The Super Mario franchise is filled with evil ‘doubles’. For every pure Luigi there’s a horrifying Waluigi. For every go-getting Mario, there’s a grisly, garlic-chomping Wario. There’s Koopas and Dry Bones, Bowsers and Giga Bowsers. For Yoshi, there’s the coolest Mario character you’ll ever see: Boshi.
Boshi was first introduced in 1996’s Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, a joint game project from Nintendo and Square. This was the game that also introduced Geno, everybody’s favourite Smash Bros. absentee — but it’s Boshi everybody should really care about. He hasn’t been seen since the game’s original 1996 release, and that’s a tragedy.
Everybody deserves a worthy foil, and Boshi is exactly what Yoshi needs. One could argue Yoshi is too wholesome to have a real rival, but I’m convinced Yoshi has a mean streak just waiting to be unlocked. It’s why he jumps off the roof at the end of Super Mario 64 after giving the player nothing — because he’s secretly a stone cold ghoster. A real meanie. It’s time for Yoshi to be put in his place. No more craft-based shenanigans. No more sweet adventures on Yoshi Island. It’s time for Yoshi to get real.
That’s where Boshi comes in.
This sunglass-wearing, spiked collared dinosaur is just plain cool. Sure, Yoshi makes him look like a chump in Super Mario RPG by completely blitzing him in a running race. But everybody loves a good redemption story.
What motivates Boshi most is ruling the entire Yoshi race, a suitably villainous goal to combat Yoshi’s sickly sweetness. His official history on the Super Mario Wiki reads: “After winning a Mushroom Derby race, [Boshi] declared himself leader of the Yoshis, and cancelled the Derby so he could be champion for eternity.”
That’s absolutely dastardly. I love it. Give Boshi his own game.
Beyond being a great foil for Yoshi, Boshi is just too good of a character to waste.
The likely reason for his lack of reappearances is complicated rights issues between Square and Nintendo — but they can absolutely work something out.
While the situation is currently unclear, it appears the ‘new’ characters in Super Mario RPG are owned solely by Square and therefore can’t be used in future games. This issue popped up in the 3DS remake Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, which saw Geno erased from one particular mini-game that appeared in the original 2003 game.
While Geno has appeared as a costume in multiple Super Smash Bros. games (including Ultimate), Nintendo’s apparently reluctant to include him as a fully-fledged character.
Complications behind the scenes may mean we never see Boshi in a Nintendo game again either, but we shouldn’t give up hope. Check out those shades and the way his spines make a sick mohawk. Check out the devil-may-care attitude of his character artwork. Boshi looks like he leapt right out of the 1990s. He’s infinitely cooler than you, and he knows it.
We should give him another chance to trample on Yoshi’s pride. With that killer style and attitude, he absolutely deserves it. I’m calling it: 2021 is the year of Boshi.