Prince of Persia Special

Jordan Mechner‘s classic platform game, Prince of Persia, was initially released on the Apple II in 1989. It was very special in a number of ways.

Firstly: it featured ‘rotoscoped’ animation of the human figures. Meaning: the frames of motion were filmed (or videoed) beforehand and used as direct reference for the game animations. Resulting in a very realistic animation style that had not really been seen before.

Secondly: Prince of Persia‘s one-button control system meant that you could control the main character’s movement quickly and intuitively. Running, jumping and climbing in Prince of Persia had a distinct feel to it. Or, at least, it should have, because the game mechanics of Prince of Persia should follow certain rules.

Thirdly: the original Prince of Persia featured some very clever, and very recognisable level designs. Levels with quite a few secrets hidden within them if you looked.

Finally: although Prince of Persia was not particularly successful when it was first released, it did eventually go on to become a big hit. Not long after Brøderbund first published it, Prince of Persia was converted to other systems and word began to spread of its greatness. It’s popularity grew with word-of-mouth.

By 1992 there were around 16 ports of the game available. To date, there are more than 20 different conversions of Prince of Persia available making it one of the most converted games of all time.

What is great about all these conversions is that they are generally quite different to each other. Developers from all over the world – Britain, France, Japan, America – have had a go at converting the game, with varied results.

This week I’m going to be writing about the original Prince of Persia, and many of the interesting conversions that followed.

Here are links to what was published:

Apple II (1989)
Amiga (1990)
Amstrad CPC (1990)
Atari ST (1990)
PC MS-DOS (1990)
SAM Coupé (1990)
Sharp X68000 (1991)
PC Engine/Turbografx-16 (1991)
Sega Master System (1992)
Sega CD (1992)
Game Boy (1992)
Super Nintendo (1992)
Nintendo Entertainment System (1992)
Megadrive/Genesis (1993)
Game Boy Color (1999)
Commodore 64 (2011)
ZX Spectrum (1996)

See also: The 10 Best Prince of Persia Conversions

The King of Grabs


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