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Super Mario 64: Ranking every Level by its 100 Coin Mission

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The 100 Coin Missions. Did you just wince a little bit? I bet you did. Because we all know full well that these are the hardest and most tedious missions in the game. So being the masochist I am, I decided to do all of them in my quest to get 100% in Mario 64. With all of the experience fresh in my mind, I decided to take time to rank these stages 100 coin missions in order of least worst to God awful. Here's my listing.

  1. Big Boo’s Haunt

There are Blue coins literally everywhere thanks to the Boos. Add in Red Coins, coin blocks and even a blue coin switch and you’ve got the easiest 100 Coin Mission in the game.

  1. Whomp’s Fortress

This is a pretty small area all things considered so coins are easy to come by. Plus Whomps give you like 5. Relatively easy, just make sure you don’t fall.

  1. Dire Dire Docks

There is the bare minimum amount of coins in this level but because it’s so small, it’s not that bad to get all 100 coins in. As long as you avoid the Whirlpool at the start, you’re fine.

  1. Bomb-omb Battlefield

Despite this being the first stage in the game, this is actually a pain in the ass to get all of the coins in. It’s not hard but there are barely any Blue coins. Even though Dire Dire Docks has a more lethal trap at the beginning, because of Bomb-Omb battlefield’s verticality, messing up when you’ve collected most of the coins is much more uh…dire than Dire Dire Docks. Again, not hard. But can be stressful towards the end if you’re not careful. Plus if you collect the final coins in the sky with the Wing cap, the draw distance is ass to deal with.

  1. Wet Dry World

This one is surprisingly easy. Lots of coins EVERYWHERE and with the Water level adjustment, you don’t have to worry about the verticality as much. The Blue Coin Switch in this level is also VERY generous. But I rank it higher than Bomb-omb Battlefield because the segments where you can’t use the water for safety and can be chucked from the stage by Heave-Hos and Chuckyas.

  1. Snow Man’s Land

A smaller Cool Cool Mountain that is more open and makes it easier to collect coins in. Only stipulation in the shell. Do not lose the shell when you get it. If you get locked out of the Igloo you’re fucked…mostly. I actually thought I fucked myself because I lost the shell and could no longer get up that steep slope the intended way. But with very precise, blind jumps from the top of the Snowman, you CAN land at the Entrance of the Igloo. Also do not kill the Spindrifts in the Frozen lake without getting to the ledge where the shell is. With a very precise triple jump up a slope, you can get up to that area but it is a pain in the ass and unless you know this games physics like I do, you will have a tough time with it. So this stage mostly comes down to knowing just how jank the physics of the game can really be.

  1. Jolly Roger Bay

Overall easy but FUCK the Eel. I have such shit luck with this thing it ALWAYS seems to hit me somehow. The Clams are also a pain in the ass with their hitboxes. This one isn’t hard just a pain in the ass. I didn’t have fun with it.

  1. Cool, Cool Mountain

God for such an early level, this one SUCKS to navigate for 100 coins. Because you can’t really ascend the Mountain, you rely on the warp on the bridges a lot. But even with those, you still have to do a lot of risky jumps. And then there's the Slide. The Slide is SO stressful to gather coins on that if you’re unlucky like me where you get your 100th coin on this thing, you will be mashing that A Button faster than in Mario Party. I managed to get it on the slide but damn if I wasn’t sweating with this one.

  1. Tick-Tock Clock

Weirdly. for such a late stage, this one is NOT that bad to get 100 coins in. The coin blocks on this are super generous and there’s a Blue coin switch that gives you like 30. Obviously the biggest danger is falling. Thankfully there are spinning hearts that can help here if you hit solid ground but it’s still enough to make you sweat.

  1. Rainbow Ride

This one is hard but is easier than I thought it would be. It’s Rainbow Ride so obviously you have a constant danger of falling. But there IS a set path you can take to where you never have to touch the upper levels. The biggest hinderance and why this is so high on the list is the Blue coin switch. You have to be VERY quick to wall jump up and get all of the coins in time. And because you can’t see it, you just have to know where exactly these coins spawn. Most of my redos were because of this fucking switch. It gives you like 40 coins so of course it’s worth getting. But it’s still a pain in the ass and having to start the route over is annoying.

