As you cross some ruins in the desert, some blocks you move past are more then meets the eye. This area is populated with Blockhoppers, robots disguised as block towers that try to jump on you. Take control of these automatons by standing on their heads, then boost off of their jumps to reach new heights!
The beginning of the level is pretty oddly-designed, with some coin and brick blocks randomly scattered across the ground. After some small block towers, you will meet the first Blockhopper. These enemies are robots masquerading as a pile of blocks, which will take a huge leap and try to land on you. They are easy to spot, since they always begin to vibrate whenever you get close. You can ground pound them to defeat them, but you might not want to do so for every Blockhopper you meet. Once you're on their heads, you can control where they walk and jump by facing the direction you want to go. When they do jump, you can jump from their heads to get a nice boost of height.
Along with the Blockhoppers are the reappearance of Spinies, which are as much of a nuisance as they were before. You will soon see the first Star Coin high above the ground. This is where the Blockhoppers come in handy. Stand on a Blockhopper, face the Star Coin, then jump when it jumps so that you can go high enough to grab the coin. After the first Star Coin is some jagged terrain. There are some more Blockhoppers here, but their purpose is to let you get the coins floating in the air. If you need a power-up, you can ground pound some of them to hopefully make one pop out. As you come across some grey blocks, the checkpoint flag will be activated.
These grey platforms have interesting properties, as while they are not solid, they lets you stand on their edges. Along with a few more Blockhoppers, there is also a new enemy called the Fire Snake. The Fire Snake is exactly what its name implies it to be, a string of fire that chases you around with short hops. They can't be defeated without invincibility, so the only thing you can do is to avoid them. They become especially annoying when going for the next Star Coin. At the section with two Blockhoppers, jump up to the middle of the set of blocks to make a P-Switch pop out. You need to use a Blockhopper to jump on to the set of blocks, letting you press the P-Switch and turn some airborne coins into platforms. Use the platforms to the left to reach a Star Coin way high up.
Continue to the right and hop over a gap. A lone Boomerang Bro. guards the yellow Warp Pipe. A variant of the Hammer Bro., Boomerang Bros. use boomerangs as their weapon of choice, which fly in a straight line and circles back to them if they miss. This lone Boomerang Bro. should be no trouble at all, but the level itself makes your approach tricky. A moving platform over a bottomless pit is required to reach the Boomerang Bro., who is also surrounded by quicksand. A fireball would be the safest way to take it down, but you still have to watch out for its thrown boomerang.
The obvious path forward would be to go through the yellow Warp Pipe. However, you can also sink into the quicksand and try to maintain your position above the abyss. Keep moving slightly to the right to get to a grey block. As stated before, the block isn't solid, so you can jump in front of it and move forward. You will go through a hidden Warp Pipe, which takes you to a series of grey blocks below the final section. Descend down this staircase of platforms to reach a vast cave with a bunch of coins and a lone Blockhopper. Hop on to the Blockhopper and take it to the center of the cave, then jump up as it jumps to reach a small pocket of space in the ceiling with the last Star Coin. You can ground pound the Blockhopper afterward for a 1-Up. Now you just have to jump up the series of grey blocks to get back to the flagpole. Use the Blockhopper's leap to help you touch the top of the pole.
- This airborne coin is between two Blockhoppers. Jump off the top of one as it is jumping to get the boost that lets you reach it.
- Around the second Fire Snake, jump to the middle of the set of blocks to reveal a P-Switch. Use a Blockhopper to hop on the P-Switch, then run across the block platforms formed at the left to obtain the coin.
- At the Boomerang Bro., fall into the quicksand and jump to the area with a grey block to go through a secret path. Descend down the series of grey blocks to an underground cave. The Star Coin is at the center of this cave. Use the Blockhopper inside to reach it.