Pink bouncy mushrooms thrive in these skies, and you can get quite some airtime from jumping off of them. Be careful not to get yourself launched into a pit, and do watch where you land after a bounce. Scales also make their first appearance here, learn to get used to their tricky movement!
After jumping off the first platform, you will land on a stretch of pink mushrooms. If you remember them from the previous athletic stage, you should know that they act like trampolines, bouncing you into the sky automatically. You can also hold the jump buttons as you land to get propelled even higher. Moving across this mushroom path is more akin to traveling on pogo stick, as you go forward in repeated hops. Be sure to get the coins and power-up from the first three blocks. Further down the path you can see the first Star Coin hanging high in the air. Simply bounce up high from the ground to collect it.
The pink mushrooms stop temporarily to a solid green mushroom platform with a red Koopa. Stomp it and take its shell, then release the shell on the pink mushroom ground to the right. Follow the shell right and you can witness it take down plenty of green Koopas, great for racking up points and even a potential 1-Up. Other than the frequency of enemies, there is nothing else notable about this second stretch of trampoline mushrooms. There are a few gaps between the mushrooms toward the end of the path, and a red Koopa marks the final pink mushrooms in this first half of the course.
The next few mushroom platforms are non-elastic, a welcome break from the constant bouncing. However, up ahead is a much more precarious obstacle. A set of scale platforms are in your path, a classic type of platform in the Mario series. Standing on one platform causes it to fall and its twin to rise, while making one platform dip too low will cause the entire set to drop into the abyss. Carefully raise the right platform of this set of scales until its just enough for you to reach from the left platform, then quickly jump from the scales to the narrow mushroom platform containing the second Star Coin! After a few more normal mush platforms, you will encounter two sets of scales platforms. You need to use both to cross the gap, while you can also use the second set of scales to reach a warp pipe hanging from the top, taking you to a bonus area.
The warp pipe will bring you even higher into the clouds. In this coin heaven, hop on the red mushroom and attempt to stay on it as it moves across the bonus area. There are plenty of coins to collect, but don't risk it if you might fall off. Make sure to stay until the platform carries you to some coins forming a mushroom, where you can get a Star Coin in the middle. After that, you can feel free to jump down any gaps to return to the main stage. No matter which gap you drop down through, you will fall at the same location back in the main course, a bit to the right from the warp pipe. Continue forward to pass the midway checkpoint.
Be careful of the Koopa Paratroopas as you make your jump to the final pink mushroom path. You can get another power-up from one of the blocks around here. After a few more mushrooms, you will come across a red ring. It is not too hard to get all the red coins from these rings, as they are mostly confined to the two higher pink mushrooms near the ring. After the red ring is an empty platforming section consisting entirely of trampoline mushrooms. The mushrooms are all at different elevations, so there's a higher risk of falling into pits. Look for four blocks above one single mushroom, as you can bump into the blocks repeatedly to get tons of coins. After the blocks and a mushroom with a Goomba, bounce up high so that you can grab the top of the flagpole.
You can now access the World 1 Castle, but if you have some Star Coins to spare, you can also open up the road to World 1-A for an extra challenge, and a Toad House!
- Above some bouncy mushrooms. Use the mushrooms to bounce up high and collect it.
- On a narrow red mushroom platform. You need to raise the right scale platform high enough to reach it.
- Near the end of the coin heaven segment accessible from going into the sole warp pipe. You need to be on the moving platform to grab it.