April 10, 2009 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili
After the success of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, another company intended to release an NES 'spiritual' sequel with the help of Beam Software, now Krome Studios Melbourne.
Unlike the series' other entries, this follow-up was slated to star Tyson, and not Little Mac as the protagonist. Familiar trainer Jerome "Doc" Louis was also replaced with Don King's outrageous hair.
The former heavyweight champion started to have public marital and personal problems, and was eventually arrested and brought to court for rape charges in 1991. Some time before this, Nintendo's original NES Punch-Out!!! was re-released -- removing Tyson's presence -- as Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream, though it's unclear exactly what prompted this.
What is known, though, is that Beam's Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch (we'll get into the odd title in a bit) never got released, apparently due to both licensing and quality issues.
So the developer and its new publisher removed Tyson from the sequel, switching him out for a generic fictional boxer named “Tough Guy” Mark Tyler, and American Softworks eventually published a modified version of the title as Power Punch II in 1992, despite the non-existence of a Power Punch I.
17 years later, a playable version of Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch has been made available for anyone to download and play, presumably with an NES emulator.
The story behind the ROM's release began three weeks ago when Jason "DreamTR" Wilson -- known by many in video game collecting circles for his stockpile of rarities and prototypes -- notified the NintendoAge community that he would be willing to dump the data from his prototype cart of Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch for $2000.
Before you castigate Wilson for holding the ROM hostage, one should note three things:
- He has dumped and released many rare ROMs for others in the past
- Releasing the ROM to the public devalues his actual cart
- He eventually lowered the asking price to $1500
Over 50 of NintendoAge.com's forum members raised that $1500, with a couple donating $100 or more, and others even selling games from their own collections to scrounge up contribution money.
The ROM is now available for anyone to download, and RetroZone is selling reproduction carts for the game, priced at $30. NintendoAge even featured the artwork from the game in its monthly e-zine, also listing members who contributed to the ROM's purchase.
Unfortunately, Mike Tyson's Intergalactic Power Punch, like Power Punch II, is terrible. You can see footage of it here, recorded by NESguide:
After Don King brags that there isn't a man walking this earth that stands a chance against Tyson, the Intergalactic Boxing Federation challenges the boxer to fight its ridiculous lineup of alien pugilists (some even use vehicles during the fights). Also, instead of ring girls or Mario bookending each round, the game uses ring slugs.
The alien fighters are much too strong, and Punch-Out!!'s dodging and counter-attacking element has been left out. Playing the game is awful, regardless if you're “Tough Guy” Mark Tyler or Mike Tyson. But at least it's gratis to check out (if you don't count the cash donated by other more charitable people), so I guess I shouldn't complain much!
[UPDATE 2: Fixed some of the confusing chronology around the release of the Tyson-less Punch-Out!!, and clarified that Nintendo was never backing the sequel, most likely - it was ASC who got the Tyson license and then removed it. Thanks to Lost Levels's Frank Cifaldi who tipped us to the ROM's release.]