If you're fond of underwater stages from various Mega Man games of old, you'll find a lot to like about the place Dive Man calls his home. There are giant whales, jellyfish and spikes, as well as the Wire upgrade.
From the start, begin your assault by hopping onto the ledge that hangs suspended over the water. You can leapfrog to similar ledges leading right, but watch out for the fish that will zip on-screen and try to knock you from your safety.
Moving right, you'll find that sometimes the ground is relatively safe, with the only threat coming in the form of armored patrols, while other times it is lined with spikes. If you're knocked down in either case, quickly jump to the surface before your invulnerability wears off, and you should be just fine. Otherwise, the spikes may kill you instantly.
Past that hazard, you'll soon find you have no choice but to dip below the surface and walk along underwater ledges. Here, there are clawed, jellyfish-shaped robots. If you pass beneath, they like to dive down and try and hit you from above, so you'll want to slide under them as they recede, or else take a good jump that will carry you over their heads.
The latter technique seems to work best, and you'll find yourself employing it as you travel steadily right. The elevation here changes from time to time, and there are a few gaps you must leap that have spikes between them. Also, hardhat enemies turn out to be pretty good swimmers. Try and take them out before they get a chance to leave the ground, so to speak. Keep moving right and you'll soon come to an area where the screen no longer scrolls, yet there's no apparent barrier. Jump over the metallic robot there and you'll slide into the next screen.
Now you get to meet this stage's large robot, which happens to be shaped like a great whale. Stay on the left side of the screen and jump high enough to unleash a flurry of arm cannon shots, or charged shots. It's really up to you, but you'll need a lot of firepower to bring this behemoths down. While you're attacking, the whale will tend to suck you toward it, and also will fire heat-seeking missiles. It also has a spread attack that sends four spiked balls into the air. You'll want to squeeze between these while countering with arm cannon shots. Just don't let yourself get sucked toward the spiky pit that lines a portion of the floor.
Once the whale is done for, keep moving toward the right. There will be a few more of the metallic jellyfish monsters, as well as a hardhat enemy and a spiked pit. Just jump over the first jellyfish, take out the hardhat as you're landing, and leap over the other two jellyfish so that you can reach a ledge along the right side. Climb the ladder you find there into the next screen.
You will now be able to leap a small gap to your left, and wait as Fliptop approaches. Collect the item he tosses you, then climb the ladder to the upper left. Now as you head right, be prepared for an encounter with one of the chubby, pogo-shaped guys that you last encountered in Dust Man's stage. When you defeat him, move forward, drop down one screen into an empty area, and then drop down the gap on the left side of that area to find yourself underwater once more. You're now at the level checkpoint.
From the checkpoint, go ahead and move toward the right. This area has more of the metal jellyfish, and a pit of spikes. You'll also encounter a new opponent, which is shaped like a miniature manta ray fashioned from metal. Shoot each of them as you proceed. If one knocks you back on the spikes, you'll likely be able to jump to safety again and keep moving.
When you get right far enough, you'll find another of the giant whale robots. Take care of it quickly, then push on to the next screen. Here, you'll see a gap in the floor. Drop down the hole and be prepared to move left and right to avoid the spikes that line this pit. You'll drop four screens to the Wire upgrade. It's not hard if you move quickly and stay centered on the screen between spikes.
With the upgrade collected, you will now be returned to the checkpoint I mentioned before. This means making your way past that second whale-shaped robot again, but it's worth it for the cool upgrade. Your life meter has also been refilled. Moving beyond the pit you originally dropped down to find the Wire, you'll find the water level rising and falling as you work to avoid more of the metallic jellyfish, the manta rays, and now a new hazard: explosive mines.
The mines look a bit like red, spiked beach balls. When you near, they may start to flash briefly before exploding. You can jump over some, and slide under others, but make sure you're clear of the blast and that you don't leap into the spiked ledges that are drifting throughout the area.
Once your past the first set of these, you'll proceed right and the depth of the water will remain more constant. There are still plenty more of the mines, though, as well as a few more manta rays. Push forward slowly and you shouldn't receive any damage. You'll soon find yourself at the gate leading to the area's robot master.
NEXT: Drill Man