Part 13: Cossack 4
For a change, we get an actually good stage! It's really, really easy, but I don't mind that. Fun to play. As evinced by the first cannon room, every possible challenge gets shut down completely by MM4's awesome weaponry; as the whole thing doesn't have instant-death spikes anywhere and very tame pits...damage from enemies just won't cut it anymore, ever again. The split path is a novelty, and nicely executed; if you're willing to invest a bit of extra effort, you can get a shorter route and an E-Tank. The harder path is longer, but has an extra life, which is probably more valuable because the game showers you with E-Tanks anyway.
As said in the video, the upper path shows probably THE way to make Up'n'Down-style enemies fair: Have them pop up first where they have no chance at killing you. It's called "a fair warning", guys. It pisses me right off when I die without any fault of my own, so that's very much appreciated. Too bad that they don't get it afterwards, this is the only instance of this fair warning that I remember off the top of my head. In the whole series. Sigh.
Rest is really nothing to write home about, so I wont. Cossack confrontation time!
The Cossack Catcher is, as is par for the course, pretty damn easy. It has two attacks: Shooting out three shots in always the same placement to one side, and dipping down to try and catch Mega. If the latter hits you, he'll hold you up for an annoyingly long time before unceremoniously dropping Mega down, which will cause damage. If you slide often, you shouldn't really get hit, though.
Generally, the fight boils down to reaching the high ground when it's safe to jump, shooting and getting away before he corners you. You know, unlike what I did. Doesn't matter at all because he's so bad offensively.
Even ends earlier than you'd think because OMG PLOT!
Technical weakness is Dust Crusher, but it's not completely obliterating his health bar like other weaknesses do. Still, should be better than charged shots because you can fire it without having to charge, obviously. Try for yourself.
- Battonton: Here we learn that their best placement is directly above Mega in cramped spaces. Should really have pulled out Pharaoh Shot!
Biree: Their placement this time actually requires stopping for a second and assessing the situation (or, you know, taking a hit). This would have been good placement in a stage where you're pressed for time, like the last. I...don't quite get it, to be honest.
Docron: Return of the revenge of the "still coming out far too slowly to be threatening" enemy.
Helipon: A callback to Drill Man's stage, they just serve to remind me that an enemy that takes ten seconds to deploy its (still shitty) attack is kind of wasted. Especially when dying in one hit.
Jumbig: Hey buddy I almost missed you.
Pakatto 24: Nghh timing, my mortal enemy...again, clever placement of those, too bad about Rain Flush, eh?
Shield Attacker: This stage shows off again how great they are as enemies when they're properly used. If my reflexes weren't shit, I could have avoided them every time by jumping/sliding in time, even though they were clearly meant as nasty surprises. Miles and miles ahead of "haha there are spikes on the right" style design.
Tom Boy: I love those things. Actually, if I didn't use a weapon awesomely suitable for them, they would present a little problem, as they do have lots of health normally; in that way, they're nicely placed, too, because they will take their time due to how they work, but not too long, forcing you to work that trigger finger if you're like 99% of players and never switch your weapons.
Up'n'Down: See my rant on late revelations above.