Nintendo has no shortage of iconic video game characters, and Kirby and Yoshi will fight over who has the cuteness overload. Check out Donkey Kong versus Bowser if you want to look at two gigantic characters! As with every versus mode, we’ll look at total screen time in video games, powers, and pop culture presence.
Yoshi is the oldest of the two since he was a character in some of the original Mario games; Kirby, the iconic pink puffball character, first appeared in a video game titled Kirby’s Dream Land. It was developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy handheld console. Yoshi debuted in the game Super Mario World which was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The green dinosaur played a significant role as Mario’s companion, offering new gameplay mechanics and abilities.
Now, let’s take a look at their total titles.
Yoshi vs. Kirby Game Titles
Let’s compare game time. Unlike our Donkey Kong versus Bowser series, Yoshi and Kirby have standalone games. As you’ll see shortly, one of these characters quickly become a star in Nintendo lineup while the other was more of a backseat player.
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (1995) – Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Game Boy Advance (GBA), Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS)
- Yoshi’s Story (1997) – Nintendo 64 (N64), Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U)
- Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (2002) – Game Boy Advance (GBA)
- Yoshi Topsy-Turvy (Yoshi’s Universal Gravitation) (2004) – Game Boy Advance (GBA)
- Yoshi Touch & Go (2005) – Nintendo DS (NDS)
- Yoshi’s Island DS (2006) – Nintendo DS (NDS)
- Yoshi’s Woolly World (2015) – Wii U, Nintendo 3DS
- Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World (2017) – Nintendo 3DS
- Yoshi’s Crafted World (2019) – Nintendo Switch
- Kirby’s Dream Land (1992) – Game Boy, Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
- Kirby’s Adventure (1993) – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Wii Virtual Console, Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console, Nintendo Switch Online
- Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (1995) – Game Boy, Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
- Kirby Super Star (1996) – Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console, Nintendo Switch Online
- Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (1997) – Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Wii U Virtual Console
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000) – Nintendo 64, Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console
- Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (2002) – Game Boy Advance
- Kirby Air Ride (2003) – Nintendo GameCube
- Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (2004) – Game Boy Advance
- Kirby: Canvas Curse (Kirby: Power Paintbrush in Europe) (2005) – Nintendo DS, Wii U Virtual Console
- Kirby: Squeak Squad (Kirby: Mouse Attack in Europe) (2006) – Nintendo DS
- Kirby Super Star Ultra (2008) – Nintendo DS
- Kirby’s Epic Yarn (2010) – Wii, Nintendo 3DS
- Kirby Mass Attack (2011) – Nintendo DS
- Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (Kirby’s Adventure Wii in Europe) (2011) – Wii, Wii U Virtual Console
- Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition (2012) – Wii
- Kirby Triple Deluxe (2014) – Nintendo 3DS
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush in Europe) (2015) – Wii U
- Kirby: Planet Robobot (2016) – Nintendo 3DS
- Team Kirby Clash Deluxe (2017) – Nintendo 3DS (Free-to-play)
- Kirby’s Blowout Blast (2017) – Nintendo 3DS (eShop)
- Kirby Battle Royale (2017) – Nintendo 3DS
- Kirby Star Allies (2018) – Nintendo Switch
While Yoshi started as a buddy of Mario, it’s clear that Kirby became a staple of Nintendo. The number of standalone games for Kirby vastly outnumbers Yoshi’s titles. So it’s a pretty easy decision to give this category to Kirby.
Popular Titles Winner: Kirby
Yoshi vs. Kirby Powers
Now, for their actual powers. We’ll try to include the more popular ones across multiple titles. So these powers won’t be in every game; some are scattered across only a few. As you’ll see, both characters focus on mobility because of their size. They’re not the biggest or strongest, but they are agile.
- Tongue Attack: Yoshi’s most iconic power is his long, extendable tongue, which he uses to grab and eat enemies, as well as swallow certain objects.
- Egg Lay: Yoshi can produce eggs and use them as projectiles to defeat enemies and hit switches from a distance.
- Flutter Jump: By rapidly flapping his arms, Yoshi can perform a flutter jump, allowing him to reach higher platforms or slow his descent.
- Ground Pound: Yoshi can perform a ground pound move, where he jumps into the air and then pounds the ground with great force, stunning enemies and breaking blocks.
- Egg Spit: After swallowing an enemy, Yoshi can turn it into an egg and spit it out as a projectile.
- Superhuman Strength: Yoshi has shown exceptional strength in some games, such as carrying heavy objects or defeating enemies larger than himself.
- Transformation Abilities: In certain games, Yoshi can transform into different forms, gaining unique abilities. For example, he can turn into a helicopter, a balloon, or a submarine.
- Tongue Grappling: In some games, Yoshi can use his tongue to swing from certain objects or reach distant areas.
- Egg Rolling: Yoshi can encase himself in an egg and roll around to defeat enemies and access hidden areas.
- Swimming: Yoshi is an adept swimmer, allowing him to navigate underwater sections with ease.
- Wall Jumping: In some games, Yoshi can jump off walls to reach higher places or navigate tricky areas.
- Tongue Chops: In certain games like “Super Mario Sunshine,” Yoshi can perform a tongue chop move to defeat enemies.
- Elemental Abilities: Depending on the game, Yoshi can gain elemental powers such as breathing fire, creating bubbles, or becoming a light source.
- Copy Abilities: Kirby’s primary power is his ability to inhale enemies and copy their abilities.
- Super Inhale: Kirby can use a powerful inhaling technique to suck up large enemies, obstacles, or multiple enemies at once.
- Floating: Kirby can float in mid-air, giving him increased control over his movements and allowing him to reach high places.
- Air Bullet: After inhaling and swallowing an enemy, Kirby can turn it into a star projectile and shoot it in any direction.
- Slide Attack: Kirby can slide across the ground to quickly knock down enemies.
- Mix Abilities (in some games): In certain Kirby titles, Kirby can mix two copy abilities to create a combined, more potent power.
- Guarding: Kirby can protect himself by creating a barrier when crouching, guarding against certain enemy attacks.
- High Jump: Kirby can perform a high jump, propelling himself vertically to reach higher platforms.
- Swimming: Kirby is an adept swimmer, allowing him to navigate underwater sections with ease.
- Sleep: In some games, Kirby can fall asleep to restore health and gain extra points.
- Copy Essences Deluxe: In certain titles, Kirby can transform into a powerful version of himself by swallowing special Copy Essences Deluxe.
This one is a tough one. They both share unique abilities to consume their enemies, and they both have ways to heal or defend themselves. If you ask Smash Bro players, they may have a different answer. But we’ll have to give this one to Kirby.
Powers Winner: Kirby
Yoshi vs. Kirby Pop Culture Significance
No matter how popular Kirby has become for Nintendo, it’s clear that Yoshi has a massive impact on culture due to its connection to Mario. Yoshi is the “goodest of boys” and will forever be remembered for his sacrificial purpose in the original games.
It may seem unfair to give this to Yoshi solely on his connection to Mario, but that’s how the world works. As they say, bad publicity is still publicity, and everyone knows about Yoshi. In the end, Kirby is still the winner between the two, taking home the prize for total screen time, and powers.
Pop Culture Winner: Yoshi
That means the overall winner with a score of 2-1 is Kirby!