OverviewGates of Zendocon takes place over a large number of side-scrolling levels set in futuristic environments. Each level would be filled with a variety of obstacles that would either attack or impede the player's spacecraft. Many levels would have more than one exit gate, and it is possible to advance to later stages of the game by choosing a more difficult to reach gate in an earlier level.
GameplayThe craft under the player's control is armed with a laser, which fires continuously while the fire button is held down, and an unlimited supply of bombs which are released with every individual press of the fire button. The craft is also equipped with a shield which can be powered up for extended periods, but which needs time to recharge between uses.
If damage is sustained to the craft, the ship is not instantly destroyed. Instead, armaments are removed one by one. The first hit removes the shield, leaving the craft more vulnerable. The second hit removes the laser, leaving only the bombs as offensive weapons. The third hit destroys the craft. Damage could be repaired at the end of a stage by successfully landing the craft on a platform, upon which the pilot would disembark and take an elevator down to a fresh, undamaged ship. Certain platforms would be risky to land upon, as some of the landing pads were guarded by an intermittent burst of energy that could destroy a ship that landed at the wrong time.