Representation of Yoshi games via its stages in Smash

yoshi

UPDATE: Made some corrections to the Yoshi’s Story levels.

Recently a guest poster by the name of “Magcargoman” did an analysis on every single stage from the Super Mario series that you can find in the Super Smash Bros. franchise. His aim was to show what parts of the Super Mario series were most relied on, what was left out and why this may be. I believe he did an excellent job on it and you should all check that series out. His work inspired me to continue what he started by doing this analysis with every other series in Super Smash Bros., starting with a personal favorite of mine: Yoshi.

Super Smash Bros.

In the original Super Smash Bros., Yoshi was one of the starting 8 fighters and, like every series but Mario, he ended up with just one level: Yoshi’s Island.

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Despite the name, Yoshi’s Island does not actually represent the game Yoshi’s Island, instead, it chooses to base itself on the second and most recent Yoshi game of the time: Yoshi’s Story on the Nintendo 64. Everything from the cardboard and velcro aesthetic to the Happy Happy Fruit in the background and help blocks as obstacles/platforms. Even the stage’s music (known as Track #9 in this game) is taken exclusively from Yoshi’s Story. The reason for all this was likely due to Yoshi’s Story being the most recent game in the series, a common trend in Smash. It may also be possible that assets could easily be used from that game on this one, cutting down on development time.

In terms of specifics about this level, the stage’s main platform is in the shape of an open book, which is a possible nod to the Story nature of the game as it is all just a pop-up book. The background design and stage elements all reference “Surprise!!”, level 1-2 of Yoshi’s Story, however, they are the wrong color. None of these levels were ever orange, the closest level in color being World 4’s Jungle Hut but it has an entirely different aesthetic design. This was possibly done to avoid clashing with the Kirby stage Dreamland which has similar colors to what this stage should have been.

Games represented:
Yoshi’s Story
Games referenced:
Yoshi’s Story

Super Smash Bros. Melee

The Yoshi series followed the same trend as most playable franchises in Super Smash Bros. Melee by having two new stages. This time they were Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story. The Yoshi series was also one of three series to get its stage from Super Smash Bros. 64 back (the others being Kirby and Donkey Kong). The first of these stages is Yoshi’s Island, however, Magcargoman already talked about this in his Super Mario analysis and so I will not repeat it here. The reason he did that was because the game that level referenced was Super Mario World, Yoshi’s debut game but ultimately not from his universe but Mario’s.

The second Yoshi stage is Yoshi’s Story, a stage from the game of the same name.

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This is the second level to appear in Super Smash Bros. based on this game and was most likely picked because, once again, Yoshi’s Story was the latest game in the series. Once again the velcro and cardboard aesthetics are back but this time we get Pak E. Derm as a background element and the infamous Cloud from level 1-3: Rail-lift. Unlike Super Smash Bros. 64, this game does stick to the correct color scheme as the original Yoshi’s Story with the aesthetics being based on the first level of the game, “Treasure Hunt”. Propeller Shy Guys also appear in this level carrying different items instead of fruit and being intractable instead of a background element like in the previous stage. Overall this stage primarily references “Treasure Hunt” but it takes enough elements from the outdoor areas of world 1 that it can be seen as a level based on tht world rather than one particular level. Just like its predecessor, this stage exclusively references Yoshi’s Story with no elements of Yoshi’s Island being present but that will all change in the next game.

Games represented:
Yoshi’s Story
Games referenced:
Yoshi’s Story

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

In this title, we see somewhat of an 180 being pulled with what Yoshi games get represented. While the Super Mario World based Yoshi’s Island stage would return, neither of the Yoshi’s Story based levels do (this continues into Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS as well). Instead, we finally get a level based on the Yoshi’s Island series which is called… Yoshi’s Island (the third one!).

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Unimaginative name aside, this level tries to take the best elements of the two Yoshi’s Story stages and make something unique with it. The whole stage is done in the traditional hand brush style of the first Yoshi’s Island game but more modernized with better detail. The Fly Guys appear instead of Propellor Guys and the enemy Blarggwich can appear on either side of the level, acting as a platform much like the cloud from Yoshi’s Story did.

