Prologue: The Goodbye, the Return, and the Cast Off
“Well, Yoshi…” Mario said one evening, slightly disappointed, “sorry your vacation didn’t go exactly like you had planned…”
“Ah...” Yoshi replied, still in good spirits. “It’s all right. It may not have been the perfect vacation, but it certainly was an interesting one!”
“Interesting is the word,” Luigi chimed in. The trio laughed. Yoshi’s vacation had been shortened due to recent events, and today Yoshi’s boat was scheduled to go back to Yoshi’s Island.
“But don’t worry, guys,” Yoshi continued. “I’ll come back soon! Ooh, and maybe you guys could come to Island and stay for a while sometime. If you guys consider doing so, you should bring Princess Peach, too!”
“Oh, we’ll be sure to visit!” Mario said.
“As soon as we can catch a break from the likes of Bowser and the Koopalings…” Luigi sighed. “Those guys just won’t quit. It’s the same thing each month…”
“And every single time, they never succeed…” Mario added.
“You know,” said Yoshi, “it kinda makes you wonder why Bowser even keeps trying. I mean, as long as the princess is going steady with you, Mario, it’s very unlikely she’ll give in to Bowser anytime soon…”
The three continued to gossip about Bowser’s often repeated plan of kidnapping Peach, when they were suddenly interrupted by some nearby noise.
“Bring it a little to the left!” someone yelled. “A little more… A little more… Okay. You can lower it!”
Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi whipped around to see what all the commotion was about. They could see a crane hoisting heavy construction equipment onto a large freighter. Men (Toads and Koopas) were loading crates onto the deck of the ship. Overseeing the loading were a blue-spotted Toad in a suit and his assistant, a red-shelled Koopa in a construction helmet and holding a clipboard in his hand. The Koopa was strangely larger than a normal Koopa, slightly bigger than Yoshi, and burly as well.
“… Wow… Look at all that stuff,” Yoshi remarked. “What do you suppose they’re about to do?”
“I suppose they’re planning to build something… somewhere…” Luigi said. “I wonder where exactly they’re going with those machines…”
Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi whipped back around to see a small steamboat chugging towards the dock. “Hey! There’s my ride!” Yoshi said as the boat pulled up to the dock in front of them. “Well, guys, it’s been… interesting!” Yoshi laughed, emphasizing Luigi’s muse. “But until we meet again, sayonara!”
“Ariba derchee, Yoshi!” Mario said.
“… Um… Adios?” Luigi said, trying to keep up the line of saying goodbye in different languages.
Yoshi boarded the ship. “Ooh, and tell the princess and Toad I said hi!” he said. He waved to the Marios as the steamboat began to pull out of the dock. Mario and Luigi waved back to their old friend, then watched as the boat steamed away towards the horizon, heading straight for the line where the orange, setting sun met with the sea.
Yoshi stepped inside the small cabin on the boat and parked himself on a small cot. I wonder how everyone’s doing back on the Island… Come to think of it, I hope Boshi has been behaving himself…
Back at the dock, Mario and Luigi watched the boat disappear, then turned to leave. As they walked away towards the street, Luigi took one final, curious glance at the nearby freighter. “I’m still wondering where they’re taking all that equipment…” Luigi said.
“I wonder, too…” Mario replied. “But it isn’t any of our business… TAXI!”
A taxi pulled up faster than one could say “peanut butter”. Mario and Luigi climbed in, and they headed home.
Near the freighter, the foreman Koopa and his Toad boss were watching the loading. A workman (Toad) walked up to them. “We’ve loaded everything on, sir,” he said.
“Very good,” the Toad replied with a nod. “We leave now. We’ve no time to waste.”
“Sorry sir,” the worker said. “We can’t leave just yet…”
The Toad paused, and narrowed his eyes. “… And why is that?”
“The ship needs more time to refuel. We had… difficulties with the pumps, but we have them working again. It may take some time before the ship is fully fueled however.”
