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DescriptionWhile the Sultan of Persia is fighting a war in a foreign country, his Grand Vizier Jaffar orchestrates a coup d'état. His way to the throne lies through the Sultan's lovely daughter. Jaffar kidnaps her and threatens to kill her if she refuses to marry him. Meanwhile, the man the Princess loves is thrown into the dungeon. He has only one hour to escape from his prison, defeat the guards on his way, and stop Jaffar before the terrible marriage takes place.
Prince of Persia is a 2D platformer that is commonly regarded as a progenitor of the cinematic platformer genre. Rather than following the more common jump-and-run mechanics, it focuses on careful advancement through fairly complex levels, emphasizing the protagonist's vulnerability and survival aspect. Rotoscoping technique is used to give more realism to the animation of the characters' movements.
The protagonist must avoid deadly traps, solve some simple jumping and environmental puzzles (such as stepping on pressure plates to raise portcullis), and engage in sword fights with the guards. The player character has an infinite amount of lives, but has to restart at the beginning of a level each time he dies, and must complete the game within an hour. The hero starts with three units of health, which can be replenished with small health potions or permanently increased with large jars.
The Game Boy Color and SNES versions of the game feature additional levels and new enemies. The Genesis version has a new intro, an altered set of graphics and four new levels.
- "הנסיך הפרסי" -- Informal Hebrew spelling
- "הנסיך - דו קרב בארמון" -- Hebrew spelling
- "Prince of Persia Retro" -- iPhone/iPad title
- "Prince de Perse" -- French Amstrad title
- "PoP" -- Common abbreviation
- "Pers Prensi" -- Turkish title
- "Jordan Mechner's Prince of Persia" -- Game Boy Color title
- "プリンスオブペルシャ" -- Japanese spelling
Part of the Following Groups
- Game Center CX challenge games
- Genre: Cinematic Platformer
- Prince of Persia series
- Setting: Middle East
|GameTrip.net||Jun 06, 2007||9 out of 10||90|
|ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)||Mar, 1991||905 out of 1000||90|
|Score||Jan, 1996||9 out of 10||90|
|Retro Archives||Feb 07, 2019||17.5 out of 20||88|
|Jeuxvideo.com||Oct 06, 2009||17 out of 20||85|
|The Retro Spirit||Feb 11, 2006||5 out of 6||83|
|Adventure Classic Gaming||Feb 19, 2006||80|
|PC-Spiele '92||1991||7 out of 10||70|
|ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)||Sep, 1990||6.8 out of 12||57|
|Topic||# Posts||Last Post|
|Developed by Mechner or Brøderbund?||6||Игги Друге (46318)
Jul 29, 2014
|Triangular Version - Info Please||5||Arjon van Dam (1245)
Feb 19, 2013
|ZX Spectrum UNOFFICIAL port||3||Sciere (772087)
Aug 05, 2012
|Jordan Mechner made the source code available||9||Игги Друге (46318)
May 26, 2012
1001 Video GamesPrince of Persia appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
AnimationsThe 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 versionsAccording 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 releaseAn excerpt taken from the, as of 2012, defunct official Prince of Persia 3D web site http://www.pop3d.com/
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.
ManualThe 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 gamePrince 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 versionThe 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.
Source codeOn 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 versionA 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, LepricahnsGold, Mickey Gabel, NewRisingSun, PCGamer77, Sean Gugler and William Shawn McDonie
Related Web Sites
- AtariMania (Brøderbund Software, ES/FR, Atari ST) (For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.)
- AtariMania (Brøderbund Software, USA, Atari ST) (For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.)
- AtariMania (Domark, UK, Atari ST) (For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.)
- AtariMania (The Hit Squad, UK, Atari ST) (For Atari ST: game entry database; downloadable release; game packaging; advertisement; manuals; magazine reviews; additional material.)
- CPC-Power (in French) (For Amstrad CPC: game database entry; game packaging; manual digitalizations; goodies; advertisement; magazine reviews; downloadable releases; additional material.)
- CPCRrulez (in French) (For Amstrad CPC: game database entry; advertisement; game packaging; downloadable releases; additional material.)
- DOSBox, an x86 emulator with DOS (Compatibility information page about the original game and its DOSBox versions. )
- DOSBox Wiki (The encyclopaedic page of the DOSBox project.)
- Game Map (Sega Master System) (Maps of all levels of the game.)
- Hall of Light (For Amiga: game database entry; digitalised manuals; game packaging; screenshots; additional material.)
- Macintosh Garden, an abandonware games archive (For Macintosh: reviews; game packaging; downloadable releases; manual; screenshots; additional material.)
- Making of Prince of Persia (Trailer for Jordan Mechner's ebook The Making of Prince of Persia)
- Princed: Prince of Persia Level Editor for PC (Prince of Persia related project that has inside a level editor and a graphic and sounds editor for the PC version.)
- Prince of Persia C64 (Home of an unfinished unofficial port, playable per emulator or flashed cartridge)
- Prince of Persia: Original Trilogy (Modding Community) (Provides an overview of level editors and related tools that can be used to customize Prince of Persia, and makes available for download all known modifications (mods).)
- Prince of Persia: Special Edition mini-game (As part of a promotion for PoP: the Sands of Time, Ubisoft released a small dungeon (with a 9-minute deadline) in the Prince of Persia 1 style (Prince character sprite from Pop2), playable online through your Flash-enabled browser.)
- Prince of Persia Unofficial Website (This site contains information and cool stuff concerning many of the Prince of Persia games, including versions 1, 2, and 3D.)
- Replacementdocs (Amiga, Atari ST, manual) (Documentation for Amiga/Atari ST.)
- Replacementdocs (PC, Copy Protection Codes) (Documentation for PC (DOS/Windows).)
- SMS Power! (Game Gear) (For Game Gear: releases info; credits; box text; additional material.)
- SMS Power! (Sega Master System) (For Sega Master System: releases info; credits; box text; additional material.)
- Tammo (A fansite including a full walkthrough)
- The Tipshop (For SAM Coupe: a central archive for all Spectrum and SAM games hints, tips, cheats, maps, hacks and pokes.)
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Encyclopaedic entry for the combined platforms of the game.)
Donny K. (453) added Prince of Persia (DOS) on Aug 10, 1999
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Credits (24 people)
14 developers, 10 thanks
Veda Hlubinka‑Cook, Tomi Pierce, Eric Deeds, Corey Kosak, Roland Gustafsson, Oliver Fellguth, Brøderbund Quality Assurance Department, Glenn Axworthy, Jeffrey Charvat, Chris JochumsonCover artwork by: