The player fills the role of the 'Master', a powerful deity awoken from a long sleep to find the civilizations of his world in shambles. Through a combination of action stages and simulation mode the Master must rebuild his world and regain his powers. To begin rebuilding each civilization, the Master descends and inhabits the body of an ancient gray statue. The lifeless statue turns into a strong warrior of human form wielding a sword. He uses his sword to fight through a side-scrolling level. The defeat of the end-boss opens up a new section of the overhead-view world. The overhead-view simulation mode involves protecting and guiding the Master's new civilization towards prosperity. This portion of the game play requires the player to take actions that encourage the growth of the population, such as instructing the people where to build roads, houses and farmland. At a certain point in the development of a civilization, a catastrophe of some kind threatens the people, such as the activation of a dormant volcano spewing lava and rocks over the land. The player is then asked to deal with this catastrophe, which entails entering a second side-scrolling action level to fight through more monsters and defeat another end-boss. This pattern of "beat side-scrolling level, develop overhead world area, beat side-scrolling level" is repeated for the entire game.