Rare fields of grass can be found in select regions of the desert, and the wide, flat fields should make this level a breeze to clear. However, Lakitu, a classic Mario enemy that has been in the Koopa Troop ever since Bowser's first invasion of the Mushroom Kingdom, is here to harass you with Spinies. The open field has almost nothing to cover you from the aerial bombardment, so be on the move to stay ahead of the rain of Spinies.
The level starts off peaceful enough, with a power-up block surrounded by three red Koopas walking about on some orange platforms. These odd platforms are springy, so they don't break when you bump into them, but they can transfer shockwaves from a bump, letting you knock a Koopa into its shell from below. You can hold on to a red shell, as it will be quite handy against what you will encounter very soon. Jump over the gap past the Koopas and a Lakitu will hover in from the background. This annoying enemy stays out of reach in the sky, and can throw an endless amount of Spinies, which as you would recall can't be stomped. Most of the time you can't directly harm him, so focus on running instead. If you have a shell, you can throw it straight up to take out the Lakitu. Just note that another Lakitu will soon replace it, so only bother with killing Lakitus if you're really overwhelmed by Spinies. Alternatively, if you can get to a high-enough spot and has the Fire Flower, you can defeat the Lakitu with a fireball, but leave its cloud behind. You can board this cloud until it disappears, which not only lets you collect tons of airborne coins, but also lets you skip plenty of the course.
A flat stretch of land lies after Lakitu first spawns, and eventually there will be a series of blocks. The top left block contains a power-up. More importantly, the top of these blocks are one of the points in this stage where you can stomp on or burn a Lakitu with a fireball. Be careful about stomping the Lakitu, as you will hurt yourself if it is currently holding a Spiny above its head. Remember that Lakitu will only leave its cloud if you defeat it with a fireball. After a few gaps are some coins enclosed in some brick blocks. The bottom-right block of this block formation contains 10 coins which can be collected by ground pounding it. After that is another set of those odd orange platforms with more red Koopas. This is one more spot where you can directly take out Lakitu, and it is also another important landmark, as the first Star Coin is directly above this set of platforms. Get Lakitu's cloud by killing it with a fireball, then use it to move up, following the vertical trail of coins to reach the Star Coin.
The next Star Coin is down on the ground, where you are a bit more vulnerable to Spiny assaults. Past the orange platforms and over a pit is a section of the ground surrounded by two pipes with Piranha Plants in them. There is also the second Star Coin inside this small piece of land. Ground pound through the brick blocks to fall into the small valley and collect it, then quickly jump back out. Don't dawdle, as the terrain can easily trap you if a Lakitu continuously throws Spinies down. Continue forward to reach another set of blocks, which can also let you get high enough to take down Lakitu. After those blocks is the checkpoint. Jump over a gap and up a hill to get a power-up from the block on top of the hill. There are multiple coin blocks after the hill, which again lets you reach Lakitu and attack it. If you can get Lakitu's cloud again. Ascend and go right until you reach another vertical trail of coins. Follow the coins to reach a yellow Warp Pipe, which takes you to a Coin Heaven. Hop into one of the two Cannon Pipes to get yourself launched into the sky, collecting a bunch of coins including the final Star Coin of the stage. Exiting through the red pipe takes you a bit further into the stage, letting you skip one shifting red mushroom platform. There is only one more mushroom platform to go until you reach the flagpole. If you had the cloud and chose to skip the Coin Heaven section, you can easily obtain a 1-Up by touching the very top of the pole.
- High in the sky, after the second set of platforms with red Koopas on them. Requires Lakitu's cloud.
- In a small valley. Ground Pound through some brick blocks to get to it.
- In a coin heaven section accessible via a yellow Warp Pipe high up in the sky, directly upward from two adjacent pipes. Requires Lakitu's cloud.