I found an alternate strategy for this fight after completing this run that would have saved a good 5 seconds in phase 3 (as seen in the Japan Relief Done Quick marathon), but not much help after the fact.
Piston Honda 2 (54.99): Very tight execution here but the bad refill in phase 2 costs me 2 seconds. I will say that it is very difficult to hit the final face jab of phase 1 (it may even be frame perfect) so it is pretty sweet that I got it here.
Soda Popinski (1:01.25): This guy is a real piece of work. His randomness destroyed so many of my runs that he was actually 3rd highest non-Tyson run killer behind the dirty duo of King Hippo and Don Flamenco. He screwed me for a 10 second loss here and now I am really on the ropes.
Bald Bull 2 (1:29.00): Very tight execution, could have been about 2-6 frames faster which would yield a 1:28.97. The good news is this guy has extremely low randomness and can only cost you a few seconds on rare occassions if you execute pefectly which I pretty much did.
Don Flamenco 2 (1:54.48): This guy is a douche, and I later found a more optimal strat on him that would save a very significant chunk of time putting him consistenly down in the 1:4x range rather than 1:5x range. He is extremely random, the most random fighter in fact, and he gave me somewhat below average luck in this fight. By the way, average luck is shit, and so is good luck, you really just need "OMG, I won the fucking lottery" luck on this guy for a good fight.
Mr. Sandman (2:27.82): My execution is nearly flawless but he gives me below average luck by delaying an extra 8 seconds total throughout the fight. Well at least he didn't give me the bad refill on top of it, that would cost another 7 seconds.
Super Macho Man (56.25): This fight basically saved the run. You cannot get better luck than this, but that means jack shit if you don't execute like a champion because this is probably the second most difficult fight behind Mike Tyson. The techniques used in this fight are many, and they are not of the easy variety (see IL comments for more details). Getting Super Macho Man in under 1 minute is something only a few people have ever done, so to get it in a single segment run is pretty special.
Mike Tyson: Well, I was pretty nervous by this point and let me tell you that does not help when trying to pull off a round 1 victory against this bruiser. I missed 3 punches in phase 1 but luckily he was in a fast pattern so he still went down early enough that he would throw 3-4 more uppecuts in phase 2. I was lucky and he threw 4, of which I missed on one frame precise late hit and he gave me the delay pattern which cost 6 seconds all told. He gives me the delay pattern again in phase 3 costing another 3 seconds, but I still manage to get him down just in time. If I had executed better in phase 1 this fight would have likely been in the 2:4x range, but it is still an acceptable fight considering the fact that it is extremely difficult to beat him in round 1 period, let alone get a fast time.
Overall this is a pretty good run. The luck was below average overall, and the execution was extremely tight except on King Hippo and Mike Tyson. I would like to get sub 17 on this sometime and it is certainly doable with enough attempts but I just do not have the time right now and will have to wait. I will say that for a benchmark this is pretty high and would be very tough to beat, a good innagural run for a great NES classic.
Well if you have read this far, why not read a little more?? I started tracking my attempts after Awesome Games Done Quick 2011, unfortunately I did not discriminate between RNG and runner error, but I would say that RNG was at fault more than 70% of the time in these cases. Here are some interesting stats:
455 = total number of attempts post AGDQ1.
1.7% = frequency of attempts in which I did not reset and completed the game under 17:30 (occured 8 times).
19.3% = frequency an attempt went beyond King Hippo.
10.1% = frequency an attempt went beyond Soda Popinski.
122 = Most resets on any fighter (Don Flamenco 1 aka Frame Perfect Don).
1 = Least resets on any fighter (Great Tiger who is completely non-random).
0 = number of times you will see Round 2 during this run.
Biggest run killers*: Mike Tyson (56%), King Hippo (49%), Don Flamenco 1 (42%), Soda Popinski (39%)
Biggest pushovers**: Great Tiger (99%), Piston Honda 2 (96%), Von Kaiser, (92%) Bald Bull 1 (91%)
* percentage rounded to nearest decimal based on how often they killed a run in which I actually fought them.
** percentage rounded to nearest decimal based on how often I beat them in a run in which I actually fought them.
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|Piston Honda 1||0:00:43.82||2011-11-15||'sinister1'|
|Don Flamenco 1||0:00:14.97||2010-09-25||'sinister1'|
|Bald Bull 1||0:01:19.97||2010-08-30||'sinister1'|
|Piston Honda 2||0:00:52.48||2010-09-26||'sinister1'|
|Bald Bull 2||0:01:25.97||2011-01-10||'sinister1'|
|Don Flamenco 2||0:01:26.48||2011-06-27||'sinister1'|
|Super Macho Man||0:00:50.97||2011-10-11||'sinister1'|
First off big thanks to the SDA crew who keeps things running nice and smooth around here.
