super smash bros

Archivists Frantically Hunt Footage of 1999 Super Smash Bros. Boxing Match

The best we have right now are low-res screenshots of Mario fighting Donkey Kong from an ancient internet livestream.
13 May 2020, 3:30am
Mario and Donkey Kong in a boxing match.
Image: Zelda 64 Planet

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Internet archivists and video game fans are frantically searching for lost footage of a Nintendo-themed Las Vegas boxing match from 1999 that promoted the release of the original Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64.

The search was started by André Segers, founder of the GameXplain YouTube channel, who vaguely recalled the match on Twitter and wasn’t quite sure it ever actually happened. Over the last 24 hours, evidence has slowly trickled out proving that the match did indeed happen.

The boxing match, which featured costumed versions of Yoshi, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, and Mario fighting in a boxing ring at the MGM Grand, took place at 11:30 AM on April 24, 1999. Shockingly, the event was live-streamed on Nintendo.com and a website called internetbroadcast.com through Real Player, according to archived versions of the sites. A contemporaneous account posted on a Zelda fan site hosted on the internet fossil Tripod.com. "SUPER SMASH BROS. LIVE!," Nintendo.com tantalizingly advertised in April 1999—the link it sends us to unfortunately does not have video.

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Unfortunately, no footage from it has yet been found, and archived versions of the stream are no longer working.

“The melee of the millennium!,” a promo page for the match reads. “Don’t miss the excitement when four of Nintendo’s biggest stars—Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Pikachu step into the ring this Saturday for a no-holds-barred, anything goes, toe-to-toe slamfest!”

Some may remember this commercial for Super Smash Bros. that features the same characters and has the same vibe as the boxing match, but was decidedly not a boxing match. Here is how the Zelda fan site, Zelda 64 Planet, described it:

“Mario and Donkey would start the match. Donkey Kong, being much larger than our favorite plumber, quickly took Mario out. Yoshi came in and got his revenge on the gorilla. Pikachu would come in for the monkey only to be knocked down by Yoshi's lethal tail.

Then, before anyone knew it, Mario went crazy. He wiped out Donkey Kong, Pikachu, and his own teamate, Yoshi. Ultimately, the match would end in a crash which knocked out everyone resulting in a draw. 'Everyone is a winner!' the announcer yelled.”

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Thankfully, Zelda 64 Planet has some screenshots from the match, which are fittingly extremely low res and are currently the only photographic proof anyone has found that show this happened at all. If you have any more information about this bout or video of it, please get in touch.