- , , , and : In the ZX, CPC, and C64 versions, the player has to use these keys to make Popeye climb up and down ladders, and walk left and right; they must also use to make him jump (and punch in fighting sequences), and it is also possible to use a Sinclair or Kempston joystick instead of the keyboard (with the button for jumping and punching) if connected. A joystick must also be used for the Amiga version with for pausing, for aborting, to toggle between 50 and 60 Hz display (for PAL and NTSC televisions) and to toggle the music on and off - however, you should only do the second one if you have absolutely no chance of winning (like when Popeye's last heart is about to disappear!).
The protagonist of this game; due to technical limitations, he (and all of the other characters) are depicted as transparent in the ZX version. In the game, he must pursue his old enemy Brutus (who has kidnapped Olive Oyl) through four different levels (while collecting hamburgers for Mr. Wimpy, preventing Swee'Pea from falling off platforms, defusing bombs and collecting cans of his trademark spinach to get past Goons) - and when Popeye reaches Olive at the top of each level he shall have to defeat Brutus himself to proceed to the next one. If Popeye defeats Brutus before the bonus timer runs out its remaining value will be added to his score; his lives are also displayed as three hearts (the topmost one will shrink whenever he gets knocked down, and when he gets back up again, he flashes, for a few seconds of temporary invulnerability). Popeye's strength is also indicated by a close-up of his left arm, which starts out muscular, but gradually deflates - but it can be reinflated by collecting a can of his trademark spinach (however, he will lose a life once his topmost heart has disappeared, and if the last one disappears the game will be over).