Sky Land is a kingdom of the Mushroom World. A part of the area is land, however the rest, including the king's castle, resides in the clouds. The Koopaling Roy Koopa stole the magic wand and turned the king into a bird. Mario defeats Roy and turns the king back to normal with his magic wand. This is the fifth world of Super Mario Bros. 3, following World 4 and before World 6.
This world starts out with a Buster Beetle (new enemy) running toward Mario and grab the throw block, then throw at Mario; a jump on it will defeat it. On the brick formation, the wooden block contains a power-up, and a Chain Chomp to the left, which are somewhat prominent in the level. The second one guards the way to another power-up. There are no special secrets, except a Starman hidden in a long row of ? Blocks. Also, the Nipper Plants here can only be defeated by a swipe from Raccoon Mario's tail.
Alternately, if Mario has a P-Wing, he can enter a pipe, and then fly through narrow corridors to get a Music Box. There is also another pipe exit that Mario can use to gather four 1-Ups. Then, he can fly up and reveal a P-Switch which, when pressed, makes two giant numeral 3's made of coins (a 3 and 4 in the Game Boy Advance version) appear, which is a reference to the game's title (Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 in the Game Boy Advance remake).
The level begins with a small area with one pipe. After the pipe is entered, Mario falls down a path, landing on a Music Note Block. From here, there are two routes. Falling down will give the lower route, while bouncing along the Note Blocks and climbing a block staircase will give the upper route. See below for summaries of each.
If the upper route is taken, Mario must leap on the Jump Blocks and hop on the blocks to get to the pipe, guarded by two Koopas he must dispose of. After entering the pipe, there are plenty of slopes and Goombas to slide on. When a pipe is spotted, Mario can duck into it to unlock a secret room. The jutting block has a power-up with which to break the blocks and get to the big ? Block that has three 1-Ups inside. Outside, none of the ? Blocks contain anything but Coins, but the pipe nearby leads to the Goal Panel.
If Mario took the lower route, he should duck into the middle pipe at the bottom to find himself underground, where Buster Beetles throw Ice Blocks, which can be picked up and thrown back. The area is filled with Beetles, Piranha Plants, Venus Fire Traps, and has few power-ups. All the pipes are solid except the last, which leads to the Goal Panel.
This is the only level in the entire series where Mario can find the Goomba's Shoe.
The level begins with a few solid bricks and a green pipe, which will take Mario to the next part of the stage. However, before entering a pipe, Mario can hit an invisible coin block, then jump on it to reveal a hidden block with a 1-Up in it.
The next area of the stage contains Piranha Plants, Spinies, Bob-ombs, Munchers, and two Goombas using the Goomba's Shoe. By hitting a block beneath the Goomba, Mario knocks the Goomba out of the shoe and gains the ability to use it. The shoe allows Mario to jump on a Spiny and Piranha Plant, walk over Nipper and spike-covered areas, and defeat Bob-ombs when jumping on them. The first part of the level has one block containing a leaf in it. However, after avoiding the Spiny and Piranha Plant at the beginning of the area, a Goomba using the Goomba's Shoe will appear. After defeating the Goomba and getting the shoe, Mario can walk across a short field of Munchers and collect a 1-Up hidden in a block.
A pipe at the end of this area leads to the area beneath it. This area contains the same enemies as before. Another Goomba using the Goomba's Shoe is contained inside a group of blocks at the beginning of this area, and can be freed by ridding the area of the ice blocks. A Fire Flower is also down here, near the end of this portion of the level.
Another pipe will take Mario to the end of the level. Once he hits the Goal Panel, he will lose the shoe.
World 5-Fortress 1
The only secret is that if Tanooki or Raccoon Mario races back and forth along the first corridor (with a Thwomp in an alcove that must be avoided) then takes off, he can fly up past two blocks and a ? Block until he gets to a pipe that will take him to a secret room. Inside, he must fly up to reveal three 1-Ups.
Every pipe in this Tower will take Mario higher up, until he is at the top, on towers made of blocks (and some Microgoombas posing as blocks). On the second tower, in the middle block, is a 1-Up. Afterward, by the pipe, three blocks are Ten Coin Blocks, and hidden 1-Up Mushrooms can be found to the right. The pipe leads back inside. The player should dodge a Thwomp and Roto-Disc to get in both pipes. Outside again, there are no secrets, but in the row of ? Blocks, the ordinary block holds a Magic Vine to the pipe to the second part of the world, in the clouds. Mario can get back to the ground by taking the Pipe, but if he wants to get back to the sky part, he must re-do the tower.
By taking the pipe back to the ground, Mario will fall out of the pipe and into a free-fall, until he lands on what appears to be the top of the tower. Here, the area contains four blocks, one of which contains a 1-Up, and another pipe that will take Mario back to the ground.
The level's main attraction is the motion platforms. Some twirl constantly, some twirl occasionally, and some never spin, but will tilt when jumped on. Mario can swim up the waterfalls in this level, so if he falls in one, all is not lost. Raccoon Mario, by taking off from the first cloud, can uncover three clouds way up high, with a few coins. By taking off from the last one and flying as far as possible, this is a very effective way of skipping the whole level. At the Goal Panel, Lakitu shows up, and if Mario can get enough Spinies on screen when he hits the panel, he might get a few 1-Ups.
As this level is based on Donut Lifts, Mario must keep moving to avoid falling into a bottomless pit. In the first part, Mario should grab a Koopa Paratroopa and, when some pipes are seen with bricks blocking them, he should throw the shell to clear them. To the right, a row of ? Blocks has a power up and a few coins. Mario should gather all the coins and continue to the right to find coins above and below a row of Donut Lifts. He can gather them all by standing on a Lift until it falls, and just as he hits the coin, jumping to safety. After gathering them all, Mario should continue back to the pipes and enter the one on the right. After falling through a bunch of coins, the big ? Block has a Tanooki Suit. After exiting, Mario must go back to the left, hit the ? Blocks after the pipes again for a few more coins, then race back to where he came from the secret room. In the formation of wooden and ordinary blocks, one has a coin. There are no more secrets, so the player should get to the pipe, hit the Goal Panel, and end the level. If Mario got all the coins, a White Toad House will appear on the map, and when entered, Toad will supply a P-Wing.
Parabeetles are introduced in this level, flying beetle shells that Mario can leap on to reach new heights. But they are enemies, so Mario should avoid them when he is on solid ground. No secrets are hidden in this level, but when two rows of bricks are seen after most of the Parabeetles are gone, Mario can drop to the lower one and bop the bricks overhead to get a P-Switch. He can stomp it to make the going a little easier.
This stage is filled with blocks, and block-impostor Microgoombas. At preset blocks throughout the stage, a Starman can be obtained, but only if Mario is invincible while hitting the blocks. There are no secrets until the first huge hunk of bricks; the block right by the ? block by the Venus Fire Trap has a 1-Up. Ducking into the Fire Trap's pipe will lead Mario to a platform like World 1, and if Raccoon Mario flies up he can find a big formation of bricks. A P-Wing is best used for this, as Mario must hit them from below to find a P-Switch (below the gap in the blocks) that will turn all the blocks into coins. Afterward, in the sky, a Lakitu appears again. Mario should try to avoid him and the Bill Blasters as he makes his way to the pipe to the exit. Mario can also go over the wall in the plains section to take a shortcut to the goal, bypassing the pipes completely.
World 5-Fortress 2
Mario begins this lava-filled fortress by going through a pipe. Enemies here include Podoboos and Dry Bones, plus a kind of Podoboo which can stay suspended in air for a short while. These fly up and down, suspended in air. In one of the blocks in the long row of ? Blocks, there is a Starman. Mario can grab it and gain invulnerability to everything but lava. After completing the main stretch, Mario will be taken straight to Boom Boom's room.
In this Level, Mario has to cross a large gap by jumping on narrow platforms. To hinder his progress, A Lakitu appears and throws Spiny Eggs at him.
This level has Mario venturing upwards in an auto-scrolling level. He must jump to avoid a quick death, avoiding Fire Chomps and Paratroopas while doing so. No secrets can be found in this level.
This Airship is armed with many traps and obstacles, as well as filled with Bullet Bills, Cannonballs, and Rocket Engines that try to hinder Mario from reaching the boss room. There, like a Sledge Bro., when Roy Koopa jumps, Mario should too, as he can stun the plumber. Three hits, though, and he is defeated. Mario then can grab the wand to return the King from an Albatoss to a human.