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Episode 1: It's About Time

Telltale Games



Release date

Windows / Mac OS X
December 22, 2010
PlayStation 3 (PSN)
North America February 15, 2011
Europe March 9, 2011
February 17, 2011


Episodic series


Single player


PC, Mac (download), iPad, Playstation 3, Playstation 4

"Legal procedure gave way to old-fashioned vengeance last night, when a mob descended on the Hill Valley Police Station. The suspect in the speakeasy arson case, a drifter known as Carl Sagan, was pulled from his... Carl Sagan? It's Doc!"
Marty when reading the headline of "Speakeasy Arsonist Slain"

Episode 1: It's About Time is the first episode of Back to the Future: The Game.


It is Wednesday, May 14, 1986. 6:04 p.m. Marty is coping with life without Doc for six months. Doc's laboratory is up for estate sale and is soon to be owned by the bank. Just as Marty has lost all hope, the DeLorean suddenly appears, and Marty is supposed to help Doc who is trapped in the past.[1] Marty jumps in the DeLorean and travels to June 13, 1931. Young Doc of the 1930s must aid Marty in rescuing his future self.[2]


The game starts out on October 26th, 1985. Marty and Doc perform the first temporal displacement experiment, as seen through the JVC camcorder. The DeLorean time machine vanishes through time, at 1:20 a.m. as usual, but fails to return at 1:21 a.m.. Doc checks his notes to see what could have gone wrong, but Marty realizes that something is off. Doc realizes that something has gone horribly wrong, and a storm kicks up. The Twin Pines Mall sign begins to fade in and out of existence, eventually turning into the Lone Pine Mall sign, and Doc himself fades out of existence.

Marty suddenly wakes up to find that it was all a nightmare. He heads down to Doc's residence and finds that his father George McFly volunteered to head the estate sale so that Doc's belongings would be treated with respect. Biff Tannen is also rummaging through items as Marty investigates the property. Marty notices Doc's notebook hidden within the demonstration model of the Hill Valley Courthouse but has to outsmart Biff to get it back. Upon obtaining the notebook, Marty hears the arrival of the DeLorean outside, but it seems to have no passenger. Inside turns out to be Einstein, and a tape recording in the car tells Marty that the car had returned to 1986, at Doc's residence, per an automatic retrieval feature Doc implemented into the car. Doc's recording does not indicate where he might be trapped, but that it was up to Marty to find out when. Marty finds a shoe in the floorboard of the passenger's seat and has Einstein sniff it.

Marty follows Einstein to Courthouse Square where an old lady resides. She screams at Marty with a bullhorn and calls him a "hooligan". She identifies herself as Edna Strickland, the sister of Mr. Gerald Strickland, Marty's vice principal. As Marty is allowed to come upstairs to return the shoe, she continues to shout at troublemakers and vandals, even correcting their spelling. Marty gets her to leave the room and obtains from Edna's collection of the Hill Valley Telegraph a copy from 1931 that reported a "Carl Sagan" had been gunned down the day after the burning of a speakeasy. The pictured "Carl" turns out to be Doc, and after getting a final date, Marty returns to the DeLorean and heads for 1931. Marty heads down a four lane highway outside of town, and departs at 7:27 pm.

Marty arrives on June 13, 1931 at 4:00 am in the middle of a gun battle between the Hill Valley Police Department and mobsters. Escaping both, he hides the DeLorean behind a billboard advertising the upcoming Hill Valley Science Expo, ironically specifically advertising "The Car of The Future", and walks the two miles to town. Upon entering Courthouse Square for the fourth time in another era, he nearly gets run over by a car, is encountered by a young Edna in the square asking his opinion on the speakeasy fire, witnesses his grandfather Arthur McFly being bullied by the gangster Kid Tannen in the local Soup Kitchen, and locates Doc in a jail cell at the Hill Valley Police Station. Doc instructs Marty to locate his younger self, the Emmett Brown of 1931. Marty finds that young Emmett is a court clerk for his father, Judge Brown, but has hidden desires to complete a rocket-powered drill invention. Doc hopes that Marty can get his younger self to build the machine so that Marty can break him out of jail. Marty also asks about the DeLorean, to which Doc revealed that it was a temporal duplicate that occurred from temporal displacement during the Hill Valley Thunderstorm. After convincing Emmett to pursue science, they begin a search for 190 proof grain alcohol, banned in the age of Prohibition.

Over the course of the day, Marty and Emmett encounter Kid Tannen and serve a subpoena to Arthur McFly to testify against Kid. Marty realizes that the soup kitchen is actually a front for Kid Tannen's bootlegging business, and attempts to acquire some of the "soup" that is being cooked. Marty then finds Edna who agrees to have their meeting of the Stay Sober Society at the Brown residence and drop off some "soup" for refreshments. With the alcohol now in their possession, Marty and Emmett distill it into usable fuel for his drill machine. The night of the escape, Marty attempts to drill into the walls of the jail cell, but it breaks down. Furthermore, Doc has already been taken out of the cell by Kid Tannen in an armored van, with the intent to kill him outside of town. Having learned from the passing Edna that the van had just left, Marty reconfigures the rockets to hook onto her bicycle and chases Kid Tannen down with it. Hooking the rocket bike up to the rear of the van, Marty gets Doc to distract Kid while he grabs the keys with an antenna. Doc remains chained to the floor as Kid shoots at them, but a throw of a hubcap by Marty knocks the gun from Kid's hand. Marty shoots the chains and puts the rockets on full throttle, forcing the van to careen into a manure truck. Doc and Marty meet back at the DeLorean, and all seems fine, until Marty begins to fade in and out of existence...


  • Director: Dennis Lenart.[1]
  • Writers and designers: Andy Hartzell and Mike Stemmle
  • Art director: Derek Sakai
  • Lead animator: Peter Tsaykel
  • Lead choreographer: Eric Parsons
  • Lead programmer: Randy Tudor
  • Story consultant: Bob Gale


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Notes and references[]