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 and the titular 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
, Amstrad CPC
, Sam Coupé, IBM Personal Computer
, Sharp X68000
, FM Towns
, Apple Macintosh
, Nintendo Entertainment System
, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
, Sega Master System
, Sega Genesis
, Sega 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
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.
- Boss-Only Level: Level 20 in the SNES version poses no challenges other than the Final Boss.
- 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.
- Hell Is That Noise: The clanging of the saw-toothed traps. To say nothing of the sound they make when the Prince 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 hit 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).
- Magic Mirror: Level 5 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 Shadow, whom he must fight later.
- 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 actually kill you instead of increasing your life.
- Puzzle Boss:
- The skeleton on level 3 is immortal — hitting him with a sword only pushes him away. You need to push him off the edge. Twice. And he becomes active only after you open the door to the next level.
- Shadow. First you meet an impassable Magic Mirror after opening the door to level 5. Jumping through it breaks it, releases Shadow and leaves you with 1 HP. When you meet him next time, he pushes you into a pit. When you get to fight him, hitting him hurts you too. You need to Sheathe Your Sword and merge with him.
- 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.