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Cave Story uses very simple controls that are easy to figure out. There are three basic sets of controls for the game.

Action[edit]

These controls are used while exploring the game's areas. To note, W will only work once you have gotten the Map System item. Additionally,  ↓  is also the button you use to enter doors and initiate conversations. K also works.

An example of when the action controls will be used.
  •  : Move
  •  ↑  : Look up
  •  ↓  : Search (Or look down while jumping)
  • K : Search
  • Z : Jump
  • X : Fire weapon
  • S : Next weapon
  • A : Previous weapon
  • Q : Item screen
  • W : Map

Conversation[edit]

These controls are only used when you are talking to characters or making yes/no choices during the game.

  •  : Select Yes/No
  • X/Z : Continue conversation

Item Screen[edit]

These controls are used once you open up the item screen via Q while you are using the action controls.

  •  ↑  ↓  : Select item
  • Z : Examine/Use
  • X : Leave screen