Prince of Persia
Prince of Persia is a quite nice action/adventure game which first
appeared on the Apple II some months ago, and got rave reveiws from
everyone who saw it. It's got incredibly lifelike animation, and the
IBM version also supports 256-color MCGA graphics, which look stunning.
The music isn't half bad either, and it supports a number of sound
cards as well. To get it running on a hard drive, you just need to
copy both disks into one directory, that'll work fine. None of this
install from floppy crap.
Anyway, your object in Prince of Persia is to rescue the princess who
is being held by your enemy, Jaffar. To do this, all you've got to do
is get out of the dungeons in which you are being held. The dungeons
have a number of traps, and a few Persians (ie: Jaffar's guards) to
prevent your escape, and you will fall prey to many of them.
In Prince of Persia, you do have hit points, and can die. You are
always resurrected, however, at the beginning of the level you died on,
and you have unlimited lives. It can be frustrating when you get
pretty far and manage to kill yourself by running off a ledge or
something. The only thing you CAN run out of is time - you've got only
one hour to escape from the dungeon and rescue Ms. Princess. Every so
often a message will appear saying how much time you've got left, and
the space bar will also tell you.
Although you can play with a joystick, I find that keyboard control is
a bit more responsive. It may just be my joystick, however. Play with
it and decide which you prefer. Control-K switches to keyboard
control. I think Control-J will switch to your joystick and calibrate
Movement in the game is simple. With a joystick, you just push in
whichever direction you wish to move. With the keyboard, you use the
numeric keypad for movement. The key layout is as follows:
7 8 9
4 5 6
Both the 5 and 2 keys will move down. 4 and 6 are left/right, 8 is
up. 7 and 9 are diagonal jumping keys, and the SHIFT key is your
Here are some of the moves you can do in Prince of Persia:
Push the stick/key left or right and hold it down.
Release the stick/key to skid to a halt.
Slowly Hold the button and press left/right to move
slowly in either direction. Do this to move up on a
ledge cautiosly to jump or drop down, or to make a leap
over a chasm. Also useful when treading on spikes.
Pushing straight up will cause your character to jump
up. If there is an overhanging ledge, he will catch on
and pull himself up if you continue to push up.
If you jump and the ceiling moves, that indicates a
loose stone. Position your character underneath the
loose stone and jump up to try to dislodge it. If you
do, be sure to get out of the way to avoid getting conked
on the head and loosing a hit point. Once you have
dislodged a stone, you can pull yourself up to another
Pushing the stick/keypad in an upward diagonal direction
will cause you to attempt a jump to the side. This is
essential in jumping over small chasms and holes in the
floor, and jumping over floor traps.
If you are running and move to a diagonal position, your
character will do a running jump, which can cover more
area. A running jump will take longer to stop, however,
but it is neccessary often.
Pushing down moves into a crouch position if you are not
near any ledges. Crouching also moves you forward
To climb down to a lower section, or to drop down,
simply position yourself at the edge of the opening,
turn around (so your back is to the hole), and push down.
If there is not a floor below you, you will hang for a
moment and drop.
If you fall, and in this game you certainly will - and
often, you can attempt to grab onto a passing ledge as
you fall by. To do this, simply hold down the button as
you fall past, and you'll try to grab on. You can either
hold the button for a moment and drop, thus breaking your
fall (and limiting damage), or you can push up and
attempt to climb out.
When you are near an item, such as a potion or sword,
push the button to pick it up.
Sometimes you'll manage to get yourself into a position
where you can't escape. Control-A will put you out of
To win the game, you will need to fight. Once you get a sword, you can
start killing some Persian guards. As a fencer, I am dissappointed in
the swordplay's lack of realism, but it DOES beat what most games do. I
have not found a game yet which meets true swordplay in any
satisfactory manner. Anyway, enough of my diatribe. Return the
joystick to the center, or press the shift key on the keyboard (while
not moving) to draw your sword...
Use the direction keys to advance slowly towards your
Use the direction keys to move away from the guard.
To make a lunge (ie: attack), don't push any direction
keys, and hit the shift key/space bar.
To parry a blow, hit the up direction key or push your
joystick up. It's a good strategy to wait for him to
attack, parry the blow, and hit him with a riposte.
Push down, and you'll sheathe your blade. You
automatically put it away after killing someone, so be
careful not to do this in battle unless you want to run
A few things which you may find which afford further discussion include
Potions come in two flavors, red and blue. A red potion
will heal one hit point, and a blue one will hurt you.
When you find the sword, grab it. You'll need it to
A raised floor stone is a switch which is activated when
you step on it. These usually raise a portcullis or
reset a trap.
A floor stone which is level with the other stones, but
has a dark depression beneath it is another kind of
switch. These usually lower a portcullis or spring a
trap. Often these should be jumped over.
When you jump, you may see some of the stones on the
ceiling or floor rattle a little. These are loose, and
can be broken to open new areas, or trap you. Jumping up
underneath loose stones will cause them to crumble (avoid
being beneath them when they do) and running over loose
stones will cause them to collapse (don't stand on them
as they crumble - they don't make good elevators).
Sometimes you may need to return over areas that have
loose floor stones, so use your judgement before
A portcullis simply keeps you from passing through a
doorway. Hit a floor switch to raise one of these.
They are often on a timer, and you will need to hit
another floor switch to return through them. The
switches can be up to a few rooms away. There are also
sometimes other floor switches which will slam them shut.
Some type of drill or spear or something which falls
from the ceiling, like a portcullis. They, too, are
operated by floor switches.
There are often nice beds of spikes for you to fall on.
Don't run over these or fall on them, as they'll kill
There are also other traps and the like to find and kill. Be wary,
and remember that time is counting down. To jump across wide chasms,
try to make a running jump, and keep your hand near the action button
to try to catch a ledge if you miss.
A couple other miscellaneous commands include:
Escape Pause the game. Hit another key to resume.
Space Display your time left.
Control G Saves the game, if you're on the third level or above.
Control L Load a saved game from disk at title screen.
Control A Suicide. Kill yourself.
Control S Toggle sound on/off.
Control R Restart the game.
Control J/K Toggle Keyboard/Joystick.
Control Q Quit to DOS.