Here it is: the final course in Super Mario 64 – Rainbow Ride. Prepare for bottomless pit deaths.
As if there wasn’t enough falling into the void to your death in Tick Tock Clock, Rainbow Ride doubles down on that idea for the 15th and final full-length stage in Mario 64. You reach the stage in the topmost floors of the castle. There are rooms high up you’ll need to trouble jump into – one leads to a secret level, while the other leads to Rainbow Ride. Here’s how to get Rainbow Ride’s seven stars:
Rainbow Ride Star 1: Cruiser Crossing the Rainbow
There’s a flying ship in this stage – all you need to do is get to it. Like Tick Tock Clock, the challenge here is a platforming one rather than a puzzle one, making use of the magic carpets while avoiding bottomless pits. When you get to the area with three flying discs, head right. Then jump to the ship and collect the star.
Rainbow Ride Star 2: The Big House in the Sky
Like the ship, another Rainbow Ride landmark is a Big House. And like the ship, it has a power star. At the split you need to take the carpet on the right again, and then when given the choice again take a carpet to the right. It’ll take you to the big house, and position you so that you can jump on top of it and grab the star.
Rainbow Ride Star 3: Coins Amassed in a Maze
Here it is – the moment you’ve been waiting for – the final red coin challenge; or the final one if you’ve grabbed the red coins in the Bowser levels and secret stages, anyway. Head straight on at the first three-way directional split area with the spinning discs – here there’s a maze that when viewed from a certain angle looks a bit like a 2D Mario level. All of the red coins are in here, but you’ll need to use skills like the long jump and well-timed wall jumps to reach them all.
Rainbow Ride Star 4: Swingin’ in the Breeze
At the three-way split, head left this time. Take the pole down, and then follow the level path to the right. There’s basically a little test of platforming skills here. At one point you’ll have a choice between continuing straight on or hooking a left up a path that’s a slope with blocks jutting out of it to form platforming stairs – take this path up, and follow it to reach the star. As for the other path…
Rainbow Ride Star 5: Tricky Triangles
This time, follow the same way as the previous star but instead of turning left at the Goomba, carry on straight on. A little more platforming awaits, plus a ! switch that you need to press to create a stairway to the star.
Rainbow Ride Star 6: Somewhere over the Rainbow
If you’re doing the game in order, this might be your last traditional Power Star in the game – and it’s a doozy. First, you need the cannon unlocked – find the friendly pink Bob-omb at the top of the maze you used to get the red coins back in star 3. The cannon that opens is on the ship – so now you’ll need to double back and take the path to the ship, as in the first star.
Once you’re on the ship, you’ll need to shoot yourself out of the cannon through a circular rainbow. This will send you to the platform where you can grab the power star. box on top of the building for reference.
Rainbow Ride Star 7: Collect 100 Coins
This star is a bit of a pain for the same reason as Tick Tock Clock’s 100-coin star – it’s all too easy to die – but the good news is that there’s almost 150 coins in this stage, so there’s more to grab. That includes almost 80 normal yellow coins – then you can top off the rest with a mix of red, blue and enemy drops.