Daily Archives: September 30, 2022

Ranking Whomp’s Fortress Stars!

Today we will be ranking the 7 stars of Whomp’s Fortress. Remember, we base this off of fun factor with a mix of iconicness. I tend to value things like exploring the level and fun tricks more so than degree of ease or difficulty. With that in mind, let’s rank em.

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#7 Blast Away the Wall- This was an easy one. Some people may rate this higher for its pivotal role in speed runs, but I don’t care for this star. I should take a minute to add that this is one of the most notorious stars in Mario 64 history. It may seem pretty simple at first. Hop into the cannon and, well, blast away that wall. But Speed runners found a way to clip through the wall, obtaining the star cannonless. This became an early barrier to entry into speed running Super Mario 64. Your run often henged on hitting cannonless first try. As a kid, this star was iconic in my mind for being one I had to google. How was a 6 year old suppose to find this star? As a kid, I thought this was such a cool star. As an adult, it is just kind of boring.

#6 Fall Into the Cage– The first star we’ve come across that I actively don’t like. The owl mechanic seemed so cool on paper. But this star would absolutely drain me sometimes. Especially if I haven’t played in awhile. This star has accounted for so many deaths it is not funny. As it doesn’t take missing by much to fall to your death. Once you get the hang of the owl, this is a pretty neat star. And it can be done fairly quickly for what that’s worth.

#5 100 Coin Star- I typically go to bat for the 100 coin stars. And I do think this one is pretty good. However, this is the first level to introduce insta death. Which means as you are ascending the level and inching closer to that 100th coin, death is always a misclick away. I like it, but for that, I got to drop it a bit.

#4 Shoot into the Wild Blue- This star confused me as a kid. As I thought you literally had to shoot off the map. I also was not good with the cannons. After countless misfires, my brother and I tried so many different ways to get this star including trying to drop from above to it. I don’t remember when we discovered wall jumping, but that is exclusively how I get this star now. As I still don’t trust those cannons.

#3 Chip Off of Whomp’s Block- Just as I go to bat for the 100 coin stars, I tend to not like many of the boss fights in Mario 64. They’re fine for the time, but they are easily one of the least favorite parts about the game. Whomp is no different. He’s just a variation of King Bomb Omb. The phasing glitch makes him one of the easiest bosses, too. So why is this #3. It’s because, which is a common theme with boss fights in this game, it encourages you to explore the whole map. The next two stars have even more to explore and aren’t derailed by a boss fight. So Whomp sits here at 3.

#2 Red Coins on the Floating Isle- There’s two things that bug me about this star. First, the floating isles are not unlocked immediately. This means if you are someone who likes to get 100 coins first, thus getting the 8 red coins, you really can’t. But you can still get like 5 before you learn about the isles and have to do it all over again later. Secondly, I think only 3 of the coins are found on the isles. What kind of false advertising is this? Outside of that, this a fun level to explore and the isles were always a neat section to me. Wish they had just embraced the name and made the section bigger with all 8 coins.

#1 To the Top of the Fortress- If you know me, you probably knew this was number 1. I still cannot explain where the tower came from, but this is one of my favorite stars in the game. Koopa the Quick in Stage 1 took a bit of a hit for ultimately feeling like a rehash of the previous star. TtTotF adds on to its former star by adding a small new obstacle, the tower. It too, is not dragged down by the boss fight, meaning this star is more platforming bliss. I could see either this or the 8 red coins being my favorite. But the Tower always stood out to me. As an adult I wish they would have expanded both the Tower and Isles. Either way, The Tower takes my #1 Star.

Whomp’s Fortress was never my favorite, but the level was fun in the way it moved upward. It never felt like it had the same sandbox energy as Bomb-Omb Batflefield, but it does have some neat sections and fun stars. So how would you have ranked all the stars?

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Thanks for reading and have a great day!