This stage is designed to offer aerial challenges, and can get rather difficult near the end, but it starts out easy enough. Begin by heading right and bouncing along three floating enemies to reach a ladder that you can climb into a screen overhead.
From there, hop left along some blocks. They will start to fall shortly after you land on them, so jump to the furthest blue block and then let it fall a ways. When you can do so without bumping your head on the ceiling, jump left to a ladder and climb it into the next screen.
Here, you should easily spot a weak wall overhead. Fans will blow you upward, toward floating blue foes that periodically emit electrical charges in their immediate area. Take out the left of those, then jump from that ledge to the left and open the chest for a prize. When that's done, return right and break apart the sand blocks positioned over the right of the room's two fans. Now it will blow you up to a ladder, which you can climb to the next chamber.
Here, you'll see a magician along the overhead ledge. He sends out green balls that split when they reach the far wall or pass over your head, whichever comes first. Closer, there are beetles walking back and forth along the ledges, hidden by walls in the foreground. Jump along the ledges after one of the balls of magic has been fired, taking out beetles and working your way left. Then slash at the wall there to destroy it and reveal a hidden room to the left.
In that hidden room, you can defeat a couple of blue shock enemies, and also open a chest on the upper left ledge that holds gems. There's a fishing spot here. When you're done, head back right and then cross the room and continue through the opening in that direction to advance.
Gusts of wind blow toward the right here. You can drop down from the ledge and head left, eliminating a beetle on the way. Break apart that wall for some easy gems, then hop across the gap to the right and defeat some blue shocking enemies. It's possible to bounce from one and gather some gems before you continue right through the opening and reach the stage's first checkpoint.
Continue onward from that checkpoint. You'll face a flying foe. He can easily dart around the air and bump against you and knock you into a pit. One helpful trick is to stick to the middle platform in this room. Clear away the sand blocks in the middle, so that you have barriers to either side. Then jump and slash at your foe when he is close. A few hits should defeat him and then you can pass through an opening to the right.
Here, you have to drop down between shots fired by a large cannon. Run right, while keeping between the cannon balls, and jump onto a ledge. Then jump left and climb onto a ledge even with a smaller cannon that fires at you from the right. You next need to use downward thrusts to bounce along those balls. As they fly left, you can advance right with a few careful bounces, then pass through the opening.
The next room is of a similar nature. Cannon shots fire from the left, toward the right, and you can bounce along them to grab gems. There is also one of the flying green enemies, and there are some spikes along the floor. Be careful to avoid the latter, and maybe have your Phase Locket ready for use. As you continue right, you'll need to head along more cannons. These point at a spike-lined ceiling, and the shots fire in an alternating manner. Stop and give yourself time to figure out their pattern, then jump across them one at a time, between each burst. That should let you avoid any danger and reach the far side in one piece, where you can fall through a hidden opening to the room below you.
In this chamber, flying rats will float toward you. Let them come at you, then hack them until they are all gone. Hop carefully across from there, sticking to the ledges you can actually see. Drop through a hole to the left.
This room has a series of cannons firing upward. You can see from where their shots end where you might find ledges. Leap across the gap mostly covered by a blue wall just to your right, and ease out to the edge of the gold-lined platform. Then take another leap to the ledge that is hidden behind the last three fourths of the wider blue wall. From it, you can take yet another wide leap to the ledge with the treasure chest, which contains a bunch of gems. Then cross back left and drop down through the opening along the screen's lower left side.
Here, you will face a mini-boss. There are several small enemies flying a small airship. It will drop regularly to the ground and send out bombs, which you can flick back with your shovel to inflict damage. You can also jump forward and use downward shovel strikes from above, if the ship gets too close for comfort. A few good hits with either method will ruin the ship. Then you can head off the right side of the screen.
There is a checkpoint easily visible on this screen. Cannon shots provide the means to cross the gap and reach the checkpoint. Tag it, and slash the wall to the upper right to reveal a chest. Open it for some gems, and hit the wall a bit lower to produce a turkey. Then cross to the screen's upper left side (again using the cannonballs) and climb the ladder to reach the area overhead.
From the top of that ladder, take a running leap over the gap to the right, and you'll land on a ledge to the left of twin fans that try to blow you up toward a ladder. Climb into the next screen, then drop along the ladder with a downward shovel thrust, back into the lower screen. Hold right as you fall and if you do it right, you'll be able to pass through an opening to the right. Head along that corridor to reach a hidden chamber.
Here, you can climb a ladder and start to the right. Fans blow air toward the right, where ledges rise and fall over a bed of spikes. You need to progress carefully, jumping along the ledges when they're high enough that the fan to the left won't disrupt things. When you get to the right, you'll find a blue treasure chest. Open it and Chester will offer to sell you the Propeller Dagger
for 4000 gold. Make the purchase. Then continue right. You can use your new ability to collect gems. Finally, you'll reach a ladder along the room's right side. Descend it and make your way back left, carefully using the blade, until you're back in the room with the fans blowing you upward.
This time, keep climbing once that fan blows you into the above screen. You'll need to drop from the ladder and toward the left, just after the closest enemy's electrical charge vanishes. Continue bouncing left along each one as you cross left to the far wall's ladder. Climb it into the next screen.
Here, there are floating ledges and fans, along with a magician enemy near the upper right side of the screen. Carefully cross to the right, while remembering that his magic can break apart and seek you out if it passes over your head. Defeat the magician, then hack at the wall where he was standing to reveal a hidden ladder. Climb it.
