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How to Find the Star Coins of Layer-Cake Desert in "New Super Mario Bros. U"

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

Ready for a dip into the hottest climes of New Super Mario Bros. U's Mushroom Kingdom? Then it's time to snag the Star Coins of Layer-Cake Desert. This article will guide you through snagging all twenty-seven of the coins. Beware—it's not as easy as in Acorn Plains.

Stone-Eye Zone

  • The first Star Coin is in plain sight. Jump off the Stone-Eye to reach it.
  • The second Star Coin requires a Flying Squirrel Suit. Reach the halfway point, then look for a tree. At the top of the tree is a warp pipe leading to the coin. If you don't have a Flying Squirrel Suit, a Waddlewing a ways to the left is carrying an Acorn and will fly by if you walk far enough.
  • The third Star Coin is near the end, hanging in midair. Wait for the geyser under it to erupt, then walk down into the geyser. It will carry you up into the coin and deposit you safely at the top of the sand.

Perilous Pokey Cave

  • The first Star Coin is floating in midair, above a Red Koopa Troopa patrolling a platform.
  • The second Star Coin is hidden along a small secret path above the ceiling. Shortly after the first coin, you'll see a gap in the ceiling, flanked on both sides by Pokeys. Use the geyser between them to get into the air, then jump to reveal a hidden coin box. Use that coin box to get over the ceiling and run to the Star Coin.
  • The third Star Coin is up a warp pipe. Near the end of the course, you'll find a dead-end surrounded by pipes. Check the brown blocks here, specifically the top one, for an egg containing Yoshi. Hop on and take the second-to-last warp pipe on the ground. It will shoot you into a darkened area. Proceed along the top until you find three Pokeys clustered around one area. Eat their heads to get rid of them, then jump up and into the green pipe they're surrounding. The next area contains three more Pokeys and the Star Coin, floating high above them. Get rid of the enemies, then flutter up into the air with Yoshi and jump off his back (ZR) to reach the coin.

Fire Snake Cavern

  • The first Star Coin is right at the beginning of the level. After you enter the warp pipe you'll find several tilting metal platforms. Hop up them until you find the topmost platform, then run and jump off it to the right when it's at its highest point. The coin is on a ledge.
  • The second Star Coin is in a warp pipe. Not far after the halfway point flag, you'll find two tilting metal platforms with bricks built into their midsections. Break through these bricks to reach a warp pipe on the ground below. Inside you'll find a P-switch that will open the way to a nearby coin. Watch out for the Fire Snakes—the Yellow Yoshi or the Ice Flower are near-essential items for grabbing this coin intact.
  • The third Star Coin is just before the end pipe. As soon as you see two Fire Bros. on moving platforms, hop your way to the top of the screen. You'll find a warp pipe containing the coin.

Stoneslide Tower

  • The first Star Coin is on the first screen of the tower. Hop on the wooden screw and spin with ZR to bring it into view, then jump up and grab it before it can sink into the wall again.
  • The second Star Coin is near the third screw of the tower, near three Dry Bones on a platform. Use the screw to move the big block opposite this platform, then run to the left and wall jump off of the block as it slowly moves back left. Another wall jump will get you to the coin.
  • The third Star Coin is hidden in a warp pipe. After the halfway point, proceed up the tower until you see a sign pointing upward. Run past the pipe to the left and jump at the ceiling to find the pipe. Inside is a machine that drops Grrrols, which can break through the grey blocks at the bottom. Use the screw near Mario to move the platform under this machine so the Grrrols hit the blocks in front of the Star Coin, then carefully make your way past them to retrieve the coin. Let the Grrrols bounce off the wall to the right of the platform or you'll never direct them to the blocks you want them to destroy.

Spike's Spouting Sands

  • The first Star Coin is under a high bridge. Take the low road and knock the two Spikes off their question blocks before grabbing the coin.
  • The second Star Coin is up a warp pipe. Continue past the first coin until you see a small cluster of floating question blocks. Just past here is a spout of sand. Get to the top of the spout and jump to reveal a climbing vine. Go up it to find a series of moving platforms, at the top of which is the coin.
  • The third Star Coin is soon after the halfway point. Wander along and you'll see a raised platform with an arrow pointing up and right on the edge. Beneath this platform is a hidden pipe. Go inside to find a Mini Mushroom, then run up the side of the wall and through the pipe at the top. Dash non-stop to the right when you emerge to find the coin.

Don't get rid of Mini Mario right after getting this third coin, however! Once you're done with the Star Coins, head over the green pipe to your right and check the base of the next Stone-Eye statue. Tiny Mario can fit inside and find a cannon pipe leading to the level's secret exit—and a secret stage, Piranha Plants on Ice.

Dry Desert Mushrooms

  • The first Star Coin is above a small moving platform near the beginning of the course. Start the top platform moving, then jump down to the lower platform and the coin when you have space.
  • The second Star Coin is near the halfway point, between two Spikes on a moving platform. Wait on one of the platforms beneath them, avoiding the balls they drop, and wait for their platform to extend. Hop up to grab the coin.
  • The third Star Coin is in a green pipe not far from the second. Inside you'll find two extending and retracting platforms, as well as a POW block. Grab the POW block and throw it as soon as the platforms begin to extend. This will knock the coin out of the sky. Grab it quick before it falls into the pit.

Blooming Lakitus

  • The first Star Coin is in plain sight as you proceed through the course, above a few platforms.
  • The second Star Coin is in a warp pipe at the top of the level. Run through the course until you find a POW block, then wait for a Lakitu to come close. Bop it out of its cloud, then steal the cloud and ride it into the air. You'll find the pipe containing the coin.
  • The third Star Coin is in the midst of a bunch of Piranha Plants near the end of the level.

Morton's Compactor Castle

  • The first Star Coin is above several small platforms separated by equally small lava pits. Get rid of the Dry Bones on the left side of this little pit, then, just as the two larger platforms below are coming together, run to the right. Mario will run straight over the gaps and get the coin. Your timing here has to be perfect or you'll wind up in the lava.
  • The second Star Coin is in a hidden warp pipe. Proceed past the first coin until you find three stacked and moving platforms. Jump up them and up the overhanging wall to find a pipe. Wall jump inside to get the coin.
  • The third Star Coin is in the middle of several moving platforms past the midway point. It's not hard to get so long as you're patient.

Piranha Plants on Ice

  • The first Star Coin is in a warp pipe near the beginning of the level, though your chances to get it are time-sensitive. As soon as you see the warp pipe dive for it, as a Piranha Plant will try to block the pipe with a giant ice block. Inside is the coin.
  • The second Star Coin is in a warp pipe halfway through the level. After a series of Piranha Plants, you'll see a slight rise in the ground. Go back to the previous Piranha Plant and wait for it to melt through the nearest hunk of ice, releasing a large ice block. Jump on top of it, and the next one up, to reach the pipe. Wait for the Piranha Plants inside to melt all of the ice blocks, then wall jump your way up to the coin.
  • The third Star Coin is another time-sensitive snag. Proceed through the level until you find a series of suspended ice blocks that you can easily jump across. Moving at full speed, go across these blocks non-stop and charge towards a wooden platform out of reach from the ground. Keep going across the upmost ice blocks here as quickly as you can to reach the last coin. This one is much easier to get if you have the Flying Squirrel Suit.