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Yoshi's Story is a 1997 video game produced by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 as a sort of Spiritual Successor to 1995's Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. In spite of starring the same character, Super Mario's dinosaur buddy Yoshi, and sharing many of its trademark gameplay mechanics, Yoshi's Story is an entirely different animal compared to its predecessor. For one thing, the innovative gimmick of being virtually invincible and losing lives only if you failed to keep Baby Mario safe is replaced with a more traditional energy bar, and the collection and exploration aspects are almost entirely nonexistent. Not only that, the game only features 24 levels, and only six of them are required to really beat the game.
The plot concerns Baby Bowser, this time without the aid of his wizardly caretaker Kamek, casting a curse upon the island paradise, turning the island into a pop-up storybook and the eight dinosaur heroes from the previous game into soulless, zombified versions of their former selves (none of whom actually make an appearance after the opening cutscene). Only six "hatchlings" survive, and discover that the island has been stripped of its Tree of Life-esque Super Happy Tree. However, having made the same mistake as the Kremlings before them, Bowser's minions have left behind a trail of fruit leading all the way to their hideout. The six hatchlings must follow the path through the six "pages" of their island-turned-storybook (Beginning, Cavern, Summit, Jungle, Ocean, and Finale) to reach the Castle and fight to save their home and their parents.
- Abnormal Ammo: Eggs and small boomerang birds.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Several stages, including "Jelly Pipe" and "Torrential Maze".
- A Day in the Limelight: As in Yoshis Island, Yoshi steals the spotlight from Mario, who doesn't even make an appearance here.
- Anticlimax Boss: Baby Bowser, made even easier by the abundance of health power-ups and even invincibility from the Super Happy Tree.
- Baby Bowser might actually surprise you on higher levels if you're caught unprepared. His movements are a bit tricky and more ghosts appear to block your attacks. What's more, the amount of fruit the Super Happy Tree produces becomes noticeably limited now! Suddenly, you need to think twice before rushing over to the tree and simply gulping down 5 pieces of fruit in one sitting. Of course, he's still not really hard, but if you're not careful...
- Aside Glance: Yoshi will sometimes give one to the camera.
- Big Eater / Extreme Omnivore: Yoshi, as usual. However, toxic or bad-tasting things are actually harmful to him in this game. The unlockable Black and White Yoshis can eat the hot peppers without taking damage, though.
- Big Boo's Haunt: "Ghost Castle," level 3 on page 6.
- Bubbly Clouds: "Cloud Cruising," level 1 on page 3.
- Continuity Nod: The aforementioned "Cloud Cruising" level includes a reference to the old "Coin Heaven" bonus stages of Mario games past.
- Collection Sidequest: Actually the main game, as Yoshi must eat 30 pieces of fruit to pass each level.
- Cranium Ride: We'll let the game say it:
Neuron is a friendly guy;
- Dem Bones: The Bone Dragons.
- Difficulty Spike: The first five pages are pretty easy for the most part, as most gamers won't lose any Yoshi's there. However, on the sixth and last page, all of the levels are filled with evil traps that will kill your Yoshi's and the average six year old could never get past some of the evil traps.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Or dragons. Whatever Yoshi is this time.
- For Happiness: The entire plot of the game is to bring happiness back to the populace of Yoshi's Island. Also, the baby yoshis' lives revolve around happiness. Literally. So you've gotta make sure they stay as happy as can be!
- The Goomba: Not Goombas, but Shy Guys in this game.
- Gosh Hornet: The beehive enemies that impede your progress and, eventually, attack you if you don't sneak by them.
- Green Hill Zone: "Treasure Hunt" and "Surprise!" on page one.
- Happy Fun Ball: One enemy is named "Spiked Fun Guy." Does he sound fun to you?
- Invincible Minor Minion: Pak E. Derm.
