Like its predecessor, the general goal of the game is to progress from one area to another by getting to the gate while collecting three passes. Finding these passes is no easy task, though, as the player must look out for secret passages and traverse complex mazes in order to obtain them.
This game has improved in many areas over its predecessor. There are fewer randomly hidden passages, and also the player will have plenty of time to enjoy the stages' many diversions, be it by fighting off guards and stray rabbits, buying video game cartridges, or trying to sneak into women's onsen. Also, in order to reduce getting lost in towns, several signs have been placed to help the player keep track of their path. In addition, just about every stage counts with stores where the player can actually buy passes in case they are tired from all the searching.
The game diverges from the original as it provides more action stages where the goal is simply to get to the area's boss. The stages themselves consist of greater mazes and challenges.
The two-player mode offers simultaneous cooperative gameplay, which emphasizes on players working together in tandem, as one player's action directly influences the other. Both money and items are shared in this mode, as well as the effects of items collected onscreen. It can make things difficult on stages that require a lot of movement, but it's a fun and welcome addition overall.
Goemon, a cunning thief and an avid treasure hunter, has nothing to do and sits in his house being bored, but out of the sudden his trusty friend Ebisumaru comes with good news: there is a big treasure to find somewhere in a big city across the sea. Of course the treasure will not be just given to Goemon, he will have to perform a dangerous mission before he can acquire it. The two friends board a ship and thus their journey begins.