The five missions in the game are each three or four stages long. Anywhere from 2-9 hostages are being held in each stage; Joe must rescue all of them before he is allowed to finish the stage. The last stage in each mission has no hostages, but instead features a powerful boss character whom Joe must defeat. After completing each of the first four missions the player is taken to a bonus stage, where he can earn an extra life if he is able to kill all of the ninjas jumping towards him. Completing the fifth mission ends the game. Also, once the fifth mission begins, continues are no longer allowed; the player has to finish the game with however many lives he has left at that point.