You have arrived at Bowser Jr.'s last castle. Bowser Jr.'s final gimmick to use against you is a bunch of platform switches. Select the right platform to collect items and create a path forward. Later on, you must cross over some rotating platforms instead. With the sea of lava covering the length of the castle, one false step can mean instant death. We've not heard from Bowser ever since his demise back at World 1. Is he really vanquished for good?
Upon entering the castle, you will be introduced to the feature of this stage, red blocks that alternate the position of platforms. Hit the first red block to cause the top one to disappear, making one form below. You can ride this platform over the lava, collecting some coins along the way. You don't have to hit the red block on the other side. Instead, ride the existing platform to the right. Defeat the Dry Bones there and hit the red switch, then ride the top platform to the left to get the first Star Coin. Ride the platform back.
Back on the platform with the first Dry Bones, you can get across the lava using either platform track. Switching the platform to the top track does let you access some coin blocks though. On the next stone platform is a 10-coin block below the red switch block. Hit the red switch block so that a platform appears on the N-shaped track, then use it to get to the platform on the top to the right. Stay on the platform as it falls and moves back to the left to get the second Star Coin, avoiding the Podoboo nearby. Get off the moving platform once you reach a platform made off stone blocks.
You can proceed forward using either platform path, but for completion's sake, you would want to hit the red switch so you can take the platform along the bottom track. Jump on to the platform when you near it and crouch to pass under the gap. At the end of the track, jump toward the rope and start swinging. Jump once you have some forward momentum to land on the stone platform, where the checkpoint flag is located.
Your next challenge is to cross the lava pool using rotating platforms. Like back in the World 2 Castle, you may slip and fall if the platform is currently rotating. Wait for the platform to stop, then jump on to it, then quickly to the next platform once it stops moving. Podoboos will constantly shoot out between the platforms, so watch out while jumping. On the rectangular platforms, you can wait until they all align horizontally to run across and jump to the rope.
If you took the lower platform before the checkpoint, there will be another wooden platform here. You can ride it to reach a secret area behind the boss door, where there are some more rotating platforms. The final Star Coin is seemingly suspended above deadly lava, but a rotating platform will soon emerge from within the lava to let you jump to the Star Coin. Ride the platform back and jump on to the alcove to enter the double doors.
Boss: Dry Bowser
As you enter the arena, a bunch of bones drop from the ceiling. It's Bowser reanimated by the Koopa Troop's dark magic, now known as Dry Bowser. Like the Dry Bones that patrols his castle, Dry Bowser is immune to fireballs, so you'll have no luck defeating him with heat. Just like your previous fight, Dry Bowser can jump about and breath fireballs. However, he can now also charge at you, or throw a trio of bones in an arc. Ultimately, you must wait for Dry Bowser to make a jump, then run under him and hit the skull switch, breaking the bridge and defeating him yet again.
Even with his father bested twice, Bowser Jr. still continues the kidnapping operation. A bridge appears to the right of the castle, which Bowser Jr. crosses to reach his truly final tower. Your adventure is far from ending, as you must now traverse the volcanic region of World 8.
- After you've ridden two wooden platforms across the lava, hit the red switch above the Dry Bones so that a platform appears at the top track to your left. Ride it to reach a stone platform with the Star Coin.
- On the stone platform with the N-shaped track, hit the switch block so a platform appears on the track. Use that platform to reach another platform to the right. Ride it until it falls and moves left to get the Star Coin.
- You must have the last platform before the checkpoint in its lowest position. If you do, there will be a platform on the track below the double doors. Ride it to a hidden room where there are some rotating platforms. Wait for one to rise out of the lava, then jump from it to the Star Coin.