Bald Bull

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Bald Bull
Bald Bull, as depicted in Punch-Out!! for Wii.
Series Punch-Out!!
First game Punch-Out!! (arcades)
Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto (Punch-Out!!, 1984)
Makoto Wada (Punch-Out!!, 1987)
Eddie Viser (Punch-Out!!, 2009)
Voiced by Erse Yagan (Punch-Out!! (Wii))

Bald Bull (ボールド・ブル?) is a fictional character in the Punch-Out!! series. He was originally designed by Shigeru Miyamoto for the arcade game Punch-Out!!, and was designed by Makoto Wada and Eddie Viser for the NES Punch-Out!! and Wii Punch-Out!! respectively. In the latter game, he is voiced by Erse Yagan. To date, he and Little Mac, a fellow boxer in the series, have appeared in more games in the series than any other character has, including an appearance in the arcade game Arm Wrestling, where he is disguised as a character called "Mask X". He is well known for his Bull Charge, an attack that can instantly knock out anyone it hits; conversely, it also knocks him out if he is hit while doing the attack. This is accomplished by observing a camera flash, which occurs when it is time to punch him. This trick was only known to Wada, until he revealed it in an interview.

Since appearing in Punch-Out!!, Bald Bull has been considered a notable character in the series, included in a series of Topps trading cards and a series of Punch-Out!! figurines. He has been described as a ""monster built of power power", as well as a "veteran of the series". Freelance writer Scott Jones cites Bald Bull as a reason for his nervousness while playing Punch-Out!! for the NES when he was young, stating that it made his hands shake. He has been described as a stereotype of Turkish people by several people, including members of the Retronauts podcast, as well as being Muslim, due to an accusation made that he says "Allah akbar", or in English, "God is great", in the Wii Punch-Out!! by Conservative pundit "RevolutionOfGC".

Concept and characteristics[edit | edit source]

Bald Bull has had several different designers over the years; his original design was created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the arcade Punch-Out!!, while his later designs were created by Makoto Wada and Eddie Viser. Bald Bull is a Turkish boxer from Istanbul, and as his name implies, he is bald. He is known for his signature attack, the "bull charge", which cannot be blocked and will instantly knockdown anyone with whom he hits with it. However, if he is hit in the stomach at the right moment, it will instantly knock him down. Wada revealed in an interview that, in the NES Punch-Out!!, the right time to punch is indicated by a camera flash in the audience, a fact that at the time had been unknown since its release 22 years ago, even to other developers of the game.[1] While he originally spoke fluent English, the Wii Punch-Out!! had him speak only in Turkish. As revealed in the NES Punch-Out!!, Bald Bull appears to have some level of animosity with Little Mac's trainer, Doc Louis, often chiding Doc. Bald Bull has a large temper, reflected in his attacks.[2]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Bald Bull, being hit in the stomach by Little Mac in Punch-Out!!.

Bald Bull first appeared in the arcade game Punch-Out!! as one of the boxers. Since this appearance, he would appear in Punch-Out!! for the NES, Super Punch-Out!! for the Super NES, and Punch-Out!! for the Wii. The NES version received a rare gold catridge, only in Japan, featuring Bald Bull on the cover.[3] He can also be found on the cover of several other games in the series, including the original Punch-Out!! for the arcades alongside Glass Joe and Mr. Sandman and the Super NES Super Punch-Out!! alongside Super Macho Man and Mr. Sandman.[1][citation needed] He also made a cameo appearance in the spin-off Arm Wrestling, under the nickname "Mask X"; when he is defeated, his mask falls off, and the game says "Wow!! Bald Bull!!". To date, he and Little Mac have appeared more than any other character in the series, with a total of five appearances in the Punch-Out!! series.[4] The only game he has not appeared in in the series is Super Punch-Out!! for the arcade.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Since appearing in Punch-Out!! for the arcades, Bald Bull has received positive reception, and has been cited as a notable character to the Punch-Out!! series.[5][6][7] He has appeared in promotional items, including a series of figurines and a series of Topps trading cards.[8][9] A statue of Bald Bull constructed with Lego blocks was offered as a door prize at the Child's Play charity, along with Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog statues.[10] ESPN editor Jon Robinson, in an interview with Senior Product Specialist Nate Williams, commented that he was "always a big Bald Bull fan," asking if he would return in the Wii Punch-Out!!.[11] GameDaily listed Bald Bull as the fifth best baldy in video games.[12] IGN included him in their list of the top fighters they want to see in the Wii Punch-Out!!, describing him as a "true veteran of the series".[4] GamePro editors Patrick Shaw and Dave Rudden chose him as one of the four boxers that they most want to return, due to his high number of appearances in the series.[13] editors Russell Frushtick and C. Radtke stated "there have been damn good boxing games from EA recently, but nothing comes close to the thrill of knocking out Bald Bull for the first time."[14] In a humour article, ESPN created several parodies of Punch-Out!! characters based on real-life "punch-worthy palookas", including one of Bald Bull called "Bald Bullmarket," referencing economic analyst Jim Cramer.[15] Allgames editor Skyler Miller commented that while humorous in Super Punch-Out!!, Bald Bull is not quite "out there" compared to the boxers in the NES Punch-Out!!.[16]

