Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (sometimes referred to simply as Yoshi's Island) is a 2D platform game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, developed by Nintendo EAD. The game is the prequel to Super Mario World and chronologically the first in Mario franchise, and it stars Yoshi and the Yoshi clan who, while carrying Baby Mario, travel across Yoshi's Island to rescue Baby Luigi from Baby Bowser and his Magikoopa minion/caretaker, Kamek. Instead of relying on jumping and a power-up system for combat as in the traditional Mario platformers, Yoshis use their tongue and eggs to overcome obstacles, as well as the introduction of many other different mechanics. The game is notable for introducing a time-based health system rather than hit points, an anomaly to what many platform games typically did in this game's time period. Rather than relying on powerful pre-rendered graphics as its contemporary, Donkey Kong Country did, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island employs a very distinct, stylized arts and crafts style to stand on its own. The game makes use of the Super FX2 graphics chip (one of only four commercially-released SNES games to do so), which allows for larger, more detailed sprites and more advanced effects that emulate 3D space.
Although Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was not as financially successful as its predecessor, the game's highly positive reception and unique style has spawned a new series of platform games from the Yoshi franchise, although it is the fourth entry overall. The game has received various adaptations into manga, such as receiving volumes dedicated to it in the Super Mario-Kun and Kodansha's Super Mario manga series and extensive merchandising. The game has received a remake on the Game Boy Advance, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, which was released on Virtual Console for the Nintendo 3DS, with owners applicable for the Nintendo 3DS ambassador program being able to download the game for free, and Wii U. The original SNES version of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is included on the SNES Classic Edition, and although it has yet to be announced for release on Virtual Console on any other system, it is one of the 20 launch titles for Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online on the Nintendo Switch.
From the first cinematic of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island:
From the second cinematic of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island:
From the instruction booklet:
The story of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island takes place while Mario and Luigi are in their infancy, referred to as Baby Mario and Baby Luigi respectively. A stork was about to deliver the newborn twins Baby Mario and Baby Luigi to their parents, but is ambushed by Kamek on the way there. While Kamek was successful at capturing Baby Luigi and the stork and imprisons them at Bowser's Castle, Baby Mario plummets into the sea, only to find himself on a Yoshi's back on an island. The Yoshis then discover that Baby Mario also has a map with him, which reveals the location of Bowser's Castle. Kamek has then figured out that he has missed Baby Mario and then has dispatched his Toadies to kidnap Baby Mario. While the Yoshis discuss what to do with Baby Mario, Baby Mario then notifies the Yoshis which direction to go due to a powerful twin link, where the Yoshis then employ a relay system to transport Baby Mario across the island. After overcoming obstacles and fighting bosses that Kamek has enlarged in various forts and castles in the island, the Yoshis finally manage to defeat Kamek and Baby Bowser and rescue Baby Luigi and the stork, allowing the stork to safely deliver the babies to their parents.
Like the previous entries in the Mario franchise, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is a two-dimensional, side-scrolling platform game. In addition to the typical run and jump controls, the Yoshis can also ingest enemies and manipulate objects using their tongue. After ingesting an enemy, the Yoshi can either eject or swallow them, although if Yoshi keeps an enemy in his mouth long enough, he will eventually swallow it (with the exception of enemies he can only ingest and spit out, and not fully swallow). Swallowing most enemies allows the Yoshi to lay a Yoshi Egg, which it can carry up to six of; eating another enemy results in the egg at the front of the line to be discarded. While Yoshi has some eggs, the player can aim with a constantly moving target reticle and throw them to damage enemies, activate objects, ricochet them off solid surfaces, and skim them across water. This reticle can be locked into one position while aiming, and while Yoshis are aiming their eggs, they can still move around and jump. While most Yoshi Eggs come in green, some are yellow and red, and they release coins and stars when shattered respectively. While a Yoshi throws a Yoshi Egg, the egg changes color depending on how much it has bounced off walls. Green Yoshi Eggs can bounce up to three times, yellow Yoshi Eggs bounce only twice, and red Yoshi Eggs bounce only once. Power-ups also exist in the form of metamorphosis bubbles, which allow Yoshi to transform into various forms, and the Super Star, which lets Baby Mario turn into Powerful Mario. In addition to these moves, Yoshis can Flutter Jump multiple times in the air to increase the distance they travel. The first Flutter Jumps can increase the height of the jump, but subsequent Flutter Jumps mostly serve to prolong the duration of the fall. Yoshis can perform Ground Pounds to smash stakes and defeat certain types of enemies. Camera controls include looking up to see upper areas of the level and ducking to force the camera down.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island introduces the concept of time-based health, a mechanic that is reused in future Yoshi's Island games. When the Yoshi comes into contact with an enemy, Baby Mario becomes separated from Yoshi, encased in a bubble and floating around in the air. While Baby Mario is in this state, a Countdown Timer appears, counting down in seconds until it reaches zero, in which time Yoshi must recover Baby Mario or Kamek's Toadies take Baby Mario, and the player loses a life. The timer starts at ten seconds at the beginning of each level, and can be increased to a maximum of thirty by collecting stars, using 10-Point Stars and 20-Point Stars, and entering Middle Rings. If the timer falls below ten, it increases back up to ten slowly after recovering Baby Mario. Entering a Middle Ring also marks the point where the Yoshi can continue from if it loses a life. Other ways Yoshis can lose lives are if they touch spikes or thorns, if they fall off a cliff, if they touch lava, if they get eaten by a Lunge Fish, or if they get crushed by moving platforms.
