In Ballade For Maria the player controls Jake Spikes, a detective from New York. Recently, terrible murders have been happening in Boston. An unknown killer seeks out women and brutally murders them, cutting their hands off. Jake travels to Boston to unravel the mystery, finding out who is responsible for the murders.
This is a Japanese-style adventure game. The game is viewed from first-person perspective, and the player interacts with the environment by selecting menu choices. Most of the gameplay involves talking to suspects. Unlike many other Japanese adventures, in Ballade For Maria it is possible to select many different topics when talking to people, and the information they provide allows the player to make conclusions and advance in the game. The game features nudity and horror scenes.