|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
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.
Since appearing in Punch-Out!! for the NES, Don Flamenco has received mostly positive reception. He has been featured in a series of Topps trading cards based on the Punch-Out!! series. He was described by IGN editor Levi Buchanan to be one of the favourites of Punch-Out!!. IGN editor Mark Bozon commented that it was awesome to "beat the hell out of smug-nosed Don Flamenco". IGN editor Jesse Schedeen listed him as one of the top fighters in Punch-Out!!. He stated that though he was more of a lover than a fighter, his second appearance in Punch-Out!! is less one-sided. The Daily Telegraph editor Tom Hoggins described the collective cast of Punch-Out!! as deliriously hilarious creations, specifically citing Don Flamenco. Computer and Video Games editor Matthew Castle praised Punch-Out!! for its ability to make him smile, specifically citing how Don Flamenco drops a rose on Little Mac when Mac is defeated.
GamePro editor Will Herring described Don Flamenco as "unquestionably cocky", citing him as an example of why the characters in the Wii Punch-Out!! feel like they did in the NES Punch-Out!!. GameSpy editor Ryan Scott stated that characters like Glass Joe and Piston Hondo lull players into a false sense of familiarity, allowing for boxers such as Don Flamenco to cut the players down to size. He also describes him as a "notorious former-pushover". Operation Sports editor Matt Gagnon stated that beating on Don Flamenco was soothing, describing him as a ninny. Fellow Operation Sports editor Christian McLeod stated that the years have been good to him, going from a "complete pushover" in the NES Punch-Out!! to the Major Circuit champion in the Wii Punch-Out!!. Kotaku editor Michael McWhertor criticized the Wii Punch-Out!! for having some guesswork involved in fights, resulting in increased difficulty. He specifically cited Don Flamenco as an example for this. Humour web site The Onion wrote an article about a series of interviews with Mike Tyson and other Punch-Out!! characters, including Don Flamenco. In a humour article, ESPN created several parodies of Punch-Out!! characters based on real-life "punch-worthy palookas", including one of Don Flamenco called "Don Trumpoco," based on Donald Trump.
Effeminacy and stereotyping
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 his obsession with his good looks, comparing him to Spanish fighting game character Vega from the Street Fighter series. Fellow GamesRadar editor Mikel Reparaz stated that Don Flamenco is "the latest example of a stereotype Spaniards have struggled against for centuries – namely that we’re all fiery-blooded, severe-nosed flamenco dancer/matadors who trill every “R” and clench roses between our teeth at every opportunity." 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.(However, Mr. Lahiri seemed unaware that the Punch Out series was developed in Japan, and not the United States, and that these were Japanese views on cultural stereotypes.)
MeriStation described him as being "Spanish stereotypical as they come," adding that he is one of the most "acute fighters of Punch-Out!!." He cites either "by being Spanish or his extra speed to string hits when he gets angry." They also discuss him in an article about Spanish in video games, stating that little has been done to change the character over the years. They described him as a narcissist, adding that the Wii version has "deepened the stereotype," stating that it provides an "even more cocky Don Flamenco, with slick hair and combat trousers in which proudly wears the colors of the Spanish flag." IGN editor Lucas M. Thomas described Don Flamenco as well as other boxers from the series as the "most flashy and funny rogues' galleries of heavyweight opponents to ever appear in any game", specifically describing him as effeminate. The Online editor Tony Frenzel described Flamenco as "flamboyant." An IGN description for the video game Cho Aniki, a video game with several homosexual undertones, made reference to Don Flamenco to demonstrate these undertones, stating that "you might have looked away from Don Flamenco's Spanish dancing". Cracked, in discussing the six most politically incorrect video games, listed Punch-Out!! for the NES as the second most. They cited several boxers for this, including Don Flamenco, who they called an "effeminate Spaniard". Eurogamer Spain stated that each boxer was representative of its region, describing Don Flamenco as a bullfighter and seductive. Eurogamer France described the boxers as crude caricatures of ethnic and national stereotypes, commenting on the "macho poses" by Don Flamenco.
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