Bowser in the Sky

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Bowser in the Sky
Mario at the end of the Bowser in the Sky, before the fight with Bowser.
How to unlock Get to the top of the endless stairs with 70 Power Stars (80 in the DS remake).
Boss(es) Bowser
Stars Super Mario 64:
Star icon in Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 DS:
Star SM64DS.pngStar SM64DS.png
“The mystery of the endless stairs is solved, thanks to you--and is Bowser ever upset! Now, on to the final bout!”
In-game dialogue, Super Mario 64

Bowser in the Sky is the third and final Bowser stage in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, and it is the final level of the games, taking place in a sky filled with dark-blue, purple, pink, and black clouds. Mario travels through platforms in the sky until he reaches a Warp Pipe leading to a final fight against Bowser to save Princess Peach and the Toads in the Mushroom Castle. 70 Power Stars (80 in Super Mario 64 DS) are required to reach the top of the endless stairs beyond the Big Star Door on the third floor.

Bowser in the Sky is one of the three levels in Super Mario 64 DS that only a certain character can access (the others being Chief Chilly Challenge for Luigi and The Secret Under the Moat for Wario), as Bowser allows only Mario to enter this level; any other character who attempts to access this level is blocked by the endless stairs.


Map of Bowser in the Sky in Super Mario 64 DS

The stage begins with Mario landing on a large arrow-shaped platform, signifying the direction he is supposed to go. Next are a few platforms arranged like a set of stairs, with the final one having a moving platform slide out of it, which can push Mario off the platform into the abyss below if the player is not careful. At the top of the platforms is a block that can be pushed to reach a Red Coin. After the stair platforms is a seesaw that tilts based on where Mario is standing, dropping him out of the level if he remains in place for too long. Afterward is a large ramp that Mario can run up to reach a bend that leads to a spinning platform; in the DS version of the game, this platform holds the Star Sphere. The next bend leads toward a spinning Ferris wheel-esque set of platforms, followed by a small platform with a Whomp on it, a ledge with a flame thrower, and finally an area with a Chuckya, all of which are positioned above a large platform. Afterward is a platform leading to a set of stairs that activate upon Mario pressing the Purple Switch.

At the top of the stairs is a large bending platform with a few flamethrowers and coins, along with a Red Coin at the top. At the end of this bending platform is a lift that carries Mario through a series of platforms he needs to jump over, with one of them containing a Spinning Heart the player can use to recover Mario's health. Once the lift reaches the end of its rail, it turns around and heads back to its original position, or if Mario remains off it for a certain amount of time, it warps back to its original position. After the lift are two spinning platforms containing a flame thrower, Bob-ombs, and Amps, with the back platform having a pole for Mario to climb and reach the next area.

By climbing the pole, Mario can reach a platform with two Goombas and two sliding platforms that bridge the gap between them. After the bending stone path beyond those are two Ferris wheel platforms Mario needs to jump between to reach the final platform. The final platform contains a trio of Goombas, some columns, and a Spinning Heart, though a strong gust of wind constantly pushes Mario back. He can stand right behind the columns to avoid getting blown off. The Warp Pipe at the end of the stage takes Mario to the final fight with Bowser.

Bowser battle[edit]

Fight with Bowser in the N64 version (left) and the DS version (right)
Fight with Bowser in the N64 version (left) and the DS version (right)
Fight with Bowser in the N64 version (left) and the DS version (right)
Map of the battle area

While the method of defeating Bowser is similar to that for the previous fights, there are many differences between Bowser's attacks and the stage. Unlike the previous battles when the player had four mines (eight in the remake), this battle has five mines. When Bowser slams the ground, shockwaves appear, and they damage Mario if he touches them. Bowser retains the fire attacks from the previous battles and can also breathe a stream of fire into the air, which falls back down as several fireballs. The last difference is that Bowser has to take damage from three mines before admitting defeat; when Bowser takes damage from two mines, he shakes the battlefield, causing it to form a star-like shape, and the third throw requires much more power and timing than the first two. Additionally, each time Bowser is damaged, it becomes easier for Mario to grab Bowser's tail without having to bait him into performing the charge attack. After the third hit, Bowser gives Mario the Jumbo Star. When he touches it, he acquires the Wing Cap, allowing him to fly and land in the Castle Grounds, where Peach and two Toads (Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi in the DS version) are waiting for him. Mario releases Peach from above the door entrance, and she bakes a cake for her hero(es). The credits then roll. The game ends with a screenshot of the cake that everyone bakes, with statuettes of Mario and Peach on top, and the words "The End" below. In the N64 version, the screen freezes afterward and the system needs to be turned off or reset. In the DS remake, the making of the cake is shown on the bottom screen during the credits, and statuettes of Luigi and Wario are added if they are unlocked. This time, the player can press the Start Button button on the Nintendo DS to return to the Title Screen.


