Back to the Future (NES)

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Back to the Future
Back to the Future - NES.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1989
Developer: Beam Software Pty., Ltd.
Buy: Amazon
This page is for the NES game, for other platforms see Back to the Future.

Back to the Future is a top-view side-scroller very loosely based on the movie of the same name. The player plays as the main character from the movie, Marty McFly, who has to go to the past to save the future. Like most LJN games, there is hardly any semblance to the movie, the play control is pretty awful, and there is little enjoyment to the game.

You'll spend most of the game collecting alarm clocks, avoiding swarms of bees, and tossing bowling balls at rock-throwing hula hooping girls (just like the movie, right?). After several levels of that, you'll find yourself in Lou's Cafe where you must throw milkshakes at 99 bullies who approach the bar. If any of them reach the bar, you'll have to start the level all over again. Then, it's on to more bees. Then, you have to catch your mother's hearts in the classroom. Then, more bees. Then you find yourself at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. Then more bees. Finally, the ending level is pretty dull, you just try to get the Delorian up to 88 MPH by avoiding lightning on the ground, and if you're able to, you'll get a very dull "you win" message. If you fail a single time, it's game over, even if you still have lives left.

The game was heavily criticized by video game critics and fans of the movie. Many of the criticisms include, but definitely not limited to; laggy controls, Marty wearing a black tank top throughout the game, no resemblance to the movie, and the repetitive music and graphics. Bob Gale, screenwriter of the movie has said the game is one of the worst, and that fans of the movie shouldn't buy the game. He also added that he wanted to give input on the game's development, but was refused by LJN.


Back to the Future - NES - 1.png

The title screen

Back to the Future - NES - 2.png

The map of Hill Valley

Back to the Future - NES - 3.png

Avoiding giant bees (just like the movie!)

Back to the Future - NES - 4.png

Throwing shakes at bullies in the cafe

Back to the Future - NES - 5.png

You'll see this message an awful lot

Back to the Future - NES - 6.png

Catching hearts from your mother!


There are only two songs in the game, both were borrowed from the movie's soundtrack. The first song which is heard throughout the bulk game is a sped up version of Power of Love by Huey Lewis & the News. You can listen how it could be, if the programmers didn't make this awful mistake, here, combined with original music (or go here and choose the 0.5 of original video speed, if you want to listen only original NES chiptune). The second song is a sped up version of Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry that plays at the dance (like the first, you can listen it with normal speed here. The songs both play at a whopping 300 beats per minute. Gavan said he had the sheet music for the songs at the time because he was teaching the songs to his guitar class. He also explained that he had no control over the song tempo. This is confirmed with the game's source code, as the music files lack any tempo setting.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 The Power of Love Huey Lewis & The NewsGavan Anderson 1:47
02 Johnny B. Goode Chuck BerryGavan Anderson 0:55


The game lacks credits, probably because of the game's poor quality, but Gavan Anderson has given us confirmation that he created the music and sound effects in this game. Gavan wrote the music using Beam Software's audio driver and entered the music in Music Macro Language. He said that the programmers chose the tempo for the music.

(Verified composer, game lacks credits)

Game Rip






Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.

The music was recorded with Not So, Fatso!. Nosefart does not yield proper playback.


  USA.svg   USA
Back to the Future - NES.jpg
Title: Back to the Future
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-09-??
Publisher: LJN Toys, Ltd.