This stage takes place on and inside of a giant tank as it rampages through a city. Maybe we should have come here first? Fun fact: If you hang around outside long enough, the sky will actually get darker as day turns to night. Neat! Anyway, you'll quickly reach your first new enemy of the stage.
Tubamail-S and Tubamail Generator
These birds only fly in a straight line and don't have much health. The twist is that they come in a constant stream from these generators until you destroy the generators themselves. You can actually use this one to your advantage. Since there's a constant stream of enemies, you can farm health from them pretty easily and use it to fill your sub tanks. In fact, these enemies only seem to drop health, never weapon energy. If you accidentally destroy the generator while doing this, head back to the left and then come back to make it respawn.
Tanks shaped Triceratops and not Tyrannosauruses. They just move slowly forward, maybe sometimes stopping to shoot small projectiles if they see you. They have low HP.
Climb down the ladders and destroy the enemies' you encounter. You'll reach an upgrade you definitely can't collect your first time through.
Instead of going down here, climb the right wall and look to your left. You'll see a hole in the ceiling that you can only reach by doing an air dash with the leg upgrade from Overdrive Ostrich's stage, which you can only find if you have Wheel Gator's weapon, which you get by beating this stage. The Arm Parts have two uses. First, they let you store two weapon charges at once. Fully charge your X Buster the normal way, and you'll begin to charge it a second time. Releasing the Y button will fire one charge, either a small charged shot or a large one, depending on how long you waited. You will continue to glow after this shot, meaning that your next shot will also be a charged shot. Second, this upgrade allows you to charge the weapons you win from Mavericks to be more powerful or have different effects. This upgrade effectively doubles your arsenal.
Head down the hole on the right to reach an area with spikes and floating platforms. The platforms will continue to move in one direction until they hit a wall. You can change the direction they move in by jumping on them. The ones in this stage only move left or right. Use them to get past the spikes. Time for another new enemy.
Disk Boy 08
These guys are similar to the Hoganmers from the first Mega Man X
. They have shields that will block your regular attacks, but they raise them to attack you. They attack by throwing spiked discs at you. Hitting them with a charged shot will break their defense and allow you to attack them normally for a little while.
Head down and to the right to fight more tanks, and keep going until you reach a Ride Armor. It's a new Rabbit Ride Armor, to be precise, with a couple of new features that weren't in the previous game. Hop in! While riding in the armor, you can dash and jump as normal. Holding the jump button will allow you to hover for a while. Combine dash jumping with hovering for serious air. The attack button punches instead of shoots. Hold the attack button to charge up a powerful dash punch. The Ride Armor's punches do a lot of damage. Test them out on the breakable wall to the left.
Head down and you'll be outside. Punch the tanks you see and meet a new friend.
You both showed up to this party wearing the same thing! How embarrassing! You really need to learn to coordinate your outfits. This guy can basically do anything you can do. Punch him just as he comes within range to damage him before he can damage you. You can take a few hits in your Ride Armour before you lose it, so don't worry too much.
Keep going right, fighting a couple of Rideloids and a tank. When you reach the ladder, you'll have to say goodbye to your new best friend. Aww. Hold up the dpad and jump to exit the Ride Armor, then climb the ladder. Too bad you had to leave him behind, because he'd have come in handy for this next part.
Another difficult-to-reach heart tank, and another upgrade you won't be able to collect your first time here. It's nestled at the top of this spiked wall. You might be tempted to try to reach it by dash jumping from the ledge on the right, but don't bother, it won't work. Come back once you have the arm parts and Flame Stag's weapon. Charge it and unleash it during a dash jump from the ledge on the right to propel yourself forward and land just above the spikes on the wall. Quickly wall jump up before you slide down and hit the spikes. There is actually a way to do this without any special weapons or upgrades but it's really hard. You can go to the right and lure the tank into shooting at you, get hit, and quickly dash over to the spiked wall and wall jump off of it while you're invincible. That's not worth the stress, though.
Go right until you reach a floating platform in a long vertical shaft with spikes on the walls. Don't touch those. Take out the Disk Boy on your way up, then jump on the next platform and take out the birds and Disk Boy. There's another upward-moving platform after the bottomless pit that somehow exists inside of this tank. If you just ignore the two Disk Boys here, they won't hit you as you move past them.
Instead of exiting to the left, ride the platform up and past the spikes. Quickly get off before it impales you on the spiked ceiling. There's a 1up here that will come in handy whether or not you actually need to visit the X-Hunter room you'll see on the right.
Leave the elevator shaft when you see an exit on the left. Destroy the Disk Boy and collect the weapon energy if you need it. Use wall jumps and regular jumps to go up. Destroy the Tubamails and their generator, and head outside and deal with more Tubamails. The exit of the X-Hunter room is to the left once you head down a bit. There's a large health pickup hidden on the platform here. Keep going down past the two Tubamail generators you see on these steps. Once you can re-enter the tank, do so. You can go to the right and fight two more Tubamail generators, but there's no need to except maybe to farm health for the upcoming boss. There's one more new enemy right before the boss door.
This was actually the very first enemy we fought in the game, but that one was badly damaged. This one is fully functional and a bigger threat. It has those giant legs but it doesn't actually move. Instead, it alternates between high and low cannon balls fired from its head. The high ones will fly right over your head if you're on the ground, and you can dash under the low ones if you have room. You can also destroy the cannon balls with charged shots, so you can get a good rhythm going and use the same small charged shots to destroy the low cannon ball and also damage the Cannon Driver. It has a decent amount of HP, so whittle it down and head through the door to fight this stage's Maverick.
This boss spends a lot of time hiding from your attacks, but his pattern is very simple. He's a perfectly good starting point for the game if you don't mind backtracking more than necessary to collect all of the upgrades, but we're fighting him third to avoid that.
The Hard Way
This isn't exactly "hard." When he dives into the pool of blood (ok, it's probably oil, but it looks like blood), climb one of the walls. He'll fire a saw blade that climbs the wall and then propels itself out from the wall and into the abyss. Jump off the wall before it reaches you, then dash back to the wall so it will sail harmlessly over your head. He'll do this one or two times before leaping out of the oil. If you're near the ceiling (where you should stay whenever you're not dodging a saw blade while he's hidden), he won't be able to reach you. He'll land standing in the oil, which is your chance to attack. He'll either go back under the oil or spin forward like M. Bison from Street Fighter, except much slower. This attack is easy to avoid by just dash jumping over it. He'll leave himself open to attack once again after this. The annoying thing about this boss is that he spends a lot of time out of reach so you can't damage him.
The Easy Way
The same as the hard way except hit him with the Strike Chain instead of the X Buster. Remember that the chain won't extend all the way if you don't hold Y. He'll always dive under the oil after being hit with this weapon, though.... Maybe you should just stick with the X Buster? It's up to you. It is possible to hit him with two Strike Chains in a row if you're quick.
This weapon is pretty handy. It crawls along the floor, destroying certain walls and creating new paths. It does a lot of damage to enemies, too, hitting them multiple times in a row. If you charge it, a wheel will appear and explode, sending energy shots in eight directions. The charged version can also destroy the same walls.
Now that you have the Spin Wheel, new upgrades are available to you. First, go to Overdrive Ostrich's stage and get the leg parts. Then come back to Wheel Gator's stage and get that spiffy new X Buster. Remember that you don't have to complete a stage to keep the things you find inside of it. You can exit a stage you've already cleared from the pause menu. Next is Bubble Crab's stage.
NEXT: Bubble Crab