When you start the game you will only be able to select two characters, Goemon and Ebisumaru. You will unlock Sasuke and Yae as you progress through the game. When you complete a level you will be given an Entry Pass and more paths will open on the main map. Generally, finishing a level will only open one path, but many levels have multiple exits which means more Entry Passes and more paths on the map. You can also find Entry Passes in villages by doing tasks for people. When you reach a Checkpoint you will have to have enough Entry Passes to move on the the castle, if you do not have enough entry passes you will have to go back and find some more.
If you die you will start from the last checkpoint in the level. Checkpoints are indicated when the screen fades out then in to a new area or by the item Mr. Elly-Fant. If you are playing with two characters you have to stay on the same screen, one of you can't go run off into the unknown. Additionally, you will not have to go back to the checkpoint unless both of you die simultaneously. If a player runs out of lives they can borrow one life from the other player by pressing . A second player can join in at any time except when the first player is in a building, such as an Inn.
Villages and Towns
If you haven't noticed by now this game is Japanese, which also applies to the towns. All of the stores are in Japanese letters and it can be difficult to tell at first glance what is what. This guide will show you the important buildings. Other rooms have no symbols, they are generic houses. Be sure to explore and talk to people in the houses, you never know when you will find a Surprise Pack or a mission for an Entry Pass.
This building has a red entryway. Item shops will sell you various things ranging from armor, recovery items, and extra lives. Item shops can only carry three items, some villages will have two item shops.
Inns have a small white door with three symbols on it. You can rest here to restore health or save your game. Remember to save here often! The game will NOT auto-save for you. You will need a Controller Pak to save.
Tea Houses have a small blue door, this is not to be confused with the Resturant which has a bigger blue door. Often times you will need to go here once in each village to advance the story and gain new characters.
This building looks like a large temple, but in some villages it's just a small purple door. Plasuma, the fortune teller, will give you some hints on the locations of some Entry Passes.