Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 3
Part 3 of ranking all the Mario 64 courses. This time we will be examining the secret stages. Check out the previous parts here:
Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 1
Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday[Saturday]) Part 2
This list was tough to construct. Most of the levels are tiny, upsetting, or forgettable. Oh well, here we go:
The Wing Cap Stage
Gah, this is easily the worst level in maybe the whole game. If you miss one of the early red coins in the sky it is basically over. In perspective, the structuring of the level highlights the Wing Cap. The problem? The Wing Cap is terrible. The imposed ceiling on the Wing Cap is obvious by design. I might could continue speaking on this course, but I think I will move on from here.
Bowser in the Fire Sea
This might be my favorite of the Bowser stages but I do feel it also the weakest (look, us bloggers don’t have to make sense.) This is an awesome level to watch speed runners run through, but it’s so hit or miss actually playing it. I actually like the level layout fair enough and the three sections of the level flow pretty smooth. In fact, if you tried to tell me this was the best level in the game. I would not even argue with you. The fact of the matter is I simply do not like fire levels a lot.
Winged Mario Over The Rainbow
Simply put, it is another flying level. A lot of these secret levels were designed to highlight some of the harder mechanics. This is put on display with the fact we have 2 Wing Cap secret stages… Ugh. However, this level also highlights why Wing Cap Stage is utter trash. Now, I said Wing Cap Stage is an introduction of the Wing Cap and why it is not great in this game in particular. Over the Rainbow is so much more massive in design, scale, skill, and every other measurable metric that how can you not look back at Wing Cap Stage and see anything but simply a bad level.
Bowser in the Sky
Boy, I want to really like this level. I do enjoy watching people show off all the crazy shortcuts and skips in this stage. The scale is simply massive. But, I just do not enjoy the dark and unforgiving nature of this level. Now, I can not like a stage but still respect it. I sure do respect the heck out of this stage. I can fully appreciate this level without wanting to play it again. Very cool level.
Vanish Cap Stage
I really wanted to squeeze this level in higher, and maybe I could have. Still, when it got to crunch time the turning platforms at the end caused the lower scoring. Remove that ending and this might have got number 2.
Metal Cap Stage
I enjoy a lot about this course. I have been debating on if the small scale nature of the level helped it or hurt it. I guess since it cracks this high on the list, it did not hurt it that bad. I feel like I always connected with the Metal Cap simply because it is green and my favorite color is green. Maybe that is not fair. But that is how it is. Still, the compact nature of this stage helps its design. The red coins are a fun hunt in this stage. If there was a weak point, it would have to be how unforgiving the water mechanic is with new players or even an easy mistake from veterans. If you get lost in the current and end up in the moat, it is a hard time getting back.
Bowser in the Dark Sea
In a lot of these entries, you will read me say “I really liked this stage. I want to rank it higher.”. Not this time. I actually don’t think I like this course very much. In fact, I think I normally get as many stars as you can (which I think comes out to around 32 or so stars?) before tackling this course. However, there is no denying how iconic this course is to me, personally. Making the ascent up the “Dark Sea, was it?” collecting all the red coins, vanquishing the foes, dodging the fire and avoiding all the insta-deaths, was so nerve wracking. I cannot tell you how many times I get to 7 coins and bump my head or miss the jump and you fall right down to your death. Still no denying how much this level gave me nightmares as a kid.
The Secret Aquarium
What a level, right? Yes, this is easily the most simple level in the whole game. But I cannot deny the atmosphere here. The windows revealing a whole new world outside their glass, the fishes swimming in the water, the calming music. Quite frankly, for as simple as this level is, it is darn near perfect. I do not have a lot to say about this level. It is just bliss.
The Princess’s Secret Slide
This is it, boys. This is sliding perfection. Someone answer me this. Was there a slide in a 3D video game prior to this? If so, tell me below. I am not sure why I am so fascinated with sliding levels, but dang it I am. I think it had to do with the mysticism of the timed star. Racing the clock, cutting off precious seconds where we could, riding the edges trying not to fall but go as fast as you could, just trying to beat that time limit. Than, once we discovered the jumping off the side shortcut, this level became an obsession. Since this, I have secretly (or maybe not so secretly at this point) judged every game I play on if it has a slide level or not.
Alright guys, there you have it. That’s my rankings. You probably wont agree. That is okay. Sound down below how you would rank these levels.
Next week is Spooky Week here on Dahubbz. So, start getting ready for all things spoky. I say this now so you guys have a heads up. Also, so you know we will not be concluding this series next Friday. Instead, we are kicking around the idea of “Top Five Creepiest Pokemons”. Hope that sounds cool to everyone.
As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day!
Posted on October 23, 2020, in 2020, All things Mario!, Super Mario and tagged All thing Mario, Mario, Super Mario, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Levels, Top 5, Top Five. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.