Most of our favorite Nintendo games have been studied and analyzed to death. Speedrunners are squeezing tenths of seconds out of games, ROMs have been hacked left and right. You’d think that a game with as much cultural cachet as Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! would’ve been squeezed dry, but it turns out there are still secrets hiding even in games like this.
If you’re old enough or just like playing older games, you might remember that you fight Piston Honda and Bald Bull a couple times in the game. As Redditor midwesternhousewives demonstrates in the video above, despite each of those characters being more difficult, you can still knock them down in one punch. That much is known. What he found, though, was that there’s a tell for when you can drop those fighters. And no, it’s not something the fighters themselves do.
Instead, you’ll look to the crowd. Apparently a bearded gentleman, about 7 people in from the left, knows something we don’t know, because when it’s time to go for it, he gives you a nod. It’s described as a duck in the video. The character doesn’t move a pixel otherwise, except during those tell moments.
As Polygon notes, late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed some years ago that a camera flash during the first Bald Bull fight was the signal to drop him there. It’s possible there are other tells waiting to be found. too. This isn’t quite the same as finding out that unicorns were (kind of) real, but it’s still that same sense of fun in seeing a long-hidden secret uncovered. Someone programmed that little nod in 29 years ago, and then kept their mouth shut until someone stumbled across it decades later.