Take a ride with us as we look a little bit closer at the origins of Yoshi with these 10 facts!

Yoshi Walk

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Jumping in with Number 10 we have the first appearance of Yoshi!

Although most people think Yoshi debuted in Super Mario World, Yoshi actually first appeared on the NES in 1991 in a game simply called “Yoshi”. The puzzle game developed by Game Freak, the same company who made the Pokémon games 5 years later, was pretty poorly received however as the gameplay relied heavily on luck which kind of diminished it’s replay ability.

Yoshi for NES screenshot Yoshi nes game cover

At Number 9 – Mr Miyamoto wanted Mario to Ride Yoshi on the NES

That’s right, the concept of Mario riding an animal companion actually arose after the first Super Mario Brothers game was completed! However because of the technical limitations of the NES it wasn’t until the Super Nes slash Famicon that we got to cruise around on a dinosaur! This early concept art shows Mario already riding a dinosaur like creature.

Yoshi concept art

This leads us nicely to Number 8 and Yoshi’s character development

In short, Yoshi was probably influenced by a character named Tamagon from an earlier game made by Mr Miyamoto called Devil world. This bizarre game never made it out of Japan however, probably because it featured a green dinosaur collecting bibles and crucifixes in an effort to attack and defeat Satan in Hell.

nes devil world tamagon Dev W Tamagon nes devil world tamagon 2

Number 7 – Yoshi as a Koopa Troopa

Another early concept for Yoshi included him being a tame form of Koopa troopa! Somehow, possibly because of sprite issues, he morphed from a turtle into a dinosaur!

Koopa Troopa Yoshi Super Mario World Koopa Troopa yoshi

Number 6 – Yoshi’s Gender

Much like Birdo, Yoshi’s gender is never really made that clear. Although often referred to as a “He”, He also does lay eggs which kind of suggests he is a she…and then there is that romance going on with Birdo too? To make things more confusing the Japanese version of Smash Bros. Melee claims that Yoshi’s actually reproduce asexually. It’s probably best not to think too hard about this point though and just enjoy Yoshi being Yoshi.

yoshi and birdo

Number 5 – Unused Yoshi’s Island transformations

You might remember transforming into a helicopter or train in Yoshi’s Island but some ROM hackers were able to find these unused Yoshi transformation sprites that include a Tree, Mushroom and Plane. One can only imagine the excitement we missed out on with the Tree or Mushroom transformations…

un used yoshi transformations

Number 4 – Yoshi’s New look

Like most Nintendo character’s Yoshi’s look and feel has evolved over the years. In Super Mario World, Yoshi was distinctly more Dino like but then in Yoshi’s Island he had longer arms, was more upright and was generally more cute. What you may not have realized however is that this new Yoshi sprite was actually featured 2 years prior to Yoshi’s Island’s release, in both Super Mario All stars and Yoshi’s Cookie!

yoshi sprite change

Image Credit: reyVGM

At Number 3 – and Speaking of Yoshi’s Cookie, there is a super rare version of the game!

To celebrate the release of a new Panasonic oven in Japan, 500 copies of a special version of Yoshi’s Cookie were given away. This special version includes totally different game play from the regular version where Yoshi can wander around a map and even go into the kitchen to learn how to bake the cookies from the game in real life. Though this still sounds like a dull game in my opinion the obscurity and rarity of the item means if you want to buy one today you will be paying around 2 to 3 thousand US dollars. Those cookies had better taste amazing!

Yoshi no Cookie Oven debug text

Yoshis Cookie Kuruppon

real life Yoshi's Cookies

Number 2 – Complicated Movie Yoshi

You might remember Yoshi making an appearance in the Super Mario Brothers movie looking a little like a creature from Jurassic park! Yoshi’s presence however was one of the most complicated effects in the film! Requiring a staggering 9 puppeteers to operate, this model dinosaur was capable of 64 different movements!

smb movie yoshi 2

smb movie yoshi

And finally at Number 1 we have – Yoshi eats dolphins in Japan

That’s right, if you have ever been frustrated by those jumping dolphins in Super Mario World and their lack of eat-ability, perhaps you should purchase the Japanese version of the game where you eat all the dolphin you desire! For some strange reason, possibly political, Nintendo removed the edible nature of dolphins when distributing the game world wide.

yoshi eat dolphin

yoshi eat dolphin 2

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