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Airship Fortress is the fourth and final course of the Star Cup in Mario Kart DS. The course takes place both on a floating fortress in disrepair and on an airship. The course is inspired by the environment of boss levels seen in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Other airships can be seen flying away in the sky.The most notable feature in the course is the Pipe Cannon that shoots racers out to the fortress through the air. Furthermore, the track includes obstacles such as Bullet Bills, Rocky Wrenches and more. Missions 6-2 and 7-7 take place in this course.
The track starts with a straightaway, where a barrage of Bullet Bills are shot from a Pipe Cannon of the airship and causes players to flip over. Passing this section of the track, players turn left with a right turn shortly after and get a boost by running over a Dash Panel, entering the deck of the airship.
On the deck of the ship, racers must dodge Rocky Wrenches that pop out from their trenches, hitting racers who drive over them. Proceeding inside the airship, players take a tight left turn and reach the cellar where some crates are spread throughout the room that may contain a Mushroom or a Banana Peel if they break the crate. The next room to follow includes burners moving side to side that causes players to spin out if they touch the fire.
Players exit the airship by being launched by the airship's Cannon Pipe with a dash panel, similar to DK Mountain, aimed at a hole in the fortress tower. Following the corkscrew inside the tower, there's one last turn to finish the race. Just before the last turn, players can knock other racers off the course.
In mission 6-2 the player has to hit 15 Rocky Wrenches using Stars. The player has 30 seconds to complete it, but once the Star runs out, the player has to get another Star from the Item Box. Stars always appear every time the player breaks one.
In mission 7-7 the player must collect 12 coins in reverse while avoiding the Burners. If they get burned, they fail the mission.
Mario Kart 7
Immediately following the starting line, both drop-offs can be used to perform a trick and gain a small boost. As well, the Bullet Bills have become Banzai Bills, and are now shot out at faster intervals. The interior of the airship has some minor changes. The room with the Rocket Engines now has a fence floor with lava under it, and the Rocky Wrenches now make sounds. Hitting a Banzai Bill has the similar effect as getting blown up by a Spiny Shell or being hit by a Bullet Bill, causing the player to tumble and roll over sideways.
Launching out of the Cannon Pipe now encompasses a gliding pad, although like Waluigi Pinball and Maple Treeway, players cannot aim their flight. Players are also no longer immune to items while in the Cannon Pipe, and being hit by anything (or intentionally stowing their glider) results in having to be rescued by Lakitu.
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