28 Years Later, Super Punch-Out!!’s 2-Player Mode Has Been Discovered

Hmmmmmm shares a report from Ars Technica: While Punch-Out!! has been one of Nintendo’s most beloved “fighting” series since its 1984 debut in arcades, it has rarely featured something common in the genre: a two-player mode. On Monday, however, that changed. The resulting discovery has been hiding in plain sight on the series’ Super Nintendo edition for nearly 30 years. Should you own 1994’s Super Punch-Out!! in any capacity — an original SNES cartridge, a dumped ROM parsed by an emulator, on the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, or even as part of the paid Nintendo Switch Online collection of retro games — you can immediately access the feature, no hacking or ROM editing required. All you need is a pair of gamepads.

[T]oday’s Super Punch-Out!! discovery revolves around a simple series of button combinations, which require nothing more than a second controller. The two-player mode is hidden behind an additional, previously undiscovered menu, which lets solo players skip directly to any of the game’s boxing combatants. It’s essentially a “level select” menu, which many classic games featured for internal testing, and speedrunners could arguably use it to practice against specific opponents more quickly.

This menu can be accessed by holding the R and Y buttons on player two’s controller at the “press start” screen, then pressing Start or A with player one’s controller. Do this, and a new menu appears, displaying all 16 boxers’ profile icons. Pick any of these icons to engage in a one-off fight; once it’s over, you’re dumped back to the same boxer-select menu. In this menu, friends can access a two-player fight if player two holds their B and Y buttons down until the match starts. You won’t hear a sound effect or any other indication that it worked. Instead, the match will begin with the second player controlling the “boss” boxer at the top of the screen. Combine the “ABXY” array of buttons with “up” and “down” on the D-pad to pull off every single basic and advanced attack. All credit goes to the coder responsible for the new @new_cheats_news account on Twitter, notes Ars.

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