When Mario first stepped into the three-dimensional realm in 1996's Super Mario 64 he brought 120 collectible Power Stars with him, which offered a significant gameplay change. Whether you play this classic on the Nintendo 64 or use Nintendo's Virtual Console service to experience it on the Wii or Wii U, you'll find 105 Power Stars scattered among the game's 15 diverse stages. To find the remaining 15 hidden around Princess Peach's castle, Super Mario 64 tasks you with everything from chasing bunnies to soaring through the clouds.
Toads and Rabbits
Talking to Toad nets you three of the 15 secret Power Stars. Talk to your mushroom-hatted helper at the entrance to Hazy Maze Cave, under the stairs that lead to the castle's third floor, and again on the third floor next to Tick Tock Clock. Head to the basement of the castle when you have between 15 and 49 stars and catch the yellow rabbit to grab another star. After you have 50 or more Power Stars, return to the same location again and catch the little hopper one more time to earn another star.
After acquiring your first Power Star, you can access The Princess's Secret Slide, located behind the upstairs door to the right. Behind the door, jump into the right-side window and reach the bottom of the slide for a Power Star, then return and finish the slide in less than 21 seconds to nab another. Like the slide, the Secret Aquarium is a hidden castle level. Head to the right of the painting that leads to Jolly Roger Bay and do a back flip to enter the hole in the wall. In this underwater stage, collect all eight red coins to get a secret Power Star. Similarly, run into the hole to the left of the Tick Tock Clock painting to enter the sky-themed level, Wing Mario Over the Rainbow. Use Mario's Wing Cap to collect all eight red coins here and unlock another star.
Three hidden areas in the castle challenge you with using Mario's various caps to collect eight red coins and unlock a Power Star. You'll find the Tower of the Wing Cap on the first floor of the castle after you've collected 10 Power Stars -- looking up into the ray of sunlight beams you into this flying stage. Ground-pound two pillars in the castle basement to drain the moat and access the stage called Vanish Cap Under the Moat. In Hazy Maze Cave, ride on top of the sea monster's head, reach the double doors and stand in the small pool down the hallway to warp to the Cavern of the Metal Cap. Use the respective caps to find eight red coins in each level -- each level holds a single secret Power Star.
Seeing Red with Bowser
While defeating Bowser normally earns you a key, if you collect the eight red coins in the “Bowser in the Fire Sea," “Bowser in the Sky” and "Bowser in the Dark World" stages before defeating the Koopa King, you can make three Power Stars appear in the castle. The Power Stars from “Sky” and "Dark World" appear next to the warp pipes that lead to their respective stages. To get the star from “Fire Sea,” wall-jump to the top of the wall just before the Warp Zone to claim your prize.
A portable 2004 remake for Nintendo's series of dual-screened handhelds, the Nintendo DS, Super Mario 64 DS adds 30 additional stars to Mario's quest, bringing the total tally up to 150. Each of the 15 areas, from Bob-omb Battlefield to Rainbow Ride, adds at least one objective-based star. Many levels also feature Silver Star challenges, in which you must collect five Silver Stars to make a new Power Star appear. Additionally, Super Mario 64 DS changes the locations of some of the original game's red coins.
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