Now that Super Mario 64 is back into the hands of the masses thanks to Super Mario 3D All-Stars, players who are entirely new to the game — or even those of us who might be a little rusty after 24 years — are sure to want to know exactly how to get the most out of their adventure through Peach’s Castle. The good folks here at Nintendo Wire are here to help players young and old explore the castle, and discover its secrets with a whole slew of guides to help you wrangle every Power Star out of every nook and cranny of the game.
How many Secret Stars are in Super Mario 64?
There are 15 total Secret Stars in Super Mario 64, spread pretty evenly throughout the game, and this guide will help you track them down on your way to that sweet, sweet 120 Power Star total. Let’s-a-go!
The Princess’ Secret Slide
The earliest Secret Stars you can obtain are located on the Princess’ Secret Slide stage. After obtaining your first Power Star, head on up the stairs in the foyer of the castle, and head to the door to your right. Once inside you will see three stained glass windows bearing Princess Peach’s image, jump through the window to your right to enter the Princess’ Secret Slide. Navigating the slide is pretty simple; hold forward on the control stick to go faster, pull back to slow down, and move it side-to-side to turn.
- The first Power Star on the Secret Slide is obtained simply reaching the bottom of the slide.
- The second Power Star is a little trickier to obtain, requiring you to reach the bottom of the slide in less than 21 seconds. Go as fast as you can without hitting any walls, and make sure to take those turns as tightly as you dare. Beating the 21 second time-limit will reward you with your second Secret Star.
The Secret Aquarium
The next place you’ll likely reach with a Secret Star opportunity is in the room with the painting for Jolly Roger Bay, you’ll need three Power Stars total to enter, so if you’ve nabbed the two Power Stars from Princess’ Secret Slide, you’re golden. Once in the room, look to the right for a hole in the wall, then head over and backflip into it.
- There is only one Power Star in the Secret Aquarium, and obtaining it is pretty straightforward: just swim around the aquarium to collect eight Red Coins, earning you the Power Star. Be careful though, since there are no air bubbles to replenish your health, you’ll have to be a little speedy and rely on the coins themselves to keep your health topped up.
Bowser in the Dark World
After collecting eight Power Stars, you’ll be able to enter the first Big Star Door. Head up the steps in the foyer and turn left to reach it. Once inside you’ll be able to enter the first Bowser stage: Bowser in the Dark World.
Bowser in the Dark World is home to one of the Castle’s Secret Stars, obtained by collecting eight Red Coins.
- The first two Red Coins can be obtained by heading to the right on the stage until you reach the purple ! Switch underneath the stream of fire. Hitting the ! Switch will make two sets of blocks appear. Quickly backtrack to the start of the stage and you’ll see the first set of blocks protruding from the front of the stage, follow it out (don’t fall!) to reach the first Red Coin. Head back to the ! Switch (hit it again if time ran out on the blocks) and straight out from the fire stream the second Red Coin will be atop another block. Grab it without getting burned and continue with the level.
- The third Red Coin is fairly easy to spot as you continue through the level normally. On the narrow walkway covered in crystal and littered with Amps, it’s hiding behind the third crystal you pass.
- As you round that narrow walkway you’ll come to a large grey platform with a smaller yellow platform sliding back and forth through it, the fourth Red Coin is on the right side of the yellow platform, right up against the gray platform’s side. Make sure your timing is right when grabbing this Red Coin, if the yellow platform slides out from under you, you’ll fall and have to restart the level.
- Red Coin number five is in the top left corner of the rotating pyramid-shaped platforms. The safest way to reach it is by waiting in the top left corner of one of the platforms until it rotates around to it.
- To get to the sixth Red Coin, continue past the rotating pyramid platforms and you’ll see a narrow path down a ledge near the Goomba. Carefully follow this path out to a circular platform and you’ll find the Red Coin behind the spike in the middle. Make sure to avoid the Amp circling the spike.
