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Little Mac returns in his quest to become boxing champ in Punch-Out!!, released for the Wii in May 2009. The world boxing championship title is currently held by the only non-human contender in the history of the sport, and Little Mac must dodge and punch through his competitors to get the chance to destroy the criminal abductor Donkey Kong and restore the glory of humanity.

 

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Single-segment: 0:22:27.45 by Zack Allard.

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Author's comments:

Plenty of people to thank:

-Kefkamaydie for his constant encouragement and incredibly generous bounty offer of $100 for the old Contender run to be within 30 game seconds of the Contender IL times (which was 7:54.07 at the time). He thought a run of the entire game would be too challenging to complete without many errors, but I feel like this is a strong run, all things considered.

-Everyone ever who contributed to the strategies in any way in this game which include (but are not limited to): Jack Wedge (RisingTempest), Kefkamaydie, klar, Miles, WolfmanJay, atreelol, MrL1193, AbeX300, and everyone who found any of the hidden instant knockdowns/knockouts or stars. I also have to give a shoutout to McHazard for finding numerous better strategies which helped me get a faster time in this speedrun and for testing several things for me whenever I asked; thanks man!

-sinister1, adelikat, DK28, Heidman, Pokey, akiteru, Khananaphone, funkdoc, and dtysonator for all being excellent speedrunners of the other Punch Out games and being more or less an inspiration for me when trying full SS runs of this game.

Ok, so in the Contender speedrun that I submitted a while ago, I noted how I thought I would never be able to accomplish that run. Well... even though that run was very difficult for me to finish at that time, I SERIOUSLY never thought I would get a good single segment run that beats the entire 29 fights. Even Kefkamaydie told me he didn't think it could be done while still being fast without mistakes. Even though this run is not perfect, I got almost everything I wanted in the run. The only mis-steps in the run were at Title Defense Don Flamenco, Title Defense Bald Bull, and Title Defense Sandman, which are incredibly late in a very unforgiving speedrun. One of the big goals of this run that I wanted to reach was to never get hit unintentionally. Thankfully, this was the first run that accomplished this goal. I do get hit in this run, but every punch I take actually saves time. Let's briefly cover each of the fights; if you want alot of extra details on each fight, go to the IL comments.

Glass Joe - Pretty standard fight. I do not go for the clock slowdown glitch like in the IL because it is very not consistent, and if you miss it you will not KO Joe.

Von Kaiser - Good fight. I'm pretty happy with sub 21.

Disco Kid - Would have preferred sub 30, but hitting every counter is the most important part.

King Hippo - Did not get the frame perfect star punch that makes Hippo go faster, but I nail the 2 instant knockdown counters on Hippo's "hug" attack.

Piston Hondo - Found a buffer strat to ensure I hit the first star punch while still whiffing it for maximum time gain with consistency. I opt out of the IL strat because it is a potentially frame perfect punch to cancel a move that saves less than 1 game second.

Bear Hugger - Found a buffer strat that takes out phase 2 very fast. It's very helpful since all 3 of his knockdowns are very difficult to get consistently.

Great Tiger - This is a pretty finicky strategy that can easily go astray by mistiming one punch slightly. It's a pretty tough strat to do in the middle of a run this long, but thankfully I get it right. I have a buffer for when he backs up and attacks from the left, but when he attacks from the right, I need to hit the counter manually. I didn't get the good luck, but it was no problem.

Don Flamenco - A 20.xx time on Don is pretty great. I will not complain about a 20.xx when my old Contender mode run is sporting a 23.xx time.

Aran Ryan - Standard 55 second fight.

Soda Popinski - Whenever you hit Soda in the gut and follow it up with a delayed jab & star, it will knock him down. If you use it again in the same match though, the star level requirement is bumped up a star, which is why I needed knockdown #1 so he greeted me with something to counter. I use a buffer strat found by Miles to guarantee the counter when Soda walks back after the drink, otherwise the timing on that star is pretty tight. I take all the knockdowns intentionally because it resets his pattern to where I knock him down much faster than without them. After he lands 7 hits, he taunts at me, which is also another instant knockdown opportunity given you have a star already.

