Big Boo's Haunt, also known as Big Boo's Mansion, is the fifth main level in the games, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, respectively. Unlike most other courses, Big Boo's Haunt is one of the rare courses that is not accessed via a painting. In order to gain access to this level, Mario must have 12 Power Stars (15 in the DS remake). He then has to punch the largest Boo in the courtyard of Princess Peach's Castle from behind. Afterwards, a strange object will appear. Mario then automatically gets teleported to Big Boo's Haunt and shrinks upon entering this cage. The level is bounded by what appears to be the bars of a cage, along with his entrance to the level that Mario has shrunk. The background is that of a moonlit night in a dark forest as well as blizzard-sounding wind.
Big Boo's Haunt is inhabited by none other than Big Boo himself. There is a small shack on the side of the mansion that has a lift to the basement area. In the center of the basement is a strange large merry-go-round. There is also the Mad Piano (a piano that comes to life and tries to bite Mario (as well as Mario, Luigi, and Wario in the DS version) if he gets too close, since it has teeth). Big Boo's Haunt is also home to Big Mr. I. There are two entrances into the main building: the front door immediately visible upon entering the level, and a single back door that leads into a room containing two Boos (and a Luigi Cap in the remake). This course is one of a few that contain bridges made of bricks that fall away when walked upon. It should also be noted that there is no way to fall "off the course". The music for the Merry-Go-Round is also used in the minigames Lakitu Launch, Bingo Ball, and Slots Shot.
This is the only main course in the DS version that not all the four characters can access as Yoshi cannot access this level since he cannot eat or defeat Boos in this game; one of the only two levels to have a secret course inside it (the other being Behind the Waterfall in Hazy Maze Cave), as well as the only level in the game to have a secret level inside it where another playable character (Luigi) can be rescued.
The level titles and numbers correspond to the original Super Mario 64 unless otherwise noted.
Star 1: Go On A Ghost Hunt
Upon first entering the course in the original game, Mario is greeted by a text which says: "Come on in here... ...heh, heh, heh...". However, the player is not greeted in the remake. This level is the same in both the games Mario must go through the entire course and defeat every Boo on the first floor, and once every one of them has been defeated, Big Boo (this one also called Master Boo) appears in the main room of the mansion. He can be defeated by being punched from behind or being ground-pounded, as he turns invisible whenever Mario faces him from the front. He is not very difficult to defeat as he really has no attacks besides bumping into Mario. He is also easier to hit because of his large size. Once Mario has defeated him, a Star appears on the second floor and a staircase appears from the ground to reach it. The locations of the Boos are:
- Found either at the back entrance room, or in the second door to the left. (Two Boos)
- Found in the left door in the back.
- Found in the right door in the back.
- Found either in the door across falling bridge leading to the balcony or the door the right.
Whenever Mario defeats a ghost in the first star mission, "Go on a Ghost Hunt", of the level, Big Boo delivers the message "Ghosts...don't...die! Heh heh heh! Can you get out of here...ALIVE?". After the last Boo is defeated, it sends a different message: "BOOOOOO-M! Here comes the master of mischief, the tower of terror, The Big Boo! Ka ha ha ha..." in the original game or "BOOOOOO-M! Here comes the master of mischief, the titan of terror, The Big Boo! Ka ha ha ha..." in the DS version
Star 2: Ride Big Boo's Merry-Go-Round
This level is the same in both the games. Once he enters the course, Mario should enter the shack near the mansion. He will take the lift to the basement and hear "circus music" as he progress onward. There will be a door that leads into a room with a spinning floor and Boo paintings around the walls. One painting near a doorway will shoot out fire while Boos will appear out of one on the left side of the other doorway. After Mario defeats five normal Boos, Big Boo will appear again and give up another Power Star once Mario defeats him in the same way he did in the first mission. This battle with Big Boo is slightly harder because of the rotating platform and fire coming out of the paintings.
Star 3: Secret of the Haunted Books
This level is the same in both the games. The third mission for the red-capped plumber is on the second floor. Once Mario reaches the second floor of the Foyer, he should take the right hand door on the left side of the room. This will lead him into a small library. As Mario heads around the library, small books shoot out themselves from the shelves; these will injure him if not avoided, and are not to be confused with the books with teeth that attack Mario in other rooms. Once the plumber has rounded the corner, he will come to a wall with three books jutting out of the wall. If Mario punches or kicks them in the right order, the wall will move away revealing a door. If he hits the books in an incorrect order, a small book will attack him and the books will reset. Once he enters through the door, he will be able to claim this mission's Power Star. The correct order would be top, bottom and middle (or center, right, left).
Star 4: Seek the 8 Red Coins
As the title implies, Mario must go back to the first level to destroy the Big Boo and has to collect all the eight Red Coins which are hidden throughout the level. Once he acquired all the Coins, a Power Star will appear on the left side of the second floor of the Foyer over a Star Marker. This mission is the same in both the games, except for the fact that in the remake, one Red Coin is floating, and not under a tombstone like all the rest are. The location of the Red Coins are:
- Behind the Mad Piano in the first door on the left.
- On top of the shelf on the right in the second door on the left.
- On top of the shelf on the left in the second door on the left.
- On a small ledge in in the door on the right.
- Up the stairs in the last door on the right, behind the bookshelf.
- Up the stairs in the first door on the right, under a coffin.
- Up the stairs in the first door on the right, under another coffin (N64 version only)
- Floating somewhat in the middle of the main hall (DS version only). This Coin can be gotten by Mario's Power Flower ability, Luigi's backflip, and Wario and triple-jump and dive to get it.
- Up the stairs in the first door on the left.
The Star appears on the second floor in the left.
Star 5: Big Boo's Balcony
The player's next journey in both the games for this Power Star takes him to another (the third and the last) encounter with Big Boo. He will head up to the third floor and see a door that will lead to the outside balcony, where he will meet Big Boo once again. After his third defeat, Big Boo will give up, yet another Power Star. The Star will jump up to the roof of the house, and Mario will have to get up to retrieve it, bewaring to not falling down, remaking his way to the top of the house or, occasionally, losing a life.
In Super Mario 64 DS, the level is the same as in the original game, however, it should be noted that the Star can only be retrieved by Mario or Luigi, as Wario is unable to jump high or wall-kick.
Star 6: Eye to Eye in the Secret Room
Back on the third floor, Mario will see a wall with a picture of a Boo. The Power Star he seeks inside of the picture. What he must do is to have activated the Blue ! Switch and to be able to use the Vanish Cap located on the second floor. He needs to quickly acquire the Cap and rush through the wall on the third floor, where Big Mr. I resides. Once Mario defeats it, he will be rewarded with another Power Star.
Like with Star 5, this level is the same in Super Mario 64 DS as it is in the original, but must be completed using Luigi, as he is the only one who can turn invisible (upon using a Power Flower, not a Vanish Cap as the latter does not appear in the remake).
Star 7 (DS): Switch Star in the Basement
As a mission-exclusive to Super Mario 64 DS, this one requires only Wario to complete the level. In the basement, there is a Black Box that only he can break. Underneath it is a Switch Star that will activate the Star. It is located on the other side of the room and lasts for a short amount of time, making it difficult for the player to obtain it. The player can choose to use the Caps to change to a different and faster character (the block will not respawn itself).
Differences in the DS Version
- In Super Mario 64 DS, the player can find King Boo, and although he is a large boo with a crown, he was still named "Big Boo" (even though the game was released after Luigi's Mansion).
- At the top floor of the mansion, there is a Luigi painting that leads to the Big Boo Battle. Mario can access this by turning into Balloon Mario by hitting the Red ? Block, or by doing a wall-kick. Luigi and Wario can back flip off the top of the ? Block.
- Big Boos
- Big Mr. Is
- Killer Chairs
- Mad Piano
- Mr. Is
Statistics from Super Mario 64
- Total Number of Coins: 151
- Caps Found: Vanish Cap (3)
- Spinning Heart: (none)
- Cannons: (none)
- 1-Up Mushrooms (2):
- Static Mushroom : #1 On the top of the shed.
- Box Mushroom : #2 On the top of the mansion.
- Warps: (none)
- A remix of the Merry-Go-Round's theme is in Mario Strikers Charged as Boo's theme whenever he scores a goal.
- The mansion makes an appearance on Hole 2 of the Bowser Badlands in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour.
- The Mansion outside looks like Luigi's Mansion.
- It also is quite similar to Farewell to Gibdos from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
- The Merry-Go-Round music is also used near the Aqua Cups area in Mario Kart 8s Water Park.
- When the Star appears in the Merry-Go-Round after defeating the Big Boo, the Merry-Go-Round music will end and the standard mansion theme will play.
- In Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros., the minigame Hide and Boo Seek is set in the main lobby of the mansion.
- This course has the most boss fights in the game. (Big Boo is fought three times, and Big Mr. I is fought once.)
- If the player activates first-person view when Mario is close enough to enter the course, the player can still move the camera for a bit before the screen transitions to the star select screen.
- There a couple of paintings in Big Boo's Haunt that resemble the Boos from the Yoshi's Island series.
- This is the only course in the original game that does not share its music with another course.
- In the DS version, a green Cap appears on the Boo in the back room of the first floor. Using hacks to enter the course as Yoshi, it can be shown that Yoshi is able to tongue the cap off the Boo and turn into Luigi as if the Cap were on a normal Goomba.
- This is the only course in the both games that does not have a static entrance.