The Toad groaned and planted his face in his palm. “Delays, delays…” he muttered. “… Well, as soon as you’ve refueled the ship, we leave immediately.”
“Sir,” the foreman Koopa interrupted, “I’m curious, but why so impatient on setting off? We have the entire day to—”
“The entire day?!” the boss snapped. He stared his assistant square in the face, making him jump. Though the foreman seemed big enough to easily crush the tiny Toad, his boss had much… much more of a bad temper, one that could easily startle anyone. He spoke in an annoyed tone. “Please tell me you’re fooling… This is for the good of our oil industry… But more importantly, wealth awaits us.”
“But why are we going… there?”
“Because nobody ever thought to dig there yet, and if we’re lucky, we’ll have the area to ourselves. No one will know about it but us… Enough questions, Ricky! I’m not paying you to question orders!”
“Err… Yes sir.”
The Toad turned back to the workman. “And as for you, you get back to refueling the ship! We’re losing precious time here! Gogogo!” The Toad abruptly shot his index finger in the direction of the ship.
The workman jumped. “Y-y-yes sir! Right away!” he said, and hurried back to the ship.
The Toad boss sighed in frustration. If there was one thing he couldn’t stand, it was delay, especially with what he had planned.
“Um… Excuse me. Hey, wake up.”
Yoshi’s eyes twittered open to see one of the crewmembers standing over him. Yoshi yawned and sat up on the cot. “All right, I’m awake,” he said sleepily. “Why the wakeup call? I was having a great dream about eating an endless pile of melons.”
“Our destination is ahead,” the crewmember replied.
Yoshi perked up, then jumped off the cot and ran to the front deck to look ahead. There it was, Yoshi’s Island, a Yoshi’s paradise (or even a paradise for anybody). Approaching the island, Dolphins could be seen swimming in the depths of the water, occasionally launching themselves out of the water for a breath, then diving back in with a tremendous splash. Yoshi sighed. “Home sweet home!” he yelled.
Taking a closer look, he could see the bright glow of a fire on the beach. “Looks like our monthly beach gala is already underway,” Yoshi said to himself. “I hope I didn’t miss too much.”
Suddenly, Yoshi, feeling the need for a little action, had an idea. He turned to the crew. “Hey guys. Stop the boat right here.”
The crewmembers looked at each other, confused. “But we’re still half a mile away from the island…” one said.
Yoshi laughed. “Ha! Like that’ll stop me!” Yoshi looked out at the jumping Dolphins. He noticed one Dolphin swimming close to the ship, preparing to make another jump. Yoshi climbed up and balanced himself on the rail. Judging his moment, as the Dolphin burst through the surface of the water, Yoshi jumped off the rail and onto the Dolphin’s back. The Dolphin skimmed across the surface and swiftly skipped away towards the island. “Thanks guys!” Yoshi called to the crew and waved, then let out an excited cry. “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
The crew stood, amazed. “Well I’ll be a ding-dong danged…” one said.
“Hey, that looks fun!” said another. “I oughta come out here and try it sometime.”
Yoshi felt the wind in his face as he rode the skipping Dolphin across the choppy water, bouncing over the crests of the waves. Out of the many activities Yoshi enjoyed, Dolphin riding was his favorite. It made him feel so alive. On Yoshi’s Island, it was considered a great sporting event, and Yoshi was recognized by many in the village as the champion of the Yoshi’s Island Dolphin Surfing League, or YIDSL for short.
About twenty yards way from the shore, Yoshi launched himself from the Dolphin’s back and jumped high in the air. “Thanks, big guy!” Yoshi called to the Dolphin, who squeaked happily and swam away.
Yoshi went flying through the air, expecting to land on the beach. However, he noticed his jump would be a few yards short. He fluttered to try to stay airborne, but before he could kick three times…
Yoshi resurfaced and gasped for air. He sighed. “… Well… I almost made it…” he muttered to himself. He swam to the shore, and as soon as he crawled onto the beach…
“WELCOME BACK, YOSHI!!!”
