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Controls Exterior side-scrolling Interior top-down
Neutral dpad Use the direction pad to control both the Sophia assault vehicle, and Jason himself. Press left and right to move in either direction. Press up while driving the vehicle to aim the cannon skyward. Press down while out of the vehicle to make Jason crouch, or press up or down while standing in front of ladders climb or descend. Use the direction pad to direct Jason in any one of eight directions.
A button Press the A button to make Sophia or Jason jump. The longer A is held down, the higher Sophia will jump. Jason jumps at a fixed height. Once the hover upgrade is obtained, press and hold the A button while Sophia is in mid-air to activate hovering (provided you have enough hover fuel.) Press the A button to toss a grenade in the direction that Jason is facing. Grenades will travel farther if Jason is moving while throwing them.
B button Press the B button to fire your weapons. Sophia will launch a shot from its cannon, while Jason will fire his gun. While driving Sophia, press Down dpad+B button to launch the currently selected special weapon (provided you have ammunition.) Press the B button to shoot Jason's gun. Unlike in exterior scenes, the power and effect of Jason's gun is determined by the current level of his gun meter.
Start button Press the Start button to pause the game and bring up the weapon select screen. On this screen, you can see the current state of Sophia's upgrades, the current amount of ammunition you have for each of Sophia's three special weapons, and the currently active special weapon. From this screen, press the Start button again to return to the game.
Select button Press the Select button to exit the vehicle. To return to the vehicle, stand in front of it, and press Select once again. No effect.


Blaster Master model.jpg

You control Jason throughout the game. At times, Jason will explore on foot, but for a majority of Jason's outdoor exploration, he will be driving "Sophia the 3rd Nora/MA-01" assault vehicle, otherwise known as SOPHIA. Jason and SOPHIA have separate power meters, and they decrease whenever they sustain damage by an enemy or any other hazardous object or whenever Jason falls from a high place. Players can replenish these power meters by collecting power capsules that appear throughout the game. Also, the player can replenish Jason's health to full at any time by re-entering SOPHIA. The player loses a life if either power meter runs out, and the game ends when all lives are lost. Players get five continues that allow them to restart the game at the same level in which they have lost all their lives.

Blaster Master NES sprite Sophia.png

SOPHIA is a very rugged vehicle capable of crossing a variety of terrains, and built with a special shock system that allows it to leap several meters off the ground and safely land on the ground with no damage, regardless of the height fallen. It also has a cannon that can be aimed at targets directly ahead of the vehicle, or directly above. Lastly, SOPHIA is equipped with three special weapons which require ammunition. Only one such special weapon may be active at any given moment, but Jason can freely switch between weapons at any time.

Blaster Master NES sprite Jason.png

Jason himself dons a protective suit that can absorb damage at a similar rate at SOPHIA. That being said, Jason's body cannot tolerate tremendous falls, and risks injury or death if he falls from a great height. Jason's gun also lacks the firepower of SOPHIA's cannon, although it will make do in an emergency. However, when Jason enters the interior of any structure, he can make use of a multi-phase gun that can be upgraded through the collection of gun capsules. Additionally, when he's indoors, he can toss an endless supply of grenades. Grenades do not travel far, but when they explode, they do tremendous damage to any creature caught in the blast radius.

Although SOPHIA is a very capable machine at the beginning of the game, Jason can collect a variety of upgrades for the vehicle by defeating boss creatures in each area. Whenever an upgrade is collected, the new ability permits SOPHIA to reach the next area where the next upgrade can be obtained. The upgrades must be collected in a specific order so that Jason can make it to the final area where the ultimate boss can be found. Some upgrades increase SOPHIA's firepower, while others increase its mobility, providing SOPHIA with the ability to hover, or even grip the walls with its tires.