|First game||Punch-Out!! (1987)|
|Designed by||Makoto Wada (Punch-Out!!, 1987)
Eddie Visser (Punch-Out!!, 2009)
|Voiced by||Sumit Seru (Punch-Out!!, 2009/2013)|
Great Tiger (グレート・タイガー Gurēto Taigā ) is a fictional character in the Nintendo-produced Punch-Out!! video game series. He is an Indian boxer, hailing from Mumbai. He first appeared in Super Punch-Out!! for the arcades, then returned in Punch-Out!! for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and again in Punch-Out!! for the Wii. He was originally designed by Makoto Wada in the NES game, and by Eddie Viser in the Wii game. He is voiced by Sumit Seru in the Wii version as well. He utilizes several Indian stereotypes, typically ones depicting Indians as mystical, such as the ability to use magic carpets and teleporting. He wears a turban on his head, adorned with a jewel that indicates when he is going to attack. He also wears tiger-print pants. In the NES version, he keeps the skin of a Bengal tiger in his corner of the ring.
Since appearing in Punch-Out!! for the NES, he has received mostly positive reception. He has been featured in multiple pieces of merchandise, including Topps trading cards and action figures, and has been noted as being one of the favourites of the series by outlets such as IGN and Official Nintendo Magazine. He has been described as a difficult opponent by outlets such as The Daily Sentinel, The Globe and Mail, and Operation Sports, the latter commenting that he found Great Tiger to be harder than the champion opponent, Mr. Sandman. He has also been described as a racial stereotype of Indian people; Editor Sumantra Lahiri stated that Punch-Out!! acts as an encyclopedia to stereotypes, specifically mentioning the Indian stereotypes that they skin tigers alive and wear turbans. GamesRadar editor Brett Elston commented that he "plays up in the mystical side of Indian culture so much we’re surprised they didn’t work in a snake charmer joke in there somewhere."
Concept and appearances
Great Tiger is a 29 year old Indian boxer hailing from Mumbai, India. He first appeared in Super Punch-Out!! for the arcades, and again in Punch-Out!! for the NES, where he was designed by Makoto Wada. He would not appear in a video game again until 22 years later in Punch-Out!! for the Wii, where he was designed by Eddie Viser and voiced by Sumit Seru. The NES and Wii games depict him as having mystical powers. In the first game, he can become intangible and spin around the ring at high speeds while punching Little Mac--the so-called "Magic Punch." However, if Little Mac succeeds in blocking this barrage, the spinning leaves Great Tiger dizzy, and he can be sent to the mat with one punch to the face. The Wii Punch-Out!! gives him the ability to fly on magic carpets and teleportation. He wears a turban on his head adorned with a jewel that indicates when he is going to attack. He also wears tiger-print pants. In the NES version, he has the skin of a Bengal tiger sitting in his corner of the ring. These have all been referred to as stereotypes of Indian people. While he spoke in English in the NES version, he speaks in Sanskrit with no subtitles in the Wii version.
Since appearing in Punch-Out!! for the NES, Great Tiger has received mostly positive reception. He has been featured in multiple pieces of Punch-Out!!-related merchandise, including a series of Topps trading cards and a series of action figures. Both Official Nintendo Magazine and GameSpot described him as a favourite of the series. Sarcastic Gamer editor called Great Tiger one of his personal favourites of the series, stating that Nintendo had sold him on the Wii Punch-Out!! by adding him. New York Daily News described him as a familiar character in the Punch-Out!! series. IGN described him as a memorable foe, owing to his "teleporting punches." Kotaku editor Michael McWhertor called him quirky as well as mystical. GamePro listed him as one of the characters they want to return in the Wii Punch-Out!!, stating that "may not be the most PC character from the original NES classic, but his crazy techniques will fit in well with the outlandish style Next Level Games has been known to apply." Great Tiger's turban was listed by GamePro as the 10th best headwear in video games, stating that it will "light up like a Christmas tree before he throws a punch."
Operation Sports editor Christian McLeod described him as one of the toughest opponents in the game, noting him as even more difficult than the champion of the World Circuit, Mr. Sandman. IGN editor Jesse Schedeen listed him as one of the top fighters in Punch-Out!!, stating that his powers took a more "supernatural bent." MTV editor Jason Cipriano stated that Great Tiger's Tiger Punch was hard to beat if the player is a "bit rusty." Jasen Bowen of The Daily Sentinel commented that while Glass Joe was easy, Great Tiger "proved to be nearly unbeatable." The Globe and Mail editor Chad Sapieha commented that the roster of fighters in Punch-Out!! "would send chills down the spine of any potential pugilist," describing Great Tiger as a "mystical Indian who can vanish in a puff of smoke, making him nearly impossible to hit." Humour web site The Onion wrote an article about a series of interviews with Mike Tyson and other Punch-Out!! characters. The author suggests that a part of this documentary included a clip of Mike Tyson blocking Great Tiger's "Magic Punch." In a humour article, ESPN created several parodies of Punch-Out!! characters based on real-life "punch-worthy palookas", including one of Great Tiger called "Great Packer", in reference to Brett Favre. MeriStation stated that unlike the previous battle with Bear Hugger, which they state did not require much effort.
Great Tiger has been described as a stereotype of Indian people. Freelance writer Sumantra Lahiri, in discussing the stereotypes of Punch-Out!!, stated that it gives players an "encyclopedic knowledge of ignorant American sentiments," (it should be noted, however, that the Punch Out series is actually developed in Japan, not the United States) mentioning the Indian stereotype that they skin tigers alive and wear turbans.  In his article on the stereotypes of Punch-Out!!, GamesRadar editor Brett Elston stated that Great Tiger embodies several Indian stereotypes, including the ability to fly on magic carpets, living in Taj Mahal-like structures, and wear turbans that grant them magical powers. He described him as an "over-caffeinated Jafar, adding that he "plays up in the mystical side of Indian culture so much we’re surprised they didn’t work in a snake charmer joke in there somewhere." Editor Scott Jones stated that in 2009, "fighting a man from India who flies around on a magic carpet and who telegraphs his punches via a glowing jewel in his turban doesn't feel terribly dramatic." In their article on the six most politically incorrect video games, Cracked listed Punch-Out!! as the second most, citing how his turban's jewel would glow whenever he became vulnerable to attack. They joked that this is a stereotype that "Indian people have fought long and hard to shed." Bit Mob editor Brian Shirk commented that while Great Tiger looked more human than King Hippo, he still doesn't seem quite human judging by the animal sounds he makes and his teleportation abilities."
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