Flashback - The Quest for Identity

Flashback - The Quest for Identity
a game by U.S. Gold, and Delphine Software
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis SNESSNES Sega CD
Genres: Action, Adventure/RPG, Arcade Classics, Puzzles & Words, Platformer
Rating: 9/10
See also: Quest Games

Snapshots and Media

Flashback - The Quest for Identity Poster


Like an episode from the Twilight Zone, Flashback takes you on a mind-blowing journey into the future. You wake up in an Artificial Jungle with one small problem...you have no memory! However, the answer to that mystery only opens the door to many more.

Control Your Destiny

Your journey of self-discovery progresses through seven challenging levels, ranging from an Artificial Jungle to an alien world of Morphs. You must shoot it out with bad creatures, out-think booby traps, decipher alien technology, and develop strategies. In the end, only cunning and timing will get you back home.


  • Timing is key here! When you trip the Laser Cannon, duck, then immediately jump to the ledge above you.
  • Jump over this electrified floor to reach the elevator.
  • You'll find the Teleporter on the elevator deck. Be sure you leave a Stone on the Elevator Activator.

As for comparisons between the SNES and the Genesis versions, they are virtually identical. The SNES sounds are a bit better, but the Genesis offers better overall speed.

Luckily, Flashback is one of the most enjoyable games to play on any system, and the controls help make it that way. No real tough control pad sequences to remember here. However, you can make your character do a variety of unique things: run, broad jump, draw and holster his gun, and even do an incredibly lifelike combat roll.

When you come to a ledge, don't be quick to jump down. Some ledges have steeper drops than others, which can mean instant death. Climb down to check it out first, then drop if necessary.

Flashy Graphics, Flashy Sounds

On the SNES, you still get Flashback's impressive overall graphics. The animation is so fluid, you'd swear that the characters are real people. This goes for the creatures as well, especially the evil Morphs who roll around like blobs, then assume a humanoid shape to attack. Slick rotoscoped cinematic sequences bring the story line to life. The only minor drawback in Flashback is the noticeable slowdown when multiple characters appear.

  • Throw a Stone to the right and the guards will go to investigate the noise. When they do, they will activate the Laser Gun, which will in turn eliminate the guards.
  • Shoot this joker as soon as you get near him. If you don't get him first, he'll wait till you pass him and shoot you in the back.

You won't want to pass on this 16-bit version's first-rate sound, either. From the sound effects of Morphs rolling on the ground to the roar of gunshots, the audio pumps. In addition, the musical score does an excellent job of creating mood, alerting you to danger, or applauding success.

Flashy Stuff

Flashback has all the ingredients of a 16-bit classic: great graphics, extraordinary animation, cool sounds, and adrenaline-pumping action. The only bad thing to say about this game is that it's so addicting, you won't have time for anything else.

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User Reviews

If you're ready for a peek at the likely future of Genesis gaming, then flash forward with Flashback. This awesome action/adventure game mixes solid, complex game play with outstanding action and wraps them up in magnificent, never-before-seen graphics.

Brought to the States by U.S. GOLD, Flashback was designed by Delphine Software of France, the creators of Out of This World. If you thought Lester Chaykin was shakin', wait till you join Conrad Hart on his epic, futuristic, mystery adventure.

What's the Matter?

Conrad is a Galaxias Bureau of Investigation agent-in-training. For his graduation project, he designs some high-tech glasses that reveal the molecular density of living beings. Using these special specs, he notices that several high-powered officials, including military strategists, politicians, and multimillionaires, are extremely dense (and they dress badly too). Unluckily for Conrad, someone's watching him. A freaky Billionaire Boys Club kidnaps him and erases his memory. Conrad's only salvation is the Holocube, a memory recording device that he had the foresight to keep with him.


  • After you pick up the Stone in the Jungle (Level 1), jump straight up. You'll find 10 credits.
  • When you find the Magnetic Cartridge, use the Energy-Generator to charge it. Later on, you'll need a fully charged Cartridge to activate a laser bridge.

Thanks for the Memories

As Conrad, you must find pieces of your memory bit by bit and solve the mystery of the weird looking rich folks. Your search takes place across six, multi-scrolling levels, including a wacked out TV game show, a cyberpunk nightclub, and several far out planets.

