Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (JP) (also called Super Mario World 2, SMW2, or SMW2YI) is a 2D platform game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, developed by Nintendo EAD. The game is the prequel to Super Mario World and chronologically the first in Mario series, and it stars Yoshi and the Yoshi clan who, while carrying Baby Mario, travel across Yoshi's Island to rescue Baby Luigi from Baby Bowser and his Magikoopa minion/caretaker, Kamek. Instead of relying on jumping and a power-up system for combat as in the traditional Mario platformers, Yoshis use their tongue and eggs to overcome obstacles, as well as the introduction of many other different mechanics. The game is notable for introducing a time-based health system rather than hit points, an anomaly to what many platform games typically did in this game's time period. Rather than relying on powerful pre-rendered graphics as its contemporary, Donkey Kong Country did, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island employs a very distinct, stylized arts and crafts style to stand on its own. The game makes use of the Super FX2 graphics chip (one of only four commercially-released SNES games to do so), which allows for larger, more detailed sprites and more advanced effects that emulate 3D space.

Although Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was not as financially successful as its predecessor, the game's highly positive reception and unique style has spawned a new series of platform games from the Yoshi series, although it is the fourth entry overall. The game has received various adaptations into manga, such as receiving volumes dedicated to it in the Super Mario-Kun and Kodansha's Super Mario manga series and extensive merchandising. The game has received a remake on the Game Boy Advance, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, which was released on Virtual Console for Nintendo 3DS, with owners applicable for the Nintendo 3DS ambassador program being able to download the game for free, and Wii U. The original SNES version of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is included on the SNES Classic Edition, and although it has yet to be announced for release on Virtual Console on any other system, it is one of the 20 launch titles for Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online on the Nintendo Switch.

In 2006, a direct sequel to the game was released called Yoshi's Island DS for the Nintendo DS. There was also a midquel called Yoshi's New Island for the Nintendo 3DS released in 2014.

It stars Yoshi and Baby Mario on their quest to save the recently kidnapped Baby Luigi. The game takes a dramatic turn from the previous Mario platformers and has been considered one of the greatest games ever released on the console.

Yoshi's Story for the Nintendo 64 features similar gameplay, though whether Nintendo considers it a sequel or not isn't clear, considering that the initial name was Yoshi's Island 2 for Yoshi's Island DS.


A stork is bringing Baby Mario and Baby Luigi to their parents. Once Kamek looks into the future and sees that the two brothers will grow up to destroy Bowser, he goes straight out to capture them both. Once he finds the stork, he goes in for it and takes one baby, Luigi, and accidentally drops Mario. Right before the baby falls to the earth, Yoshi catches him. Mario seems to know where his little brother is, and the Yoshis agree to help to reunite them and bring them to their parents. Once Kamek discovers where the baby is, he sends out Baby Bowser's army to catch him.

Game Playthrough

In the game, Yoshi will encounter many new foes such as Naval Piranha, Raphael the Raven and, of course Bowser. In the end, Kamek causes Baby bowser to become huge, and Yoshi must fight him. After Yoshi wins, Baby Bowser returns to normal. Then Yoshi rescues Baby Luigi and the stork. The stork takes Baby Mario and Baby Luigi to their parents, and the game ends.


A screenshot from level 4-1.

The mechanics implemented in the game, as previously stated, are in a completely different fashion than what was found in any other Mario game. The developers applied unique graphics to an equally innovative title that has Yoshi thrusting eggs at his opponents and gobbling them up through his elongated tongue. Baby Mario will sit on top of Yoshi throughout the entire game, until an enemy attacks Yoshi, where Baby Mario will fall of Yoshi, thus starting the countdown. If Yoshi doesn't manage to get Mario back in time, then you'll lose a life, though if he does, then the game will continue on.

The levels are accessed on a menu screen, and the worlds are found on a map of Yoshi's Island. Each world has eight levels with two of them being boss stages. After you beat the game, an extra one will appear in each world, rising the count to nine.

