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First of all, the level is based around you being chased by an orb, and you are forced to constantly push in one direction in order to escape it. The thing is, that player 2's controller glitches and becomes completely inactive, like what would happen if you unplug it. Since he can't move, he gets hit by the orb right away every time until he runs out of lives.
BUT, if you let him die off and complete the level with one player, the second player can still join in at the next stage (which also happens to be the last). I wouldn't recommend it, though - The last level is two-player hell and you are going to need every credit you have managed to save.
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