Don Flamenco

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Don Flamenco
Punch-Out!! character
Don Flamenco.png
Don Flamenco, as depicted in Punch-Out!! for Wii. Designed by Eddie Viser.
First game Punch-Out!! (NES)
Designed by Makoto Wada (Punch-Out!!, 1987
Eddie Viser (Punch-Out!!, 2009)
Voiced by Juan Amador Pulido

Don Flamenco (ドン・フラメンコ Don Furamenko?) is a fictional Spanish boxer from Madrid in the Nintendo-produced Punch-Out!! series of video games. He first appeared in Punch-Out!! for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), where he was designed by Makoto Wada. He appears twice in this game, with his first appearance cited as being a pushover. He made another appearance in Punch-Out!! for the Wii, where he was illustrated by Eddie Viser and voiced by Juan Amador Pulido. The Wii version expands upon his character by making him a matador; his hair is a toupee. This incarnation of him is described as being much more difficult than the NES incarnation, with Kotaku citing the guesswork involved in figuring out how to defeat him.

Since appearing in Punch-Out!! for the NES, the character has received mostly positive reception, being included in a series of Topps trading cards as well as being listed as one of the favourites of the series by IGN. He has been viewed as a racial stereotype of Spanish people; GamesRadar editors Brett Elston and Mikel Reparaz commented on his stereotype. Elston stated that some of the stereotypes that are utilized in the character are him being an expert bullfighter, always having a rose, and an obsession with good looks. Freelance editor Sumantra Lahiri described Don Flamenco as utilizing several stereotypes of the Spanish's rich European culture from the 1980s by Americans. He has also been viewed as effeminate, particularly by IGN and Cracked, the former describing him as more of a lover than a fighter.

Concept and appearances[edit]

Don Flamenco made his first appearance in Punch-Out!! for the NES, where he was designed by Makoto Wada. At the beginning of the fight, he dances toward the middle of the ring to the March of the Toreadors from the opera Carmen. He relies mostly on his "Flamenco Punch," in which he briefly dances in place before swinging a right at Little Mac's jaw. However, if Little Mac dodges this punch, it severely disrupts his timing, leaving him vulnerable to a left-right flurry that can occasionally be enough to finish him. He is both cocky and effeminate, noted as a pushover in his initial fight but becomes more difficult in his second encounter.

He did not make another appearance until Punch-Out!! for the Wii, where he was designed by Eddie Viser and voiced by Juan Amador Pulido. His voice speech is delivered in accurate Castilian Spanish. To date, he has only appeared in these two games. This incarnation shows him as a bullfighter, as well as revealing that he is balding and has a toupee; when knocked off, this sends him into a rage.

Reception[edit]

Since appearing in Punch-Out!! for the NES, Don Flamenco has received mostly positive reception. He was described by IGN editor Levi Buchanan to be one of the favourites of Punch-Out!!.[1] GameSpy editor Ryan Scott suggested that Don Flamenco existed to "cut the players down to size" after easier opponents such as Glass Joe and Piston Hondo.[2]

In discussing the stereotypes of Punch-Out!!, GamesRadar editor Brett Elston stated that Don Flamenco was a stereotype of Spanish people, citing stereotypes utilized in the character such as being expert bullfighters, always having a rose in his hand, and an obsession with good looks, comparing Flamenco to Spanish fighting game character Vega from the Street Fighter series. Fellow GamesRadar editor Mikel Reparaz held a similar sentiment.[3] The Escapist editor Sumantra Lahiri commented that while Don Flamenco was less pathetic than French Punch-Out!! boxer Glass Joe, he "radiates an effeminate "pretty boy" persona by making constant references to his perfect hair and starting off each fight with a feisty Latin dance." He adds that this is a stereotype of Spanish people by Americans who viewed Spanish's rich European culture as such.[4] An IGN description for the video game Cho Aniki, a video game with several homosexual undertones, made reference to Don Flamenco's effeminacy.[5] Eurogamer France considered Flamenco's "macho poses" as a "crude caricature."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harris, Craig (2009-05-28). "Grudge Match: Punch-Out!! New vs. Classic - Wii Feature at IGN". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  2. ^ "GameSpy: Punch-Out!! Review - Page 2". Wii.gamespy.com. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  3. ^ "Fun with stereotypes: starring Punch-Out!!, Punch-Out!! Wii Features". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  4. ^ Huling, Ray (2009-01-13). "The Escapist : Punch-Out!!'s Black Eye". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  5. ^ "IGN: Cho Aniki". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  6. ^ Oli Welsh. "Punch-Out!! Wii Test - Page 2". Eurogamer.fr. Retrieved 2010-08-25.