A few weeks ago, Nintendo caused a bit of a storm with the release of a promotional poster for Super Mario Odyssey. The internet reacted to seeing Mario shirtless and exposing his nipples in a beach shot. Shortly before that, the company also announced that Mario would no longer be the plumber everyone knew him as. This time around, Nintendo developers revealed shocking information during an interview about the relationship between Yoshi and Mario.
Classic games have a tendency to be covered in mystery, mostly as a result of design limitations during development on 8-bit consoles, leaving room for some rather bizarre design decisions. While the development of the first Yoshi and Mario joined the adventure in 1989 on the 16-bit SNES, it wasn’t really a design limitation that would cause Mario to whack Yoshi against the head.
Creators, Takashi Tezuka and Shigefumi Hino, dropped the news on the official Nintendo website, that at the time made the decision to let Mario punch the back of Yoshi’s head, which would startle the green dinosaur causing him to stick out his tongue. In addition to that, there’s also an added “bop” as a result of the hit, but many people mistook this for Mario shouting “Go”, and was redubbed at a later stage to accommodate fans’ theories.
“Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger forward, he’s saying ‘Go,’ and Yoshi’s tongue comes out…However, the set-up that I drew was that when Mario punches Yoshi in the head, the character’s tongue shoots out in surprise…What’s more, 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.'”
Follow-up releases had removed the actual beating against the head by moving Mario’s hand further backwards, missing the head completely. That said, he still suffered some abuse in the form of forcefully sacrificing his life in the event Mario needed to jump across a large gorge, with players choosing the correct momentum to jump off Yoshi’s back as he falls to his doom. Poor Yoshi.