Part 11: Violen adds his own comments on Wolfang's stageYou know, Blizzard Wolfang is the poster child for how ridiculously specific the boss variations in X6 are, so I'd like to elaborate on him a little. He's gotta have the most buried threat of any boss in a Mega Man title this side of wondering what Godkarmachine's back looks like. Not only is he completely impotent in 90% of the configurations you can fight him in; he actually gets more hapless the higher you boost him. His hilariously drawn out attack involving lobbing or launching slow, static ice cubes your way (depending on which character you are) increases in length the higher his level, as well as between Xtreme and Normal (the only other difference being the shots on normal are free of debris). This means that you're optimally looking at the same basic attack five times in a row, more than enough to decimate his health bar while you just walk back and forth casually. On the flipside, it also adds to the number of times he uses the speedy machine gun option, but that's pretty damn easy to handle anyway on account of all cubes in a set following a straight line.
The real mystery with Wolfang happens when you fight him at level 4 on Xtreme, and (barring some rare and typically brief exceptions) only then. His 'desperation' attack involving a sporadic mix of trailing X and dashing to the ceiling, normally a slow-moving ballet sequence you can very predictably avoid, suddenly gains the extremely cluttered trait of leaving static icicles wherever Wolfang happens to pass. This can be along the ground or ceiling in a fairly randomized spawn pattern, or on the walls in a burst that covers the entire terrain. The ones covering the ceiling fall as you pass beneath them in classic platformer icicle style. Given you draw a lengthy enough bout of this (and on Xtreme he uses it frequently and in extended fashion past half health), it is severely difficult to micro-manage while also avoiding Wolfang himself. Given enough time the icicles will explode on their own, and X's charged buster carving as many as it contacts works as a small grant. But to really set things into overdrive, each individual icicle will explode in the same slightly randomized debris as his ice cubes. Extended fights with Wolfang are some of the most intense the game can offer, and not in a good way.
That this elaborate nonsense is so tucked away is another of X6's many inexplicable oddities.
EDIT: Oh, and I know this is an answer to a question only I asked, but I remember I actually did test the limits of how little you needed to do in this game before you could put it behind you, and I gave a little thought experiment a test run because I had time to kill and nothing particularly interesting to fill it with. Turns out you don't need to look a single Nightmare Investigator in the face to beat the game. Works something like this:
Nightmare effects can be triggered simply be entering their respective levels. There's no need to complete one. Knowing that, either damage tanking or the Falcon armor can net you the Jumper/Hyper Dash parts, which'll allow you to make that obscene jump in Metal Shark Player's stage (as well as the ones in Blaze Heatnix's and Blizzard Wolfang's). That scores you three Shadow armor components right there. Willing some ingenuity with damage tanking, the final one in Rainy Turtloid's stage shouldn't pose many problems. You just need to get real cute with the bats. Then it's simply a matter of beating up on Nightmare Zero and High Max, who the Shadow armor makes an afterthought of. The Hyper Dash and Jumper parts you already have will allow you to carry the Shadow armor through the entirety of Gate's second stage, which means High Max is toast there too. The biggest obstacle in your way is the tedium of repeatedly offing yourself to force game overs, and farming out 800 Nightmare Souls to enable equipping two parts at once.