Prince of Persia
1001 Video Games
Prince of Persia appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
The animations were modeled from live video. In particular, the Prince climbing onto a ledge was spliced from two different takes: Jordan's brother pulling himself up a ledge to his chest, and a reversed clip of his brother on top of the ledge climbing down. The technique use to animate the characters is called Rotoscoping. It was also used in one of Mechner's other games, Karateka.
Commodore 64, BBC Micro and Atari 8-bit amateur versions
According to the Prince of Persia Unofficial Website, a Commodore 64 version was not released at time. There was a preview created that played the theme and showed some scenes but the game never emerged. It is unknown why. A Commodore 64 port was made at last by an independent coder in 2011. Information is available at popc64.blogspot.com
Bitshifters also released a port of the game to the BBC Micro. It took advantage of the Apple II game code being made public by Jordan Mechner and the hardware similarities between the Apple II and the BBC Micro, which share the same CPU. It needs 128k of RAM and is available from here.
And finally, on december 2021 yet another amateur version was revealed, this time for the Atari 8-bit computers. It is available here in disk and cartridge formats. It requires 128K of RAM, so it won't work in every one of these computers.
Development and release
Today, several dozen artists and programmers are involved in the creation of a computer game. But in the 1980's, computer games were normally created almost entirely by one person. And for Prince of Persia that person was Jordan Mechner, a then 25 year old recent college grad. Jordan created the story, characters, and levels for Prince of Persia. He programmed the game and drew the graphics. And when Jordan needed help, he didn't go far from home. His dad composed the original music. And his brother served as the Motion Study actor for the Prince. Truly a labor of love, Prince of Persia took nearly 4 years to be completed.
Mechner scored gold in 1989 when Prince of Persia was released. Described by PC Review as "an ever-present in any compiled list of classic games of all time," it has sold nearly 2,000,000 copies and won numerous awards, including "Game of the Decade" from Generation 4/Canal+ in 1997. The game was published first on the Apple II platform, but soon made it to virtually all platforms in existance at the time including: DOS, Macintosh, Amiga, NES, SNES, GameBoy, Sega Genesis, Sega Mega Drive, Sega CD, Game Gear, Commodore 64, and FM Towns. It's popularity was not confined to just the United States. In all, the game has been published in the United States, Canada, England, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, and Israel.
The manual for Macintosh/IBM release of the game had a figure of Prince in the right bottom corner of each spread. If you flip through the book, Prince would jump.
References to the game
Prince of Persia was alluded to in Episode 705 (Escape from the BronxMystery) of the TV show Science Theater 3000. During an underground chase scene, Tom Servo quips: "It looks like Prince of Persia."
Censorship in the SNES version
The North American Super NES release was censored --- a scene found in the Japanese version's introduction sequence showing the hero being tortured is missing from the US version. As a result, the music loses sync with what is happening on-screen.
On April 17, 2012, Jordan Mechner released the source code of the Apple II version. You can find it here.
- Amiga Power
- May 1991 (Issue #00) - #12 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #84 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
- February 2006 (Issue #259) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
- Issue #4 - #42 in the "Top 100 Video Games of All-Time" list
- PC Gamer
- November 1999 - #43 Best Game of All Time
- Retro Gamer
- Issue #37 - #9 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll
ZX Spectrum version
A version for the ZX Spectrum was in development by the same people that made the SAM Coupé port but it was never released due to licensing problems with Domark. Later a Russian team released an unofficial Spectrum port of the game.
Information also contributed by Big John VW, Chentzilla, [leileilol](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,76785/), [LepricahnsGold](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,60099/), [Mickey Gabel](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,584/), [NewRisingSun](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,47798/), [PCGamer77](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,1717/), [Sean Gugler](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,56787/) and [William Shawn McDonie](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,4177/)