Rainbow Ride is the fifteenth and final main course in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS. The entrance to the course is located to the right of Tick Tock Clock's, in a small room above a ledge. The player has to jump onto a high platform in order to reach it. The entrance itself is a small hole in the floor.
To get around the course, there are several magic carpets that move along rainbow rails when the player steps onto them. The player starts on a platform next to a magic carpet, which moves in a bend around a platform and through a flamethrower. The platform has a ring of coins with an Amp circling above them. The magic carpet will fall off its rail at four large spinning platforms with a Lakitu flying over them. Here, the path splits in three directions: To the left are swinging platforms, forward is a large concrete maze, and to the right is another magic carpet.
Swinging Platforms Path
To the left of the player's starting position on the spinning platforms is a pole the player can use to reach the platform below. Hovering above the stair-like platform is a Fly Guy, and a seesaw afterward that can help the player reach the platform above. Afterward is a swinging platform, followed by a seesaw that will lead to several Falling Blocks. Across the gap is a flamethrower that the player has to time their jump with in order to prevent getting burned. Past the flamethrower is a moving platform followed by a split in the path; up the stairs is another swinging platform that leads to a Power Star, and across the Falling Blocks is the Pyramid Puzzle.
Directly ahead of the player's starting position on the spinning platforms is a concrete maze, with a moving platform that will help the player reach it. Inside the maze are the course's Red Coins, Bob-ombs, and Keronpa Balls. By using the Wall Kick to reach the top of the maze through the back end of it, the player can find a Bob-omb Buddy that will open the cannon on the Rainbow Cruiser.
To the right of the player's starting position on the spinning platforms is a magic carpet. When stepped on, the carpet will move along its path, and the player has to dodge several platforms in order to prevent being swept off. At the end of the carpet's path are two more carpets, a left and a right, along with the Lakitu from earlier if the player did not defeat it.
The carpet to the left will take the player to the Rainbow Cruiser. The carpet will move around a spinning platform the player has to dodge to avoid getting pushed off the carpet. The bottom of the platform also acts as a flamethrower (the flame is absent in the DS version), and the top has a 1-UP Mushroom floating above it. Once at the Rainbow Cruiser, the player has to jump over platforms and Falling Blocks to climb onto it. The Rainbow Cruiser has a heavy wind rush through it, pushing the player to the stern of the ship. On the deck, there are a couple of Bob-ombs (one replaced by a Goomba in the DS version) and a Lakitu, with the cannon on the stern of the ship. On the bow is the Power Star for the first mission. Using the cannon, the player can reach a platform with a Chuckya and the Power Star for the sixth mission.
The carpet to the right will take the player to the Cloud House. The carpet will move through several platforms the player has to climb over, and the player needs to quickly return to the carpet before it disappears. On one of these platforms is an Amp circling it. The Cloud House itself has a large fireplace that acts like a flamethrower, as well as having a Power Star on its roof. In the DS version, it also contains the Switch Star of the course.
The background music for Rainbow Ride is heard at several places throughout Super Mario 64, including the races against Koopa the Quick; The Princess's Secret Slide; the slides on Cool, Cool Mountain and Tall, Tall Mountain; as well as the entire level of Tick Tock Clock. It is fast and joyful music. The music shares the melody of the main theme of the game, as heard on the Bob-omb Battlefield; in Whomp's Fortress; on Tall, Tall Mountain; and on Tiny-Huge Island. This melody is also used in the music heard in Cool, Cool Mountain and Snowman's Land. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the music for the stage is a medley of the original Super Mario 64 track and the Super Mario Bros. Underwater Theme. Despite the many appearances of the music in Super Mario 64, it was labeled as "Rainbow Cruise" in the Super Smash Bros. Melee Sound Test.
Statistics from Super Mario 64
Super Smash Bros. series
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, there is a stage based on Rainbow Ride, known as Rainbow Cruise in the North American release, which is Rainbow Ride's Japanese name. In PAL versions of Melee and Brawl, its name is corrected to "Rainbow Ride," but Brawl's North American release and both English releases of Ultimate still refer to it as "Rainbow Cruise."
Names in other languages