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Peach writes a letter to Mario, telling him to come to her castle because she baked a cake for him and for his friends. This letter is assumed to be a clever forgery from Bowser, who guesses that Mario and his friends would come looking and so employs his minions to capture them beforehand.
Apparently, Luigi and Wario somehow read the letter themselves and catch up behind Mario. Although surprised to see the other two are there, Mario lets it go and the trio start to run up to the castle when Wario bumps into the two. Mario and Luigi stare at him while Wario just chuckles. The three stop and race into the castle, when Bowser ambushes them and they, according to Toadsworth, jump into the Bob-omb painting to retrieve the Power Stars after Bowser takes them and captures Princess Peach. [...]
Yoshi tries to enter the castle, but the doors are locked. The Lakitu Bro. says that he saw a rabbit with the key. After grabbing the rabbit, the rabbit gives up the key to Yoshi. When Yoshi finally enters, he hears Bowser's voice telling him "no one's home" and to "scram". Toadsworth tells him Bowser has kidnapped Peach and stolen the Power Stars. He also says the last time he saw the heroes is when they jumped into the Bob-omb painting. Yoshi decides to investigate.
After being found, the quartet hunts for the rest of the stars. Some of them are hidden so well that Bowser does not even know about them. After collecting at least 95 stars, the player can finally fight Bowser for the final time. Mario ascends a staircase at the top of the castle to face Bowser for the final time. After making it through another one of Bowser's obstacle courses, Mario encounters Bowser and the two battle.
Bowser ends up defeated, gives up and hands Mario the Giant Power Star before he explodes. When Mario grabs the final Power Star, wings suddenly appear on his cap allowing him to fly.
Finally, he lands in front of the castle where Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi are waiting for him. As his wings fade away, Mario uses the power of the Power Stars to make Peach appear in front of the castle. All four rush up to her as she wakes up. Peach is surprised to see the other three but she still thanks them, Peach kisses Mario and says they will make a cake for her heroes. Peach and the heroes walk into the castle. Yoshi starts to do so himself, but then pauses and turns around to look at the player. Peach calls his name and Yoshi runs in after the four. The credits roll and after the credits, the cake, with Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi figures, is shown at the very end.
There are two alternate endings for Super Mario 64 DS. The first involves the player not rescuing Wario. During the ending, Mario lands only with Yoshi and Luigi. From then on, the cutscene continues as does the good ending without the attendance of Wario. In the second alternate cutscene, the player will have to not save Luigi which ultimately leaves Wario to be left behind too. In this ending, Mario lands with Yoshi and then the cutscene proceeds lacking the two other heroes. For each alternate ending, a different cake is awarded featuring the characters that appeared in the ending as cake figures.
The gameplay is actually the same as its predecessor, just changing some features and as well adding improvements for some characters. Yoshi, for example, is a character that was slightly changed. There's also a new challenge affecting Yoshi, which your mission is to find the Yoshi Keys scattered around the castle. Obtaining them all will give you the possibility to change Yoshi colors and as well giving you a Shiny Star. A Shiny Star is a secret Star that can be found in hidden passages of the castle, but they can also be obtained if you collect 100 coins in a course. The rabbit challenge has returned as well, still having its same function.