| Chapter 2 : Stormy Spire|
|Oh, how did it go again... "Wily Never Eats Shreddies"?|
Stormy Spire is the ninth and final level on the path to the Zap Chip in Chapter 2 of Make a Good Mega Man Level: Episode Zero. In it, Zero scales a tall transmission tower, and has to go around a large torus that loops in on itself to find letter keys scattered throughout four terminals. Each part of the torus has many kinds of hazards, enemies, and puzzles, but bottomless pits are almost completely absent and every spike is non-lethal (only doing 5 damage on contact). The stage is loosely based on Airflow Hubble from Make a Good Mega Man Level 2, and even starts with a similar layout and aesthetic while using the same music. A pseudo-Skip Teleporter appears at the start, but instead of taking Zero to the end, it will take him to the tower's central hub; however, it will only work after completing the level at least once.
Stormy Spire can be subdivided into multiple areas, owing to its large size and looping structure.
The level starts with Apache Joes and Cannon Joes attacking Zero, while a Dachone blocks the end of a narrow corridor. The Z-Saber can easily destroy the Joes, but the Z-Burst also works at a longer range. Down below, Lyrics spawn from small holes while Girees crawl along platforms over spikes; the Cutter Chip's Blank Drive is a handy tool for clearing space if needed. Shortly after, modified Super Ball Machine Jr.s appear; instead of their usual rebounding balls, they fire an arcing shot that explodes into four falling projectiles. Above them are two Guts Lifts; one normal, and the other an Active Guts Lift that only moves when stepped on. Another Dachone guards a boss door, which leads to a quick but uneventful elevator ride to the tower's central hub.
The central hub is a small looping area that contains four teleporters, each one taking Zero to the terminal labelled above it. Above the West and South teleporters is a ledge with four barriers locking off parts of it; to unlock them, letters from each of the four terminals need to be collected, with each one unlocking a barrier. Only two letters need to be collected to finish the level, as two barriers block the exit. However, collecting three will open up access to two small Bolts and a CD, while collecting all four opens access to an M-Tank. The order the letters are gathered in doesn't matter, as they aren't tied to any specific barriers.
The four terminals all loop from one into another, with each one having a teleporter leading back to the hub. Only the North terminal requires a revisit to the central hub to proceed to the West terminal entrance; as such, starting from the West terminal reduces the need for unnecessary revisits.
This area takes place in a rainstorm that pushes Zero to the right. He has to jump across several platforms while avoiding enemies like Metall Mommies, overhead Flying Shells, and Prop-Tops falling from background chutes. If Zero happens to fall down, instead of a bottomless pit he lands on solid ground, with some spikes scattered around. There is nothing of worth in these lower areas, and the only way out is to backtrack towards a ladder leading back to the main route. In the room with the West key, a Yashichi lies in a small cubbyhole, but it requires a very quickly timed airdash to reach.
The South terminal path is a slope-filled area with little platforming to speak of. Instead it is focused on fighting enemies, with Super Ball Machine Jr.s and Dachones working as common threats. Also present are Electriris and ceiling-mounted Wall Blasters, the former of which are dangerous in large numbers. The Cutter Chip's boomeranging Z-Burst can be useful in hitting enemies more than once, such as the large and bulky Dachones.
Like the West terminal, a rainstorm is present, but now it pushes Zero to the left. The main challenge of this area is platforming on Guts Lifts, with Active ones seeing predominant use. The first section has Active Guts Lifts riding over spikes, while Foojeens and the storm try to knock Zero off of them. Some Guts Lifts will drop of their rails and fall, either landing on a new one or forcing Zero to jump off. After that, a Key Barrier blocks the way, while a Key lies behind three Guts Lifts over spikes, as well as multiple Electriris floating towards Zero. Next, Zero has to scale a vertical platforming section while avoiding Girees crawling across very small platforms. Finally, another Guts Lift section appears, with multiple Active Guts Lifts needing to be triggered as the main lift crosses multiple long gaps in its rail. Once again, if Zero falls, he will land in a lower area without dying, and must make his way backwards to climb back up top.
This area is primarily focused on Sibuls that chase down Zero before exploding after a delay, or when shot. Though it requires getting up close to them, the Z-Saber can kill them without triggering their explosions. At one point, nine Key Coins hovering over spikes have to be collected to unlock a Key Barrier, while an invincible Sibul constantly chases after Zero. This Sibul will never self-destruct, and has to be avoided. If one is daring, a few powerups such as weapon energy and large Bolts rest on some of the spikes, requiring close airdashes to obtain without damage. Unlike the other terminals, a Tsurare Stamp guards the exit instead of a Dachone.
Upon reaching the Central Hub's exit, Zero must ride a Sideway Elevator while Lyrics and Electriris fly by. With both enemies being so weak, area clearing weapons like the Blank Drive (with either the Cutter Chip or Psycho Chip) are very handy. Spikes are encountered in the shaft, and can crush Zero if he's between one and the elevator; if he needs to, stomping on the elevator's buttons will make it move faster in its respective direction. By staying on the right hand side of the screen, the level's second CD can be obtained; otherwise, a wall of spikes separates it from Zero. After one last Dachone, Zero reaches the top of the tower, where both an Energy Element and the Zap Chip are lying out in the open.
- Stormy Spire is the only final level on a chip path that doesn't end in a boss fight - as such, Alastor from Shocking Wacko Stage stands in as the Zap Path's representative in The Ultimate Choice's Soul Eraser difficulty.
- The stage's main challenge is likely inspired by the fourth Cossack stage in the romhack Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, which also has the player traversing a looping tower area while collecting letters to proceed.
- The name "Stormy Spire" comes from a sign in Poorly Named Level, where it is mentioned by Yoshiatom as the name of her first attempt at a level. She mentions using a "MM10-style lift section" in it, which is used here as the level's climax.
- Prior to v1.1, the doors blocking off the final elevator ride used different graphics that made them look like normal Key Barriers.
|Make a Good Mega Man Level: Episode Zero - Chapter 2 Zap Path|
|Force Facility • Pepsi Zero • Entrance Succession • Projectile Party! • Volt Man Factory • Lightningrod Lab • Shocking Wacko Stage • Out of Order • Stormy Spire|
|List of Bosses|
|Force Guard • Pepsi Man • Octo Brain • Really Goddang Cool Quick Man • Volt Man the Real • Alastor • War Blur|