An article about Super Mario World came up in the Slingshot Discord. The person (who will remain anonymous to avoid internet shame) called his life a lie as it turned out Mario was punching Yoshi in the head.
This made me think what exactly he was thinking because I always assumed Mario was punching Yoshi in the head. It made the most sense thematically. As this is one of the great Super NES games, I’ll break down what I thought this game was about.
On the surface, it was about one Italian plumber’s willingness to break all social norms and sacrifice anything to save the princess. In fact, it’s just one man’s excuse to destroy an entire Kingdom in the name of “love.” Mario takes drugs to give himself powers. He then uses those drugs to overpower local citizens of the peaceful Bowser Kingdom. He uses the dead carcasses of his enemies (turtle shells) to kill their former owners. He gets a pet dinosaur he punches in the head and then jumps off it if he is about to fall to his doom. Mario invades peoples homes, and when he finds out the princess isn’t there, he destroys it anyway. This is a man of raw will that not even death can stop. When he dies, he resurrects and tries it again. It is a lesson (like Pokemon) about the strength of the human will to destroy anything in their path to fulfill their ambition.
The other interpretation I had was after I learned about drug culture. Perhaps Shigeru Miyamoto was trying to teach kids to take drugs and with it break open their minds to destroy the cultural shackles of their minds to find freedom.