It's Official: Mario Was Totally Punching Yoshi in 'Super Mario World'
Mario’s cruelty to Yoshi finally confirmed by Nintendo.
In a series of interviews commemorating the release of the Super NES Classic (a tiny console loaded with 21 mostly-beloved Super NES games), Nintendo of Japan is collecting juicy facts about some of my favorite childhood games. It's not translated, so, you need to brave the jank of Google Translate to fully appreciate it, but there are some excellent gems in this piece about Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island.
Chief among them is the fact that yes, the original sprite for Mario and Yoshi had the plumber punching his dinosaur buddy in the back of the head in order to elicit Yoshi's signature tongue move.
This was pointed out by twitter user FarmBoyinJapan:
There are some other excellent snippets here as well, including some thoughts on Yoshi's origins (he was originally more reptilian, but the cartoon dinosaur look fit much better with Mario's aesthetic), and he only came to be because Miyamoto wanted Mario to ride something like a horse.
The Donkey Kong Country fan in me was also pleased by the team's fascination with Rare's game. There were some on the team who were interested in doing a similar art style (with pre-rendered models), but the release of DKC caused them to want to step things up in the opposite direction, aesthetically, with Yoshi's Island's hand-drawn storybook feel.
Again, you'll have to brave Google Translate for the full thing, but it's well worth your time.
I personally think this is a shameful moment for Mario's character. Punching your trusty steed in the back of the head? That's low even for Wario.
Special thanks to Tom James for translation assistance.