There are six worlds in this game, and each world has nine levels total. The objective of each level is to reach the goal roulette. There are ten spots on the roulette, and five of the spots can be made winning spots by collecting the five flowers in each level. Landing on one of the flower spots allows the player to play a Bonus Challenge. These Bonus Challenge allow Yoshis to either gain lives or Special Items for use in levels. Two levels in each world are forts and castles, and the goal in those levels is to reach and defeat the eponymous boss that resides in those establishments rather than reach a goal roulette. Most bosses are regular enemies that are enlarged by Kamek prior to the fight, with a few exceptions.
Scattered throughout each level are three types of collectibles: thirty Stars, twenty Red Coins, and five Flowers. At the end of each level, the player's score is tallied with a maximum of 100 points, with flowers worth ten points each and Red Coins and Stars one point each. Attaining a perfect one hundred points in all eight levels in a world unlocks a Bonus Challenge and an extra level on the level selection map. The extra levels are designed to be more difficult than any other level in the game, and each one has its own unique gimmick. However, the player can always choose to exit an extra level by pausing the game and pressing ; in other levels, this be done only if the level in question has already been cleared.
If the player succeeds in attaining a perfect one hundred points in the extra level of a world, a star is added to the top of the title screen the next time the player turns on the game, for a maximum of six stars.
There are two controller configurations: Patient and Hasty. By default, Patient is selected. The control setup can be swapped at any time on the world map by scrolling over to the button with the Super Nintendo controller next to the "Score" option and selecting it; additionally, at some points, there are Message Blocks that allow the player to swap control configurations. The only difference between the "Hasty" and "Patient" settings is that with "Patient" the player must press to target and press it again to throw an egg, while with "Hasty" the player must hold to target and release it to toss an egg.
Worlds and Levels
Each world features a midway fort and an end-world castle (the fourth and eighth levels of each world, respectively), both with their own boss. Every boss is just an enlarged version of a basic enemy that Kamek super-sizes with his magic. The only exception is Prince Froggy, who remains at his normal size while Yoshi and Baby Mario are shrunk; he then eats them and the battle is located in his stomach.
Entering a metamorphosis bubble causes Yoshi to be transformed into one of several different types of vehicles, each with their own unique capabilities. While in this state, Yoshi is allowed to move around as the vehicle without Baby Mario for a limited time before being pulled back to the metamorphosis bubble and being turned back to normal. If the player is able to hit a Yoshi Block while transformed, the transformation is automatically reversed at that location.
Items and objects
Bonus Challenges are initiated when the goal roulette stops on a flower at the end of the level. Yoshis can increase the chances of playing a Bonus Challenge by collecting flowers on the level. During a Bonus Challenge, the player players one of several minigames. Upon winning the minigame, the player can receive lives or Special Items. A specific Bonus Challenge is unlocked when the player collects 800 points in a world, and that specific Bonus Challenge can be played any time.
There are six Bonus Challenges in total.
Mini Battles are minigames that can be played in various levels, when a Yoshi receives a key and enters a Bonus Game Shack. These are competitive fights against a Bandit, and besting that Bandit earns the Yoshi a reward. Mini Battles can later be played in the main level selection screen after they have been unlocked. If the players hold and press , , , , and on the level selection screen, a screen pops up listing all Mini Battles, as well as a 2-player version of Throwing Balloons and Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest and a 4-button Throwing Balloons mode.
