You control an elephant named Tembo, who is on a mission to protect Shell City from The Phantom Army. Tembo controls a little like Rambi from the Donkey Kong Country series, and uses his massive bulk to smash buildings, solve various puzzles, rescue hostages, and trample his enemies. You can even use your trunk to extinguish fires or slam the ground like a hammer.
- 2½D: The platforms and destroyable objects are 3-D, but Tembo and other characters move on a 2-D plane.
- A Dog Named "Dog": "Tembo" means "elephant" in Swahili.
- Artifact of Doom: PHANTOM Commander came to be after going insane with greed upon finding a magic stone shaped like the PHANTOM symbol.
- Artistic License Physics: Tembo is capable of jumping. Which is impossible for real elephants.
- Beard of Evil: PHANTOM Commander sports a rather impressive beard.
- Drop the Hammer: Tembo's trunk transforms into a hammer when he slams the ground with it.
- Follow the Money: In this game, the collectible is peanuts. The peanuts even sound like the bananas from the Donkey Kong Country games.
- Genre Throwback: This game harkens back to the Mascot Platformer.
- Ground Pound: One of Tembo's moves is a ground pound.
- Law of 100: Collecting 300 peanuts equals one peanut butter jar, which is an extra life.
- Lightning Bruiser: Not only is Tembo pretty speedy for such a big guy, he's strong enough to break through solid metal and concrete.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: The environment is in polygons but the characters appear to be 2-D themselves.
- Suit-Up of Destiny: Tembo does one at the beginning of the game, after he's called into action.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tembo's is apparently peanut butter.
- War Elephant: Tembo himself, in a slightly more literal example than usual.