As either Roddy or Cathy, make your way through four locations that include Forest, Ice, Wind, and Fire, and destroy the two bosses in these locations. Both Roddy and Cathy have retractable arms which can be used to grab enemies or other gameplay elements. They can then be thrown at others to destroy them. Both players and enemies can interact with the scenery. For example, walls can be pushed over enemies to kill them, and switches can be flipped to reveal special bonuses. Throughout each location, you can pull on rings that will reveal special bonuses such as extra time. There are two different planes which the players can change between by pressing a button.
The game borrows plenty of ideas from many of SNK's most popular fighting games. Most of the stages in the game were first used in Fatal Fury. Also, Roddy & Cathy feature special moves that were used in Fatal Fury, as well as Art of Fighting.
Differences between the Arcade (MVS) and home console (AES) versions
The four starting planets consist of three stages each. However, in the Arcade version the player will experience only two stages in each planet. Depending on the order the player chooses to play the planets, he/she will see different stages (the first stage followed by the third on the first chosen planet, then the second and the third on the remaining planets). In home console version all three stages of each planet play in order regardless of what the player selects.
The Japanese version of the game has an exclusive secret ending which can be unlocked if the player defeats the pirate bosses at the ending boss gauntlet with special fighting moves and then finishes the final boss with another special move.