Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Prince of Persia
|Prince of Persia|
|Release date:||Between 1989 and 1999 (see article)|
|Game modes:||Single player|
|Platform:||PC, Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST, Master System, MD/Gens (ported to Mega CD), NES, SNES, GB/GBC,|
|Media:||1 CD / 1 Floppy disk / 1 cart|
|Input:||Keyboard, joystick (PC)|
- Puccini's opera Turandot (1926) opens as the Prince of Persia is led to the executioner's block, having failed to guess the riddles. The title Prince of Persia does not exist in a historical context outside this fantasy tale.
Prince of Persia is a platform game that was released by Brøderbund in 1989. It was widely seen as a great leap forward in the quality of animation seen in video games. Jordan Mechner, the author, studied many hours of films of his brother running and jumping in white clothes to ensure that all the movements looked just right in a process now called rotoscoping. Also unusual was the method of combat; protagonist and enemies fought with swords, not some sort of projectile weapons, as was the case in most contemporary games.
Prince of Persia was released on a wide range of platforms, including the Atari ST, Amiga, CPC, Apple II, Apple Macintosh, DOS, NES, Game Boy, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, ZX Spectrum, and SAM Coupé. The game managed to surprise and captivate the player despite being, at first glance, repetitive.
As the title suggests, the game is set in Persia. The sultan is away at war, and the evil vizier Jaffar plans to seize the throne for himself. Jaffar has imprisoned the princess and given her one hour to make her decision: marry him, or die. The player assumes the role of an adventurer, the princess's true love; he must escape from prison and rescue her before the hour is up, defeating the vizier and earning the princedom of Persia.
The twist is that the game is played in real time, so the player must quickly complete the quest without breaks. On some platforms it is possible to save the game at the start of each level, however the time limit still applies. The only way to lose the game is by letting the time expire. If the player is killed, the game will restart from the beginning of the level, or a mid-way checkpoint. The game also included a power bar. Medium falls, blue potions, being hit by falling platforms and sword hits took one notch from the power bar, while major falls, being hit unarmed, falling or running on spikes and blades killed the player instantly. The player could increase the number of notches in the power bar by drinking larger red potions, usually hidden or in dangerous places. There was also a green potion that made the player float or flip the screen, depending on the level.
Originally released for the Apple II in 1989, Prince of Persia was ported to several other platforms. One year later it was ported to other personal computers such as the Amiga, the Atari ST, and the IBM PC Compatible. In 1992, when the home console market was growing steadily, versions for the Master System, Mega CD, NES, SNES, and Game Boy were released, as well as a version with enhanced artwork for the Apple Macintosh. A Mega Drive/Genesis version followed in 1993. Another port was for the Game Boy Color six years later, in 1999. Java versions for mobile devices appeared in the early 2000s. For the revival title, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, it was put in to be unlocked by beating the game once.
Prince of Persia has the following official sequels:
- Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame - released in 1994
- Prince of Persia 3D - released in 1999
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Ubisoft) - released on November 4, 2003 for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Windows, and Game Boy Advance
- Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (Ubisoft) - released on December 2, 2004 for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, and Windows
- An as-yet untitled sequel scheduled for release in the last quarter of 2005
In 1994, an unofficial sequel called 4D Prince Of Persia was produced by a fan of the game. In 2003, another group of fans created a level editor for this game called Princed and a graphic and sound editor called Princed Resources.
Some clones with gamesplay and animation similar to Prince of Persia have been released, like Flashback, relying on realistic running, crouching and platform jumping. Tomb Raider is considered a 3D incarnation of this kind of gaming.
- Princed: Prince of Persia editors Official Website
- Prince of Persia Amiga version info page
- Prince of Persia Unofficial Website I
- Prince of Persia Unofficial Website II
- Prince of Persia Unofficial Website III (site in Polish but huge Download section)
- Prince of Persia 2 Center (Here you can download Animation Recorder)
- Moby Games entry on the series
- Prince of Persia Flash game
- Background information, including Mechners' brother video
- Hardcore Gaming 101 - Prince of Persia
- Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within Review at FileFront.com
- Prince of Persia Page a single page where you can watch or download the videos used to animate the prince.
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