I love that first phase of this fight too... where the ground is moving up toward the ceiling while the water is draining... neat twist on the Sonic 1 Labyrinth Zone boss where the area is filling with water.
Even after knowing the controls, this boss is actually REALLY tricky to figure out at first...
It took me a while to realize you don't hurt him with his own bombs, you hurt him by sucking up Eggman alone, when he's not near any bombs... the bombs mostly only hurt you if you suck them up with Eggman.
I should've remembered this because I'm pretty sure it's the exact reverse of a boss battle from the original Hydrocity Zone in Sonic 3.
That was amazing... and again, that was only Act 1. It remixed existing Hydrocity level design into a bunch of new ideas, to the point where it stands on its own as a totally unique level.
Sweeet... after that tiny break from special stages, I came back to special stage 4 again and beat it this time... It was like something kicked in me and i "got good" and started doing laps at top speed without running into anything... Collectng a surplus of rings was easy and it felt like I had a ton of time now... but it really tests your endurance with this one, not only going top speed without running into anything, but you also gotta take risky shortcuts to gain ground on the emerald... It felt more like a really tough 1-on-1 Sonic R race... except the gameplay and controls are actually good.