[[quoteright:336:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Flashback_Title.jpeg]]

''Flashback'' (also titled ''Flashback: The Quest For Identity'' [[MarketBasedTitle in America]]) is a CinematicPlatformGame by Creator/DelphineSoftwareInternational. It was first released in 1992 on the UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}}, and then ported [[PortOverdosed pretty much everywhere]]. The story is minimalist, but the game's aesthetic is full of nods to {{Cyberpunk}} films such as ''{{Film/Alien}}'', ''[[Film/TotalRecall1990 Total Recall]]'', ''Film/TheRunningMan'', ''Film/BladeRunner'', and ''Film/TheyLive''

You play as Conrad Hart, a government agent in TheFuture. Using a [[SeeThruSpecs molecular-scanning eyepiece]], he discovers alien impostors living among the population, known as Morphs, who don't take kindly to him sniffing around their operation. Kidnapped, his [[LaserGuidedAmnesia memory wiped]], he escapes his inattentive captors on hoverbike and is shot down over a jungle. Upon awakening, Conrad finds a {{Hologra|m}}phic log of himself with instructions to get his ass to Mars-- ...err, New Washington, where his contact is waiting to help retrieve those memories.

Gameplay is similar to PrinceOfPersia, but with a gun. You get a [[DeflectorShields personal force field generator]] in the second level that lets you block shots- this, along with [[UnnecessaryCombatRoll rolling]], is the key to winning battles. The levels can get quite long, although checkpoints (misleadingly called Save Points) are scattered throughout.

Made by the same company that created ''VideoGame/AnotherWorld'', ''Flashback'' used a similar method to create polygonal cutscenes and rotoscoped animation that could be played on an Amiga, Genesis, or SNES. It billed itself as "the CD-ROM game on a cartridge/floppy", and was stuffed with cinematics, most notably [[ItemGet when you pick up items]]. Later, it was ported to the CD-based consoles of the era, with a replacement soundtrack and CGI cutscenes. This title still holds the Guinness World Record for top-selling game from a French developer.

A sequel, ''Fade to Black'', was released for the PC in 1995 and for the PlayStation in 1996. This was DSI's first 3-D game, and it really shows.

An [[UpdatedRerelease HD Remake]] for [=PS3=] and 360 was announced.
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!!Flashback is the TropeNamer for:

* QuestForIdentity
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!!The 1992 Flashback contains examples of:
* AllCrimesAreEqual: Some of the policeman seem to be in on the alien plot, or, at the very least, insanely corrupt and trigger-happy. They nearly gun down Ian before you arrive in his lab on New Washington. As for airport security, let's just say it's [[http://lparchive.org/Flashback/Update%2013/fback13-11.gif beefed up]] by the year 2XXX.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Conrad's second mission in New Washington is to track down a Death Tower android which has gone berserk and escaped.
* AirVentPassageway: Conrad overhears the aliens' plot from a ceiling grate - which promptly collapses under his weight. To the dungeon with you!
* AlienInvasion: The Morphs are hunting for new real estate.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: The aliens converse in perfect English, even in private.
* AllThereInTheManual: A comic outlining the backstory was included with the manual.
* ApocalypticLog: The dead scientist you find on Morph is carrying a diary of his exploits: incredibly, this man spent years devising a way to travel to the alien homeworld and destroy it. Using his instructions, Conrad is able to nuke the planet's core and thwart the invasion.
* ArtifactTitle: ''Flashback'' set some sort of world record for this by restoring Conrad's memories in Level ''Two''. However, the suffix only appears in the American release, and was dropped in time for ''Fade to Black''. Still, the hi-def remake slows Conrad's memory retrieval so it happens more gradually.
* ArtificialHuman: Flashmen.
* ArtificialStupidity: Be warned that Flashmen are both dumb and smart. They are dumb in that they can't materialize on the edge of the screen, so you can easily corner them and get your hits in while the Flashman impotently warps in and out of the same position. However, they are smart in that they can climb ledges as well as Conrad can.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: You can only hit Stunbots from a crouched position, and only when their arm is deployed. However, the loss of its only weapon triggers a SelfDestruct which will knock Conrad flat on his ass, so keep your distance.
