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Video Game / Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

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"One Warrior. Two Souls."

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is a game released in 2005 to conclude the trilogy that began with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and continued with Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. It retains the Free Form combat established by Warrior Within with minor adjustments, toned down the graphic violence, added new traversal options like spring panels and dagger plates, and dropped the Metroidvania structure to return to linear progression. In addition, stealth becomes a major focus before combat starts, letting the Prince eliminate enemies with Speed Kills and avoid losing any health.

Again following the events of the previous game, the Prince returns to his home kingdom of Babylon only to find war erupting and enemies everywhere, caused by none other than the Vizier from The Sands of Time. The Prince learns that by taking Kaileena to the present in the second game's Golden Ending, the Vizier's plan to use the Sands during the first game no longer happens, meaning the Prince never killed him. Seeking to achieve immortality like in the first game, the Vizier unleashes the curse of the Sands once more, partially corrupting the Prince in the process. Finding a darkness within himself that transforms him into a dark creature, the Prince seeks to stop the Vizier once more and return things to their proper state.

While the first and second games are diametrically opposed, The Two Thrones takes lengths to incorporate the two, referencing the events of both games in equal measure and going out of its way to explain the Prince's change for Warrior Within and why it doesn't appear in this game (with the arrogant Prince as a "dark side" of the character that he must contend with). The Prince is much more likable again, and even has regrets over his behavior in the previous game. Thus it strikes a middle ground between the violent edge of the second game and the narrated fairy tale tone of the first.

Penny Arcade made an eight-page comic for it.

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • 100% Completion: Two Thrones defines this trope as the following:
    • Complete all six life upgrade obstacle courses accessed by drinking secret magic fountains.
    • Disable all Sand Gates.
    • Collect enough Sand Credits to unlock all concept art.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: When the Prince falls in a pit, he lands in what seems to be a sewer of some sort, but it is quite large and outfitted with the poles and obstacles encountered in the rest of the game.
  • Action Commands: In a variant of this, the "Speed Kills" have to be executed by positioning the Prince in a specific location and are used to initiate, or pre-empt by killing off, combat instead of being used as Finishing Moves. More conventional examples show up against the bosses, which almost invariably need Speed Kills to be defeated.
  • Affably Evil: The Dark Prince is often little more than a Voice with an Internet Connection; it never actually lies to you, since he's just the shadow of the Prince brought to life by the sands of time, and even starts out actively advising the Prince during the platforming sections. It seem particularly malicious until much further into the game when it starts making demands of the Prince about what he should be doing and why.
  • All for Nothing: The Golden Ending of Warrior Within is given its title by fans because that's the one where the Dahaka dies and Kaileena lives, and is not that easy for the Prince or the player to unlock. Despite all that, Kaileena still winds up just as dead as Warrior Within's bad ending, in order to kickstart the plot and make way for Farah's return.
  • All There in the Manual: The game doesn't tell you anything about the invading army the Vizier commands, outside of mentioning that he killed the Maharaja and took over his kingdom, suggesting that the army is his from India, making them come off as just a legion of Mooks to fight. The Bradygames strategy guide however, has much more information about them, detailing how they are made up of a massive collection of Scythian nomad tribes whose lands were being encroached upon by the Indian and Persian empires. With the loss of their traditional hunting grounds causing a food shortage, the Scythian tribes began to fragment and specialize in certain martial arts, hence the unique look of each enemy type. The Vizier was able to rally them to his side by promising them vengeance against both empires (despite leading the Indian Empire himself).
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • The Vizier mentions that when he and the Maharaja arrived at the Island of Time, they found the Hourglass, the Dagger and the Staff of Time. No mention is made of the Medallion of Time however, which they should have found just like in the original timeline before The Sands of Time. Farah noticeably doesn't wear the Medallion like she did in the first game, or at least not above her clothes. This leaves it unclear whether a second Medallion does still exist in the new timeline, or whether the Prince's manipulation of the timeline meant the one in his possession was the only one that exists.
    • The cause of the Dark Prince's existence is briefly speculated on but never actually answered, with the Dark Prince giving out several theories such as the Dagger of Time or the Sands of Time. The most intriguing one is the four months the Prince spent among the Empress of Time (that is, Kaileena), with the Dark Prince's tone making it clear that he's suggesting it's because the Prince had sex with her whilst sailing back to Babylon in Warrior Within's Golden Ending.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In the segments where you get to play as the Dark Prince, all enemies will drop Sand, giving you a chance to fully recover your health quickly. Even if the combat sections as the Dark Prince are more crowded and chaotic compared to the normal Prince's fights, at least the difficulty gets alleviated by the high chances to recover health. Also, the player will automatically recover full health when transforming between the Prince and Dark Prince.
    • As ever, the Dagger of Time provides this function for the somewhat finnicky platforming and unforgiving combat. It's now also an aid to the Speed Kills, which have very tight windows for inputting the command, and most enemies have two Speed Kill sequences that intentionally require slightly different button timings from each other that can easily throw players off if they're not careful.