In this room, you can jump to a blue ledge, then jump out to the left and use your Propeller Dagger ability to cross a pit and grab a Music Sheet
. Then return to the right and descend to the lower screen. Head right through the opening along that side and trigger another checkpoint.
As you head right here, you'll find several of the flying green enemies that like to blow you backward when they get close to you and pause mid-air. Hack them away to prevent that, and ride fan gusts up to a higher ledge overlooking a wide gap. Cannonballs fire upward here, and if you drop low enough, you can bounce along the cannonballs as they head up the screen. You'll collect a few red gems that way, and then you can exit along the right edge of the screen.
The next area scrolls automatically as you progress. You'll need to be ready to keep moving, perhaps while using your sword's ability to quickly fly forward against wind that gusts at you from the right. Along the way, destroy sand blocks to make fans available that will allow you to gain the needed elevation. Near the right side of the area, you'll have to leap along a series of blue ledges that drop if you stand on them for long, and also you'll need to bounce from a series of cannonballs fired along the bottom of the screen. If you make it to the far right side of the area, you can climb a ladder to an overhead chamber.
There is a checkpoint here, and to the left of that some fans that blow only occasionally. You need to ride one up to a high ledge to the left, then cross from there over to a ladder when a fan positioned along the left wall isn't blowing. Then you can climb the ladder into the next room.
Floating rats greet you here. Climb quickly to the top of the ledge and wait for the rats to come. Then you can hack them. When the vermin are out of the picture, drop down and let the left of the two moving fans keep you aloft as you drift to the right. Land on the ledge and then head right a bit so that you have a barrier overhead and are not accidentally blown into spikes. Then drop off to the right when the second fan is beneath you. Let its gusts keep you aloft as you continue right and reach a ladder. Climb it.
This room contains several fans, including three that are directly ahead of you. Though you can jump straight up and collect a hidden gem, make sure that you don't do so while the two nearest fans are blowing. Then when you're ready, drop left onto the blue platforms and run and jump left, leaping along more blocks and crossing over to the ladder near the room's upper left side. Jump to it and climb into the next screen.
There are a few attractions here. One is the fan along the ceiling, which moves back and forth while pushing you down. You can leap over the falling blue block and to solid ground. Once you land, the suit of armor will come to life and the knight will try to attack. If you timed it right, you can jump forward and use your sword move to fly the rest of the distance across the room, to solid ground. Fight your foe from that vantage point, and be sure to hit the weak wall near the room's upper right side to reveal a chest filled with gems.
Now head through the opening to the right and you'll find another checkpoint to tag. In this area, window blows up periodically, then subsides. You need to move right under those conditions, keeping an eye on the spike-lined ceiling to the right, not to mention floating enemies.
In general, the gusts won't blow you all the way up to the top of the screen unless you happen to be leaping when they start blowing. For that reason, you should try to keep as close to the middle elevation as possible while you cross. You can use sword dashes to reach solid ground to the right. For the final area, you'll need to stand on the lower of two blocks, just ahead of a vertical chamber of spikes. Let wind blow you up so that you're standing on the upper of those two blocks. Then when the wind starts blowing again, drift right and float up toward the blue ceiling to the right. As wind stops, you can descend that shaft and then pass through an opening to the right.
The next room is a similar exercise, but there are two directions of wind blasts. The gusts will alternate between the left and bottom sides of the screen, and you have to let them carry you up and around a spiked ledge to your right, then below a solid overhead ceiling, and then make a quick rush over a gap to the right (your sword ability will help here) to pass through another opening that is guarded by a floating rat. This particular area will take some practice and trial and error. That's all there is to it, but you can come out the other end in one piece.
The next area requires you to bounce along cannonballs that are flying from a mechanism to the lower left side of the screen. Bounce along them, carefully avoiding the enemies floating in the air, except perhaps to bounce from them and collect gems.
When you reach the far side of that gap, you can pass through an opening to the checkpoint chamber. Tag that checkpoint, and break apart the weak wall to the right if you want some food. Then continue right to face the area boss.
Propeller Knight is one of your more lethal foes. He begins with simple sword play, though, and you should use that opportunity to get in some early damage. Jump into the air and come down on him with downward strikes. If you do it right, you can bounce back and forth, left and right, as Propeller Knight moves in those directions.
After a moment, Propeller Knight will summon an airship. It will fire a bunch of bombs, which you should hurriedly flick away so they don't explode too close to you. Try to stay near the approximate center of the screen at this point, and be ready to jump and slash Propeller Knight if he flies overhead.
Momentarily, huge cannonballs will drop around one third and two thirds across the screen, destroying part of the platform where the fight occurs. After that, Propeller Knight likes to try to blow you backwards with his gusts, so don't let him blow you right into one of the pits. I find that it works well to cross over to the left ledge and let him follow me there, then bounce from his head a few times as he dances left and right, trying more of his swordplay. He may also stab you and send you flying upward, then wait with an upturned sword for you to land. Even a pointed blade is preferable to a drop down a gap in the scaffolding, so keep that in mind.
If you're able to bounce on his head a few times when he tries to get fancy along the left ledge, the fight can be over almost before you know it.
Victory against Propeller Knight doesn't get you much of anything, except more gold and (as usual) the ability to keep any items you found. You should be set up now to try the optional Frigid Flight area, though.
NEXT: Clockwork Tower