This stage is on the top right of the map. Feel free to take a minute to enjoy this awesome music before heading in everyone's favourite direction and meeting a new foe.
These enemies have simple behaviour, but they take a decent amount of damage. They pretty much just shoot straight ahead, occasionally jumping if you fire a charged shot at them.
Take out a few Victoroids and head right, then down, then right some more, taking out the Notor Bangers as you go.
You'll eventually reach a vertical area with nasty sewer water. The water doesn't really do anything except push items along if they happen to fall into it. (Don't fall into the water at the bottom. It's a bottomless pit.) Keep heading up and shooting Notor Bangers and Earth Commanders. Keep an eye out for the health picking being washed away by the water on the right.
Once you reach the top, keep climbing up to find a Notor Banger guarding a heart tank. Simple.
Head right through the empty room, and then right some more. If you have the Frog Ride Armor, you can use this platform to summon it, which you should definitely do because you're about to head into the water. Head down the hole.
You can jump much higher and farther under water, and you can stay underwater as long as you want since robots don't need to breathe and apparently X is waterproof. You'll find unique enemies underwater, including this one.
These turtles will slowly swim at you if they spot you. If you destroy them, their shells will float up to the surface of the water and stay there. If their shells hit a ceiling, they'll explode. The shells can't be destroyed with your regular weapons, but if you defeat a Mine Tortoise with a Gravity Well, the shell will get sucked in with them.
There are two hidden items here, but you'll need either the Frog Ride Armor (from Gravity Beetle's stage) or the arm parts (from Neon Tiger's stage, which requires Tunnel Rhino's weapon and the leg parts) and Frost Shield to reach them.
Leg Enhancement Chip
Take the high road and use the Frog Ride Armor to destroy the fans that are causing this annoying current. Then wall jump up the wall to leave the water, and wall jump up the next wall to reach this capsule. Alternatively, charge the Frost Shield to to create a block of ice that floats to the surface of the water, which you can ride up. WARNING: There are five special "Enhancement" chips in the game, but you can only take one of them. The fifth chip is a special gold chip that gives you the abilities from the four other chips, and while you won't be able to get it until late in the game, it will ultimately make you more powerful than any of the individual chips. It's up to you if you want to take this one or wait. This particular chip will let you do two air dashes per jump instead of just one.
Kangaroo Ride Armor
If you have the Frost Shield and arm parts, you can charge the weapon to create a block of ice and float to the surface of the water. The Kangaroo Ride Armor is all the way to the left, just above the water. If you can reach the leg enhancement chip, you can jump across the surface of the water to reach it. This requires precise timing. Jump as soon as you hit the water to jump out of it. If there are Mine Tortoise shells around, jump or air dash over them. You'll need to be able to do an upwards air dash to reach the ledge with the Ride Armor on it. The Kangaroo Ride Armor has powerful spiked fists. If you hold the attack button, you can fire the armours fists out to attack distant enemies. The Kangaroo Ride Armor is basically an enhanced version of the standard Chimera Ride Armor, though you won't be able to use any Ride Armor at all until you collect the Chimera Ride Armor from Blast Hornet's stage using the Drill Fang. Complicated!
If you don't have the necessary items to reach the upgrades, you'll have to take the low road. Destroy the Mine Tortoises down here and jump over the pits while avoiding the spiked ceilings. Air dashing comes in handy here. Remember that you jump higher under water. Head right and into the door to the miniboss.
Hotareeca is weak to the Triad Thunder weapon, which you don't have if you're following this guide. That's ok, he's not a very tough miniboss anyway. He floats left and right, firing homing torpedoes and tiny mines, both of which can be destroyed with the X Buster. His arms flail around and look intimidating, and they appear to block his shots, but in actuality they're completely useless. They don't damage you and they don't actually reduce the damage he takes. You can just pretend they don't exist. Shoot him enough times and he'll go down and you can proceed to the right.
The water will drain out of this next area. Use the ladders to ascend. Grab the health and watch out for Caterkillers. Reach the top and you'll go outside, dealing with Head Gunners. Head right, then down, making sure not to fall into the spikes, then down some more. You'll finally reach the boss room.
He's actually not too tough with just the X Buster, at least for the first half of the battle.
The Hard Way
He only has two moves to start. He'll either jump into the air, with plenty of room to run or dash under him, or fire a bubble of acid, which comes out at X Buster height and can be destroyed with enough regular shots. If you let the bubble bounce off the wall, a couple of little bits of acid will fall off of it, which can damage you. Try not to let that happen. It will eventually float up to the ceiling and pop, spreading out more little drops of acid. Ideally, you'll destroy the bubble before it gets the chance to touch anything. Eventually he'll start throwing bubbles that bounce across the floor. They're quick but not too tough to avoid if you know they're coming. He'll also start melting into the floor to effectively "teleport" around. You won't be able to damage him if he's not fully formed.
The Easy Way
Toxic Seahorse is weak to the Frost Shield. The Frost Shield is pretty slow, and there's a good chance that it will hit one of his bubbles, breaking both the ice and the bubble, if you fire it from a distance. Fire it from up close to hit him quickly. Every time he takes damage from this weapon, he'll jump into the air. Hit him again when he lands and he'll just keep jumping around without actually attacking. (He can still damage you if you touch him.)
These acid bubbles will pop when they hit the floor, leaving a deadly splash of acid behind for a moment, also sending a few drops to the left and right. The bubbles can be aimed up or down with the dpad. If you charge the weapon, you'll unleash two bubbles that bounce around. This weapon doesn't work under water.
You'll get a story scene where Dr. Doppler sends a pair of robots called the Nightmare Police (ugh) after you. Bit and Byte are not easy to beat. If you defeat them with anything other than one of the weapons they're weak to, they won't actually be destroyed. If either of them survives the battle, they'll combine into a powerful boss in a later level. If you destroy them both, you'll have to fight a different boss at that same point. Vile will also make an appearance! He died in Mega Man X1
, but now he's back for revenge. You can fight Vile by finding one of his teleporters. A later stage will be very different, depending on whether you defeat (and destroy) him or not. Destroying him will also eventually grant you access to a powerful upgrade. Check Vile's section for more details. I suggest building your own strength a bit more before fighting him. Bit will appear in a random uncleared stage, so you should keep your sub tanks ready.
NEXT: Tunnel Rhino