Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Yoshi (Japanese: ヨッシー [Yosshii] meaning "better or best") is a fictional dinosaur from various Nintendo video games. Yoshies have very long, sticky tongues, and can swallow almost anything, even things that are much larger than they are. Almost everything they swallow is transformed into (or encased in) an egg, which they can throw as a weapon (or sometimes hatch into a baby yoshi). They prefer fruit, although they can and usually will eat other things, if necessary. Yoshi dislike the taste of Chilli Peppers and ruins their happiness. Even though they have teeth, they are rarely seen or used.
Yoshi was originally known as Super Dragon Yoshi in Japan, though he is not actually a dragon of any kind. He is Mario's dinosaur friend, first appearing in Super Mario World for the Super Famicom in his Japanese release. His North American and European debuts came on the SNES in Super Mario World. Yoshi was created by Shigefumi Hino, a graphics designer and the director of Pikmin. The reason he was created was that shortly after Shigeru Miyamoto finished Super Mario Bros., Nintendo's design staff wanted Mario to ride a dino. That concept was considered technically impossible until the SNES was developed, though unofficial ports of Super Mario World to the NES have shown it may not have been.
Shortly after Super Mario World came out, there came an animated series, which followed up The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and featured Yoshi as a regular character. On this series, he was voiced by Andrew Sabiston, who would later provide Diddy Kong's voice in the Donkey Kong Country cartoon. The cartoon portrayed Yoshi to have the personality of a very young child, and as such, spoke like one, seeing how he was a very new character at the time the show came out. He was often afraid of many things that young children would be afraid of, such as ghosts and water (perhaps predating how the Yoshies featured in Super Mario Sunshine couldn't stand water). Interestingly, his design in the show changed to better match his video game design.
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 consisted of words that rhymed with "orp", as he didn't speak English there like in the game or cartoon. He was also featured prominently in a series of comics based off of Super Mario World printed in Nintendo Power. There, his dialogue was mainly made up saying nothing but his name. (Incidentally, he ended up talking this way in most of every Mario game to come out since 1998.) According to these comics, Yoshi is the Chairman of the Dinosaur Chamber of Commerce.
After that he gained popularity, starring in two more adventure games, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's Story; and three puzzle games: Yoshi's Cookie, the simply-titled Yoshi, and Tetris Attack. He can also be found in Mario Is Missing! and a few other games.
He is one of the characters in the original Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros., and the GameCube sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee. Yoshi made a cameo in Super Mario 64, and was playable in Super Mario Sunshine. A baby Yoshi was obtainable as a partner in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, which could be named anything you wanted, and he was colored differently depending on how you battled. He is a full blown playable character in Super Mario 64 DS on the Nintendo DS.
Yoshi has attained a popularity almost as great as that of Mario himself. He appears in many different colors: green, yellow, red, pink, teal, orange, blue, purple, and black and white. The black and white Yoshies are rare, while green is the standard color. The king in the castle of World 7 in Super Mario Bros. 3 was transformed into a Yoshi by Ludwig Von Koopa on the Super Mario All-Stars SNES version, but he was transformed into a Piranha Plant on the original NES version. Yoshies inhabit many areas of the world from the Mushroom Kingdom to Isle Delfino, and most are, for some reason, supposedly named Yoshi (similar to the Mr. Saturns of EarthBound). During the localization of Panel de Pon for the U.S., where 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. It is speculated that NOA did this because the Pon characters were considered too effeminate for the primarily male US video game audience. Because of these changes, the game is sometimes referred to as "Tetris A-Hack." Super Smash Bros. Melee has an item called Lip's Stick, which is named after the Pon main character.
Yoshi's appearances in video games, usually sports, often portray him as an agile character. In Mario Kart games, Yoshi has very good acceleration, but is most likely to skid off the track. In Mario Tennis and Mario Power Tennis, he is a very fast tennis player. Yoshi is the only character without a third jump attack in the Super Smash Bros. series, and his trademark move is the swallow (originally seen in Super Mario World). His upward special move was throwing eggs. Yoshi's "egg-rolling " move was introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Yoshi also made 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 appeared as a doll item that Link must bring to a baby at the first town in Koholint Island. In the latter game, he was seen in a portrait hung in Hyrule Castle, next to the painting of Mario, in a room that is not accessible to the player and located near the room where Link meets Zelda.
- Super Mario World (1990: Japan, 1991: U.S., 1992: Europe) — SNES
- Yoshi (Mario & Yoshi) (1992) — NES, GB
- Super Mario Kart (1992) — SNES
- Mario Is Missing (1992) — PC, SNES, NES
- Yoshi's Cookie (1992) — SNES, NES, GB
- Yoshi's Safari (1993) — SNES
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (1995) — SNES
- Tetris Attack (1996) — SNES
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996) — SNES
- Super Mario 64 (1996) — N64
- Yoshi's Story (1997) — N64
- Mario Kart 64 (1997) — N64
- Mario Party (1998: Japan, 1999: U.S. and Europe) — N64
- Mario Party 2 (1999: Japan, 2000: U.S. and Europe) — N64
- Mario Party 3 (2000: Japan, 2001: U.S. and Europe) — N64
- Mario Golf (1999) — N64, GBC
- Super Smash Bros. (1999) — N64
- Mario Tennis (2000) — N64, GBC
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001) — GBA
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) — GCN
- Super Mario Sunshine (2002) — GCN
- Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (2002) — GBA
- Mario Party 4 (2003) — GCN
- Nintendo Puzzle Collection (2003) — GCN
- Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (2003) — GBA
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003) — GCN
- Mario Party 5 (2004) — GCN
- Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (2004) — GCN
- Mario Golf: Advance Tour (2004) — GBA
- Mario Power Tennis (2004) — GCN
- Mario Party 6 (2004) — GCN
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2004) — GCN
- Yoshi's Topsy Turvy (2005) — GBA
- Super Mario 64 DS (2004) — DS
- Yoshi Touch and Go (2005) — DS
- Mario Party Advance (2005) — GBA
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