It all began in 1989.
The video game industry was at its very beginning – a time when a single man (or so) could make on his own a jewel of programming. Jordan Mechner was one of them with his groundbreaking Prince of Persia.
In addition to a scenario containing all great elements of adventure, the story set place in a completely original and magical world: Persia during the Middle-Ages.
The player embodied a Prince, who had to escape from a well-guarded and highly trapped labyrinth, to save his beloved Princess from the evil clutches or Vizier Jaffar. Within a time limit of one hour, he had to avoid hidden death-traps, jump above deep holes filled with nasty spikes, solve intricate puzzles and battle skilful swordsmen.
Technically speaking too, it was a great premiere: for the first time ever, the characters were fully animated, animating over a video sequence to reach a truly realistic animation (Jordan had to film his brother to recreate each move of the Prince!)
This was the first time so great a challenge was offered to the gaming community, and a new genre was born: Adventure Gaming.
In 1993, the Prince was back in Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame.
The Hero had to struggle against his worst enemy's vengeance – and this time, magic was involved. In a tale worthy of the greatest of the 1001 Nights, the Prince would had to save his Princess and his Kingdom again... To achieve this, he had to survive in tremendous castles and temples all across Persia, all loaded with devious traps, wicked enigmas and blood-thirsty soldiers only aiming at one thing: his death. He had even to tame his own shadow and a Sacred Flame – and eventually to die, to only to return stronger.
It was a wonderful gaming experience, filled with pure action, in a marvellous Oriental world.
Those two games had created a legend, and a sequel had to be made.
Early 1996, a new game was planned, and all the elements to make a new revolution were put together. This game was going to bring the two first episodes into the third dimension, keeping its very essence. There would be pure action, nasty traps, blades and spikes coming out of nowhere to impale or behead the Prince; combats would have an even improved strategic dimension; animation was to be even greater than in previous opuses; Persian fantasy was to reach its maximum...
But the expectations were much too high for the time's technology, mostly in 3D matters. Besides, the developer underwent financial difficulties...
The game was finally released in 1999: whereas there was a real attempt to catch the spirit of previous opuses, Prince of Persia 3D was definitely not a gaming revolution.
The Flame has now been taken over by Ubi Soft, and deep in their Canadian studios, in the place where such great games as Splinter Cell were achieved, a brand new Prince of Persia is being developed, with all the ingredients that made the two first games become famous, allied to an excellent technological knowledge: Prince of Persia The Sands of Time.
Prepare for a Persian storm...
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