The Goonies II is a platformer at heart with a dash of "first person" perspective in the vein of Shadowgate or Deja Vu. The bulk of the game plays out as the player runs around random maps (like volcanoes, icy mountains or the obligatory underwater level) using various doors, vines, and ladders as a means of getting from one area to the next. The main character that the player controls is Michael "Mikey" Walsh, the character played by Sean Astin in the Goonies movie. The Goonies II was developed and published by Konami and released in Japan on March 18, 1987; in North America in November 1987; and in Europe on December 19, 1988.
The Fratelli gang has captured Annie the Mermaid and the six other Goonies and imprisoned them in their hideout. Mikey must search the Fratellis' expansive, labyrinth-like lair to find his friends and bring peace back to the town of Goon Docks.
Most of the world is a sidescrolling platformer with pits to navigate and enemies to avoid or destory. Ladders, vines, and moving platforms allow for increased access to the various levels. When the player goes from place to place using a door, the game changes into the "First Person" style of play. The player can then select from several different ways of interacting with the environment, like "Go", "Hit", or "Take". Most of the rooms are empty; some have exit doors, or picture frames, safes, and sometimes other random characters. The player is also able to use an assortment of "Tools". The main rooms that Mikey needs to find are the ones that have his other friends, "The Goonies", held captive. Each "Goonie" that Mikey releases gives him an extra bar of health.
Mikey has several different choices of weapons to use during the game. Starting off, he only has his trusty Yo-Yo. Mikey can also find others like the slingshot, boomerang, Molotov cocktails, and bombs. Mikey also can pick up other useful items that help him in his quest to save his friends:
- The hammer allows Mikey to reveal hidden doors, safes, and holes in the floor and ceiling.
- The ladder can be used to climb through holes in the ceiling or floor.
- The candle can be used to illuminate darkened rooms.
- Keys will open prison cells and safes.
- A helmet can protect Mikey from falling icicles and stalagmites.
- Glasses reveal secret areas.
- Two different types of shoes: one allows Mike to move faster, the other allows him to jump really high.
- There is a raincoat to protect Mikey from waterfalls and geysers.
- Scuba gear to give Mikey access to underwater areas.
- A bulletproof vest will decrease the damage taken from projectiles, such as those fired by the Fratellis.
- The radio, necessary for receiving special messages.
- Transceiver boxes which are instrumental in locating the imprisoned Goonies.
Other than the normal throwaway enemies in the game (like ghostly armor, or dragons, killer eskimo kids, snakes, spiders and strange tigers), the Fratellis are the main bad guys (and girl). However, they cannot be beaten (with the exception of Pip-Squeak); they are simply dazed long enough that Mikey can get by them.
- Jake Fratelli - Large guy in blue suit. Attacks Mikey with a gun.
- Francis Fratelli - Skinny version of Jake. Arrows being his weapon of choice.
- Mama Fratelli - Old lady from the movie. Throws bombs that bounce along after Mikey.
- Cousin "Pip-Squeak" Fratelli (Not actually in the movie at all) - Short, squatty guy. Jumps at Mikey. Because of his small size he is the only one of the Fratellis that can be beaten.
In first-person mode, a bunch of characters will appear in some of the hallways and rooms including:
- Old Man - Old guy dressed in a white robe. Usually means there is a "warp zone" around.
- Old Woman - Also wears a white robe like dress. Reminds the player "It's fun to play the Goonies 2." Also will drop the candle if Mikey punches her 5 times.
- Konami Man - Superman or Captain America fan apparently, wears a red and blue suit. Refills Mikey's health bar if the player finds his room, which is usually quite difficult.
- Eskimo - He is an Eskimo. ("I am ERROR")
- Fish Man - He's a man, no a fish. He will sometimes give out bonuses including the high jump shoes.
- Goonies - They are Mikey's friends and are being held in locked prison cells.
- Ambassador Konami - A yellow alien looking dude that says "Rescue all 6 Goonies to help Annie."
- Annie the Mermaid - Just like the other Goonies, she is being held captive by the Fratellis at the end of the second underwater zone. Once she is rescued the game ends.
- If anyone in the game is hit (with Mikey's fist or the hammer) they will say "Ouch! What do you do?" - an example of the game's occasionally ridiculous localization.
- If Mikey punches Konami Man or hits him with the hammer, he won't help the player anymore, and tells them, "I don't give energy because you hit me."
- If the player uses their radio right before saving Annie, they get a message from Konami thanking them for their business.