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The Original Prince of Persia Reviewed
By Douglas Shepard (Editor in Chief, RarityGuide.com)
Published on 09/14/2010
A look back to a great computer game, the original Prince of Persia.

System: PC
Title: Prince of Persia
Publisher: Borderbund
Circa: 1989

While it appears this game has been reviewed already, this is the original series that premiered back in 1989. While the technology around the game was a lot simpler, the challenge was not. In fact, it was much more difficult than it was in the modern day. It has been a long time since there was a game that got released onto so many platforms time and again over the years. While it is the original game in different guises, so little changes between the versions.

One day a peasant managed to scale the walls into the palace. This youth met the Princess and they fell in love. Unfortunately, the Sultan was away fighting a war, leaving his Advisor Jaffar in charge. With this twist, Jaffar gives her a choice, she has one hour to choose between marrying him or dying. Just as the timer starts, he has the youth who has captured her heart thrown into the dungeons of the palace.

While the exact content will vary based on the version of the game that you are playing, the core remains solidly the same. First there is the timer. You have exactly one hour (in most versions) to complete the game. While you can save regularly between levels, but each time you die you reset to the start of the level. Most of the game focuses on puzzles based around timing and pressure plates. There are a few potion based ones as well. With a few challenging fights you will find yourself working through thirteen levels of moderately complex layouts. Scattered throughout of course are health upgrades which improve upon your ability to take hits.


The controllers actually very good, if simple. There are the basics of running and jumping around. The controls change slightly when you enter combat, with your jump button becoming parry (an essential skill in the later game). The Jump mechanic can get annoying though with things needing to be very precise.

These vary depending on the version of the game. Still, overall it has some very good graphics (for the time) and quite fluid animation.

Sound Effects & Music
Here, it does not really matter the version, the music is very simple. It is kept to just a little victory jingle and some very short clips of music spaced throughout the game. The sound effects are also quite simple, but they work very well for the game. The “splat” sound remains one of my favorites.

This part of the series is not terribly obscure. With all the recent coverage and revival of the older material, it is better known.

Summary/Author’s Take
For all the different games that I have played over the years, only a few series have inspired consistent devotion. The Prince of Persia series is one of those. The original was challenging enough even with a guide and help from my friends to get through. This is one game that is more challenging than a lot of others that got published back in the late 80's. Still, it was a great game. The proof was apparent to, as it was released on virtually every console that was out at the time and several that came out even later!

Story: 90%                Prince saving Princess
Gameplay: 96%            Puzzles, sword fighting and pits
Multiplayer: n/a            None
Controls: 94%            A little non-exact, but solid
Graphics: 80%            Simple
SFX & Music: 80%            Very simple and basic. Good SFX
Obscurity: 50%            You're not talking about Sands of Time?
Overall: 96%                A great classic game