Yoshi jumped in surprise. “Woah! What’s… You all planned me a welcome back party?”
“Of course!” A cyan blue Yoshi stepped forward. “The village just isn’t the same without you.” The other Yoshis nodded in agreement.
“Yeah, we missed you!” said an orange Yoshi, stepping up next to the cyan Yoshi.
“Hmph… You all missed him…” said a cold voice. Yoshi turned to see another Yoshi leaning in the shadow of a palm tree, just outside of the fire’s glow. This Yoshi was dark shade of blue, had a crest-like scale on the back of his head, and sported a pair of shades and open-toe shoes, showing off his intimidating clawed toes.
Yoshi rolled his eyes in a humorous manner. “Hi, Boshi…” he chuckled. He and Boshi had been rivals around the time he and Mario had beaten him in the Mushroom Derby. Since then, however, the intensity of their rivalry had lessened and lessened until they became closer to being friends and not so much enemies. Though on friendly terms with each other, the two still maintained more of the friendly rivalry, and competed fiercely in competitions, always putting on one exciting show for the other Yoshis to enjoy.
“You’re looking kind of rusty on the Dolphins…” Boshi stepped out of the shadow and toward Yoshi. “You used to make jumps like that really well.”
Yoshi shrugged. “Slight misjudgment, I suppose…”
Boshi folded his arms, then gave Yoshi the familiar game face. “Heh… I think it’s time we had another race. I bet I can beat you now!”
Yoshi’s eyes widened, then narrowed, giving Boshi his game face. “… Is that a challenge?”
Boshi grinned as the other Yoshis chanted “Race! Race! Race! Race!”
“All right, Bosh! You’re on! Now, let’s really get this party started!”
The Yoshis all cheered as they watched Yoshi and Boshi advance toward the water for Dolphins. As they splashed into the water, Boshi began to taunt Yoshi again. “This time,” he said, “you’re gonna eat my dust… err… bubbles!”
“Ha!” said Yoshi. “We’ll just see about that, Boshi ol’ pal!”
Back at the Mushroom City docks, The Toad boss and his assistant foreman Koopa were still waiting for the ship to be fully fueled. The boss was impatient. Time was of the essence, and they were losing much of it. The boss was about to lose his head. “Ugh… It’s been hours!” he groaned. “Why is this taking so long?!”
“Well, sir, it is a big ship,” the foreman replied. “It eats a lot of gas, you know…”
“…” The boss shot his angry glance at his assistant, who wisely kept quiet.
One of the workers came up to them. “We’re finished refueling, sir,” he said.
“Hm…” the boss grunted. “Finally! We’ve lost too much time!”
“We… had a few more difficulties with the pumps…” the workman said, slightly uneasy about how the boss would react.
The boss again planted his face in his palm. He was right on the verge of exploding, but restrained himself, and spoke to the workman in an irritated voice. “… Just… get the ship started up already!”
“Right away, sir!” The workman hurried up to the ship, while the boss and the foreman followed on board.
As they walked toward the ramp to the ship deck, the boss and foreman began to converse. “Well, Ricky my boy, this is it. Are you ready?”
“As ready as I’ll ever be, sir,” the foreman (I guess I should call him Ricky now) said.
The boss and Ricky walked up the ramp and onto the deck, where all the workers stood waited for their boss’ orders. “All right, men!” the boss called to his workers. “Let’s get this done! Engine crew, get this thing moving! Navigation crew, get your butts behind the wheel and start reading those maps… or compasses. Gogogo!”
The crew immediately separated to their posts, while the boss and Ricky headed up to the bridge, where the navigation crew was stationed.
“All right!” the boss ordered. “Set a course for… Yoshi’s Island.”
Chapter 1: The Pleasant Morning Scent
“Come on, Yoshi! Go! Go! GOOOOOOO!”
