Yoshi's Story is the second main platform game starring Yoshi, and the first one outside of the Yoshi's Island series, released for the Nintendo 64. It was released in 1997 in Japan and a year later in 1998 in the United States. Later, it received a port to the Wii's Virtual Console in fall of 2007 for all regions and the Wii U's Virtual Console in early 2016, and is one of the launch titles for Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online. The music of Yoshi's Story was composed by Kazumi Totaka, who voices Yoshi in this game, a first for the Mario franchise. The gameplay possesses similar mechanics to the Yoshi's Island series of games, but it does not include Baby Mario.
An unnamed Yoshi tech demo was unveiled at the time of the Game Boy Advance's first announcement. The title was seemingly either a port or a direct sequel to Yoshi's Story, but it is unknown if it was simply meant as a demo or was canceled. Years later, a spin-off title called Yoshi Topsy-Turvy was released, which featured the same art style and mechanics as Yoshi's Story and was perceived as a sequel. Yoshi's Story was also the first Mario/Yoshi game on the Nintendo 64 released in North America to be rated E for everyone due to the changeover by the ESRB from the previously used K–A "Kids to Adults" rating in 1998. The game sold 1.28 million copies in the Americas and 2.85 million worldwide.
Yoshis live in harmony at Yoshi's Island, and their ultimate source of happiness is provided by the Super Happy Tree. Baby Bowser becomes jealous of their happiness and steals the Super Happy Tree, crushing their happiness, and then performs a spell to turn the entire island into a pop-up picture book.
Six Baby Yoshis hatch into the island and learn of what Baby Bowser has done, and thus, they set out to retrieve the tree. They venture through six "pages" of the island, until eventually fighting him at the end and retrieving the Super Happy Tree.
Yoshi's Story is played much like Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, although a few aspects were tweaked or removed, such as the timer that counted down for Baby Mario when Yoshi was hit or Yoshi's ability to morph. To complete a level, the Baby Yoshis have to eat exactly 30 fruits scattered through the level. Before starting a level, the player has to select a Baby Yoshi. Each Yoshi has different taste when it comes to fruits and Shy Guys and will recover more health (and score more points) if it eats a fruit or a Shy Guy that is of its own color. The top left corner of the screen has a flower that serves as the life bar; the flower's petals will fall off as a Yoshi loses more health, and its facial expression will also change accordingly (happy when full, sad when dying). Certain characters aid the Yoshis in various ways, including Miss Warp, who can teleport the Yoshis to different parts of the level, and Poochy, who can find hidden objects from far away.
If a Baby Yoshi is defeated within the level, that Baby Yoshi will be taken to Bowser's Castle by Baby Bowser's Toadies. If all of the Baby Yoshis are kidnapped, the game is over. However, any lost Baby Yoshi (aside from the secret, unlockable Black and White Yoshis) can be saved by finding a White Shy Guy and finishing the level with it. When the player starts a game on either Story Mode or Trial Mode, the game will randomly select a "Lucky Fruit." Said Lucky Fruit automatically heals all of the Yoshi's life, even if the Yoshi is not supposed to like the fruit.
Each world has four different levels to choose from; once a level is beaten, the player moves on to the next world without visiting the other three levels. This means to play through every single level, the player must play through the game at least four different times, going to the unvisited levels in each world. The game has four different difficulty levels: novice, easy, medium, and hard.
The Baby Yoshis can perform various moves to complete their adventure. Most of these moves were taken from Yoshi's Island, although some were tweaked or now have a new function.
Jumping and fluttering
By pressing , the player can make a Yoshi jump; by pressing again and holding it, the player can make a Yoshi flutter-jump. This helps the player get to higher places. It is possible to flutter longer by holding after a Yoshi grunts.
To swallow an object, the Baby Yoshis have to lick with their tongues. It is possible to control the direction of the tongue with the Control Stick. Unlike in Yoshi's Island, a Yoshi automatically ingests the things he eats with his tongue.
For a Baby Yoshi to utilize this move, the player must jump and quickly press Down on the Control Stick. The Yoshi will pound the ground. A Ground Pound can be used to reveal a few items hidden in the ground or to defeat enemies.
Being a move exclusive to this game, sniffing is helpful in finding objects hidden in the ground. To execute it, the player must press . If a Baby Yoshi is near an object, a "!" will appear next to the Baby Yoshi's head. If the Baby Yoshi is standing on a hidden item, he will wave at the player. Any objects hidden in the ground can be revealed by ground-pounding them. Poochy can be found in a few levels and will sniff for the Yoshi clan.
As the main portion of the game, Story Mode contains 24 levels (four per world), but only six can be played during a single playthrough (the game jumps directly to the next world after a level is completed). The player can choose which of the four levels in page one they wish to start on. However, the choice of levels in later worlds is determined by the number of Special Hearts collected in the previous level. To finish each level, the Yoshis must eat 30 different fruits scattered throughout the level. Whenever a level is completed, the Baby Yoshis start singing and a text appears to explain what happened in the level.
Trial Mode is a mode that allows the player to play any stage that they have beaten in Story Mode. In order to unlock all the stages, the player must play Story Mode at least four times and get all the Special Hearts from the stage that they were playing. This mode was created to save the player's highest score of the levels. To quit a stage, the + buttons should be pressed together. Also, the player cannot use Black Yoshi and White Yoshi; they are playable only in Story Mode.
Eating nothing but melons is a great method of increasing one's high score, although it can be really difficult to perform in some stages. If this is done, a marker appears at the end of the level. In order to eat all the melons from the stage, the player will need to sniff all the time to find hidden objects in the ground.
Also, if the player waits for two minutes and ten seconds, Totaka's Song is heard.
Practice Mode consists of an exclusive level in which the various controls and techniques of the games are explained. This level is the only one that does not have 30 melons in it.
All the following Yoshis are playable. Their name is listed next to what their favorite fruit in the game is (since when a Yoshi eats one of its favorite food, the life bar heals more than it usually would). Eating melons will also have this effect, no matter which Yoshi color it is. They also serve as lives.
Items and objects
Various items are found by the Baby Yoshis in their adventure. These are the following:
Worlds and levels
Pre-release and unused content
The game was first revealed in Shoshinkai 1996 as Yoshi's Island 64. The early logo looks similar to the SNES game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island logo, implying that Yoshi's Story was originally planned as a sequel to said game, be more complex, and would have been a title in the Yoshi's Island series. However, after the health meter was chosen, the game was considered the first miscellaneous title in the Yoshi series of platformers for Nintendo consoles.
Appearances in other media
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages