Favorite Nintendo Memories: Training to Be a Yoshi Master

Well, here we are. The month of Nintendo is nearing it’s end, and all that’s left is to talk about some of our favorite Nintendo memories. I gotta tell ya, it was hard to pick one to share here today. I’ve got so many that I’ve either already talked about or just don’t make for good storytelling. Nevertheless though, I’ve settled on what I think is a good one. So, settle in and let me regale you with the story how I became a Yoshi Master (…sort of).

While Link is my favorite as far as actual characters go, I’ve also had an affinity for Yoshi for a very long time now. I’ve been charmed by this goofy, green dinosaur ever since the days of Super Mario World. Maybe it was his sound design, maybe it was because of how positive and hard-working he seemed in Yoshi’s Island. Whatever the case though, I loved the character and made sure to have him as my character in every game I could. Super Smash Bros., Mario Party, Mario Golf, Mario Kart, etc. You name it; if Yoshi was playable, he was my guy. This would be taken to even greater heights with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2001.

Yoshi wasn’t the greatest in the original Super Smash Bros., and he wasn’t top tier in Super Smash Bros. Melee either. Even so, I and my best friend at the time were determined to make Yoshi our main and so we set about training…for basically an entire summer. Every day one of us would make the journey to the other’s house play Smash for hours. We’d play through all the Event Matches, crush all three single-player modes, work on crowd control in multi-man melee, set ourselves against 3 computers in free play and eventually take each other on in heated 1v1 matches. It was excellent!

At the end of the summer, both my friend and I were formidable indeed. We could both triumph over 3 level 9 computers characters at once, could clear 100 Man Melee and could even last a minute or two in Cruel Melee. Of the two of us, I think I may have had a slight edge, my evidence being a narrowly-earned victory in Event Match 51. Seriously, I spent what felt like an eternity dodging, throwing and chipping-away at super-powered versions of Ganondorf, Mewtwo and Giga Bowser. Not easy, not fun, and won as the result of both I and Bowser launching each other and Bowser dying first. Even so, it was such a rush! It felt like the culmination of that entire summer and acknowledgement of total Yoshi mastery!

My skills with the dinosaur have, of course, diminished over the intervening years. I still play a mean Yoshi, but I’m 100% certain my 12-year-old-self could 3 stock me as I am now. That’s alright though, because for one shining summer and a little while after I was a Yoshi master and still have the memories to prove it. It’s probably something I’ll cherish for the rest of my days, no matter how silly it might be.

What’s your favorite Nintendo memory? Is it a game shared with a friend? An accomplishment? Or perhaps something else altogether?

Lede image from Super Smash Bros Ultimate trailer