* BadassLongcoat / JetPack: The cops. They also wear [[CoolShades Terminator-like sunglasses]] in the Genesis and Amiga versions.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Conrad has saved the galaxy, and destroyed the Morph homeworld... but he is stranded in unknown space, with no way back to Earth. He enters cryogenic sleep, prepared to drift in space a lone for a long time.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Conrad never runs out of ammunition, which is fortunate. His blaster apparently does not fire bullets, yet it still spits out shells.
* {{Bowdlerise}} / NeverSayDie: "Death Tower" becomes "Cyber Tower" in the SNES version. The bar has also been renamed "Cafe" -- the kind where they serve coffee in longneck bottles and shot glasses. (Ah, Nintendo.) This was kept in the HD Remake, with the "Starlight Cafe" expanded into a sort of airport restaurant.
* BrainInAJar / StationaryBoss: The Auxiliary Brain and Master Brain. The former hides behind a rotating shield which deflects fire; the latter is protected by organic sacs that spit goo.
* BrokeEpisode: The second level has you doing odd jobs for cash.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Conrad's prize for surviving the Death Tower game show: a first-class ticket to Earth.
* CollapsingLair: Level 7, after planting a bomb to destroy the alien homeworld.
* DeadlyGame: Death Tower. This bit 'borrows' liberally from a certain [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger Arnie]] flick.
* DeathCourse
* DeathThrows: ''Flashback'' -- even moreso than ''Another World'' -- has aspirations to be cinematic, and as such the characters die in a flamboyant manner. Conrad will flail his arms spread eagle if you fall from too great a height, sometimes accompanied by a short cutscene of him flapping to his doom. On the other hand, the Green Death kills him instantly, freezing him in place as a charred skeleton.
* DirtyCop: Funny how cops in this future only want to take bribes, shoot civilians and never, say, protect the innocent.
* DisintegratorRay: ''Flashback'''s most irritating obstacle, aka "The Green Death", will soon become your most persistent, implacable foe. Conrad will get [[StrippedToTheBone reduced to a skeleton]] if he so much as brushes against one. They also make an irritating [[MostAnnoyingSound buzz]].
* DramaticChaseOpening: The beginning starts with a cinematic chase focusing on Conrad and his pursuers' feet, followed by a first person flying car chase.
* EasilyThwartedAlienInvasion: The Morphs have a giant passageway leading directly to the planet's core. Dropping a palm-sized nuke into the hole destroys the planet.
* EscortMission: There's one in the second level. The VIP is one ungrateful bastard.
* ExpositionBeam: Ian's chair restores Conrad's memories with a laser directed at his forehead.
* FasterThanLightTravel
* FlashStep: The Flashmen's main mode of attack.
* FlyingCar: Conrad cannot pass a chasm on the Earth level without hailing a cab. The remake ditched this nice, quick cutscene in favor of a {{roofhopping}} sequence with Conrad clambering onto passing cars above a giant abyss.
* FootFocus: The opening cutscene shows Conrad's distinctive sneakers beating a fast retreat from some pursuing gunmen.
* FranchiseKiller: ''Fade to Black''.
* FromBadToWorse: In the sequel [[spoiler: the Morphs are still around, have successfully conquered the Sol system while Conrad was asleep, and when he finally wakes up, he's in enemy hands.]]
* TheGoomba: Stunbots. These are little robots on treads that will deploy a little arm to stun you. The arm can't hit you if you are standing in the same space, but the stunbot will sense this and blow itself up.
* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: The Galactic Bureau of Investigation.
* GunKata: A key element of the original ''Flashback'' involves getting the drop on enemies before they can open fire. To that end, Conrad has an UnnecessaryCombatRoll which can be initiated while coming out of crawlspace or falling from above, and is essential in many spots. Originally, Delphine had the license to produce a game based on ''TheGodfather'', which was presumably dropped early in the development phase; however, the realistic movements and gun mechanics wouldn't be out of place in a Prohibition-era shooter.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: "A SPY... Throw the wretch into the dungeons. We'll interrogate him later."
