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Video Game / Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

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The history of a legend. We call it that because Yoshi's a trooper for putting up with that crying.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, released on the SNES close to the end of its lifespan, is the first platformer in the Yoshi's Island sub-series of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, starring Mario's Non-Human Sidekick, Yoshi. It is also the last 2D Mario series game until New Super Mario Bros. came out for Nintendo DS eleven years later.

The game was released in Japan on August 5, 1995, and in North America two months later on October 4. A sequel, Yoshi's Island DS was released on November 13, 2006.

The story is set before the original Super Mario Bros. Kameknote , who is at the time young Bowser's caretaker, looks into the future and sees the fate of his young master. To prevent this, he blindsides the delivery stork as it's carrying the Mario Bros. to their parents but only snags Luigi, dropping Mario over Yoshi's Island and right on the back of one of the dinosaurs. Seeing the map that was bundled with the baby Mario, the Yoshis decided to work together in a relay style fashion to rescue Luigi, all the while dodging Kamek's troops who are searching for Mario.


Gameplay-wise, it shares much in common with its parent series and it even has many of the common Mario enemies. The game introduced Yoshi's egg-throwing ability as well as the Ground Pound attack (an attack that would be given to Mario himself in the 3D games and the New Super Mario Bros. series). One difference, however, is that Yoshi doesn't have the traditional Breakable Power-Up or Hit Points; instead, every time Yoshi is hit, Mario flies off Yoshi's back and a timer counts down. The player must retrieve the screaming baby before the countdown reaches zero, otherwise he'll get kidnapped and Yoshi loses a life. The number of seconds on the countdown can be increased by collecting stars.

In the fall of 2002, the game was given an enhanced port for the Game Boy Advance, known as Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3. The port includes 6 new difficult Bonus Levels called the Secret Levels that are unlocked after beating the game, changes some of Extra Levels, and has a number of other minor adjustments such as lightening the color palette. This version was later one of the ten Game Boy Advance games available to participants in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, given a limited release to early adopters of the Nintendo 3DS for free on its eShop in December 2011. The original game was also later made available on the Nintendo Switch as part of the Super Nintendo library for Nintendo Switch Online.


This video-game provides examples of:

