MIKE TYSON’S PUNCHOUT!!
As a child who grew up in the 90’s, my first video game console was an NES. I assume this was a pretty common commodity for most little boys in my age group. Many fond memories exist of jumping on turtle shells in Mario Bros, dressing up like Mega Man for Halloween, and murdering innocent fowl as they desperately tried to escape my electronic laser bullets in Duck Hunt (and still holding a grudge at that piece of shit laughing canine). One game sticks out in particular as my favorite, though. My unequivocal favorite game for the Nintendo Entertainment System was “Mike Tyson’s Punchout!!”
For younger lads, you may know this game simply as “Punchout!!” Rumors started swirling that the reason that you, Mr. Tyson, were no longer in the game because of your arrest and conviction of raping an 18 year girl. I know the truth is that you were only signed to a three year contract that expired and then were replaced by some lame-ass fictional character named “Mr. Dream.” That, however, is not the reason for this letter.
Last week, I stumbled across a video of you playing your own video game FOR THE VERY FIRST FUCKING TIME AND YOU WERE FUCKING HORRENDOUS. I get it. The game came out in 1987 and I’m not 100% positive that you can read or write, but the controller has two buttons, Michael. Two.
The first character goes by the name of Glass Joe. Joe has a career record of 1-99 and actually is begging to lose by issuing the quotes “Make it quick I want to retire” and even asks “do I have time to take a quick nap before the fight?” He is literally designed to get the user acclimated to the game by destroying him. You simply use the directional pad to dodge his punches right and left and use the A and B buttons to counterpunch with the coordinating hands. I mastered this on my first try when I was six years old. Watching my childhood idol Iron Mike Tyson, WHOSE NAME IS ON THE FUCKING GAME, get his ass kicked by some patsy made my heart break. Ultimately, you (allegedly) squeaked out the victory.
I don’t know what I expected, honestly. Deep down I knew you wouldn’t give me the dream match-up of seeing Tyson vs. Tyson. The video I saw cuts off mid battle between you and Joe and the viewers are informed that you indeed ended up winning. I highly doubt after the beating you took from Joseph you were in any mood to face the likes of Von Kaiser or Piston Honda. There was no way in Hell you were going to figure out the wily ways of Don Flamenco. Don’t even get me started on King Hippo…… OHHHHH SHIIIIT that would have been EPIC. I imagine it going something like this:
Mike: “Wait, I have to fight a hippo now?! That’s not a hippo! What is that thing the king of anyway!? Why are his trunks so loose!? What the hell is on his belly button?! WHY THE FUCK DID I GET THIS TATTOO ON MY FACE?!”
I really hope this inspires you, Mike. All great champions were born with a competitive spirit that allows them to achieve greatness at the highest level. Hopefully, as I am writing this letter, you are hard at work mastering the game that bears your name and likeness. I beat the virtual Mike Tyson when I was 7 years old. Time to step up, bro…
- Jeffrey Hadz
P.S. Stop drinking, dude