Bald Bull is cited as being a difficult boss in Punch-Out!!. Freelance writer Scott Jones commented that playing Punch-Out!! made him nervous, citing how Bald Bull's laugh after Little Mac loses made his hands shake.[17] GamePro editor Will Herring described Bald Bull as a "monster built of power power".[18] Destructoid editor Matthew Razak commented that the reveal of Bald Bull's weakness could have come sooner, cursing Makoto Wada as well as demanding that he owes him "two new controllers and a ton of band-aids."[19] Worth Playing editor Brian Dumlow described the second encounter with Bald Bull in the NES Punch-Out!! as being cringe-worthy, due to players getting "hammered".[20] Game Informer used Bald Bull as an example of a boxer from Punch-Out!! who requires "paced pugilism".[21] Operation Sports editor Matt Gagnon commented that Bald Bull in Punch-Out!! for the Wii was still a challenging opponent.[22] Fellow Operation Sports editor Christian McLeod commented that "as intimidating as Bull looks in 480p, he really is no more difficult than his previous incarnations from the NES and SNES versions of the series."[23] GamesRadar editor Brett Elston suggested that the difficulty of Bald Bull was high enough to make people "swear you’re going to break the controller in half, smash the disc and throw the Wii into the deepest volcano on Earth."[24] GamePro Germany commented that Bald Bull was a "true heavyweight," and that his Bull Charge is "feared."[25]

Racial stereotyping[edit | edit source]

Bald Bull has been noted as being a racial stereotype of people from Turkey. He has also been described as being Muslim, which generated slight controversy. This came from a Conservative pundit under the name of "RevolutionOfCG" who claimed that one of Bald Bull's lines that he utters during fights is "Allah akbar", or in English, "God is great." The controversy comes from the fact that this is a Muslim phrase, and he claims that regardless of the positive uses, its use by Muslim terrorists before committing acts of terrorism make its use in poor taste, RevolutionOfCG claims. This article was covered by both GamePolitics and The Escapist, both claiming that it is unconfirmed, while the latter saying that it is "debatable at best".[26][27] In discussing racial stereotypes, one of the members of Retronauts commented that he didn't get Bald Bull at all, while another commented that Bald Bull was from Istanbul, Turkey, adding that his name was likely derived from Istanbul.[28]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 - Iwata Asks - Punch-Out!!. (2010-06-10). Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  3. By Spencer . August 7, 2009 . 1:16pm (2009-08-07). Legend Of The Gold Punch-Out!! Cartridges // Siliconera. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  4. 4.0 4.1 Schedeen, Jesse (2009-03-24). Punch-Out!!'s Top Fighters - Stars Feature at IGN. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  5. Sports - A Brief History of Boxing Video Games - UGO's Boxing Greats. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  6. - Scorecard - Daily List: 5/13/07 - 5/20/07. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  7. Punch-Out!! Review for Wii. GameSpot (2009-05-18). Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  8. Topps' Nintendo Game Packs - Scratch-offs. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  9. Nintendo Player :: Database. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  10. Funde Razor: Now with 100 Percent More Lego Bald Bull Getting Hit in the Nards. (2008-12-06). Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  12. February 13, 2009 (2009-02-13). Gallery and Images. GameDaily. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  13. Shaw, Patrick. 8 Features We Want in Punch-Out!!, Feature Story from. GamePro. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  14. Resurrect These Games!. Ugo.Com (2007-01-05). Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  15. Patrick Hruby and Kurt Snibbe: Updating "Punch-Out!!" - ESPN. (2009-05-20). Retrieved on 2010-08-26
  18. Herring, Will (2009-05-18). Punch-Out!! Review from. GamePro. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  19. Secrets abound in NES Punch Out!!, here's one. Destructoid (2006-03-16). Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  20. Wii Review - 'Punch-Out!!'. Worthplaying. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  21. Cowan, James (2009-11-16). Game Informer's Top 100 Games Of All Time (Circa Issue 100) - Features. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  26. Does Punch-Out!! Character Shout Islamic Phrase?. GamePolitics. Retrieved on 2010-08-08
  27. Andy Chalk (2009-06-02). The Escapist : News : Punch-Out!! Boxer Accused of Uttering Islamic Phrase. Retrieved on 2010-08-08

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