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Might be a third time then.  I've definitely knocked them down while they've been standing.  You could always throw in a slow-mo missile somewhere in there.  I just dodged a lot.
Super Secret Area - Dead Ahead!
Having died a few times on the guy after them, I had a few tries at fighting them, and found that my best chance came from simply running around constantly firing off charged shots.  I think they went down in three each, but with the diffusion effect it's ususlly a bit quicker.
Bangaa Bishop
Is there any way to get the missile tank in the first room of the game after beating everything? The door up there is damaged and won't open, and I can't find any other way in there.
keep going further into the main sector until you find a room with a staircase.  At the top of the stairs and to the right, there is a toppled table and chairs.  Look for a vent on the wall near the floor in that area.
Time bomb set get out fast!
Quote from Quietus:
Having died a few times on the guy after them, I had a few tries at fighting them, and found that my best chance came from simply running around constantly firing off charged shots.

Agreed on both counts -- the charged shots and the guy after them (I call him Dr. Octopus; he's actually a Rhedogian). That pirate fight is where I learned that, as silly and nontraditional as it seems at first, Sensemove is your best friend in this game. I've lost count of the fights I ultimately survived by just moving and changing direction a lot, letting Sensemove save me. Hold the fire button a lot too -- that way you can take advantage of the auto-charge that kicks in when you dodge successfully. Keep this strategy in mind for any boss fight that gives you trouble, up to and including the final ones.

As for fighting Dr. Octopus... God help you. That bastard got me closer to losing my temper than any of the major bosses. Don't bother attacking much -- he'll not only dodge, but take the opportunity to grapple himself closer to you. Instead, wait for your moment and focus on keeping away from him. Jump a lot unless he gets close, and Sensemove at every opportunity. (You can't usually Sensemove his tentacles, hence the jumping around.) Your window to attack is after he fires the purple beam. If you're far enough away, that's also your window to concentrate. Even better, he'll occasionally start charging a red beam; the instant you see that, nail him with a missile, then go perform a Lethal Strike. It proves less than Lethal, but does a chunk of damage. I think two is enough to make him leave.
...I already beat hard mode.
Time bomb set get out fast!
Congrats! No reason to remove the advice, though. Could still help somebody else.
I just now figured out that the overstrike(?) or whatever that move is called where you jump on top of them and fire into the head requires you to fully charge before you jump on them.  I was having the hardest time with it - jumping and jumping and wondering why samus wouldn't jump onto their heads.  I can't remember exactly what the instructions said, but the wording made it sounds like you had to charge before firing the shot, not before jumping.  Dammit.
Seriously? Guess I've just been naturally charging the beam all the time since I don't think I've run into this very much. Makes me wonder how I'm able to leap from pirate to pirate and be able to overblast all of them without a second thought. (Which is fun to do when you're in areas like the lab at the end of Sector 1 where you first encounter them and they like to bunch up on you.)
red chamber dream
i don't think that's true ... i do it all the time without charging at all. you just have to jump on the enemy. the problem though is that it's really finnicky so sometimes when you think you've jumped on the enemy the game disagrees.
Sometimes you need to charge up before jumping on the enemy, like for the Red Pirates. (Whenever they allow you to actually shoot them before tossing you off)
Jesus who knows with this combat system.  I really hate it.  Sometimes I can go through a certain fight and not take any damage at all, then on a later playthrough I can go into the same fight and die over and over - and not even be sure what it is that I'm doing differently.  I have definitely gotten better at the fighting in this game, but theres still so many things that I dont fucking understand about it to come close to mastering it.  Im not sure if this style of combat is common in other games, but its quite foreign to me and I really dont care for it.
Random button mashing seems to help me with overblasts...
Edit history:
Zeke: 2010-09-12 01:53:29 am
Zeke: 2010-09-12 01:52:31 am
Time bomb set get out fast!
Get this -- it's actually a grammar issue. The game's Overblast instructions read (emphasis theirs): "Jump on an enemy to climb on top of it and press 1 once you're fully charged." The stress on that point suggests you should be fully charged in order to do the move. But in fact, the phrase in bold is only modifying "press 1", not the whole thing. Overblast has a quick auto-charge of its own, and the game's warning you not to press 1 until that fills up.

Watch this video to see it. Note how the player is never charging up in advance, and also how fast the Overblast auto-charge is.

It's easy to miss all this (I did at first) because Overblasts mostly happen by accident in mob fights, so you're likely to be charged up already, and you won't see the auto-charge.  This video is more typical -- and hilarious.

Hey Opium, for someone who keeps saying she hates Other M, you've got a funny avatar. Mr. Green (Not complaining, I love it.)
Edit history:
Opium: 2010-09-12 02:20:27 am
Quote from Zeke:
Hey Opium, for someone who keeps saying she hates Other M, you've got a funny avatar. Mr. Green (Not complaining, I love it.)

I stole it from the smilies list at MDb.

Back to overblasting:  So you have to be pressing 1, but not necessarily fully charged, in order to jump onto their heads. Once you're actually on their heads then your charge gauge fills up automatically just like it does when pressing 1 when you dodge.  Then just release the 1 button to fire.  MMkay got it.
Now I can move on to complaining about how quirky it is to get onto their heads regardless.
Edit history:
KingBroly: 2010-09-12 02:44:16 am
I think you just have to jump on them and it charges automatically.

I need to find an avatar for here already.
Oh christ. 99% done and totally fed up trying to get the missile tank in the very first room in the game, the one with Samus's ship in it. I hate the way they use those invisible walls to block things. It's retarded.
Anyway, how the hell do you get the darn thing?
I believe there's PB doors, within the first 7 rooms (random low #) and one of which near an Orange door.

Kill the PB Guard, head through, use the console (Orange now = Green) and move "away" (from camera) from the console. It'll be all the way at the end of the scaffolding.
Edit history:
PeGe: 2010-09-12 06:47:28 am
My gf, Samochan, found the way, at long last. There was a vent shaft or something in the room with the bathrooms. Gah. Now it's done, don't think I'll have the patience to suffer through another playthrough with hard mode just yet.
Least you won't have to worry about percentages in hard mode.
I seem to be having a weird thing going on with that quadropedal creature with the large armored head. My overblast isn't working on him. The shot seems to just be deflected by his armor even though the barrel of my arm cannon is sticking right into his head. Every once in a great while it actually does work and he dies, but I can't figure out what, if anything, I did different during those times.
You have to mash random buttons.
Super Secret Area - Dead Ahead!
I always tried to make sure I was to his side, or behind him, assuming that his head was always armoured...  It worked for me.

Regarding the Overblast thing: From what I recall, I NEVER had a charge when fighting certain enemies that I knew I could jump on.  Particular examples would be the varieties of sidehopper.  I just ran around, dodging when necessary, waiting for an opportunity to jump on them.  As soon as I was aboard, I'd press fire, not waiting for a charge or anything.  Unless in that example they were an almost insta-charge...
Indie Lover
if you guys are talking about the yellow armored monster you fist find on sector 2, you need to fire a missile on it's head to destroy the carapace...

and it remembers me of barroth of Monster Hunter 3... a lot of monsters in this game remembers me of MH3...
It's the lethal strike that im talking about with that armored-head creature.  Samus jumps on top of him and puts her arm-cannon in a small opening on the creature's head, but most of the time the shot is deflected and samus is shaken off.  Whats up with that.