I would like to give a very special thanks to Adelikat for all the hard work he did, and without whom this run would not have been completed. I would also like to thank Matt Turk who was a source of inspiration, support and help. He developed many of the strategies seen in this run and set the bar incredibly high with his record times in this game. Also big thanks to all the folks listed below in the strategy credits sections whose work over the years has made this run possible.
After completing my segmented run I found that I was still wanting to play this game. It is addictive like that. I knew I did not want to try a single segment run yet and the individual levels table seemed kind of overwhelming. I decided to put it out there though and see if anyone would want to help out. Lucky for me I got a very unexpected response on the GameFAQ's message boards from TASer extraordinaire, Adelikat. At first he was thinking he would just help with strategy and general knowledge, but it didn't take long before the console came calling and he could not resist. TAS master that he may be, Adelikat was heavily involved in console MTPO at one time and had some records on the infamous RedTom's record shrine. It did not take him long to get back into the swing of things and he was putting up good times within the first week of playing.
The biggest benefit Adelikat brought to the table was his in-depth knowledge of both MTPO and TASing. He would simply stream himself TASing fights so we could brainstorm ideas for new or improved strats. If you think this would be tedious you have obviously not seen this man TAS on ustream. It is like playing a game in the twilight zone, where up is down and down is up. Basically he is so proficient at it, it is like he is playing in real time, but can stop and rewind to fix things if needed. Doing this is how we came up with some monster strats on Piston Honda 1 and Super Machoman. Most of the other strats were already out there on the internet and good enough so we would only have to make minor adjustments if any. It did not take long before Adelikat had gotten submittable times on King Hippo (0:37.97), Great Tiger (0:47.99), Piston Honda 2 (0:52.25), Soda Popinski (0:53.00), and Bald Bull 2 (1:28.48). But, there was a problem. We were unable to find a way of converting his videos to the three required SDA .mp4 qualities. At this point we were both pretty frustrated. Adding to the frustration was my erasing three fights inadvertently and having to redo them. I decided I was not about to give up on this after all the work we had put in and got back on the console. And I was on fire. I cranked out the five fights we needed in probably less than 100 attempts combined. I even managed to get Glass Joe (with star), Von Kaiser, and King Hippo on the same day when I was home from work with the flu! OK, enough boasting, on to the fights:
Glass Joe (0:42.00): The first time I saw Adelikat's TAS of MTPO this fight stood out, because it is normally so boring. But if you add a star punch at the end, boring turns to awesome. This may look easy folks, but I assure you its not. It took me close to 100 attemtps to pull this off, and then I accidentally formatted the DVD it was on so I had to do this fight a second time. You need sick luck and sick timing for this one, all for the sake of entertainment and so people wouldn't have to endure another mindnumbingly boring 42.00 face jab on Glass Joe.
Strategy credits: Adelikat
Von Kaiser (0:36.61): I really do not like fighting this guy. Something about it just annoys me. Whatever. I use a strat that was posted on Youtube by Brian Picchi who reports getting 36.00 with it. I cannot come anywhere close to that so apparently I suck at this guy. I hope someone beats this time and submits because I know there are people out there who actually are good at VK. I am pretty sure I was perfect going into the final phase but my ducking his uppercut was terribly slow and likely cost me a 36.48.
Strategy credits: Matt Turk, Miles Hardinson, and Brian Picchi
Piston Honda (0:43.82): Apparently this fight is frame perfect for the strat used according to Adelikat. I was doing a single segment run and just happened to get the insane luck needed for this. There was also less pressure since I already had a 43.97 and was not even trying for an IL time. Worked out well I must say.
Taking it to the next level, I have actually found two alternative strategies that will yield faster times, however they are both incredibly difficult and require massive amounts of luck. I would estimate the number of attempts required to get a mid-high 42.xx would be in the 400 - 1200 range. Maybe one day, but for now I am quite happy with this fight. Thanks to Adelikat for the easy phase 3 technique which is used here, and is only slightly slower than the much more complicated, difficult, and random phase 3's that can yield 42.xx.
