While featuring Nintendo's trademark Mario character, the game's innovative graphics and gameplay differed from all previous Mario games in that players control various Yoshi dinosaurs rather than Mario himself, who appears as a helpless infant. Yoshi's Island made Yoshi the main playable character for the first time in a Mario game. At the end of each level, Baby Mario is passed between different-colored Yoshis. All the Yoshis have the same range of moves, such as stomps and tongue-licks. If the player holds down the jump button the Yoshis pedal their feet furiously in the air to achieve a floating effect; this allows them to stay airborne for a couple of seconds and gain a little extra height. This floating maneuver may be performed multiple times if necessary. Yoshi can collect eggs during their travels. These eggs follow Yoshi along until they were thrown. Many of the game's puzzles involve bouncing eggs around the levels or skimming them over water to hit distant enemies or objects. Unlike other platform games in the Mario series, the player's character can be attacked an unlimited number of times by most enemies without harm. Whenever Yoshi is hit by an enemy, Baby Mario flies off his back, floating around the level in a bubble and wailing loudly as a countdown timer begins. If the countdown reaches zero before Yoshi tags the bubble, Kamek's servants capture Mario and the player loses a life. Yoshi also has the ability, at various points in the game, to transform into different vehicles.
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