The world of 3D gaming was changed forever when Super Mario 64 hit the scene in 1996. The game is still held at a gold standard in 3D platforming. Mario games ever since have called back in some way to the Nintendo 64 classic. As fun as it is, this doesn’t mean it can’t be frustrating. For every lighthearted and easy star to get, there are the ones that make players want to throw their controllers. There are more than a few of these aggravating Super Mario 64 stars throughout the game, and here are just 10 of the most challenging Mario stars that infamously drive players crazy.
10. Wall Kicks Will Work- Cool, Cool Mountain
This Super Mario 64 star is so low on the list because there is a famous shortcut that makes this star pretty simple. However, if the star is obtained the way the game intends, it can be pretty irritating. The easy method is using a Spindrift to land almost right on the star. The harder way is a bit more challenging. After unlocking the canon, Mario must shoot at a lone tree in the distance. If done right, the player will grab the tree and unlock a new area. Then the player must do some tricky jumps and walk on a narrow platform to get the star. While far from the hardest Mario star in the game, even if done the hard way, the challenge lies in the jumping. If the player messes up the jump, they fall and have to do it all over again.
9. 100 Coin Star- Various
Admittedly, this one may be cheating. The 100 coin star isn’t in a single level; it is in them all. A star is obtained in all 15 main courses when the player collects 100 coins. In some cases, this is as easy as it sounds. In other cases, coin collecting isn’t exactly what the developers had in mind. Some levels aren’t designed around collecting coins, so getting them all can be a real headache. A normally simple level could suddenly house one of the hardest Mario stars if this challenge is attempted. Rainbow Ride is one of the more infamous ones, thanks to the constant backtracking required. As the star title suggests, the player just collects 100 coins, and they get a star. Good luck.
8. Peach’s Secret Slide #2
One of the most famous Super Mario 64 stars is the hidden level Peach’s Secret Slide. From the iconic music to the easy first star, this is just all-around a great level. If the player goes into the level a second time, the star is a bit trickier to get. At first, just get to the end. The second time around, the player has to get to the end in 20 seconds or less. This may sound like a slide in the park, but it is harder than it sounds. More often than not, the player will reach the end just a second or two over. In order to make it, Mario must execute a perfect run. The player can’t run into a wall or lose their speed at all. Even then, the star will likely just barely be obtained.
7. Snowman’s Big Head- Snowman’s Land
The snowmen in this game have a problem with losing their heads. Perhaps the most frustrating is in the level Snowman’s Land. Ice physics, strong gusts of wind, and an indecisive penguin make this star beyond annoying. A very narrow walkway is placed in front of a giant snowman head. If Mario walks in front of him, he gets blown off, and the player must climb all the way back up. The trick is to walk alongside a penguin to block the gusts. The penguin keeps changing directions, however. It also keeps changing speeds. It will stop, run fast, and walk slow, making it challenging to keep up. On top of everything else, the path is covered in ice, so Mario slides all over the place. This star fits in well with other hard Mario stars and collectibles.
6. Blast To The Lonely Mushroom- Tall, Tall Mountain
Tall, Tall Mountain is already a frustrating level and home to some of the hardest Super Mario 64 stars. Arguably the hardest involves tedious walking and a leap of faith. When the player climbs their way to the area with the rolling log, they may see a mushroom off in the distance with a star. The trick is to run on the log at full sprint to pick up speed. Be sure to stay on the farthest end near the ledge to ensure the log is close enough to the mushroom. Once at the end of the log, Mario must perform a long jump and hopefully will land on the mushroom. There is also a canon method, but it is just as tedious.
5. Wing Mario Over The Rainbow
The flight controls in Super Mario 64 are infamous for being stiff and hard to control. Put Mario in a level completely designed around the flight cap, and it is no secret as to why this is one of the hardest Mario stars. This is a hidden level found near the entrance to Tick Tock Clock. The level takes place in the sky, and the goal is to collect 8 red coins. They are all spread apart, and most of them are in midair. This level will likely take countless attempts due to the aggravating flight controls. Miss a floating coin, and the player is required to completely backtrack just to get another try. If Mario loses his cap mid-air, he falls to his death, and the player has to do it all over again.
4. Navigating The Toxic Maze-Hazy Maze Cave
A maze filled with toxic gas and projectile enemies sounds like a recipe for a fun time. If players enjoy very slow movement and tedium at its finest, then it is. True to the name, Mario must navigate a maze filled with gas that drains his life the longer he is exposed to it. The only way to survive the gas is by finding the Metal Caps found in the maze. This makes the experience even more annoying because of how slow Metal Mario moves. There are enemies that shoot Mario on sight as well, making this a shoo-in for one of the hardest Super Mario 64 stars. If Mario makes it to the end, he is greeted with a well-deserved star.
3. Stomp On The Thwomp- Tick Tock Clock
Tick Tock Clock is either one of the most fun or one of the most annoying levels depending on who is asked. The trick is jumping into the level at certain times to ensure the platforms are moving at different speeds. Even if the parts were completely still, climbing all the way to the top can be a chore. This star requires Mario to do just that. One slip up, and the player has to start the entire journey over again. Once at the top, Mario must clear a flagpole, and he will soon be greeted by a Thwomp at the end of a conveyer belt. If the player times their jumps correctly, they can ride the Thwomp until they reach a platform with a star.
2. Cruise Crossing the Rainbow- Rainbow Ride
Rainbow Ride has not one but two of the hardest Mario stars. The first one is the main star in the level. The player jumps onto the carpet and must ride it throughout an obstacle course. The obstacles range from simple jumps to aggravating projectiles to avoid. Staying on the carpet seems like the best method. The problem is Mario has no choice but to leave the carpet and jump on the various platforms. If Mario stays on the carpet too long, the carpet will disappear and force the player to leave the level and start the entire thing over again. The disappearing carpet is what makes this star so annoying, but surprisingly it isn’t the hardest on the level, far from it.
1. Somewhere Over The Rainbow- Rainbow Ride
Fans should make sure their canon skills and patience are top-notch before attempting this one. Instead of starting the level like normal, Mario must go in the opposite direction and prep a canon. The player must ride the carpet yet again but make sure to make a precise jump onto some platforms. These floating platforms lead to the floating ship. At the end of the ship is the canon that was prepped. This is the hardest part. The canon must be perfectly timed to ensure Mario lands on the pole. If it isn’t spot on, he will fall and kick the player from the level.