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Speedrunner demolishes Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! blindfolded

His weeklong assault on the world record may have killed the category

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Fight fans, do we have a treat for you this Sunday morning. The blindfolded Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! speedrun is the pièce de résistance of speed-run trick shots. And here mPap plows through it in 20 minutes, 36 seconds, a world record by 37 seconds.

mPap has been on a mission the past week. Seven days ago, he beat sinister1’s two-year-old record for a blindfolded run. Sinister1, you may recall, got all the way to Mike Tyson in a spellbinding performance at Awesome Games Done Quick 2014, but he did not beat the final boss then.

Over the past week, mPap has beaten his best time with four performances, culminating in a Daredevil-esque 20:36 today, the first sub-21 minute blind run through the venerable NES title.

The action begins at 1:30 of the above video. mPap picks up about 20 seconds when he puts down King Hippo. He throttles Soda Popinski to gain another six seconds and then annihilates Bald Bull in the second fight, lengthening his split time by 11 seconds to go 39 seconds faster than his personal best. mPap realizes he is on the move for a blistering record pace and resolves not to lift his visor until the end. After clowning Don Flamenco a second time, he comes up against Mr. Sandman — who is, for my money, the toughest non-Tyson opponent in the game.

mPap finishes off Sandman flawlessly, working that big gourd head and then the midsection for the first put down, then evading the three-uppercut combo with preternatural Force Awareness. “Oh my fucking God, I did not deserve to dodge that,” mPap says. After cleaning Sandman’s transmission in 15:42, mPap now 42 seconds ahead of his world record pace.

The next victim is Oliver Stone — I mean, Super Macho Man — TKO’d in 17:25, shaving another three seconds from the run. Last stop is Kid Dynamite. “I’m fucking nervous,” mPap announces. He gets to work frustrating Mike Tyson with blocked body punches and waits out the champ, per the textbook strategy. It’s the only fight to go more than one round. You can hear him demanding Tyson get up so he can be knocked back down again in record time. He is.

“Oh my fucking God, what is this pace?!” he exhales. “Fucking hell! I thought my pace was good but I didn’t think it was that fucking good.”

mPap thought he’d fought Super Macho Man slower than he did, which accounts for his surprise. “This category is terminated,” he says. He’d considered the 20 minute, 40 second threshold to be one requiring “thousands and thousands” of attempts to breach.

“I didn’t deserve that round at all,” he says, with a speedrunner’s classic perfectionism. “I screwed up Sandman — I almost screwed up Sandman so bad. I was hitting down, but I was probably blocking ...” Doesn’t matter, my dude.

“Is this category dead?” he says, apparently answering a chat comment. “Well, I don’t want to run it anymore, but I kind of have to.”

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