Yoshi (sometimes spelled Yossy in Japan) is a dinosaur / dragon -like character appearing in a number of video games produced by Nintendo, as well as the name of the species of dinosaur or dragon to which he belongs. Yoshi has appeared in a wide assortment of colors. In Nintendo video games, Yoshi debuted as Mario's primary mode of private transportation in the game Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo and Super Famicom game consoles. Yoshi was instantly popular with players, quickly becoming the protagonist in his own series of platform and puzzle games for various consoles. Due to repeated involvement in a multitude of Mario titles, Yoshi has subsequently become a major and the most popular character within the Mario series.
Yoshis are commonly depicted in games as having very long, sticky tongues and tend to swallow the targets instead of chewing them up. Yoshis can eat almost anything - even objects much larger than themselves. They are omnivorous but seem to enjoy eating tropical fruits. When a Yoshi devours a living creature, however, the ingested creature is transformed into (or possibly encased in) an egg, which they sometimes use as weapons. This has caused confusion among many gamers, as it is unknown how all Yoshis seem to be capable of creating eggs, or how this relates to the reproduction of their species. Many speculate that eggs made from eating foes, hitting egg blocks, or by egg-plants, are not capable of hatching into baby Yoshis and can be made by Yoshis of any gender. These theories have never been officially addressed by Nintendo. Their noses, taking up half of their heads, can detect fruit and other secrets buried underground. Although they have teeth, these are rarely seen or used. The few times they are seen are mostly in Yoshi's Story and Yoshi's Island. Yoshis are generally depicted in games as being quite intelligent from a young age, many being able to defend themselves while still infants. While the main Yoshi himself is depicted as green, they come in a variety of colors, spanning every color of the rainbow. The plural of Yoshi is generally accepted as either "Yoshis" or "Yoshies", as both have been used by Nintendo.
Yoshi's first appearance was in Super Mario World, originally appearing on the Super Famicom in Japan and quickly following suit in the North American and PAL territories on the Super Nintendo.
Yoshi was created by Shigefumi Hino, a graphics designer and later the director of Pikmin, when Shigeru Miyamoto finished Super Mario Bros. This was in response to Nintendo's design staff expressing a desire for Mario to ride a dinosaur. In addition to the main green Yoshi, his red, blue, and yellow counterparts also debuted in the game. The main green Yoshi would hatch immediately from his egg and grow to its current height, while his colorful friends each had to be fed five enemies, mushroom, or star before they would grow to a size on which Mario could ride. Each of the colored Yoshis had a special ability; blue Yoshis could fly, yellow Yoshis caused small earthquakes upon hitting the ground, and red Yoshis breathed fire. In addition, every Yoshi did whatever abilities were directly linked to the color of the shell he swallowed as well as his own; for example, a blue yoshi swallowing a red shell could fly as well as breathe fire. If the shell flashed different colors, any Yoshi could use all three abilities. Green Yoshis had no special abilities of their own.
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Yoshi had a rival in the form of a bad-tempered, sunglasses -wearing blue creature named Boshi ( Washi in Japan). Boshi's only appearance in a Nintendo-made game was in this game. In Super Mario RPG , Yoshi's main task was aiding Mario and his allies by attempting to eat an enemy when Mario or an ally used a Yoshi Cookie during battle.
Yoshi went on to star in four more adventure games ( Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Yoshi's Story, LEWZMP's Diary DS and Yoshi's Island DS) and three puzzle games (Yoshi's Cookie, the simply-titled Yoshi, and Tetris Attack). Later, the Game Boy Advance re-release Super Mario Advance 3 was a remake of Yoshi's Island plus six new levels.
Yoshi is one of the characters in the original Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros., and the GameCube sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee he also is going in the Wii hit Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Yoshi made a cameo in Super Mario 64, and he is rideable in Super Mario Sunshine. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, several Yoshis appear at a place called "Yoshi Theater." In order to obtain a piece of the Beanstar (one of the underlying goals in the game), the player is required to feed the Yoshis. A baby Yoshi is obtainable as a partner in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. This Yoshi was not necessarily entitled "Yoshi" in the game, as the player can name the partner whatever he or she wishes. Yoshi is a fully playable character in Super Mario 64 DS on the Nintendo DS. He is also the star of Yoshi Topsy-Turvy for the Game Boy Advance and Yoshi Touch & Go for the Nintendo DS.
