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back to article Prince of Persia: Baggy trousers and curvy swords

Prince of Persia was surely one of the most ubiquitous Dixons demo titles of the early 1990s. Mesmerised onlookers gazed at the smooth-moving, cartoon-like animation, while bewildered sales drones looked on wondering whether any of these humans would ever manage to get past level one. Hang around long enough randomly pressing …

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The film was watchable

or do I meant Gemma Arterton was? tomato tomatoe.

Up there with decent Game-Movie tie ins such as Resi and Hitman.

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Re: The film was watchable

Agreed. Certainly no "Wham Bam thank you Spaceman". My children enjoyed it too, and it filled up a couple of hours on a lazy afternoon.

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A true classic

Modern games developers! Take note!

You could learn a lot from Prince of Persia.

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jai
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Re: A true classic

Absolutely. Proof that flashy graphics do not make a game.

I was addicted to this when i was at school. Playing on a MacPlus, so just back and white graphics. Was still an utterly immersive game. The shock the first time you [spoilers] jump through the mirror and your reflection runs away [/spoilers] i still remember.

And then later, when you finally have to battle your evil reflection and the frustration of trying to kill him over and over until at some point the light goes on over your head and the realise what's necessary... classic gameplay!

In some ways though, I hope they don't try and revive this. The latest Tomb Raider game was very enjoyable, as a story, and was lots of fun to play, but it lacked the depth of puzzles that the original TR and TR2 had. I fear a modern Prince of Persia would be the same, very flashy to look at, even perhaps a great mystical story to follow, but it wouldn't give you the same sense of achievement that the original PoP gave you when you finally found the way to complete a level.

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Re: A true classic

"Proof that flashy graphics do not make a game"

But at the time the graphics were flashy!

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Paul Verhoeven was rumoured a few years back to be making a film adaptation of The Last Express, though there seems to be no more recent news about this.

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One of a number early PC classics (yes, I know started on non-PC hardware)

Yes, very fond memories of playing this classic game on my Amstrad PC. Other classic games I enjoyed around that time:

.....Gods - A platform glassic.

.....Xenon 2 - Vertical scroll space shoot em up.

These games were polished; Pure quality.

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Re: One of a number early PC classics (yes, I know started on non-PC hardware)

Dang, I never completed Gods... I got as far as the last boss battle - a a giant serpent dragon thing - and slung a load of axes at him... but no cigar.

I don't think I ever got past the second level of Xenon 2, at least without using the invincibility cheat ('F7' at the VGA/ EGA selection screen, then 'i' in-game)

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Re: One of a number early PC classics (yes, I know started on non-PC hardware)

I liked Gods - and there was another on from the Bitmap Brothers called Magic pockets which was also good fun.

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3DS version

It was released last year on the 3DS eshop as the Gameboy Color version.

Its one of a few games I have been willing to pay for on the 3DS so far and I wasn't disappointed. As a bonus over the original you can cheat and save the game state at any point. Makes falling to your death less annoying!

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Go

Don't forget the C64 fan version

You can find it here:

http://popc64.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/prince-of-persia-for-commodore-64128.html

It's complete with music, cutscenes, all the levels, everything. It's a thoroughly impressive piece of work, and the development blog is definitely worth a read.

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Re: Don't forget the C64 fan version

Pfff... in the Sam Coupe world they managed to get their fan version completed and released commercially back in 1992. By pausing the Amiga version frame-by-frame and hand copying the graphics, if memory serves.

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Stop

Running forward is easy

...stopping before you go arse over head into a pit is not. -.-

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Anonymous Coward

Early Virus

Back in the 80s I copied a dodgy version of PoP to my 286 and the Music Virus wiped my drive.

(it played music while deleting everything, or maybe just the MBR)

A great game.

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h3
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I never thought it was that impressive. (TG16 and Neo Geo were around at that time).

Blazing Lasers was 1989 on TG16. (Much better than the PC shooters at the time).

Still good to play now. (I wouldn't play Prince of Persia now - same with the NES there is only a handful of NES games I would still play.)

I never liked it when I played it on a 286 so am fairly certain I wouldn't want to play it now.

(I am not in the business of rebuying stuff unless I actually still want to play it).

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Meh

I worry that you might be right.

There's a version on the Google Play store, from EA, that is absolute gash. All I remember from the original is smooth animation and dying on spikes (much like Another World), so maybe the Android version is actually quite accurate, and I just don't miss the "die repeatedly until you learn the sequence of moves that will allow you to not die" mechanic that dominated games in my childhood (Ghouls & Ghosts, anyone?)?

It's still a classic, though (as are Another World and Ghouls & Ghosts)!

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My favorite version of this game was the Sega Master System port, for no other reason that this was the console I had at the time during the early 90's.

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Oh what fun we had

But at the time it seemed so bad

Trying different ways

To make a difference to the days.

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Coat

Oh so I did get it!

So I wasn't the only one thinking about Maddness when I read that subtitle!

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Madness? I call it Gladness

Title says it all really.

My degree might have not have suffered so much if I have discovered PoP and Civ I.

And after 20 years, I don't remember much of my degree but I have fond memories of these two games.

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The first time I played Prince of Persia was on my Sega Master System. I absolutely loved it and the game looked incredible compared to other games on the system.

