Special 1 is the first extra world of Super Mario 3D Land that the player unlocks after defeating Bowser in World 8-Castle. It takes place in a sea green field at night with flowers and hills in the background. The map music is a remix of the game's World 1 map music. If Mario defeats Dry Bowser in the last stage of this world, Luigi is saved and becomes a playable character.
This level is similar to World 2-1, but has few differences. The level now takes place in a sunset and the Binoculars are replaced with a Statue Leaf on top of a stump. There are several Spinies and Prongos in the level, as well as multiple stumps near the beginning of the stage. A Question Block with a Poison Mushroom appears as well, replacing the Roulette Block from before. There are three Stars in the level, so Mario can earn 1-Ups easily.
This level is based on World 1-2 but this level has different enemies such as Spinies and different items like more Ball 'n' Chains. A small version of a Cosmic Clone is also in this level, mimicking the plumber's moves.
This level is loosely based on World 2-3 only the platforms are shaped like 8-bit sprites of enemies from Super Mario Bros.. There are Cannons to help the player get around. There are Baddie Boxes, Bullet Bills, and Cheep Cheeps. At the last cannon, there are two Wooden 1-Up Mushrooms and one real 1-Up Mushroom. If the player aims at the top 1-Up Mushroom, they will get an Extra Life, as that was the real one.
This level is loosely based on World 6-1. Although its appearance on the world map shows Cheep Cheeps, there are none in this level. Instead they are replaced by Boomerang Bros and Paragoombas. On the first bridge there is a Coin Block, two Boomerang Bros and it will lead to an island where the first tightrope connects to. Along the tightrope are some Paragoombas, Coins and a Red Ring. On the next island is a Boomerang Bro which leaves a Boomerang Flower when defeated and a tightrope which leads to the Midway Flag. After the Warp Boxes, there is a row of Blocks (one of which contains a Poison Mushroom) and then one Paragoomba and many Boomerang Bros. Beyond them is the end Flagpole.
Special 1-Mystery Box
The possible contents of this Mystery Box are:
The player must have 110 Star Medals to access this level. This level is based on World 1-Castle, but with the plumber having only 30 seconds at the beginning. The player starts on higher ground with a + Clock and a Prongo below. After are two turning wheels, the first with a Podoboo in the middle and the second, a firebar with a + Clock to the right. There is a platform with a Prongo and a Rectangular Coin Block and a platform when elevated by lava, allows the player to reach the next part of the stage. After two + clocks and a row of Podoboos, there are two Hammer Bros, another + Clock and a higher platform with a Prongo and a + Clock. To the left is a Firebar, some Thwomps with more + Clocks (in which if Mario wall jump behind one, he will be on higher ground with a + Clock and Binoculars), a Prongo and yet again a + Clock.
Dry Bowser, who acts the same as Fake Bowser, appears at the end. After Mario/Luigi presses the button that sinks Dry Bowser into the lava, the plumber can process, save Luigi (only on the first try), and then go into the Warp Box to the Flagpole. After completing the level, there is a cutscene of Mario and Luigi coming out of the castle.