Rainbow Ride is the fifteenth and final main level in the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games, Super Mario 64 and its remake Super Mario 64 DS. In Japan and Korea, the course is known as Rainbow Cruise. It is a labyrinth of platforms and rainbows that are all part of an elaborate transport system. There is a large flying ship and a house that is in the sky. The stage is the last major area in the video game, and thus is very challenging. Unlike many of the courses in the game, Rainbow Ride is not access by jumping through a painting, but rather the player can enter the stage by entering a small hole in the highest room in Princess Peach's Castle, which also contains the gate to Tick Tock Clock, Wing Mario Over the Rainbow/Over the Rainbows, and Bowser in the Sky. The entrance to the level is found in a niche up the right wall opposite to the entrance of Wing Mario Over the Rainbow/Over the Rainbows.

Rainbow Ride is a level with very little backtracking, and offers different paths around the level to different Power Stars, which makes it possible for Mario to collect them in any order he desires. Rainbow Ride is set in the skies, and Mario has to use several flying carpets to get from one platform to another. Enemies on his way are Fire Jets, Lakitus, Bob-ombs, and Amps, rarely Goombas and Fly Guys, and several Kuromame. There are platforms which are similar like Donut Blocks which fall down when Mario stands on them for too long, and circle platforms which spin rapidly.


The level titles and numbers correspond to Super Mario 64 unless otherwise noted.

Mario can get a seventh (eighth in the remake) Star in Rainbow Ride by collecting 100 Coins, as with the other main courses in the game. To do this, Mario can collect a number of Blue Coins near the maze of the Red Coins and the Bob-omb Buddy.

Star 1: Cruiser Crossing the Rainbow

In the first mission, Mario has to get the Power Star on the flying ship of the stage. It is not guarded, and Mario has to use several flying Carpets to get to the ship, dodging Lakitus on his way. On the main intersection in the stage, which is made of four spinning discs, Mario has to go to the Carpet on the right, and take another Carpet on the left further above. When reaching the ship, Mario is hindered by winds which try to stop him from getting the Star.

In the DS version, there are multiple ways to get to the Star. The player can use a Wario Cap and a ? Block containing a Power Flower. With these, Metal Wario can bypass the winds easily and grab the Star. The player can use Mario by becoming Balloon Mario with the Power Flower or backflip as Luigi. These must be done very carefully, as the wind blows Balloon Mario/Luigi's backflip away, and one wrong move can lead to Mario's and Luigi's death. Very strangely, Yoshi can use his tongue to scoot up to get to the Star. When playing as any character, the player can repeatedly long-jump to the Star.

Star 2: The Big House in the Sky

In this level, Mario has to get the Power Star which is on top the big house in the area. Starting from the main intersection, he has to take the carpet to the right as in the last mission, but has to choose the right carpet again further above. By jumping over obstacles in the path of the flying carpet and avoiding the flame thrower in the house's basement, Mario can get to the top of the castle-like building to get the Star.

Star 3: Coins Amassed in a Maze

In this level, Mario has to get all the eight Red Coins to get the Power Star. All the Coins are found in a side-view maze which is found right near the level's main intersection. On the bottom level, there are Bob-ombs trying to hurt Mario, and further above, Mario can be hit by flames as well. He has to use different tactics, such as the wall-jump and the long-jump to get all the Red Coins and make the Star appear. Once Mario has collected all the 8 Red Coins, the Star appears at the bottom of the maze.

Star 4: Swingin' in the Breeze

In this level, Mario has to clear an obstacle course to get the Power Star. From the main intersection, he has to go leftwards and climb down the pole, then take the way down the right. He has to use platforms which swing back and forth, cross several fall-down platforms and avoid a fire jet to get the Star. Mario can also long-jump from the starting point to grab the pole.

Star 5: Tricky Triangles!

Following the same way as for the previous Star, Mario has to take a different route as soon as he meets the single Goomba of the level. He has to take the direction to the triangles. By hitting a flat ! Switch, he can make the triangles temporarily turn over, creating platforms which he can use to jump over to the Star.

Star 6: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

To get this Star, Mario first has to find the Bob-omb Buddy of Rainbow Ride, which is found at the very top of the Coin maze of the third Power Star. A cannon will open at the stern of the flying ship which Mario had to visit for the first Power Star. By shooting himself through a rainbow circle, Mario can get onto a platform with a Chuckya and the sixth Power Star. It is recommended to shoot towards the pole on the platform to avoid the Chuckya.

The course name is a reference to the song from MGM's The Wizard of Oz.

Star 7 (DS): Switch Star of the Manor

For this mission, Mario is required. Mario must get to the roof of the big house in the sky as quickly as possible after stepping on a Star Switch. He can do it by using a Power Flower to get the Power Star.


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 a fast and joyful music. The music shares the melody of the main theme of the game, as heard in Bob-omb Battlefield, Whomp's Fortress, Tall, Tall Mountain, and Tiny-Huge Island. This melody is also used in the music heard at 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

  • Total Number of Coins: 146
  • Caps Found: (none)
  • Spinning Heart: #1: On one of the four large spinning platforms, #2: At the bottom of the maze, under the place where the player can wall-kick up the maze.
  • Cannons: 1
  • 1-Up Mushrooms (9):
    • Homing Mushrooms : #1 In the pole on the ship.
    • Static Mushrooms : #2 Floating above one of the Tricky Triangles. #3 On the second set of donut lifts after taking the carpet to the big house. #4 Above the fire-shooting platform midway the ride to the cruiser. #5 On the tip of the cruiser's bowsprit, next to the Star.
    • Triggered Mushrooms : #6 Triggered by riding the donut lift on the top of the maze.
    • Box Mushrooms : #7 Underneath the Swingin' in the Breeze Star on a long platform. #8 On the very top of the maze, by the warp. #9 On the top of the big house, beside the Star.
  • Warps : Located on the very top of the maze, just beside an ! Block with a 1-UP in it, it warps the player to the big house balcony.

Super Smash Bros. series

In Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, Rainbow Ride appears as a stage known as Rainbow Cruise (in European copies, however, it is still known as Rainbow Ride). The stage starts out on an airship, similar to the one found in the game, though will eventually drop, requiring the players to jump on a variety of different platforms on a scrolling stage until they return to another ship, thus starting the entire ordeal over again. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the stage is remade and in America it is known as Rainbow Ride rather than Rainbow Cruise.

See also