Artaria is frozen. The water areas are frozen up solid, making travel through them difficult. I can’t wade, only cross on the surface of the ice. You’d think my beam weapons would be able to melt it down, but no. Also many of the doors are frozen, and won’t open.
I make my way through as best I can, and again, the level design creates a mostly linear path and I can’t really make any choices that would put me off the path I’m supposed to be taking to move the plot forward. Along the way, I try to find as many secrets as I can, and I do find several. I end up picking up a couple more Missile Containers, and a Energy Tank. I now have max health 999 and about 131 missile capacity.
The creatures here are a mixture of weak and tough. The weak ones I can take out with a single hit from the normal beam cannon. The tough ones, I am best off melee countering and then one-shotting, or else hitting with multiple volleys of Storm Missiles. At one point, as I’m exploring, I fall down into a chamber and face another Mawkin Chozo soldier. This one seems like a higher level one, and is armed with a large shield and a long spear.
I fight him effectively, though, using much the same tactics as I’ve developed against these enemies: Stand off at a distance, fire Storm Missiles, jump and use Flash Shift to get over him while he’s winding up his attack, land behind him, and hit him in the back with more Storm Missiles. Timing the shots so that I can hit him from the front when his shield is out of the way, or hitting him from behind is the only way to do damage. I have to learn not to waste my shots because of the time it takes to wind up the Storm Missile volley, you don’t want to miss or get blocked.
It only takes a couple volleys and he’s already into his second phase, where he loses the shield, grabs onto the wall, high up, and spews a black cone of energy from his mouth, which does heavy damage. Dodging this isn’t easy, as his spew is prolonged, such that if I merely jump I will come down and land in it. So a multi-jump dodge seems to be the ticket here.
I only die twice fighting this guy, and despite the fact that he seems more powerful and elite than the previous Mawkin Chozo I’ve faced, my skills and tactics that I’ve developed serve me well enough that I feel like taking this one down was the easiest so far.
Beyond the chamber where I defeat the Chozo, I find the Energy Tank, some more missiles, and a communication room where ADAM instructs me to proceed to Cataris. The thermal flow there has been disrupted, and this is the actual cause of the planet’s rapid cooling. ADAM suspects a “massive” X-parasite is to blame, and urges me to be careful.
I’m always careful, but I feel confident that I can handle what’s ahead of me. I have little problem dealing with any of the threats in Artaria, and I’m not expecting Cataris to be much worse. I make my way to the elevator, and prepare to ascend.