Course 9 of Super Mario 64 is another water level – the Dire, Dire Docks, which takes Mario into a dock that seems to have been taken over by Bowser.
To reach Dire Dire Docks and begin searching for its power stars, you’ll need to pass through the large star door in the castle basement area and jump into the huge wall of water. After completing the first star, the water wall will shift back a little to allow you access to a pit that leads to the second Bowser boss encounter.
Dire, Dire Docks Star 1: Board Bowser’s Sub
This star is plenty self-explanatory, and this star is also unique in that it gates some other content: you have to grab this star before you can face off with the second Bowser boss battle in another Bowser stage. To get it, simply make your way through the underwater tunnel swimming, hit the ! Switch on the dock, and then clamber up to the submarine to grab the star. Once you’ve nabbed this star, the Submarine disappears forever.
Dire, Dire Docks Star 2: Chests in the Current
Remember opening treasure chests in a specific order in order to grab a star without getting an electric shock way back in Jolly Roger Bay? Well, this star is just like that. Dive into the pool, where the underwater air current is> There’s chests around here. They have to be opened by being swam up to, and opened in this order (assuming you’re in the tunnel, emerging into the whirlpool area): left, right, far, near.
Dire, Dire Docks Star 3: Pole-Jumping for Red Coins
Another course, another 8 red coin challenge for Mario to attempt to master. In this instance, the red coins are all fairly easy to see, but they’re also almost all up on high – meaning you’ll need to use the jumping poles that have replaced Bowser’s submarine to move about the level and grab all the coins. It’s an easy one in terms of finding them – but you’ll just have to get those jumps right.
Dire, Dire Docks Star 4: Through the Jet Stream
If you recognize this star name, that’s because we’ve had it before – in Jolly Roger Bay. The solution is similar, too. There’s a jet stream where the submarine is, creating rings of water. You need to swim through 5 rings in a row to trigger the power star’s appearance – it’s then at the bottom of a jet stream, just like that star in Jolly Roger Bay. You even grab it the same way, too – grab the metal cap and sink to it.
Dire, Dire Docks Star 5: The Manta Ray’s Reward
This star isn’t all that different to the previous one, just without the jet stream. Now it’s the turn of the Manta Ray in the first part of the course to leave behind those conspicuous rings that it leaves behind it. You simply have to swim through five in a row to spawn the power star, then go grab it.
Dire, Dire Docks Star 6: Collect the Caps
As the name of this star sort of suggests, you’ll need to have both the Metal Cap and the Vanish Cap (invisibility cap) activated in order to complete this star. Head to the submarine area; there’s red grates here on a platform where there are blue and green boxes for these two caps. Grab both, then hop in the water to sink to the bottom with the metal cap, which will then allow you to walk into the underwater red cage with the vanish cap to grab the star. You can also just grab the vanish cap and swim if you prefer, but you’ll have to be fast.
Dire, Dire Docks Star 7: Collect 100 Coins
Dire, Dire Docks is unfortunately the second-most coin-sparse level in the game, right after another water stage. That means that there’s only just over 100 coins in this level, so you’ll need them all. There are no enemies that drop coins, either. You’ll need all 6 blue coins and most of the red coins – so maybe try to tackle this at the same time as Star 3.
Once you’re done in Dire Dire Docks, it’s time to move on to another level – you can find all courses in our Mario 64 guide.