- / : Press left or right to retreat or advance across the screen respectively. Although the screen scrolls automatically to the right, you can slow down or even stop the scrolling by pushing left along the left side of the screen.
- : Press down to squat and duck under very high attacks. Squatting is another means to prevent the screen from scrolling forward.
- : Press up to jump into the air. Up can be pressed in conjunction with left or right to jump diagonally in either direction.
- : Press the I button to perform punches. Punches cannot be thrown in mid-air, but they can be performed while squatting.
- : Press the II button to perform kicks. Kicks cannot be made while squatting, but they can be performed while jumping.
- : Press the Run button to begin a new game, or to pause the action mid-game.
You control Wang throughout the game, as he marches forward to reach the Dark Emperor. He is an accomplished and battle-tested martial artist. He has a limited but powerful arsenal of strikes, including a standing punch and kick, a squatting punch, and two forms of jumping kicks. He must use these attacks to fight his way past minions of the Dark Emperor in order to engage his 12 Lieutenants in combat. Defeating them will depose the Emperor and restore order to Wang's home, but they are all formidable opponents in their own right.
Wang will walk unerringly across the four areas that he must fight through. Each area is divided into three sections, and each section ends with a Lieutenant boss fight. Although Wang can pause the rate at which he advances, he cannot turn around. Once he is locked into a boss fight, his range is limited to the visible screen. Throughout the game, Wang's health meter is shown at the top of the screen. If Wang's health meter is reduced to nothing, he will lose one life and be forced to start on the same section from the very beginning, even if he is defeated by a Lieutenant. The game is over if Wang runs out of lives. You can earn extra lives by achieving particular scores.
Wang's health meter initially starts out with ten silver bars. He loses one bar of health every time he fails to dodge an attack or when he is struck by an object. However, there are objects which can restore health to Wang. The most notable and effective of these objects is a book, shown to the right. Books appear from the right side of the screen, and wave up and down as they float to the left. You must jump up and kick the book in order to receive the benefit of five additional bars of health that it provides.
Attacking a book is not the only means of regaining health. In each stage, there is at least one item or enemy which, if struck, will provide you with three bars of health. In early stages, they might be objects that you would already be inclined to strike at, while in later stages, they are objects which you must go out of your way to make sure you hit instead of dodge. Which objects provide you with health remain the same in every play through of each particular stage. Once you find out which items give health, be sure to remember them for the next time you play through that stage.
If the player is hit a couple of times consecutively without taking the opportunity to strike back, he builds rage. If the next attack thrown by the player is a punch, there is a good chance for that attack to turn into a rage attack. Rage attacks take one of two different forms. One is an extremely powerful punch, represented visually by an oversized fist. The other is an extremely rapid set of punches. The effect of either is the same. Against a boss, successful connection with a rage attack will remove three bars from the boss' health meter.