Let's get right to it, then! Go right to meet our first enemy, who also happens to be the most common enemy in the game.
These little guys move by hopping, and shoot from the little cannons on their heads. Their shots are affected by gravity, and they can aim their guns so their shots can travel at different trajectories. They only have three HP so take them out with a few quick shots or a charged shot.
Speaking of charged shots, let's talk about that. You can charge your X Buster by holding the shoot button. Hold it for a moment and a blue aura will appear around Mega Man X. Release the button to fire a small charged shot, which does twice as much damage as a regular shot. Hold it a little longer for a yellow aura, which will fire a larger charged shot that does four times as much damage as a regular shot. Regular enemies are best taken down with a flurry of regular shots, since it takes less time to fire four small shots than it does to charge and fire a large charged shot. However, bosses are invincible for a short time after they take damage, so it's better to hit them with charged shots. It's generally a good idea to charge your weapon whenever you're not shooting it.
Anyway, let's continue. Take out a few more Notor Bangers and you'll eventually reach a wall with another common enemy on it.
These crawl up and down walls, occasionally stopping to charge and fire two energy balls at different angles. These balls travel out a distance, and then return to the Caterkiller. Another enemy with low HP.
Let's learn about dashing before this next part. Press the dash button to speed forward on the ground. Dashing while shooting no longer does more damage than standing and shooting, unlike in the first two Mega Man X
games, but being able to do both is still very useful, so you should have dashing mapped to a shoulder button. If you jump while dashing, you'll travel much faster and much farther through the air than you would if you simply jumped from a stand or normal run. This can be very useful for dealing with certain enemies, especially bosses.
Head down the ladder and to the right, blowing up Notor Bangers and Caterkillers as you go. Head down the next ladder and to the right again and you'll meet X's friend Mac, who will promptly capture X with a device called a Hangerter and teleport away. Turncoat.
Enter Zero! Yes, Zero is finally a playable character in Mega Man X3
. He's not quite as major a character as he will become in the following Mega Man X
games, but you can call on Zero once per level to trade places with you by pausing the game and pressing the R button. He'll stick around until you reach a boss door, at which point X will radio in and offer to take over.
Zero can't use any of the upgrades X collects, but he has twice as much health as X starts with by default. He can dash and shoot, just like X, but his charged shot works differently. Zero has two levels of charge beyond the standard two. Once Zero has a purple aura, he'll unleash a small charged shot, and then fire a large charged shot if you press the shoot button again. If you wait until he turns green, he'll fire a large charged shot, followed by another, and finally unleash a short-ranged slash with his signature Beam Saber. This attack is difficult to pull off thanks to the amount of preparation it requires and its short reach, but it does a ton of damage.
One very important thing to remember about Zero is that he only has one life. If you let him die, he's gone for the rest of the game. It's possible for X to have Zero's Beam Saber by the end of the game if you keep Zero alive, so definitely don't let him die.
Anyway, for now, head right, avoiding the sections of the ceiling that will fall. You'll also see another common enemy.
These mostly just hover in place, but they'll start flying in an arc, trying to smash into you, if you get too close. If you destroy the helicopter blades on top, the middle part will fall to the ground and roll along until you destroy it or until it simply rolls away.
That's not the only common enemy you'll find here.
Head Gunner Masspro/Head Gunner Customer
These normally fire missiles forward. These missiles have some light homing capabilities in that they'll go higher or lower, depending on where you are relative to the Head Gunner. They'll also fire balls from the cannons on their heads. They have a bit more HP than the enemies we've met so far, but not much. The red ones are Head Gunner Customers, which will all be replaced by green Head Gunner Masspros once Blast Hornet's stage has been cleared. The Masspro model has less HP and lacks the cannons.
You'll need to wall jump here. If you hold the dpad towards the wall, X (or Zero, in this case) will cling to it and slowly slide down. While clinging to the wall, you can shoot or jump. Jumping from the wall and moving back towards the wall will allow you to ascend. Pressing the dash and jump buttons at the same time while on a wall will allow you to dash jump, even though you can't actually dash on a wall. This is VERY useful for some bosses, so keep it in mind.
Wall jump up and head left, then up the ladder and to the right. Absolutely do not fall into this pit. You'll die and have to restart the whole level.
Climb the left wall until you see a spiked ball smash into the right wall and bounce off. Then jump (or dash jump) to the right wall and ascend some more until you see another ball hit the left wall. Alternate between the left and right walls in this fashion until you reach the top and find the source of this problem.
This guy just tries to drop stuff on you. This one will dropped spiked balls at an angle, while others will drop boulders straight down. This one has an unlimited supply of spiked balls, so, unlike the boulder carrying ones, he'll just keep dropping them until you either move on or destroy him.
Destroy this or don't. It doesn't really matter. If you want to make this next part go by faster, charge your weapon completely and fire the two charged shots so that all you have left is your Beam Saber attack. Go right and into the door.
There's that traitor. You'll have to fight him. He jumps and shoots a few small shots at a time, or stands still and shoots more small shots. He can also fire a larger shot that does a bit more damage. Wow, how exciting. If you prepared, you can hit him with one slash of your Z Saber and then shoot him with one regular shot to finish him in no time. Destroy the Hangerter and rescue X to go back to playing as him.
Head right through the door, wall jump up, and then head into the next door to fight the boss of this level.
Maoh the Giant
Maoh looks like he would do a lot of damage, but he doesn't. He'll attack with the giant spiked balls on his arms. They'll damage the floor when they hit it. Maybe he wants you to stub your toe or something. Only the top part of the floor will be destroyed. It must be a pretty weak floor, since the balls only do a tiny bit of damage to X. Maoh can only be damaged by being shot in his big fat head so charge up your X Buster and let him have it. It will only take a few shots to bring him down.
Here's where the game opens up. There are eight stages to choose from, each with its own Maverick boss and weapon you'll earn for defeating them. Each Maverick takes extra damage from a particular weapon you earn from a Maverick. Mega Man X3
has more upgrades and collectables than its prequels, so feel free to explore the stages and try to beat them in whatever order you want. Alternatively, follow along, while we go after Blizzard Buffalo.
NEXT: Blizzard Buffalo