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Video Game / Prince of Persia 2

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Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame is the second installment in the Prince of Persia series. Originally released by Brøderbund Software in 1993 for the IBM Personal Computer, it was ported over the next few years to the Apple Macintosh and in Japan to the PC-98 and FM Towns. A Super Nintendo Entertainment System version was released by Titus Software in 1995; a Sega Genesis version never got past the prototype stage.

The story picks up from where Prince of Persia left off (actually, it clarified the first installment's story in its Opening Narration). The gameplay follows the format established by its 2D predecessor, with mostly new enemies, all new Booby Traps and greater variety in puzzles.

Not to be confused with Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the unnumbered sequel to The Sands of Time.

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • Actionized Sequel: This game is far more combat-driven than the first one, often involving fighting several guards at once, which never happened in the previous game.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Prince is informed in a Cut Scene that the sword he found near the end of the ruins is his father's sword.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Just in case you're in a blank thinking how to get the Flame in the final Temple level, if you die in the same screen the Flame is present, the Shadow will automatically rise up after a few seconds and steals the Flame. You can manually turn into the Shadow and steal the Flame manually, but letting the Prince get killed does not cost any maximum hit points.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The enemies in this game often behave suicidally or instantly forget about the player in certain conditions.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Courtesy of glitches in the SNES version, some enemies are much faster than other identical-looking mooks.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Using the Shadow reduces the Prince's maximum life.
  • Cliffhanger: The game ends with an image of a mysterious witch watching the hero in a crystal ball. Word of God has that she was the one responsible for giving Jaffar his powers, killing the Prince's family, and sacking the Prince's kingdom. (Seen here.) However, the sequel it foreshadowed never came to pass. Prince of Persia 3D had a standalone story, and ever since then the series has stuck to new continuities.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The lava pools in the cave levels will only kill the Prince if he falls on them. Standing close to one or jumping over it? Fair game. Interestingly, it is partially averted in the SNES version, where standing close to a lava pool kills the Prince (you can still jump over them though).
  • Continuity Nod: The Shadow, who had merged with the Prince near the end of the first game, is one of the Prince's skills in this game.
  • Death as Game Mechanic: In order to obtain the title Flame (which will allow the Prince to kill the Big Bad), the player must willfully kill the Prince in a certain room, and not do anything when the camera lingers on the Prince's corpse like it happens every time the Prince is killed elsewhere, because after a few seconds there will just be Yet Another Stupid Death).
  • Dem Bones: The cave levels feature skeletons as regular guards, but unlike the skeleton in the first game, all but one have a life bar and can be temporarily defeated.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The Prince burns Jaffar alive with the Flame.
  • Fission Mailed: When the guard in front of the flame kills the Prince, the player gets the normal instructions to press a key to retry. The correct action is to stay dead until the Prince's spirit rises (seen in Prophecy Twist, below.)
  • Giant Spider: One of the rooms in the final level looks somewhat like one (though with legs sticking out at weird angles).
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Armies of Darkness who destroyed the Prince's city of birth and all its inhabitants including his parents. They are mentioned once in the game and are hinted to be associated with the witch shown in the end, who has a snake sign on her forehead that matches the one left in the ruined city.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: They all most definitely are.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • In order to become the Shadow Prince, the player must repeatedly turn around and over again.
    • In order to become the Shadow Prince coated by the Flame, the Prince needs 12 health points. The game generously spawns guards that leave large potions when killed endlessly, however, so the player can keep trying until the Flame appears.
  • Happily Ever After: Subverted in the intro.
    Narrator: And so the young lovers were wed and lived happily... well, for eleven days.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • The Shadow turns from an antagonist in the first game to a helpful skill of the Prince in the second game.
    • The guards in the temple of the Flame all stop fighting and bow to the Prince instead once he manages to take the Flame.
  • Hypnotize the Captive: The game begins with the princess brainwashed into thinking the Prince a poor mad beggar, with the Not Quite Dead Jaffar masquerading as him instead. Naturally, fleeing the royal guards quickly ensues. When the Princess does break out of this, Jaffar "silences her" via using magic to make her fall in a Convenient Coma. She doesn't wake up until the Prince kills Jaffar.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Explicitly confirmed by Mechner in his blog, but it's quite a mission pack. The original game's engine was used, but the graphics, sound and everything else were polished and jazzed-up.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Compared to the previous game, Jaffar never tries to fight the Prince head-on (he probably learned the hard way it wasn't a great idea). He tries to make him flee and then drown with his magic, but when the Prince returns, all he does is send him to another dimension and run from him. He only attacks the Prince if he leaves himself open and vulnerable, or if he's unable to wield the Flame.
  • Not Quite Dead: Jaffar is the Big Bad again, even though he was supposedly dead after the Prince defeated him in the previous game. This subsequently leads to the Prince scattering his ashes to the winds after frying him, at the end of the game.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Prince's parents were killed in a massacre that sacked their home city.
  • Prophecy Twist: "He Who Would Steal The Flame Must Die!". It's a fitting threat, as if you try to approach the Flame, the Prince is burned to ashes. What you must do is turn the prophecy backwards - that is, the Prince must die so that the Shadow can steal the Flame.
  • Puzzle Boss: Like the skeleton in the previous game, the skeleton encountered on the bridge in the final cave level has no life bar and can't be killed. The Prince must get close enough to switch sides with it and then wait for the bridge to collapse.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: In the first game, the Prince was a street boy who became a prince after marrying the Sultan's daughter. It is revealed here that he's the long lost Prince of Basra whose parents were killed during the massacre of their city.
  • Sequence Breaking: It is possible to beat the final temple level without stealing the Flame. To do so, you have to rise the Shadow in any screen besides the one the Flame is in. Proceed normally until you jump onto the platform with the Flame - upon doing so, you can turn around and return the Shadow to the Prince's body. While all the guards will be hostile to the Prince, all level ending doors are also open, letting you go to the final level. The game assumes you did steal the Flame, so you can end the game normally.
  • Sole Survivor: When he was a young child, the Prince was the only one who survived his home city being destroyed by the armies of darkness.
  • Some Dexterity Required:
    • The controls are less forgiving than the original. There are several places where you need to make a running jump exactly off an edge which turns out to be nearly impossible to time right; it feels like the previous game assumes the player want to jump from the edge and gives some tolerance, whereas the sequel prefers to either jump too early or miss it completely.
    • The disembodied goblin heads in the ruins levels require precise timing in order to damage.
  • Timed Mission: You are given a time limit of 75 minutes to finish the game. Unlike the previous game, however, this does not begin until after the first cave level. That's when the Princess breaks free of Jaffar's spell and sees him for who he is, and he silences her with a sickness spell which will kill her if the Prince does not defeat him in time.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Except for at the very end at a point where you should be running instead, the guards of the first stage are all taken down in a single strike each, signifying that the Prince is an Experienced Protagonist after what he went through in the first game. He also has power over his inner Shadow, allowing him to use its power to roam levels without being seen at the cost of some health. And to match this more potent hero, the foes are more numerous and deadly as well.
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: In the final level, Jaffar warps the Prince into a weird otherworld with giant chess pieces, Kryptonite crystals, and an MC Escher-esque battleground.
  • Violation of Common Sense: In the temple, allow yourself to be killed by a monk so your Shadow can leave your body and take the sacred flame.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Some later levels have crushing walls, most of which are situated in inescapable pits under Fake Platforms.