Yoshi (ヨッシー, Yoshi) is the name of both a character and a species in the Mario series. Since his debut in Super Mario World as an ally of Mario and Luigi, Yoshi's popularity has resulted in him starring in his own series, which follows his and his species' adventures.
During the development of Super Mario Bros. 3, Shigeru Miyamoto had drawn a picture of Mario riding a horse. Taking note of the picture, Takashi Tezuka came to the conclusion that Miyamoto desired Mario to ride something, and implemented that idea into the development of Super Mario World.
Due to Dinosaur Land being the setting of Super Mario World, Tezuka had Shigefumi Hino draw artwork for a kind of reptile. According to Hino, he took "horse" as a keyword and designed a large lizard similar to a crocodile in order to better integrate the concept. After reconsidering this design, Hino and Tezuka instead decided to use a rough sketch drawn by Tezuka, which was refined by Hino into what would become Yoshi's finalized design.
Yoshi is the most recurring member of the sapient and friendly reptiles of the same name. Like other members of his species, Yoshi features an amalgamation of physical characteristics from a few reptiles: he has the physique of a theropod dinosaur, a turtle-like shell that functions like a saddle, and a chameleon-like tongue. On a related note, a chameleon's ability to change their skin coloration could be referenced by the variety of color schemes present among the various other Yoshis.
Yoshi and his species debuted in Super Mario World, where Mario or Luigi would be able to find Yoshi Eggs, which would hatch automatically to reveal a fully grown Yoshi. Later in the game, Baby Yoshis could also be found. Baby Yoshis can be held, thrown, and matured into fully grown Yoshis. In order to do the latter, a Baby Yoshi must eat five enemies.
Alongside Yoshi himself, three differently colored Yoshis also appear, each of which has a distinct special ability that can be used so long as they have a Koopa Troopa shell in their mouths. Blue Yoshi can fly, Red Yoshi can breathe Fireballs, and Yellow Yoshi can emit a sand cloud after landing a jump. While Yoshi himself does not have any distinct special abilities, he can use each of the three other Yoshis' abilities by holding a shell of the same color as the respective Yoshi, such as a red shell allowing him to breathe Fireballs. By extension, the other three Yoshis can do the same.
In the Yoshi series
Due to Shigeru Miyamoto's dislike of subsequent Yoshi games, he aimed to make a game starring Yoshi that was authentic to his character. This game would come to be known as Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, which saw a myriad of differently colored members of the species appear. The Yoshis' ability to eat virtually anything was expanded to include the ability to create Yoshi Eggs capable of being thrown. In addition, Yellow Yoshi's sand cloud-generating jump was modified into a Ground Pound usable by all other Yoshis. Outside of these updated abilities, the Yoshis also gained the ability to Flutter Jump and transform into certain vehicles.
In addition to being the first installment of the Yoshi's Island sub-series, Super Mario World 2 is the first installment in the Mario series' in-universe timeline: it details Baby Luigi being captured by Kamek and his Toadies while being delivered by a stork, while a group of Yoshis discover the missing Baby Mario and work to rejoin him with his twin brother. After being rescued by the Yoshis, the stork resumes its journey to deliver the newly reunited baby Mario Bros. to their parents.
However, upon arriving at its supposed destination, the husband and wife declare that the babies are not theirs, which leads to the events of Yoshi's New Island. This mishap results in the stork once again being attacked by Kamek and his Toadies, who recapture Baby Luigi while Baby Mario falls to Egg Island, which is home to another group of Yoshis. Much like their counterparts on Yoshi's Island, this group of Yoshis bands together to reunite the baby Mario Bros. and stop Baby Bowser from turning Egg Island into his own personal resort.
Despite the stork successfully delivering the baby Mario Bros. to their proper parents, Kamek and his Toadies nevertheless kidnap several babies from across the Mushroom Kingdom as part of their search for the seven star children, thus leading to the events in Yoshi's Island DS. Unlike the previous two instances, the stork attacks Kamek and the Toadies, thus resulting in Baby Mario and Baby Peach being dropped onto Yoshi's Island during the scuffle. Upon reuniting with Baby Mario, the Yoshis decide to save not only Baby Luigi, but also any other babies that were kidnapped. During their journey, they ally with three other star children (Baby Peach, Baby Donkey Kong and Baby Wario).
Meanwhile, it is revealed that Bowser traveled back in time to extract the star children's stars in order to use their power to rule the universe. By extension, it is also revealed that the Kamek and Toadies that kidnapped the babies were not from the past, but rather came from the present, alongside Bowser. However, a squabble between the Baby and present day Bowsers results in Bowser inadvertently causing his infant self to fall out of his castle, land on a Yoshi's back, and thus create an uneasy alliance between Baby Bowser (who is a star child himself) and his longtime foes.
Despite Baby Wario and Baby Bowser leaving the group because of a desire for money and a retrieval by present day Kamek, respectively, the Yoshis nevertheless arrive at Baby Bowser's castle. Upon doing so, they reunite with Baby Wario, who sought Baby Bowser's treasure. Together, the green, pink, yellow and purple Yoshis band together with the remaining four babies to defeat Baby Bowser and then Bowser himself, thus foiling Bowser's plan and saving Baby Luigi and the rest of the kidnapped babies. Although the seventh and final star child is not encountered by the Yoshis, Bowser or Kamek, the ending reveals the final star child to be a newly hatched Baby Yoshi, thus strongly implying him to be the very same Yoshi that the grown up Mario Bros. would go on to rescue and ally with in Super Mario World and subsequent Mario games.
