Video Game / Prince of Persia

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Who needs Jerry Bruckheimer?
The first Prince of Persia game follows the story of an evil vizier who, in the absence of the sultan, threatens to kill the princess within an hour unless she agrees to marry him. The princess's one true love, the eponymous Prince, has been thrown into the dungeons, and must run, jump, climb and fight his way through a series of passageways filled with traps, guards and other surprises, while the minutes tick by at the bottom of the screen.

Originally created by Jordan Mechner for the Apple IIe and released by Brøderbund Software in 1989, it was ported to more systems than any Prince of Persia game since. Versions of the game were released for Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Sam Coupé, IBM Personal Computer, PC-98, Sharp X68000, FM Towns, Apple Macintosh, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, TurboGrafx-CD, Game Boy, Game Gear and Game Boy Color. This is not counting the unofficial ports to the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64, the Video Game Remake Prince of Persia Classic, or the numerous appearances of the game as an Embedded Precursor in later Prince of Persia games.

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • Acrofatic: The fat guard in the sixth level (possibly the Captain of the Guard) is an incredibly skilled swordfighter and the hardest opponent you'll face until you face Jaffar himself.
  • Big Damn Heroes: From a mouse, actually.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The first enemy you meet on level 8 looks like a regular guard, but is incredibly smart and doesn't get too close to you, instead taking a defensive stance and only attacking when you try to close the distance yourself. It's actually easier to shove him into the spike pit instead of defeating him conventionally. Also an example of Noob Bridge, since this is the first time you are forced to learn to use the "parry" button.
  • Boss-Only Level: Level 20 in the SNES version poses no challenges other than the Final Boss.
  • Boss Rush: At the end of Level 19 in the SNES version.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The princess's pet mouse, seen with her before the start of level 8. It later pushes the trigger needed to open a gate for you that you get trapped behind. And when you're reunited with the Princess, it appears and watches over the happy reunion.
  • Death's Hourglass: In the intro scene, Jaffar approaches the Princess, raises his arms, and suddenly an hourglass appears. "Marry Jaffar... or die within the hour."
  • Fat Bastard: Level six has one enemy who is this.
  • Final Death Mode: Survival Mode in the remake.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In the SNES version, sword-fighting is a simple minigame where you block, attack, block, attack, block, attack until either you or your opponent messes the timing up. Easier enemies mess up sooner than harder ones. However, the game assumes that you are going to attack as soon as you block, and then block again (if you don't block as soon as you attack, you get hit). BUT, if you wait a split second after blocking and then attack, you will hit the enemy every single time. This works on the very first guard, the captain, Jaffar, and every other swordfighting enemy in-between. Could also be used as a speedrunning tactic, as blocking, waiting a second and hitting them is much faster than clanging swords with them for 15-20 seconds per hit.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The clanging of the saw-toothed traps. To say nothing of the sound they make when someone get chopped in two by them. Yeowch.
  • Interface Screw: One of the large potions in the ninth level (It has green vapour on the PC version) inverts the screen. You have to find a second one to correct it again.
  • Jump Physics: Pretty much averted in that jumping is portrayed very realistically, a rarity for the time, putting your agility on par with a traceur. A running start will allow you to clear a lot more distance than a standing jump (and even then you still have to hold Shift to grab the opposite ledge sometimes), and you only get enough height to climb a single storey or touch the ceiling directly above you (and dislodge the tile if it's loose).
  • Locked in the Dungeon: You are locked in the palace's dungeon in the beginning, and from there your quest to rescue the princess begins.
  • Magic Mirror: Level 4 has one that can't be broken with a sword and blocks one of the paths that the Prince must go through. The correct solution is to have the Prince take some steps behind, then run back towards the mirror and ultimately leap into it. Bad thing, doing so will release his Shadow, whom he must fight later.
  • Nice Mice: The Princess's mouse rescues the Prince in one level by opening a gate he gets trapped behind.
  • Noob Bridge: See the Boss in Mook Clothing example.
  • Poison Mushroom: The healing potions that restore one unit of your Life Meter look nearly identical to the poison potions that take off one unit instead. The SNES version also has two large potions placed together, one of which will kill you instantly instead of increasing your life.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • The skeleton on level 3 is immortal — hitting it with a sword only pushes it away. You need to push it off the edge. Twice. And it becomes active only after you open the door to the next level. Additionally, in the SNES version, you have to push it into a crushing trap to finish it off.
    • The Shadow. First you meet an impassable Magic Mirror after opening the door to level 5. Jumping through it breaks it, releases the Shadow and leaves you with one unit of health. When you meet him next time, he pushes a switch to prevent you from proceeding anywhere but downwards. When you get to fight him, hitting him hurts you too. You need to Sheathe Your Sword and merge with him.
  • Rotoscoping: Used to achieve the smooth animation in the game.
  • Sequence Breaking: It is possible with a well-timed jump to bypass the guard on the first level without ever picking up the sword (a trick exploited by speedrunners). Thankfully the game assumes you picked it up and it is available to use from the second level onwards.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1