  1. Lethal Lava Land

This one is tense. I forgot just how much damage Mario takes from Lava in this game. And because the coins are so spread out, falling in Lava is very easy to do. I finished this level with two segments of health left because of just how difficult it can be to navigate it. Also getting coins from the Bullies can be a crapshoot because the coins that leap out of them LOVE to land back in the lava. It’s a hard, but overall fair challenge.

  1. Tall Tall Mountain.

Uggggggh this one suffers the same issue as Cool Cool Mountain but much wooooorse. First of all navigating a vertical stage for coins sucks, It sucks in Tick Tock Clock but it especially sucks here because at LEAST Tick Tock Clock has coin blocks. But then there’s the fact that there aren’t enough coins on the Mountain itself so you HAVE to take the slide. And guess what? Mashing the A Button to grab the star on the slide is way the fuck trickier than on Cool Cool Mountain. Ya boi had to do this mission twice because Mario wouldn’t grab the star on the slide and the Star DESPAWNS when you leave the area! You may say “Hey u/AlternateButtonsShow why not do the slide first then?” And to that I say sure, that makes sense BUT if you find yourself in a position where you didn’t get enough coins on your first run of the slide, then go up the mountain to discover you need to go BACK to the slide, Congratulations, you NOW have to get a hard to reach coin on the fucking thing so Good luck with that one.

  1. Hazy Maze Cave

This one is hard. Plain and simple. Coins are spread out, it’s a maze so navigating to different areas is a chore, there are instant death traps and it’s just overall a gigantic headache and a half. This is one level you really need to know the layout of to have a clean run. Also the blue coin switch like Rainbow Ride, is very unforgiving and WILL kill your run if you miss it.

  1. Tiny Huge Island

I had a very tough time ranking this and the number one pick. The ONLY saving grace of this stage is that it has the most amount of coins of any stage on the entire game, totaling over 200. That makes it sound like its easy but NOOOOOOO. Hell fucking no. This entire area is just poorly designed. Like Cool Cool Mountain, you’re limited as to how you can traverse the Huge part of the Island thanks to its design and the Tiny part is so slope happy and has such a raging erection for knockback, that dying on this section is very very EASY. I got killed by a Micro-Goomba that I COULDN’T EVEN SEE WHEN I HAD 99 COINS. And sure, you can Groundpound the Giant Goombas for 5 blue coins BUT their hitboxes are so huge that it’s far too easy to accidentally jump on them and only spawn one coin. I died SO many times in this level due to bullshit out of my control. I hate this stage normally. None of its missions are even close to being fun. So unsurprisingly, doing the 100 coin mission doesn’t fare much better. This is the worst stage in the game bar none.

1.Shifting Sand Land

Again, the only reason why this is number one is because it has less coins and its coins are more spread out. You can honestly change these top two stages around and I wouldn’t really bat an eye. But being completely objective. this one has less coins than Tiny Huge Island so it’s worse for that reason alone. But regarding the actual stage itself, this one is garbage. The number one culprit of its bullshit are those fucking quicksand traps that are INSTANT death. Y’know what’s even better? Those pillars that defy all physics. Mario can run up them but he can’t LAND on them because they’re treated as walls otherwise. So don’t accidentally fly just barely too low above it because Mario will hit it like a wall and fall into the quicksand. And yes, you also have to rely on the Wingcap to collect some coins which can be stressful and the sand tornadoes can totally cancel your flight path. Then you have the outside of the Pyramid which has VERY narrow pathways with coins on them. If you slip here, you’re starting over. There’s no getting around it. You will fall into the quicksand and you will die. End of story. And then there’s the inside of the Pyramid which is just a JOY to navigate because the camera gets hung up on everything here. It REFUSES to turn in very inconvenient places leading to some blind jumps and awkward viewpoints. This one just feels like the most punishing level to get 100 coins in because of all its instant death traps. It’s awful and is just not fun. Not the worst stage in the game, but definitely the worst to get 100 coins in.

And that's the list. What do you guys think? What are your rankings?

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