Episode 1: Dune Bud Sand Castle Secret
- Objective: Complete the sandy obstacle course
This level starts out with a secret sublevel, but you might want to explore a bit anyway. This beach has Dune Buds, small plants that swell up when you water them. Strange thing to happen to the sand around them when you do this, so don't be surprised if you're thrown into the air by the sudden appearance of a large pyramid. The buds are usually guarded by Noki, who share the island with the Piantas.
The main enemy for this level are Cataquacks, the duck-shaped things. In this episode most of them are blue and these won't hurt you, though they will throw you into the air. The red ones, more of which will appear in later episodes, are more dangerous.
When you're done looking around, find the Dune Bud near the teardrop shaped peninsula about halfway down the beach. Spray it with water and this time a sand castle pops out on the peninsula. Go through the archway to start a secret minilevel.
The course starts with a long path made of blocks of sand; these start to dissolve when you step on them so don't hang around. Run to the green platform, hopping over the gaps when needed, and take a breather. Ground pound the nail in the left corner on the near side to get a 1-Up.
The sand blocks are a bit smaller on the next stretch but the idea is the same. Run until you reach the next green platform. The orange blocks here are solid so you can stop and get you bearings on them if you need to.
Ahead is a large castle-like structure mostly made of sand, but there are solid orange blocks here and there as well. At the top are four towers, but they shaped more like horns. The Shine is on the horn on the near side, but getting it involves jumping on the sand blocks as they dissolve. A double jump should get you to the next higher level, but if you miss a jump then find a new block to stand on so you don't fall through. Locate an orange block to rest on if you get overwhelmed. There is a second 1-Up on the far horn if you're brave enough to go for it, but it's just as hard to reach as the Shine and that's more important.
Episode 2: Mirror Madness! Tilt, Slam, Bam!
- Objective: Remove the Plungelos from the giant mirrors
Talk to the Pianta where you start the level to see a lot of red critters crawling all over some large mirrors. Your job is to go and remove them so the mirrors can go back to doing what they normally do. The critters are called Plungelos and are very much like cataquacks except they are much bigger and wear leafy hats.
There are three mirrors; the first has one monster on it, the next has two, and the third mirror has three monsters. The first mirror has a palm tree next to it which make it easy to reach.
Once you're on the mirror the question is how to get rid of the monster. The name of the episode give you a clue for that. Spray the creature to push it toward the edge until it starts to lose its balance; it helps a bit to push down-hill if you can. Then run to the high side of the mirror and do a Ground Pound, flipping the monster into the air and out of sight.
Do the other mirrors the same way. They get harder since it gets crowded on the mirrors and you have to flip the monsters one at a time. Hop from treetop to treetop to get to the other mirrors. You can also use the rim around the tower in the middle and grab some coins to restore your health while you're at it.
Once you clear all 3 mirrors of baddies they while re-align and destroy the Wiggler on the tower. A Shine will land on the beach for you to collect.
Episode 3: Wiggler Ahoy! Full Steam Ahead!
- Objective: Defeat the Wiggler.
Episode 4: The Sand Bird is Born
- Objective: Collect 8 red coins in the Sand Bird mini-level.
Talk to the Pianta at the start to learn that the Sand Bird has now hatched and flown away. Look at the tower to see the hole it broke through to get out. The idea now is to get into that hole and you can see a trail of coins leading down behind the tower to a smaller tower. So you need to get to start of the trail at the top of the hill.
One way is to look along the cliff face behind the tower for an indent where a Dune Bud is hiding. Spray the Dune Bud to create some sand steps up to the level above. Then follow the footpath to the left and up the hill until you reach a little arena where there are two Nokis and two Piantas enjoying the view.
An easier way is to talk to a Pianta sitting near the base of the tower. He's a Chuckster and will just throw you where you need to go.
Look down the hill and you'll see the trail of coins from the top. Slide down to the smaller tower which conveniently has a trampoline on top, then bounce to fall, with a bit of luck, into the hole in the tower. You will be transported on to the back of the Sand Bird, high above the island.
This section can tricky since you're balancing on a flying bird, but remain calm and avoid unnecessary risks and you should be alright with a bit of practice. There are seven red coins on the Sand Bird, which you need to collect while it's flying about.
The three most dangerous coins are on the end of the tail and the tips of the wings. Try to get these when the bird is flying steadily early on. Soon the bird starts to flap its wings a bit more which means it's about to do a banked turn. Get up to its neck and move around to the side as the bird banks at a right angle. You should have enough traction to stay on as long as you keep on the side that most horizontal.
Once you've collected the seven coins on the bird, wait until it approaches the central tower where the final red coin is waiting. When you are within range, jump and hover onto the tower. Grab the final coin followed by the priceless Shine.
Episode 5: Il Piantissimo's Sand Sprint
- Objective: Beat Il Piantissimo in a race to the top of the hill.
From the start point, run straight ahead and slightly to the right and you'll see a man in a pink Pianta costume. This is Il Piantissimo and you race him three time in this game so this may or may not be the the first time you're meeting him. Go over to him and he'll challenge you to a race to the flag in the small arena on the cliff behind the tower. He will tell you that the record is 35 seconds, but even if you do better than that, you still have to beat him. One difference this time is that there is no Dune Bud around to create those handy steps up to the footpath, so just use wall kicks to get up there; it's as good a time as any to master this move if you haven't yet. Use triple jumps to get up the little ledges leading up to that point in the shortest time. Also, just hover up the hill instead of following the footpath at the end. It's not too tricky to beat him as long as you don't make any slip-ups. When you win the race, he'll hand over the Shine. There's no do-over if you lose though; you're so upset that it's a K.O. and you have to start over.
