With the high number of users on this site I thought someone would get this pretty quick, but not yet. Here's more hints:
The 5 "guys" in the picture are your lives. The one in front is the one you play with, the others are your extra lives. But they're in the game to ALL THE TIME and can get killed anytime. You can't control the extra lives other than blocking them, they simply go straight forward as long as they have a clear path. This was very different from other games and one of the reasons it was my favorite.