The Yoshis cheered wildly as they watched Yoshi and Boshi, both riding on the backs on Dolphins as they raced toward the beach. The two were side-by-side, neck-and-neck. Only one of the two would be victorious. As they surfed nearer and nearer to the beach, suspense filled the crowd of Yoshis.
Yoshi and Boshi bantered and taunted each other as they raced toward the beach. “This is it, Yoshi!” Boshi said, giving Yoshi a finger gesture. “This time, victory is mine!”
“Don’t count on it!” Yoshi said back.
On the beach, a line had been drawn through the sand to mark the finish point. The object was to launch off the Dolphin twenty yards away from the beach and land closer to the line than the opponent…without touching or going over the line.
At the twenty-yard point from the beach, Yoshi and Boshi launched themselves off the Dolphins’ backs. The two went flying through the air, then flutter-kicked for extra altitude. They both lowered their legs, preparing for the hard landing on the soft, wet sand. This was it, the moment everyone had been waiting for, as Yoshi and Boshi landed.
The crowd gasped. Boshi’s toe was inches ahead of Yoshi’s, though ever so close to the line. It appeared as though Boshi was the winner.
“I…I don’t believe it…” said an orange Yoshi kid. “Boshi actually won!”
The crowd chattered amongst each other. Was it true? Did this really just happen? Had Boshi really defeated Yoshi in a Dolphin Race?
Looking at their foot distance, all Boshi could do was laugh. “Heh heh heh! Looks like I finally win this time, Yoshi!”
Yoshi stared in disbelief. It seemed Boshi really had beaten him.
“Wait a minute, guys!” said a red Yoshi. The Yoshi stood at the line, his job being to measure Yoshi’s and Boshi’s distances from the line. “Let’s take a closer look…”
Boshi jumped, then turned sharply to the red Yoshi. “Oh no you don’t, Kroshi!” he snapped. “You can tell from over there that I clearly won this race!”
Yoshi sighed. Boshi was always so serious about competitions, and this was obviously no exception. “Boshi, just let him take a look…” Yoshi said, folding his arms. “Don’t be such a sore winner…”
Boshi let out an annoyed grunt. “… Fine…” he muttered. “But you know I won…”
The red Yoshi (I guess I should call him Kroshi now) walked up to Yoshi and Boshi, then bent down to take a closer look at their foot distance. Sure enough, Boshi’s foot was barely ahead of Yoshi’s by a few inches. Perhaps, even after all that controversy, Boshi had won the race after all.
Suddenly, something caught his eye. He took an even closer look at Boshi’s foot, and discovered something that no one else had seen.
He bent back up, looked at Boshi, and spoke. “… Nice race out there, Boshi…” he said. Boshi gave a grin. He was just about to start bragging, when…
“BUT!” Kroshi stopped him before he could say anything. “… I’m sorry to say… that your toe is touching the line.”
The crowd gasped again in shock. Yoshi simply waited for Boshi’s reaction, which he was sure would be a negative one.
Sure enough, it was, as Boshi threw his hands up and started yelling. “Wha… WHAT?!” He looked at his toe to see that Kroshi had called it correctly. Indeed, his toe was barely touching the line. “But… but… only barely!” he argued.
“Nevertheless, you’re touching it,” Kroshi finished. “Therefore, Yoshi wins!”
The crowd cheered and jumped up and down to celebrate Yoshi’s victory. A few Yoshis hoisted the winner up on their shoulders and carried him around while cheering his name. “Yoshi! Yoshi! Yoshi! Yoshi!”
Boshi, meanwhile, slipped down to a sitting position, hanging his head. “… But… I was so close…” he moped, picking up a handful of sand and letting it flow out onto the ground through his fingers.
“Hey…” said a voice. Boshi looked up to see Yoshi, who had cut short his celebration to cheer him up. “Come on,” Yoshi said. “You still surfed a great race. I think you’ll have better luck next time.”
“Hmph…” Boshi rolled his eyes. If there was one thing he downright hated, it was losing. However, he had to admit, Yoshi was no jerk about his victories. Even after a big win, Yoshi would always give his competition a little attention, no matter who his opponent was.
