Shifting Sand Land

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Shifting Sand Land
Course Info
Abbreviation SSL
Terrain Sandy/Default
Setting Day
Water Small
Course Items
Coins 86 ( Yellow Coin.gif ×55  •  Red Coin.gif ×8  •  Blue Coin.gif ×3)
Enemy Coins 50 ( Yellow Coin.gif ×30  •  Blue Coin.gif ×4)
Stars Challenge infobox star 1.gif ×7
Caps STROOP- Wing Cap Block.png ×3
Star Navigation

Challenge infobox star 1.gifChallenge infobox star 1.gifChallenge infobox star 1.gifChallenge infobox star 1.gifChallenge infobox star 1.gifChallenge infobox star 1.gifChallenge infobox star 1.gif

STROOP- SSL Pyramid 3.png
STROOP- SSL Pyramid 4.png

Shifting Sand Land is the eighth course of Super Mario 64. The entrance is disguised as a wall and can be accessed from the end of the hallway left of the painting leading to Lethal Lava Land.

Course Versions

There are three versions of the course that can appear by selecting different stars. Keep in mind that if there are any blue stars (uncollected) present in the star selection menu, then the last version that can be selected is the first blue star and not the stars after it:

  • Version 1: Accessed by selecting Star 1. Klepto holds a star.
  • Version 2: Accessed by selecting Star 2 or Star 3. Klepto does not hold a star, while there are no extra tornadoes in the course.
  • Version 3: Accessed by selecting Star 4 through Star 6. Extra tornadoes will appear in certain quicksand areas.


There are 74 coins outside of the Pyramid and 62 coins inside the pyramid for a combined maximum of 136 total coins for this score. The max can be raised using the Breaking-Disappearing Cork Box Glitch, which allows collection of infinite coins.

Location Count
Inside the throwing box under the stone building 3
One coin on top of each of the four pillars 4
Line of coins between the two pillars behind the pyramid 5
Line of coins on the pyramid 5
(In the Pyramid) 2 coins just before first floor staircase at back of pyramid 2
(In the Pyramid) Ring of coins under the first wire grid 8
(In the Pyramid) Line of coins under the second wire grid 5
(In the Pyramid) 4 coins on steps just after second wire frame 4
(In the Pyramid) 2 pairs of coins, on moving steps 4
(In the Pyramid) 10 coins at very top of pyramid (a line and a sloped line of coins) 10
(In the Pyramid) 5 coins in "Pyramid Puzzle" secrets 5
(Out and In the Pyramid) 12 Goombas 12
3 Fly Guys 6
2 Crazy Boxes 10
2 Bob-ombs 2
8 Red Coins 16
4 Pokeys 20
(In the Pyramid) Blue coin block 15
Total 136


Star 1:[1]

Star 2:[1]

Star 3:[1]

Star 4:[1]

Star 5:[1]

Star 6:[1]

A Press Counts

In the A Button Challenge, two of the seven stars require one A presses, namely Inside the Ancient Pyramid and Pyramid Puzzle. The remaining missions do not require A presses to complete.

Star A Presses Minutes
1 0 1
2 0 1
3 1* 1
4 0 12
5 0 2
6 1* 2
100 0 0**
*To jump out of the elevator of the pyramid.
**Combined with Star 4 in a full game run.

Entering Shifting Sand Land (0x)


The painting disguised as a wall can be entered by dive-recovering into it.

In the Talons of the Big Bird (0x)


Near one of the four pillars, there is a crazy box nearby, which Mario can grab at the right moment to touch Klepto once the crazy box is at its peak. Mario then grabs the star.

Shining Atop the Pyramid (0x)


Using the same crazy box, Mario aims towards the top of the pyramid instead and swiftly grabs the star there. Even without this strategy, the star can still be reached by twirling from a Shy Guy and then walking up the pyramid while burned by a Keronpa Ball.

Inside the Ancient Pyramid (1x)


Navigating up the pyramid from the standard entrance to the top costs 2 A Presses[2] using known strategies, and therefore it is better to enter the pyramid from the top. Unfortunately, the barriers around the elevator are 7 units too high for a dive recover to clear, and therefore an A press must be used to jump out of the elevator.

Stand Tall on the Four Pillars (0x)


The biggest obstacle is to get to Eyerok's boss fight without pressing A. To do so, Mario needs to get on top of the wire mesh to access the teleporter via wrong-warping (the teleporter is intended to be one-way, but it can be activated by standing on a slightly higher ground). That way, Mario can enter the room from above, normally accessed by standing on top of the four pillars and riding down on the elevator.

To get onto reach the wire mesh, Mario uses a precise goomba bounce.

Free Flying for 8 Red Coins (0x)


The most difficult red coins to collect is the four midair red coins, one of which being closest to Mario is the hardest to get, as it is not far enough to be reached by a shy guy or a crazy box alone. The extra tornadoes do not spawn until this star is completed. However, with better strategies manipulating a Shy Guy, Mario can get it to appear at the right location and keep it at a lunging state with the crazy box's bounce, allowing it to move higher than intended. Mario then bounces on it from the peak of the crazy box, collecting the red coin while twirling. Without this strategy, Pokey clones would have been required.

The remaining red coins in the air can be collected using a combination of tornadoes and shy guys. The location where the star is spawned is almost off-limits for Mario to reach as it requires a shy guy that is used up for the first coin. The fastest way for Mario to collect it is to clone the star. Nonetheless, even without cloning, Mario can still reach the high platform by precisely bouncing on a goomba and a pokey [3].

Pyramid Puzzle (1x)


From the standard entrance, going to where the secrets are located costs 1 A Press[2] using known strategies, and therefore it is much faster to enter the pyramid from the top, since using the 1 A Press strat from the bottom entrance requires the 100 coin star. However, jumping out from the elevator requires an A press, as a dive recover is incapable of escaping it.

SSL 100 coins (0x)


In a full game run, the 100 coin star would have been collected when completing Stand Tall on the Four Pillars. Nonetheless, if the star is done in isolation, Mario can opt to clone the box for more coins and eventually reach 100 coins without having to enter the pyramid.