Yoshi is capable of performing many different attacks and moves in Yoshi's Island. His foremost moves include his flutter jump, his ability to eject his elongated tongues at enemies and gobble them up, his ground pound and probably his most popular - his ability to transform anything he eats into an egg, which he can in turn toss at enemies and switches to kill or flip respectively. In all there are 127 different enemy types that are contained within the 55 levels, most of which are quite massive is size and difficulty (depending on where you are in the game). In this title, Yoshi is seemingly invincible unless he falls down a hole, gets burnt by lava or gets touched by spikes. If any other obstacle happens to plow through him, Baby Mario will be thrust off of his back and will float in the air in a bubble, thus starting the countdown. If Yoshi hasn't gotten Baby Mario back in the time limit, then you'll loose the game and will have to start the level over, or at least go back to the check point. Once you've lost all of your lives, you'll have to start the level back over.

Often times, Yoshi and Baby Mario will be able to take over power-ups, which are much different than the series' previous installments. These power-ups consists of transformations, most of which will turn daring dino Yoshi into a type of vehicle, which includes a car, helicopter, submarine, mole car or train. Others were planned, though were eventually taken out. A Star man will give Baby Mario the ability to run on the ground for a short time, and will gain the ability to kill enemies just by touching them.

Other specific weapons that'll give Yoshi and Baby Mario added abilities include watermelons. The Blue Watermelon will allow Yoshi to shoot ice at his enemies, which will freeze them. The Green Watermelon will give Yoshi the ability to shoot out Watermelon seeds, and finally the Red Watermelon will allow Yoshi to spew fire from his mouth.


There are many different collectibles that can be found in the game that rise the replay value. If you find a certain amount of these collectibles, then you'll be offered new levels which dramatically outweigh the challenge of the other levels found in the game.

First and foremost are the flowers that you can find in each level. They all seem to be relatively happy, and you can find five in each level. Finding them will reap you many benefits, such as am improved chance to play the game's mini-games and the extra levels that are included. Finding every flower in each level will add fifty percent to the level's completion stats.

The next notable collectible are the red coins. There are twenty red coins in each level, and if you find them all, it'll add twenty percent to the completion of each level.

Super stars are the final items that you need in order to get one hundred percent on the level completion chart. There are a copious amount of these in the levels, though you can only have a maximum of thirty. Each star represents how many seconds Baby Mario can stay away from Yoshi. If it goes below ten and Yoshi ends up catching him, the count will shortly rise back up to ten, but no farther. If you have thirty stars by the end of the level, then it'll add 30% to the level completion chart.


A load of characters from the game. From top to bottom - Toady, Lakitu, Goonie, Ukiki, Boo, Gusty, Paratroopa, Yoshi and Baby Mario, Naval Piranha, Raphael the Raven, Needle Nose, Cactus, Shy Guy, Amazee Dayzee, Little Mouser, and Goomba.

The following is a list of major characters found in the game, which includes Yoshi, Baby Mario (Mario), Baby Bowser (Bowser), Kamek, and Baby Luigi (Luigi).


Yoshis are the species that roam Yoshi's Island. They come in a variety of colors, with none of them actually surpassing one another. They all contain the same abilities, which can be seen above under the gameplay segment. They are super friendly and intelligent, and are more than happy to help Baby Mario save his twin brother.

Baby Mario

Baby Mario is Mario as a baby. In this game, the Yoshis will help him find his brother and bring the two to their parents. In the game, if Yoshi gets harmed, Baby Mario will fly off his back and into a bubble, Yoshi will then have a certain amount of time to get him back before the Toadies catch him. If Yoshi gets a Super Star, Baby Mario will turn into Super Baby Mario. While Super Mario, Yoshi will go inside an egg, and will follow the invincible Baby Mario who can run up walls, and will be super fast. If Mario is Super Baby Mario he can also use his cape to glide.

Baby Bowser

Baby Bowser is a baby version of the King Koopa known simply as Bowser. He's an antagonistic brat who sends out Kamek to do most of his bidding, and will only appear as the final boss of the game. When Yoshi and Baby Mario first encounter Bowser, he'll look at the dinosaur and falsely assume that he's a green donkey and will attempt to ride him. This will start the battle, which concludes with Kamek super-sizing him into a raging behemoth.


Other than Baby Bowser, Kamek is the main antagonist. Kamek plays an important role in all of the boss battles, either Super-Sizing them, Super-Powering them, or by altering Yoshi to the boss's advantage. Kamek is a species of Koopa known as a Magikoopa, using a mixture of a triangle, square and circle looking projectile to attack Yoshi. Kamek, although he is Baby Bowser's minion, and perhaps right hand man, has his own minions known as Toadies. Toadies are bird-like creatures with propellers on their heads, like Fly-Guys. Toadies swoop down and steal away baby Mario if the Timer hits zero, and also appear one at a time as uncommon enemies.

