The lair Metal Man inhabits is a factory filled with conveyor belts, steel traps, and gear-riding clowns. It's a rather cool place and there are two energy tanks for the taking, as well as numerous simple enemies.
Begin your assault on this stage by heading to the right and hopping over the narrow gap to the right. When you land, be prepared to push against the belt, which wants you to head left and fall into the pit you just crossed. Press to the right and you'll grab the stage's first energy tank. Now head back left, then wrap your way back around to the upper conveyor belt.
This new belt is the first of several that pass beneath a series of spiked, steel traps. Pay careful attention to which direction the belts are pushing as you proceed (you can see arrows at the end of each belt that let you know which direction of movement is encouraged and which is not). If you must, be ready to make small hops both to get in the grooves beneath the traps, and to pass onto the next belt. The traps fall quickly when you get near, but then recede slowly. Only when a trap is receding should you attempt to pass through.
Beyond the steel traps and another pit, you'll find what may appear to be safe ground. It's not. As you continue to the right, metallic pods vertically cross the area, rising out of the floors or descending from the ceilings. A few shots will take out any of these, and they frequently leave behind weapon refills, energy capsules, and even the occasional 1-up icon in their wake. You'll have to move slowly toward the right, hop up onto a conveyor belt, and continue onward while still more of the pods assault you.
Once you're past the pods, you'll head right through a narrow corridor and find a series of conveyor belts that work as a staircase of sorts. From the top, you can use Item-2 if you have it (though you probably don't, since you need to have defeated Air Man) and ride over to another ledge with a 1-up icon, or you can just take a flying leap to the belt below and to the right. Continue right and drop down that pit.
You're now at the stage's halfway point.
Drop down the left pit on this screen, then head right while keeping an eye toward the air above. You should soon see a circular gear resting in mid-air. As you approach, a clown will drop and roll it toward you. Take out the gear first and the clown will fall to his doom. If you can, hit the clown with some shots too, in case a valuable item is left behind. As you proceed to the right, you'll encounter several more of the clown enemies, as well as some of those stone columns with the faces. Take them out as is comfortable, until you find yourself on a high ledge overlooking a wide pit.
From this ledge, a long jump will carry you over to the far ledge, but you may also notice there's an energy tank in the recess below. I don't bother with this energy tank anymore, though you may prefer to do differently. If you want it, go ahead and drop down to collect it, but know that you'll now lose a life trying to cross that wide gap, unless you have Item-2.
Either way, I'll assume you have made it across the pit. From there, you'll have to avoid three spring-like enemies in the next area. These devious fellows move at a snail's pace unless they are touching the same platform as Mega Man. At that point, they race quite quickly toward you, and upon impact will do quite a bit of damage. Hop them carefully and continue to the right until you find the gate leading to the robot boss.
At home in a room with a single conveyor belt, Metal Man owns his domain. However, you have the Quick Boomerang gleaned from Quick Man, so this encounter can be over almost as soon as it begins. Three or four hits from the boomerang will quickly put Metal Man out of condition.
Meanwhile, Metal Man himself will be attacking. He leaps repeatedly into the air and hurls metal blades your way. The conveyor belt on the floor will also be pushing you one direction or another. Watch for the screen to flash, which indicates that the conveyor belt has switched direction. Get too close to Metal Man and he'll leap over your head to the other side of the room, then chuck blades from afar yet again. It's an easy encounter with the boomerang, or even with the arm cannon. When you win, the useful Metal Blades will be yours.
A-4, B-3, C-2,3,4, D-1,5, E-3,5
NEXT: Bubble Man