You know, that huggable, loyal reptilian that only exists to advance Mario through his obstacles? According to Super Mario World's directors, you were making Mario punch that adorable creature in its sweet face.
Now it can be told. In a recent interview commemorating the release of the mini SNES Classic, Nintendo developer Shigefumi Hino explained why Yoshi's tongue would stick out in the original version of the game:
“Lots of people think that while Mario is pointing his finger forward, he’s saying ‘Go,’ and Yoshi’s tongue comes out. However, the set up that I drew was that when Mario punches Yoshi in the head, the character’s tongue shoots out in surprise.”
So animal cruelty was a part of the original game. Nice.
That discovery got a tongue-lashing.
Hino and his team eventually realized that Mario's punching maneuver was a bit douchey; however, Mario does leave Yoshi to fall to his death after leaping off his new friend's back to save himself.
Mario is far from a stand up guy.
It makes sense.. Mario and Yoshi didn't have a psychic link, and Mario is trying to get things done here.— Brian Blakely (@brianblakely) September 28, 2017
He also dropped him in pits to die. We really gonna focus on the punching?— Colton Burse (@Coltohoniho) September 29, 2017
Oh good! So that means I can use Yoshi as a trampoline to get to high places, causing him to fall into the abyss, with a clear conscience!— Kuroda Nakamura (@kuroda_nakamura) September 28, 2017
You can now revert to animal abuse with the release of the SNES Classic. Have at it, and point away, cruel gamers.