Among Nintendo fans, there has been dispute as to whether Mario was telling Yoshi to get something or smacking the character in the head. Turns out, Mario also happens to be an abuser of animals (or whatever Yoshi is), as a recent interview (in Japanese) with Nintendo developers Takashi Tezuka and Shigefumi Hino revealed. It's official; he is indeed punching Yoshi in the back of the head to get the dinosaur's tongue to come out. The pair spoke about the creation of Super Mario World, and Yoshi specifically. Apparently, Shigeru Miyamoto loved horses and wanted Mario to have his own steed. While Mario's smaller sprite looks to be pointing, Super Mario certainly appears to be hitting Yoshi, which would be a logical explanation for why he ducks when his tongue shoots out. Well, that's not quite the case, according to a new interview with the game's design team - but punching Yoshi was the original plan.
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"I think he likes horses". "Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger forward, he's saying 'Go, ' and Yoshi's tongue comes out", said Hino. Naturally, this did not seem to line up with Mario's good guy image and the team at Nintendo chose to change it so that Mario was indeed just commanding Yoshi instead. "Hino says that originally the sound effect was a "bop" noise, but "it seemed like people would say 'Poor Yoshi", so it was replaced by Mario's dialogue instead.
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