One of my favorite Super NES games is Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!. It’s a fun, well-made game that’s filled with references to the show and popular movies.
In one scene, Buster and Montana Max end up on some train tracks with a train coming right at them. They speed up their handcar until it reaches 88 miles per hour, at which point they zoom off the screen in a trail of fire – a reference to the Back to the Future movie series.
I was recently playing the game in Japanese and noticed that the 88 miles per hour indicator was converted into kilometers per hour, and the two characters zoom off once they hit 140 kph:
|North American version||Japanese version|
That makes sense and all – Japan doesn’t really use “miles” or “miles per hour”, so it’s understandable that it’d be converted. But this got me wondering: if it’s 140 kph in the Japanese game, is it also 140 kph in the Japanese movies?
Luckily, I have an old Japanese VHS copy of the original Back to the Future to check. So after fast-forwarding to the first time travel scene, here’s what we get:
Yep, it looks like the Japanese version of this Tiny Toons game matches the Japanese version of Back to the Future!
Given this, it’s possible that my Japanese VHS copy of Back to the Future doesn’t match what’s seen on more modern releases. Just thought I’d point it out in case it comes up at some point!
This game was released in other regions too, so I’m assuming that they all use the 140 kph version of this scene. If you can confirm this about your region, let me know – and let me know what your region’s version of Back to the Future handles the 88 mph thing too. I’m curious to see if some regions left it as-is while others converted it to kph.
If you liked this peek at Japanese references to American pop culture, check out my articles about Michael Jackson in Yakuza 0 and how they localized American movie references for Japanese Bubsy!