Yoshi appears in Mario Kart DS, where his karts were the Egg 1, Cucumber and standard go-kart. Yoshi also appears prominently in Mario is Missing!, Yoshi's Safari, and the numerous sports and party games starring the cast of the Mario universe.
Yoshi appeared again in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, in which several Yoshis appear, along with an oversized Yoshi shaped Shroob named Yoob. The green Yoshi appears to be the prominent "Super Dragon" individual, and seems to be a leader of sorts against Yoob. However, he doesn't recognize the adult Mario & Luigi and slightly grown baby versions with clothes rather than diapers.
Yoshi did not make an appearance in the story mode of New Super Mario Bros., out of a desire from the creators to recreate the feel of the original NES Mario sidescrollers. However, he did appear in the mini-games, some of which were borrowed from Super Mario 64 DS.
Yoshi again has a starring role in Yoshi's Island DS on Nintendo DS was released in November 2006. Yoshi's Island DS is a direct sequel to Yoshi's Island in gameplay and content. Interestingly, unlike Yoshi Touch and Go on the DS, this game decided to introduce the concept of a gap between the two screens of the DS to enable better aiming of Yoshi's eggs.
Television, film, and comics
An animated series followed Super Mario World , bearing the same name, and was similar in plotline to the previous series, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, but with a different setting. The show featured Yoshi as a regular character, voiced by Andrew Sabiston (who later provided the voice of Diddy Kong in the Donkey Kong Country cartoon). The cartoon portrays Yoshi with the personality of a very young child, and, therefore, he speaks like one, often in third person. He is often afraid of many things that young children would be afraid of, such as ghosts and water (perhaps referenced much later on in Super Mario Sunshine, a GameCube title in which Yoshi literally can't stand water). This may be based on his reactions to attacks by enemies in Super Mario World (he runs off when hit and will even run off of a cliff if Mario fails to chase after him) and/or the fact that Yoshi refuses to enter Ghost Houses, forts, or castles. Interestingly, his design in the show changed over time to better match his video-game design.
In the episode, "Mama Luigi", the plot tells how Luigi found Yoshi after being ambushed by Bowser on vacation. After cracking Yoshi's shell, Yoshi emerges as a baby, calling Luigi " Mama Luigi ." The episode continues to more or less adapt to the game of Super Mario World, as Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi travel to the castle of Bowser (referred to as his original Japanese name, King Koopa, in the cartoons), and save the princess.
Due to its early cancellation, Yoshi was not featured in the Super Mario Bros. comic books published by Valiant Comics. However, he managed to appear in the Nintendo Adventure Books, which were somewhat based on them. There, his dialogue consists of words that rhyme with "orp", as he does not speak English there like in the cartoon. The game version however, consists of some Yoshis that can speak English (including "Super Dragon" Yoshi himself), and others that only understand their native tongue. He also features prominently in the Super Mario Adventures comic serial printed in Nintendo Power. There, his dialogue consists mainly of his own name. (Incidentally, he talks this way in most Mario games since Yoshi's Story in 1998. But in a Japanese Mario Paint ad he does actually speak.) According to these comics, Yoshi is the Chairman of the Dinosaur Chamber of Commerce, who is searching for a group of missing Yoshi Villagers whom Bowser has captured.
Yoshi also appears in the critically maligned Super Mario Bros. movie. In the movie, Yoshi took the form of a realistic animatronic dinosaur, very much like a smaller version of Jurassic Park's velociraptors, instead of a live-action animated character. Although extremely different in appearance than its video game counterpart, it still shares some resemblance with a long tongue, friendliness and courage. He is also downsized to the point that he could not support Mario at all.
Yoshi has also appeared in one episode of the Kirby manga.
Yoshi also makes a few cameo appearances in the Legend of Zelda series, specifically in Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (alongside Mario). In the former game, he appears as a doll item that Link must bring to a baby at the first town in Koholint Island, and the baby's parents give him a ribbon. In the latter game, he appears in a portrait hung in Hyrule Castle, next to Mario, seen through a window in the courtyard where Link meets Zelda.
Yoshi makes a brief appearance in Konami's Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for the GameCube, where Yoshi is a figurine on Otacon's desk along with a figurine of Mario. If a player shoots at the Yoshi figurine, it makes a sound similar to the one heard in the later Yoshi games.
A track in Mario Kart 64 for the Nintendo 64 is named "Yoshi Valley", a maze-like track offering several routes, and includes a massive egg that squashes inattentive drivers. Due to its maze-like shape, it is difficult to determine position and progress during the race. A track in Mario Kart: Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance is named "Yoshi Desert", complete with a Yoshi-headed Sphinx in the background. A track in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! for the Nintendo GameCube is named "Yoshi Circuit" and is shaped like a Yoshi. This track was brought over to Mario Kart DS. A track in Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS is named "Yoshi Falls" with a huge egg floating in the water.
Yoshi also appears at the end of Donkey Kong Country 2 for the SNES and the GBA. Once the player has beaten King K. Rool , during the ending sequence of the game, Mario, Yoshi and Link make an appearance. In the SNES version, Link only appears if players collect fewer than nineteen DK Coins. In the Game Boy Advance version, Yoshi and Link swap positions, and Yoshi only appears if players have fewer than thirty-five DK Coins.
In the Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Advance 4 adaptations of Super Mario Bros. 3, the king of World 7 is transformed into a Yoshi by Ludwig von Koopa (whereas in the original version of the game, predating Yoshi's invention, the king is transformed into a Piranha Plant).
Yoshi also makes an appearance in the Nintendo 64 game, Super Mario 64. When the player gains all 120 stars, a cannon will open on the castle grounds and the player can use it to blast Mario onto the roof of the castle, where he can meet and talk to Yoshi, who gives the player 100 lives and an upgraded Starman-esque triple jump. In the GameCube title Super Mario Sunshine, the clouds slightly resemble Yoshi.
Yoshi in Super Smash Bros.
In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee Yoshi has a variety of moves and is favored by semi-fast multiple strike gamers. His design in the Super Smash Bros. series is similar to the older style used in his games predating Super Mario 64 . His shield is a non-shrinking egg as opposed to a shrinking bubble, and he lacks a true third jump. Despite his lack of a third jump, his flutter jump is the largest second jump in the game. Other second jumps that come close to Yoshi's flutter jump are Kirby, Ness, Mewtwo, Jigglypuff, and Princess Peach. The flutter jump also gives Yoshi resistance to being knocked away. His air dodge in Melee can substitute as a third jump. This is a helpful but risky move. In both games, Yoshi is a fast and heavy character with a unique playstyle and strong jumping ability.
His trademark moves are centered around eggs. He can swallow opponents and lay them in eggs, and can throw explosive eggs from an inexhaustible supply. Melee introduced the "Egg Roll", in which he rolls around in a fast-moving egg. This can be a very powerful move if used correctly. The Egg Roll was copied to Mario Power Tennis as a Defensive Shot, which made Yoshi change colors. It also reveals that Yoshi uses his tail as his main form of physical attack. He uses it in a large number of his attacks including his powerful downwards smash.
In the third installment of the series, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Yoshi's stage has been shown, but he himself hasn't been seen yet.
It is noted that in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Yoshi's Japanese trophy states that the species is asexual.
Description and other notes
While green is considered the standard color for Yoshi, his brethren appear in different colors, including blue , red , yellow , brown, orange, pink, purple, azure, turquoise, dark blue , silver, bronze and, more rarely, black and white. Black and white Yoshis in the Nintendo 64 game Yoshi's Story have the distinct ability to digest chili peppers, which others Yoshis cannot. Generally, a Yoshi's shoe color is dependent on its color: red Yoshis wear blue shoes, for example. In Super Mario World for the SNES, different colors of Yoshis had different abilities, such as fire-breathing and flying.
Yoshis also can make a variety of sounds. In Super Mario World , hopping onto Yoshi's saddle made one of a few sounds of affirmation; these were Yoshi's trademark noises until Yoshi's Story, when the character (voiced by Nintendo musician Kazumi Totaka) began muttering its name and unintelligible words (such as "gong" and "hup"), usually when idle or jumping. In Mario Kart 64, it also makes a squeaking sound. Nonetheless, Nintendo 64 games like the Mario Party series, Mario Golf, and others, still feature Yoshi with the same sounds as in Super Mario World.