Strategy credits: Adelikat, Matt Turk, and Sinister1
Don Flamenco (0:14.97): Frame perfect Don as I like to call him. To get 0:14.97 which matches the TAS requires two frame perfect movements, the first, to obtain the star, and the second, to dodge late enough to start the speedy punches, but not so late as to lose a single frame which would yield 0:14.99. This fight was also on the DVD that got reformatted and it was redone.
Strategy credits: Daniel Teixeira, Martin Charlebois, and Adelikat
King Hippo (0:37.61): This fight was done by Andres Delikat of TASVideos.org. Here are some details he provided about this particular fight: Due to the way the clock works, a human player has a 2 frame margin of error in the entire fight to still get a .61 time. If the total frame error is between 3-6 the time will be 37.82. If the timing error is 7-10 it will be 37.97 and between 11-15 will result in a 38.00 time. In order to get max damage from the open mouth punch, the player can not be more than 5 frames late, so any margin over 15 will result in a failed attempt. The only randomness that matters with King Hippo is him opening his mouth. There is a 6/16 chance of him opening his mouth for any given punch. Thus the odds of getting the correct randomness to get the fastest possible time is a 6/16 * 6/16 * 6/16. This reduces to a 27/512 to approximately a 5% chance.
My personal best on King Hippo is 37.97 putting me in the 7-10 frames of timing error. To be quite honest I would have been perfectly satisfied with this time since you only get the correct randomness 5% of the time, but thankfully Adelikat came through with this fight and very appropriately equalled the TAS time.
Strategy credits: RedTom
Great Tiger (0:47.99): This guy is not random at all which is great, BUT...Yeah, there's a but. If you want to get 47.xx on him you need to do one of two things. You can either be frame perfect the whole fight using body blow counters to get stars, or you can be frame perfect using face jabs to obtain stars. Take you pick :) Either way this fight is very, very, difficult when it comes to clearing 48 seconds which strangely is a piece of cake. I can get 48.xx with my eyes closed (literally). Anyway, I ended up getting this fight during a single segment attempt and almost fell out of my chair when I saw the 47 because I was not expecting it at all. I really did not think I was even getting 48.00 which I have gotten 3 or 4 times, but I will gladly take it.
Strategy credit: Matt Turk
Bald Bull (1:01.97): This guy is much more random than he appears. He has several random stars, a random attack pattern in phase 2, and a random energy refill in phase 3. To have a good fight you need two random stars which are 50% likely to happen each. The correct attack pattern in phase 2, about 25% likely to happen. And finally the good energy refill which I estimate about 33% likely to happen. All that and you need to not make a mistake. Now I am no math whiz, but let me tell you those are not good odds. I think I got the proper luck twice in around one hundred attempts. Now if that was not bad enough, you need to perform a frame perfect dodge at the very end of the fight to ensure your last star uppercut connects. No pressure...
As for improvements, I could have been faster in 3 spots which likely would have pushed me a hair under 1:00. Unfortunately it is very hard to practice hitting him very quickly in phase 2 when he starts his rolling jabs, because he does them so infrequently. That is the spot I lost the most frames. If I ever improve this I will probably implement a modified version of the TAS strat which will guarantee sub 1:00 even if I am slow in a few spots.
Strategy credits: RedTom, Martin Charlebois, Matt Turk, and Jack Wedge.
Piston Honda 2 (0:52.48): Matt Turk invented a strategy to beat this guy in under 56 seconds aptly named "Blinded Barrage." A beautiful mix of counters and combos that result in the opponent being the only one besides Glass Joe to never throw a punch the entire fight. I first mastered Blinded Barrage, then realized it could be improved by implementing the phase 2 used in Adelikat's TAS. Combining the two resulted in this very low time which can only be topped using the TAS strategy for phase 1 which requires a frame perfect punch, a few random stars, and a favorable energy refill. I may attempt that one day, but for the time being, 52.48 is way lower than I ever thought I would get on this guy, so I am okay with it.
Strategy credits: Matt Turk, Adelikat, and Sinister1.
Soda Popinski (0:50.25): This one is all luck pretty much. The execution has to be somewhat tight but it really comes down to how fast he kneels down for his big uppercuts. You need him to not delay in all three phases to get a good time. I would compare this fight to King Hippo but without such tough timing. I found that following Adelkat's TAS strat of ducking increases the chances of Soda going for his uppercut immediately. Unfortunately I was a tad slow in a few spots and it may have cost me enough frames to negate a 50.00 or 49.99. I would really like a sub 50 time on this guy but I just do not see spending enough time to get the right randmoness and be frame perfect. I got this time in a single segment attempt so I was pretty happy to improve my 51.97 that I worked very hard to get.