** The aliens erase Conrad's memory upon his capture, instead of killing him outright. He might have been more useful to them alive, but this is never explained. In any case, Conrad easily gets free and steals a hoverbike from the aliens' garage; he's shot down over Titan and, after [[NoOneCouldHaveSurvivedThat a quick sweep to make sure their prey is dead]], his pursuers switch off their spotlight and head back home. Perhaps they did not expect Conrad Hart to survive the inhospitable jungle. Then again...
** Later, Conrad is imprisoned yet again. When the jailer opens the cell door, there's nothing preventing you from simply dashing out of the cell and reclaiming your gun, which is ''conveniently lying on the floor''.
* GuideDangIt: There's a jump at the beginning of the second level that requires a maneuver you won't use often. The obscure move was deliberately included as a form of CopyProtection. Unless you had the manual, you were unlikely to progress past the second screen of level 2.
** Also, there's the door in the sixth level that requires you to shoot it open, the only door of its kind. Nowhere in the game at all does it suggest to shoot any door, but the comic book in the game's instruction manual shows Conrad doing just that in this exact area.
* HeKnowsTooMuch
* HumanoidAliens: The mutants.
* InMediasRes: Somewhat subverted. The plot should be no secret to anyone who bought the game legitimately, and you learn the truth behind Conrad's mission in the second stage, anyway.
* ItemGet: You get a short cutscene whenever Conrad finds an important item, or exchanges it for something else. [[MostWonderfulSound DA-DAH! Badada]] ♪
* ItsUpToYou: The only person defending Titan from mutant colonies, escaped replicants, and nuclear meltdowns is some guy posting classified ads in the Job Center. The police certainty aren't interested. (In fact, cops are behind most of the mischief in New Washington.)
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Played straight, and then literally flipped right around when Conrad's memory is reimplanted by... lasers.
* LaserSight: Appears ominously on Conrad's back in a {{Flashback}} sequence, right before he's tranquilized and tossed into a car.
* LegitimateBusinessmensSocialClub: The Paradise Club (an Earth-based strip joint) is a front for the Morphs.
* LockAndKeyPuzzle
* TheManyDeathsOfYou
* MoreCriminalsThanTargets: If you add up the mutant hordes, corrupt police, and renegade robots. This is as much true of Earth as on Titan.
* MysteriousMiddleInitial: Conrad B. Hart.
* NewNeoCity: New Washington.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: While on planet Morph, Conrad finds another human survivor. Unfortunately, you can't reach him without triggering a motion sensor, which leaves the stranger wide open to getting shot by an alien lying in wait.
** ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin: At least he's nice enough to hand over all the info you need to [[spoiler: blow up the planet]] before he croaks.
* NoBodyLeftBehind: Flashmen (quite rightly) explode once defeated. Fallen cops, on the other hand, vanish into a purple flash of light. It could be that they carry teleportation devices to warp them out of danger -- or maybe the dev team just didn't want dead cops' bodies littered around.
** The Morphs revert to a plume of blue smoke and disappear. Which is a pretty unique way to expire.
** The mutants' corpses are persistent, however.
* NoHeroDiscount: An old hillbilly who lives next to a giant chasm on Titan won't fork over his [[ArtificialGravity Anti-Grav]] belt for less than 500 credits. New Washington is even worse, with a 1500 credit requirement for advancing to the next stage. What do you think this is, some kind of video game where you can find money in pots? Get a job, hippie.
* NoNewFashionsInTheFuture: Conrad wears a brown leather jacket, jeans, and Nikes.
* NoTimeToExplain: Conrad neglects to explain the overall plot in his holocube recording.
* NothingIsScarier: The cartridge versions have no music, only brief leitmotifs.
* OurGraphicsWillSuckInTheFuture: A holographic interface is the standard for most vehicles, including Conrad's hover-bike and the escape craft at the end. However, the Job Center's terminals are still stuck in the IBM 5150 days.
