Fragile Speedster: Compared to everyone else in the league, at least. Even Glass Joe can deal more damage per punch, if you let him. But who else can land multiple punches in a row such that the opponent cannot defend between them? Heck, if you pay attention, the clock slows while you're following up with stun punches. Mac is small and light, but he is fast.
The sky blue trunks in at least one circuit of the NES version aren't all that manly, either.
Rule of Cool: In real life he would never be allowed to fight people outside his own weight class (which would be junior flyweight if the WVBA's weight classes are analogous to the WBO's; only Glass Joe would be in the same weight class), whom almost all of his opponents are. But no bother: it's awesome to knock the stuffing out of these seeming ten-foot behemoths with your star punches.
Silent Bob: Mac only ever grunts and cheers in the Wii version, but the looks on his face clearly indicate what he's thinking. While his opponents trash talk him between rounds, Mac's Death Glare simply tells his opponents to put their punches where their mouths are.
The Un Favourite: For some reason Referee Mario is harder on him than the other opponents. Indeed, there are some matches he will never rule in Mac's favor, no matter how many points he scores.
You Can Barely Stand: During some of the fights if you don't get knocked down or take that many hits, you can see Little Mac between rounds resting with a confident look on his face and eager to get back out to fight. However, if you take enough abuse, you instead see a bruised up Little Mac, one eye almost swollen shut, a band aid on his head as well as other bruises and injuries, hunched over trying to support himself with an arm on his knee while occasionally wiping the sweat off his chin. Just one look at him and you can tell he's really giving it everything he has to try and win this fight.
Butt Monkey: In the Wii version of the game, he gets slapped around by Aran Ryan, Bald Bull, and Super Macho Man. If Mr. Sandman beats you, Sandman will proceed to humiliate the ref for no particular reason. (Despite being in the same circuit as these boxers, Soda Popinski seems to have nothing against the ref.)
Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Subverted: while he certainly fits the French=Weak stereotype, he never surrenders, as his 1-99 win/loss record will evidence. Sure he's a loser, but he's an honest loser.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Believe it or not, in the wii version's title defence match, he becomes this, to the point where you probably lost to him the first time you fought him. He has headgear that blocks his glass jaw making it harder to do damage. He now has fake out jabs and uppercuts that are surprisingly hard to dodge and do a fair amount of damage. And he actually realises his One Hit Ko weakness, something that pretty much no other boss in the history of fighting games has done, and makes the timing of it much more difficult.
Determinator: For a guy whose main trait is his suckiness he certainly deserves kudos for still being in the ring. Even Doc Louis states that he deserves some respect for how "he can always take a whoopin'".
Flip Flop of God: Some say his one win was a fluke against Nick Bruiser. Some, citing the top time in Super Punch-Out, say it was Rick Bruiser (although that falls apart, given that Rick's only loss was against his brother Nick). Nintendo has not clarified anything yet.
Another theory states that his one win was against Gabby Jay, and that Gabby Jay returned the favor, hence why they both have 1-99 records.
Made of Iron / Made of Plasticine: Both tropes are humorously combined. Although Joe can't take a punch, somehow he's managed to avoid becoming a drooling vegetable from all the punishment he's taken.
Meaningful Name: Obviously a play on "glass jaw", a severe and possibly career-killing affliction. Not that it stops Glass Joe.
One-Hit Kill: On the NES version, if you hit Joe after he steps back and taunts, there is a chance Joe will be knocked out. Since Joe does nothing before said taunt, it's possible this blow will be the only one in the fight.
Sissy Villain: Most of Mac's opponents talk trash to him between rounds, but most of Glass Joe's comments involve him whining about how he's too old to fight and wants to retire, begging Mac not to hit him in the jaw or asking if he can take a nap before the next round.
Took a Level in Badass: In the Wii version's Title Defense mode, his doctor prescribes him some headgear. He then greets you very smugly. Deservedly so.Know a certain challenge (4 punch KO) and you can easily beat him.
Warm Up Boss: In every game he's in, he's the first opponent, and the easiest to knock out. With one exception:
Wake Up Call Boss: You know Title Defense mode is hardcore when even Glass Joe can kick your ass.
A Berliner bruiser with an obvious facial tic, probably caused by one too many blows to the head.
Appears in: NES, Wii
Voiced in the Wii game by: Horst Laxton
Badass Boast: One of his preround taunts is "ICH BIN EINE KAMPFMASCHINE! MEIN NAME: VON KAISER!"note translation: "I AM A FIGHTING MACHINE! MY NAME: VON KAISER!"
