A Critical Look at Mega Man 6 Stages: Mr. X Stage 2

Here's a rare situation: Two Mets as close to each other as possible, and on different heights. This may be the most favorable (for them) position they can be in that doesn't involve pits, as the upper Met is less likely to be taken out first and has a harder shot to avoid, due to both its height and the low ceiling.

This can be a good place to use Plant Barrier, as it offers protection and will kill a Met before it shoots if the player runs straight at it. This Molier has nothing new to show us, but we're also given a chance to get used to floors that can be fallen through. Mega Man can be seen through the yellow walls, which also give warning of similar floors.

This encounter is nasty. Faced with both a Met and a Molier in a tight hallway, our choices are to run away, use a combination of Plant Barrier and another weapon to block the shot and kill Molier, or take out the Met before it shoots.

Since the two previous enemies appeared very close together, running leads to a crazy Molier party. This is a great use of an otherwise boring enemy; more visually threatening than pits and spikes, yet less punishing, which is fair for such a simple mistake.

The following Met is easy enough to deal with, but offers another chance to show off with Jet.

Not much to say here. The floor falls as we cross it, but with no enemies in our way, it's all just for show. The pit at the end forces us to use Jet Mega Man if we weren't already, which I'll come back to in a moment.

Players should be sick of Molier by now, so it's good that this is the last of them. We're shown one more fake floor safely before having to cross two more with spikes, along with more Met pairs. I like that the yellow wall shows us exactly where the hole is, but the floor itself does not. This makes the trap obvious while leaving a possibility for the player to forget about it momentarily when dodging shots.

Other enemies could have made for a better distraction, but the Mets serve another purpose. Every one of them can be just barely avoided with Jet, giving the bolder players a safe path through. The designer most likely placed the previous large pit to encourage trying this.

I'm out of stuff to say about these guys. It's a decent enemy combo, but this is the third time we've encountered it and we're once again likely to be using the armor that most easily defeats it.

If there was any doubt about flying over Mets being a deliberate theme to the stage, this confirms it. A player will have to touch the ground and start flying again quickly after the first, and the last one is in a spot that Mega Man can't fit through. While a player could resign themselves to having to fight this group, the ceiling keeps us in just the right spot to line up a shot as it stands up.

Power Piston fires shots in a spread of two or three, and drops rocks from the ceiling. It can only be hit in the center, which it rarely brings close enough to the ground to shoot. This can be a long battle with Jet Mega Man.

While the rocks won't fall at the edge of the screen, the player may need to move forward at times to avoid incoming shots, and they'll block your own. It's weak to the Silver Tomahawk, which isn't stopped by the rocks.

While this stage is mostly filled with just one type of Met, they have more clever placement than usual for the series, particularly the last one and that Molier trap. One would normally think of an area designed for Jet Mega Man as open and vertical, like the previous stage, but this gives us a neat way to abuse it in a confined space. The Skull Walkers even fit with that theme, with the previous use of this setup being their only major flaw, and neither of those areas were mandatory.

Power Piston is clearly made for Jet armor as Rounder was for Power, and provides a good challenge to those using it. That bridge is odd, and the empty platform makes me wonder if something was meant to be there and was later removed, perhaps for sprite limit purposes, though Mega Man 5 pulled off a similar trap with enemies just fine.

Overall, this is a stage that I'd have described as forgettable on previous playthroughs, but has some solid ideas behind it.