Super Mario World – Legacy

Early concept drawings of Yoshi, featuring an 8-bit Mario rider.
Early concept drawings of Yoshi, featuring an 8-bit Mario rider.

Within the Mario franchise, Super Mario World is regarded one of the highest standing achievements in the series to date. However its greatest legacy is perhaps the dinosaur companion that Mario is seen riding on the front cover of the game. The idea of Mario having a dinosaur ally to ride was something Miyamoto had wanted to do since the first Super Mario Bros. but due to limitations on the NES this never came to fruition until the move to 16-bit. Yoshi has since established itself as one of Mario’s most valuable allies and a much desired addition to any Super Mario game. Furthermore after a handful of spin-off titles Yoshi was given his own series in 1995 with the release of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Yoshi’s have also featured in various Mario spin-off games including Mario Kart and Mario Party, as well as representing its own universe in Super Smash Bros.

However like many of the power-ups in the Mario series, Yoshi hasn’t been featured in every game since their debut. It wasn’t until 2002 when players could ride them again in the main series in Super Mario Sunshine, 12 years after the character’s debut. He has been slightly more prominent as of late, appearing in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U but ultimately Mario and Yoshi don’t work together quite as often as many would like. However the Mario series doesn’t reuse many power-ups often, most likely in an attempt to avoid making these aspects feel stale and overused. Yoshis may be Mario’s greatest allies (sorry Luigi) but they can’t be around all the time and to be fair they have their own stuff to deal with in their own series. However you can drop a Yoshi to his doom to save your own skin so the jury is out on how Mario really feels about his dinosaur chum.

Look at all the colourful Yoshi's. These guys kick butt on are utterly adorable to boot.
Look at all the colourful Yoshi’s. These guys kick butt on are utterly adorable to boot.

Although he ought to feel very privileged to ride such remarkable creatures. Yoshi can jump very high and can even flutter mid-air depending on the game. They can gobble up enemies with their long tongues, either to gain coins or lay them back out as an egg. They can gain special abilities depending on their colour including breathing fire and sprouting wings and even feel the benefits of power-ups (albeit only in Super Mario Galaxy 2) to inflate like a balloon or run at super speed. As evidenced in Yoshi’s Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. putting all these abilities together can be rather deadly. Ultimately Yoshi is one of the greatest sidekicks in video game history.

Super Mario World was a huge triumph for the Mario franchise and really helped show off the SNES to an audience who had remained in the 8-bit generation too long. Bundled with most consoles at launch the game also stands as one of the greatest launch titles of all time. However while it is regarded by many as the greatest 2D Mario title ever (GamesRadar ranks it at number 17 on their greatest 100 games of all-time list, a very interesting list to look at). The jury is out for many fans, many who enjoy the New Super Mario Bros. titles more and others who believe Super Mario Bros. 3 deserves the crown. Shigeru Miyamoto himself believed the game was incomplete and rushed towards the end of its development. However for me discovering the secret exits of each stage is a thrill that the rest of the series does not quite compare to, so kudos to Super Mario World, we’ve no doubt you shall be enjoyed by many more gamers for a long time to come.

YoshiSuper Mario World introduced us to Yoshi, a veteran fighter in the Smash Bros. series all the way back to the Nintendo 64. His home, Yoshi’s Island has appeared in many guises throughout Super Smash Bros. however the stag from Melee is directly based on the island in Super Mario World; the stage has appeared in Smash Bros. Melee, Brawl and Wii U. Mario elements that were first spotted in this game include the Hothead item, Mario’s side-special attack Cape, and enemies Banzai Bill, Magikoopa and Spike Top.

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