* PistolWhipping: Replaces the standard gun attack when an enemy stands too close to Conrad. Can also be used to [[WindowPain smash out windows]]... too bad there's only one breakable window in the game.
* PixelHunt:
** A lot of the items on the ground are hard to see. Some of them blink, others, don't.
** Lifts can also be hard to see. Like the one at the very end of the game [[spoiler: that you need to take to the spaceship to escape the Morph homeworld.]] This very lift even became a GuideDangIt for some.
* PoliceAreUseless: Extortion, corruption, and [[http://lparchive.org/Flashback/Update%2013/fback13-11.gif indiscriminate shooting]] are all part of a day's work.
* PortOverdosed: It's been published for UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}}, UsefulNotes/{{IBM PC}}, UsefulNotes/{{Macintosh}}, SegaGenesis (both as a cartridge and a CD), UsefulNotes/SuperNES, UsefulNotes/AtariJaguar, UsefulNotes/AcornArchimedes, UsefulNotes/FMTowns, PC98, UsefulNotes/PhilipsCDi, UsefulNotes/ThreeDO, and [[UsefulNotes/IOSGames iPhone]]. Interestingly, the SNES port was released a year after the Genesis version, yet all of the cutscenes have different music.
* PostCyberpunk
* RealMenWearPink: Conrad wears a magenta shirt that mysteriously turns white for cutscenes. Except in the Genesis and original Amiga versions, where it's white all along.
* RecycledInSPACE: It's ''They Live''...in SPACE!
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: The Morphs are blue-skinned lizards in red pajamas.
* SceneryPorn: The Death Tower and the Morphs Planet levels.
* SeeThruSpecs: Conrad's transparent green eyepatch doohickey, used to spot aliens who are hiding in human guise. Features prominently in cutscenes as well as the box art, yet you never actually get to use it.
* Definitely gets used quite a bit in the HD remake.
* SentryGun: They can't be destroyed, but a few have adjacent switches that turn them off. The firing rate is also slow enough that Conrad can duck, roll, or jump over the shots.
* ShapeshifterBaggage: Averted. Morphs are ''incredibly'' dense as a result of having enough mass to shift to a variety of forms of varying sizes -- The Molecular Glasses (from the backstory of the original and actually used in-gameplay of the HD remake) can identify them because a Morph in human form is significantly more dense than an actual human.
* ShapeshifterWeapon: Morphs LOVE to pop up under you and attack.
* ShoutOut: The game is full of little pastiches to 80's sci-fi. Specifically, Conrad's backstory is a blend of ''They Live!'' and Arnie's lost identity in ''Total Recall''. The second stage has Conrad hunting for a loose Replicant, a la Deckard and Batty. The third stage is a nod to ''The Running Man''.
** The final image of the game is [[spoiler: Conrad entering a sleep-stasis, and the camera panning outward from the window of his ship]]. [[Film/{{Alien}} Sound familiar?]]
** We also get our obligatory ''A New Hope'' reference on the second screen: Conrad's CallToAdventure comes in the form of a hologram imploring him to go somewhere.
* SinisterGeometry:[[invoked]] The floating attack drones have an element of this. Like ''Phantasm''[='s=] floating spheres, they have to get close to inflict damage. Naturally, they love to gang up on you atop of [[GoddamnedBats thin platforms.]]
* SinisterSilhouettes: The title screen of the game depicts Conrad somewhere on Planet Morph, inching along the wall as an alien prowls the corner beyond.
* SpiritAdvisor: During the final sequence of the game, an "inner voice" (implied to be the survivor from earlier) guides Conrad in planting an atomic bomb in the planet's core.
* TheTaxi: Conrad's first task upon returning to Earth is to hail a hover-cab.
* {{Terraform}}: Titan (Saturn's moon) has been transformed into a lush alien jungle, with a metropolitan city beneath its crust.
* TeleportersAndTransporters: An important tool to master, especially in the last leg of the game. The Telereceiver acts as a portable beacon; Conrad can lob it over great distances, then activate the Telecontrol, which beams him directly to the beacon's location. Nifty.