Flashback is basically a run and gun game, but that's like saying Madonna's basically a woman. This is not a pick-up-and-play-me game. You're going to have to read the manual to learn the controls, because Conrad has more moves than Michael Jackson. He climbs through levels like the Prince of Persia, crouches, somersaults; pistol whips bad guys, and pulls his gun out of his front pocket so smoothly you'll swear you're watching "Cops". You get into intense shoot outs with bad guys of all shapes, sizes, and planetary origins, but you also bust your brain cells trying to figure out how to use objects and move past obstacles.

Part of the game's intrigue has to do with the assortment of objects you can find. You start out with a Gun and a Shield. Then, much like a role-playing game, you have to search for important items, such as ID cards, Credits (money), a Magnetic Cartridge, Force Fields, and more to help you get past the obstacles.

Do a shoulder roll under the small laser sphere in Level 3. When it stops firing, stand up and blast it.

You'll need help, too, because Flashback is fierce. There are three difficulty levels, but even on Easy you'll meet your doom often. You mainly get tripped up by traps such as Disintegrators, Electrified Floors, Landmines, and Falling Mines. However, even if you fall too far, you're a goner. On the plus side, there are Energy-Generators placed throughout the levels that will polish your Shield back up to its original shine, and game save boxes that keep you running. If you fail, however, you won't mind starting back at the beginning. This game plays like a great comic book reads.

You'll get so entrenched in the intoxicating story line that you'll want to finish the game just to see how it turns out.

On Level 3, the Death Tower TV Show, the first goon won't make the first move. Pistol whips him to get him mad, and then take him out while he's rocketing through the air.

Mind-blowing Visuals

You've never seen a Genesis game that looks as amazing as this one! Like Out of This World, Flashback's graphics are based on polygonal pix produced with rotoscope technology that incorporates and digitizes film footage of live actors. However, Flashback takes the pix to another level. Although Conrad is a little sprite, his movements are fluid, smooth, and unbelievably lifelike.

Not only are the graphics superb during game play, there are great-looking pass-the-popcorn cinematic sequences throughout the game. Even the backgrounds look outrageous.

  • Beat the blue blob men in the Secret Base of "Paradise" (Level 5) by somersaulting away from them while they're in the blob state. Then turn and shoot 'em. You'll have to do this till you're dizzy.
  • Right after you shoot, quickly raise your Force Field to block your opponent's shots.

A Musical Note

Flashback's sounds are a monster. The great music shifts subtly with the mood of the on-screen action. Just like in a good movie, this helps to keep the tension high. The sound effects sound real. There's a realistic thud when Conrad lands from a leap. Jungle noises give you the creeps. Gunfire makes you wince.

  • Grab the Mechanical Mouse from the platform above and place it in front of the blinking wall switches on the ground below. It will open the metal door on the middle platform.

You'll love Flashback

Flashback is as close to a no-brainer as they come -- get it! It's as fun to watch as it is to play. Just in time for Valentine's Day, you'll love this game. Don't let the bad guys break your Conrad Hart.

reggie posted a review

You have stumbled onto an alien plot to take over the Earth. Knowing that you are aware ot the plot, the aliens erase your memory. Now you're lost in the middle of a jungle. Somehow you must regain your memories and stop the aliens from doing any more damage.

Flashback was a hit on all of the earlier systems. It's got a great plot combined with intense action. The cinemas are also first-rate.

Now the Sega CD has this great game, and there have been a number of improvements. The cinemas are better than ever and the game play has been tweaked.

If you're in the mood for some great adventures, Flashback should more than whet your appetite. Look for this one soon.

reggie posted a review

People say:


Flashback is always a fun game, no matter which system it's on. The Sega CD version is virtually identical to the cart. The music has been improved and the cinemas have been redone. They look pretty good, but they seem way too dark to me. Flashback has a long, intricate quest and a great story If you don't already have the cart, I highly recommend picking this one up. It's one of the better Sega CD titles.


If you own the Genesis version, then you already own the Sega CD version. Unless you really want those cool cinemas and good tunes, the game is the same. And that's not bad at all. The animation has always been superb and the game is just a blast to play Having to actually use your brain while playing a game these days is rare, but Flashback is there with the prefect mix of action and adventure.


Flashback for the Sega CD is virtually the same as its cartridge counterpart, except that it has improved cinematic animations. It's a cool game with great character animations and a fantastic world to explore The futuristic theme is pretty cool. too. I just think that upgrading just for the new cinemas isn't anything to write home about. It's a good game, but I'd be just as happy with the cartridge version.


