- Joysticks: Use the two 8-way joysticks to direct Libble and Rabble around the screen. The left one controls Libble (red facing left), and the right one controls Rabble (blue facing right).
- 1 or 2 Player Buttons: Push these buttons to begin a 1 or 2 player game.
Libble and Rabble
These two arrows are the protagonists of the game. They start each round in the centre of the screen, and must surround all twenty Mushlins on that round in the loops they have created. They must avoid contact with all of the Hoblins, Changers, Killers and Gargoyles that are pursuing them - and if their line is ever cut by a Shears, a new one will be made directly between them. If either of them is touched by a Hoblin, Changer, Killer or Gargoyle, it will kill both of them; they will also lose a life if they run out of time on the edge of the screen.
There are twenty of these mushrooms on each round. Libble and Rabble must surround all of them in the loops they've created in order to move on to the next round. 10-200 points.
These hooded creatures start each round in the corners of the screen. If Libble and Rabble surround one of them, he will be sent up to the top of the screen. 500 points.
These metallic creatures cross from one side of the screen to the other, and if they cut Libble and Rabble's line as they do so, a new one is made directly between them. 1000 points.
These X-shaped creatures will materialize in the corners of the screen and home in on Libble and Rabble's line. If they manage to touch the line, Libble and Rabble's positions will be swapped over, and only way to swap them back is to have another Changer touch the line. However, if they touch either Libble or Rabble themselves, it will kill them. 1500 points.
These spherical creatures usually attack in pairs. If they latch on to Libble and Rabble's line, they will burn it down until either of them is touched (much like the Fuses in Taito's Qix, which was released two years earlier), which will cost them a life. The only way to stop this from happening, is to close the loop that they are in the process of creating. 2000 points.
Occasionally, when Libble and Rabble close a loop that they have created, a "detector" will go off; this means that a treasure chest is hidden somewhere in that area, and in order to uncover it, they will have to create a loop around an area that is small enough to cover the treasure chest without any obvious hiding places. If they manage to uncover it, six of these multicoloured creatures will emerge from it and fly towards the edges of the screen - and if Libble and Rabble manage to surround one of them in a loop that they have created, he will go to the top of the screen and turn into a letter (of a bonus word). If Libble and Rabble manage to complete the bonus word, they will be sent to a bonus round in which they will have to uncover as many of the six hidden treasure chests as they can before the timer runs out (their contents are still randomly-generated). 2000 points.
The bonus words, in order, are "FLOWER", "RAINBOW", "JEWELS", "BRIDAL", "FANTASY" and "??????" (the last one being one of the five default high-score names); the Sharp X68000 and Super Famicom versions of the game added eight more bonus words to lineup ("FRUITS", "SEASON", "©NAMCO", "TOYPOP", "SPECIAL", "DRAGON", "EXTEND" and "POWERUP"). In addition to uncovering the chest, you can surround it in a loop again once it has been uncovered, in order to get a special item. Eight are worth extra points, but eight are worth more:
Occasionally, when Libble and Rabble close a loop around a treasure chest in order to uncover it, one of these winged demons will appear. They have the power to destroy any timer-restoring plants they touch, and Libble and Rabble must surround them in a loop to kill them before they can try to uncover that treasure chest for that round. 4000 points.