There are four Mini Battles in total.
By winning Bonus Challenges and Mini Battles, the player's prizes can be one of several Special Items. These items can be used at any time during a level (except during boss battles) by going to the pause menu and selecting one of them with . Up to 22 of these items can be carried at a time.
A soundtrack CD was released in Japan on November 25, 1995, titled Super Mario: Yoshi Island Original Sound Version. Composed by Koji Kondo, the disc contains 26 tracks from the game.
Culver City event
An event was held in front of a Toys "R" Us in Culver City, California on October 5, 1995 at 3:00 PM to promote the North American release of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. At the event, there was a trailer and a large model Yoshi Egg surrounded by hay. The trailer held a banner with the words "Play It Loud" and stock art of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. The Yoshi Egg held a banner with the word "Nintendo". The event centered around "hatching" the Yoshi Egg. After the hosts interacted with the idle audience, children were lined up and given small, green hammers which they used to break open a designated area at the bottom of the egg. The Yoshi Egg, when breached, yielded stringed paper and a large model of the Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island cartridge. Group photos were then taken of children with the cartridge.
The organizers of the event also pledged to donate five hundred dollars to local schools on the condition that the principals of these schools sit on top of the Yoshi Egg for fifteen minutes. A person in a one-piece Mario and Yoshi costume also was seated on top of the Yoshi Egg. Participants could go on and off the egg by means of a forklift.
A raffle was then held with one winner receiving a Super Nintendo Entertainment System which includes a copy of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Other winners may have won t-shirts. Discount coupons were also distributed.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was the cover feature of Volume 77 of Nintendo Power. Nintendo Power also distributed eight promotional cards of some of the game's bosses part of their collectible Super Power Club series of cards which began in October 1992 with Volume 44 of Nintendo Power. The front of each card has an in-game image of the character and the reverse had a brief description of the character. The cards include:
Nintendo of America distributed Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: A Magical Tour of Yoshi's Island, a six minute-long promotional VHS. The video featured Ken Lobb and the same person who narrated the Donkey Kong Country: Exposed promotional VHS. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was also featured in the The Invasion of Nintendo VHS. The video also featured Ken Lobb.
Another promotional video, titled 'The Invasion of Nintendo', was included with a copy of Nintendo Power. The video featured Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island along with some other video games. Ken Lobb made another appearance.
There exists another untitled promotional video that was likely shown on monitors in video game stores. It is about fifty seconds long and consists of clips of the game along with some narration.
Volume 14 of Super Mario-Kun mostly focuses on the events of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, with the arc concluding in volume 15. The Super Mario-Kun version of the story features Mario and Luigi traveling back in time to stop adult Bowser and Kamek alongside Yoshi and Baby Mario.
A standalone manga, titled "Super Mario: Yoshi Island" from the the Kodansha Super Mario manga series, was also released. The series, spanning three volumes, was written by Kazuki Motoyama, who had previously written a manga based on the game Yoshi, and published by Kodansha Limited. The first two volumes are based on the stories from the game, while the third volume has original stories that use the game's characters and themes.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was also adapted as part of the 4-Koma Gag Battle series, also titled "Super Mario: Yoshi Island".
Takashi Tezuka and Shigefumi Hino, video game designers who have worked as directors for previous titles in the Super Mario Bros. series including Super Mario World, served as two of the four game's directors, including Toshihiko Nakago. Hideki Konno, who has worked as a map designer in Super Mario World and as a level designer in the previous Mario games also served as a game director. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is the first Mario-related project that Yasuhisa Yamamura has worked on, who has most notably worked on the dungeon design in the The Legend of Zelda series. The C.G. design the game employs is credited to Yoshiaki Koizumi, who has previously worked on Super Mario Kart as the illustrator. The soundtrack was composed by Koji Kondo, well known for creating the Mario franchise's iconic tunes. Shigeru Miyamoto had heavy involvement with the game's development and served as the game's producer, while Hiroshi Yamauchi served as the executive producer.
In an interview with game journalist Steven Kent, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he wanted to make a game starring Yoshi as far back as Super Mario World's development. Miyamoto disliked previous Yoshi games (specifically mentioning Yoshi's Cookie, Yoshi's Egg, and Yoshi's Safari, the latter being mistranslated as "Yoshi's World Hunters" in the interview) and wanted to make one more authentic to the Yoshi character.
