“You can stomp on your enemies using Goomba's Shoe. I have enclosed a jewel that protects you.”
Desert Hill is home to some of the rarest enemies in the game, including the Fire Bros., the Angry Sun, and Tweester (an obstacle that is exclusive to the desert level). Morton Koopa Jr. guards this area and is the boss of Desert Hill.
The first level of Desert Hill takes place in a sandy area with many Brick Blocks and some metallic constructions filled with coins. The level also introduces the Pile Driver Micro-Goomba, a small Goomba that disguises itself as block, and the Fire Snake, a creature that is ablaze and that can only be defeated with a Starman, shell, or a swipe from Raccoon Mario's tail. A Warp Pipe surrounded by blocks can be found by Raccoon Mario over the first metallic construct. It will lead into a room with a P-Switch and some Silver Coins.
There is another secret room in this level with another P-Switch, but nothing else.
This level takes place in an area with many quicksand fields and a oasis filled with Cheep Cheeps. The player should watch out for the Venus Fire Traps that live in the quicksand, and if Mario falls in such a sandpit, he should hurry and get out soon or he will be engulfed and lose a life. The latter, flooded half of the level is traversed by a floating platform. Mario has to jump over the hovering Brick Blocks, or he will be pushed down into the water filled with enemies. A hidden P-Block can be found in one of the blocks that will turn all the other blocks into coins. If the player manages to collect every coin in the level, a White Toad House with an Anchor inside will appear.
The fortress of Desert Hill is a building with two stories and several enemies inside. The stage introduces Thwomps, big stones that will attempt to crush Mario when he walks underneath them, as well as Boos, timid enemies that will only move when Mario's back is turned at them. Dry Bones also inhabit the first floor of the fortress. The player can gather many extra lives from them by repeatedly jumping on them and using Raccoon Mario's ability to slow his descent to hit them again when they regenerate. After a big room with spiked traps, Mario will encounter Boom Boom, the guardian of the fortress.
This level is set in an area with some small pyramids composed of blocks and platforms. Many enemies like Fire Snakes and Koopa Troopas patrol the areas and there are also some bottomless pits. In the second half of the level, there are block pyramids, guarded by Pile Driver Micro-Goombas that hide between the real blocks and try to launch surprise attacks at Mario. The player has to be careful not to get ambushed. Somewhere over the stage, a P-Switch can be found that turns all Brick Blocks into coins. The level exit is accessed by a Warp Pipe, guarded by two Koopa Troopas.
The desert is an area filled with quicksand pits, and it is automatically entered once Mario touches the level on the world map. A rare enemy called Angry Sun resides in this level and will follow the player through the whole level. At the beginning, the Angry Sun hovers at the top-left corner of the screen and remains inactive; however, once the player passes through the Tweester (which can only be done by jumping while running at full speed), the Angry Sun begins to attack Mario by swooping down, trying to burn him. The player can either avoid the sun's attacks and try to reach the goal or hit a nearby Koopa Troopa and dispatch the sun with its shell. Unlike most levels in Super Mario Bros. 3, the player has 200 seconds to complete this level instead of the usual 300.
A level filled with Goombas, Venus Fire Traps, and Boomerang Bros.. There are two ways to traverse this level. The normal one is to take the bottom path, dealing with all the enemies and eventually reaching the goal. The second one can only be accessed by Raccoon Mario. At the start, the player can take a secret path by gaining enough momentum and flying upwards through a row of Brick Blocks. The secret path is a path filled with coins, and its only enemies are two Paratroopas.
Another level that takes place in an open desert area. This level introduces the Chain Chomp, a chained, cannonball-like dog on a massive chain that tries to attack Mario within its range. Halfway through the level, a Magic Vine can be found by smashing a Koopa Shell against some Brick Blocks. The vine leads to a Warp Pipe which gives access to a bonus room with a P-Switch. When reaching the level end, the player should watch out for the Chain Chomp that is positioned beneath the goal.
The player begins this level in an open area, but the majority of the level takes place inside a big pyramid. The interiors of the pyramid are composed of an underground maze filled with Buzzy Beetles. The player has to choose the right path to proceed. Occasionally, a wall of Brick Blocks will hinder Mario's progress. These blocks have to be smashed either by a Buzzy Beetle Shell or Raccoon Mario's tail swipe. Along the way, a Warp pipe that is reachable through an invisible block can be found. The pipe will lead the player to a bonus room and serve as a shortcut through the level. The goal is found at the other end of the pyramid.
In the palace, Mario finds the transformed Mushroom King and a nervous Toad who presents Mario with a quest to stop Morton Koopa Jr.. Shortly after, Mario boards the Airship of the Koopaling. Another level filled with Cannonballs and Bullet Bills has to be traversed. Additionally, an enemy called Rocky Wrench is introduced, a mole-like creature that throws wrenches at Mario.