Boshi got back to his feet, not feeling so dejected anymore. As the crowd of Yoshis came to the scene, Boshi suddenly toughened up. “… I didn’t really need your pity…” he said.
Yoshi rolled his eyes and chuckled. “Yeah, yeah… whatever…”
Boshi then perked up, and turned to everyone else. “… Well?!” he said. “Are we just going to stand here, or are we gonna keep this party going’?!”
The crowd cheered in response, and the party went on.
The Yoshis partied the whole night away, with the fire burning bright under the night sky. In addition to a few more Dolphin races (which Yoshi spectated, just to give others a chance for victory), the Yoshis participated in other games as well, including point-to-point foot races across the beach, bobbing for fruit in a water-filled basket, melon-eating contests, and more. After the games, the Yoshis spent the remainder of the party dancing around the fire while a few other Yoshis played rhythms on bongo drums.
Finally, the party was over. Everyone was exhausted, totally partied-out. While the rest of the village headed back to the village, a few stayed behind (including Yoshi and Kroshi) to douse the fire and dispose of the used firewood. Boshi stayed behind as well, though he didn’t help.
Kroshi spat a mouthful of water into the large flame. “Whoo! What a night!” he said. “And I actually won the melon-eating contest!”
“Yeah,” said Yoshi. “I remember the last time you played, you got a stomach-ache before you could eat the last melon.”
“This time I was smart. I didn’t wolf them down two at a time.” Kroshi held his hands on his belly, wincing. “… My stomach still hurts, though…”
Yoshi laughed, though Kroshi didn’t mind. It was pretty funny that he had won yet still had a stomach-ache.
Boshi walked up to Yoshi and stared at him for a moment. Yoshi shrugged innocently. He could tell Boshi still had his mind on the race. Boshi spoke. “You know, I would’ve beaten you…” he said, “if my toenails were shorter…”
“Then you should cut them,” Yoshi mused. “You could hurt somebody with those things.”
Boshi grunted. “No way…” he said simply. He yawned. “Well, I guess I’m turning in, guys…” he said sleepily, then headed off to the village, where the hammock in his isolated hut awaited him.
One of the other Yoshis spat one final mouthful of water on the fire, putting it out completely. “Fire’s out, guys,” he said to Yoshi and Kroshi.
“All right, guys,” said Yoshi. “Let’s take care of the used wood, and then we’ll—”
The Yoshis jumped in a state of shock from the sudden noise. They all looked around for the source of the sound. Sounds on Yoshi’s Island usually included chirping birds in the trees, squawking Goonies on the beach, chattering Grinder monkeys in the jungle, and roaring waves, but an ear-piercing honk?
“… What was that?!” one of the Yoshis cried.
Yoshi pondered. He had heard such a noise in his past visits in the Mushroom Kingdom. He looked out to the sea, and there, on the horizon, was the source of the noise. “Look at that, guys,” Yoshi said, pointing out across the sea.
Everyone looked out to the horizon to see a large ship coming in the direction of the island.
“Ah… Probably just another one of those tour ships stopping by the island,” said Kroshi. “We should give them a warm welcome in the morning.”
Yoshi scratched his head, a bit of concern on his face. “… Eh… I don’t know, Krosh…” he said. “Looks pretty big for a tour ship…”
“We’ll worry about it tomorrow…” Kroshi
said. “Let’s just take care of this wood and get some shuteye.”
Later, after the Yoshis had properly disposed of the used wood, they returned to the village, where the rest of the Yoshis had already gone to sleep. “Well, guess I’ll see you in the morning, Yoshi,” said Kroshi as he started off to his hut.
“Goodnight, Kroshi,” Yoshi replied. After watching Kroshi go, he headed to his own hut. Entering the hut, he hopped onto his hammock, and fell asleep almost immediately.
