A surprising amount of information must be conveyed to someone learning how to play Super Mario World: perhaps the finest game on the Super Nintendo barring Super Metroid. Anyone who has grown up with it, as I have, knows how each enemy moves, how to kill them, and what they do to Yoshi if he eats one. Additionally, all the traps, platform types, boxes, bonuses, and level types are well known to the children of the Super Nintendo generation.
While trying to teach all this information to someone, I stumbled across the move that embodies Mario mastery: the advanced Yoshi dismount. Any fool with a d-pad can tell you that pressing A jumps off Yoshi. Someone a tad more advanced understands that this lets you jump higher by jumping with Yoshi and then jumping off him. An advanced player knows that, when falling down a hole, you can sacrifice Yoshi to save yourself. A real guru knows, first, that you can intentionally leap under the real portion of the level and then sacrifice Yoshi to get to secret areas. Some levels require you to do this to reach the secret goal and thus open secret paths on the map (I believe the level that opens the path to the Vanilla Dome switch palace is one of these, as are some in the Forest of Illusion). Also, an advanced player knows how to go to the Star Road to acquire a blue Yoshi which, when fed a shell, can actually fly – necessary on one level that would otherwise require a double Yoshi suicide to reach the second secret goal. The Star Road is another perfect example of an area where mad Yoshi skills are key. Even more so the Star Special, which leads to the secret dimension whose acquisition marks you as a player of distinction.
I think it’s tragic that as Super NES players get older, get jobs, and eventually get memory loss, the really advanced Super Mario World strategies may be known to fewer and fewer. In the interests of everyone with an emulator, or dusty cartridges to blow into each time you try to start them, these data must be preserved.
*Xarai pointed out that Cheese Bridge is another level where Yoshi must be called upon to sacrifice himself for the greater good.