A unique gimmick to this stage is that the season’s change as the match goes on. This was a feature brought into some stages in Brawl, like Battlefield’s Day & Night system, and was likely done to just show off and make the stage even more original. The Spring edition of this stage is a reference to the tutorial level of Yoshi’s Island: Welcome to Yoshi’s Island. The summer portion’s green grass is similar to the plains of World 2 but also come with lots of Sunflowers, a common collectible and stage element to the series. This season is also when the Goonie enemy takes flight in the background and continues into Autumn/Fall where the tone and colors shift into those found in the windy plains of World 4. Finally, we get to Winter which is obviously based on the snowy levels that begin in World 5. It should be noted that throughout all of this are two large Chomp Sharks whose energy changes based on the season. You can also see the moon where Yoshi fought Raphael the Raven in the sky, a location that is a recurring background piece of the series.

Overall the decision to finally represent the Yoshi’s Island series in Super Smash Bros. over Yoshi’s Story is most likely a relevancy one. Between Melee and Brawl, we got three new Yoshi games: Yoshi’s Topsy-Turvey on the Game Boy Advance, and Yoshi’s Touch & Go and Yoshi’s Island DS for Nintendo DS. The original Super Nintendo game was also remade for the Super Mario Advance series on the GBA. So, Yoshi’s Story was simply no longer the focus and a decision were made to go back to the Island art style. This doesn’t stop Yoshi’s Story from being referenced, however, thanks to the stage’s music. Yoshi’s Island has 5 songs on its stage which take from the original SNES game, the DS sequel, Yoshi’s Touch & Go and finally Yoshi’s Story. There is also an unused file for what may have been a song based on Yoshi’s Cookie, a Game Boy and NES puzzle game starring Yoshi. However, this is mostly speculation based on the file name (snd_bgm_E04_COCKIE).

Games represented:
Yoshi’s Island
Games referenced:
Yoshi’s Story
Yoshi’s Island
Yoshi’s Island DS
Yoshi Touch & Go

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

In the latest installments of the Super Smash Bros. series, Yoshi received one new stage in the Wii U version but none in the Nintendo 3DS game. On 3DS, the only Yoshi stage was Yoshi’s Island from Brawl (but missing the Fly Guys). This stage was likely chosen as the series’ representative thanks to Smash for 3DS having an emphasis on handheld titles. While Yoshi’s Story only got a tech demo on the GBA and some aesthetic similarities in Topsy-Turvey, it was the Yoshi’s Island games that have all appeared on handhelds from the GBA remake to Yoshi’s New Island on the Nintendo 3DS. As an additional note, the music on this level only takes from the first Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story.

On the Wii U, the Super Mario World stage returned for its third game and we were treated to a brand new Yoshi stage based on a game that was not even out yet: Yoshi’s Woolly World.

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Sakurai confirmed this stage was made later on in development after the game was announced in January 2013. The game’s long development meant that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ended up launching first and so this was many people’s first interaction with Good-Feel’s interpretation of the Yoshi series. Just like the game it is based on, everything is made of Yarn and looks like it could be a diorama in somebody’s bedroom. This stage has two forms, the first being the grassy hills from World 1-5, Knitty-Knotty Windmill Hill, and the second being from World 3-2, Wobble Mobile Jaunt, which is also where the mobile that makes up the stage’s platforms comes from.

The music in this stage takes from the same sources as the Yoshi’s Island (Brawl) level does in Brawl but also adds Yoshi’s Woolly World and Yoshi’s New Island to the mix. These were the only two Yoshi games to come out after Brawl so their inclusion now is understandable.

Games represented:
Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U)
Yoshi’s Island (3DS)
Games referenced:
Yoshi’s Story (both)
Yoshi’s Island (both)
Yoshi’s Island DS (Wii U)
Yoshi Touch & Go (Wii U)
Yoshi’s New Island (Wii U)
Yoshi’s Wooly World (Wii U)

Statistics

Now that we have gone through every game it is time to look at some statistics. These will be spoiler tagged due to their size and only contain the games that have been represented and not just referenced.

