Well, the cards continue to stack against Nintendo’s mascot. Not only has Mario killed tons of citizens in the Mushroom Kingdom, imprisoned Donkey Kong, committed indecent exposure, and cheated on Peach with Daisy, but the portly plumber has also been abusing his friend since 1990. Yes. Mario purposefully punches Yoshi, his dinosaur friend, in the back of the head in order to “surprise” them so their tongue will come out. This topic was a debate for many, many years, but sadly we know from the horse’s mouth that this atrocity is real!
This is that time Mario purposefully punches Yoshi in the back of the head.
In 1990, Super Mario World was released, and it was the game that introduced us to the the lovable, everything-eating dinosaur friend, Yoshi. Yoshi was the perfect companion for Mario (No offense, Luigi), and serving as a mount, Yoshi could eat enemies and fruits, lay eggs that contain goodies, and even give Mario an extra “health” by taking the initial hit and letting Mario get back on him with a good amount of recovery time.
Needless to say, Yoshi was a hit, and they are a staple in the Super Mario Universe today, appearing in titles like Yoshi’s Island, Mario Kart, Mario Party, and all of the sports titles among other games. As Yoshi became more and more prominent, fans began to wonder about Mario’s actions towards him in Super Mario World.
A debate began between individuals who thought Mario was punching Yoshi in the back of the head versus those who thought Mario was pointing to where Yoshi needed to focus. This got so heated that even sites like Supper Mario Broth began disproving the punching theory by making numerous arguments that it truly is pointing. They did a great job with their research and found lots of evidence to prove their theory, but that all changed a few years ago.
Back in 2017, to commemorate the release of the highly-anticipated Nintendo Classic Mini Super Famicom (or Super NES Classic Edition in the west), Nintendo was publishing a series of interviews with some of the key staff members for the games bundled with the mini retro console. One of those chats included Takashi Tezuka, director of Super NES pack-in Super Mario World, and Shigefumi Hino, a graphic and character designer for the game.
During that interview, the debate over Mario’s actions was concluded, because both Tezuka and Hino confirmed that Mario in fact punches Yoshi in the back of the head in order to “surprise” them. According to Tezuka, Shigeru Miyamoto said he wanted Mario to ride a horse. “I think he likes horses,” Tezuka said. “When we were making Super Mario Bros. 3, he drew a picture of Mario riding a horse and had put it up on a wall next to where he sits.”
“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,” Tezuka continued.
“Initially,” Hino said, “the keyword that I had was ‘horse,’ so I imagined something quite later and, for the time being, drew a large lizard type creature.”
“It looked like a crocodile,” explained Tezuka, who felt like a reptile-looking creature might seem out of place in Mario. Tezuka drew a rough sketch of a cute character, and on the basis of that, Hino created Yoshi.
“Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger forward, he’s saying ‘Go,’ and Yoshi’s tongue comes out,” said Hino. “However, the setup that I drew was that when Mario punches Yoshi in the head, the character’s tongue shoots out in surprise.”
“What’s more,” Hino continued, “there’s an added ‘bop’ sound. However, it seemed like people would say ‘Poor Yoshi,’ so that’s why it became that Mario is saying ‘Go.’”
Well, there you have it. The people who created the Yoshi character confirming themselves that Mario does punch Yoshi in the back of the head. I mean, we shouldn’t be too surprised by this, as we already know how Mario tends to treat animals.
Sadly, it does not even end there for poor Yoshi, as Mario not only punches Yoshi in the back of the head, but he also uses Yoshi as a spring jump of sorts as he sends Yoshi to its death regularly for his own benefit.
The more we dive into the character that Nintendo considers to be their mascot, the more we start to realize that Wario may be the better guy. Do not be fooled by Mario’s appearance, because his actions speak way louder than anything else. This is a man that condones any action as long as it helps him.
You really do not need to look any further than Luigi to understand this. He is the good brother, not Mario, and Nintendo may want to reconsider who they put at the helm.
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link and enjoying this “That Time” article. What do you think of how Mario treats Yoshi? Are you surprised? Not at all? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.