Rainbow Ride is the fifteenth and last course in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS. In Japan and Korea, the course is known as Rainbow Cruise. It is accessible in the highest room in Princess Peach's Castle, which also contains the gate to Tick Tock Clock. Unlike most courses in the game, Rainbow Ride is not entered through a painting, but through a hole in a niche opposite to that of Wing Mario Over the Rainbow.
Rainbow Ride is a level with very little backtracking, and offers different paths around the level to different Power Stars, which makes it possible for Mario to collect them in any order he desires. Rainbow Ride is set in the skies, and Mario has to use several flying carpets to get from one platform to another. Enemies on his way are Lakitus, Bob-ombs and Amps, rarely Goombas and Fly Guys, and several Fire Spitters. There are platforms which fall down when Mario stands on them for too long, and circle platforms which spin rapidly.
The level titles and numbers correspond to Super Mario 64 unless otherwise noted.
Mario can get a seventh (eighth in the remake) Star in Rainbow Ride by collecting 100 coins, as in every course of the game. To do this, Mario can collect a number of Blue Coins near the maze of the Red Coins and the Bob-omb Buddy.
Star 1: Cruiser Crossing the Rainbow
In the first mission, Mario has to get the Power Star on the flying ship of the stage. It is not guarded, and Mario has to use several flying Carpets to get to the ship, dodging Lakitus on his way. On the main intersection in the stage, which is made of four spinning discs, Mario has to go to the Carpet on the right, and take another Carpet on the left further above. When reaching the ship, Mario is hindered by winds which try to stop him from getting the star. In the DS version, there is a Wario cap and a ? Block containing a Power Flower. With these, Metal Wario can bypass the winds easily and grab the star. However, it is also possible to get the star as Mario by becoming Balloon Mario with the Power Flower.
Star 2: The Big House in the Sky
In this level, Mario has to get the Power Star which is on top the big house in the area. Starting from the main intersection, he has to take the carpet to the right as in the last mission, but has to choose the right carpet again further above. By jumping over obstacles in the path of the flying carpet and avoiding the flame thrower in the house's basement, Mario can get to the top of the castle-like building to get the star.
Star 3: Coins Amassed in a Maze
In this level, Mario has to get all eight Red Coins to get the Power Star. All coins are found in a side-view maze which is found right near the level's main intersection. On the bottom level, there are Bob-ombs trying to hurt Mario, and further above, Mario can be hit by flames as well. He has to use different tactics, such as the Wall Jump and the Long Jump to get all Red Coins and make the star appear.
Star 4: Swingin' in the Breeze
In this level, Mario has to clear an obstacle course to get the Power Star. From the main intersection, he has to go leftwards and climb down the pole, then take the way down the right. He has to use platforms which swing back and forth, cross several fall-down platforms and avoid a flame thrower to get the star. Mario can also long jump from the starting point to grab the pole.
Star 5: Tricky Triangles
Following the same way as for the previous star, Mario has to take a different route as soon as he meets the single Goomba of the level. He has to take the direction to the triangles. By hitting a flat ! switch, he can make the triangles temporarily turn over, creating platforms which he can use to jump over to the star.
Star 6: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
To get this star, Mario first has to find the Bob-omb Buddy of Rainbow Ride, which is found at the very top of the coin maze of the third Power Star. A cannon will open at the stern of the flying ship which Mario had to visit for the first Power Star. By shooting himself through a rainbow circle, Mario can get onto a platform with a Chuckya and the sixth Power Star. It's recommended to shoot towards the pole on the platform.
The course name is a reference to the song from MGM's The Wizard of Oz.
Star 7 (DS): Switch Star of the Manor
Mario has to get to the roof of the house in the sky as quickly as possible after stepping on a star switch. He can do it by using a Power Flower to get the Power Star.
The background music of Rainbow Ride is heard at several places throughout Super Mario 64, including the races against Koopa the Quick, The Princess's Secret Slide, the slides on Cool, Cool Mountain and Tall, Tall Mountain, as well as the entire level of Tick Tock Clock. It is fast and joyful music. The music shares the melody of the the main theme of the game, as heard in Bob-omb Battlefield, Whomp's Fortress, Tall, Tall Mountain and Tiny-Huge Island. This melody is also used in the music heard at Cool, Cool Mountain. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the music of the stage is a medley of the original Super Mario 64 track and the Super Mario Bros. Underwater Theme. Despite the many appearances of the music in Super Mario 64, it was labeled as "Rainbow Cruise" in the Super Smash Bros. Melee Sound Test.
Names in other languages