Episode 6: Red Coins on the Coral Reef
- Objective: Collect the 8 red coins
This is a pretty easy one, and it's actually strangely relaxing. Start by going to the Beach Cabana at the end of the beach, go to the back where the cafe umbrellas are, and look a bit to the left to see some large grey rocks under the water. Swim out to them and take a look at the colorful wildlife growing in the crevices; this is the coral reef.
You'd think it would be hard to camouflage bright red coins, but they do blend in among the coral. The reef is divided to into three main sections and each section has a two red coins somewhere in the cracks within. It may help to like the camera up with the cracks as you're swimming.
There are two more coins but they are swimming around with schools of fish. Again the coins are camouflaged since the fish are bright orange. If you spot a swimming coin then wait until it's a bit away from the reef before you chase it. The coins tend to swim away from you and you don't want to chase them into the reef where you can't get them.
Once you've grabbed all the coins, your Shine will appear on a dry spot above the reef.
Episode 7: It's Shadow Mario! After Him!
- Objective: Catch Shadow Mario
It's just another Shadow Mario chase level. Simple.
Run after him, spray him, collect the Shine. Next!
Episode 8: The Watermelon Festival
- Objective: Find a huge melon and win the watermelon festival
Finally, you can get your hands on the Shine Sprite that's been locked up in the smoothie store since before you'd even started your adventurous vacation. Its the Watermelon Festival in Gelato Beach and there's a contest to bring in the biggest watermelon. Check near the boardwalk to the Surf Cabana to see what the competition is like. There are actually three melons you can enter. The first is in the corner of the beach near the Surf Cabana and the second in under the trees near the Sand Cabana. Enter these if you want to practice before the real thing but they're too small to even qualify. To enter, spray or push the melon to the Surf Cabana, then along the boardwalk until you get to the judge.
Before getting the winning melon you may want to eliminate some of the cataquacks so they don't chase you while you're rolling it. Grab the attention of one of them and have it chase you while you run past a dune bud. The creature will run into the bud and knock itself out, then spray the bud to throw the cataquack into the air and it will be gone for good. You can get rid of the ones on the beach this way, but there are more in the tower area and there doesn't seem to be anything you can do with them except stun them temporarily.
The winning melon is in the arena on the hillside behind the tower. Push it down the hill the way you came, then you must get it past the cataquacks near the tower; they will break it if you let them. If you see one get close then squirt it with water and jump on top of it so it will stay stunned longer. The safest route seems to be along the side of the cliff. Once you get it to the beach it should be safe because you've already cleared the cataquacks from there. If your melon does break you can get a replacement where you found the original. Get the melon to the judge to enter it and he will give it first prize. The melon is turned into a smoothie and the Shine pops out of the cabana.
100 coins Shine
This can be a difficult Shine to get because many of the coins are in places where acrobatics is needed to reach them. Yoshi appears in Episode 6 in this level and you can get some coins by eating bees, but this doesn't really account for a lot so we're going to recommend getting this Shine in Episode 8. Most of the acrobatics needed to get coins in other episodes aren't needed here.
There are 10 coins here that you need a special move to reach. It's called the Super Whirl Jump and you can learn about it in Episode 8 of Bianco Hills. The idea is to hang from a rope, use the Hover nozzle to start swinging until you start to circle, then use the extra momentum to jump a long distance. You can use this to get the coins that are floating high above the Surf Cabana, but it takes a while just to get to the rope you need to jump from and the maneuver itself is difficult to pull off. So unless you're going for a coin record then you're better off just to ignore these coins. This seems to be the only place that the Super Whirl Jump is useful.
- Plain sight: Under the surf cabana, ceiling in Sand Cabana, ledge near Sand Cabana, above beehive, above ropes, small island, etc. (46 coins, 56 if you use the Super Whirl Jump)
- Cataquacks (25 coins)
- Birds near the arena (10 coins)
- Smash watermelons 10 times each (30 coins, more if you enter the smaller melons in the contrest)
Secret Shine #1
- Objective: Collect 8 Red coins in the Dune Bud Sand Castle Secret area in less than 1:00.
Start Episode 1 and enter the Bud Sand Castle for the replay. You don't see the red button right away since it's on the platform after the first trail of sand block. The first 1-Up is here (under the nail) so you might as well grab it before starting the timer. Now press the button and you have one minute to collect the 8 Red coins.
Coins #1 and #2 are right on the next trail of sand blocks so you don't have to do anything differently than on your first pass to get them. Coin #3 is a bit to the right and off the ground so you should jump and hover to get it, landing on the platform just beyond. Coins #4 and $5 are on the front corners of the sand block structure. Hover over to one, drop to turn around on the orange block beneath it, then hover across the front of the structure to get the other one. Coin #6 is on the lower level in the middle. It's a bit higher but you should be able to hover to it. Coins #7 and #8 are on the left and right horns so you're going to have to do a bit of climbing. Hovering doesn't help too much with this but it will keep you from falling if the sand gives way beneath you. When you have the next to last coin, the last one is on the opposite horn, but it's just out of hovering range. So hover to the middle platform, drop and bounce (jump just as you land), then hover the rest of the way, and it should only take five or six seconds to get from one horn to the other. The Shine appears on the green platform in front of the sand structure.
Secret Shine #2
This turns out to be the best hidden Shine in the game, meaning you could play this level until your thumbs are raw and still never find it without a guide (like this one). But once you know where to look it's one of the easiest Shines in the game to get.
Start any episode, go behind the tower, and find the dune bud there. If you spray it a stairway forms in the sand leading to four Gold coins. But if you keep spraying you see sparks on the wall behind the stairs. Keep it up and eventually a picture of a Shine starts to form and when the picture is complete the Shine itself appears.