Bald Bull - The single segment strategy was made to avoid hitting the frame perfect counters that the IL strategy goes for. It requires move cancelling the hook at the start of phase 2 with a star. The rest of the fight is pretty basic after that.

Super Macho Man - Standard fight with Macho. Anything in the 58-56 range is good.

Mr. Sandman - Putting McHazard's new strategy to use here. Phase 1 is the hardest part of strat by a long shot, but after that it isn't too bad. I do a buffered dodge to time my final star punch correctly for the 3rd knockdown.

Credits - Didn't get the big million, but I beat the old score that was on SDA... and isn't that what really counts in the end?

TD Glass Joe - Pretty simple loop with only one difficult star punch. Fight went as well as expected.

TD Von Kaiser - McHazard had 2 strategies for this fight, one where you can use lefty star punches with motion controls, and one where you don't need lefty stars. I go for the non lefty strat because motion controls are highly unwieldy, and therefore not consistent at all. The strategy makes use of both of TD Kaiser's instant knockdowns, which includes stunning and triple starring him, and collecting TD Kaiser's 7 unique stars to make every subsequent star punch an instant knockdown. Every missed punch or knockdown was intentional to get a faster time.

TD Disco Kid - Got the bad luck with what side he retaliated on, so I lost a few seconds. Fight went very well otherwise!

TD King Hippo - Found a few buffer strats for the early counters after you get the star. Similar to MTPO Hippo, you must hit him early or else you do not get enough hits in when he's stunned.

TD Piston Hondo - From the suggestion of McHazard, I changed phase 2 so that I do not lose runs nearly as frequently. Basically, you can save a little bit more time if you counter Hondo's uppercut directly and juggle him with well timed punches, or you can just dodge and do a delayed jab at the cost of almost a second. I also put to use Miles' buffer strat in phase 3 that ensures I get the frame perfect Hondo rush counter.

TD Bear Hugger - I lost alot of runs to this fight, which is sad to say, because he's the least involved fight from a technical standpoint. You just counter him 3 times, dodge, stun, triple star for the knockdown. Repeat 2 more times and the fight is over... I wish it were as easy as it sounds, haha. The 2 problems with the fight are that the timer is completely in unstunned time (i.e. full speed), and missing a counter means you are completely set back on how many stars you obtained. Thankfully this fight went perfect.

TD Great Tiger - The entire fight hinges on the fact that you need to counter all 3 attacks from Tiger's mirage punches; this allows you to punish with a star and get an instant KO. The Blue/Green gem counters are very difficult and not intuitive to time, so I'm real happy I got them this time.

TD Don Flamenco - This is one of the hardest fights to optimize just on the grounds that you need to maintain the loop on Don for a really long time. If you put this next to the IL, it doesn't appear like an enormous amount of time is being lost, but because of how the timer works, it can destroy your game-time really quickly. My loop wasn't the tightest it could have been, so this was one of the worst fights in the run. Despite that, it isn't a "terrible" fight, it just isn't of the same quality as the previous 20 fights in the run were.

TD Aran Ryan - Fight went extremely well. I made use of the buffer strats that Miles found, which happen to be frame perfect! The 2-star punch is the most tense punch in the fight, because if you miss it, you lose a ton of time. I landed it, so the fight was great.

TD Soda Popinski - Any mistake on this fight calls for a reset... I'll be honest, from here on out I was super nervous for the rest of the run, even more-so than before. I use the buffer strats Miles found for securing the final star in phase 1 (the MOST important part of the entire fight), and the one he found for the 2nd to last counter of the fight. From what he mentioned, the final 2 punches of the fight have a 2 frame window each. The buffer takes care of the first one, but the second one I had to attempt to hit. If I miss and get hit, the run is over. If I miss but I'm early, then I lose 20 seconds. Thankfully I landed this counter and kept the pace going.