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  • Absentee Actor: This is one of the very few Mario games where Princess Peach (and by extension the Toads) makes no appearance whatsoever. This is justified though as it takes place when the brothers (and Bowser) were babies, and the setting is Yoshi's Island, not the Mushroom Kingdom. Baby Peach wouldn't debut until Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom:
  • Antepiece: Lots. An example: Naval Piranha's castle features several rooms teaching the player how to ricochet eggs off walls to collect items. This is the only way to damage the boss at the end of the stage.
  • Art Course: A few of the latter levels would have the night sky take an appearance similar to The Starry Night.
  • Artifact Mook: Though enemies from the dream-themed Super Mario Bros. 2 (with said enemies being explicitly tied to the nature of the dream world of Subcon) had started appearing in subsequent Mario games, the case of Shy Guys and Snifits in this game is notable because it takes place chronologically before all games released up to that point (and since), including Super Mario Bros. 2 itself.
  • Artistic License – Biology: When you are inside Prince Froggy, you are supposed to Attack Its Weak Point, which turns out to be its uvula. Only humans have uvulas. And the uvula isn't in the stomach, and it triggers the gag reflex, not a bowel movement.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Lampshaded in the battle with Sluggy the Unshaven: "Just remember, this slug has no weak points!" Unless you count the big red heart in the center of its body, that is. And guess where you have to aim at to hurt him?
    • Lampshaded with Naval Piranha as well. The name is a dead giveaway.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: All of the bosses are enhanced by Kamek's magic in order to make his monsters grow. Inverted with Prince Froggy, though; instead of him being 50 feet tall, you're 2 inches tall.
  • Attack on the Heart: Sluggy the Unshaven's weak point is his heart, which is initially protected by his gelatinous body, but becomes vulnerable after hitting him with several eggs. A few direct hits to his heart will defeat him.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Final battle theme with Mega Baby Bowser. Blistering electric guitars, anyone?
  • Autosave: The game saves after every level.
  • Background Boss: The final battle against Giant Baby Bowser. Friendly balloons show up to deliver giant eggs to you, and unlike normal gameplay, you throw them into the background to hit Bowser.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter:
    • The Yoshis carrying Baby Mario, except he's not the one delivering the battering...
    • There's also Kamek. When the first thing your charge does is stomp you flat, there's a reason why he panics when Baby Bowser wakes up.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Upon reaching the boss room in the level "King Bowser's Castle", you'll at first only find Kamek ordering you to "HAND OVER THE BABY!!!", then Baby Bowser wakes up and stomps Kamek flat.
  • Bandit Mook: The aptly named Bandits don't just make you drop Baby Mario, they run off with him, and you have to chase it to get him back. The game has a few other enemies that do this, namely Ukikis (the monkeys), and frogs. Also, Mousers steal your eggs.
  • Batter Up!: Sluggers are capable of using their bats to knock back just about anything that is thrown their way, from eggs, to watermelon seeds, to Chomp Rocks.
  • Big Bad: Baby Bowser's caretaker Kamek, who kickstarts everything.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Bigger Boo's Fort, which introduces several ghost enemies including the typical Boos, and itself has a King Mook Boo as its boss.
  • Binomium ridiculus: The Nintendo Power guide for Super Mario Advance 3 divides the enemies into six classifications, each of which is given "scientific nomenclature": Edibilis Boringusnote , Harrassimentia Phlyoverusnote , Projectilia Ritebakatchianote , Ucantia Defeatusnote , Dudim Phreykunoutonthisnote , and Mostosti Vomitonusnote .
  • Book-Ends: World 6 Secret, "Endless World of Yoshis" in Advance 3, the last segment of which is... the intro level, "Welcome To Yoshi's Island".
  • Born Unlucky: The yellow Yoshi must brave through every fourth level which includes the fortress and mini-boss. The blue Yoshi has to storm every castle which includes the world's boss (except the last, which is Bowser's Castle for the green Yoshi).
  • Boss Arena Idiocy:
    • Tap-Tap the Red Nose is invincible to all Yoshi's attacks. Good thing he's just chilling on a stack of breakable blocks above lava!
    • The same goes for Roger the Potted Ghost, who likewise cannot be harmed by any of Yoshi's attacks, but is fought in a room with bottomless pits that Yoshi can push him into.
  • Boss Corridor: Almost every boss level has a hallway leading to the boss fight with this music playing. Before the Final Boss battle against Baby Bowser is a long auto-scrolling corridor with Kamek casting spells at Yoshi.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Secret and Extra levels have the game's most difficult challenges, plus many are long and without checkpoints. Each Extra level is unlocked after scoring 100 points in all regular levels of a world, while the Secret ones (exclusive to the Advance remake) are available after beating the game for the first time.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The last leg of World 5 goes from the mountains to the sky, with cloud platforms galore.
  • Bullet Seed: After eating a watermelon, Yoshi can spit watermelon seeds at enemies to kill them.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The first four world's extra stages do not feature middle rings at all. Granted, the levels are significantly shorter than many of the regular ones, and one is a maze without a really significant middle point, but still!
  • Chekhov's Skill: Bouncing an egg off the wall. What, you thought the Naval Piranha level just happened to train that to hell?
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each different-colored Yoshi does the same numbered stage in each world (green starts with the first level, pink does the second, etc). The exception is the final world, which always ends with the green Yoshi.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Each level in the original game had 20 red coins, disguised as and placed among regular gold coins. However, if you look very closely, you'll notice that the disguised red coins have a subtle red tint to them, which makes them easy to distinguish from the gold coins once you know what to look for, especially on emulator. This was fixed in Advance 3 so they all look the same.
  • Cosmetic Award: A Perfect Score in an Extra Level adds a Star on the title screen.
  • Critical Annoyance: When you get hit, Baby Mario floats around in a bubble crying until you get him back. You will also hear a beeping noise. Notably, the annoying nature of the sound was outright intended by the developers, since less intrusive sounds weren't as effective at incentivizing players to rescue Baby Mario (incidentally, this directly parallels the reason why baby cries are so horrendous in real life).
  • Crosshair Aware: The final boss, and a handful of regular enemies as well.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Mario is cute as a baby, but you won't like to hear him cry.

