The protagonist Tecmo Knight has the assistance of "Smokeman" and "Tiger". Pressing the "change" button allows Tecmo Knight to switch between the two. Smokeman uses powerful punches and kicks against enemies while Tecmo Knight rides him. While riding the tiger, Tecmo Knight has the use of a spiked ball and chain less powerful than Smokeman's attacks, but with greater range. When collecting the special dragon skull that randomly appears after defeating an enemy, the Tecmo Knight will summon the most powerful creature to ride on in the game: the Flying Dragon. Tecmo Knight is immune to attack while riding Flying Dragon, whose breath kills any monster in the game instantly, including the stage-end bosses. Using the "jump and attack" maneuver, Tecmo Knight can bound Smokeman or the tiger onto enemies and pummel them. Sometimes, if Tecmo Knight runs low on life, a blow by a weak monster will kill only Smokeman or the tiger, leaving Tecmo Knight to fend for himself with a very weak short-ranged attack. It is extremely hard for him to survive at this point. All bosses in the game appear in "pairs" making it harder for a single player to corner them. The only exception is the last boss. Currently, there are two "extra life" bonus skulls known to exist in the game. Players can also utilize "props" like bombs and stone-rollers placed around the map to their advantage. Much like the 1988 arcade beat 'em up Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Knight is hard for beginners, because it requires more patience than button-pounding. Like Ninja Gaiden, the game features a rather disturbing continue screen, where Tecmo Knight is about to be swallowed by an unseen monster. If the player does not continue before the 10 second countdown ends, Tecmo Knight is heard screaming as the monster swallows him. Afterwards, the screen will black out, and a monster will tear through the screen shouting "NO FUTURE!", along with "Game Over" appearing under the monster.