Stone Man lives in a world of girders and, well, stone. He's a great starting point for the new player, particularly if you're ready to take things slowly.
From the start, head right and be ready for some enemies protected by hardhat helmets. You can only damage them when they peek out at you and fire a three-way shot, but they'll fall to a single shot or two of your own. Then a bunch of little guys will pop out, so clear them out with a few more shots before moving onto the next guy. They often drop energy pellets when defeated, so it's not a huge deal if you take some damage.
Past those enemies you'll find a couple of armored bats. They hang from the ceiling, then spread their wings and descend toward you as you draw near. Hit them with charged shots before they can fire on you. Then climb a ladder into the overhead room. Here you will find more of the same enemies, so defeat them and walk right.
Now you're in an important chamber. Note the enemies that look like green construction cones with bulbs. Drop down and immediately shoot the first one, as it will race toward you. Maybe have a charge shot ready. The wall to the right is weak on the lowest level, so hit it with a few more shots and then you can slide through the opening to find a hidden chamber.
In this chamber is the letter G
, which goes toward your effort to unlock Beat. Arguably, this is the easiest of the letters in the whole game to miss, since you might not be aware of its location if you don't know you can shoot the wall. Make sure you grab it, then return to the previous room and take out the waiting enemies (any you defeated before have respawned) before climbing the ladder into the next area.
Defeat the usual enemies here. There's no real art to it and it's difficult to avoid taking damage because of the confined space. Then continue right to a lengthy horizontal corridor. The enemies you encounter here are more of the same, except for a few that toss rocks your direction in arcs that are easy to avoid. Hit them with charged shots to eliminate that particular nuisance.
The second of those enemies is the most dangerous, because it is positioned on the opposite side of a pit. Don't let it throw a rock that knocks you into the abyss. Let it try to hit you with a high arc, then quickly cross the gap while a rock sails overhead. Once you're near the enemy, blast it with a few shots. Then climb into the overhead chamber.
Look along the ceiling here and you'll see foes that look like bulbs. They drop from the ceiling when you get near, so don't let that catch you by surprise. There's a large energy capsule sitting on a ledge here that you might be glad to see, but don't rush to it so quickly that the hardtop enemy gets in a cheap shot.
Proceeding right from there, you'll find more of the armored bats, along with some mechanical rats. The latter move quickly, but limit their movements to the ledges on which they are positioned, so they're not much of a threat. There's more energy you can grab here, too, if you need it. Mostly focus on taking out the bats and cleaning up the rats as a secondary concern. There are some hardhat enemies, too. Keep going until you reach an overhead chamber.
In this small room, you'll find more of the mobile bulb enemies, and a weak wall along the middle right side that you can shoot to reveal a room with an M-Tank. There also is an enemy on a vertical beam, tossing rocks. Take him out with a charged shot, and prompt the bulb to drop from the ceiling, too. Then you can safely hop across and grab the loot before returning to the previous room and climbing the ladder to an overhead area.
Now as you head right, you'll find new enemy types. The first is a floating foe that looks like an armored piece of hard candy. They like being killed by simple charge shots. The next enemy is made of stouter stuff. You have to get close enough that it lifts its metal shield to fire a shot, and you have to quickly get in a charged shot of your own.
As you advance here, watch for floating ledges positioned along the pits. When you hop on one, it will spin and fly toward its destination, then drop out of sight. You can use it for a convenient ride, but you need to be ready to bail when the time comes. And of course, there are more enemies positioned along here, so keep charge shots ready and use them to eliminate any foes that might otherwise knock you into a pit as you advance.
When you reach the right side of the area, there is another ladder. Climb it to an upper ledge. There is a 1up icon to the left, which I believe you have to use the Rush Coil to reach, by jumping up to a high point of a weak wall and walking left. I'm usually doing fine for lives here and don't bother with it, which is why the uncertainty.
Head right and you'll find more of the spinning ledges, along with plenty of flying foes. Carefully tend to them as you advance to the right side of the area, where you'll come across an E-Tank sitting on a high ledge. Getting this tank is risky, but of course tempting. To do it, you'll have to pay attention to your available resources. There is a wide bottomless pit here, and there are three of the spinning ledges. They move along horizontal lines. The first one will speed right, and then drop. You can leap to the second one, which will speed back left. And from there you can jump to the third one, nearest the prize. If you jump so that you land on its left side, and then immediately jump left, you can claim your reward. Otherwise, you can ride it to the right and climb a ladder into the next room.
As an aside, you could mess up here and live to tell the tale. If so, you can head briefly back left and ride the waiting platform up along its vertical path, then drop back down and return to the right to find that the platforms have materialized again.
Once you climb the ladder from the room with that E-Tank, you'll reach a room where Fliptop approaches. He tosses a random goody in your direction. You can climb only partway up the ladder toward solid ground while he does. Only ascend and grab the prize if it's one you want. Otherwise, return to the previous room and then climb up the ladder to try again. He will continue to reappear here until you collect something, so you can try for an extra life or another E-Tank if you like.
Along the right side of that room, there's also another weak wall. Blast it to reveal a low space you can slide through if you want special weapon energy and an energy capsule. You could be running low, so get those if you like, then return left and climb once more.
Now you are at the start of a lengthy area with a lot of floating girders and spikes. If you've played past Mega Man titles, you know that spikes mean instant death. There's no reason not to take the upper route through this area, which is mostly quite safe. You'll have more freedom to shoot the flying enemies that way, too, without bumping your head when you jump to make shots.
Keep advancing and on the far side of the area, you'll finally find the doors that lead to the boss chamber where Stone Man eagerly awaits the opportunity to make your acquaintance.
If you have Napalm Man's weapon, you can use that to do some real damage to Stone Man. If not, though, he's perfectly capable of falling to charged shots from your arm cannon.
Stone Man likes to attack with a series of hops. His low ones don't carry him far, and you can hit him with a charged shot or two. When he makes a high leap, you need to slide under him as you charge up your next shot. If you're quick, you can blast him just as he lands, but if you're late he'll crumble into a pile of impervious stones for a second before materializing again to repeat his process.
Mostly, you should just have to avoid his jumps, which is easy if you're paying attention and sliding around the corridor with due haste, but sometimes your foe will send out a series of boulders that fly around him in a circle. Either keep your distance so they don't connect (if you're already far from your foe), or move in closer so they pass around you. They'll fade away after a few rotations, and then you're back to the more manageable moments of the conflict.
Stone man can sustain quite a few hits before he'll fall, but it's easy enough to avoid taking damage once you recognize his pattern that this shouldn't be a tough fight.
B-1 (red), B-3 (blue), B-5 (red), D-3 (red), D-5 (blue), F-1 (blue)
NEXT: Charge Man