Vanish Cap Under the Moat
Vanish Cap Under the Moat is a secret course in Super Mario 64 that contains the Vanish Cap's ! Switch. In order to access the course, Mario must drain the water in the moat of Princess Peach's Castle by pounding two certain pillars in the basement. After doing so, there will be a hole in the drained moat that will warp him to the course.
When Mario first enters the course, he will be atop a large slide, with several ledges located scattered throughout. Upon entering, Mario will also be transparent, though it won't be of much use on the slide. At the bottom of the slide is a path consisting of various moving and teetering platforms that lead to the ! Switch. There are several Amps on the path, as well as fire traps, but they aren't a major threat. Once Mario pushes the ! Switch, all the blue ! Blocks in the game will become solid, making the Vanish Cap usable. This is an easy level. If Mario falls, he won't lose a life, but will come out of a gaping hole near the waterfall.
In Super Mario 64 DS, the course was retitled The Secret Under the Moat, and the blue ! Switch was removed. Also, a black Brick Block covered the entrance to the course, requiring only Wario's strength to enter. If he falls (the same thing happens in the original) he'll have to break the bricks again to enter.
There are eight Red Coins in the area. The first four must be gotten on the slide at the start, while the other four can be found along the path to the ! Switch. The Star Marker is inside a cage next to the ! Switch, so after collecting the final Red Coin and pushing the switch, Mario will have to don a Vanish Cap to pass through the cage and nab the Power Star.
Star 2 (DS only)
Another addition to the DS version was a new area near the bottom of the slide that housed a second Power Star. By turning into Mario, Wario can use a Power Flower to float over to the new area. This star is activated by hitting a Star Switch, and can be reached by either floating upwards to it, or by using wall kicks.
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