In Trauma Center: Under the Knife, you are Dr. Derek Stiles, a budding surgeon who works at the Hope Hospital. Throughout the game you are tasked with saving your patient's lives by successfully operating on them and curing them of disease. Early on in the game, you discover that you can control something called the "Healing Touch" which allows you to do things that other "normal" surgeons can't. This attracts the attention of an organization called Caduceus. Caduceus is a medical organization that is dedicated to the prevention and curing of disease.
You soon find out that a new disease is plaguing the world. This disease is called GUILT (Gangliated Utrophin Immuno Latency Toxin). It is determined that this disease is man-made and may be involved in some crazy terrorist plot. It is up to you and your colleagues at Caduceus to treat the patients infected with GUILT in a quest to discover a cure and rid the world of this terrible disease.
Controlling Dr. Stiles (Stylus?) is done using only the DS stylus. Using it, you select different tools and employ them to perform surgeries. Early on in the game you operate on several patients in a sort of tutorial to learn the functions of the different tools. As the game progresses, the operations get more and more technical and difficult and you are required to use all the tools at your disposal to save your patient's life.
- Medical Laser
- Antibiotic Gel
- Needle and Thread
Early in the game you receive a power called the Healing Touch. You can use this power to effectively slow down time and perform multiple tasks at seemingly blinding speed in your efforts to fight GUILT. You are only able to use the Healing Touch once per operation and when it is used is part of the strategy and completely up to the player.
Trauma Center: Under the Knife is essentially a puzzle game. With each level you are given a specific task and it's usually up to you to decide how to complete it. Some of the operations and become quite tricky an requre a certain strategy in order to complete them. At the end of each oepration you are given a rank based on how well you performed. You can go back and retry operations and boost your ranking.