The Terminator loosely follows the plot of the 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger film. The game begins in the future, where the hero Kyle Reese must battle through a post-apocalyptic future in order to go back in time to 1984 Los Angeles. Once there, he must progress through various checkpoints as outlined by the main movie plot: Find Sarah Connor, shootout at the police station, and the climax in the factory. The main levels of the game consist of side-scrolling jumping and shooting action. In between levels are car chases where the Terminator attempts to run you down as you race to your next destination.