Game Year of Release Stages Smash game debuted in
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island 1995 Yoshi’s Island Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Yoshi’s Story 1997 Yoshi’s Island

Yoshi’s Story

Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Yoshi’s Woolly World 2015 Woolly World Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

And here is the table for the number of Yoshi stages per Smash title.

Game

New Stages Returning Stages Total Stages
Super Smash Bros. 1 0 1
Super Smash Bros. Melee 1 (or 2*) 1 2 (or 3*)
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 1 0 (or 1*) 1 (or 2*)
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 0 1 1
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 1 0 (or 1*) 1 (or 2*)
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U (combined) 1 1 (or 2*) 2 (or 3*)

*when including Yoshi’s Island as a Yoshi stage

This makes the grand total of Yoshi stages in the Super Smash Bros. series 4 (5 when Yoshi’s Island from Super Mario World is included).

And to cap things off, there is one last table here listing how many times each console had a stage from one of its games in Smash.

Console Number of Stages
SNES 1
N64 2
Wii U 1

Absences

Unlike with Mario, most of the Yoshi series’ main titles have been represented in some way through Smash’s stages. While Yoshi’s Island DS, Yoshi’s Touch & Go and Yoshi’s New Island don’t have a stage based on them specifically, they all share the same aesthetic design as the original Yoshi’s Island which means that Brawl’s Yoshi’s Island could easily be taken as a representation of the whole series. This just leaves Yoshi’s Topsy-Turvy as the only platformer with no representation or references (not even a song!).

The Yoshi series is not just made of platformers, however, as Yoshi has four games under his Puzzle series which have seen no representation or references through Smash’s stages. These are Yoshi, both Yoshi’s Cookie games, and Tetris Attack. There is also one final Yoshi game called Yoshi’s Safari on the Super Nintendo that uses the SNES Super Scope accessory. The reason for the exclusion of these games is likely due to their obscurity and that Tetris Attack was not a Yoshi game in Japan but an original IP called Panel de Pon.

Conclusion

So what we can learn from this is pretty straightforward for our green dinosaur friend. It appears that the latest Super Smash Bros. game always aims to take a stage based on the latest Yoshi title. Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS was the only game to not add a new Yoshi stage but this was common for a lot of franchises (Star Fox and Metroid, for example). So with the next Super Smash Bros. title, it comes down to two variables. If all we get is an enhanced port of Smash Wii U, then it is unlikely that we will get any new Yoshi stages. However, if we get an entirely new game then history shows we should get one new Yoshi stage based on the latest game in the series (at the time of writing this it would be Yoshi’s Woolly World again which is possible as Yoshi’s Story received this treatment).

nantenjex

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5 comments

  1. Hi there! I’m glad to hear you liked me analysis and were inspired to do your own. I’m actually working on another one for one of the bigger franchises myself (Push may have already told you that though). I just read your analysis and if you don’t mind I’d like to give some feedback and discuss a few things.

    In the Smash 64 segment you mention the “Happy Happy Fruit”. I’m not sure if you were referring to the entire plant or just the heart, but the plant is called the Super Happy Tree (and the fruit is just called Heart Fruit). Also where you talk about the background design, you accidentally said it was from the first level of Yoshi’s Island instead of Yoshi’s Story, and it’s actually the background from the second level (but like you said, the wrong colours).

    In the Melee segment, the Yoshi’s Story isn’t just based on Treasure Hunt but Surprise!! too (the background design and the trees, but the trees weren’t cardboard on that stage in the original). You’e already mentioned the cloud, and maybe you don’t need to add this, but it comes from the third level, Rail Lift. Basically the Yoshi’s Story stage represents Page 1 of Yoshi’s Story in general.

    In Brawl you did a pretty good coverage of the Yoshi’s Island stage; I wouldn’t have even thought of the seasons tying into the worlds from the original game. I think the artstyle is meant to be pastel crayons rather than hand brush, or at least it was in the original. I think it’s worth mentioning how in the sky you can see the moon from the fight with Raphael the Raven. And while relevancy of Yoshi’s Island-style Yoshi games played a part of the stage being chosen, I think another reason would because it is the first Yoshi game, so it really needed a stage at this point.

    As for absences, I’d argue that Yoshi’s New Island isn’t really covered by including the Yoshi’s Island Brawl stage, as Yoshi’s New Island actually looks a bit different from the other two Yoshi’s Island games (I was actually expecting it to get a stage back before Smash 3DS was released). At least got music though in Woolly World though.

    One minor thing, I noticed you listed games that were represented also as referenced. Nothing wrong with this but I thought it looks a little redundant. That’s just my opinion though.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we did get another Woolly World stage. After all, not only is it getting a 3DS port next year, but maybe due to getting a stage so early, we missed out on having one that was a little more unique (don’t get me wrong, the mobile is cool and all, but I would have preferred a level that didn’t have flat terrain for the floor) and with more than one song from the game.

    Overall, not bad at all. I think some parts could use a little bit of tidying up, but you covered pretty much every important aspect. I heard you’re working on a DK analysis too. I’m a big fan of DK games, so I’ll be looking forward to that one.

    1. Hey there, thanks for the feedback!

      My memory betrays me. I thought it was happy happy fruit but it was actually heart fruit. Not sure where i got that from now. Although regardless, Super Happy Tree would’ve made more sense.

      I did mean Yoshi’s Story obviously haha but I think by first level I meant the first world in general as any one of those 4 stages could be the first level on a playthrough. I will make it clearer.

      The stage is based on Treasure Hunt and not Surprise as the background is made of cardboard and not Velcro like in the 64 stage. But I forgot to mention the Cloud’s origin entirely which was my mistake. I’ll update it with some corrections.

      DK is next yeah. Let me know via e-mail or discord what other series you are going to do because eventually I would like to cover them all. I do know what your next one is but I am referring to any others.

      1. My bad, I got things confused; the only thing from Surprise in the background is the waves. The main elements from Surprise are on the actual island you fight on, mixed in with Treasure Hunt’s elements (much more of it is Treasure Hunt). See 4:06 to 5:08 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMsGnc_Aw5k

        Will be sure to let you know. There’s a couple more I’m interested in doing. I prefer the bigger series since they have more stages to talk about, which is why I chose to do Zelda instead of the Mario-related series like Yoshi.

  2. My main issue with the selection of Yoshi stages is how all of them are plains/flowery field type areas. They’re the most recognizable areas in the series to be sure, but its always a shame to see a series get repped though a single type of location when they have so much else to offer.

    Personally I’m hoping for another stage based on the original game in the next iteration of Smash. It may not be the most recent but it remains the best selling entry in the series and arguably the most well regarded. Its general aesthetic is also reused in the majority of Yoshi’s platformers so it servers as a good representation of the series as a whole.

    I think a stage based off the underground/cave areas in the original game could work well. These types of areas were used throughout the game and across several worlds whereas many other types of locations mainly appear in a single world. Chomp Rocks or underground enemies like lantern ghosts and bats could serve as potential stage hazards. A stage based on the fan favorite “Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy” level could also be fun to see.

    1. I agree. There are some pretty nice locations in Yoshi’s Island and it’d be great for it have another stage (still can’t believe it took til Brawl for it to have one).

      That’s exactly what I would have chosen too! The Cave of Chomp Rock is my top Yoshi stage pick. I’d have it set on a large platform (one that isn’t floating) with mushrooms serving as extra platforms. There’d be two sloped pieces of the ground at each side of the stage (not connected to the main platform) where a Chomp Rock would occasionally roll from and across the main platform as a stage hazard. I also think Nep-Enut’s Domain would make a cool stage for it’s jungle aesthetics and Nep-Enut stage hazard (not to mention this level is depicted on the game’s boxart, so it has significance). Also highly unlikely, but I’d love the Patchwork Moon from the Raphael the Raven boss fight, just for those 360 degree gravity shenanigans.

      Also, this one is purely a pipe-dream, but as someone who enjoyed it I wouldn’t mind a Yoshi’s Island DS stage. That game gets a lot of flack simply for not being a great as the SNES game.

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