The story of Zillion 2 is pretty similar to that of the first Zillion. In Zillion J.J. had to rescue his friends Apple and Champ from the Norsa Empire's labyrinth on Planet X. Together they had to find five floppy disks which contained the key to the labyrinth's destruction. Then the three White Knights, as they are called, found the master computer of the labyrinth and triggered the explosion. They barely made it out alive before the base exploded and the planetary system was saved... or so they thought.
The headquarter of the White Knights then received a barely understandable transmission from a distant outpost at the edge of the planetary system. It told of a new, gigantic Norsa Battle Fortress in the Norsa Galaxy. So Apple and Champ, members of the elite White Knight peacekeeping force, set out on a mission to investigate the Norsa fortress. They managed to get themselves in trouble, because the last thing anybody heard from them was: "Help us J.J.! Baron Ricks has..."
And so J.J. set out to rescue his friends again.
The gameplay of Zillion has changed compared to its predecessor.
One remarkable aspect is the addition of the Tri Formation. It is a three-wheeled cycle with a special nuclear turbo which can make it jump. It also can be equipped with power up parts so that it changes into a flying suit called the Armorater. The best thing about it, however, is that it can easily fit it into the backpack if taking on foes hand-to-hand is preferable.
Another thing of interest is that the game now has a level-based structure. The player can no longer explore the base in any direction they please. Apart from that there is now also a difference between the even and the odd numbered rounds. There are eight rounds in total. In rounds 1, 3, 5 and 7 the player finds themselves in a narrow corridor through which they can pass with the Turbo Cycle or the Armorater. In rounds 2, 4, 6 and 8 the player character must proceed on foot, armed with the laser pistol. At the end of the even numbered rounds there is also a battle with one of Baron Ricks mercenaries:
- Round 2: Olivion Platoon Captain
- Round 4: Radajian Defense Leader
- Round 6: Alleevian Supreme Commander
- Round 8: Baron Ricks himself.
The player initially has three lives and a life meter. Energy is lost every time:
- The player character gets hit by an enemy, bullet or bomb.
- If they get zapped by the in-ground high voltage trap.
- If they touch an opponent.
Additionally, the player will instantly lose a life if they fall into one of the bottomless pits. Extra lifes can be earned at 30,000, 70,000 and 120,000 points, however.
After Apple and Champ have been found and rescued, the player is able to change places with them during the odd numbered rounds. They can only be used once, though.
Upgrading the bike, weapons and health
Upon entering the Norsa fortress the Tri Formation is already available. Some extra parts are still needed to attain the full functionality of the Armorater. These parts were naturally in the possession of Apple and Champ who managed to hide them in the fortress before being captured. The necessary parts are:
- A-Code: The special Alpha Power needed to complete the transformation from Turbo Cycle to Armorater.
- Z-Code: Apple and Champ knew JJ would be coming on his Turbo Cycle. To help him, they hid special Zillion Power upgrade parts in the fortress. Each one of them will make Zillion more powerful.
- L-Code: This upgrade is called the Life Rejuvenators. They are also used by the Norsa soldiers, so get them before they do.