The player must make their way down 666 meters to Hell while avoiding dangers, keeping their health levels up, and collecting 50 coins in the process for admission.
The player begins the game in a field with a church and a graveyard in the background and needs to start digging with their ax to make it to Hell. Whenever the player presses on an arrow key – down, left and right – their character will automatically swing their ax if there is a wall segment in that direction. If the player presses up then their character will jump.
There are various dangers that the player needs to either destroy or avoid, as well as several health meters to keep up. When the player’s health meter is totally depleted they will lose a life (which onscreen messages will pop up when the player is running low on a resource, such as “I need air”), and the game will end when the player is either out of lives or reaches Hell.
- Rocks–the player can be crushed by these if they are not careful. However, they can pushed aside in some cases and used against several of the denizens of the game.
- Spikes–can deplete some of the player’s health if they come into contact with these.
- Snakes--can deplete some of the player’s health if they come into contact with these. However, they can be avoided in some cases, easily drowned by water in the caverns, fried by diverting a lava flow into their chamber, or smushed with rocks.
- Torches--can deplete some of the player’s health if they come into contact with one of these. They can be extinguished with water though or avoided.
- Bats–these will deplete some of the player’s health if they come into contact with one and are much harder to drown than snakes. They can be easily killed by lava though or with rocks.
- Water/flooding–the player needs to keep their eye on their oxygen meter, as staying underwater for too long will deplete their oxygen and health meters, if not can kill the player. However, digging holes can divert water to drown bats and snakes, as well as put out torches and allow the water to drain so the player can breathe again.
- Lava–once the player reaches the 380 meter or so mark, lava starts becoming a hazard. They can deplete some of the player’s health if they come into contact with lava, especially if they stay in it for too long, which can kill the player. However, the player can dig holes to divert a lava flow, dump rocks so the player can stand on them unharmed, or avoid it entirely if able.
- Health–if the player runs into a bat, snake, torch, spike or lava, their food level is empty, or if they are underwater for too long, their health meter goes down. Once the player’s health meter is empty they will lose a life. Health can be regained by picking up a health kit. If the player’s food level is empty then they will start losing a bit of health every time they use their ax.
- Food--every time the player swings their ax, this meter will go down a notch. Grabbing a piece of food will refill the meter some.
- Oxygen–the player’s oxygen levels will go down when their head is underwater. If they cannot refill their oxygen level after it bottoms out then they will start losing health levels, along with a life if their health meter bottoms out as well.
- Food–restores the player’s food meter a bit.
- Health kits–restores the player’s health meter.
- Heart–extra life
- Coins–50 of these are needed for admission into Hell. (There is also a bonus for number of coins collected, along with a finish bonus if the player makes it into Hell.) If the player reaches Hell and doesn’t have 50 coins then the game will end, with the player being denied entrance.
- There is a version of the game out where the player can easily get killed by rocks, even if they are not standing underneath them when they fall. It is advised that if this version is found on a website then the player should do a search for another version and play that one instead, as the difficulty level is pretty high.
- The player doesn’t have to dig through all 666 meters; at about the 627 or so meter mark, there is an area where there is no more earth to dig through, as the player can dig an opening in a cavern wall and just float down the rest of the way.
- The player can dig past Hell; if they make it to Hell, they can choose not to enter and begin digging underneath it. They shouldn’t dig right underneath Hell or else there is lava there; they can dig off to the side where there is no lava. It is unknown how far the player can keep on digging.