Shell-Shocked Veteran: the Wii version obviously suffers from some kind of PTSD...from being beat up by his child students at his boxing academy. "Mommy!" Getting beaten by Mac apparently knocks him out of it.
Took a Level in Badass: Completely subverted in the Wii version for Title Defense. You think he's this at first, but fight him for a while and you'll realize he's trying to fake it. He really isn't any less jittery and panicky than he was the first time.
Note that despite this, he is significantly harder in Title Defense regardless, including having one of the few one-hit knockdown moves in the game.
A boxer from Japan who promises to give Mac a "TKO from Tokyo." Holds the Minor Circuit belt in the NES game.
Bilingual Bonus: His headband in the NES game said "Nippon ichi," which translates to "Japan's best."
Bowdlerize: Minor example, as the change wasn't from anything offensive — originally in the NES game he asked if the NHK camera crew was filming the match (NHK being a popular public broadcaster in Japan comparable to The BBC in the UK but more independent from the government somewhat like the United States's PBS), but likely due to trademark reasons, he says "my camera crew" in the Wii and Nintendo 3DSVirtual Console versions. In addition, his surname was changed in the Wii game from Honda to Hondo, likely due to fears of a lawsuit from the Honda motor company. However, the new surname isn't meaningless (regardless of whether the meaning was intended); see Meaningful Name below.
Gratuitous Japanese: The English translation of the first game has one of his dialogs being made up of random Japanese words. This is nicely averted in the Wii game; despite being a studio in an English speaking part of the world (Next Level Games being located in British Columbia, Canada), dialog is spoken instead of written and only characters with English as their native language(examples) Doc Louis, Disco Kid, Aran Ryan, Bear Hugger, Super Macho Man, and Mr. Sandman, to be specific; all except Aran Ryan come from North America (with Bear Hugger being from the same province of Canada as the developer and the other four being from the US), and in Aran Ryan's homeland of Ireland, English nowadays is more commonly used than the native Irish language except in certain parts of the country speak it, with boxers from non-English-speaking countries speaking the native language of their country. Not only does Piston Hondo speak real Japanese instead of random words, his voice actor is actually Japanese rather than an American or Canadian speaking Surprisingly Good Japanese.
Meaningful Name: Hondo is an archaic name for Honshu, the main island of Japan. Considering the fact that the game in which he goes by that name depicts him as extremely polite with a huge sense of honor, it fits, especially since his hometown of Tokyo is on the southeastern part of Honshu.
The Quiet One: He's certainly tamer than the rest of the Wii boxers, to say the least. Unfortunately, this has lead to accusations of him being The Generic Guy.
Not really. Sometimes, taciturn guys can be just that dangerous. The stern look in his eyes shows it.
Training from Hell: His intro video for title defense has him in serious training. He's blocking swords with his bare hands, eating his own weight—and then some—in sushi and running at the same speed as a bullet train.
A flamenco dancer from Madrid, Spain, who decided to bring his show to the boxing ring. He loves to goad Mac into attacking him, and after he blocks the blow, he'll take a wild swing (sometimes calling out the name of his girlfriend Carmen). Flamenco is the Major Circuit champion in the Wii version.
Combat Pragmatist: In the world circuit rematch in the NES game he will constantly force you to punch at him as he just stands there blocking until you're tired and unable to hit him back when he unloads on you.
Foreshadowing: Anyone paid close attention to his normal intro in the Wii game? Look at the way he punches the bull into orbit; that's how newbies can beat Bald Bull and his Bull Charge as well as completing a certain challenge against him.
Took a Level in Badass: In the NES Punch-Out!! you have to fight him twice. The first time, on the major circuit, he's almost as easy as Glass Joe despite having highly damaging punches since he's so easy to lock into extensively long combos and his blows are so easy to dodge. Then he comes back with a vengeance on the world circuit and is much, much harder to beat.
Also managed to take a level in badass in the Wii version despite using essentially the exact same method of fighting! Of course, he is no longer restricted to the same old uppercut after blocking your punches, anymore, and can do slow uppercuts, fast uppercuts, hooks, or jabs.
Toros y Flamenco: His name is Don Flamenco ("don" either being a more formal version of "mister" in Spanish or, more archaically, being the Spanish equivalent of "sir," thus making him "Mr. Flamenco" or "Sir Flamenco"), and his other career is bullfighter.
He goes about boxing and bullfighting in about the same way, and he's probably better at the latter.
Weaksauce Weakness: In his first encounter in the NES version, it's possible to beat Flamenco using an endless 1-2 combo of jabs to the face. His Wii incarnations have endless combos as well, even if you have to work it a bit differently.
