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Seven years ago in a roundtable discussion with the late Satoru Iwata, Nintendo game designer Makoto Wada revealed an Easter egg within Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! that he’d been keeping secret for 22 years.
The game designer pointed to a camera flash in the crowd that acts as a visual indicator of when to throw a punch to drop Bald Bull. Of course, gamers had long ago figured out the exact time to tag Bald Bull but how many knew that the camera flash was a visual indicator?
Wada added that there were a lot of other hidden elements within the game. A recent story on Cracked motivated Reddit user midwesternhousewives to scan the crowd for other clues about when to strike… and didn’t come up empty-handed.
The Redditor noticed that another member of the crowd, dubbed the bearded man, doesn’t move at all until the second fights with Piston Honda and Bald Bull. Just like the camera flash guy, the bearded guy was found to give a signal (a nod) at the exact moment when you can throw a punch to drop the opponent.
Again, people have known about the one-punch drops for years but the bearded guy wasn’t mainstream knowledge until now. In fairness, some people did know about the bearded guy’s signal as demonstrated roughly eight months ago in this GameFAQs thread.
Originally released in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is a game of skill and timing. It’s just as inviting and addicting as say, Super Mario Bros., although it’s arguably much more difficult.
With the latest public disclosure, one can only hope that other hidden elements of Punch-Out!! will be unearthed.