Special 5 is the fifth of the eight special worlds that appear in Super Mario 3D Land. The level takes place in a brown, desert-like setting at night with several mountain-like rocks and cacti in the background. The world contains 5 levels and one Mystery Box.
Mario first starts on a group of platforms. At the end of these platforms is a segment consisting of Reversible Platforms, which results in free-falling to a group of platforms below. The player must then cross more Reversible Platforms to reach a Warp Box. This box takes Mario to a group of platforms with the midway flag on it, followed by more Reversible Platforms; However, at this point, spiked balls will begin to emerge from portals. Mario must then cross more Reversible Platforms and two more regular platforms to reach an area with two elongated Reversible Platforms side by side. Afterward, a staircase-like set of platforms will have to be crossed while numerous spiked balls are being launched in order to reach the flagpole.
This level is similar in design to World 7-2; however, a Cosmic Clone will be chasing Mario across the level. The area starts with Mario having to pass by four chained spiked rollers and an area with a Chain Chomp. After passing through five consecutive rollers, Mario reaches a platform with an Exclamation Mark Block, followed by a narrow area with several rollers. The Cosmic Clone will then disappear as Mario finds the door. Outside, Mario will be on a small tower top-like area with the midway flag on it. In front of that is a bridge that will sway with Mario's weight, with several spiked rollers on it; the Cosmic Clone will reappear at this point. Back inside the fortress, the player is immediately greeted with two Chain Chomps, followed by several platforms with chained spiked rollers or retractable spikes before a door leading to the flagpole. However, Mario will have to pass two swaying platforms, one with a spiked roller, and the Cosmic Clone before reaching the flagpole.
The level is a similar project to World 1-4 and Special 2-3; however, the area this time has a desert-like appearance. Mario starts on a metallic platform with a Switchboard right in front of it. The next obstacle faced is a platform with two Paragoombas before the player has to get on another Switchboard. The player must then pass by several Rocket Engines, then more Paragoombas followed by having to once again jump onto another switchboard, but the Midway Flag is removed. A water geyser takes the board to an upper level, where Mario will have to dodge several consecutive Rocket Engines. He will then be taken back to the lower level, where he will have to break through several Brick Blocks in order to proceed to an area with several Bullet Bill Blasters. The next area has a geyser followed by the flagpole.
Special 5-Mystery Box
The possible contents of this Mystery Box are:
The level is similar in design to World 3-5. Mario begins on a cake-like platform with cookie rails, similar to the level it is designed after but with snow falling, with the screen scrolling automatically. He must cross several auto scrolling biscuits to access the various cookie and cake platforms, while avoiding Stingbies. At the end of this area is a Warp Box leading to a platform with the midway flag. At this point the screen will scroll vertically and Mario will have to climb the level using the horizontally scrolling biscuits, as well as some scattered cake platforms and sees the Flophoppers. At the top is a Warp Box leading to a platform similar to the beginning; a platform and two biscuits divide the player from the flagpole.
The level is a Ghost House with a beginning similar to World 6-3. In order to get through the Ghost House correctly, the player must take the Warp Boxes with coins in front of them. Upon entering, the player must first enter the Warp Box near the book picture, which leads to an area with Tail Goombas. The player must then take the Warp Box on the top floor, leading to a similar area with Venus Fire Traps and one Piranha Plant. The Warp Box at the top of the ramp nearest to the wall will take the player to an area with several Dry Bones. The correct Warp Box to take is the one in the hole in the bookcase, which leads to the midway flag. The Warp Box on the top floor will take the player to a room with Prongos. The next room is accessible by taking the Warp Box floating above the ground, which leads to a room with Peepas. In front of the bookcase in the very back of the room, the Warp Box will take the player to a Boo-filled room. To exit the house, the player must take the Warp Box in the space between the back bookcase.
The castle requires 180 Star Medals to unlock. The level is designed like the World 5 castle; however, the player has only thirty seconds to complete the castle. Goombas spread throughout the level will add ten seconds by giving blue + Clocks. Mario enters the level by stomping a Goomba, and then must climb the platform he is on to reach a series of platforms that sink after a while; over some of these platforms are spike, chained rollers. Following a wooden platform that rises with lava columns, Mario crosses an area with little opposition, followed by an area with more sinking platforms. The next area is two platforms separated by a section of lava and three Podoboos. Next is an area with sinking platforms, followed by several divided platforms and four wooden platforms that rise with the lava columns. Once the player reaches the next area, composed of more sinking platforms, Dry Bowser lands. Mario must cross the platforms while avoiding Dry Bowser's fireballs, and after reaching Dry Bowser's platform, Mario must cross the divided sections of the bridge while avoiding the dead king to reach the button on the other side; a green + Clock floating above it adds 100 seconds to the time. Dry Bowser will then fall into the lava, and Mario can proceed to the flagpole.