If you have played Super Mario World, you know the animation of Yoshi sticking out his tongue on Mario’s command looks an awful lot like Mario walloping his dinosaur buddy in the back of the head. It was the launch of the SNES and sprites were not particularly clear or high-resolution, so it was left to the imagination of players to interpret whether Mario was gesturing or hammering Yoshi on the back of the head. That is, until a new interview with the Mario World’s developers got translated to explain the genesis of the animation.
Kyle McClain, also known as @FarmboyinJapan, translated the interview on his twitter, where the subject of how Yoshi’s tongue thrust out came up. Shigefumi Hino, who did art on the game, had this to say:
“The idea behind the design is that when Mario punches Yoshi, Yoshi is so surprised that his tongue shoots out.”
Hino goes on to explain that the rest of the team did not agree that Mario would punch a dinosaur in the back of the head just to get him to let loose his tongue and eat enemies. They intervened and made it so Mario is actually giving a forward march gesture to Yoshi, as a general to a soldier, rather than concussing him repeatedly.
It was probably the right call, as bonking Yoshi feels more cruel than using him as a second jump at the cost of his life, somehow. We can all put this into practice with Super Mario World on the SNES Classic releasing tomorrow, of which you can find our review right here.