  • Are You Sure You Can Drive This Thing?: When the first chariot race commences, the Dark Prince asks this question.
    Dark Prince: Are you sure you can drive this thing?
    The Prince: Let us hope! If I crash, it is the end for both of us!
  • Ascended Meme: One of the preview videos for The Two Thrones has the devs explaining that the Prince doesn't "smolder with generic rage" in the new game, referencing the meme from Warrior Within.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • How the Prince takes out Klompa, first by plucking out both his eyes, then by aiming to the feet and finally the unprotected back.
    • You can also insta-kill Hounds when they're trying to eat your sand reserves by jamming the dagger right into their mouths.
  • Bag of Spilling: The Prince intentionally drops the Medallion of Time into the ocean in the opening cutscene, possibly believing he wouldn't need it anymore, or that he'd be letting go of the memory of Farah by doing so note , thus losing his time powers until he gets the Dagger of Time. He then loses the Water Sword when his boat is sunk by a catapult boulder, and lampshades this trope when he gets his first weapon in the game.
    • The PSP version of Rival Swords elaborates that the Prince indeed had forgotten his sand powers and can drink from fountains inside some sand gates to regain them, provided by the late Kaileena, in addition to recovering full health.
  • Bash Brothers: The Ax and Sword twins, which are only beaten when you know that they work together.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The climax of the game, where the Prince pursues and finally rejects the Dark Prince.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Dark Prince and the Vizier (Zurvan) both pose an equally big threat to the Prince despite not working together.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • When the Prince and Farah attempt to get inside the palace, they quickly find themselves surrounded by a literal army of hundreds of sand monsters of all sizes; far too many to fight. Just when it seems like the heroes are about to be slaughtered, the voice of the Old Man rings across the noise, and everyone turns to see him standing at the front of what appears to be the entire population of Babylon.
      "All hail the Prince of Persia: the greater hero the land has ever known! You have saved the people of this city, and we have come to repay the favor!"
    • Before that, the Prince becomes exhausted after killing the sword thug. Just when the axe thug is about to kill the Prince with a blow to his head, Farah, who'd parted ways with the Prince on bad terms some time ago, returns and shoots the axe thug dead.
  • Big "NO!": At several times, the Prince utters a short one, mostly as an utterance of despair, save for the very last time, when he refuses the Dark Prince's suggestion of trying to undo time again to save his father, accepting the consequences of his own mistakes and therefore freeing his body from the Dark Prince's control. A longer, more dramatic one is uttered right before the final cutscene from the Dark Prince when the Prince breaks free from him once and for all, which may get cut off if players leave the mental realm quickly.
  • Bittersweet Ending: As Kaileena observes just before the final battle, Babylon is in ruins, countless people are dead including the Prince's father, and more will likely follow as a result of lingering consequences of the devastation. Despite that, the Prince was able to grow as a person and accept what was wrong, ultimately defeating the Vizier once and for all and banishing his dark self.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Prince's daggertail. Painfully embedded into his arm and it can only be used by the Dark Prince as a weapon.
  • Blade Brake: Like in Warrior Within, the Prince can leap towards and stab his dagger into banners to safely slide to lower ground from high places. There are additionally "dagger sockets" the Prince can stab his dagger into that allows him to hold onto a certain point like hanging from a ledge, only here he can then Wall Run.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Relative to Warrior Within, at least. In that game, the Sands-based enemies would still bleed quite a lot despite also dissolving into sand, and when vertically bisecting an enemy the interior flesh was very visible. In The Two Thrones this amount of gore during kills is removed, although blood is still present for actual weapon impacts and around corpses strewn about the levels.
  • Body Horror:
    • The Prince getting the daggertail embedded deep into the flesh of his left arm, and the aftermath on his game model which is not shy about showing how much red there would be there (sans actual bleeding). There's also the implied horror of using the daggertail in the Dark Prince form, where the chain would slide out of his flesh to be flung around and then re-embed itself back into his arm.
    • When the Vizier plunges the Dagger of Time into himself to gain immortality, his back sprouts a scorpion which attacks him!
  • Book Ends:
    • Just before the final battle, Kaileena quotes herself when referring to why this timeline is the one she allowed to come to pass despite all the death an anguish: "It held the most promise".
    • The game ends the same way the first one began, with the prince telling Farah the events of the first game, starting with the same lines and going all the way back to the Prince running through the jungle to Farah's quarters.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: In most boss battles, you must make use of Benevolent Architecture to defeat them.
  • Braids of Action: Farah's hairstyle falls under this category.
  • Bullet Time: Happens near the end of the game, when the Prince leaps off from the highest floating platform to deliver the final blow to the transformed but weakened Vizier (Zurvan); the camera pauses at the dramatic moment for a 360 degree view of the action in a Shout-Out to The Matrix, after which you get to perform a Finishing Move the moment the Dagger flashes.
