Yoshi's Island Bosses

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Yoshi's Island is a massive game: 54 stages, each containing several checkpoints, the distance between which are often about as large as a Super Mario Bros. 3 stage. How to make sense of, to succinctly represent, such a massive game? How about by showcasing one of the dimensions of Yoshi's Island I found most memorable - the boss fights!

Boss fights generally begin with the same pattern: The evil koopa wizard, Kamek, who has kidnapped baby Luigi, appears and threatens Yoshi to hand over Mario. Then, with a wave of his wand, Kamek transforms some normal enemy to a monstrously large version of its former self.

But of course each newly-created boss has abilities beyond what the smaller, garden variety enemies possessed. And those changes from mundane minor enemy to hulking boss results in some exceptionally creative boss fights.

Burt the Bashful

The first boss is an inflated clown balloon named Burt the Bashful. He's mostly harmless as he bounces around the screen (his body compressing and springing thanks to the Super FX2's special effects), but if you run out of eggs during the fight, you may need to leave that safe enclave to reach the eggs the plant in the middle of the arena spits out.

As his name implies, he tries to hike his ridiculous clown pants up as high as possible (just about up to his nose, completely covering his arms) but with each hit, his pants drop farther and farther, until he becomes completely red-faced embarrassed.

Salvo the Slime


Salvo the Slime, after dripping down from the ceiling, bounces around the room (much like Burt). Salvo himself cannot hurt you, though he can push you into a lava pit to the far right. As you hit him, he loses his mass to smaller slimes, which can hurt you - and are your only opportunity to restock your eggs if you're careless and run low.

Bigger Boo


Bigger Boo begins small, but as he's hit he grows and grows... Like Boos since SMB3, Bigger is bashful, and when you face him, neither of you can hurt the other. I also notice that Bigger Boo has a Charlie Brown eyebrow.

The Potted Ghost


I don't want to talk too much about the Potted Ghost battle, because if you didn't know what to do, and I told you, it would spoil the entire fight. Suffice it to say he spits out blue wisps between bouts of whipping his head at you.

But I can't resist showing these pictures of how goofy the Potted Ghost looks when it gets in trouble!

Prince Froggy

  A twist - this time, Kamek's magic affects Yoshi and Mario, shrinking them. After Froggy yanks the heroes into his mouth with his tongue (and lets out a belch), the fight continues inside Froggy's stomach. There, you'll have to look out for dripping digestive acids and the Shy Guys Froggy is evidently continuously eating. And of course you'll have to attack that dangling uvula.


After giving Prince Froggy a fatal case of indigestion, he, with a mighty gaseous rumble, well, passes you. The look on Yoshi's face after that ordeal is priceless!

Naval Piranha


Naval Piranha roars, waves and gyrates his thorned arms about, displaying some excellent animation - the only videogame animation in this style I've seen that rivals Yoshi's Island is the Plant Boss of Gradius Gaiden (a game that is also loaded with Yoshi's Island style special effects) for the Playstation. He attacks by ramming at you, and also small piranha flower spawn parachute in to assist. For you to damage Naval Piranha, you'll have to master ricocheting your egg shots to skip across the water to reach its only vulnerable spot.

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