TD Bald Bull - This is the worst fight in the entire run. Getting a run to TD Bull at all is incredibly hard and rare just on its own. Then after all that, you face this guy, who has to be knocked down by star punches just like in MTPO. The difference however, is that in order to get stars early on this Bald Bull, you need to do frame perfect punches with no distinct visual or sound cue, many many times; fun. I did not get many of the frame perfect stars at all, and my time suffered for it, but I did get him down before he went into the Bull Charge, and that's the really important part because that must be saved for phase 3 at all costs.

TD Super Macho Man - I put to use another strategy found by McHazard here. He was kind enough to do 2 strategies to improve the SS fight and the IL fights, so the SS version gets to shine here. I have to counter his "Pump It" hook and buffer that perfectly into a star punch. The knockdown I take is intentional, because he gives me multiple stars asap when I get up. Getting a sub 1:20 on TD Macho is fantastic.

TD Mr. Sandman - I'd say that this ended up being the second worst fight in the run, although the mistake isn't an enormous time loss compared to TD Bull. I was doing a strategy that Jack Wedge was tinkering with before he stopped playing this game. Miles helped me refine it a bit to where it could be useful for single segment, since it is far more consistent than hitting all of Sandman's very tight counters. The error happens when Sandman stops saying "My Turn!" after I provoke him. This is because I needed to do my provoke punched in a very specific order (Left Left Right, Left Left Right, ect), but I lost track of where I was in the pattern while making sure I timed my punch correctly. That threw me off enough to misjudge when to throw the star punch, so he had a sliver of health after it. I reacted to it by dodging and finishing the phase off with the 2 hits he had left. The rest of the fight went great though, and yes, I did get hit intentionally in phase 2 to save time.

Last Stand Explanation - After the main 26 fights, you enter "Last Stand" mode, which pits you against an infinite number of random fights from Title Defense (or Donkey Kong) until you lose 3 times. As this is a speedrun, this means I must lose 3 times in a row as fast as possible in order to complete the game and start the final credits sequence. Fight #1 is selected randomly out of the Minor Circuit (but manipulated to be TD Kaiser), Fight #2 is selected from the Major Circuit (or DK), and Fight #3 is selected from the World Circuit (or DK). Fight #1 is manipulated by using a specific save file that Miles made for me. The "save" only consists of empty files, because upon deletion of a file, the now "blank file" is already predetermined to have a certain fight as the first one in last stand. Sadly this manipulation only affects the first fight; the next 2 are completely random.

Last Stand Fight #1 - As explained above, this is TD Von Kaiser. TD Kaiser is chosen because the goal is just to get knocked down. So beating phase one of TD Kaiser makes him retaliate with an instant knockdown attack. Also since this run is measured by in-game time, despite the knockdown, this yields the fastest loss time of the Minor Circuit.

Last Stand Fight #2 - The roll of the dice reveals that Donkey Kong is my next fight. Losing to Donkey Kong fast was actually a challenge at first, because sometimes he wouldn't even attack me from the back of the ring, which was frustrating. Thankfully McHazard looked into it and figured out that it is entirely time dependent for when DK decides his attack. This meant that if I delayed somewhere in provoking him, then it would guarantee I go down in a decent time. TD Don would've been the best for this fight, but if I had to get DK anywhere, I'd rather it be here. I'm not 100% on this, but if DK appears here, then he is either WAY less likely to appear in fight #3, or it's impossible for him to show up in fight #3. At any rate, I've never seen it happen.

Last Stand Fight #3 - So since DK is out of the picture, the best case scenario happened... TD Bull was the final fight! This is significant because he floors you in 10 seconds without any input; there is no better situation for fight #3 than this; the run was over.

This was one of the hardest speedruns I've ever done. I was constantly motivated to do this run because this game really deserved a good speedrun of the same quality as the runs for Mike Tyson's Punch Out and Super Punch Out. I am glad to have finally gotten a run that I am finally happy with for this game. I hope that you enjoy this run!