  • Butterfly of Doom: The entire game was caused by one, with two huge effects. Interestingly, both of these are possible in either ending of Warrior Within.*
    • First, by removing Kaileena and preventing the creation of the Sands of Time in the past, the Maharajah never acquires them when he visits the Island of Time, only the Dagger, Staff and empty Hourglass of Time. Without the Sands of Time, the Vizier never strikes his traitorous deal with King Sharaman to invade India and acquire them at the start of the first game. Thus the events in Azad never happen and the Vizier never dies at the hands of the Prince, enabling him to continue pursuing his Evil Plan for immortality. This also has the effect of giving the Vizier possession of the Dagger of Time instead of the Prince.
    • Second, arriving with Kaileena in the present triggers a reaction in the Dagger of Time, giving the Vizier visions of his future attack on Babylon, and of the arrival of Kaileena, which happens in the Golden Ending of Warrior Within. Thus in the four months it takes for the Prince to travel to Babylon from the Island of Time, the Vizier kills the Maharajah for his kingdom, rallies an army and attacks the city. His men, knowing it will arrive, destroy the Prince's boat as soon as it enters the harbor and immediately captures Kaileena so he can use her and the Dagger to become a god.
  • The Bus Came Back: Farah returns to her role from the first game.
  • Call-Back:
    • When getting the first weapon in the game (a regular fishing knife), the Prince remarks that he never has a suitable weapon when he needs it. In The Sands of Time he once awoke to find all of his weapons missing and had to run past the hardest enemies in the game until he found a replacement. At the beginning of Warrior Within he lost his sword and had to use a stick, and later broke an even better sword shortly before running through a prison full of the toughest enemies the Island of Time could throw at him.
    • After catching up with Farah, she immediately spots the Dagger of Time and asks how the Prince came to possess it, similar to the end of Sands of Time when the Prince reveals it to her.
    • In the same scene as above, the Prince offers to ally with Farah, who is initially distrustful but agrees, but only if the Prince can keep up. This also happened in the Sands of Time, but with the roles reversed.
    • In an elevator in the Babylon palace, Farah remarks that she's heard of a similar device in Azad, a reference that Sands of Time players will be intimately familiar with. The elevator even uses the same sound effects as the Azad one!
    • After Durvan sends the Prince falling into the Well of Ancestors, Kaileena as the narrator says that the Prince was warned his journey would not end well, quoting the words of the Old Man at the start of Warrior Within and its Golden Ending.
    • The finale of the game with the Dark Prince conjures areas from the first two games. The Sands of Time has Azad's Fountain of Life and Farah's quarters, while Warrior Within has the sea ship attack and a present-era Time Portal.
  • Chainsaw Good: One of the secret cheat weapons is a chainsaw.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Farah's attire is hardly more than this. It's a good thing she's a distance fighter.
  • Chariot Race: Much to the frustration of many players, a chariot race takes place. Twice! The player has to not only pick the proper way to turn, which may not always be obvious, but also ram into enemies along the way. This seems to be a favorite of Ubisoft's.
  • Cheat Code: Used to spawn exotic secondary weapons that the Prince can instantly use, each with different properties (such as a giant telephone cradle or a chainsaw). The codes are entered while the game is paused between the time the Prince gets his first weapon and the Prince obtains the king's sword while he is not the Dark Prince. Completing the game on each difficulty level will show one of these cheat codes.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The fact that players of Warrior Within may have only experienced the bad ending and not seen the Golden Ending is directly addressed. After describing the bad ending, Kaileena calls it a rumored tale that did not come to pass, then describes the outcome of the Golden Ending as what actually happened in order to catch up players who never unlocked it. Interestingly she never actually explains how the Prince defeated the Dahaka, meaning she doesn't spoil that it's because the Prince picked up the Water Sword before taking her to the present.
    • In The Sands of Time, while it's fairly obvious that the Dagger is protecting the Prince from being turned into a Sand Creature, it's not fully clear that Farah's medallion is an Artifact of Time that's doing the same, nor is it alluded to at all that the Vizier's staff is as wellnote , with both of these details only being mentioned in the instruction manual. In this game, during the Vizier's pre-reveal speech as the Prince climbs through the throne room, he mentions finding the Staff among the Dagger and empty Hourglass of Time, confirming the Staff's status as an Artifact of Time in-game for the first and only time.
    • During the above speech, the Vizier also mentions bringing many books from the Island of Time back to India, which educated him on the Artifacts of Time (Sand, Hourglass, Dagger, Empress, etc). This references Kaileena's library that the Prince passes through in the last third of Warrior Within.
    • Both The Sands of Time and Warrior Within are casually referenced multiple times, including Farah wishing to visit Azad, the Prince mentioning "a lovely island a few week's sailing from here" (the Island of Time), and more. Some of these are given more weight than others, such as the Prince being criticized by his dark self for not being as driven as he was in the previous game.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Other than the Prince still remembering everything that happened, it's quickly revealed that, thanks to the events of the previous game, what was left un-retconned of the first game is now retconned out of existence as well, meaning none of that game's events have happened thanks to the Prince's meddling in Warrior Within.
