'Super Mario Kart' Gave Yoshi Fatter Cheeks in American Version

An attentive gamer has noticed a difference in the regional versions of Super Mario Kart that shows the American version of Yoshi has slightly larger cheeks than his Japanese counterpart.

The most miniscule of details when it comes to games are oftentimes the most interesting ones – especially when it comes to the more classic games in which people seem to have found nearly everything that could be found – and this discrepancy between Super Mario Kart versions is no exception. Sharing a side-by-side comparison of the two pixelated character models from Nintendo’s 1992 racing game for the SNES that spawned an entire series, a Reddit user by the name of madd_ppup provided the evidence below that shows how Yoshi’s face is just barely wider in the American version of the game.

Yoshi's Cheeks are slightly fatter in the American Version of Super Mario Kart from r/gaming

Super Mario Kart’s American version of Yoshi that’s shown on the right features the character with cheeks that are slightly larger than the Japanese version, but they do seem to more closely resemble the Yoshi model that most Nintendo fans are likely familiar with. Ninendo’s dinosaur companion is often depicted with a bis smile and puffed-out cheeks, a trait that goes along with his ability to eat enemies and spit them back out, and the American version captures those elements even with the limited animation of the first Super Mario Kart game.


Aside from speculating how or why someone even noticed this difference in the first place, people within the thread also questioned how the difference came to be. One of the most reasonable theories suggests that the team or individual working on Yoshi’s model simply wanted to widen his cheeks to better define the character’s model and did so during the time gap between the game’s Japanese release and when it came to America. Others pointed out that the Japanese version of Yoshi looked a bit “off” from the image of Yoshi that typically comes to mind with the one on the left looking more like a snake or a lizard than the dinosaur that he’s supposed to be.

Nintendo's moved far beyond Super Mario Kart with many different versions of Yoshi, but the classic, pixelated version of the character can at least still be seen on the SNES Classic that comes preloaded with the game and many others.