Normal difficulty individual levels run in 0:19:50.76:

Level Time Date Player
Minor Circuit
Glass Joe 0:00:25.76 2010-01-27 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Von Kaiser 0:00:18.93 2014-12-28 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Disco Kid 0:00:28.80 2014-11-13 'Pottoww'
King Hippo 0:00:47.12 2010-02-21 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Major Circuit
Piston Hondo 0:00:34.55 2010-02-26 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Bear Hugger 0:00:26.88 2010-03-27 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Great Tiger 0:00:44.17 2012-09-15 Terry 'klar' Heard
Don Flamenco 0:00:17.74 2012-06-19 Terry 'klar' Heard
World Circuit
Aran Ryan 0:00:53.64 2014-06-05 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Soda Popinski 0:00:42.96 2010-05-16 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Bald Bull 0:00:32.76 2010-04-15 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Super Macho Man 0:00:55.18 2010-04-16 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Mr. Sandman 0:00:36.75 2014-05-19 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Title Defense World B
Glass Joe 0:00:36.89 2010-01-22 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Von Kaiser II 0:00:47.99 2014-11-14 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Disco Kid II 0:00:23.45 2011-06-30 Terry 'klar' Heard
King Hippo 0:01:09.41 2010-02-25 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Title Defense World A
Piston Hondo II 0:00:32.69 2012-06-10 Terry 'klar' Heard
Bear Hugger 0:01:32.99 2010-01-27 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Great Tiger 0:00:45.95 2010-01-12 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Don Flamenco II 0:00:46.93 2012-09-03 Terry 'klar' Heard
Title Defense World S
Aran Ryan 0:00:42.03 2009-07-11 Charles Griffin
Soda Popinski 0:01:15.47 2010-06-20 Zack 'zallard1' Allard
Bald Bull II 0:00:44.55 2014-06-06 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Super Macho Man II 0:01:09.41 2015-01-18 Zack 'Zallard1' Allard
Mr. Sandman II 0:00:43.20 2012-07-20 Terry 'klar' Heard
Mac's Last Stand
Donkey Kong 0:00:54.56 2010-10-10 Zack 'zallard1' Allard

Zack 'zallard1' Allard's comments:

Here's what I have to say about my share of the ILs:

Glass Joe - Not much to say really. I whiff some punches which seems to make it more likely for the clock to "freeze" during Joe's lunge.

Von Kaiser - Here's a brand new strategy that McHazard found. For the longest time, the WR on this guy stood at 20.49, which was achieved by about 10+ people. McHazard found that if you counter the first jab, then center him with a hook, you can still get Kaiser to do his attack fast if you have a very slight delay after punch #2. If you buffer that punch, then Kaiser will do his attack with a huge delay at the end, which made the strategy seem not useful at first when people first starting finding fast strats. Because the first star was gotten faster than the old strategy, this saves ~1.5 seconds in total.

King Hippo - Another relatively simple fight (we're still in the Minor Circuit after all). The only thing worth mentioning is the 1 star punch in the fight. I have to time it late enough so that he starts his next combo immediately. This punch is frame perfect by the way, as the only way it works is at the end of the star punch animation you see Hippo's gloves just barely touch on the frame before the punch connects.

Piston Hondo - This fight introduces some "move canceling." This is when you throw a punch "right" before he does an attack, which causes him to skip the attack outright. I do 2 of these to skip right to a star punch to his bow. The rest of the fight is straightforward.

Bear Hugger - This jolly canadian has 5 different ways to be instantly knocked down! Everything he does makes him completely vulnerable, so star punches to everything!

Aran Ryan - Jack Wedge created a strat that got close to the old WR strat's time, but fell slightly short. McHazard found that if you do a frame perfect star punch in champions mode, you can deal the damage from the stars while he knocks you down... yes... the first double hit in a punch out game that actually has an application to a speedrun. This saves very slightly over a second from the old strategy, which is pretty great.

Soda Popinski - Ok, this is the first time I use "Champion's Mode" in the IL table. This allows my opponents to knock me down with any punch instantly. I use this to skip Soda's un-counterable rage punches which happens any time you throw a star punch. Soda can be knocked down instantly by hooking, throwing a delayed jab, then star punch; however, doing this again in the fight requires 2 stars. Also, this is 1 of 2 fights that have me abuse the "TKO Recovery" technique, which if I press 1+2 alot as Mac is falling, he may be able to kneel and get back up! This is completely random, so Soda TKO'd me many times while trying to get a sub 43 time.

