Friday, September 15, 2006

The Punch Out Chronicles III: Piston Honda w/ a little bit of King Hippo

Piston Honda

Tokyo, Japan
178 lbs
26 - 1 - 18 KO

-Background: Piston Honda’s father, Soichiro Honda, was an intense racer. His passion for the competition rivaled such current day legends as Vin Deisal, Paul Walker, Cole Trickle, and Mel Gibson (well only the passion part there). When he looked at the Japanese makert in the early 50’s, he saw that transportation as a major point of entry. So he straped an engine on a bike and created the Honda Moter Co. While Honda is praised for their constant reliabilty, this was not the case at home. Soichiro spent upwards to 18 hours a day at the office headquarters in Tokyo and spent little to no time with his 4 children: Piston, Clutch, Spark Plug and Wheel. This brewed up serious resentment and led each of these children in separate directions. Wheel and Clutch joined Yazuka, Spark Plug developed a passion for swimming, but because he was never formally taught, drowned in his third attempt. Piston repressed his anger towards his father and started to be formally trained in martial arts. After a devastating blow out with his father and a failure to get past the orange belt, Piston left and decided to work his way up the ranks of the Minor Circuit, where he hold’s the belt and is now currently ranked 5th in the World Circuit.

-The Scoop: We see Piston twice in our quest to glory. He is the first true fighter we come across and for the first time the concept of timing really comes into play (this becomes increasingly more important as the game continues, e.g. Bald Bulls famous Bull Charge). He has a nice selection of jabs and upper cuts, but the most successful move in his arsenal is the quick Banzai Rush Attach. There are 3 methods to deal with this magnificent charge. 1. Block, but you will become blue (this is a whole different topic, but WTF, lets talk about it now)
-Who gets blue when they get fatigued? I mean blocking is a pretty important part of the game. I would say the average boxer blocks at a minimum, 40 punches a fight if it goes a few rounds. And why correlate Mac’s power to his heart. They should start off Mac with 1000 hearts, lets be honest, he has no right (legally or physically, ethically) to be fighting these guys. It has to break every single regulation in the rule book. I don’t know who the governing body is, but there should be an in depth, federal investigation going on. Little Mac weighs 107 lbs.. he is 17. I mean come on.
2. You can get pummeled. If you don’t block it and your timing prevents option C, you get the ever living piss knocked out of you. I would also like to comment on Pistons Style, he throws some nice punches and really puts his body into them
3. You time it right, give him a low jab to the torso and he is down for the count. Every single time, if you land this, he is out. Another great side note is that the music he enters the ring too is a popular folk song from Japan, Sakura. The lyrics (which Nintendo obviously didn’t have the technology to incorporate) translate to:
“Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
The expanse of the spring sky
as far as I can see
Is it the fog, or else the clouds?
Their smell comes forth.
Now, now,
Let's go look at them!”
Perfect. Just Perfect.

-Stereotype: Ok, before we get into this, we must keep in mind that this game is a product of the Japanese, which leads me to believe they will do anything for a profit. Let’s get into this now. Disregarding the background I provided above, his name is f’n Piston Honda. I repeat Piston Honda. That’s like a couple from Amsterdam naming their kid Kind Bud or a Canadian family naming their child, I don’t know, Lumber maybe… whatever the hell it is they do up there. His quotes are phenomenal. I believe at one point (it might have been in the original Punch Out, because it’s not in the Mike Tyson version) that he speaks and Nintendo translates it as “###&^&#*)#)@*#$)”. Nice, you guys really keep your pride on the top of the totem pole. In between rounds when Little Mac tells Doc to give him some advice Piston presumably screams across the ring: "Sushi, Kamikaze, Fujiyama, Nipponichi..." (I never understood this part of the game.. how can they hear each other? I guess today they could text each other or something, but back then it seems like an awful long way to taunt an opponent from). That has to be a tell tale sign of schizophrenia. Why yell out Sushi(food), Kamikaze(suicide attack), Fujiyama (which as far as I can tell has something to do with Mt. Fuji.. but that’s all I got), and Nippon Ichi(which may have something to do with Samurai, but it is really a Japanese programming company). There is no connection between the four and he speaks in symbols and English every other time. He also says he is going to give a TKO for Tokyo, which implies he has the ability to display some wit and humor. Intriguing guy, Piston is. He also thinks Mac should wear a helmet.

-Advice:-You have a good thing with your Banzai Rush Attack, it is your trademark move and at first a solid one, but you should try to work on the delivery. No need to step back and come dancing up to your opponent leaving your midsection wide open. Also, why does a stomach punch cause so much damage? I understand with King Hippo, there is clearly something going on there. But you seem to be in pretty good shape, at least strong enough shape to take a quick jab from the a 17 year old kid. [Off topic Rant] Back to King Hippo for a minute. Two things: 1. What the hell is behind that bandage? It has to be pretty serious because he will never, I mean never, lose unless you get him there. It has to be something that no doctor on Hippo Island can figure out or he would get it fixed, immediately. I mean if his stomach could take a blow, he would be unstoppable. And you can’t figure out his weight? Why not.. He is not THAT fat. Yes, he is big, but I mean there is no scale in the world that can give us his weight? Really? They know how much cars weigh, he surely can’t weigh more than a car. And we also don’t know his age? Why? We can come within 1% of telling how old the bottom layer of the Grand Canyon is and they can’t muster up some number, any number on the Hippo? As Dean, from Deans Home Furniture, would say “I Doubt It”. And where is Hippo Island? I think we have done a pretty good job scouting out the planet. The job title Discoverer just isn’t used anymore. Just referencing Google Maps real quick, I can firmly conclude the place doesn’t exist. 2. Who the hell is his manager or trainer? What type of tape job is that? Two pieces of Renfrew hockey tape over his belly button that must be covering up some serious injury? Lets get on this one guys. Also, it can’t be protecting much (its just tape), so why even have it? Why let someone know that you have a weak spot? Why sell it? Further more, whose genius idea was it to hike up his shorts to his chest to cover it up? That alone has to interfere with his boxing ability. You just can’t move as quickly with your underwear rammed up your ass.. it hinders your maneuverability. And take the frigging crown off. A) your in the ring and B) Your fictional island of Hippo’s doesn’t exist. [/End Off Rant]
-When we meet you the second time, you come with some new material, which is nice. You decided to add a third jab into your previous dual jab structure…good job on that one, I like your dedication to success. You also do that dip, hip shifting, uppercut that can, for a limited time, be tough to handle. Again, well done, proud of ya. But you still go with the Banzai Rush Attack? Learn from your mistakes man.

Just in Case:-Just in case you were wondering how this complex game play was described to those who purchased the game in 1984, here is the instructional manual that came with it The Original Punch Out Manual

*Note that Doc's last name is Louis (did not know that) and he was an ex-heavyweight in the 50's who was known as a hard hitter in the U.S. I am glad I know a little more about Doc.


Clarke said...

Great stuff. I'm a game rife with stereotypes the treatment of Piston Honda takes the cake.

Machon said...

The problem is, as I found out this morning writing it, that they are so blatant and so on the really don't have to do much analytical work.

Brandon said...

ahh the good ol days