Yoshis have a limited social structure, shown in multiple RPGs as living in villages with a few wooden constructions. Yoshis inhabit many areas of the world, from the Mushroom Kingdom to Isle Delfino.
During the localization of Panel de Pon for the U.S., when the game was renamed Tetris Attack , Nintendo of America replaced the fairy-like characters with characters from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island , with Yoshi stepping in for the Pon main character Lip.
Yoshi's appearances in video games, usually Mario sports games, typically portray him as an agile character. In Mario Kart games, Yoshi has excellent acceleration, but he is more likely to skid off the track than other characters. In Mario Golf, his shot is straight and average in height. In Mario Tennis and Mario Power Tennis, he is the fastest tennis player. In Mario Superstar Baseball, Yoshi is the speediest runner and can use his tongue to catch faraway balls. In Super Mario Strikers, Yoshi is a balanced captain. When he performs his Super Strike, green and yellow bubbles surround the character as he kicks the ball into the back of the net, usually hitting the goalie in the stomach and taking him into the net with it. Most recently, in Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Yoshi is an All-Around character, in contrast to his speedy nature in other sports games. His Special Shot is the Flutter Dunk, performed by tapping an "M" pattern on the touch screen twice. At close range, he holds the ball as he hovers toward the hoop in typical Yoshi style, leaving a rainbow trail. When he is outside the three-point line, he throws the ball to another teammate, with another rainbow trail behind the ball.
Yoshi's name may be derived from the typical Japanese interjection Yoshi! , whose equivalent in English language would be "yes!", reflecting Yoshi's general upbeat nature.
The only Yoshi that's considered "bad" is Boshi, a blue Yoshi with a spiked collar, and the only one not wearing traditional shoes, as the shoes he does wear have the toes removed. Boshi has only appeared in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
Also, Yoshi seems to be the originator of the "ground pound" or "hip drop", a move where a character jumps into the air, flips and then slams into the ground. Yoshi first performed the move in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island . The move has been performed many times in later games, such as Super Mario 64 , Super Mario Sunshine and various entries in the Mario Party franchise. Yoshi have been around a long time. According to the game "Yoshi's Island" A green Yoshi went on an aventure with a little friend, Baby Mario, to save Mario's younger brother lugi and free the stork. Also Yoshi can breathe ice and watermellon seeds in the game.
Despite having the same general appearance throughout the course of his existence, it should be noted that Yoshi's appearance has slightly changed over the years. Originally, his features resembled much more of a dinosaur, having a long neck, small arms, and a wider back (conveniently for Mario to ride on). The first game to have Yoshi's appearance altered is Yoshi's Island, with him being much shorter, chubbier, and having larger arms and hands (he could also hover slightly for a small time and throw eggs at enemies or targets). It is possible that this new look was intended to be his "younger" form, as the storyline takes place years before his first appearance in Super Mario World. This design was again used in Yoshi's Story, which had much more noticeable changes to his new look, due to the game being 3-D, as well as their being infantile hatchlings. It showed him having much more human-like features (i.e.: standing up straight instead of curved, swinging his arms while running.)
This new look for Yoshi has been used for the remaining Mario games ever since. Games such as the Mario Party series, the Mario Sports series, and even the Paper Mario series used this new appearance for Yoshi, likely making this his final design. It should also be noted that Yoshi's design was changed for the remake of Super Mario 64 for the DS, from his original "dinosaur" look, to his new shorter, stubbier, fatter look (so that he looked similar to the other characters), he also inherited hovering and egg-throwing from the previous games, but he could only keep one egg with him as opposed to being able to carry much larger amounts (for example in Yoshi's Island, he was able to carry 6 eggs at one time).
The number of orange, plate-like scales on Yoshi's back vary between games. In Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island, Yoshi has four plates, but in cases where he's given a chubbier, more anthropomorphic appearance and walks erect, he will usually only have three plates.
