Shifting Sand Land
Shifting Sand Land is a desert-based course and the eighth course appearing in Super Mario 64 and its remake, Super Mario 64 DS. The entrance to the level is in the Mushroom Castle's basement, disguised as a wall at the end of the hall to the left of the painting into Lethal Lava Land. The course has several sand dunes, quicksand, and an ancient pyramid in the center. Klepto the Condor circles the course and will attempt to steal the player's cap if he gets near.
The player starts on a stone slab in the sand next to some sand dunes and a Crazed Crate. Up ahead are some Bob-ombs, a Fly Guy, a Pokey, and some Goombas, all around a stone structure containing a few blocks underneath and a red and yellow ! Block on top. Near this stone structure are a number of circular quicksand pits: one with a 1-Up Mushroom hovering over top, and one that spawns a tornado if the player approaches. Beyond the stone structure is a maze-like path constructed out of stone blocks over a pool of quicksand with three Tox Boxes flipping around the paths. To the right are a cannon and a red ! Block/? Block, and to the left is an oasis with a Bob-omb Buddy next to it. A warp point is placed under the palm tree and leads to the aforementioned cannon and red block. South of the oasis are two of the four stone pillars situated around the pyramid, with the other two on the other corners of the pyramid. After the quicksand with a tornado is a ramp to the pyramid's entrance, with the exterior of the pyramid having two ! or ? Blocks, along with a ring of steps that lead to the top of the pyramid. If all four of the pillars have been stood upon, the top of the pyramid explodes and opens up a new entrance.
Inside the pyramid
If the player enters the pyramid, they cannot return to the main course. Additionally, if the player loses a life and re-enters the level, they are brought back into the pyramid without having to go through the main course again, provided the life lost did not result in a Game Over.
Upon entering the pyramid, the player is dropped into a short hall that leads to either a left or a right path. The left path leads to a 1-Up Mushroom and a Grindel that hops across the platform and can help the player reach another 1-Up Mushroom. The right path leads to the top of the pyramid, where the player has to go through several obstacles to reach the top. These obstacles include Grindels, large gaps, Amps, moving platforms, a Spindel, and a hanging grate the player can grab and swing across. Halfway up the pyramid is a Spinning Heart, which the player can use to recover any lost health. At the center of the pyramid's base is a large sand pit that restricts the player's jumping ability and acts as quicksand.
If the player enters through the secret entrance on the top of the pyramid, they are brought to a fenced lift that moves down through the center of the pyramid. At the bottom of its rail is a hole that leads to a secret room where the boss of the level, Eyerok, sleeps.
Statistics from Super Mario 64
Names in other languages