- and : Except during boss fights, use left and right to direct Jack to run laterally across the world in either direction as he runs forward.
- and : Except during boss fights, use up to increase the speed at which Jack runs, and use down to decrease Jack's speed.
- : During boss fights, use the entire direction pad to control Jack's position above the ground.
- : Press the A button to make Jack jump. The long the button is held down, the higher Jack will jump.
- : Press the B button to make Jack fire a rocket. Except during boss fights, Jack can only fire lasers if he has first picked up a rocket item. During boss fights, Jack is granted the ability to fire whether he has picked up a rocket or not.
- : Press the start a new game, or to pause the action mid-game.
- : Used to activate or deactivate the 3D mode (red/cyan 3D glasses are required to view this mode properly).
You control Jack, a wild "space cowboy" on a mission to save various planets overrun by serpent-like beasts. As Jack, you can do two things really well; you can run and you can jump. You can also fire when you get your hands on a weapon. Your one and only goal is to safely reach the end of each world, where you will have to do battle with the serpent beast or beasts which have enslaved that planet. In order to reach the end, you must dodge enemies and jump over chasms, and generally stay alive. Each portion of the world must be cleared within a certain period of time. If Jack fails to clear the section in time, he will lose one life and must begin again at the start of that section. Once Jack clears a section, or if he finds a clock item, this timer is refilled. When Jack makes it to the end of each world, he will stop running, and enter a mode of movement where he can hover over and ground and control his position in space. He must use this technique to do battle with the serpent beasts in order to defeat them and move on to the next planet. Jack has a limited number of lives, and the game will be over when all of his extra lives are lost.