The Secret Under the Moat

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The Secret Under the Moat
SM64 Vanish Cap Under The Moat.png 
Area Vanish Cap Under the Moat (N64) / The Secret Under the Moat (DS) 
How to unlock Defeat Bowser in the Dark World to access the basement and drain the castle's moat. 
Stars Super Mario 64:
Star SM64.png
Super Mario 64 DS:
Star SM64DS.pngStar SM64DS.png

Vanish Cap Under the Moat (called Vanish Cap Switch Course in the message that appears upon first entering the course) 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 the Mushroom Castle by pounding two certain pillars in the basement, then go outside to the newly exposed door. After he does so, there will be a hole in the drained moat by the waterfall that will warp him to the course.

In Super Mario 64 DS, the course was retitled The Secret Under the Moat, and the blue ! Switch was removed. Also, a Black Brick (in a rectangular shape, containing three coins) covered the entrance to the course, requiring only Wario's strength to enter. It is one of the only three secret levels in the remake that only one certain character can access, the others being Chief Chilly Challenge for Luigi and Bowser in the Sky for Mario. There is a known glitch that, when performed, allows any character to enter the moat by going out of bounds at high speeds.[1]


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

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 Vanish Mario, though nothing happens to Wario in the DS remake. 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 and Keronpa Balls on the path. Once Mario pushes the ! Switch, all the blue ! Blocks in the game will become solid, making the Vanish Cap usable. If Mario falls, he will not lose a life, but he will come out of a gaping hole near the waterfall. In the DS version, if the player falls off, the same thing happens, but the bricks will respawn.


The Secret Under the Moat in Super Mario 64 DS

There are two Power Stars to collect in this course, with one being exclusive to the DS remake.

8 Red Coins[edit]

There are eight Red Coins in the course. The first four are located on the slide's ledges 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 DS version, by collecting the Luigi 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]

In the DS version is a new area across the chasm at the bottom of the slide. By turning into Mario, Wario can use a Power Flower to float over to the new area. By activating the Star Switch on the platform, the Power Star will appear in the Star Sphere above. Wario can reach it either by floating upwards to it or by using wall jumps.


Names in other languages[edit]

Super Mario 64[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese おほりのとうめいスイッチ
Ohori no Tōmei Suitchi
The Moat's Transparent Switch
French Invisible sous les Douves Invisible under the Moat
German Blauer Schalterpalast Blue Switch Palace
Chinese 护城河里的隐身帽
Hùchénghé Lǐ de Yǐnshēnmào
Vanish Cap Under the Moat

Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese おほりのしたのひみつ
Ohori no Shita no Himitsu
Secret Under the Moat
Spanish El Secreto del Foso The Secret of the Moat
French Le secret des douves The secret of the moat
Korean 해자밑에감춰진비밀
Haeja Mit e Gamchweojin Bimil
Hidden Secret Under the Moat
Chinese 护城河下的秘密[2]
Hùchénghé xià de Mìmì
Secret Under the Moat


  1. ^ Video of the glitch being executed.
  2. ^ From the pause menu of the level in iQue's localization of Super Mario 64 DS.