A mystic from Mumbai, India. His special attack is the "Magic Punch", which takes on different forms depending on the game, but always involves him splitting into clones of himself and fooling Mac by having both him and his clones "attack" at once.
Wake Up Call Boss: In the NES version he's considered the first fighter to present a challenge.
A heavyweight from Istanbul, Turkey. Telegraphs his punches very easily, but very few have been able to get back up from his "Bull Charge" maneuver. In the NES version, he is the Major Circuit champion.
Appears in: Arcade Punch-Out, Arm Wrestling, NES (Major circuit champ), SNES (Minor circuit champ), Wii
Voiced in the Wii game by: Erse Yagan
Ax-Crazy: In the Wii version, he is seen bashing his head into a post repeatedly for no reason. Also, his dialogue in-between rounds has him threatening to eat Little Mac.
Call Back / Mythology Gag: Which one this is depends on your interpretation of the Punch-Out universe, but there are two references in the Wii game to his appearance in Arm Wrestling. One is Doc saying that if you can't beat him in boxing, maybe you can in arm wrestling. Another, more subtle one is the paparazzi that is always around, most likely a reference to him wearing a mask while in Arm Wrestling. He needed the mask so he didn't attract attention.
Made of Iron: Dear Lord, good luck on Title Defense. Even if you knock him down, he'll still get up. The only way to stop him? A star punch.
He's the only character in the Wii version who doesn't get even slightly tossed into the air after getting knocked down. He just stumbles a bit.
Mask Power: When he was Mask X in Arm Wrestling. You even defeat him by yanking his mask off.
Puzzle Boss: Somewhat for the second time you fight him in the NES game. No matter how little health he has, he doesn't go down to a regular punch (unless you hit him in a Bull Charge); you can only knock him down with a Star Punch. And he always gets up at 9.
Shout-Out: The "Mask X" Mask design is similar to that of legendary wrestler "The Destroyer".
Wake Up Call Boss: More than any other boxer in any of the Punch Out games. In the arcade game he was a huge jump in difficulty from the previous boxer (Piston Hurricane). He's even more like this in the NES version. Compared to every other boxer you fought up to this point, Bald Bull was freakin' huge, and just looked like he was prepared to kick your ass, and his Bull Charge often ensured that he did exactly that. Finally, he's the champion of the Minor Circuit in the SNES Super Punch Out, where he plays the same role he did in the arcade game by being a huge jump in difficulty from the previous boxer (Piston Hurricane again, oddly enough). He avoids this in the Wii version, however, on account of being fought so late.
Vodka Drunkenski/Soda Popinski
He comes from Moscow, Russia, usually with a bottle of vodka (or soda) in his hands. As opposed to most of the other fighters, Soda Pop is a lefty, making him a bit harder to read.
Bowdlerise: In the arcade, he was named Vodka Drunkenski, but in the NES version, this was changed to Soda Popinski (and yet the references to him being drunk were left in somehow.) The Wii version also uses "Soda Popinski", but it seems to actually be soda this time—the bottle is clearly plastic like a soft drink bottle because it crumples instead of shattering when Soda crushes it, and the bubbles that appear during the match resemble soft drink fizz instead of the froth of some alcoholic drinks. He does still have some references to being drunk, however, as he at one point tells Little Mac (in Russian) that he will crush him, but the dialect in which he says it sounds like he intends to run over Mac with his car.
Trademark Favorite Food: Soda Popinski loves soda. He can't get enough of it. Drinking a single drop can refill him with energy immediately. Also, when you punch him, you hear fizzy noises, presumably because he is somehow that full of soda.
Big "NO!": Right before you Star Punch him in the Wii version.
Charles Atlas Superpower: He's able to LEVEL BUILDINGS by sheer training and strength alone. Between rounds, he flexes his biceps by curling the ring ropes. Anyone who's ever pulled a ring rope knows this is impossible.
Defeating the Undefeatable: In the Wii version, not only does he have a 31-0 record, his intro shows him punching out every other boxer in the game.
And the prelude to his title defense match shows him PUNCHING DOWN A BUILDING.
He's Back: Mr. Sandman was the last boss of the original arcade Punch-Out!!, but was reduced to a (still damn challenging) contender in following releases. In the Wii version, he's back to last boss status... and with good reason, since he is downright SCARY.
It also allows him to take Tyson's place as the final challenger.
Important Haircut: For the rematch against him in Title Defense. It's a very similar haircut to what Mike Tyson himself had back in the day with a twist: the uncut hair forms a "Z" on his head.