Kamek attacks Yoshi only in the last boss, King Bowser's Castle, and Extra 5, either by flying into him or casting shape-looking spells as projectiles. Yoshi can counter Kamek by either jumping near him, into him, or by throwing eggs near him or into him.

Baby Luigi

Baby Luigi is Luigi as a baby. In this game, he is kidnapped by Kamek and Baby Bowser. He needs to be rescued along with the Stork.

Graphics and sound

The graphics of Yoshi's Island have been considered some of the SNES's best. It looks as if the designers had drawn the levels and sprites using crayons. Peppy colors add to the excitement. Nintendo originally wanted the game's graphics to resemble that of Donkey Kong Country, which sported a sort of 3D looking graphics in a sidescrolling world. Shigeru Miyamoto apparently didn't care too much for Donkey Kong Country, and thus went in an entirely different direction, thus making it into the game it is today.

The sound and music is also popular among gamers, and it contributes greatly to the already fun-filled video game.


Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7 Level 8 Secret* Extra
World 1 Make Eggs, Throw Eggs Watch Out Below! The Cave of Chomp Rock Burt the Bashful's Fort Hop! Hop! Donut Lifts Shy Guys on Stilts Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy Salvo the Slime's Castle Exercise in the Skies Poochy Ain't Stupid
World 2 Visit Koopa and Para-Koopa The Baseball Boys What's Gusty Taste Like? The Bigger Boo's Fort Watch Out for Lakitu The Cave of the Mystery Maze Lakitu's Wall The Potted Ghost's Castle Mystery of the Castle? Hit That Switch!!
World 3 Welcome to Monkey World! Jungle Rhythm! Nep-Enut's Domain Prince Froggy's Fort Jammin' Through the Trees The Cave of Harry Hedgehog Monkeys' Favorite Lake Naval Piranha's Castle Go! Go! Morphing! More Monkey Madness
World 4 GO! GO! MARIO!! The Cave of the Lakitus Don't Look Back! Marching Milde's Fort Chomp Rock Zone Lake Shore Paradise Ride Like the Wind Hookbill the Koopa's Castle Fight Toadies w/ Toadies The Impossible Maze
World 5 BLIZZARD!!! Ride the Ski Lifts Danger - Icy Conditions Ahead Sluggy the Unshaven's Fort Goonie Rides! Welcome to Cloud World Shifting Platforms Ahead Raphael the Raven's Castle Items are Fun! Kamek's Revenge
World 6 Scary Skeleton Goonies! The Cave of the Bandits Beware the Spinning Logs Tap-Tap the Red Nose's Fort The Very Loooooong Cave The Deep, Underground Maze KEEP MOVING!!!! King Bowser's Castle Endless World of Yoshis Castles - Masterpiece Set (known as Ultimate Castle Challenge in SMA3)
  • The Secret levels can only be found in the 2002 Game Boy Advance remake "Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island".



Critical reception

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has been met with critical acclaim at the time of release, with most reviews praising the level design, the platforming mechanics, the personality, the graphics, the soundtrack, and the creativity of the game; the game has garnered a 96.00% on GameRankings based on 5 reviews.[1] The most common criticisms surrounding the game comes from Baby Mario's crying when he is trapped in a bubble after Yoshi takes a hit from the enemy, often being cited as "annoying". IGN has retrospectively said in its article "Is There a Bad Mario Game?", "The game earned instant acclaim and rightfully so for its brilliant stage design and platforming mechanics. Yoshi's Island doesn't beat you over the head with trial and error to teach you how to play, but it also does not hold your hand with a numbingly dull tutorial."[2] Kaes Delgrego of Nintendo Life has referred to the game as "Perhaps the greatest platformer of all time" in his review, giving the game a score of a 10/10.[3] Delgrego has called the time-based health mechanic "innovative" for its time that would come to games later on, comparing it to Halo's time-based life mechanic. While he has admitted that the game itself isn't revolutionary, Delgrego has praised the creativity with the puzzle-solving and the pastel-style graphics. The only criticism Delgrego has cited for the game was the easy boss fights and Baby Mario's crying when Yoshi takes damage from an enemy. Reece Warrender of Cubed3 gave the game a 9/10,[4] who was impressed by the game's new and interesting mechanics, such as swallowing an enemy to create a projectile of it, as well as having simple and enjoyable mechanics that players of any age can enjoy. The graphics and sound were praised for being high quality and having a unique style. The most major criticisms Warrender had with the game were the easy difficulty and the short length, citing that the game can be completed in five hours, despite having replay value in the form of the points system. The game was placed 18th in the 100th issue of Nintendo Power's "100 best Nintendo games of all time" in 1997. The game placed 185th in the 200th Issue of Game Informer's "Top 200 Games of All Times", the lowest ranked Mario series game.


Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has sold over 4 million copies, with the Edge publication stating that the game was "a radical sequel to Super Mario World whose anarchic gameworld and illustration-style visuals win it loyal fans but less dramatic total sales".[5]

Beta Elements

According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the marketing department at Nintendo wanted him to use pre-rendered 3D sprites like in Donkey Kong Country for the game, rather than stylized 2D sprites. Additionally, found in the game's data are several sprites that go unused, such as several Super Mario All-Stars sprites and three unused Yoshi forms. There are also three unused Mini Battles that can be seen in the game's code.


The team behind the game.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is often considered the beginning of the Yoshi series. While there were games before it whose primary protagonist was Yoshi, they were merely puzzle titles and didn't debut what is considered the pinnacle element of the franchise - which is basically a sidescrolling title that has the player gobbling up enemies, producing eggs and tossing them, among other features. The game inspired a host of other titles, albeit most of which were featured in the same series (i.e. Yoshi's Story, Yoshi Touch & Go, and Yoshi's Island DS).

The video game has been mentioned in one way or another in various other Nintendo titles, most notably the Super Smash Bros. series (specifically in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which an entire stage is based around the title). Yoshi appears as a character, while many of his maneuvers originated from the title. In Super Mario Sunshine, a minor cameo (which may not even be a cameo) appears in one of th secret courses - in the background there are train tracks plastered on the walls that looks similar to the ones featured in the classic SNES video game. It should also be noted that in Super Mario Sunshine, Yoshi, who appears as a steed once more, can perform a flutter jump, similar to the one in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

In the Nintendo DS video game WarioWare D.I.Y., a stage titled Yoshi was based on this video game. In it, players were required to touch Yoshi with Baby Mario on his back to jump, and shortly thereafter touch him again to make him groundpound, thus killing the Shy Guys around him. The background, music and graphics were all based on Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

The game was also featured on the cover of Nintendo Power V77 upon it's release in 1995. It later won 4 awards in the 1995 Nintendo Power Awards: Best Play Control, Most Innovative Game, Best Hero/Heroine (Yoshi), and Most Annoying Feature (Crybaby Mario).

Sequels, spin-offs, and ports

Yoshi's Story and Yoshi's Island DS can arguably be considered sequels to Super Mario World 2, more so the latter than the former. Yoshi Touch & Go is a sort of remake, and a remake was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2002 named Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 that also included the arcade classic Mario Bros. as an extra. The Game Boy Advance remake was titled Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, and some critics claim, despite the downgraded graphics that it is better than the original because of the following -

  • New voice samples that resemble those from Yoshi's Story.
  • New cry sound effect for Baby Mario and the original cry sound effect is used for Baby Luigi on the map.
  • Six new secret levels.
  • A new ending if you got every secret in the game.
  • Shoes for the Yoshis that resemble the shoes from Yoshi's Story.

Yoshi's Story could also be considered a spin-off rather than a direct sequel, though as aforementioned this could be debated. Yoshi Topsy Turvy is a quirky and unpopular spinoff that makes use of the gyro sensing mechanic used in WarioWare: Twisted. Tetris Attack on the SNES features all of the popular characters and themes from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island as playable characters or antagonists.


  1. GameRankings score. GameRankings. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  2. (February 13, 2009) "Is There a Bad Mario Game?" IGN. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  3. Delgrego, Kaes. (July 22, 2009). Review: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Nintendo Life. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  4. Warrender, Reece. (March 31, 2006) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (Super Nintendo) Review Cubed3. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  5. Edge Staff (June 25, 2007). THE NINTENDO YEARS. Edge. Retrieved March 1, 2018.

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