  • Defeat by Modesty: Burt the Bashful is defeated by repeatedly hitting him so his pants fall. After they fall completely, he deflates and explodes out of embarrassment.
  • Degraded Boss: Big Slime/Salvo the Slime, a boss from the first game's first world, reappears in a few endgame fortress levels guarding keys as an altered mini-boss of sorts. Ironically, it's actually much harder this time, as future appearances don't have it drop Lemon Drops to refill your eggs, forcing you to be wise with using them.
  • Developers' Foresight: If you skip the Naval Piranha boss battle by defeating her before it even begins, Kamek swoops in and screams, "OH, MY!!!" before flying off, ending the level.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Getting 100% Completion on any given level is quite the feat, considering that, other than five flowers and twenty red coins — both well hidden — the player must also have his or her stars reaching the Cap of thirty by the end of the level; that said, managing to do so in every level in the first world awards the player with the Flip Cards bonus minigame by making it accessible at will. This means that - especially when dissing the whole "avoid Kamek and you get 10 lives" thing - you can use the minigame purely as a source for items, including a whole pack of egg-ammo, the possibility to tell red and yellow coins apart, an "add 20 stars" item... you get the picture.
  • Down the Drain: "Naval Piranha's Castle" and "The Impossible? Maze".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This is the only game where Baby Bowser speaks in Baby Talk. In all his subsequent appearances, he is able to speak clearly, probably as a sign of him maturing.
  • Eating the Enemy:
    • Yoshi grabs his enemies with his long sticky tongue and swallows them, turning them into eggs which he can throw at other enemies and targets.
    • The boss of Stage 3-4 is Prince Froggy. Kamek doesn't enlarge him like he does with every other boss in the game, but he does shrink Yoshi, causing Prince Froggy to eat him. Yoshi must escape from Prince Froggy's stomach by tossing eggs at Prince Froggy's uvula.
  • Elite Mook: The Zeus Guys. The Nigh-Invulnerable Bandit sub-species that throw energy balls at you and will punch and kick you if you get too close. They're usually in duos.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The title screen places flags on finished worlds, switches to the final world once reached and adds instruments to the music.
  • Evolving Music: For each world you unlock, the map theme gets additional instruments.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: People occasionally get confused and assume that Baby Bowser and Bowser Jr. are the same. But Baby Bowser is Bowser as a Baby.
  • Fake Difficulty: The GBA remake introduces bits of this due to the noticable screen crunch making it easy to run or jump into enemies just offscreen.
  • Fat Bastard: The fat Shy Guys that are immune to being stomped due to their bulk. Yoshi can eat them to create huge eggs that act very similar to a POW block.
  • Flipping Helpless: This is how you defeat Hookbill the Koopa; Flip him over, then Ground Pound his underside to cause damage.
  • Flying Flightless Bird: Some of the enemy penguins flap around in midair unless Yoshi stuffs them in his mouth and spits them out, after which they'll simply waddle around like the other penguins.
  • Foul Flower: Zigzagged. On one hand, there are some helpful smiley flowers, such as the five flowers in each level that Yoshi can collect for bonus points. On the other hand, there are some enemies based on flowers, such as Fooly Flowers, which pretend to be collectible flowers, then drop to the ground and start rolling at Yoshi when he gets close.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In the German localisation, the level "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy" is called "Lustiges Sporen Drama"Translation .
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Baby Bowser has no actual involvement in the plot and is a complete non-entity until the final battle, but everything Kamek does in this game traces back to Bowser having no successful future thanks to the Mario Bros.
  • Ground Pound: Trope Namer, and the first time it was freely usable by the player in a Mario game (Wario had it as a power up in his first playable appearance).
  • Ground Wave:
    • The ground wobbling and rippling is one of the side-effects while Yoshi is dizzy from touching a Fuzzy.
    • During the first phase of the Final Boss, both Yoshi and Baby Bowser's Ground Pounds cause damaging shockwaves that literally ripple across the floor.
  • Guide Dang It!: If you want a 100% score, both the bonus levels "Go! Go! Morphing!" and "Items are fun!" require you to know about mechanics that aren't hinted at anywhere in the game. To wit, that the helicopter morph can break soft soil above it with its blades, and that Yoshi can jump on, and therefore bounce off of, spiked enemies as long as they're frozen with a blue watermelon first.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The fortress and castle levels are often long and challenging, but the boss fights in them are usually cakewalks to beat — unless you're going for a 100% run, anyway.
  • The Heavy: Kamek is the most recurring antagonistic presence in the game, showing up at every fort and castle to empower Bowser's minions.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • Green Gloves, an enemy type that can catch your eggs and throw them back at you, can potentially be the Accidentally Assisting type. The game exploits this for some of its puzzles. For example, in World 2-2 (where they're first introduced), you can trick one into hitting an out-of-reach ? cloud for you, which contains a 1-Up.
    • Muddy Buddy, if hopped on, coats Yoshi's feet in mud, making him immune to Spikes of Doom.
  • Human Snowball: If you hit a rock on a skiing level, you will trip and turn into a snowball.
  • 100% Completion:
    • Each level allows Yoshi to collect 30 starsnote , 20 red coins, and 5 flowers (each of which provides a specific number of points adding up to 100). In a single world, collecting a full 100 points from seven different levels unlocks a replayable Bonus Challenge that allows you to farm items or lives, and collecting 100 points in all eight levels of a world will unlock an Extra Level for the world, which also allows you to collect 100 points.
    • In the Super Mario Advance 3 version, defeating Baby Bowser also unlocks a Secret Level for each world with another 100 points to collect (for a total of an even thousand points in each).
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy".
  • Implacable Man: Tap-Tap the Golden, encountered in the cave behind Door 3 in Baby Bowser's Castle. He will steadily chase you across the cave and cannot be damaged or defeated by any means; even if he falls into one of the Bottomless Pits he will somehow manage to jump back out. Your only option is to knock him backwards with eggs and flee.
  • Insistent Terminology: In the original SNES version of the game, Mario and Luigi are repeatedly referred to as twins. In the GBA version, however, they were instead called brothers.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys : In castle levels, it is apparent.
  • Interface Screw: Four words: "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy."
    • The same thing happens whenever Yoshi will attempt to throw a giant egg.
    • There is also the "Grim Leecher", which thankfully is encountered only in a bonus level in Yoshi's Island.
  • Jungle Japes: Much of World 3 is themed on the jungle.
  • Line Boil: Some of the text has this.