Jump Scare: One of his moves in the Wii version is to go "BOO!" to try to startle you, then driving his fist to your face when you fall for it!
Lightning Bruiser: To quote Doc Luis: "Sandman's fast AND strong, he ain't the champ for nothin'!"
Nerf: In Super Punch-Out!!, he's the champion of the Major Circuit. This is far and away the weakest incarnation of him.
Scary Black Man: The Wii version moreso, thanks to the voice acting. Not to mention the fact that he also leveled a building with his bare hands after Little Mac defeated him for the championship. That would make him scary if he was white, red, yellow or pink and blue with silver polka dots.
Shout-Out: His Wii incarnation is as close as you can get to having Mike Tyson in the game as is allowable. Especially in Title Defense. He even does the nightmarish wink-then-punch attack. Yikes!
Thirteen Is Unlucky: In the Wii version, he is 31 years old, has 31 KOs on his record, he is faced as the thirteenth opponent in both Contender and Title Defense modes, you start both fights against him with 13 hearts, and he throws 13 blink punches during his flurry of them after the second knockdown in Title Defense.
It's also worth noting that his Contender introduction cutscene is 13 images long (Whereas the other boxers introduction cutscenes (Including his Title Defense intoduction cutscene) are only 4 images long).
Took a Level in Badass: When compared to the other games, he is still in the World Circuit but weaker than Super Macho Man. Needless to say after this, he deserves his Championship.
Villainous Breakdown: Towards the end of his title defense match, he completely loses his composure and throws uppercut after uppercut at Mac lightning fast, ultimately leaving him exhausted and open to attack.
Super Macho Man
An egotistical Hollywood bodybuilder who is the World Circuit champ in most games. His spinning clothesline punch is his greatest and fastest attack.
Appears in: Arcade Super Punch-Out (champion), NES (champion), SNES (champion), Wii
Voiced in the Wii game by: Mike Inglehart
All American Face: Started out that way (sorta), but acts like a Heel in Punch-Out Wii (i.e. knocking the ref over)
Cool Shades: "Oh, these sunglasses? You can't afford these sunglasses!"
Eagleland: Flavor 2, especially in the Wii version.
Everything's Better with Spinning: His trademark move, the Super Spin Punch, comes in two flavors. He either throws a single punch which hurts a lot, or he rears back and throws multiple punches, each and every one of them being an instant knockdown.
Expy: Reportedly of pro wrestler Superstar Billy Graham.
Hair Color Dissonance: His hair is silver-blonde. It looks gray. As a result, many people think he's older than he is (twenty-seven in the Wii version).
Jerkass: While most of the fighters are jerks in some manner or another, Super Macho Man is in a class of his own, especially in Title Defense.
Determinator: "I'll never retire! I can win at least once more. C'mon!!"
Jobber: To the point of having the exact same record as Glass Joe.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Replaces Glass Joe in Super Punch-Out!!. Of course, Joe's his trainer, so it makes more sense than a Japanese boxer (Piston Hondo) replacing a Cuban boxer (Piston Hurricane).
A huge Canadian lumberjack that would love to give his opponents Bear Hugs. He lives in the wilderness with all them woodland critters.
Calling Your Attacks - Both before ("NEED A HUG?" "CATCH-N-RELEASE!") and after ("Salmon Arm!" "He scores!") his attacks.
Canada, Eh?: He lives in the woods, calls his opponents "hosers", drinks maple syrup, has chest hair in the shape of a pine tree and plays hockey as part of his training. This is more obvious in the Wii game, which was actually made in Canada, so it seems as though the people at Next Level Games like making fun of their own nationality.
Development Gag: The gaming studio that developed the Wii version is located in Salmon Arm, British Columbia in Canada. Which is where they decided to have Bear Hugger—and even named one of his moves—from.note He'a actually from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, at least according to the Super NES game.
Fat Bastard: Subverted. He's actually pretty friendly when he's not slamming you to the ground.
Nice Hat: Wears one in Title Defense mode. And it's where his pet squirrel hangs out.
Oh Crap: Before taking a star punch in the Wii version he mutters, "Aw, no."
Retcon: Although it was All There in the Manual and not the game itself, he was supposed to be from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the SNES game, while the Wii game has him come from the aforementioned Salmon Arm, British Columbia, instead.
Ridiculously Cute Critter: Title Defense version in the Wii sees him wearing a hat that houses a squirrel that wears boxing gloves, complete with ridiculously cute sound effects.
Self-Deprecation: As mentioned above, the Wii game was developed by the Canadian developer Next Level Games, and in that game he's more stereotypically Canadian than in the previous games.
