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.
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.
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.