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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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).
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.
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.
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
|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.
|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|
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.
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).