I've played many PoP versions, reboots & sequels but the 8 bit Master System version remains my favourite.

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Angel

This game was my childhood! So glad to see it re-emerge on the internet like this.

I remember saving up my pennies as a child and buying my copy over mail order from Special Reserve. I played it on the Atari ST and the PC. Well done and thank you Mr Mechner!

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JDX
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Is it still playable?

Is there an easy way to play the original PC version, an emulator or a web-based port or something? I'd be interested in PoP2, I never heard of that and personally the fighting was my favourite bit!

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Happy

Re: Is it still playable?

I actually have PoP2 somewhere around my backups. I used to have the PoP1 as well, but unfortunately the floppy disk where that lived was also killed by the NATAS virus.

Never could get to finish PoP2 though ... some of the puzzles aren't obvious, you've been warned!

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Re: Is it still playable?

Check out 'DOSBox'. Plays pretty much any DOS game ever written. A list of supported games is on the website. http://www.dosbox.com

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Happy

Re: Is it still playable?

DosBox is the way to go. I can indeed confirm that its playable.

I adored this game, though I came to it far later than many. I built myself a dedicated "early" PC gamer from castoffs in the late 90's and smashed many keyboards (and lost many weekends) to this masterpiece of a game.

Sadly I never did work out how to get past the fight with the reflection. Might have to go back and have another crack.

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Re: Is it still playable?

Dosbox

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Re: Is it still playable?

Spoiler alert!

I haven't played the game (so I may be wrong), but I have seen* that you get past the fight with your reflection by sheathing your sword. Your reflection does the same and doesn't fight you.

* I don't think it was Patrick Moore on GamesMaster, but I can't remember where I saw it.

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Anonymous Coward

See also the code review.

Posted by Fabien Sanglard on his blog at http://fabiensanglard.net/prince_of_persia/. There are also a whole bunch of code reviews of other retro classics there for anyone who's interested.

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Up there along with...

...Lemmings, Elite and the Miner Willy series for the title of 'game ported to the most systems'.

In my opinion at least.

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Prince of Persia + Netware 3.12 + RPL-booting disk-less clients == days of fun

We used to play PoP on a Netware-based network with RPL-booting disk-less clients where people stayed back after hours to participate in Prince of Persia mayhem. This is by far the best game and nothing has ever come close to it, ever. I don't play games anymore because everytime I consider playing one, i end up comparing it with Prince of Persia.

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PANTS

no, not this rubbish game (it was), but El Reg's new "Mountain Lion" non-colour scheme!

Without red & green I am unable to distinguish the up and down-vote buttons.

I fear many of my fellow commentards will be similarly afflicted and might down-vote me by mistake (sob).

ICON: would be a sad face... if I could.

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WTF?

Re: PANTS

"Without red & green I am unable to distinguish the up and down-vote buttons."

Don't the up and down vote buttons have other distinguishing features?

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from kJay

Great article! I have enjoyed playing Prince of Persia since 1991 installing the software from 3 1/4 inch floppy disks for the first two Broderbund games, CD-Rom for Red Orb's 3D version, and CD-Rom for the first three Ubisoft games.

Lots of fun on a single cpu 800 MHz 1/2 GB memory computer I built in 2000 which is still running and I use daily. About once a year I replay each of those legacy games ... each one a fond memory.

I volunteer on the Ubisoft forum http://forums.ubi.com/forumdisplay.php/59-Prince-of-Persia

kakalukiaJay

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Diary

Mechner recently published his diary from the around the time he made PoP, all pretty interesting:

http://jordanmechner.com/ebook/

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Happy

Re: Diary

There need to be more Mechners in the gaming world. Really like his slant on gaming, impressive vision for the end of the 80s!

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This brings back memories! My mate and I played PoP1 through end-to-end on my first ever PC one summer between school and college. Even on my humble green screen the graphics were amazing for the time. We became slightly obsessed with home quickly we could complete key sections - the only game I've ever played where I've developed a similar obsession is Mirrors Edge a few years ago.

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Incidentally; "Turban Sprawl". Bravo!

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Sam Coupe

I remember this coming out for the SAM Coupé but not the Spectrum. But then the clever East European coders made a Spectrum 128 version.

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Re: Sam Coupe

Frankly you could do an entire series of articles on the stuff Eastern European coders did on the Spectrum waaaay beyond the end of its commercial life.

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The SNES version was the one that got me hooked, think the levels were totally redesigned? the console's controller was one of the better ones for games like this - very precise on the direction controller. Otherwise I think this was one game that actually played better on a keyboard. Total classic whatever!

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Available on Sands of Time

The original game is available, in some form, on the Sands of Time game. Gamespot has details for the different platforms. http://uk.gamespot.com/prince-of-persia-the-sands-of-time/cheats/

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I'd rather have the original version of The Legend of Zelda in 2D

I'd still rather have the original version of The Legend of Zelda - in 2D

I have lost interest in most recent games, especially those from the big production houses.

I've really only enjoyed some of the recent indie games.

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Well, I've resurrected the Super Nintendo version with an emulator and been losing quite a few hours to it this week. Oh well, could be worse.

Great 1990s vibe, though your comment about grinding teeth when you get spiked is spot on!

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