After Mario enters the gray Warp Pipe at the end of the stage, a battle with Morton Koopa Jr. emerges. The Koopaling attacks by jumping and shooting energy blasts from his Magic Wand, just like Larry Koopa did in the previous world. After Morton has taken three hits to the head by Mario, he will be defeated and leave the Magic Wand behind, which transforms the King back to his former self.
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
Desert Hill, though usually referred to as Desert Land, was the setting of several episodes of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. Much like in the game, it was depicted as a vast desert filled with pyramids and palm trees. Desert Land was shown to be ruled by an unnamed Sultan in one episode.
Mind Your Mummy Mommy, Mario: Hip and Hop enter the Mushroomkhamen family tomb to steal the sarcophagus of Prince Mushroomkhamen. The theft awakens Queen Mushroomkhamen, who chases the Koopa twins through Desert Land, but loses them when they hide in a pipe, and starts wrecking havoc. Mario and his friends travel to Desert Land to stop Queen Mushroomkhamen, but the mummy mistakes Mario for her son and takes him back to her tomb, where she expects him to stay, despite what Mario tells her. Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad buy a map to the pyramids from Toad's cousin, and notice that Mario resembles Princess Mushroomkhamen. This leads to them getting the stolen sarcofagus back from Kastle Kooopa, which they return to Queen Mushroomkhamen to prove that Mario is not her son. Despite this, Queen Mushroomkhamen mistakes Luigi for her husband, and proceeds to chase him through Desert Land.
The Beauty of Kootie: While taking a bath in his palace, the Sultan of Desert Land is startled when oil comes gushing out of the faucet. Mario and Luigi are called in to investigate, and they conclude that the pipes connected to the nearby oasis have gotten crossed with pipes from a nearby oil well. It turns out to be a plot by the Koopas to steal oil for the Doomship, with Cheatsy and Kootie Pie working on the pipes in the basement of the palace. After a long series of events, Mario and Luigi chase the Koopas out of the palace, and finally out of Desert Land, accidentally destroying the palace in the process. Luigi then uses a wand one of the Koopalings dropped to restore the palace back to normal.
Do the Koopa: When Bowser gets ahold of the Doom Dancer Music Box, he uses its power to make everyone in the Mushroom World dance endlessly. At one point, the trees, an Angry Sun and even a sphinx in Desert Land are all shown to be dancing.
Crimes R Us: As part of Crimewave Clyde's plan to get rid of Mario and Luigi, Cheatsy blackmails a Mushroom boy in Desert Land into luring the Mario Bros. into an underground dungeon. Crimewave Clyde and Big Mouth Koopa lock Mario and Luigi in the dungeon, where they are pursued by a Boom Boom, Ptooies, Sledge Bros. and Thwomps. After being double-crossed by the Koopas, Crimewave Clyde frees Mario and Luigi from the dungeon to help him get revenge on them.
Also, when Bowser is about to announce the ultimate crime for his children to pull off, Cheatsy suggests pilfering the pyramids of the "Koopahari Desert". This is the only instance the desert world is referred to as such.
The Venice Menace: While walking through Desert Land, Mario, Luigi Princess Toadstool and Toad are taken by surprise when a gondolier from Venice drops out of a pipe. He explains that a sea monster (actually the Doomsub) is scaring everyone out of the city. Mario and Luigi then head to Venice to sort out the issue. In the end, Mario gets rid of the Doomsub by warping it to Desert Land, possibly damaging it in the process.
Nintendo Comics System
Though never identified by name, the desert featured in the Nintendo Comics System story Just Deserts is presumably Desert Hill. In the story, Bowser has set up a base in a hard light holographic pyramid, which Mario and Luigi destroy by pressing the deactivation button after rescuing the kidnapped Mushroom King.
Nintendo Adventure Books
The Koopahari Desert appears prominently in Double Trouble; after Iggy Koopa invents a cloning machine called the GLOM, he, Bowser, and Wendy O. Koopa set up shop in Fort Koopa, one of their desert fortresses, since the GLOM creates its clones out of sand, which the Koopahari Desert obviously has an abundant supply of. Creatures that can be encountered by Mario among the sand dunes on his way to Fort Koopa include Shy Guys, a nest of Fire Snakes, some Dry Bones, and a single Chain Chomp.
After putting on a pair of cursed sneakers secretly given to her by Ludwig von Koopa for her birthday in Pipe Down!, Princess Toadstool is forced to travel from her castle to the Koopahari Desert, and the Mario Bros. can choose to follow her, though they quickly lose track of the princess, possibly after learning from her that they need to get a special pair of boots out the castle. In this book, an underground tunnel the Mario Bros. can discover in the desert leads to Pipe World, and enemies they can encounter on the surface include a flock of Tweeters and a lone Shy Guy.
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