- Idle Animation: Aww, lookit him dance! And that's not all. Depending on the circumstances, Yoshi may pant and attempt to catch his breath, teeter back and forth (if he's low on health), growl at nearby enemies, cheer happily, gulp, or even stare in confusion at the camera.
- It's All Upstairs From Here: "Tower Climb" and "The Tall Tower." It's right there in the names!
- Jungle Japes: The entirety of page 4, which is even called "Jungle."
- Kick the Dog/For the Evulz: Implied to be the real motivation by Baby Bowser to take the "Super Happy Tree," as he admits after being defeated that the tree's fruit "tasted rotten to him anyway."
- Kid Hero: The six hatchlings, as opposed to the adult Yoshis featured in the rest of the series.
- Given the timeline, it's possible these same hatchlings ('specially the green one) are the adult Yoshi's in the rest of the series.
- Lighter and Softer: Even more so than Yoshi's Island, which was already a kid-friendly game.
- Lethal Lava Land: "Blargg's Boiler" on page two and "Magma Castle" on page six.
- Levels Take Flight: A good portion of one level takes place on a flying dragon.
- Mood Whiplash - When a Yoshi is near death the music is distorted and slow in a disturbing way and when he dies, he's taken to a castle by toadies and cries while depressing music plays, and when all the Yoshis die, an even more depressing song plays as if all hope is lost for them. Also the mood of page 6 is unhappy-like compared to the other pages.
- Nintendo Hard:
- Some of the melon puzzles are very difficult, in very stark contrast with the general ease of the rest of the game.
- The stage 'Frustration' lives up to its name. Places with insta-death traps aren't fun, either, especially if your controller sticks.
- Power-Up Letdown: It's a good idea to avoid the umbrella if possible. Getting this item makes you unable to do the flutter-jump, and instead gives you the ability to fall in directions you did not intend to at various speeds. Also, upon getting it, the player is stuck with it until they die, use a Miss Warp or somehow leave the room.
- Recurring Riff
- Ribcage Ridge: A few stages on page two feature the bones of massive creatures as stepping stones, most notably in "Blargg's Boiler".
- Scoring Points: In the form of "happiness".
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Each level has 30 melons, and each level requires 30 fruit to pass. It's actually pretty difficult to do a melon-only run.
- Arguably even more difficult is a non-melon pure fruit run. The screen at the end will show whichever fruit you purely ate, even if it's not a melon.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: "Poochy and Nippy" and "Frustration", two of the stages on the third page. The other two feature a cloud theme.
- Speaking Simlish: The hatchlings sing the theme song in simlish; Yoshi's now-famous squeaky voice was modeled after this song.
- Sugar Bowl
- Suspiciously Similar Song: The melody to "Baby Bowser's Lullaby" has some similarities to Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.
- Theme and Variations Soundtrack - All of the music in the first five pages is based on the same melody. The sixth page, however, introduces a new theme called "Baby Bowser's Lullaby," with its own variation in some areas.
- Toy Time: "The Tall Tower" is made of wooden tinkertoys, and what appear to be old baseballs. The enemies aren't really more toy-themed than usual, though.
- Two and a Half D: The Trope Codifier. Though Donkey Kong Country was the Ur Example of the genre, this game did the important task of proving that sidescrolling platformers were still viable in a time when nearly everyone had predicted that games like Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot would kill the market for them.
- Ultra Super Happy Cute Baby Fest Farmer 3000
- Underground Level: The Bone Dragon Cave. All of Page 2 is known as the "Cavern," but only the first level is truly cave-themed.
- Under the Sea: "Lots O' Fish" and "Lots O' Jellyfish," from Page 5. The Page itself is known as "Ocean," but the other two levels in it are aboveground Palmtree Panic areas.
- Urban Legend of Zelda: The (nonexistent) brown and purple Yoshis, and how to unlock them.
- Wasted Song: The song "Spider Swing" plays in exactly one section of one level, and it's not a segment you'll spend too much time in. On top of that, there's the Super Happy version of that song, which you'll hear for maybe twenty seconds.