Back to the Future Part II & III

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Back to the Future Part II & III
Back to the Future Part II & III
Box art of Back to the Future Part II & III
Developer(s)Beam Software
Designer(s)Paul Mitchell
Programmer(s)Graeme Scott
Trevor Nuridin
Composer(s)Tania Smith (Music)
Gavan Anderson (Sound Effects)
Platform(s)Nintendo Entertainment System
  • NA: September 1990

Back to the Future Part II & III is a 1990 video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System based on the second and third films in the Back to the Future trilogy. The game was produced by Beam Software and distributed by LJN.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Part II[edit | edit source]

When Doc takes Marty to the year 2015 to prevent his future son from committing a crime, old Biff takes the Gray's Sports Almanac and travels back to 1955 and gives the book to his younger self. Over the next three decades, young Biff uses the information to win money on the outcome of each sporting event he bets on, making him the richest and most powerful man in the world by 1985A. To ensure that no one else gets their hands on the almanac, Biff travels through time and collects various items and puts them behind locked doors in three different periods. This action has caused a disruption in time, and now the space-time continuum is falling apart. With Hill Valley in ruins, Marty must now travel to all three periods, then find and return all the items back to their original places in order to retrieve the almanac and destroy it.

Part III[edit | edit source]

After Marty returns all items to their rightful places and burns the almanac, lighting strikes the DeLorean and sends Doc back in time, leaving Marty stranded in 1955 once again. At the same time, Marty receives a letter from Doc via a courier that was written in 1875 (although 1885 in the film). According to the old letter, Doc has become stranded in the past and must be rescued or else this will start another time-ripple effect. Now, with the help from 1955 Doc, Marty must go back in time in order to rescue the present-day Doc with the aged but repaired DeLorean. Before they can return to 1985, Marty must find and return ten more items to their rightful location. To impede his progress, outlaw Buford Tannen has other plans.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

File:Back to the Future Part II & III.png
1985A Street Level from part II

Street level[edit | edit source]

The player controls Marty and attempts to defeat enemies by jumping on or throwing projectiles at them. The player must also collect fuel for the time machine and junk food for extra lives as they progress through each timeline.

Scattered and hidden throughout each timeline are Object Rooms (containing objects which must later be returned to other locations) and alleyways used to navigate street to street within the timeline. Some alleyways appear in all three timelines while others appear in one or two but not all three. At other points the player must use the DeLorean to navigate large chasms that appear on different timelines.

Object rooms[edit | edit source]

As the player progresses through the level they obtain keys by killing certain enemies. These keys are used to unlock the various object rooms throughout each level. Within each object room the player must obtain one of the items ostensibly scattered by Biff. The rooms appear as locked doors in Part II and caves or various buildings in Part III.

To retrieve the items Biff scattered, the player must participate in a mini-game within the object room involving collecting a certain number of stop watches in 60 seconds while avoiding enemies and obstacles such as cacti, quicksand and falling pellets.

Object rooms in Back to the Future Part II & III are clones of the Commodore 64 game Big Mac.

Puzzle rooms[edit | edit source]

Puzzle rooms are hidden throughout each level and found in various drainage pipes and manholes. Each puzzle room contains the scrambled name of the object that belongs there. The player must unscramble the word and select the proper item from their inventory. Correctly choosing the item that belongs within the room reveals one section of a picture puzzle. However, if the player chooses the wrong item, the item is removed from their inventory and returned to the object room in which it was previously located, forcing the player to complete the challenge within that room to re-obtain the object.

In Part III, puzzle rooms are located under rocks that the player must break open by jumping on them a few times.

Time travel[edit | edit source]

After finding the remote control to summon the DeLorean, players can time travel between 1955, 1985 and 2015. However, adequate fuel must be collected before being able to time travel using the DeLorean.

Additionally, each time the player time travels a clone of Marty is created in that year which, when touched, will instantly kill the player.

Some platforms are out of reach in certain areas which need to be accessed to progress through the level. A player can plant an acorn in 1955 and then revisit that same location in 1985 or 2015 where a full-grown tree appears, allowing the player to access the previously unattainable space.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Back to the Future II & III received largely negative reviews from critics. Stan Stepanic of gave the game positive remarks in regards to similarities with The Goonies II, but gave it a largely negative review due to the lack of a password or save feature coupled with its notorious length, although there was a code to skip to the second half of the game. Back to the Future II & III's length has often been cited as the game's major weakness, Stan stating that it took him roughly six hours just to map it, and he spent so much time trying to finish it he actually turned it off out of boredom.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]