** Other teleporters exist in the game, such as the one in New Washington's Job Center. This is also the mode of travel by which Conrad journeys to the Morph homeworld.
* ThemeNaming: New Washington's districts each have an "A" at the end of their names. This is evident when you visit Europe, which is rendered as "Europa."
* ThrivingGhostTown: New Washington. Strikingly empty of actual people, but filled with mutants and [[GoingCritical volatile energy reactors]].
* UndergroundMonkey: Mutants carry guns, but don't know how to use them well, and so they spend a few seconds fumbling the gun into position before they can fire. The ones you meet on Titan (red hoods) die in one measly hit, and Conrad is much quicker on the draw. However, the mutants in green garb are a little smarter and start carrying force fields. A few of the mutant colonies have leaders who take more hits than normal.
* UsedFuture: New Washington is dank and grimy, full of rotating fans and endless basements. Earth is slightly cleaner, but still a dump.
* {{Vaporware}}: A sequel titled ''Flashback Legends'' was being made for the GameBoyAdvance, but was canceled when Delphine went bankrupt.
* VideoGameSettings:
** AdvancingWallOfDoom: The end of the fourth level. Conrad has to sprint, jump, and roll into a small cavity before the green death catches up with you. There are several mines littering the floor, plus a shutter door which won't open until the nearby flybot is destroyed. Flybots are very resilient, and they can't be harmed in melee range. All told, there is zero room for error if you want to clear the mines, skid to a stop, plug the flybot from a safe range, get the door open and escape.
** TheAlcatraz: Level 5, aka the "Paradise Club" is something of a misnomer, as Conrad gives the club a thorough doing-over in Level 4. He breaches the alien stronghold, by which time he's tossed into jail and the fifth level begins.
** BossCorridor: Right before the brain.
** ContainerMaze & ElaborateUndergroundBase: In the rear room of the Paradise Club, hanging onto the ceiling lamp activates a hidden elevator shaft. This lift descends into the bowels of the club where the aliens' forklifts and cargo containers are.
** GraffitiTown: New Washington. The place was cleaned up for the hi-def remake, resembling more of an airport terminal.
** GreenHillZone & JungleJapes: The jungles of Titan, which serve as your tutorial to all things Conrad. The enemies are easy, but the obstacles are not.
** HubLevel: New Washington flits in and out. The majority of the action is concentrated in sub-basements and "Restricted Areas" that are numbered and won't open until the Job Center sends you there. The surface world will not protect you: the police have free reign, and a mutant barges his way into the cafe.
** ItsAllUpstairsFromHere & WrapAround: Level 3. Justified because it's a cylindrical tower.
** MarathonLevel: New Washington is particularly obnoxious with its sheer size, tedious subway travel... and a surprise TimedMission which will likely reduce the city to an irradiated crater on the first attempt. Clear your calender for this one.
** MeatMoss: Planet Morph (though it looks more like bubble gum).
** PortTown: The only flight out of New Washington must be won by competing in the Death Tower game show. Worse yet, Conrad needs a fake ID to enter, and forgeries don't come cheap.
* WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture: Money comes in floppy discs, in denotations ranging from 50 bucks to 15 grand.
* WhatNowEnding: [[spoiler: After defeating the Morphs and [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroying their homeworld]], Conrad escapes on a spaceship. Alone in an unknown part of space, he puts himself in [[HumanPopsicle cryogenic sleep]].]]
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: The spaceport in which Conrad arrives. Interestingly, this being a French-developed game, some of the outdoor areas evoke a Parisian feel, particularly the signs for the Paradise Club.
* YouAllLookFamiliar: Alarmingly, everyone in New Washington is an Ian lookalike. There are a few exceptions, like the barkeep with the 80's polyester jacket.
* {{Zeerust}}

!! The 2013 remake contains examples of:
* CyberpunkWithAChanceOfRain:
* TotallyRadical: Conrad manages to say "awesome-sauce" in the remake without a hint of irony.
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