Strategy credits: Daniel Teixeira, Chrome Virus, Adelikat, and Sinister1.
Bald Bull 2 (1:25.97): I really had no clue what to do for this fight. In my segmented run I use the non-random strategy developed by Daniel Browne to beat him in 1:29.97. I started out using a strategy that Adelikat developed that requires one piece of luck and that is he must do his ear rub at the end of phase 2 so you can drill him with a star for the early knockdown. This netted me a 1:27.61, but eventually I started trying a Matt Turk move called the "bull dozer" which has a 1/16 chance for success and requires you to hit bull in the face as he is "dozing" for a star. This saves 4 seconds as opposed to the 3 seconds saved by Adelikat's strat. Taking it to the next level would require both techniques to be used which have a 1/64 chance of occuring and I have yet to get that luck even though it seems very reasonable. I will probably improve this at some point.
Strategy credits: Matt Turk and Daniel Browne
Don Flamenco 2 (1:26.48): This is the most random fight in the game by quite a bit. Don only gives random stars at a rate of 1 in 16 and his low phase 2 and 3 refills are 1 in 8, while his middle phase 2 refill is 3 in 8. So a little quick math tells you that to get 1 random star, the middle phase 2 refill, and the good phase 3 refill is 3 in 1024 or less than .03%. Let me say that again, 3 in 1024 and that is the MINIMUM luck you can possibly get to TKO Don 2 before he enters his defensive pattern at 1:30. To get a good low time that is humanly possible you would need two random stars and both good refills, so just do a bit of math and you can see that it is 1 in 16,384 chance to get that luck. Fuck you guy who programmed Don Flamenco 2. FUck. You.
So how this works is you have to use the select trick which fools the game into thinking Little Mac has been damaged and thereby unlocks the super low 40 energy refill in phase 3 which is needed for this strat to work. As far as the 2nd phase refill you have a 50% chance of getting the low or middle refill either of which are fine so long as you get 2 random stars in phase 1, which is a 1 in 256 chance. The middle refill is best because it requires you to hit Don 2 a few more times and that sets up a 100% star for phase 3 at the cost of 3-5 seconds. Unfortunately the hit on which Don 2 gives a random star in phase 1 effects the time of the first knockdown. In this case he did not give me the random star on the 2nd hit of the fight and that costs you 3 seconds. Anyway, using this strat I fought Don 2 over 800 times and was planning to keep going but it really becomes a grind and I could not take any more so here you have it. The worst possible sub 1:30 Don 2 fight that is .03% likely to happen.
Strategy credits: Sinister1
Mr. Sandman (2:20.00): I tied Matt Turk's legendary 2:20.00 time with a strat I created out of curiousity and neccessity. I had been trying to execute Turk's published strat for a long time and not coming close. There are two universal truth's about Mr. Sandman.
1) He will throw rolling jabs until 50 seconds of round 1 no matter what.
2) If Mac is knocked down any earlier than 1:59 + 1 frame, Mr. Sandman WILL NOT enter the dreamland express but instead continue throwing hooks.
Because of the above it is futile to find a strat that will do anything faster than 1:59. So I found an easy way of getting him down twice by 1:56, so Mac would go down at 1:59. Unfortunately I was a bit slow in having Mac knocked down as you need to wait a few frames before punching to ensure you do not get down at 1:58.
Now the luck involved in this fight is nothing to scoff at. Mr. Sandman can delay at 4 different points in the fight costing you anywhere from 1 - 6 seconds per delay, and his final energy refill is random. So you need 5 things to go your way. Luckily 3 of them can be manipulated. At least you can manipulate the odds in your favor I should say.
It is frustrating knowing that if I was even 1 frame faster in throwing that punch my time would have been sub 2:20, and one day I will break that barrier. But for now 2:20.00 is going to have to do.
Strategy credits: RedTom, Matt Turk, Adelikat, and Sinister1
Super Machoman (0:50.97): Easily my favorite fight in the game and one I collaborated heavily with Adelikat on. He was well versed in the ways of fighting this fellow and shared a few nuggets that helped propel me to sub 1:00 and beyond. Super Machoman is the most skill intensive fight in the entire game because it requires you to draw on a myriad of fighting techniques. Some of these techniques work against other fighters, but this is really the only fight where you have to use more than 1 or 2 tricks:
1) The max damage uppercut. Watch how much energy the star uppercuts take off. Normally Super Machoman will start dodging after he takes the first two star uppercuts. This trick not only does more damage for some strange reason, but it prevents him from dodging!! I was really struggling with this one but Adelikat helped me master it.
