Vortex is the 36th Expert stage in Challenge Mode and World 8-6 in Story Mode.
A large double-headed spiral spins between a platform with four switches (rewind, reverse, forward, fast forward) and two platforms (the one on top has the green goal, and the one beneath has the blue goal and is larger). The switches control the speed and direction of the spiral's rotation. The spiral makes one and a half rotations before slowing down and rotating the other way; this is similar to Reversible Gear.
There are two goals, the blue goal and the green goal.
Blue goal Edit
Wait at the front-left corner of the platform with the switches. Make sure the reverse or forward switch is activated. The spiral will spin clockwise and slow down. When it spins counterclockwise, get ready to roll onto the arm of the spiral as soon as it touches the platform. Tilt the analog stick down and to the left to keep the ball on the spiral, but don't move the ball too far back. As the spiral slows down, you should be near the goal platforms. Roll off the spiral at full speed and fall onto the blue goal platform.
Green goal Edit
Get on the spiral and stay on it the same way as you would for the blue goal. This time, do not roll off the spiral. Instead, as it is about to change direction, roll forward down the spiral at full speed. When the spiral is in motion, the camera angle will change to make you face the other way. Pull back on the analog stick as much as needed so that you are approaching the green goal platform from the left. As the arm nears the platform, smoothly roll onto the platform and into the goal.