Part 5: Simon talks about the building that used to be the Central MuseumGround Scaravich
The music is probably the worst stage tune in the game for one of the worst stages in all of ever. I don't dislike it as much as others in X6, but it's out there.
As has been mentioned, there's a total of 8 possible rooms, each of which have a couple variations themselves. First two teleporters will take you to one of a set of four, second to the other set of four. All of them have at least Reploids to rescue, so for 100%, you have to go through the stage quite a lot. Finding the Nightmare Portal (in the second half) will also cancel any further findings in the main level, of course, so that's another layer of fun added.
It is an idea I'm willing to give credit for - on paper. An ode to randomness, but probably meant as a gameplay representation of the Nightmare effect, which is meant to majorly fuck with the normal stages and a pretty lazy explanation for why stuff is so batshit in those Megaman level, as if they needed a reason for that. Here, however, it almost works. The Nightmare is an incomprehensible force of chaos, you get tossed around to wherever it wants you to be, the rooms themselves are clearly museum exhibits (like you see a dinosaur skeleton of space parts and stuff), but on their own already losing in sanity, with the disintegrating background; it's very neat, probably the best done stage concept in X6, all for the sole reason that it actually makes a lot of sense, something I have been critiquing for all the other levels so far. I can even accept the totem poles as symbol for things going completely haywire, as they're associated with spirituality and make you maybe think of dream worlds and stuff. Getting rid of parts of them teleports you out of the dream world, makes the spiritual barrier real, and you can go on your merry way. Notice how the hub part of the museum looks completely normal? Someone put thought into that.
Of course, it all falls apart because we're talking about X6. Having to replay the stage over and over again is obviously shit, but the devil lies even more in the details. The rooms themselves are masterpieces of incredibly lazy design, having pieces of terrain strewn around pretty much as randomly as their appearance, and peppered with Nightmares as the singular enemy everywhere, discounting the randomly appearing dirt blocks which at least tie in with what the boss is. Most of the horizontal rooms are really fucking cramped, and that fact, combined with the Nightmare's abilities to go through every wall (and your own inability to do so, especially your shot's), make those incredibly hard to navigate. The vertical rooms, however, are worse. Tiny platforms in thoughtless positions and Nightmares literally everywhere they could have been conceivably put without pasting them on top of each other, spikes on the walls because why not...Eph is having a relatively easy time navigating those rooms because Zero has a double jump and a melee attack. Imagine doing this with unarmored X who doesn't even have an airdash (not that it helps much). Oh, and on Xtreme, Nightmares take more than a single charged shot to kill.
To top it off, as Violen has already lovingly ranted about in his famous videos but obviously not shown, there are configurations in some of the rooms that make progressing without an airdash completely impossible. I will never understand what possessed them to do that; an overhang from above, a bottomless pit under you, and the only thing you can do is airdash at the right height. It's not even that hard. But you can choose unarmored X, go in, and be fucked. The room will never change until you game over, so say good-bye to all those lives you accumulated. It's very, very easy to get into a completely unwinnable situation in Ground Scaravich, just for choosing one of the two character options available at the start. Really, this stage showcases most of all how the game favors Zero over X, because Zero can slice the hordes of Nightmares apart pretty easily, X has to prepare for a world of pain everytime he sees two of them together. Or one in a slightly out-of-the-way place.
Two more details before we move on that piss me off: First, the position of the armor capsule on the singular block leads into the conversation going as strangely as showing in the video every time. That couldn't seriously have been that much effort to fix, and would have come up in playtesting for sure, but that would have required anything of that sort to have gone down in the first place. Secondly, the totem poles are obviously again far easier with Zero as you can just slice them apart in pretty much a single swing. However, for Zero or X, the last totem pole is a fantastic fuck you of giant proportions. The insanely small wiggle room you have on the platform between smashing into its face or touching the spikes is ludicrous, nevermind actually dodging the shots the faces fire constantly. Oh, and you know where the checkpoints in this level are? There's only one, after the first two totem poles, correct me if I'm misremembering. Have fun redoing the last two areas because this one totem pole right before the boss door is a gigantic piece of shit.
The boss is, too, as Violen already detailed, nothing he does will ever come close to endangering you. He's probably the most pathetic enemy in the whole series.