While the courses found in Story Mode in Super Mario Maker 2 feature some ingenious and immensely satisfying level design, arguably very few of them are real head-scratchers. Anyone who’s been playing 2D Mario for any length of time should have little trouble with the vast majority of the levels, provided you’re persistent.

There were a couple that had us foxed for a while, though. One tricky example is Job 84: ‘Secret of the Dry Bones Shell’ from Fired-Up Announcer. In this course you must utilise the Dry Bones Shell to its fullest potential, using every one of its unique attributes. It’s a versatile little thing!

Below are all the steps you’ll need to beat course 84 (8-4, geddit?) – ‘Secret of the Dry Bones Shell’…

How to complete ‘Secret Of The Dry Bones Shell’

1. On the first screen you’ll see a couple of bashful Boos. As you might have guessed from the cunningly placed coins, these pose no problem if you’re riding in a Dry Bones Shell! Hop in and jump on them, holding down the jump button to achieve maximum height and grab the 10 coin.

The Dry Bones Shell is also impervious to grinding gears or lava, so press on and sail across to the Green Pipe.

There's also a secret area with a P Switch and coins you can access by knocking three shells into the lava to destroy blocks places under the platform before the gears. A fourth shell will sail right to the end and activate a vine block enabling you to climb to a pipe above the green one leading to a secret area. Once there, hop in the waiting shell and jump up to hit the P Switch before launching the shell into the POW block. Hoover up the coins before dropping down to the next area. (Thanks to Bunkerneath for the tip!)

2. In the next room you have to go straight through the green door, although you can get a 1-Up by moving right, jumping and hitting any of the shoulder buttons to jump again (as you might if you were riding Yoshi). The extra height enables you to bump the ‘?’ box and claim an extra life. Now, head through the green door.


3. In this room you’re presented with three red coins that must be collected to get a key to the door in the previous room.


First, we’re going to head left. Jump on top of the ‘?’ block (DON’T hit it from below). Another feature of the Dry Bones Shell is a Ground Pound-style ability – jump and press down in mid-air to hit the block and watch a vine shoot down. Exit the shell to climb down and retrieve red coin number 1.

Next, we'll get the one on the bottom right. You’ll need to use the same trick you used to collect the 1-Up in the previous room. Edge off the platform and hit a shoulder button to jump from the falling shell and collect the second red coin.

Finally, hop back in a shell and move back to the right. Position it anywhere on the platform and jump out. Now go and hop in another shell from the Blue Pipe. We’re going to jump on the original shell like we did on the Boos at the start of the level, holding the button to get enough height to reach the higher platform. Collect the coin to get a key, head back through the green door and then through the locked red door in the previous room.

4. This little interstitial room has a 30 coin you can collect by timing a jump and leaping from the shell to hit another spawning shell from the Blue Pipe which will travel across to collect the coin. It may take a couple of attempts, but 30 coins will come in handy if you're still rebuilding Peach's Castle.

5. Here you’ll see a Thwomp ready to slide into you, and there are two ways to negotiate the brute. If you simply let him hit you, you’ll lose the shell but he’ll sail off to the left and you’ll be free to collect another spawning from the Blue Pipe. The ‘Pro’ move, though, is to Ground Pound in front of him, preferably on the '?' block for a 1-Up, become a pile of bones for a few seconds and let him sail over you.


Once the Thwomp’s gone, head up to the gear and jump on it, holding the button to reach the platforms above. Stand on one of the Donut platforms until it begins to descend and then Ground Pound. Your bones will pass through the grinding gear to the key below. Jump up to the red door and push up to go through.

6. Here there’s a Green Pipe blocked by Munchers and a Boo with one on its head. This one took us a while, but as with anything, it’s simple when you know how.


Hop down so you’re beside the first gear and turn away from the Boo. Once it’s above the gear turn around to halt his progress and jump on him (not the Muncher, which you can't kill) to get rid of him him. The Muncher should drop down onto the conveyor below the gear. This jump can be tricky, and if it lands on a platform instead, simply exit the room and re-enter to try again.

With the Muncher now aligned with the others, hop over the gear and exit your shell. Give it a nudge and it’ll sail towards the POW block and clear your route to the Green Pipe.


7. The final room. Simply hop in the shell and sail across the lava (avoiding the spiky thing that drops from the ceiling), then jump and hop out of the shell to reach the exit. Feel free to grab the 50 coin if you want to show off your mastery of the Dry Bones Shell.

And that’s it. Congratulations – you’ve uncovered all the Secrets of the Dry Bones Shell! You’ll get a whopping 300 coins for completing this stage, plus whatever you picked up on your way through.

Let us know if you had trouble with this at first, or if you sailed through first try, in the comments below. Also, feel free to share your finest creations with the Nintendo Life community.