Super Mario 64 may have been a classic of its time, but that didn’t prevent it from being a major pain as far as certain stars were concerned. I was able to complete the game 100% years ago, and I attempted the feat once more during my recent recording of the game for YouTube. As such, I’m now qualified to complain a bit about a few of the worst stars in the game, from least to most irritating!
6: Big Boo’s Balcony – Big Boo’s Haunt is a pretty easy world, with the exception of star 5. First off, you must battle a rather large Boo on a cramped balcony where you can easily fall off or go back inside through the door, which effectively resets your progress. And then once you succeed, you have to climb onto the roof for your prize, which is sloped and difficult to scale. Why am I punished for completing my assigned goal?
5: Big Penguin Race – Okay, this one wasn’t that bad once I found a helpful video online, but I hate slides, plus having to avoid falling off the edge while also getting pushed around by that darn penguin was a rather stressful feat indeed. And to make matters worse, if you use the shortcut, you’re called out as being a cheater!
4: Stomp on the Thwomp – Tick Tock Clock is a real bummer, as every star requires you to climb ever higher and repeatedly scale the same platforms over and over again. By the time I attempted Stomp on the Thwomp, my last remaining star for this world, I was feeling rather fed up. Especially when, after a long climb to the top, you’re required to ride this clock hand, which is difficult to land on when fast and painfully slow otherwise. After all this work, I fell off the conveyor belt in front of the Thwomp and just quit. At least, until I learned that there’s a method for completing this star with time frozen and a well-placed triple jump. Even so, this world is still a major drag!
3: Tricky Triangles! – I didn’t really enjoy anything about Rainbow Ride because there is so little walking space. But if I was going to choose one stressful star (not including the 100 coin star mentioned later), it would be Tricky Triangles, which requires Mario to traverse a set of platforms extremely quickly or risk sliding back down once they revert back to their original triangular shape. I’m not super speedy, and several times I almost fell to my doom when Mario slipped off the platform. I just don’t enjoy such stress!
2: Red Coins in the Clouds – I’m talking about the star in Princess Peach’s Castle that is accessed across from Rainbow Ride. This one is rather stressful and requires you to fly carefully above the clouds and collect red coins. It’s a bit difficult pulling off a successful triple jump on some of these cramped clouds, but what I think bothers me most is the fact that falling sends you all the way outside the castle into a lake. So every time you make a mistake, you have to swim to shore, head back inside, and run up several flights of stairs just to try again!
1: Various 100 Coin Stars – Maybe I’m pushing it with this one, but these stars just need to be combined, or else they’d take up multiple spaces on this list. In general, these stars are just the worst because of the sheer stress of trying not to make a fatal mistake while you slowly collect 100 coins. It should go without saying that Rainbow Ride (the level is 99% bottomless pit, after all) and Tick Tock Clock (I barely found enough coins here) are among the worst. But I also struggled greatly with Tiny-Huge Island, which is just a pain to navigate. That last one took 40 minutes just by itself!