  • Cowardly Boss:
    • Mahasti, once you transform in the Dark Prince. She keeps running away from one platform to the other as soon as you get too close, forcing you to activate the Eye of the Storm to defeat her.
    • The Dark Prince becomes one in the mental realm at the end of the game in that you constantly chase and attack him, and he won't fight back. If you do not attack the Dark Prince upon reaching him, the next series of platforms in the mental realm won't spawn until you do so.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: When Kaileena is stabbed by the Vizier, she rises afloat in this pose before her body explodes as the Sands of Time.
  • Curse Cut Short: The Dark Prince was going to call the Prince a self-righteous bastard before cut off by the Prince.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The Golden Ending of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is actually made canon, which Kaileena acknowledges in the opening narration. However, footage of the non-canon ending is shown in the intro, with Kaileena describing it as what might have happened.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Some controls and gameplay mechanics change whenever the gameplay transitions to the Dark Prince:
    • The secondary weapon button is now used to control the Daggertail, which has its own unique attack when the button is mashed.
    • The Stealth Kill / QTE's input mechanics get changed as well. If the Prince requires you to time the key presses when the Dagger flashes, the Dark Prince's Stealth Kills require you to mash the button repeatedly until the target dies.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Kaileena is abducted by the Vizer's mooks in the first part, and she ends up dying at his hands by the end of it.
    • Farah in the endgame is abducted by the now One-Winged Angel Vizer, and is rescued when he is killed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Dark Prince is an absolute master of this, as evidenced by his response when the Prince sees people being herded toward the arena below, too far away for him to help.
    Prince: I should do something.
    Dark Prince: Go ahead, fall to your death. That'll be of great use to them.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Kaileena is killed by the Vizier and becomes the Sands of Time in order to set off the plot and make way for Farah. She is revived in the end, and declares that she will now seek out other worlds so that no one can ever abuse the power of the Sands again.
  • Determinator: The Prince is this in a lot of instances. Most notably when the Prince chooses to ignore the cries of endangered citizens, much to Farah's disgust. He changes his mind once she leaves him with some sour words.
  • Developer's Foresight: At the end of the game, the Prince finishes the second phase of the final boss fight by plunging the king's sword into Zurvan. In the third phase, the game makes sure you see that he doesn't have it. And just before the Dark Prince, now separated from the Prince, attacks him and takes you to the mental realm, the revived Kaileena destroys the Dagger of Time, and the game shows that the Prince only has the king's sword when he goes into the mental realm to chase and fight the Dark Prince.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: Played with in some of the boss battles:
    • The first half of the first boss battle against Klompa ends with you tearing his eyes out with a few mandatory speed kill sequences.
    • In the second phase of the final boss battle against Zurvan, you have to remove two of his four wings through two 3-hit mandatory speed kill sequences, before finishing the phase with one more 3-hit speed kill sequence to damage the Zurvan further.
  • Didn't Think This Through: This game retroactively reveals this regarding the Prince bringing Kaileena to the present at the end of Warrior Within. He was so focused on subverting the Maharajah finding the Sands of Time that he completely forgot about the Vizier: by moving the creation of the sands to after The Sands of Time, those events never happen, meaning the Prince never kills him at the end.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Farah does; see Spiteful Spit.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Prince's victory over the Vizier/Zurvan may be this.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the ending, The Prince literally climbs the Tower of Babel to meet a god. It's a little-G instead of big-G, but aside from that...
  • Downer Beginning: The story begins with the Prince thinking he would be warmly welcomed after his adventures, only to realize that it's been taken over by the evil Vizier, whose death in Sands of Time has been undone through the events of Warrior Within. And it only gets worse: Kaileena gets captured and slain by the Vizier so that he could use her essence to rule the city with a powerful sand army and also become a god, then the Prince himself gets infected by the Sands and is periodically possessed by the Dark Prince.
  • Dramatic Irony: Farah remarks at one point that she wishes she could visit Azad someday, unaware that technically, she had done so in the first game and even died there, before the Prince resets the timeline to prevent the Sands of Time from being opened.
  • Dual Boss: The Twin Warriors.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: At the start of the first chariot section, the Prince drives his chariot into some mooks carrying a human prisoner, which allows the prisoner to break out and escape. Eagle-eyed viewers may pick up that the prisoner is Farah from the first game in the trilogy.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During the final section of the game, you obtain the King's Sword, a secondary weapon that can One-Hit Kill any enemy in the game except for the Final Boss. You'll have plenty of opportunity to use it, too. It's also a permanent secondary weapon that doesn't break, and cannot be replaced once obtained.
  • Enemy Summoner: Sand Guards are Elite Mook enemies guarding a nearby Sand Portal. If they spot you, they'll immediately try to activate said Portal, which will force you to fight through many guards to seal it. However, if you manage to keep the Sand Guards from summoning by killing them either in combat or by a Stealth Kill, the portal will remain inoperative. Fortunately even if they still manage it through, the summoned backups are still limited per portal.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: While trapped inside the burning workshop with the helpless citizens, the Prince spots a massive sculpture that resembles his father and pleads Sharaman to help him. He then ponders on his words and gets the idea to use the conveyors to move the statue and use it to crush the gates of the workshop open and let the people escape.
    Prince: Oh, Father, give me guidance, lend me strength. Where have you gone? [beat] Father, gone… Wait, that's it!
  • Faceless Goons: Unlike the former game, all the enemy monsters you encounter wear helmet, masks, bandages or similar to hide their visage completely.
  • Falling Damage: There is falling damage, but it is unconventional in that it is always lethal, meaning that a fall is either be completely harmless or immediately fatal, and there is a certain height level that separates the two outcomes (though there's no way to ascertain its consistency outside of trial and error).
  • Fictional Currency: In this game, the Sands themselves serve as currency. Known as "Sand Credits", they are used in the gallery to unlock artwork when you reach certain milestones.
  • First Girl Wins: The Prince still has feelings for Farah, despite the events of the first game being long overwritten by temporal meddling. Kaileena meanwhile ascends to a higher plane of existence after the sands are freed from the Vizier's control.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Shortly before we see the cutscene that reveals the Vizier to be alive, we overhear the mystery villain telling the captive Kaileena that he journeyed with Farah's father to the Island of Time and recovered some treasures, including the Dagger of Time, the Hourglass, and a staff. He also reveals that he was already an elder at the time and sought to achieve immortality though the Sands of Time.
    • The name of the well the Prince falls into during the third act is called the Well of Ancestors, alluding to the Prince finding his father, King Sharaman, dead inside the well.
  • Foreshadowing: The Prince gains large shoulder spikes when transformed into the Dark Prince. These are the same as the spikes seen by the dark Prince seen in Warrior Within's Golden Ending, foreshadowing that they're one and the same.
  • Free Wheel: Done at the end of one of the chariot-driving sequences.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Stone Guardian from the Gardens: one moment, you're traversing a lushful garden palace infested with enemies. Then, a huge monster made of roots, sand and stone emerges from a nearby crumbled turret to attack you, kinda like the Brutes from the previous game. Unlike them, you end up taking control of the beast to break down a series of gates until it falls dead from the wound and into running water.
  • Godhood Seeker: The Vizier's ultimate plan thanks to the Sands of Time and the Dagger. It kinda works, transforming him in a Nigh-Invulnerable Winged Humanoid with a glowing humanoid body who names himself after Zurvan, Top God and predecessor of Zoroastrism in Ancient Persia.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Throughout the game, Farah aids the Prince from a distance with her bow, whether it is to save his life or knock down a box for him. The Prince, in return, hits all of his enemies with his swords.
  • Hates Small Talk: The Prince. Made clear when he can't even discuss his favorite color or fruit with Farah without complaining about why they would speak of such things and mocking Farah's favorite fruit, the pomegranate.
  • Healing Spring: Returning from the first two games are water fountains that restore your health, and act as save points. Unlike the first two games, you can no longer drink from any water source to heal: normal pools of water are instead used to change the Prince back to normal if the Dark Prince has taken over.
  • Heart Container: Golden fountains that are off the beaten path. If you're able to get past the obstacles without dying, your health will be permanently increased.
  • Hellhound: Hunter Hounds. Monstrous hounds with fiery insides who can absorb your sand reserves and drain them.
  • Here We Go Again!: The Dark Prince sighs these words when Farah asks the Prince how he got the Dagger of Time.
  • Heroic Fire Rescue: The Prince, who's been rejected by Farah for his selfish actions and keeping his infection to the Sands a secret, discovers that people have been trapped inside a burning workshop as a trap for him. He manages to free them, and the Old Man reveals his true identity to the grateful people. Farah witnesses this and reconciles with the Prince, and the Old Man leads the citizens to return the favor by helping the Prince and Farah reach the Vizier by distracting the villain's army.
  • Hide Your Children: Children can be heard among the captured citizens, but none are ever seen.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Included is a blooper reel of things like the Prince fumbling his acrobatics and getting the Dagger of Time replaced with a rubber chicken.
  • Heroic Resolve: When the Prince finds the dead body of his father, he decides to quit trying to change the past and accept his fate, which gives him the strength he needs to reject the Dark Prince once and for all.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: In the previous game's Golden Ending (which is made canon by this game), the Prince acquired the Water Sword that can One-Hit Kill any lesser Sand Creature and severely weaken the larger ones such as the Dahaka. But because of the shipwreck that happens in the beginning of this game, that weapon is now gone. Think about it, if the Prince held such a very powerful weapon all throughout his journey here, there would be little to no challenge in terms of both the plot and the actual gameplay.
  • Honor Before Reason: When the Prince first sees Zurvan in person, in his full god-like state, he immediately tries to take revenge by rushing at him with a knife. To his credit, he was working on the assumption that, since the dagger created Zurvan, maybe it could kill him too. But even the Dark Prince points out that this was a pretty big logical leap to base an entire strategy around.
  • If I Had a Nickel...: As the Prince says more than once: "If I had some sands for every time someone has said that to me..." Also doubles as a Bond One-Liner.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Farah has never met the Prince in the new timeline, so when he first spots her and cries out her name, she becomes instantly suspicious of him and is unimpressed by his awkward excuse of her reputation preceding her. The game ends with him starting to recount the series' events when she asks him to tell her how he truly knew her name.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: The cover features The Prince and Dark Prince juxtaposed on each other, and provides the trope image for Superpowered Evil Side for the longest time.
  • Keystone Army: Once the Prince kills Zurvan, his Sand-augmented army literally fades to dust.
  • Kinder and Cleaner: To get rid of the Darker and Edgier and Ruder and Cruder taste of Warrior Within, the only instance of profanity in this game is just a Curse Cut Short. The Prince is noticeably softer in mood, but his actions in Warrior Within are not swept under the rug either.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: The Prince, essentially. He realizes, however, that most of the misdeeds in the world are, in fact, his fault, and that he needs to right them, but not without first bemoaning the events of his life.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Trailers of The Two Thrones make no attempt to hide the fact that Kaileena is the empress of time and that she dies early in the game.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: At least in the first two games, it is justified how the Prince is able to collect the Sands (In Sands of Time, he directly stabs them to be absorbed by the Dagger of Time, while in Warrior Within, the Sands automatically gravitate to the Medallion of Time in his chest). But since this game is built up from the mechanics of Warrior Within, the Sands still gravitate towards the Prince's chest, even if he threw away the Medallion in the opening cutscene. It would make sense if the Sands are pulled by the Dagger this time, but this is unfortunately not the case. This does however make sense as the Dark Prince, since like the Sand Wraith in the previous game the Sands replenish his health.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: The Klompa and Stone Guardian battles are a Call-Back to the Brute minibosses from Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. Mahasti's initial phase of the boss fight also references Shahdee's moveset.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The fifth sand gate course in the PSP version of Rival Swords is one.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Vizier, upon becoming Zurvan, becomes so impossibly bright he's nearly impossible to gaze, and has massive wings. That being said, he's still an amoral tyrant, and you can get an hint of insect-like legs and pincers in his mass.
  • Lighter and Softer: It's still darker than the first game, but it manages to find a happy medium between the first game's fairy-tale atmosphere and snarky protagonist and the second's darkness and edginess and improved combat. Unlike the second game, the same attacks as before won't dismember enemies or send heads flying... unless you're playing as the Dark Prince.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The cover for the 2007 port, Prince Of Persia: Rival Swords (for Wii and PSP), does this with the Prince and Dark Prince.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Shortly after having his first conversation with Farah, the Prince states that he needs to catch up with her. One of the camera angles when using the dagger plates during this reveals she's idling in the window above him.
  • Mook Chivalry: Zig-zagged: while enemies have no qualms with attacking the Prince from all directions one after the other like in Warrior Within, in The Two Thrones they will attack the Prince much more sparingly once he's been knocked to the ground, giving you a chance to get him back up to continue the fight.
  • Morality Pet: Farah acts as one for the prince.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Mixing the first two games, the Prince wields the Dagger of Time as his main weapon, and can wield and carry swords, axes, maces and daggers as his sidearms. Unlike Warrior Within, there's essentially two or three models for each weapons to be found (the standard one you get from all racks, plus the ones dropped by the enemies.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: Happens at the end during the final battle against the Dark Prince, having the Prince revisit places in his past (including from Sands of Time and Warrior Within).
  • Neck Snap: The Dark Prince's Stealth Kills involve using his Daggertail to suffocate and break the neck of his enemies.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The pre-rendered E3 2005 trailer shows the Prince with a different outfit that resembles a dark brown armor, and the Daggertail glows blue instead of the orange-yellow in the final version.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Due to the events of Warrior Within, the events of the first game have been undone and the Vizier is back to try becoming immortal once again.
  • No Body Left Behind: Sand monsters fade away quickly, dissolving into sand, which the Prince can then absorb to aid in his time manipulation powers.
  • Notice This:
    • The left trigger can now be used to manually activate this trope at certain points to highlight the way out or be aware of enemies, resulting in something far more functional than the Landscape View from the first two games.
    • Used very uniquely at the very end of the game: [[spoiler: as the Prince goes up the stairs to abandon the Dark Prince fight, he stops and the camera looks back to where the Dark Prince is, since the player has yet to defeat him. You're supposed to ignore this call and instead proceed up the stairs to finish the game.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Dark Prince invokes this during one of his last conversations in the game:
    Dark Prince: "If I am selfish, Prince, it is because you are. If I am ruthless and reckless and lacking in morals, it is because you are! I did not spin myself out of the ether; I was not conjured by some mad Vizier. I. Am. You!"
  • Off with His Head!:
    • As the Dark Prince, the player can lop off many sand monsters' heads with ease.
    • Also, the axe thug attempts this on the exhausted Prince for killing off its twin, before it gets shot from behind by an arrow from Farah.
  • Optional Stealth: Stealth kills are introduced in this game as Speed Kills. Almost all of the time you'll find that using stealth and the surrounding environment to take down enemies is the safest approach, as this removes the risk of losing health and preserves the durability of your secondary weapon. You can still barge in and attack all the enemies directly, though things can get aggravating pretty quickly as the enemies do not attack the Prince one-by-one, and Sand Portals will cause enemies to constantly spawn in if you let the Captain activated them. Oh, and the Dark Prince will usually mock you if you can't kill all the mooks of an area stealthly.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Sand monsters were people and animals infected by the explosion of the Sands of Time. Even from the same source (humans), they can get different and variegated.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: When the Prince in his Dark Prince form sees his father Sharaman dead after obtaining his sword, he crumples to the floor in his "My God, What Have I Done?" moment and holds his father in this manner, all the while the Dark Prince's voice taunts him on how to save Sharaman's life.
  • Player Nudge: The Dark Prince can give you hints on how to defeat certain enemies or bosses, or overcome obstacles.
  • Power Glows:
    • The Dark Prince lines on the Prince's body do this, with them growing farther every time the Prince is fully transformed into it.
    • The Vizier as Zurvan glows very brightly, blindingly so in the PC version. Sadly averted in the HD console port, as all the bloom effects fail to appear due to Special Effects Failure.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Dark Prince helps the Prince because the two share the mutual goal of killing the Vizier. While the Prince wants to overthrow him to save his empire, the Dark Prince wants to destroy him just to continue his tyranny in his place.
  • Quicksand Sucks: A deadly hazard that's everywhere in the fourth sand gate course in the PSP version of Rival Swords.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Farah gives the Prince a brief one after seeing his corrupted form, saying she can't believe that it doesn't represent who he is when he willingly abandoned his subjects to their fates due to his lust for vengeance.
    • At the end of the game, the Dark Prince gives a long one to the Prince saying that his own failings are why he's still able to exist despite the Sands having faded from existence. The Prince fires back with a Shut Up, Hannibal! and declares that he is no longer that person, and ultimately leaves the Dark Prince behind at Farah's urging.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You can destroy items to obtain sand energy for the Dagger of Time (and also fully replenish the Dark Prince's constantly depleting health).
  • Ring of Fire: The battle with the Axe and Sword twins takes place in this kind of arena.
  • Rise to the Challenge: The fourth sand gate course in the PSP version of Rival Swords has a tower that the Prince needs to ascend quickly as it sinks into quicksand, so that he can jump to a wall to climb and obtain a sand tank.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The titular Two Thrones appear in the very last stage of the game, in the room where the Prince can battle infinite Dark Princes. These same two thrones appeared in promotional art for the game.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Ultimately subverted. One of the key elements in the prince's Character Development is his realization that going back in time to fix his mistake has only made things worse, and that he needs to accept them in order to save the day. This is especially true regarding the death of his father King Sharaman, as he previously died in The Sands of Time before the Prince used the Grand Rewind to prevent the plot of the game from happening. Despite the anguish it caused him then and causes him now, the Prince decides to accept the fact that he unwittingly caused his father's death rather than try to undo it.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: You can only win the final battle against the Dark Prince by refusing to fight and leaving the room via the staircase behind him.
  • Shirtless Scene: The Prince loses his shirt around the time he first hears the Dark Prince and remains half naked for the rest of the game. He regains it while confronting a separated Dark Prince inside the mental realm, to emphasize the light/dark juxtaposition.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The huge army sequence outside the palace has multiple shout-outs to The Lord of the Rings. The Prince and Farah running from a huge swarm of enemies only to be encircled is straight from the Goblin attack in Moria's Dwarrodelf hall, while the sweeping aerial shots as the two armies clash is from many of Peter Jackson's shots from that trilogy. The Prince talking with the Old Man in the midst of battle as they plan their next move is also reminiscent of Aragorn and Gimli conversing with Théoden during the Battle of Helm's Deep, and as they leave, there's a first-person shot of one of Farah's arrows flying right into an enemy, just like the famous Legolas arrow shot during the Moria stairs escape.
    • The second half of The Well of Ancestors is in a pitch black cavern filled with stone columns and lit only by the Prince's sword. It bears a strong resemblance to the Dwarrodelf hall from The Fellowship of the Ring.
    • The camera's pause and Orbital Shot at the climatic moment of the second-to-final battle in which the Prince leaps off to deliver the final blow to Zurvan is a shout-out to the Bullet Time mode in The Matrix.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: It's not readily clear how you should fight the boss fight against the Twins, outside of the Dark Prince telling you to attack the swordsman despite him blocking all of your attacks.
  • Spiteful Spit: Towards the end of the game, as Zurvan is about to make Farah his winged queen, she asks him for a request, and he comes closer, hoping for her to kiss him once more; instead, she spits in his face in defiance.
  • Stab the Scorpion: When the Prince encounters Farah and tries to awkwardly make up an excuse for how he knows her name, she readies her bow, prompting the Dark Prince to comment "See? Now she's going to kill us." The Prince dodges the arrow that kills the Sand Guard who was about to attack him from behind.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Kaileena, a pivotal character in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within who survives in the true ending, is killed off within the first 15 to 20 minutes of this game. Subverted in that she continues to narrate the game after her "death", and is ultimately restored to her true form once the Prince defeats the Vizier.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The Dark Prince. As part of the corruption of the Sands, the Prince will occasionally transform into what he considers an abomination; his flesh turns to sand with Power Tattoos, and he is able to use the daggertail as a weapon. His health instantly regenerates upon absorbing sand, but constantly deteriorates otherwise. He also gets a handy little voice in his head that stays with him whether he's transformed or not. The voice is the mental manifestation of all his darkest desires, who tempts him with power and constantly belittles him whenever he tries to be anything except ruthless, arrogant, and violent. It's implied that the health draining out of the Prince is actually going into him, and when the former dies then he will have full control over the body. The Prince has to face him down and ultimately reject him in order to finally put his past behind him.
  • That's What I Would Do: When the Dark Prince objects to the Prince going to rescue the people who are trapped inside the burning workshop, he suspects it's a trap on this logic. He turns out to be Properly Paranoid.
    Dark Prince: If I was an enraged Sand god intent on killing you, and you had already slain two of my best lieutenants, well, I'd be inclined to try a less direct approach. One that exploits your new-found compassion.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Combined with Mook Chivalry, all enemies will wait for your Speed Kill to play out (or for you to fail) before they engage in combat. This can sometimes result in the rather amusing image of a guard visible in the background of a lengthy Speed Kill looking straight at you killing their comrade, only to notice and start attacking once you've finished.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The exact machinations behind why the Vizier is still alive and why he decided to attack Babylon now of all times are explained in a line of dialogue that Kaileena, as the narrator, feels is so important she tells the player to pay attention to it. Since the Prince took Kaileena to the present, there's a long period of time where the Staff, Dagger and Hourglass of Time existed, but the Sands of Time themselves did not. The Maharaja's raid on the Island of Time still happens, but since the Sands aren't present, the Vizier never convinces King Sharaman of Persia to attack so he can get them. Instead he keeps the Dagger, which reacts to Kaileena's presence when the Prince brings her to the present, giving the Vizier visions of the attack on Babylon. The Maharaja isn't convinced, so the Vizier kills him to co-opt his kingdom's resources. The Prince remembers the original events of the first two games via unknown means, possibly because he's the one who instigated these changes, or because he possessed the Dagger and Medallion of Time while he was altering the timeline.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Similar to the Prince in The Sands of Time, Kaileena will narrate Game Overs by saying that's not how the story ended. This is somewhat justified: in the intro she implies that she can see all possible futures, meaning each player death is one she mistakenly recounts instead of the one that actually transpired.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Farah, which the Prince Lampshades. It's mostly one-sided, considering the Prince formed a bond with her during The Sands of Time in a timeline that no longer exists, meaning Farah no longer shares the same bond in return. The Prince is good-natured enough though to never force this upon her.
  • Unique Enemy: The Stone Guardian. Massive, unique, inexplicably there, doesn't even have a healthbar!
  • Version-Exclusive Content:
    • The video gallery for each version of the game is slightly different.
    • The PSP version of Rival Swords, the 2007 port of Two Thrones, extends the story with obstacle courses inside the sand gates that the Prince can disable to upgrade his Dagger of Time. It also includes additional on-rails chariot sequences accessible from the main menu, as well as wireless Competitive Multiplayer in which the Prince can race against a separated Dark Prince.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Dark Prince suffers one at the very end of the game, screaming and begging you to come back when you abandon him.
  • Volcanic Veins: The Dark Prince, and the Prince himself when not in his form, the veins creeping up his arm and back.
  • The War Sequence: Outside the palace, where the civilians hold off the enemy forces so that the Prince and Farah can make it inside, taking plenty of cues from The Lord of the Rings.
  • Weakened by the Light: Repti are lepers-turned Sand Monsters who can be deadly enemies in the dark but will recoil and become almost harmless if exposed to sunlight.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: In a later scene between the Prince and Farah, the Prince explains that he and his father did not part on the best of terms years ago, and expresses remorse over it. It's implied that this is when the Prince started to seek an escape from the Dahaka after the events of Battles six years prior, but the Prince now being his arrogant Warrior Within self, he couldn't explain to his own father what he intended to do. This is possibly why the Prince goes to the Old Man for advice instead.
  • Whip Sword: The Dark Prince uses a weapon like this called the Daggertail as his main weapon, and is very, very efficient with it.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: After the Prince defeats the Vizier's godly form, the game looks like it's ending with the Prince handing the Dagger of Time to the spirit form of Kaileena before she vanishes... except that when the Daggertail falls from his arm after he gets cured of his infection, it suddenly becomes a crown, and the form of the Dark Prince appears to claim it and to fight him, meaning that the game is not quite over.

"Most people think time is like a river, that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you... they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who really I am, and why I say this. Come, and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard".
The Prince

Alternative Title(s): Prince Of Persia Rival Swords