Ships directly correspond to player lives. The player always begins a game with Ship Type 1, Ship Type 2, and Ship Type 3 available. Every time an extra life is earned (by opening a Black Hole), a new ship type is awarded. Once all unlocked ship types have been awarded, the Black Hole ceases to award extra lives, and awards score bonuses instead. When a life is lost, the ship that was in use at the time is also lost, and can no longer be selected for the rest of the game.
The four "super ship types" are locked when the game is installed. One is unlocked when each difficulty level is completed for the first time.