Matthew Byrd

Oct 2, 2017

Poor Yoshi. In Super Mario World, the little dinosaur's hit on the head by his rider, Mario, according to its developers…

If you thought that Mario sporting a gun in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was a violent turn for the character, you apparently haven’t heard of Mario’s preferred method of getting Yoshi to move. 

During a recent interview, Super Mario World developers Shigefumi Hino and Takashi Tezuka confirmed some previously suggested rumours regarding what Mario is doing when he rides Yoshi. 

“Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger forward, he’s saying ‘Go,’ and Yoshi’s tongue comes out,” said Shigefumi Hino. “However, the setup that I drew was that when Mario punches Yoshi in the head, the character’s tongue shoots out in surprise.”

Now, we’re no experts on matters of animal cruelty as it relates to pet dinosaurs – especially in the digital realm, which has long been something of a grey area – but we must say that the idea of Mario punching Yoshi in the head strikes us as a bit odd. 

Perhaps realising that fans may come to the same conclusion, Hino noted that Nintendo realised that people may say “Poor Yoshi,” which is why “it became that Mario is saying ‘Go.’”

During that same interview, Tezuka noted that Yoshi was the result of Shigeru Miyamoto’s desire to have Mario ride a horse. 

“When we were making [Super Mario Bros. 3], he drew a picture of Mario riding a horse and had put it up on the wall next to where he sits,” said Tezuka. “When I saw that, I thought, ‘I guess he wants Mario to ride something.’ So, when we were making Super Mario World, we had this ‘dinosaur land’ concept, and I had Hino draw reptile type art.” 

Originally, Yoshi was drawn as a more realistic dinosaur, but the team felt that design clashed with the rest of the game’s world. Super Mario Odyssey will bring idea back home by implementing a “proper” dinosaur into the Mario universe. Try hitting that one on the head, Mario…