As with other Mario characters, Yoshi's design in Super Smash Bros. Melee is unique to the game, but borrows elements from all his previous designs. Yoshi will generally walk with a posture much like in his earlier games, but will stand somewhat erect while taunting, mimicking the gesture he made in Yoshi's Story upon sniffing out a hidden item. He also has a long neck comparable to earlier designs, but retains the large, useful hands of later games.
In Super Mario Sunshine, when Mario rides a Yoshi, the Yoshi is exactly like the "classic Yoshi", with a longer back for Mario to sit on. However, when Mario is not on Yoshi, Yoshi has his modern appearance. This may have been done to give Yoshi his modern appearance while still being able to give Mario a ride.
Yoshi's Friends & Helpers
In his adventures, Yoshi is aided by a host of different characters:
- Poochy, a dog-like character who is friendly with the Yoshi clan. Poochy aids in Yoshi's Story by helping Yoshi find hidden items.
- Muddy Buddy, a purple blob with eyes and feet that helps Yoshi cross spikes in the castle of Sluggy the Unshaven.
- Huffin Puffin, a white puffin whose chicks Yoshi can use as boomerang style projectiles in lieu of eggs; acting like boomeranging eggs, these tubby little birds circle back after Yoshi throws them.
- Melon Bugs, harmless insects that turn into melon-shaped balls that can be kicked or eaten.
- Miss Warp, a race of chubby, multicolored creatures with numbered bellies who teleport Yoshi from one Miss Warp to another. Slumbering throughout each stage are four roly-poly Miss Warps. Jumping on her wakes her and saves the player's progress. If players leap off her head, they will warp to the next Miss Warp who is awake. Miss Warp 1 will take players to 2, 2 will take them to 3, 3 will take them to 4 and 4 will return them to 1.
- Boo, a ghost from the Mario games, was Yoshi's assistant in Mario Party 3.
- Birdo, originally an enemy from Super Mario Bros. 2 who spat eggs and occasionally fireballs. She has reappeared in many games since, sometimes as a foe, but - especially in the Mario sports series (Such as Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) - has served as a partner to Yoshi. They also teamed up in Mario Party 7.
- White Shy Guys - Shy Guys do not just work for evil. In Yoshi's Story , if players have lost a Yoshi, they might come across a small, pale Shy Guy, who will dutifully follow them around and cannot be eaten. If the stage is completed, the White Shy Guy will appear on the Yoshi select screen. If players pick him, he will fly to Baby Bowser's castle and bring back the player's lost Yoshi.
- Power Bee - Many enemies, when eaten, partially restore Yoshi's Smile Meter. Players can eat a peaceable Power Bee, though, and they will instantly restore all eight petals to the Smile Meter.
- Power Flower - Gardeners and dinos alike treasure this fast-growing perennial for its ability to restore two Smile Meter petals with a simple lick. No matter how many times Yoshi licks a Power Flower, it always grows back.
- Turbo Tulip - Players can eat a Turbo Tulip to transform Yoshi into a giant egg. They can then aim their cursor, pull down their Control Stick, and release it to catapult Yoshi into the air. They can press a C Button at any time to restore Yoshi to his dino form.
- Spirit of Surprises - A Spirit of Hongo the Book Spiri's council that strongly resembles a clown. He gives Yoshi the Universal Gravitation Device, allowing Yoshi to tilt and alter his surroundings in order to free Yoshi's Island from the magic pop-up book within which it was trapped.
- Neurons - Big, multicolored, tentacled jelly creatures that help you reach new heights. Some act as a trampoline, whereas others let players raise them up and down as they please.
- Long Dragons - A friendly, docile dragon species that Yoshi can ride through the air or across lava pits.
- Sky Snakes - Windsock/Balloon snakes; ascending these winding snakes takes players to the clouds high above. Simply pound their heads and they change direction. The Sky Snakes rise differently depending on their color.
- Little Yoshi - A young yellow Yoshi, somewhat resembling a Super Mario World baby Yoshi, who only appeared in Tetris Attack. He appeared to be Yoshi's friend.
- Platform Ghost - A ghost with big, black eyes and bushy eyebrows beneath a platform worn for a hat. In two castle stages of Yoshi's Island, this fellow helped Yoshi move through rooms.
- Koopa - Yoshi's partner in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour.