A mystery as old as time – or, at least 27 years old – has finally been solved. When playing Super Mario World, the iconic plumber is actually punching Yoshi in the head to make him stick out his tongue. Previously, some had speculated that Mario was simply ordering Yoshi to perform the action.
“I think he likes horses,” said Super Mario World director Takashi Tezuka, about designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto. “When we were making [Super Mario Bros. 3], he drew a picture of Mario riding a horse and had put it up on wall next to where he sits. When I saw that, I thought, ‘I guess he wants Mario to ride something.’ So, when we were making Super Mario World, we had this ‘dinosaur land’ concept, and I had Hino draw reptile type art.”
“Initially,” character graphic designer Shigefumu Hino added, “the keyword that I had was ‘horse,’ so I imagined something quite later and, for the time being, drew a large lizard type creature.”
“Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger foreward, he’s saying ‘Go,’ and Yoshi’s tongue comes out,” Hino continued. “However, the set up that I drew was that when Mario punches Yoshi in the head, the character’s tongue shoots out in surprise.”
(Image via NeoGAF)
“What’s more, there’s an added ‘bop’ sound. However, it seemed like people would say ‘Poor Yoshi,’ so that’s why it became that Mario is saying ‘Go.’”
And now you might never look at Mario the same way again.