Little Mac (リトル・マック, Little Mac) is the main character of Nintendo's Punch-Out!! series of video games. Initially debuting as a nameless boxer in the arcade release of Punch-Out!!, Little Mac gained his name and backstory beginning with Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on the NES. As his name implies, Little Mac has a small frame, which grants him his trademark maneuverability and speed. Trained by Doc Louis, Little Mac entered a boxing tournament and managed to become a champion, defeating several opponents much larger and experienced than him, and some of them have twice his age.
Hailing from The Bronx, New York, 17-year-old Mac aspired to become a professional boxer. However, he stood at only 4'8"/142 cm in the NES installment (changed to a more reasonable 5'7"/172 cm in the Wii installment), so his below-average stature turned most trainers away from taking him on. Upon meeting former heavyweight champion Doc Louis, however, Mac became strong enough to enter a boxing tournament hosted by the World Video Boxing Association (WVBA) under the ring name Little Mac. He defeated opponents who were increasingly larger than him and ultimately became the WVBA champion by knocking out the top-ranked boxer: real-life boxer Mike Tyson in the original NES installment, Mr. Dream in all re-releases of said installment, or Mr. Sandman in the Wii installment.
After conquering a circuit, Mac would continue to train with Doc, often jogging through New York City in a pink sweatsuit while Doc biked ahead. The Wii version also details the other exercises Mac would go through in Doc's gym. The greatest asset Mac gained from this training was Doc's patented Star Punch technique; after stunning an opponent, Mac could deliver a powerful uppercut instead of his usual jabs and hooks. During matches, he uses a defensive playstyle that focuses on dodging the opponent's attacks before counterattacking, which makes up the gameplay of the entire Punch Out!! series.
In the multiplayer "Head-to-Head" mode in Punch-Out!! for Wii, Mac has the ability to transform into a giant called Giga Mac. While in his Giga Mac state, Mac is much slower, but can hit as hard as some of the opponents he faces. This ability later became his Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. 4.
Several re-releases of Super Punch-Out!! refer to the protagonist of the game as "Little Mac", despite him having a different appearance; the protagonist of Super Punch-Out!! features messy, light brown hair, wears blue shorts, and does not wear a shirt in the ring, though he still retains the green boxing gloves. Owing to this, there exists dispute as to whether or not the two are the same character; while a developer for the Wii version of Punch-Out!!, Bryce Holliday, claimed that the two are different characters, Nintendo officially states that the two are the same character, with Little Mac having changed his appearance after splitting ways with Doc Louis.
As an Assist Trophy
Little Mac makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an Assist Trophy. When summoned, he dashes about the stage to opponents, attacking by throwing two alternating jabs and an uppercut. The jabs deal a good amount of damage, while the uppercut is devastatingly powerful; it deals 25%, KOs under 50%, and is an instant shield breaker. With his speed and immense power, Little Mac is one of the most dangerous Assist Trophies in Brawl, and is very capable of KOing each of the summoner's opponents. However, Little Mac is extremely prone to falling off-stage, even more so than other Assist Trophies, which leaves him very unreliable, especially if the opponents can lure him off-stage. The punching sound effects from Punch-Out!! can be heard as Little Mac attacks. Little Mac receives his own trophy in the game, like all other Assist Trophies.
A lightweight scrapper from the Bronx. After meeting with a former boxing great named Doc Louis who fell from glory, Mac takes Doc on as his coach, and together the pair try for the championship belt in the WVBA. Little Mac works his way up the ranks of the WVBA, taking out foes several times his size. By landing multiple blows, Little Mac gains a "☆" uppercut.
As a playable character
Main article: Little Mac (SSB4)
Little Mac is a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. 4. He was revealed on February 13th, 2014 during a Nintendo Direct, which commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Punch-Out!! series. Little Mac's grounded movement is extremely quick, with his rolls, sidestep and dashing speed being among the fastest in the game. On a related note, the majority of his grounded attacks boast quick frame data alongside high damage outputs and knockback. Little Mac also has a unique mechanic called the Power Meter, which originates from his home series. When fully charged via damage dealt or taken, the Power Meter allows him to use the KO Uppercut, an immensely fast and powerful uppercut that is capable of KOing the entire cast at extremely low percentages. While Little Mac is a nigh-unparalleled ground fighter, he has very poor aerial attacks and recovery to compensate.
Little Mac is currently ranked 44th on the tier list. While possessing a fearsome ground game due to his high power, quick movement speed and frame data, Little Mac has a notoriously weak aerial game, and what is often considered the worst recovery in the series due to his options being very short-ranged. This is compounded by the combination of his light weight and the fact that even the slightest hit on him can completely foil any of his recovery attempts. With his exploitable weaknesses, Little Mac has difficulty performing in high-level play, but has nevertheless managed to attain average representation and achieve success at varying levels: Cagt has achieved several top 10 placings and a few top 25 placings at local and regional tournaments respectively, Destany has won several local tournaments in both singles and doubles play, and Sol, Vash, and Alphicans have each achieved a few respectable placings in singles play and a few high placings in doubles play at regional and national tournaments.
As a playable character
Main article: Little Mac (SSBU)
Despite being a lower mid-tier character in SSB4, Little Mac received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to Ultimate that resulted in him generally being viewed as being nerfed overall. While he has received good improvements both directly and from game engine changes, he received heavy nerfs to his damage output and combo potential. He also is mostly harmed by the universal engine changes in Ultimate compared to most of the cast who benefit from said changes.
However, since update 3.1.0 granted useful buffs to Little Mac's ground game, his almost nonexistent representation improved to the point of gaining dedicated mains who are recently getting impressive results in both regional and national tournaments.