Controlling Apollo, it is your task to free all five islands. Freeing an island is done in several different phases that feature 'Jump'n Shoot' as well as 'Shooter' levels (called "Action Mode" and "Shooting Mode"). The first level of each island is a Jump'n Shoot level that contains many doors to shops, bonus games, friendly NPCs or mid-bosses. NPCs will sometimes give you important hints, items or weapons; bonus games can be played to win some money ("Balls"); defeating mid-bosses (and thereby freeing a Fairy) will get you a cash reward and shops also offer weapons and items. Weapons differ largely in attack power and range. Items have temporary effects such as invincibility or improved jumping abilities. In an island's first level, you will have to find a secret room and defeat a boss, for which you will receive a Force Star that is needed to gain access to a mechanical castle. Mechanical castles look similar to other Jump'n Shoot levels but are more complex.
Once you have made your way to a "Cyborg Rider", a self-scrolling Shooter sequence starts in which you have to shoot your way through lots of enemies while picking up speed and weapon power-ups. At the end of this sequence you will leave the Cyborg Rider, and step onto a floating platform for a boss fight. After the boss is defeated, another Shooter sequence with another boss at the end awaits, but this time, the boss if fought from the Cyborg Rider. After defeating this boss, you start the process over with a Jump'n Shoot level.