Bald Bull - Bull has one of the most difficult strategies in contender (second to Soda). It involves a move cancel, a very specific dodge to manipulate how many times you can punch him, and 4 very tough stars in a row. Oh yeah, and everyone's favorite, the bull charge.

Super Macho Man - Using stars on Macho when he isn't stunned will make his next attack come out faster. Also, a star punch to his 3rd spin punch knocks him down.

Mr. Sandman - Another improvement found by McHazard. If you throw stars while Sandman does slow attacks, it skips them. He found that if you skip these particular attacks, it saves a bit over 2 seconds compared to the old fight since he does a faster pattern in phase 2.

TD Glass Joe - Another really easy fight. It's Glass Joe; not even amateur headgear can stop him from being pathetic :p

TD Von Kaiser - This ranks up there as one of the most obnoxious Punch Out IL runs I've ever done. This is the only strategy in the game that utilizes left handed star punches, meaning I needed to use the wii remote + nunchuck control scheme. Let me just summarize this real quick: the controls are very unwieldy. It is incredibly easy to throw one punch with the remote, which has a tendency to shake the nunchuck and make Mac automatically buffer another punch immediately after. It's also very easy to do the input for a star punch (A+punch) and the input just decides you have done a regular punch instead of a star punch. I put quite a bit of effort over a period of time to get this to be of the same quality as other IL's in this table despite the challenge of control, so I'm happy with it. So yeah, the fight itself is interesting though. McHazard found a way to utilize both knockdowns that TD Kaiser has, which includes stunning him & punishing with a triple star punch, and by collecting all 7 of his unique stars, you get instant knockdowns with any subsequent star punch!

TD King Hippo - Another use of Champion's Mode, thanks to kefkamaydie. This fight has a move cancel after detaching the manhole and provokes Hippo to knock Mac down by jabbing at his face. When I get knocked down, I actually wait a second or so, since that fat dope is dancing all over the place. If I got up asap, he'd still be dancing! We can't have that!

TD Bear Hugger - Easy strategy. The only weird part is you need to go somewhat slow to make him do faster moves and get hit at the start of phase 3 since the clock slows down significantly while allowing him to execute faster attacks.

TD Great Tiger - Kind of strict stars and a OHKO after his mirage attack, but nothing else really worth mentioning.

TD Soda Popinski - This strategy is ridiculous, mostly because of what I've done to phase 1. Just like Soda in contender, I have him knock me down whenever he does a time wasting rage combo. On the second time I get up, I hook him, then get the star from the bottle and use it asap (intentionally missing him). This slows down the clock and has him TKO me all at once, but Mac's no quitter, so he gets back up and sends him to the mat, with a star ready for phase 2. The knockdown for this guy is to land 4 jabs in a stun, then a star punch. The last thing to mention about this guy is the final 2 stars. These stars are damn near frame perfect and are usually what will kill runs on this guy if the TKO recovery succeeds.

TD Bald Bull - This is the hardest fight in the game for both speedrunning and casual play, bar none. He has the star knockdown rule that MTPO Bull 2 has where he can only be downed with stars... however in this fight, to get stars early you must perform frame perfect punches. It was long thought that they were random, but instead, they were just frame perfect. Klar's old record of 44.59 was one of the most intimidating records just because of how difficult it is just to pull of the strategy even once! Outside of the frame perfect punches, you have a 2 frame window to do dodges fast enough to where you get 8 hits in a stun (which is done 3 times in this fight). I barely edged out the old record by 0.04 seconds, which is about a frame.

TD Super Macho Man - Here's another fight revised by McHazard. After some digging around, he found that kefkamaydie posted you can counter his first "Pump it" hook by buffering a punch, which he then used to change up the champs & non champs strategies. This combined with the frame perfect move cancel in phase 1 ends up making it possible to get a sub 1:10! I tried my hand at this fight many times and 1:09.41 was all I could muster. I may try to improve it later, but for right now this is pretty decent.

