I got some suggestions on improving X5, after watching some reviews on it:
- Make the Gaea Armor obtainable without needing the Falcon Armor first. This will make players able to 'choose' which armor to obtain, and in case they just want Gaea, skip a lot of busywork.
- Make the Falcon Body part (in Whale stage) obtainable with any weapon that can reach the device you need to destroy in order to break the wooden wall, rather than just Whale's weapon. Right now the stage needs to be played through three times when you want to collect every item (need boss weapon for Falcon part, need Falcon Armor for Heart Tank).
- Remove the RNG element of the ending.
- Anything to tone down the insanity that is collecting the Falcon Helmet part in Volt Kraken's stage.
- Speed up the submarine you fight in Tidal Whale's stage.
- Remove slowdown in Dark Necrobat stage's first half (whenever the black hole in the background appears).
- Change the camera panning in the first final stage, allowing players to see the quick rays earlier.
About aea Armor obtainable without needing the Falcon Armor first, its already possible in original version:
1) You can get part in The Skiver stage using Zero using Hyper Dash and Virus invencibility.
2) You can get part in Axle The Red stage also using Zero, using Jumper + Hyper Dash (maybe only Jumper is needed).
These two mentions above are needed to make a run in 100% route.
About Falcon Body part in that boring stage, really, i agree with you, making a revisit in that stage is a big pain. Now, about the heart tank in that stage, Falcon Armor is not needed (or even Gaea Armor), you can get that or using Zero with Squid Addler hability, or using X (Unarmored, Falcon Armor or Ultimate Armor) using Wing Spiral (weapon acquired when you defeat The Skiver) close to spikes several times;