Flashback on any system is a great game but if you own the cart I can't recommend the CD. The music and cinemas are an improvement but only marginal. The game itself is very fun using both brains and reflexes to solve an intricate story The animations and character movements are exceptional and worth playing just to watch the guy move. If you haven't already gotten the cart this is one CD worth the money.

reggie posted a review
  • Theme: Action

It wasn't your fault. You stumbled upon an alien plot to enslave the Earth. What else could you do, but try to save your home planet? Flashback is the adventure of trying to stop an invasion of alien forces on an unsuspecting populace.

You start off in a jungle, unaware of who you are, or how you got there. Along the way, you'll find clues as to who you are, and how to stop the alien forces. Your investigations will take you to the deadliest places around. With scenes like a killer game show, and a neo-utopian city, you are bound to find adventure.

For those who were astounded by Out of This World, and mangled by Flashback for the Genesis, this cart will be a sure pleaser, especially if you don't have the Genesis version.

reggie posted a review
  • Theme: Action
  • No. of Levels: 6
  • Release: 1st Qtr. '94

People say:


This is a great Action/adventure cart unlike anything else. It has the same smooth animation that made the Genesis version so cool. The graphics appear to have been touched up a bit. While it moves a bit slow at times, the awesome plot more than makes up for it. My only peeve deals with the game being vague in what you're trying to do at times. If you like cyberpunk stuff, this is for you.


Flashback may be an old game, for Genesis owners anyway, but it's still fantastic nonetheless. Incredibly realistic animation and superb sound effects really draw you into the game. Even though there is a hint of slowdown at times, Flashback is a fast-paced game. The music is drastically improved over the Genesis version, too. The one drawback is that once you beat it, you always know how to beat it again.


Flashback is one incredible adventure game. This is everything the Genesis version is and more. The graphics are rich in color with some beautifully drawn backgrounds. Why do the cinemas slow down, anyway? While the pace can be slow at times, the tasks that you must accomplish turn this into a very involving Action/adventure. I totally dig the smooth animation of the main guy. A must buy!


You have to check out the rich color and intense graphics of this game. Finally this game shows what the Genesis can really do graphically. Also the animation is near perfect. Some people may get bored with the adventure aspect but if you're into it, the game is interesting throughout. There are lots of tough puzzles to solve and excellent backgrounds at every scene. Even if you're into the other genres I'd still get it.

reggie posted a review
  • Theme: Action/Adventure
  • Available: 1993
  • Levels: 6

U.S. Gold has really struck it with Flashback, their new action/adventure release for the Genesis!

You are special agent Conrad in charge of Molecular density analyzer glasses. These technologically advanced glasses enable you to see aliens posing as humans. The evil aliens have discovered the invention and have erased your memory! Hide out in the jungle, but keep your weapons close to you in case...

Cool cinema intermissions add to the life-like animations in your quest. This is more than just an action game, though - you'll have to use your brain to survive and remember the past. Can you do it?

People say:


Hot on the heels of OOTW is a superior sequel that takes the style of the original and cranks it up a couple of levels. You get a similar search-destroy-escape mission, with graphic intermissions laced throughout that are so intense they don't seem to belong on a home machine. Casual pace, but completely rippin'!


Flashback is incredible! The story line really grabs your interest and the cinema displays are very detailed. The shining point of Flashback is the awesome animation throughout the entire game. While there really wasn't much music, the sound effects really helped the tone of the game. It's kind of a short adventure, though.


A definite must-have cart for Genesis owners. This cart has it all! A cool story line sets the mood of the game as you play along. The graphics are absolutely awesome! The animation is liquid smooth and cinema displays are present throughout. The game play is topnotch, sort of like OOTW crossed with Prince of Persia.


Flashback is one of the best games ever made for the Genesis! The action is non-stop, and it really feels like you're playing a movie! My only suggestion is that you get a joystick, because the generic Sega controllers aren't precise enough to handle the diagonal motion necessary for some of the specialized techniques.

reggie posted a review

Enter Conrad, a special agent in training who has developed a new device known as the ultra-compact molecular density analyzer (Whew!). However, these glasses allowed Conrad to notice that several humans were not what they seemed to be. These alien forces have now caught wind of Conrad's ability, and it's a race for your freedom and life!

Flashback has taken the animated adventure genre to new heights! It takes the ultra-smooth character animations (Prince of Persia) and puts them in a challenging-thinking-type action game (Out of This World) to create one of the best playing carts in a long time.

