There were few surprises as big as when we found out that Mario punches bricks instead of bopping his head up against one like previously believed. So when it came out recently that Mario uses his fists to punch out Yoshi's tongue from the back of his head, well let's just say this starts to paint a pretty consistent picture of Mario.
In a new interview, only available in Japanese, Nintendo sat down with Takashi Tezuka and Shigefumi Hino who worked on Super Mario World to talk about Yoshi's origins. Based on a report by Kotaku, Tezuka revealed that Shigeru Miyamoto wanted Mario to ride a horse. However, despite having an illustration of Mario riding a horse pinned by Tezuka's desk, the two brainstormed ideas that would be more in-line with Super Mario World's concepts.
Tezuka said, "I thought, 'I guess he [Miyamoto] 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." Apparently the original versions of Yoshi really were more reptilian than the cute dinosaur we know today. "It looked like a crocodile," said Tezuka.
In a new interview with the designers of Yoshi’s Island, Hino, who drew art for Mario World, confirms that Mario is indeed punching Yoshi. pic.twitter.com/v0KDZKLRn5— Kyle McLain (@FarmboyinJapan) September 28, 2017
What's wild is that the rumors were true and the sprite animation for Yoshi's tongue attack really is Mario punching Yoshi in the back of the head. "Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger forward, he's saying 'Go,' and Yoshi's tongue comes out," explains Hino. "However, the set up that I drew was that when Mario punches Yoshi in the head, the character's tongue shoots out in surprise."
That's pretty messed up.
Nintendo is continuing its series of interviews with creators who worked on original SNES games to celebrate the launch of the SNES Classic this week. We already covered how Captain Falcon almost became a mascot for Nintendo and how Super Metroid's most famous scene was contested in the office. Who knows what other childhood moments will be ruined through these interviews?