World 8-Bowser's Castle is the forty-sixth level of Super Mario 3D Land. It is the final level in the regular story mode of the game, however, there are eight worlds of special worlds that await to challenge Mario.
Unlike opening with a regular platform and moving about the level, this castle opens with Mario landing aboard a Bonecoaster. While aboard the coaster, Mario enters a tunnel with an opening of Bowser's likeness, and inside are several coins. Suddenly, however, Mario falls down a steep hill into a large lava-filled room below. The room contains several castle-esque pillars which are instantly destroyed due to the massive power of the incoming fireballs. From here, Mario must dodge a double-decked Firebar and reach a rising platform with a lone coin on it.
The second portion of the level opens with a bridge of cracked blocks which, upon landing on, break apart. Afterward, Mario makes his way to the second Bonecoaster of the level. This one's ride is a lot more hectic, featuring upon opening, three flaming geysers. Several fireballs are shot out while aboard this Bonecoaster as well. At the end of this small corridor of sorts, Mario and the Bonecoaster are rose upward via tall fiery geysers. Here, Mario makes his way up a large flight of stairs to greet a trio of Toads.
Near the Toads is a cannon. Mario must use this cannon to shoot himself near the large castle before him. The cannon must be used to reach a small tower with a second cannon among it. Atop this small tower, the scenery turns dark and it begins to rain to set the stage for the final confrontation of the game. The rain continues while Mario shoots onto the tall spiraling tower as well. Atop the carpeted path upward, Mario finds a large doorway into Bowser's chamber. Here, Mario finds Princess Peach tied to the Flagpole in the room, however, while running to her rescue, he is ambushed by Bowser who falls from the ceiling. A cut scene begins and the two fall into the abyss below, and thus the final battle ensues.
Upon Bowser's defeat, Mario must run into the remains of Bowser's tower and jump onto the blocks to hit the Flagpole in the room. Due to the completion of the game's storyline, the closing credits start to roll as Mario, Peach, and a group of Toads fly off into the sunset, back to the Princess's castle.
Enemies that appeared in World 8-Bowser's Castle:
The overall process of the battle is similar to that of the early confrontations with Bowser. However, this one is much longer and filled with more difficult obstacles. Bowser's attack patterns are the same as they were in the previous fights, including jumping about, fire breath, and tail whipping. Bowser also has new abilities such as throwing spike balls and barrels.
The first part of the pathway upward involves several staircases and cracking blocks. Along the tightropes in the second portion of the level, Mario finds a group of Paragoombas, their only appearance in the level. After the tightrope part of the level, as a possible homage to Donkey Kong, Bowser throws barrels at Mario. Mario must then run across a small bridge of breaking blocks while dodging these barrels. The next part of the level consists of a blue bridge similar to that of those from the ends of the previous Bowser battles, however, upon its destruction, Bowser surprisingly jumps from the ledge while Mario proceeds onward up the stairs.
The level continues like earlier, only Bowser, enraged, is using a more powerful blast against Mario. Along the breaking pathway up, Mario must dodge not only Bowser, but the number of Tail Goombas placed in the level. From here, Mario must run up a spiraling "staircase" of breaking blocks at a breakneck pace while dodging Bowser's wall-evading blasts. Afterward, Mario catches up to Mario, and chases him down another blue bridge, this one at an angle in which the player can see Bowser from behind Mario while Mario runs forward. Mario hits the switch, destroying the bridge, and then Bowser falls into the lava abyss below, allowing Mario to proceed onward to help the endangered Princess Peach.
- Star Medal 1: The first Star Medal is found while aboard the first Bonecoaster. Mario must jump to obtain it after the third turn made by the coaster.
- Star Medal 2: The second Star Medal is obtained during Mario's time in the small area between the two Bonecoasters, atop the second rising platform.
- Star Medal 3: The final Star Medal is obtained near the end of the second Bonecoaster's path. Mario must jump in the middle before the geysers raise the platform to the exit.