Here we are, at our final Maverick stage. Let's get started. Take out the bats and come to the first incline. You'll find that you'll slide down any slanted crystal platforms you stand on. Jump over the first gap and get in the Ride Armor.
There are several ways to get this one. You can walk up the crystal slopes with the Ride Armor, so do so and jump into the gap you just passed, making sure to hold to the left so you land on the platform and don't go down the hole. The heart tank is far to the left, across this giant pit. The most obvious way to get to it is to equip the Strike Chain, then dash jump in the Ride Armour, hold the jump button to hover, and then, at the peak of the jump before the thrusters cut out, hold up and jump to jump out of the Ride Armor and use the Strike Chain to (just barely) grab the ledge and pull yourself towards it, then very quickly wall jump up to the heart tank. This whole process plays out over just a few seconds but you'll die if you miss. It's very tough. The easier way is to do the same thing except, instead of the Strike Chain, use the body upgrade's Giga Crush weapon (if it's fully charged) when you're close to the ledge. This will give your jump a bit of extra distance. The easiest way, however, is to simply tap the jump button to hover instead of holding it. This will give you a lot more distance in the Ride Armor. You'll still have to jump out of the Ride Armor in mid air to reach it, but you won't need any tricky weapons. Once you grab the heart tank, use the floating platform to make your way back to where you got the Ride Armor.
Head right to meet the last new regular enemy of the entire game.
These crystal turret enemies fire shots at 45 degree angles. These shots bounce off of hard surfaces. That's it. A few shots is all it takes to destroy them. Or a punch from a robot tank.
Go down the hole and land on the spikes in your Ride Armor. Punch the square crystals and hop out of your Ride Armor. Land on the next platform and look ahead of you.
See that crystal on the slope with the slanted bottom? That thing will start to slide at you soon, pushing you if it hits you, possibly crushing you against a wall. There are several of these in this stage. You can avoid this one by simply hopping down into the small hole in front of you. It will pass over your head. The Crystal will break the barrier that was preventing your Ride Armor from proceeding, so go back and hop back into the armor. Head right.
Head right to the next ledge and then dash jump back to the left to land above the ladder in your Ride Armor. Break the crystals here and jump while in the Ride Armor, and jump out of the Ride Armor in the air, to grab the floating platform here. You can't wall climb here, so use the floating platforms to get up to the door. There are a couple of power ups here, but don't climb up to the door unless there's an X-Hunter behind it, because your Ride Armor will disappear before you come back down.
Continue right, breaking crystal blocks that block your way to an energy pickup and a 1up. Once you've cleared them all, hop out of the Ride Armor and climb the right wall. It's miniboss time.
This miniboss isn't too tough. The ball inside the crystal is the weak point. It doesn't move and, despite what your instincts may tell you, the crystal doesn't protect it. It sends out tiny robots that shoot bouncing shots around. They're simple enough to dodge. Use the X Buster or Spin Wheel to damage the orb. It will go down before too long. Move on.
Slide all the way to the right and climb up before the crystal behind you smashes you to bits. There's a ledge with a large health pickup on it on the way, which you can jump to if you time it right, but it's easy to miss. Take out the bats.
Slide down the left wall to find a tunnel. Take out the enemies with charged shots. The final upgrade is on the far end. The head parts give you a sensor that sniffs out secrets, like the path to the 1up to see right now. This... probably won't be very useful as the upgrade we find in the final Maverick stage, but oh well. Head back to the right and climb out of the hole.
Ignore this ladder for now. Head right until the crystal starts to move, then dash back to the left and up the ladder to let it pass under you. Head up and right and let the next crystal hit the wall before proceeding into the boss door.
As you might expect, his shell will block your shots. It can be tough to properly time your attacks.
The Hard Way
Crystal Snail has a few attacks. He'll fly around the room in his shell and try to crash into you, or he'll spin in his shell to slow down time. Shoot him when he pops out of his shell. Try not to get hit by the globs he throws. They'll harden around you if they hit you and prevent you from moving, most likely making you miss your chance to attack. Rapidly move the dpad and press the jump button to break free. This is a weird battle.
The Easy Way
Hit him with a Magnet Mine to send him flying out of his shell and across the room. For bonus fun, shoot a second mine at the wall behind you for him to smash into. Once he's out of his shell, you can dash into it to send it flying. Keep doing this and he'll just spend the entire battle pitifully hopping after his shell while getting pelted with Magnet Mines. It's hilarious. Keep in mind that the shell will still block your shots if you hit it instead of the boss.
This weapon can freeze enemies in place, making them useful as platforms. If you pause the game and switch weapons, any frozen enemies will disappear. The charged version will slow down time for X and enemies.
You can use the Crystal Hunter to get the (final) heart tank from Morph Moth's stage. After that, we're on to the last set of stages! Make sure you have all of the heart tanks, sub tanks, and upgrades. There's a secret you can only find if you have them all. It's also probably a good idea to fill all of your sub tanks.
NEXT: X-Hunter Stage 1