Typically found midway through the game, the desert level confronts the player with shifting sands, prickly cacti, and sometimes even Dune-esque sandworms.
- Lots of fun opportunities for different challenges, e.g. flying on sandstorms or bopping animate cactus creatures
- Imbued with a pleasantly warm and sunny energy
- The desert level, moreso than even the arctic or the lava-filled castle, recalls the final fate of all things — to return to dust, a fact which the awareness of marks out man as different from other animals and yet which he attempts at all times to repress and reject until it intrudes in the form of a bleached skull grinning in the midday sun
- Mario fell in quicksand again