Prince of Persia (Classic)

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JaySevenZero
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Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions of Prince of Persia (Classic) for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Mechner
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Re: 437: Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by Mechner »

To put it lightly.. Jordan Mechner and his Prince of Persia...has had a deep and lasting impact on my life, and not only to be my namesake on many internet forums like this one. I have even in fact, named my musical solo project "Mechner" to pay homage to his influence on my life.

Simply, my earliest living memory is my dad showing me how to play this game, at 3 years old, on our family PC. I still remember him pushing in the copied floppy disk, the mechanical clacks of our keyboard as he typed in "prince.exe".

The roaring pc speaker echos in my mind as it attempted to recreate the opening theme, in the way, only, a pc speaker can.

Suddenly I am dropped into a dungeon and a prison door clangs shut behind me.

The game is my ultimate nostalgia, it is engrained into every fibre of my being, as silly as that sounds, it's true. My love of computers, film, gaming, music, creativity and my bond with my father all spawn directly from those evenings spent playing through the levels with my dad. He explained how to play and strategies to get past the levels quickly to beat the timer, and ultimately save the Princess.

I learned about computers, life, music and film from my Dad as I watched him attempt to beat the game numerous times, he also told me of the fabled Prince of Persia 2 and it's dreaded suspension bridge.. the unbeatable skeleton, it was like a mythical artefact to me, would I ever get to play it...? to this day POP 1 is the last game my dad ever played and beat... once I took over, his gaming days were finished, like passing the torch to me.

Though many evenings he would still look over my shoulder and ask "have you beaten the Vizier yet?". It wouldn't be till many many years later I would beat it myself. But I never forgot those days, and I progressively got even more into video games as time went on.

I think that POP, is design perfection... cinematic, creative level design, simple controls and perfect pacing. Easy to play, hard to master. The puzzles are genius. The enemies are individual events "mano a mano", one wrong step can end it all. Exploration is rewarded with extra health and alternative routes.. but also a risk, there are tricks and traps around every corner to stop you in your tracks. The Shadow Prince is unforgettable... The green potion that helps you float, the mouse whom presses the pressure pad, the large guard on level 6, the guard whom waits for you to advance etc. etc. etc..

Many years later, and over with 10 years of a varied and only a partially successful musical career behind me... I bought a book of Jordan Mechner's journals he kept during the making of Prince of Persia. His writing struck a chord with me, he was a one man creative, he did it all on his own, much like myself in my artistic endeavours, I felt akin to him as I had always done everything myself when it came to my music. What was most striking was that he also was a human, as flawed as the rest of us.. Mechner had wants and desires, he was a lover of music and film... had days of self-doubt and procrastination, questioned others motives, and he often wondered would he ever finish the game, or even if it was worth it...

A passage of those journals hit so deeply at the time I read it, with where I was at as an artist, that I knew my next endeavour in music would have to be named after him.

"April 1 1987
In the past three weeks I've put the equivalent of maybe one full eight-hour day on Baghdad. I'm starting to feel guilty about it.

My reluctance to actually sit down in the new office and work on the damn game is so strong, I've been procrastinating by doing everything else under the sun I've been putting off since 1986. Even my taxes.
"

It says it all really.. as I sit here now typing this out, I am 4 days out from dropping my own next big musical release with the first part of a mini-LP and short film all produced by myself due to come out then. This is an ode and thanks to Jordan and his Prince for being with me a life-time, facilitating a lasting bond between father and son, sending me on a lifetime of gaming, opening my eyes to many new experiences and also setting me back on my own creative track with new vigour, showing me that it's ok to sometimes fall short as long as I always keep trying.

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Kez86
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Re: 437: Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by Kez86 »

Might be missing the version for this but I did have Prince of Persia for the Sega Megadrive back in the early 90s. This was one of a few games I had, which included Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 and Aladdin. So going from the speed of Sonic to this was something my young mind couldn't quite handle.

Here are some thoughts:

Fond memories of it... however,

Being only 7ish at the time I found the game incredibly difficult. Could barely get past the second level (impossible game). Countless running into the wall (frustrating). Moving one tile forward and back (awkward as hell). Shuffling, ever so slightly towards the edge of something only to then press the Dpad to much and falling (...why!) Stopping mere inches from the edge of a spike pit (always tense). The horrific scream of the Prince as he plummets to his death and becomes impaled (haunting). Why is it all set in a dungeon, and why can I never get out of it! (one level wonder, I'm so bad at this game!) What, there's no fighting???. The traps! The falling floors, the spike walls. (I can't do this!)

All in all, I hated the game I think. The fond memories I have come from playing it with my Nan of all people, and returning to it with her throughout the years. When my family got a PS1 we gave my Nan our MegaDrive. She became a master at it. She taught me how to properly play games like Bomberman, Lemmings and Prince of Persia. My only completion of the game was a run through with her in the early 2000s. In the years leading up to her passing in 2013 the MegaDrive would still work, and I would enjoy a Sunday afternoon with her getting beaten at Bomberman and other games. This game reminds me of my childhood, my learning that not all games should be played with speed, and that no matter how much you can suck at a game, enjoyment comes from learning from those around you.

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BlueWeaselBreath
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Re: 437: Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by BlueWeaselBreath »

I messed around with the Game Gear version of this game at camp one summer, after years of hearing about it as a classic. It belonged to some other kid, and I only spent a few minutes with it, but I enjoyed it and recognized its status as a spiritual progenitor to Another World, which I’d been recently playing on the SNES.

Can we talk about how many plot elements from this game ended up in Disney’s Aladdin movie?

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timmytimer
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Re: 437: Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by timmytimer »

Prince of Persia is my earliest gaming memory. I have very fond memories sitting on my dad's lap in the 90s watching him play and saying "glug glug glug glug glug" laughing at the sound. But in all seriousness, there is some wonderful sound effects and animation here. I never actually finished it myself (it's difficult!) but I can see it's DNA in so many of my favourite games like INSIDE and Uncharted. Three word review: Glug Glug Glug

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macstat
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Re: 437: Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by macstat »

Im going to keep it short since i dont want to repeat what others said.

Prince of Persia along with Another World and Flashback is one of the games that shaped my love for video game animation. It was one of games that had very detailed (for that time) animation and I just couldnt believe how is that possible in era where a lot of characters had just couple frames of walking animation. But PoP wasnt like that. It had very detailed walking, running, jumping. I sometimes launched the game and just ran back and forth changing the directions just to see those animations.
I also liked the very minimalistic approach to sound. The music was almost nonexistant, with just a couple of audio cues for specific moments like finishing level, finding a potion etc. For majority of the game you heard mostly your own footsteps. It gave the game a nice feel of loneliness that fits the dungeon setting well.

3 word review : Grandfather of animation.

Ps. There's a book "The Making of Prince of Persia" by Jordan Mechner (the creator of PoP). Its basically a journal of how the whole process looked like with some doodles and concept art as well.

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HaloFandango
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Re: 437: Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by HaloFandango »

I have a memory of playing this as a child on my friend Ben's MS-DOS PC back in the day and all I remember is the luscious rotoscope animation and sound effects. Years later as teenagers he bought Prince of Persia Classic on the Xbox 360 and we replayed it again together and all of those childhood memories came flooding back, all with a beautiful HD presentation. Definitely a touchstone of gaming and for me one of the pillars of the platforming genre.

3 word review: Prince Of Perfection

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psychohype
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Re: Our next podcast recording (20.9.20) - 437: Prince of Persia (Classic)

Post by psychohype »

When I was in elementary school, I used to spend countless Sunday afternoons going to the house of some family friends from church. They had horses, a hot tub, and a full-size covered basketball court right next to their driveway. The reason I was there so often is because my dad would play basketball with a group of other adults. As much as I loved shooting hoops with my friends at school, I was always too intimidated to play with the grownups, so I instead spent most of the time inside the house on the family's PC. They had a small handful of games that I'd load up via DOS, including Wolfenstein 3D, but the game I played more than any other was Prince of Persia.

While I can't be sure what year it was I first played it, Prince of Persia was a game that felt so ahead of its time. I'd never seen such fluid and lifelike character animation in a video game before. The realism made it all the more visceral and intense when I would inevitably cause the prince to accidentally fall victim to one of the game's many gruesome death traps, such as a pit of spikes or a guillotine wall that would instantly slice the protagonist in half. Those hazards lurked everywhere, and even once you figured out the right path through the labyrinth of each individual level, you still had to execute the correct timing and placement for each of your jumps. Some chasms were just wide enough that the only way to survive the jump was by grabbing the ledge on the other side and hanging on for dear life. The sword-fighting may have been a tad undercooked in comparison to the platforming, but even those fights with the palace guards were often tactical and strategy-based. Run too close to a guard and they would cut you down before unsheathing your own sword. Stand too far back and you might be forced backward off of a ledge. I remember one guard in particular who was more challenging than all the rest, who not only had way more hit points but also was an expert in parrying — forcing you the player to master your parrying as well.

I never managed to beat the game until years later when it was made available as an unlockable feature in the Xbox version of Sands of Time. But even back then I had so much fun getting as far as I could before the 60-minute timer ultimately expired.

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