There are many elements that set Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon apart as a unique role-playing and adventure game. Players take control of Seto, a young man searching through post-apocalyptic Tokyo for a "red tower", where he hopes to find other survivors.
During of Seto's journey the player is able to explore open, yet decayed locations. In these locations Seto can encounter various enemies that bar his path, but by defeating them Seto can level up and obtain many items. Leveling up increases Seto's Hit Points (HP) and Strength, which is essential if he is to stand a chance against harder enemies. Should Seto's hit points be completely depleted, the game will end and the player must load or return to the title screen. Several items also exist to aid Seto by helping in battle, providing in-game currency, and giving insight into the human apocalypse. Many of these items can be accessed through the in-game menu and while actively moving.
The entire game is played through Seto's perspective. Action occurs in the third-person view, where players can interact with objects, fight enemies, and use items. At any time the player is controlling Seto, the view can be switched to first-person, where the player see close up wherever the flashlight is pointing. First-person view can be used to activate objects or pick up items that lay about, which are indicated by hovering fireflies.
Scattered throughout the world are bonfires, rest areas that allow for the game to be saved and items, particularly Memory Items, to be viewed. Some items are obtained as Mystery Items and must be taken to a bonfire to be clearly distinguished. Occasionally, the wandering Merchant can also be seen at bonfires, providing an opportunity to buy and sell items.
The game is controlled using only the Wii remote and nunchuck. The classic and Gamecube controllers are not supported, as the game relies heavily on the Wii remote's pointing and motion control mechanics.
In the third-person view, the wii remote is used to point the flashlight while the nunchuck joystick can be used to move Seto on the field. In the first-person view, Seto remains immobile while the wii remote can be pointed to shine the flashlight and examine the environment.
Under the default controls the button is used to select within the game menus. On the field, the button is used to attack and interact with objects and the environment. Holding down the button with specific weapons also activates special charged attacks. The button is used to enter first-person view and close up on the area where the flashlight is pointing. In first-person view, the button is also used to close-up further and activate objects.
The directional pad is used to access different parts of the in-game menu. The up button takes you to Seto's status page. The down button goes directly to the "On-Hand" (inventory) screen. The left button goes directly to the area map. The right button does not take you to the in-game menu, but cycles between Seto's "On Hand" items and allows quick use or equipping.
On the nunchuck accessory the button is used to crouch, allowing Seto to move through smaller spaces but only after putting away his weapon. The button centers the camera directly behind Seto.
Additionally, the Wii remote speaker is utilized to extensively in Fragile Dreams, allowing the player to hear advice from companions and environmental sound cues.
All items, including key items, take up physical space in Seto's inventory. Each item has a general shape that corresponds to a number of sqaures (eg: ), and Seto cannot carry more than can fit into his "On Hand" inventory. Item shapes can be moved and rotated to fit the inventory space, and items to be disposed of can be moved to a trash can. When at a bonfire, Seto can leave items in and retrieve items from an item "Briefcase".