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Video Game / Back to the Future Part II & III

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Back to the Future Part II & III is a 1990 video game for the NES that was developed by Beam Software and published by LJN. It is the sequel to the first Back to the Future game, and is loosely based off the plots of the second and third films of the Back to the Future trilogy.

In the first part of the game, Biff Tannen has not only given his past self of 1955 the Gray's Sports Almanac to change the future with, but he has taken thirty other artifacts out of their proper time periods and scattered them about through time, resulting in the space time continuum falling apart. As Marty McFly, you must travel between the three time periods (1955, 1985, and 2015) to find the artifacts and bring them back to their proper places in time, all the while watching out for Biff Tannen as well as your past selves. In the second half of the game, Marty is stuck in 1875 (instead of 1885 as in the Part III movie) and must find ten more items and bring them back to their proper places so he can keep his friend Doc Brown from altering future history.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alternate Timeline: 1985 seems to be the only time period that's been affected by Biff Tannen's tampering with the timeline. Not that really weird creatures appearing in all three time periods is normal stuff, though.
  • Bottomless Pits: They are all over the place in different time periods. Water and acid both serve as bottomless pits for Marty.
  • Composite Character: Biff Tannen in this game combines his normal self with the appearance of his grandson Griff.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: There are a lot of different creatures in different time periods that want Marty dead for some reason.
  • Fetch Quest: You have to fetch different artifacts and bring them back to the proper timeline or cave.
  • Follow the Money: The junk food serves as the game's coins.
  • Grimy Water: The water in 1985 is contaminated, serving as a death trap for Marty if he falls in.
  • Handy Remote Control: The one you find at the drive-in in 1985 summons the DeLorean.
  • Hover Board: Marty can get this from Biff Tannen's henchmen to ride around on, or he can find this just lying around, but it only lasts for a short while before it disappears.
  • In Name Only: The game's plot bears no resemblance to the plot of the movie whatsoever. (It does bear a strong resemblance to Mario's Time Machine, but came out three years earlier.)
  • Law Of 100: Picking up 100 junk food points will grant the player an extra life.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Marty must be careful not to run into his past selves as he travels through time, or else he will lose a life.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game has no save points whatsoever, requiring you to finish the first part of the game all in one sitting. Fortunately, there is a skip code you can enter — "FLUX CAPACITOR IS THE POWER" — so you can go straight to the second part without playing the first. Both parts are also not very forgiving, due to the fact Marty dies in one hit, and he is defenseless during the mini-game portions.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Marty McFly dies in one hit if an enemy touches him.
  • Platform Game: It's a bog-standard platform game with the bonus games modeled after Donkey Kong and Jumpman.
  • Plot Coupon: The scattered artifacts of both halves of the game.
  • Self-Plagiarism: LJN released Bill & Ted's Excellent Game Boy Adventure one year after Back to the Future Part II & III. The gameplay for both involve picking up all of a certain item in a room...stopwatches in this game, flashing objects in Bill & reveal the object you must touch to finish the level. The big difference is that the artifact-collecting is part of a larger game in Back To The Future, while the Bill & Ted game consists of nothing but these kinds of levels.
  • Solid Clouds: 1875 has cloud platforms Marty can jump and walk on without fear of them disappearing.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Fish can jump on the surface of the water, whereas Marty sinks like a rock if he falls into it.
  • Time Crash: A likely explanation for what happened when Biff stole thirty other artifacts from various points in time and scattered them throughout the three different time periods.
  • Timed Mission: Each minigame in which you can get an object has to be beaten within 110 seconds, otherwise you lose a life.
  • Time Travel: An important part of the first half of the game. To have access to the DeLorean, you have to get the remote control from the drive-in theater, and then you'll have to collect enough power cells to make a jump from one time period to another.
  • The Unfought: Unlike in the movie, Marty McFly never encounters or fights Biff Tannen, or his ancestor, Mad Dog Tannen.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Once Marty manages to collect and return all 30 artifacts, he can destroy the almanac and repair the space-time continuum, receiving congratulations for it. However, he then receives a letter from Doc with a request to find him in the Wild West of 1875 and Part III begins where he has to do just that.