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A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2

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Posted May 31, 2010 - By Kevin Kelly











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A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2

Memorial Day weekend isn't over yet, and that means some of you still have time to catch Disney's swashbuckling The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in theaters. But did you know what brought us up to this point? In our first part of this guide, we covered everything from the classic 1989 Prince of Persia, all the way up to the trilogy relaunch from Ubisoft a few years ago. But, Jordan Mechner's creation didn't stop there. There were more games, and even other creations, yet to come.

Prince of Persia

A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2

Ubisoft decided to reboot Prince of Persia for its appearance on next-gen consoles, and in 2008 they released Prince of Persia for the PC, Xbox 360 and the PS3. This time around, they wanted to focus on co-op gameplay, so instead of the big battles featured in The Sands of Time, this game focused on one-on-one battles. In the story, the Prince (still nameless) meets up with a mysterious woman named Elika, who has magical powers. As the two of you help each other (she'll save your ass multiple times throughout the game, including every single time you fall), you find out she's part of a race of people called the Ahura who have been tasked by Ormazd, the god of light, with keeping Ahriman, the god of darkness, imprisoned. 

However, things haven't exactly gone according to plan, and of course Ahriman to corrupt the world through Elika's father, and she and the Prince have to rid the world of the influence of the dark by restoring the Fertile Grounds. The gameplay was inspired between the back and forth dynamic that the Prince has with Princess Farah in earlier games, and the Prince and Elika grow close throughout this title. Near the end of the game (spoiler warning) Elika dies, but the Prince is able to save her ... although he sets Ahriman free in the process. Setting up a possible sequel. At least, you'd think so. Especially for a game that went on to sell 2.2 million copies.

A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2 The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Confusingly, rather than follow up the 2008 Prince of Persia reboot with a sequel, Ubisoft choose to return to the Sands of Time trilogy, by sticking in a game that occurs between The Sands of Time and The Two Thrones. It was also pegged to be released nearly day and date with the Jake Gyllenhaal starring movie, even though it isn't a movie tie-in game. The game also returned to the Sands of Time concept of multiple enemies, which could include up to 50 at a time, and gave the Prince some elemental powers which could be enhanced by purchasing upgrades from a genie.

In this shoehorned-in plot, the Prince is visiting his brother's kingdom, only to find the royal palace under siege. In order to save the kingdom, the Prince has to tap into the powers of the Sands. Which reminds me: these Sands really need to blow away never to return, because they've become a crutch that the series relies on too much. I could go into more detail about this game, which is just an unfortunate next-gen return to the Sands of Time trilogy, but why not just read our review

The Other Princes of Persia

A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2

Other than the sextastic Prince of Persia: Harem Adventures that I couldn't resist mentioning in Part 1, there have been numerous other outings for the Prince on different platforms. Besides the early Game Boy ports, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was released on the PSP with new areas as Prince of Persia: Revelations, and is in development for the iPhone as well (the classic 1989 Prince of Persia was also ported to the iPhone). Battles of Prince of Persia was the first Nintendo DS appearance for the series, but beware. That game is a turn-based strategy game, which I found out much to my disappointment after I won the game in the contest. 

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones was released on the PSP and the Wii as Prince of Persia: Rival Swords, which marked the first Wii title for the Prince, and the series came back to the DS for Prince of Persia: The Fallen King, which was a companion game to 2008's Prince of Persia. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands was released for just about every platform (except the iPhone), and the Wii version of that game includes the upscaled Prince of Persia Classic. It's highly likely that we'll see the Prince of Persia again, and I'm hoping they return to the roots fo the game, like the 2008 version did. And throw away that Dagger of Time and the accompanying Sands for good.

The Graphic Novels

A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2

Game creator Jordan Mechner came up with the stories for two different Prince of Persia graphic novels. The first one, Prince of Persia was published in 2008. Written by A.B. Sina, it features gorgeous artwork by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland. Inspired by the original games and Arabian Nights, this is a Sands-free story that is easily the Prince's best outing beyond the game world. Mechner also collaborated with Pham and Puvilland on the impressive Solomon's Thieves, the first in a trilogy about the Knights Templar. 

Earlier this year Disney Press published Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm, which features six orignal stories written by Mechner that explore the world of the film. They're illustrated by artists like Todd McFarlane (of Spawn fame) and Bernard Chang. Although inherently tied to the movie, they are written by Mechner and superior to some of the other books spawned by the movie, like Prince of Persia: The Chronicle of Young Dastan. Disney has also published a ton of other tie-in materials, with multiple behind-the-scenes looks at the movie.

A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2

The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (The Movie)

The movie adaptation was beaten this weekend by both Shrek Forever After and Sex and the City 2, which doesn't bode well for the future plans of this franchise. Our own Stephen Johnson's review of the movie highlights some of the problems it has, and it makes me wish that Disney had used Jordan Mechner's version of the script. He also had plans to develop this into an animated film, and here's hoping that might still happen. At any rate, they finally decided to give the Prince a name: Dastan. For better or for worse, this might be the only live-action version of the Prince of Persia that we ever see. Only (the Sands of) time will tell.

A Prince of Persia Primer: Everything You Need To Know, Part 2
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