In 2049, after having ruined the Earth by littering and polluting, humans embark on a journey to find colonize other planets. They leave behind mechanical beings known as 'orbots' that are meant to clean up the planet until they return.
A high-level orbot known as Raster is tasked with watching the Earth through a worldwide network. Unfortunately, he is accidentally attached to a working nuclear-missile by a lesser orbot and goes insane, becoming a dictator named WarHead.
Vectorman, an orbot responsible for dumping refuse into the sun, returns to Earth after one of his rounds to find every other orbot on Earth to be infected with a virus causing them to turn hostile with a plan to ambush the humans when they return. He then takes on the responsibility of saving earth and stopping the source of the virus.
Vectorman is a 2D side-scrolling shooter/platformer. The player must run, jump, and shoot through multiple stages before a timer runs out, collecting power-ups and defeating bosses along the way. In addition to his regular humanoid form, Vectorman can morph into other forms by collecting special power-ups that allow him to access areas and accomplish feats that would otherwise be impossible. Vectorman may also morph for special boss stages while squaring off against WarHead.
Power-ups in Vectorman are collected by destroying TVs. There are many power-ups that Vectorman can collect ranging from typical 1-ups, timer extensions, health refills and upgrades, and progress checkpoints. In addition to these are multipliers (which multiply your score as well as some other power-ups, such as 1-ups), shot upgrades (such as a 'rapid fire' shot, akin to a machine gun, and a 'wave' shot that disperses a range of shots outward at an angle), and morph upgrades. Morph upgrades are collected in the same way as normal upgrades and temporarily morph Vectorman into devices such as a bomb or drill, and vehicles such as a buggie or jet.
Special Boss Stages
In addition to levels with typical end-level bosses are special stages in which Vectorman fights WarHead. In these themed stages, Vectorman morphs into various things congruous with the theme, such as a train, a spinning top, or a cricket. The only objective in these stages are to defeat the current form of WarHead.
In some of the regular levels are satellite dishes. These dishes are protected by shields that can be disabled by destroying the shield generator, which is often in a separate area. Once Vectorman disables the shield, he can destroy the satellite dish, which completes the current level and sends the player to a bonus stage. In these bonus stages, Vectorman is represented by a green orb in the center of the screen. The object of the bonus stage is to simply stay alive by shooting circling mines and WarHead heads (and the shots that these WarHeads shoot) by pressing the directional pad in the direction you want to shoot. The player will receive a certain amount of points depending on if he/she survived the stage.