Prince of Persia
Box Shot
Prince of Persia
Platform: NES
Publisher: Virgin
Designer: Broderbund
Genre: Hard to say
Players: 1
Published Date 1992
Reviewed by: Adam King

Very few PC games get translated to nearly every game system. Prince of Persia is one of those games, even paying a visit to our favorite 8-bit system, with good results.

In the kingdom Persia, the sultan is off on the crusade, and leaves his vizer Jaffar in charge (not Aladdin's Jaffar, mind you). He attemps to take over the kingdom by giving the princess an ultimatium: marry him in one hour, or die. Problem is, she's taken a liking to you, and it doesn't make him happy. He immediately throws you in the dungeon. Now, you have to escape and defeat Jaffar.

There are 14 levels, and you have one hour to complete them all. The general goal is simply to get to the end of the level, but it isn't easy. You'll have think your way through the levels, hop over pits and make running jumps across the area (after all, this game was essentially the inspiration for Tomb Raider.) Some levels of the dungeon require a bit of exploration while others are fairly straightforward.

You start out without any weapons to defend yourself, so you need to find your sword, or else you won't get far. There are guards throughout the palace, some of them looking for a swordfight (there are also nasty skeletons that can't really be killed, just chased off ledges). Here you can draw your sword and try to kill them... this requires a good balance of striking and parrying. Luckily you can take more than one hit. There are also booby traps to kill you, including spikes, slicers, and pits (your character cannot survive long falls). Gates block your way, so you need to find the correct triggers to open them.

As long as you have time left on the clock, you have unlimited lives (you start the stage over, however). After you complete each level, you get a password. Since you only have an hour to complete the game, it would benefit you to keep trying levels until you get through with the fastest time you can. You'll need all the time you can to get through the later levels.

The graphics are good. You character seems so lifelike as it climbs up and down, and duels swords. However, except for the floors and ceiings, the background does not change. The sounds have nice effects, such as metal clanging, spikes poping up, and more. The music has a nice Persian theme to it. The controls take some practice to get used to, since jumps are sometimes hard to make. Some have changed a bit from the original version. Pressing Up will jump straight up, while A will do a little hop. Your character is always running, so pressing B will make him tiptoe forward. Also, there is some scrolling here (as opposed to the single screen of the computer versions.)

Although it cannot compare to the other PoP games out there (such as Konami's SNES version), as an NES game, PoP is a good choice. It also has some replay value, since you might find secret passages and other ways to the end. Go ahead and take a persian holiday.