Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles "Boss Guide"

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Next stop, Hydro City!

The "boss" machine at the end of Act 1 can be annoying if you don't know how to handle it.  When it first comes out (from the top left), it will dive into the water & follow the "U" up to the right.  Then it will dive down again, follow the "U" to the top left, and then settle at the center.  This is a good time to hit it, but watch out when this machine rotates the rod in the center to suck you into it (why does this remind me of an electric mixer?)
KNUCKLES: You can climb of the sides of this U-shaped chamber & glide from the walls.  This makes it easier to avoid attacks ;)
TAILS: Tails' flying ability comes in handy here, but he should be able to jump over this boss when it dives (as Sonic can).

Target any place, except the spinning blades at the bottom.  Robotnik will swoop down and try to draw you up into those blades.  Then he'll drop depth charges across the screen.  A good time to hit him is while he's swooping down, before he gets those blades going really well.  If you time your jumps correctly, you can use the depth charge explosions to propel you above this machine, where you can "juggle" for several cheap hits.
KNUCKLES: You won't be able to reach him -just- by jumping up; you'll need to either use the waterspout as a step (while it's going down) or use the depth charge explosions to propel Kunx high enough to do some hurtin'.