Took a Level in Badass: Went from being the opening opponent in the second arcade game to the second boxer of the game in the SNES version to a Major Circuit fighter in the Wii version. Apparently bears make really good boxing trainers.
Cuban born Piston Hurricane is an agile boxer that can send Mac reeling with his "Hurricane Rush" punch combo.
In the cutscene before the fight, he's putting horseshoes into his gloves. Then before round 2 or 3, he's seen punching himself to psyche himself up, presumably with the horseshoes still in the gloves.
Blood Knight: Both of his between-round quotes in the first fight firmly cements this:
Also, he was one of the few characters in the SNES game to actually adhere to boxing rules (clenching is a legal technique). However, in the Wii game, most of the things he does in the ring are blatant violations of the rules (elbow strikes, headbutt, a WEAPON)
Determinator / Weaksauce Weakness: In Super Punch-Out, Aran counters the super punch by charging at Mac, grabbing him and draining his energy. Unfortunately if he keeps getting super punched (timing is important here) he'll be stuck in pre-charge until he gets knocked down.
Freudian Excuse: The SPO!! manual states that his mother demanded on the rather unusual spelling of his name, which in turn lead to him being teased and bullied at school, which in turn... Long story short, it all ends with Little Mac getting clobbered in the face with a horseshoe in a boxing glove.
Jerkass: Probably the most jerkish out of all the fighters apart from Super Macho Man.
Laser-Guided Karma: If you hit him at just the right time when he's about to pull one of his dirty tricks, he'll go flying back into the ropes and automatically be knocked out. Especially satisfying in Title Defense if you nail him with a Star Punch as he's trying to get you with his whip-glove before going down.
Lucky Seven: In the Wii game everything with him seems to go by a rule of seven. For instance, when he gets up after being knocked down, it's always on the count of seven.
Nightmare Face: The cutscenes in between rounds end with Aran making some pretty psychotic-looking facial expressions.
Produce Pelting (to which he threatens the audience with bodily harm in his Title Defense version)
Punny Name: His first name, Aran, sounds like the name for Ireland in the Irish language. However, the Wii game, which has dialog in multiple languages, shows that his primary language is English (not surprising, since Dublin isn't part of a region of the country that predominately uses Irish).
Taking You with Me: When the Wii version is knocked down in Title Defense, he tries to take a wild swing at you with his loaded glove as he spins around. Also counts as a Kaizo Trap (though you retain the ability to dodge). Hit him with a star punch as he swings for a one-hit KO.
Use Your Head: Just one of the many dirty tricks Aran will try with you in the Wii version.
A Japanese kabuki fighter who likes to use his hair as a weapon.
A not-so-nice Italian clown who incorporates backhand punches and juggling balls into his act. Borrows a bit of his repertoire (including an infuriating invulnerability to body blows) from Bear Hugger.
Not in the Face!!: His Berserk Button. Pushing it causes him to fight much more aggressively (compared to his defensive style when he's calm) and leave himself open to more punishment (and facepunches) for roughly 20 seconds or when someone falls down, whichever comes first.
Graceful Loser: In the credits, he's shown to be in high spirits and taking his loss quite well. On the other hand, he does claim that his only previous loss (to his brother) was because he "let him win."
Rapid Fire Fisticuffs: Unlike Piston Hurricane's and Aran Ryan's versions, it is not advised that you try to block the entire move, since Nick's is capable of doing damage when blocked (and is the only move aside from your super punches able to do this.)
Mundane Utility: Inverted. Those boxing gloves he wears were originally used for baseball. (In Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Super Sluggers)
Mythology Gag: Appearing in the audience in the Wii version is likely a reference to his appearances as an audience member in the arcade titles (along with his son, and the Super Mario Bros.), as stated above.
Smug Super: After all, he isone of Nintendo's most famous icons, and on top of that, his match-up with Mac amounts to a giant gorilla versus a 17 year old. As such, he has a knack for taunting Mac at any opportunity, from slicking his hair to blowing a kiss to the audience, right down to babytalking you.
True Final Boss: Since they couldn't get Mike Tyson to fill the role (as if Mr. Sandman wasn't enough of a replacement), they put in DK instead. It worked. Quite well.
The Smurfette Principle: Alice is the ONLY named female character in the entire Punch-Out!! franchise, and she's not even a fighter, relying on Ape III (presumably due to concerns about beating up women).
Tactical Suicide Boss: He'll hold up his hand and order you to "Wait!" periodically through the match; trying to pin him then will result in him breathing fire in your face. If he could just do that at any time...