The sun shined through the doorway of Yoshi’s hut the next morning. As if instinct had told him it was now morning, Yoshi instantly awoke. He sat up and yawned, stretching his arms. “Ah yes!” Yoshi said as he stared through the doorway of his hut at the shining sun. “Today’s going to be a wonderful day!” Instantly filled with energy, Yoshi jumped out of his hammock.
Before exiting his hut, Yoshi began his routine of morning exercise, bending down and touching his toes several times, “One, two, one, two, one, two.” After the toe exercise, he performed a few arm and leg stretches. When he had finished exercising, it was then time for his favorite part of the morning— breakfast!
Yoshi strolled out of his hut. Yoshi was the kind of guy who always looked forward to the day ahead. He simply loved mornings, with the bright shining of the sun and that magnificent morning smell of vegetation all around. Yoshi inhaled for a breath of that morning scent…
… Then nearly fainted in surprise. “UGH!!Phew—EY!”
Yoshi suddenly found himself in a near state of dizziness. Never had he whiffed such a horrendous smell in his life… at least not here on Yoshi’s Island, one of the cleanest places around.
Other Yoshis nearby had awoken to the rather nasty stench as well, and they too were complaining:
“Holy moly, that’s disgusting!”
“What is that terrible smell?!”
“I think I’m going to be sick!”
Yoshi shook his head in confusion. This was definitely not a normal occurrence. What was this horrible smell hanging in the air? He thought for a moment. Though the smell was unfamiliar around here, he felt he had whiffed this smell in other locations.
Kroshi came up, groaning, his hands over his nostrils. “Geez!” he cried. “That really wreaks! What happened? Did the vegetation rot or something?”
“That can’t be!” Yoshi replied. “The vegetation looks fine to me…”
“Then where is it coming from?”
“Maybe you lay an egg?” said a voice. Kroshi growled, then turned to face Boshi. “Aaah… Shut up…”
Boshi only laughed. As one could tell, Boshi was one of if not the crudest Yoshi in the village. He couldn’t help himself, though, crudeness was just in his blood, which was strange for a Yoshi. But then, much of the village had gotten use to his tough demeanor anyway.
Joke aside, Boshi got his mind back on the problem at hand. “… But seriously, that smell is making me ill…”
“What could it be?” Kroshi asked.
Yoshi continued to ponder. After a moment, he turned to everyone else. “I have a pretty good idea what this odor might be, but… we might need to do a little investigating…”
Boshi perked up. “Investigating, you say?”
Yoshi turned to him. “… I’m guessing that means you’re in?”
“Of course. I mean, who knows? Might lead to something interesting…”
Yoshi turned to the rest of the crowd. “Anyone else besides Boshi?”
Kroshi stepped forward. “I guess I’ll come along, too,” he said.
Yoshi suddenly felt a slight tug on his tail. Yoshi turned and looked down to see a pair of young, cute, innocent eyes staring up at him. The eyes belonged to an orange Yoshi kid, only about half Yoshi’s size. The kid spoke to Yoshi. “I wanna come too!” he said.
“… Err…” Yoshi wasn’t so sure. Whatever the problem in the air was, it was likely to be dangerous, and he didn’t want this kid hurt.
“Goodness, no, Rashi!” The Yoshi kid’s mother walked up.
“Aww, Mom,” he pleaded. “I promise I’ll be careful! I’ll stay out of trouble!”
“… Well…” The mother knew she shouldn’t, but gave in. “… Okay,” she said at last.
“Yay!” the kid (or Rashi) leapt in glee.
“But you stay with Yoshi, and don’t go wandering off on our own.”
“Don’t worry,” Yoshi reassured. “I’ll watch him for you, and if anything happens, I’ll take full responsibility.” He turned to the rest of the crowd. “I think that’s all we need. We’ll go see what’s going on. Everyone else, stay calm and try to enjoy breakfast.”
With that, Yoshi, Boshi, Kroshi, and Rashi left, while everyone else went off to breakfast, though some still continued to complain about the terrible smell.