- : Use the direction pad to guide Apollo through each stage. Press left and right to move Apollo in either direction. Press down to make Apollo squat. Press up to make Apollo enter through a door.
- : Press the A button to make Apollo jump. Also press A to advance a conversation or accept an offer. Pressing the A button when riding a vehicle will direct the vehicle to drop a bomb.
- : Press the B button to fire Apollo's weapon. Also press B to cancel a conversation or decline an offer. Pressing the B button when riding a vehicle will fire the primary weapons.
- : Press the Start button to begin a new game, or to pause the action mid-game.
- : Press the Select button to choose between options.
You control Apollo throughout the game. You must help him complete his quest by rescuing five queens of five islands before ultimately rescuing Princess Maria from the clutches of evil Garuza. On each island, he must reach the mechanical castle, and defeat a boss. Once a queen is rescued, they will give Apollo access to a transport vehicle which he can use to reach the next island, but not before defeating another boss.
Apollo is capable of firing a variety of weapons. By default, he uses the Hand Wave gun. He can obtain other weapons by meeting an individual who provides them to him, or by purchasing them from a shop. Apollo's weapons can also be upgraded one time for a fee. Whenever Apollo begins a new stage, or if he dies and returns to the game, he will return to the Hand Wave gun, regardless of what gun he was using previously.
Apollo can take a number of hits before losing a life. The amount of damage Apollo can sustain increases throughout the game. Whenever Apollo rescues a queen and is given access to a transport vehicle, his life meter extends. This happens five times until it reaches the maximum length. If Apollo's life meter is ever drained complete, or if he falls through a bottomless hole in the ground, he loses one life. Apollo starts the game with three lives, and you will earn one more for every 500,000 points you obtain. If Apollo loses all of his lives, the game is over. At this time you may continue or get a password. When you resume the game after continuing, Apollo's collection of E-credit money will be cut in half.