  • Make My Monster Grow: All of the bosses and minibosses are just normal enemies that are enlarged by Kamek's magic. Inverted one time when Kamek shrinks Yoshi and he gets eaten by the boss.
  • Mini-Dungeon: Halfway through each world, Yoshi ventures into a Fortress like grown Mario (and his friends whenever present) would do in a 2D platform adventure. The difference is that each Fortress houses a different Mini-Boss.
  • Mushroom Samba: Touching a Fuzzy causes Yoshi to stumble around as if drunk for a little while, screwing up his movements and causing the level geography to warp. As it happens, the "scientific name" of the Fuzzies is Dudim Phreykunoutonthis.
  • Musical Nod: The end credits play a slowed-down remix of the Super Mario Bros. Course Clear fanfare.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The American TV commercial. It made this game look like a Grossout Game with a homage to Mr. Creosote.
  • Never Say "Die": Kamek's euphemisms before the boss battles.
    Kamek: (before facing Roger the Potted Ghost) So give him here before you accidentally get hurt!
    Kamek: (before facing Marching Milde) Yoshi! Oh dear... Well, Marching Milde will pound you to bits!!
    Kamek: (before facing Hookbill the Koopa) Little Koopa come through for me now! Go forth and rock Yoshi's world!
    Kamek: (before facing Raphael the Raven) I banish you to forever twinkle in the heavens, BE GONE!!
  • No-Damage Run: In-universe, the player is required to do this in the boss fights in order to get the perfect score for the level. Keeping the timer up to 30 in the levels is hard enough, but even one slip up during the boss fights will rob you of at least 1 point off the baby timer, forcing you to replay the level again to get the full 100. You can't use inventory items in boss fights, which means no star point recovery items either. You can, however, get around this by bouncing an egg off the wall twice before it hits the boss, making them drop two point recovery stars. Given how big the bosses are, it's generally not very difficult. (but the stars usually drop right on top of the boss, making them extremely difficult to grab without taking even more damage) The GBA version also adds a death count that shows up in the secret ending for 100% Completion which then gets added to your file. Getting No. 1 requires you to not lose a single life throughout the course of the entire game (or at least none that get autosaved).
  • Obstacle Ski Course: Two of the snow levels have skiing sections where you need to dodge rocks and jump over bottomless pits.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Yoshi's wide-eyed expression while he's shrunken by Kamek before Prince Froggy eats him. Oddly enough, he has the same look on his face after he goes through Froggy's other end after the battle, but that's probably because of how he came out.
    • If Yoshi performs a One-Hit Kill on Naval Piranha by firing an egg at her before even starting the battle, Kamek shouts "OH, MY!!!" and flies away.
  • One-Hit Kill: Thorns, spikes, and lava (including from the lava-spitting Hot Lips enemy) will instantly cost Yoshi a life rather than just knocking Mario off.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in the English version; the white puff ball known as "Wataboh" in Japanese is known as "Fuzzy" in English, but "Fuzzy" was already the English name of the black, spiny Super Mario World enemies known in Japan as "Chorobon".
  • Precision F-Strike: If Naval Piranha is defeated before his boss fight, Kamek yells, "OH, MY!!!" Where this trope counts is in the Japanese version: Kamek yells, "チクショ〜!" ("chikusho~!"), which generally translates to, "Damn it!"
  • Retaliation Mode:
    • Roger the Potted Ghost spits blue flames and pushes Yoshi back whenever he tries to push his pot.
    • Prince Froggy spawns another Fat Guy in his stomach when he's hit (which only leads to more eggs getting shot at his uvula.)
    • Hookbill the Koopa bounces around the arena in his shell when he's flipped over and ground-pounded.
    • Raphael the Raven does a ground pound attack that sends two sparks circling around the planetoid the battle takes place on.
  • Retcon: Prior Mario games stated that Luigi was Mario's younger brother; this game established instead that they are twins. Additionally, this is the first time that Mario and Luigi are portrayed as natives of the Mushroom Kingdom; earlier materials depicted them as being from Brooklyn.
  • Ring-Out Boss:
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: For a game designed after a baby's coloring book, Yoshi's Island is a much tougher game than Super Mario World. There's no way to warp or skip levels, the stages are longer and more maze-like, stage hazards are more dangerous and the enemies are more aggressive. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to get extra lives.
  • Shout-Out: An example not from the game itself, but its advertising: the TV commercials for this game were a send up of the Mr. Creosote sketch from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
  • Skippable Boss: You can skip the fight against Naval Piranha by killing him before Kamek shows up. This can be done by positioning yourself on the far left end of the boss room ledge (so the cutscene doesn't trigger) and throwing an egg at the Piranha Plant.
    Kamek: OH, MY!!!
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Much of World 5 takes place in the mountains. Naturally, several levels contain snow and ice, and there's even an Obstacle Ski Course.
  • Squashed Flat: There are 3D doors that fall down, and if Yoshi gets caught underneath one of them, he will peel off the door in a paper-like state (which was considered very impressive animation for SNES standards). This is also how Kamek ends up when you face Baby Bowser.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Baby Mario's crying in the SNES version is a stock sound clip of a baby crying. The GBA remake replaces Baby Mario's cries with a new one recorded by Charles Martinet, but Baby Luigi's cries on the world map still use the old sound effect.
  • Take That!: Harry Hedgehog is a blue hedgehog who runs very fast and tries to ram into you. This is a jab at Sonic the Hedgehog. In later games after the end of Sega and Nintendo's bitter rivalry, you may notice that Harry is now purple.
  • Take That, Audience!: The Extra 1 level is named "Poochy Ain't Stupid!" This is the game telling you that if you die at this level, it's not the dog that's stupid, it's YOU.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Kamek often refers to Yoshi by cutesy pet-names in his banter prior to boss fights.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Nintendo Power's "A Journey Through Yoshi's Island" promo video featured a clip of the Final Boss battle at the very end. It also mentions Baby Luigi during its summarization of the game's story, while the game itself never refers to him by name (in fact, he wasn't actually shown on camera until the very end).
  • Travel Transformation: The titular dinosaur and his gang of multicolored compatriots must transform into a helicopter, a car, a train, or a mole tank to traverse certain levels or bonus areas. They're more or less invincible while in these forms, but they're all on a timer. If that timer runs out, the vehicle section must be retried from the beginning.
  • Unending End Card: The ending is a nice one, but if you want to keep playing after beating the final boss, you'll have to reset. No button will take you away from the picture of Baby Mario and Baby Luigi.
  • Unique Enemy: Several.
    • The game's only Gargantua Blargg is found in 1-4.
    • Blindfold Boo only appears once in a secret area of 2-4. The GBA remake rectified this, as they also appeared in Secret 6.
    • The Lunge Fish, an enemy that can eat Yoshi alive, only appears in 3-7.
    • Also in 3-7 is Barney Bubble, which only appears just before the Lunge Fish section. No longer the case in the GBA remake, which added them to Secret 6.
    • There are three unique Lakitu enemies which each only appear in a single level. Aqua Lakitu only appears in 3-8, Fishin' Lakitu only appears in 4-8, and Thunder Lakitu only appears in 5-1.
    • The red Bullet Bill launchers, though Dummied Out in the original version, appear only once in the GBA remake, in Secret 6.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Burt the Bashful and Salvo the Slime for World 1. Both are incredibly easy boss fights, particularly the latter since he can't even directly harm you.
  • Womb Level: The boss battle for World 3's miniboss, Prince Froggy, takes place in said frog's stomach since he eats a shrunken-down Yellow Yoshi right before the battle. The only way to damage him is to aim eggs from the Shy Guys he eats at his uvula. Yoshi gets out through the back passage... and gives the camera a look of absolute shock as the boss dies.


Video Example(s):


Mr. Creosote homage

Eugh. Sure is little wonder Nintendo NEVER has commercials like these anymore!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

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Media sources:

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