While several other Yoshi platformer games have been released, such as Yoshi's Story, Yoshi's Woolly World and Yoshi's Crafted World, the only baby shown in these particular games is Baby Bowser. As a result, these installments have slightly different plotlines in comparison to the Yoshi's Island sub-series, but take place in the past as well.
The signature aspect of the Yoshi species is the long, chameleon-like tongue. If a Yoshi catches a nearby enemy, it can either spit it back out or swallow it. Certain enemies can give a Yoshi different power ups while holding one in their mouths. Yoshi's Island introduced the concept of swallowed enemies turning into eggs that Yoshis lay. The Yoshi can then throw these eggs as projectile. Also in Yoshi's Island, Yoshis can flail around their arms and legs to hover for a short time, known as a flutter jump.
As a playable character
Main article: Yoshi (SSB)
Yoshi makes his first appearance in a fighting game in Super Smash Bros. as a starting playable character. His design is based on his appearance from Super Mario World. In comparison to the rest of the roster, Yoshi is arguably the most unique. His shield is a Yoshi Egg instead of a standard bubble that shrinks, which makes him immune to shield stabbing.
Another noticeable distinction Yoshi possesses is his lack of a recovery move. Instead, he makes up for this with a long-distanced and generally safe double jump. Although Yoshi's unique traits make him rather difficult for beginners to learn, his very versatile combo options, most notably his double jump canceled aerials, are very useful for combos, pressuring and KOing. Thanks to his strengths, Yoshi is ranked 5th on the current tier list, placing him in the A tier.
Yoshi's in-game description reads:
As a playable character
Main article: Yoshi (SSBM)
Yoshi returns in Melee as a starting playable character. His design is still based on his appearance from Super Mario World. Yoshi stays relatively unchanged, but is given a few new visual properties, such as a more dinosaur-like posture. He has also received several new and unique techniques, such as edge-canceled eggs.
Although Yoshi can continue to double jump cancel, he was somewhat nerfed; he is now unable to jump out of his shield and continues to lack a vertical recovery, two distinct traits that must be adapted to in order to bypass their drawbacks. However, Yoshi's unique shield physics, powerful attacks and status as an agile heavyweight nonetheless make him a capable character.
While Yoshi was initially regarded poorly, his position in the current metagame has improved significantly thanks to some Yoshi professionals, most notably aMSa. As a result, Yoshi is ranked 12th on the current tier list, placing him in the D tier.
Main article: List of SSBM trophies (Yoshi series)
Yoshis are gentle, fleet-of-foot dinosaurs that make their home on idyllic Yoshi's Island. They come in a variety of colors and have evolved an interesting trait to help increase their numbers: they can transform anything they swallow into an egg. With adhesive tongues and bottomless bellies, Yoshis have been known to eat anything.
As a playable character
Main article: Yoshi (SSBB)
Yoshi once again returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Unlike in SSB and Melee, he now sports his design from Yoshi's Story. His moves are relatively unchanged from his Melee moveset, except for the fact that Egg Toss can now function as a makeshift third jump when used in mid-air. This is a welcome change for Yoshi, especially since his already fast air speed has become even faster, and the directional air dodge that aided his recovery in Melee has been removed. Yoshi also boasts a much better grab game, thanks to receiving grab release follow-ups.
However, alterations to Yoshi's double jump and aerial Egg Roll's momentum have significantly harmed his recovery, while his new grab release follow-ups do not fully compensate for the loss of his double jump canceled combos. Like other characters, Yoshi has received a Final Smash; in his case, it is Super Dragon. Super Dragon involves him growing angelic wings that allow him to fly and gaining the ability to breathe fire either as a powerful Fireball or a stream of flames, while he is rendered invincible throughout its duration.
As a result of the severity of his nerfs, Yoshi is ranked 27th on the current tier list, placing him in the D tier.
Main article: List of SSBB trophies (Yoshi's Island series)
As a playable character
Main article: Yoshi (SSB4)
Yoshi returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. In addition to a more upright posture, SSB4's aesthetic has resulted in Yoshi's overall color scheme being considerably more vibrant and his design being more cartoony. Altogether, these changes make him appear much more in line with his appearances in the latest Mario and Yoshi games. He also has two new alternate costumes: Purple Yoshi and Black Yoshi.
Yoshi has been buffed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4, with increased speed and utility to his moveset, while his decent dashing speed has become considerably faster. His aforementioned altered posture is also a buff, as it makes his hurtbox's positioning less awkward. Yoshi's KOing options and set-ups were also improved, while he also regained the ability to jump out of shield, something he could not do since SSB. His shield was further buffed by his shield drop becoming much quicker.
However, Yoshi also received nerfs to his overall damage output. His grab game has been also drastically nerfed, as the removal of chain grabbing removed his useful grab release follow-ups. Despite his improved shield, Yoshi's rolls are still slow and short-distanced, limiting his ability to escape from pressure.
Overall, Yoshi's buffs are significant enough to have noticeably improved his viability from Brawl. To reflect this, Yoshi is currently ranked 34th on the tier list, placing him in the D tier. While Yoshi has a minimal presence in competitive play despite his strengths, he has achieved varying degrees of success regardless. This includes winning a few local tournaments in both singles and doubles play, and achieving several top 50 placings (some of which are top 10 placings) at regional and national tournaments.
As a playable character
Main article: Yoshi (SSBU)
Yoshi returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He now sports an alternate costume based on his appearance in Yoshi's Crafted World, which replaces Black Yoshi. In addition, Super Dragon has been replaced by Stampede!, which is based on Yoshi's appearance during the intro of Melee.
As a costume
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