If you've been following this guide from the beginning, this is the last of the robot master stages you'll face ahead of the trip to Protoman's castle, and your excursion would feel almost like a vacation if it weren't for the random explosives you encounter along the way.
Start toward the right, with a charged shot ready. The first enemies you'll encounter in this stage are tigers. As you approach, they're crouched, and they can quickly spring and catch you off-guard. Prevent that by hitting them with charged shots as you ascend a series of low ledges, and don't let one of them knock you onto one of the spike beds along the way.
At the far right side of that opening area, you'll drop down into a small cave, where another tiger and energy capsule await. Take out the tiger, grab the energy, then drop through the next opening.
In the next chamber, your arrival is greeted by some hardhat machines riding in mobile turrets, along with some bat-like foes that are shielded from your shots except when flying toward you. They are all easily eliminated with charged shots, though, so you shouldn't have to worry about taking any damage.
Advance to the right from there and you'll find yourself moving forward along a passage with a low ceiling. Crushing drills come from the right, but you can hit them with charged shots before they ever get keep close. Keep pressing in that direction, charging and firing as you go, until you come to a ladder you should climb.
To the left from the top of that ladder, you should spot an E-Tank in some rocks. You can jump left and hold against the wall to pass through it, but you will only get partway. When you can advance no further, jump and keep going to snag the welcome power-up. Then return to the right and continue advancing in that direction.
You'll next find yourself in a cave with waterfalls and enemies that look like construction cones with glowing bulbs at their tip. It's easy to spot the edges of the platform, since the water flows off either side. Advance slowly, shooting enemies and jumping when the next ledge is safe for you. Note that the current tries to pull you gently into the abyss, so you'll have to fight that and also deal with airborne enemies that you should eliminate swiftly with more charged shots. Otherwise, they'll swoop in and ram you.
On the far side of that watery gauntlet, you'll find a ladder you can climb to a small chamber where Fliptop rushes to meet you. Grab his loot and keep climbing to reach a stage checkpoint.
Now you're out in the open air again. As you head to the right, you'll face a giant red enemy that fires homing missiles from his belly. Keep your distance and eliminate those shots while you sneak in some shots of your own and hit the enemy in the head. Once you take him down, proceed again and start along a series of pillars resting between spikes. To the right, you'll find another of the red guys, who is now more difficult to battle because of your limited mobility. At least if you're knocked onto the spikes, you have a moment to jump back to safety before the stumble proves fatal.
Past the second red fellow, there's a pit to drop to a lower area. You should also see the letter N
, which of course you want to collect. As you drop from the ledge, just hold left and you should easily snag the prize. Then go ahead and drop the rest of the way into the next room.
More of the hardhat enemies manning turrets await you here, along with a 1-up. Grab that and then drop down the next shaft, which leads to a passageway with a low ceiling. As you head right here, missiles will launch at you from the right, moving faster than the drills you blew past earlier in the stage. Your strategy is roughly the same, though, even if the timing is more demanding.
Keep pushing onward and you'll next come across one of the giant pink robots. Make sure that you slide under it and keep moving if you like, or hit it with enough shots to send it to the scrap heap. Either way, your goal is to keep moving and soon you'll find an area where rockets launch from both sides of the screen near a bed of spikes.
Carefully take out the rockets and leap over the spikes. Then drop through the opening into a cramped corridor with a few spikes along the ceiling and more near the lower level. Drop down carefully over the first drop, then head left and slide left so that you land in the space near the left, just to the upper left of the lower set of spikes. Now you can walk left to drop down to the next screen.
As you arrive here, you will see some ledges to the right. An enemy is positioned on one of them and will lob a projectile at you, so jump to avoid that and shoot your foe with a charged shot from your current position.
Now there's the matter of hopping along the ledges toward the right, but be careful; missiles emerge from them and launch upward, then peter out and descend once more. Lure them up by standing near the edge. Then as they descend, leap quickly over them. Advance cautiously in this manner, along a series of ledges and then some narrow columns, until you reach the far right side of the area and can pass through a gate to face a battle with the local robot master.
Napalm Man is likely to begin your battle by firing three missiles straight at you when you enter his chamber. Those are fairly easy to jump with quick hops if you expect them, but then there's the matter of the rest of the fight.
As a follow-up to his greeting salvo, Napalm Man likes to take short hops toward you and chuck explosives that travel in a short arc and burst along the ground. If you brought the weapon with you, counter with shots from the Crystal Eye. It's a useful tool not only because it does a lot of damage, but also because you don't have to aim all that carefully.
Though a direct shot works fine, you can also aim at the wall and the ball-shaped shot will burst apart into smaller pieces that bounce around the chamber, potentially doing even more harm once they connect. They sometimes also take out the napalm, which means a great strategy is to intentionally cause your shot to break apart and then focus on dodging while the crystal chunks bounce around and do their thing. A few hits should be sufficient and then sweet victory will be yours. Otherwise, you can do things the old-fashioned way with your arm cannon. It just takes longer.
B-4 (blue), C-1 (red), D-4 (red), D-6 (blue), F-1 (blue), F-6 (red)
NEXT: Protoman's Castle