- Joystick: Use the analogue joystick to direct the movements of the Thunder Ceptor. Its controls are "reversed", just like those of a real spaceship; this means that pushing it up will cause it to dive and pushing it down will cause it to rise. Therefore, if you are using MAME to play this game (you will need version 0.78 released 25th December 2003 or higher), you may wish to set the "AD Stick Y Reverse" option in "Analog Controls" to "On".
- Firing Button: Use this button to make the Thunder Ceptor fire shots at the enemies. As mentioned on that main page, it can fire off continuously.
- Bomb Button: Use this button to make the Thunder Ceptor fire a bomb at the enemies. As mentioned on the main page, it can possess up to five.
- Pedal: Use the pedal to make the Thunder Ceptor accelerate (as if it was a car)... In MAME, the pedal's presence is represented by the space bar.
The eponymous protagonist of the game. As mentioned on the main page, it is a hyper-way fighter ship, developed by the Federal Troops, which is equipped with a rapid-fire zapper cannon and rocket artillery napalm bombs; it can possess up to five of these bombs at one time, and they will be replenished at the end of each round. It also has radar (which is displayed in the centre of the screen), and its progress ("WAY"), will be displayed up at the top of the screen - along with its energy ("POWER",) and its bombs ("ARMS"). Its condition is also displayed, in the top-left corner of the screen (usually with an image of its blueprints), but will change to say "CAUTION" or "ENERGY EMPTY" when a formation attack is heading toward it (much like the Condition Indicator in Namco's own Bosconian), or it is reduced to four bars of power; much like the Cannon from King and Balloon and the Player Cars from Pole Position and Pole Position II, it is also immortal, and will be resurrected immediately after it is hit by an enemy shot. However, once it has run out of power, the game will immediately be over and your playing time, score and ranking will all be displayed in the centre of the screen.
Frigate Class Enemies
There are four different types of enemies in the Frigate Class, and each one comes with a wing that must be hit for you to kill them. From left to right: Type A Formation (500 points), Type B Formation (700 points), Type A Zako (1000 points), and Type B Zako (1500 points).
Destroyer Class Enemies
There are four different types of enemies in the Destroyer Class, and each one fires a green projectile. From left to right: Turret (1000 points), Type 1 Clay (1500 points), Type 2 Clay (2000 points), and Boss (2500 points; despite their name, they aren't bosses).
Cruiser Class Enemies
There are four different types of enemies in the Cruiser Class, and each one flies around in the air to make them difficult to hit. From left to right: Pursuiter (1500 points), Meteor Mine (2000 points), Runner (2500 points; they are also a palette-swapped evil version of the Thunder Ceptor), and Side Winder (3000 points). This was the first game from Namco to feature a palette-swapped player's sprite as an enemy.
Battleship Class Enemies
There are four different types of enemies in the Battleship Class, and each one takes on the role of a boss. From left to right: Sodom (3000 points), Type 1 Omake (5000 points), Gomorrah (7000 points), and Type 2 Omake (9000 points; a Gomorrah has 4).
There are two different types of obstacles, and both of them cannot be destroyed and must be avoided. They can interfere with the Thunder Ceptor's movement, and if the Thunder Ceptor flies into either of them, its power meter decreases, by one. From left to right: Pillar and Meteor.