The characters are animated so smoothly that they seem lifelike. The backgrounds are graphically outstanding and appear almost real. The quest is unlike the typical adventure game as it requires constant thinking and decision making in order to solve problems that you encounter along the way. Throw in cool cinema intermissions and Flashback becomes an incredible gaming experience that breaks new ground in the areas of action and adventure!

reggie posted a review

As the story is told, research scientist Conrad was preparing his thesis about the transmutation of matter. Wearing a special set of glasses, the scientist was able to view matter directly in order to analyze it. However, he happened to notice that many top-ranking officials at his plant had a structural density beyond that of a normal human being. This is because they were aliens from another world studying Earth and making plans for domination.

This tragic observation turned Conrad into a prisoner where he must use all his natural abilities to escape this trap and blow the lid off this cover-up. Your escape will take place over six huge stages where a stolen space bike and a gun are your only hopes for survival. Incredible animation is made possible by the detailed rotoscoping technique!

reggie posted a review

If you thought Out of this World was out of this world, then get set to flash forward to Flashback, a new Genesis game that U.S. Gold is set to bring to the States. Delphine Software of Paris, France, the creators of Out of this World, also programmed Flashback. It looks like they're out to redefine the graphics standards for action/adventure games!

Déjà Vu

Conrad Hart is a budding scientist, who's studying material transmutation. Using his compact magnetic resonance analyzer glasses, he can see the magnetic spectrum of any object or living creature. When he turns his high-tech gaze on Earth's high society, he finds out that they're indeed high -- high on molecular density!

These aliens disguised as politicians, military officials, and multi-millionaires kidnap Conrad, erase most of his memory, and dump him in the jungles of the planet Titan. The only thing Conrad remembers when he wakes up is that he must escape!

If you enjoyed Out of This World, then you'll go ballistic over this awe- some-looking, six-level adventure that blasts through Earth, other worldly planets, and even a murderous TV show. Like Out of this World, Flashback features great, polygonal graphics, but these are even better. Delphine rotoscopes pix of real people and flashes them on-screen at 24 images per second. The effect's so real, it's scary.

When our hero pulls himself up ledges, runs, jumps, and crouches, it looks like an animated movie. In fact, Conrad's moves are so life-like that when he whips out his gun from under his coat, you'll run for cover. However, he needs all the firepower he can muster to protect himself from extraterrestrials who want to make him lose his memory -- FOREVER!

reggie posted a review

Flashback: The Quest for Identity, or simply known as Flashback, is a video game published by US Golding in the United States and Europe, and by Sunsoft in Japan. The game was developed by Delphine Software and programmed by the same team which programmed Future Wars. The game is listed as the best-selling French game of all time, and this is also written in the Guinness World Records Book.

The game was released in 1992 by Amiga, and then was made available for Acorn, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, MS-DOS and Super Nintendo, all of them in 1993. There were also several CD-ROM versions made available over the time, mainly in 1994 and 1995.

The game offers similar features as Prince of Persia, with fully hand-drawn backdrops and rotoscoped animation. This technique featured in Flashback uses more complicated methods of first tracing video images onto transparencies.

The story happens in 2142, with Conrad B. Hart, the main character, being an agent for the Galaxia Bureau of Investigation. He attempts to recover his lost memory and save the world. He discovers a plot involving aliens, who try to destroy the Earth. Conrad uploads a copy of his memory to his friend Ian, in case it will be erased. The erasing happens as expected, when Conrad is kidnapped by the aliens, but he recovers it from his friend a bit later on.

Over the course of the game, he finds Ian being in danger, but kills the corrupt cops and gets his memory back. Conrad returns to Earth thanks to Jack, whom he finds in a bar, but needs to have 1500 credits first to pay for the process, which he can get by getting a work permit and completing jobs.

After he reaches Earth, he fights several corrupt cops and then manages to reach the alien's hideout. He then has to fight different aliens in order to get to fight with the Bosses. He teleports to the planet of the aliens, explodes it with an atomic charger, and then manages to luckily escape from there. The game is considered a cinematic platformer, which is played by levels. Conrad can jump, grab onto ledges, climb, use elevators and drop onto lower levels. He has real strengths and weaknesses, making this game very realistic. There are a total of seven levels in the game.

Flashback: The Quest for Identity was a very popular game back when released. As stated before, it is the best-selling French game of all time. Over the time it received very good feedback from press, critics and users. GameSpot critics rated the game with 8.0, while the users rated it with an overall of 8.5 out of 10 from 165 votes.

reggie posted a review

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