Vanish Cap Under the Moat

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Mario in Vanish Cap Under the Moat.
Map of The Secret Under the Moat in Super Mario 64 DS.

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, then go outside to the newly-exposed door. After doing so, there will be a hole in the drained moat by the river 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. 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 has 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. It is one of the only three levels in the remake that only one certain character can access; The other levels being Chief Chilly Challenge for Luigi and Bowser in the Sky for Mario.


8 Red Coins[edit]

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. In the cage, there is also a square hole that can cause Mario can fall through.

In the DS version, by collecting Luigi's Cap, Wario can use the Power Flower at the end of the course in lieu of a Vanish Cap and go through the cage to collect the Power Star.

Switch Star (DS only)[edit]

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.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese おほりのとうめいスイッチ
おほりのしたのひみつ (DS)
Ohori no tōmei suicchi
Ohori no shita no himitsu
The Moat's Transparent Switch
Secret Under the Moat
Spanish El Secreto del Foso The Secret of the Moat
French Invisible sous les Douves Invisible under the moat
German Blauer Schalterpalast Blue Switch Palace
Korean 해자밑에감춰진비밀 (DS)
Haeja Mit e Gamchweojin Bimil
Hidden Secret Under the Moat
Chinese 护城河下的秘密 (DS)[1]
Hùchénghé xià de Mìmì
Secret Under the Moat


  1. ^ From the pause menu of the level in iQue's localization of Super Mario 64 DS.