An early version of the game was demoed to Nintendo's marketing department, who rejected it due to the visuals "lacking punch" in comparison to Donkey Kong Country's pre-rendered 3D graphics. In response, Shigeru Miyamoto developed a more stylized and "cartoony" art direction for the game, which was accepted. Some of the pre-rendered sprites used in the opening of the game are leftovers from the original graphical pitch.
According to Hisashi Nogami, the hand-drawn style was created by literally drawing the characters by hand on paper, scanning them and then carefully copying them to make the sprites "a pixel at a time".
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was one of three completed games to use the Super FX2 graphics chip, which allowed for larger sprites and more advanced effects such as sprite scaling and rotation (advertised as "Morphmation" technology), basic polygonal rendering, and advanced parallax scrolling.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has been met with critical acclaim at the time of release, with most reviews praising the level design, the platforming mechanics, the personality, the graphics, the soundtrack, and the creativity of the game; the game has garnered a 96.00% on GameRankings based on 5 reviews. The most common criticisms surrounding the game comes from Baby Mario's crying when he is trapped in a bubble after Yoshi takes a hit from the enemy, often being cited as "annoying". IGN has retrospectively said in its article "Is There a Bad Mario Game?", "The game earned instant acclaim and rightfully so for its brilliant stage design and platforming mechanics. Yoshi's Island doesn't beat you over the head with trial and error to teach you how to play, but it also does not hold your hand with a numbingly dull tutorial." Kaes Delgrego of Nintendo Life has referred to the game as "Perhaps the greatest platformer of all time" in his review, giving the game a score of a 10/10. Delgrego has called the time-based health mechanic "innovative" for its time that would come to games later on, comparing it to Halo's time-based life mechanic. While he has admitted that the game itself isn't revolutionary, Delgrego has praised the creativity with the puzzle-solving and the pastel-style graphics. The only criticism Delgrego has cited for the game was the easy boss fights and Baby Mario's crying when Yoshi takes damage from an enemy. Reece Warrender of Cubed3 gave the game a 9/10, who was impressed by the game's new and interesting mechanics, such as swallowing an enemy to create a projectile of it, as well as having simple and enjoyable mechanics that players of any age can enjoy. The graphics and sound were praised for being high quality and having a unique style. The most major criticisms Warrender had with the game were the easy difficulty and the short length, citing that the game can be completed in five hours, despite having replay value in the form of the points system. The game was placed 18th in the 100th issue of Nintendo Power's "100 best Nintendo games of all time" in 1997. The game placed 185th in the 200th Issue of Game Informer's "Top 200 Games of All Times", the lowest ranked Mario series game.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has sold over 4 million copies, with the Edge publication stating that the game was "a radical sequel to Super Mario World whose anarchic gameworld and illustration-style visuals win it loyal fans but less dramatic total sales".
Pre-release and unused content
According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the marketing department at Nintendo wanted him to use pre-rendered 3D sprites like in Donkey Kong Country for the game, rather than stylized 2D sprites. Additionally, found in the game's data are several sprites that go unused, such as several Super Mario All-Stars sprites and three unused Yoshi forms. There are also three unused Mini Battles that can be seen in the game's code.
Giant Egg anywhere
By going into any level with a Fat Guy and carrying a Giant Egg to the end of a level, the player must go to the edge of the screen past the exit and throw the egg up, then use Yoshi's tongue to push it slightly into the edge of the screen. By finishing the level like this, the next Yoshi will collect the egg as it appears to take Baby Mario, allowing the player to take a Giant Egg into any level in the game.
Constantly full mouth
By jumping through a Middle Ring and spitting out an enemy at the same time, Yoshi constantly appears to have a full mouth, despite still being able to stick his tongue out and not being able to spit anything out.
Remakes and ports
Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was later ported to the handheld Game Boy Advance as part of the Super Mario Advance series, a series of updated remakes of classic Mario games. Known as Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, it was the third in the series, and boasted new levels and slightly altered graphics and dialogue from the original, as well as various other minor changes. This version of the game is the only version available through the Virtual Console on future consoles, rather than the original version.
SNES Classic Edition
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is one of the 21 titles included on the Super NES Classic Edition.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, along with Super Mario World and Super Mario Kart, is one of the 20 launch titles for Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online.
Two versions of this game are known to exist for the North American release. The easiest way to tell the difference is font face by hitting a Message Block.
In the Japanese release of the game, later versions pluralize the collectibles in the score screen, altering the line of dots that come after the words.
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages