Friday, December 10, 2010

Memory Card #1: Prince of Persia

Yeah, I thought I'd make a simple flashback post to one of the very first games I ever encountered. Me and The Prince are old pals. We had this copy of the game on my family's ancient Macintosh SE/30 computer when I was about 4 or 5? I was really young I know that much. My parents and I would take turns playing it. If I wasn't playing though, I'd always watch and backseat game the whole way.

Ahh, Prince of Persia. Of course, I don't believe this one was the first. I think it's the second actually. It doesn't really matter to me though because this was the first time I felt hooked enough on something like this to repeatedly play it. I loved the challenge of the platform style game play. I loved that I was helping The Prince save his Princess from the evil Vizier, Jafar (hmm Jafar, where had I heard that name before?).

Looking back on it, I wonder if the Aladdin parallels were put in there for an extra pull in marketing, if Jordan Mechner was just showing his interest in the original Aladdin of One Thousand and One Nights' stories, or if it was a little of both?

That aside, I loved that The Prince was having sword fights with Jafar's lackeys. Okay, I sorta lied about that last part. I loved the sword fights but I hated that I sucked so much at them, ha ha! In fact, I wasn't even too good at the platforming. But, it gave me something to aspire to. Something to achieve. All in all I was just really wanting to know what happened next and the fact that there was a time limit to rescue the Princess meant I had to do all this crap fast!

Prince of Persia was the first game (to my knowledge) that made me daydream just a little differently. Of course, I'd seen a few of the Super Mario and Zelda cartoons (I couldn't watch Sonic the Hedgehog when I was little because it was a bit more "violent" than most of the former two I just mentioned) but funny enough they didn't really stick with me the same way that Prince of Persia did. I think it was the sense of daring adventure and the subtly implied importance of the Prince's quest that did it. Or maybe it was the colours (I'm a sucker for colours). It could have also been the simplicity of it too. I was a very hyper kid back then, and to get me to sit down and devote any of time to one thing in particular was a feat in itself!

I never even got to finish Prince of Persia, funny enough. School and friends made sure of that (not that that was a bad thing). However, for the short time that I had played it, Prince of Persia had definitely made an impression on me that I wouldn't soon forget. I will always have a special place in my geeky heart for it.

Related Link: Jordan Mechner's Blog

Let's meet at the next Save Point!