Back to the Future II
Image: Universal Pictures

The Back To The Future movie franchise is one of Hollywood's most famous products of the '80s, and it should come as no surprise to find that it had its fair share of licenced video games.

The original movie got a home computer adaptation in 1985 for the likes of the C64 and ZX Spectrum – as well as a later NES game in 1989 – and titles based on the second and third entries in Robert Zemeckis' time-travelling series were released on systems like the Master System and Mega Drive courtesy of Mirrorsoft's Image Works line. More recently, we had Back To The Future: The Game from Telltale, which made it to the Wii.

Seasoned Nintendo fans may also recall that the second movie was turned into a cute-and-cuddly side-scrolling platform adventure for the Super Famicom, released in 1993 under the title Super Back to the Future Part II. While this release is certainly nice to look at, the gameplay isn't really up to scratch, which could be why it never got released outside of Japan.

Here's some gameplay of it in action:

However, it would seem that Nintendo's 16-bit system was supposed to get a very different game. While leafing through copies of Famitsu magazine from the time, video game preservation outlet Gaming Alexandria (thanks, Frank Cifaldi) stumbled across the following preview which shows a more Zelda-style RPG approach was in place before the game switched to a 2D, hoverboard-focused platformer:


Given that Super Back to the Future Part II – which doesn't feature a lot of text – didn't get localised, it's hard to see why the developers would have gone the extra mile to bring an RPG-style game to the west, but still, it's interesting to note that we almost got an RPG starring Marty, Doc Brown, Biff and company.

It also makes you wonder how far the team got with this game before switching to the more traditional 2D platformer format – and if any early versions of the RPG title exist.