These are various strategies discovered for the opponent King Hippo. While some of these strats maybe doable in real time, these demo movies are Tool-assisted and demonstrate the strat in a frame perfect manner. These times present the fastest possible time that can be obtained with these particular strats.
There really isn't much to consider when fighting King Hippo, punch his open mouth and hope to get lucky by getting of his open mouth punches in a row. They must be countered fast in order to do max damage on the first punch and be able to knock him down in only 3 sets. Punching him in his mouth quickly will result in 5 damage instead of 3. The TAS shows the maximum amount of luck possible and perfect timing, getting a 37.61.
This time has been reproduced by numerous people in real time. Due to the way the clock works, a human player has a 2 frame margin of error in the entire fight to still get a .61 time.
If the total frame error is between 3-6 the time will be 37.82. If the timing error is 7-10 it will be 37.97 and between 11-15 will result in a 38.00 time. In order to get max damage from the open mouth punch, the player can not be more than 5 frames late, so any margin over 15 will result in a failed attempt.
El Cheapo (no luck strat)
Not feeling lucky? Here is a strat that requires absolutely no luck. Just punch his gut until you get pink then counter his open mouth punches and punch on the 3rd one. Rinse and repeat. Doesn't yield an impressive time at all but at least can be done every time.
The only randomness that matters with King Hippo is him opening his mouth. There is a 6/16 chance of him opening his mouth for any given punch. This is determined by the lower nibble of the RNG address (0x0018). If this nibble is 01, 03, 06, 09, 0B, or 0E, he will open his mouth.
Thus the odds of getting the correct randomness to get the fastest possible time is a 6/16 * 6/16 * 6/16. This reduces to a 27/512 to approximately a 5% chance.
If given perfect execution and average randomness, a player will on average beat King Hippo between 0:55 and 1:00
To achieve the randomness