2) The so called spin-sucker invented by RedTom* which requires you to throw a star uppercut immediately after Macho's last spin. Of course he can spin anywhere from 3 - 8 times so good luck with that. I managed to find a way to figure out when he will stop spinning so as long as you have good timing these are doable without just guessing.
3) The dizzy destroyer, a Matt Turk special, that involves a gut/face combo that is very timing sensitive.
4) The double face jab, used to great effect by Adelikat in his TAS. He turned me on to using this following spin-suckers.
5) The uppercut counter/stopper. The 4th hit of the fight I am actually countering Super Machoman's uppercut. I just hit him so fast you don't see him duck all the way down. Also later on you see me punching to "stop" him from throwing additional uppercuts that waste time. The faster you can get him to his mini-spin punch the better.
Now with all that said, there is plenty of luck involved in the fight as well! Fortunately all the energy refills are non-random, but there are several random stars (generally 50% chance) and very random attack patterns. Believe it or not there are actually strategies to get him TKO'ed in just under 50 seconds!! Unfortunately those require even more ludicrous luck than this one which is already just silly. I might improve this fight someday, because I actually made a small error at the end which cost me fractions of a second (maybe I would have gotten 50.61).
Strategy credits: Daniel Teixeira, RedTom, Matt Turk, Adelikat, and Sinister1
Iron Mike Tyson (2:19.xx): Well it appears verifier 3 of my segmented run was right, 2:29.xx was just not quite good enough. I still do not think he understands how difficult it is to top that time though, I could write a book on it. The intracacies of this game are many. Well on to the fight. It was during practice for a single segment attempt. I always like to practice Tyson before making ss attempts so I am not "cold" when I fight him. There is a certain rhythym to fighting Tyson, you have to be in tune with him and his movements. It is like a dance. It is like playing a different game all of a sudden. The timing of things versus Mike Tyson is different than at any other point in the game, nothing can prepare you, except practice. Lots, and lots of practice. Of late I had been getting very hot versus Tyson, in fact two nights before this fight I had knocked him out in round 1 about 15 times in a row, which is beyond absurd. Anyway, during one of those knockouts I had scored a rare 0:57 phase 1. Then phase 2 went according to plan and I was at 1:31 with Tyson laying on the mat for the 2nd time. Many things went through my mind at that time, trying to decide what to do in phase 3. I was fortunate enough to get an 8 count I think which gave me just enough to time to conclude FUCK IT!! I am going for the glory. Glory was not to be mine that night as I missed every single late hit and got a 2:30.xx. I was fairly upset because if I had just played it safe I likely would have ended with a 2:24.xx which at the time would have been a new personal best. But then, there was verifier 3. His words would not change, because my play had not. So I had to go for it. No regrets. Just do it. Play to win. and whatever other cliches you wanna throw in.
Two nights later, I hit a 0:56 knockdown and remember not being nervous, but instead thrilled at the prospect. I had not gotten an 0:56 phase 1 since I originally completed my 2:29.xx Tyson fight. Phase 2 was perfection. I even noted the energy count at the end and threw two rapid punches to save me a second while sending Tyson down at 1:32. Now it was time to be perfect. Frame perfect hits were the order of the day and I served up 4 of them. Just enough to save me requisite time I needed to reach my goal of beating Mike Tyson in sub 2:20.xx a feat only accomplished by The Master himself as far as I know.*
Strategy credits: RedTom
So that is it for the MTPO IL table. These times are certainly very good, but definitely improvable with the exception of Glass Joe and Don Flamenco 1. I can confidently say that the only way to beat any of these times would require very, very good luck and some extremely precise execution.
* I originally thought Matt Turk invented the spin sucker and credited him as such in my segemented run. I later found out it was RedTom who came up with the move.
** I refer to Matt R. Turk as The Master when it comes to this game because of the fact that you can't see his fights, or prove that they are real. You simply must have faith. Now I have a bit more to go on than faith, in fact, I myself was a Turk doubter early on in my speed running of this game. But the exchanges we have had have opened my eyes to the truth. He is the ultimate in this game, No one else will ever come close to what he has done in this game, myself included.
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