Donkey Kong - What a silly and unexpected cameo this is. This ape has some very tough star opportunities that aren't necessarily hard because of strictness, but because of how early you need to punch to even get them at all (practically before he taunts). Using star punches late can both: cancel some moves, and let you hit him. For some reason if you star punch him asap he won't get hit. Champs mode is used for the last time in this IL table since when Mac gets up, you get another free star as DK walks toward you. He also likes to dance, so waiting 2 seconds before getting up will stop his silly dance and start the fight sooner.

 

Charles Griffin's comments:

Huge thanks to zallard for doing most of the work and letting me tag along with this fight. :P

TD Aran - I got this over a year before writing this, so I can't really remember much about it... Having such a simple OHKO is nice.

 

Terry 'klar' Heard's comments:

I'd first like to thank zallard, Kefkamaydie, and Jack Wedge for all of their amazing strategies, and for motivating me throughout the whole way.

Also another thanks to zallard for submission and helping with a recording problem I had for a long time. I don't think any of these videos would be made without him.

Great Tiger - [Klar wasn't around for writing comments for this IL, but I (zallard1) will write a quick blurb on how Tiger works.] Tiger is manipulated into doing quick ducks to the right for quick and easy star opportunities by counting how many punches you throw (he reacts differently toward even and odd amounts of punches). The hardest part is the timing of the star punches in phase 1 so he doesn't block your next attack. Klar nails every single one, so we have a rockin' IL for this fight.

Don Flamenco - Even though he's the shortest fight in the game, I can't say it's easy. The majority of phase one is concentrating on his infinite combo, which is a series of consecutive infinite punches alternated by a hook and a jab. When done quick enough, the clock will think you are in "stun mode", which means the clock runs slower while the other fighter is stunned. The fight ends with his instant KO. You just need to do at least 7 punches of his infinite combo in phase 1 and a star punch in phase 2. Oh yeah and delaying the star punch saves a second. I have no idea why to be completely honest.

TD Disco Kid - Not much to say for him again except for him being the shortest Title Defense fight... and the third overall! Disco Kid seems to hate three-star punches, not only does it instantly knocks him down this time, it instantly knocks him out! Three-star punch him as he prepares for his Disco Flurry for an instant KO.

TD Piston Hondo - I know it sounds weird, but you actually need him to knock you down for a faster time! I use champions mode for this. Pretty simple strategy. He instantly offers two stars off his bow when the referee says "fight", which is why I get knocked down. Next phase I star punch him for an instant knockdown as he starts to jump left and right. Last phase is what messes up your runs. Countering his Hondo Rush is an instant knockdown, but I'm pretty sure it's one framed. I only get it about 30% of the time.

TD Don Flamenco - [Klar wasn't around for writing comments for this IL, but I (zallard1) will write a quick blurb on how TD Don works.] You must keep TD Don in a super strict loop in order for the in-game timer to stay at stunned speed or else you lose entire seconds from being late on punches. Klar is a beast at keeping this loop going for the entire fight, which is one of the hardest things to do in this game.

TD Sandman - Despite him being the last human to fight in the game, it's a quick and rather easy fight. So again two things to mention. In the beginning of phase 2, I intentionally let him hit me to slow down the clock, and then I end the phase by countering his dreamland attack with a star-punch for an instant knockdown.

 

Pottoww's comments:

First I would like to thank Zallard1 for helping me with my first submission to Speed Demos Archive and explaining different strategies and mechanics of Punch-Out!! in general. Also shoutouts to all of the individual level runners for sharing some amazing strategies and accomplishments throughout the entire game, giving me inspiration and motivation to attempt this myself.

Disco Kid - This fight is very fun to optimize due to the lack of buffering strategies, requiring me to hit him frame perfectly based on my rhythm a total of ten times throughout the fight, with the final star punch being the only one I can activate instantly without requiring me to "time it" myself..The strategy is quite straight forward. A star punch takes him down instantly if he is taunting, no matter your amount of stars, and with three stars for the final punch I can knock him down instantly after the final hook. This time is shared by several people at this point, but this made me improve the previous submission to SDA by one frame.

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