- The seventh Red Coin is a bit tricky, located on top of the platforms above the seesaws. You’ll want to wait on the right side of the second seesaw to raise the left side, and then jump to the nearest platform above from the high side of the seesaw. From there follow the platforms back to the beginning of the seesaw section to grab the Red Coin.
- The eighth and final Red Coin is hidden in the seesaw section as well. As you come off the second seesaw, you’ll see the platform actually extends to the area behind the seesaw. Carefully make your way back behind the seesaw with a short jump, and you’ll find the last Red Coin up against the column belonging to one of the high platforms.
After obtaining all eight Red Coins, the Power Star will appear behind the Warp Pipe leading to the fight with Bowser.
Tower of the Wing Cap
After collecting 10 Power Stars, you’ll be granted access to one of the more important “secret courses” in Super Mario 64: the Tower of the Wing Cap. Mario enters the stage with a Wing Cap already active, and there are eight Red Coins placed in groups of two in the sky around the stage. Collecting all eight will reward you with yet another Secret Star, spawned on the tower in the middle of the stage. Since you’ll slowly lose height while flying with the Wing Cap, the most efficient way to complete your Red Coin collecting will be to go the highest set of coins in the east first, then work your way counterclockwise to the other sets.
Toad’s First Gift
Three of the Castle’s Secret Stars can be received from Toads in three locations around Peach’s Castle. The first can be found in the basement by speaking with the Toad in the entrance to Hazy Maze Cave; he will reward you with a Power Star.
Catch that MIPS!
There are two Power Stars that can be won from MIPS, the yellow rabbit in the basement of Peach’s Castle. MIPS will appear for the first time after collecting 15 Power Stars. You can catch that rascally rabbit by running after him and pressing B to dive. If your dive connects with MIPS, you’ll catch him and he’ll complain about Mario being a big brute and mention that his Power Star was a gift from Bowser before giving it to you so you’ll unhand him.
Vanish Cap Under the Moat
Once you reach the basement, you can drain the Castle’s moat, giving you access to the Vanish Cap stage: Vanish Cap Under the Moat. Here, you can collect eight Red Coins and be rewarded with another of the Castle’s Secret Stars.
The first four Red Coins are located on platforms on the big slide at the beginning of the stage and it may take a few tries to get the hang of making it to all four platforms containing Red Coins. A great way to make sure you don’t overshoot the platforms is to jump as soon as you hit the platform and navigate Mario to the center of the platform while in the air.
- Two Red Coins are on the two upper- and left-most platforms, so slide down right in front of where to start to reach the first platform and grab the Red Coin, then slide to your right to get to the second platform with the second Red Coin.
- The next two Red Coins are on the middle and right-most platforms in the last row of platforms. Do your best to slide from the second Red Coin’s platform to the platform below it, and then carefully slide to the platform directly below that to grab the third Red Coin. The platform directly to the right of this one contains the fourth Red Coin, jump over to it to grab it.
- The fifth and sixth Red Coins are located at opposite ends of the seesaw in between the first and second rotating elevators. Tilt the seesaw accordingly and make your way to each in order to grab the Red Coins.
- The seventh Red Coin is located at the top of the back half of the third rotating elevator. It’ best to grab the Red Coin and make your way to the fourth elevator in one jump, since you’ll have to cut the timing pretty close before your elevator platform flips over. You’ll see the Red Coin’s shadow on the platform you’re standing on, wait below it until the fourth elevator’s platform is in range and jump to it, you should hit the Red Coin on the way.
- The final Red Coin is this stage’s easiest Red Coin to grab, sitting right in front of the Blue ! Switch.
Grabbing the last coin will cause the Power Star to pop up inside of the cage in front of it, so make sure you hit the Blue ! Switch and grab a Vanishing Cap to be able to reach it.
Cavern of the Metal Cap
Another cap stage means eight more Red Coins to find, though this time around they’ll be pretty easy to grab. The Cavern of the Metal Cap is located in Hazy Maze Cave, behind double metal doors in the giant cavern containing the underground lake and Dorrie.
- Once you’re inside the stage, head out to the river and up the right wall. The first two Red Coins are located in an alcove off to the right side near the mouth of the river.
- The next two Red Coins are located on the platform in the middle of the small cavern with the Green ! Switch.
- After hitting the Green ! Switch, grab a Metal Cap and you’ll be able to sink to the bottom of the river, enabling you to find the last four Red Coins located around the base of the Green ! Switch’s platform. Be quick though, because if the Metal Cap wears off you’ll be swept downstream, ending up on the outside of Peach’s Castle, having to make your way all the way to the Cavern of the Metal Cap through Hazy Maze Cave.
Grabbing the final Red Coin will cause another Secret Star to pop up under the water near the back of the platform, so make sure you grab it before your Metal Cap wears off as well.
Red Coins in Bowser in the Fire Sea
Located behind a Big Star Door requiring 30 Power Stars to open is Bowser’s second stage, Bowser in the Fire Sea, and it is home to eight more Red Coins, bringing with them another of the Castle’s Secret Stars.
- The first Red Coin in Bowser in the Fire Sea is located pretty far into the stage, make your way across the lava by riding the the moving platform, then avoid the lava on your way to the platform with the Bully and follow the metal grating up and to the left. At the top of the metal grating is a Red Coin hovering above a hole in the grating, jump across to grab it, being careful not to overshoot and end up in the lava.
- Make your way back to the platform with the Bully and head to the right, reaching a pole that raises and lowers in and out of the lava. Climb to the top of the pole, avoiding the Amp, and jump to the tilting platform. The second Red Coin is located on the back edge of this platform. Be careful not to fall off!
- The third Red Coin is located in the top-right corner of the cage you climb into on the pole after the tilting platforms. Have Mario handstand on top of the pole by pushing up on the control stick, then aim towards the top-right corner. Press A to jump and Mario will flip towards the corner, grabbing the coin in the process.
- The fourth Red Coin will require a bit of backtracking after you’ve grabbed it, but it’s really close to the third Red Coin. Hope on the stone platform on the left side of the cage to cause it to start rising. Hurry and get back off the platform into the cage and you’ll see the fourth Red Coin underneath where the elevating platform just was. Walk straight out of the cage towards the Red Coin and Mario should hit it without falling into the lava below, instead just taking fall damage when he hits the platform.
- After you make your way back to the top of the elevating platform, continue on past the moving platform and fire stream, and you’ll see a narrow path extending off the back of the steep slope. Follow that path to a platform with the fifth Red Coin and another Bully.
- As you continue on, making your way up the tower of expanding and contracting platforms, you’ll see the shadow of the sixth Red Coin on the third platform. Wait underneath it and keep jumping. When the tower expands all the way, you’ll grab the Red Coin.
- The seventh Red Coin is located on one of the platforms that continuously sinks into the lava, right in front of one of the fire streams. Be patient so you don’t get burned, and grab that Red Coin.
- Bowser in the Fire Sea’s final Red Coin is located on the top of the last elevating pole near the end of the stage. Climb the pole and have Mario handstand on it, hitting the coin as the pole reaches its peak.
The Secret Star is going to pop up a little ways back, and will require some wall-jumping to reach. Head back to the beginning of the section with the rising poles and perform two consecutive wall-jumps to reach the platform in between the two poles. From here jump to the platform on the left and grab the Power Star.
Toad’s Second Gift
The second Toad that gives you a Power Star can be found underneath the stairs on the second floor of the castle, speak with him to receive another Secret Star.
Revenge of the MIPS
MIPS will appear in the basement a second time after you have collected 50 total Power Stars, and is able to be caught the same way as before. Catching him a second time will reward you with yet another Secret Star.
Toad’s Third Gift
The third and final Toad to reward you with a Secret Star can be found right next to the entrance to Tick Tock Clock, speak with him to receive it.
Wing Mario Over the Rainbow
One of the last Secret Stars the Castle has to offer is in the last bonus stage, Wing Mario Over the Rainbow. As with other bonus stages before it, you can obtain the Power Star by collecting eight Red Coins throughout the stage. When following the steps below, make sure to replenish your Wing Cap at every Red ! Block you see so you don’t lose it while moving between the clouds and platforms.
- The first Red Coin is found directly behind Mario when you start the level. Turn around and grab it.
- Go ahead and grab a Wing Cap from the Red ! Block and follow the rainbow behind where the first Red Coin was to reach a cloud with the second Red Coin.
- From the cloud containing the second Red Coin, turn slightly to your right and fly to the cloud located a bit lower than where you are standing and collect the third Red Coin.
- A little to your left is a pink platform down below containing a pink Bob-Omb, a cannon and the fourth Red Coin. Head on down there and grab it.
- From this pink platform, hop in the cannon and look for the second pink platform. Shoot on up to it to find a second cannon, hop in it and shoot over to the cloud with the poles hanging below it, taking care that you hit one of the poles so you can grab onto it and snag the fifth Red Coin.
- From here, slide off the pole you’re on and head back to the cannon you just shot out of. Hop in again and shoot to the top of the cloud with the poles this time, there you will find two more Red Coins.
- You can reach the final Red Coin by once again heading back to the cannon you just shot out of. Jump in and this time look for a cloud that looks more transparent than the others, there’s a Red Coin in the middle. Take your aim and fly through the cloud to get the final Red Coin.
After collecting all of the Red Coins, the Power Star will appear, fly back to the cloud you started on to grab it.
Bowser in the Sky
The Castle’s final Secret Star will be the last obtainable Power Star in the game. To receive it, you must grab all eight Red Coins in Bowser in the Sky, Bowser’s third and final stage in Super Mario 64.
- The first Red Coin in Bowser in the Sky can be reach by jumping to the top of the platform above the moving gray platform and pushing the block located there back towards the left end of the platform. Don’t push it too far if you want to get back up onto the platform easily after grabbing the first Red Coin. Jump left off of the block you just pushed in order to grab the first Red Coin.
- The second Red Coin is easily found directly behind a Piranha Plant on the stone walkway on the second level of the stage.
- The third Red Coin is very well hidden. Drop below the seesaw and turn the camera 180 degrees to spot the Red Coin hiding on a small ledge off the back of the stage.
- The fourth Red Coin is found at the very top of the U-shaped slope. Stop at the top of the slope and jump to grab it, and watch out for those fire streams on the way up and down the slope.
- As you continue through the stage you’ll reach a moving platform. The fifth Red Coin is located on top of the first set of wooden blocks that the moving platform travels under. Jump onto the first block, and then time a double jump so you can reach the Red Coin on top of the middle block without sliding into the abyss afterwards. If you time it right you’ll land back on the moving platform and be on your way.
- The sixth Red Coin is located behind the spire in the middle of the first stone turntable you come to after the moving platform, grab it and move on.
- Red Coin number seven is located on top of a pole in between two platforms that move back and forth. One well-time jump should put you right to it.
- The final Red Coin of Super Mario 64 is located near the very end of Bowser in the Sky. Push your way against the wind right before the Warp Pipe leading to Bowser and you’ll see that there is a small ledge behind the stairs leading up to the Warp Pipe. Carefully jump to it and you’ll find the eighth and final Red Coin.
After grabbing the last coin, the Power Star will show up right behind the Warp Pipe, jump back to the stairs, head on up, and grab the Castle’s last Secret Star.
There you have it folks! I’ve told you about 15 Power Stars you’ll have to go out of your way to find, and exactly how to find them, putting you that much closer to your goal of finding all 120 Power Stars in Peach’s Castle. Good luck, and happy hunting!
Looking for more help with any of the games in Super Mario 3D All-Stars? Check out our other guides!
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