An upper level, from the DS version

8 Red Coins[edit]

As with the previous Bowser levels, a Power Star can be obtained by collecting the eight Red Coins found throughout the level. These are the locations of the Red Coins:

  • Floating above the second-to-last stair-like platform. Mario must push the block and then jump off it to get this coin. He can also backward-somersault to get it.
  • In a corner of the stone path where a Small Piranha appears after the first spinning platform
  • On a small ledge vertically next to a trail of regular coins on the large stone platform below the seesaw leading to the first set of Ferris wheel platforms
  • Floating above a side with regular coins at the top of the large bending platform with flamethrowers
  • Floating above the first highest wooden platform after the Spinning Heart on the path of the lift with an arrow (two arrows in the DS version)
  • Near the center of the first spinning platform after the path of the lift with an arrow
  • Floating above the pole between the two sliding platforms on the third level
  • On the ledge under the stairs before the Warp Pipe that leads to Bowser

After Mario collects all eight Red Coins, the Power Star appears behind the Warp Pipe that leads to Bowser.

Switch Star (DS only)[edit]

Below the first set of platforms that rotate much like a Ferris wheel is a large stone platform. At one end is a Star Switch. Upon pressing it, the player must backtrack to the Star Sphere on the spinning platform from earlier to collect the Power Star.


Statue SMB style.png
  • The statues before the pipe at the end of the level show a depiction of Mario jumping over a fireball near Bowser in the old Super Mario Bros. style.[1]
  • Like the other Bowser stage Stars, the Secret Stars in this level are shown under the "Castle Secret Star" count.
  • Upon his defeat, Bowser's message to the player will differ depending on whether or not all the game's Power Stars have been collected:
Game Bowser's message prior to collection of all Power Stars Bowser's message after collection of all Power Stars
Super Mario 64 "Nooo! It can’t be! You’ve really beaten me, Mario?!! I gave those troops power, but now it’s fading away! Arrgghh! I can see peace returning to the world! I can’t stand it! Hmmm… It’s not over yet… C’mon troops! Let’s watch the ending together! Bwa ha ha!" "Noooo! You’ve really beaten me this time, Mario! I can’t stand losing to you! My troops…worthless! They’ve turned over all the Power Stars! What?! There are 120 in all??? Amazing! There were some in the castle that I missed??!! Now I see peace returning to the world… Oooo! I really hate that! I can’t watch--I’m outta here! Just you wait until next time. Until then, keep that Control Stick smokin'! Buwaa ha ha!" ("Control Stick" is replaced with "L Stick" in the Nintendo Switch port)
Super Mario 64 DS "Nooo! It can’t be! You’ve really beaten me, Mario?!! I gave those troops power, but now it’s fading away! Arrgghh! I can see peace returning to the world! I can’t stand it! But it’s not over yet… C’mon troops! Let’s watch the ending together! Gwa ha ha!" "Noooo! You’ve really beaten me this time, Mario! I can’t stand always losing to you! My troops… worthless! They’ve turned over all the Power Stars! Wait, say that again. There are 150 Stars in all??? What?! There were some in the castle that I missed??!! Now I see peace returning to the world… I really hate that! It’s so horrible I can’t watch. I’m outta here! Just you wait until next time. Until then, keep that Touch Screen smokin’! Gwa ha haaaaaaa!"


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese てんくうの たたかい!
Tenkū no Tatakai!
Battle of the Heavens!
Chinese 天空之城的酷霸王[2]
Tiānkōngzhīchéng de Kùbàwáng
Bowser of the Sky City
French Bowser des cieux Bowser of the Skies
German Bowsers Luftschloss Bowser's Sky Castle
Italian Bowser in Cielo Bowser in the Sky
Korean 천공의대결
Cheongong ui Daegyeol
Battle of the Sky
Spanish Bowser en el cielo Bowser in the Sky


  • Even though seven Goombas are seen in this level, there is actually an eighth Goomba in the N64 version, but its spawn point is off the edge of the platform. This results in the Goomba appearing at the very bottom of the level for a single frame and then disappearing. This makes the coin inside said Goomba impossible to collect.[3] The eighth Goomba was removed in the DS version.
  • In the DS version, this is the only time when Bowser mentions Mario by his name.
  • By accessing the level with fewer than 70 Power Stars via glitches, if the player loses a life, "Inside the Castle Walls" plays for a brief moment before it is cut off by the endless stairs music.[4]


  1. ^ Espyo (August 7, 2010). Super Mario Bros. Easter Egg - Super Mario 64. YouTube. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  2. ^ From the pause menu of the level in iQue's localization of Super Mario 64 DS.
  3. ^ pannenkoek2012 (April 6, 2014). SM64 - The Mystery Goomba SOLVED. YouTube. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  4. ^ Nicro (October 5, 2019). I spent 24 hours running up the ENDLESS staircase (Super Mario 64). YouTube. Retrieved May 27, 2022.