I have actually played this one before, but it was years ago and I mostly just ran through the first level for a bit watching the Prince skid around, then I fell onto some spikes and turned it off.
Didn't an evil villain capture the Princess in Karateka too? I guess Jordan Mechner just likes stories about lone heroes in white rescuing princesses.
Wait, he's not a prince at all! He's just some wandering traveller the Princess met and fell in love with. You know, I don't think there even is a prince in this game.
It probably would have been smarter just to kill the guy, but I guess he's just more comfortable threatening princesses. The Vizier doesn't even threaten his execution to blackmail the Princess. In the original version she doesn't even know her boyfriend's been captured and assumes he's on his way to save her, giving her even more reason not to marry Jaffar.
Even though the game was originally made for the Apple II, I've always considered the Amiga version to have the definitive Prince of Persia look, mostly because it's the one I've played. But the PC version is identical and seems to run a little smoother, so I'm going with that this time.
This is cool, I'd forgotten how the loose tiles in a room jitter a bit when I jump around or run across them. If I can break this piece of floor I'll have a way out of this cell.
Karateka, in this my triangles don't regenerate over time.
Okay I've got two directions to choose from. The right exit is closer so I'll go that way first.
It's not the first game to ever use rotoscoped graphics, (that's apparently the fighting game Karateka, made by the same guy 5 years earlier), but I doubt any earlier platformer had animation this lifelike and fluid. Feel free to point out how wrong I am though.
Back to the start of the game then. With two minutes less on the clock. There's no lives in this, I get as many retries as I can fit into an hour.
Well at least I missed the spikes.
We can either strike or block, and failing to block when the other guy strikes costs a hit point, of which we each have three. This bastard keeps backing away out of my sword range though, so I keep stepping forward into his attacks instead of blocking. I'm going to need more practice with this.
At least I only have to restart back to the start of this level, not the start of the entire game. Unless I do.
SOME SWORD FIGHTING LATER.
You know what, I don't even need health. I'm just going to leave them both alone.
AND THEN I GOT KILLED AND SENT BACK TO THE START AGAIN.
I'm fairly certain I don't have enough time to complete the game any more, but now the timer has taken on a new meaning for me. It's become a measure of how long I have to put up with guards stabbing me until I can turn the game off and play something else.
WHY DIDN'T YOU JUMP YOU DUMB SON OF A BITCH?
Level two complete! Suddenly I'm filled with renewed hope. Maybe I do have what it takes to actually finish this game after all.
(Helpful edit: On Amiga and DOS press Ctrl+G to save and Ctrl+L to load!)
Okay, 4 minutes might not be enough time to finish the game, but I can at least get past this level. There doesn't seem to be any guards around this time, it's just a maze.
I really wanted to like this one, but it's way too frustrating for me. There's no checkpoints, so a single mistake can send you all the way back to the start of the level, which means repeating most of what you just did. And I hate repeating what I just did. I've done that part already, task complete, I've passed that test, I'm ready to move on.
Also, I have no trouble with having to go off the main path to get potions after a fight, but that gets really old after fourteen trips through the same stretch of level. Of course the time limit means that if I've messed up that many times then I've lost the game anyway and I should just restart from the very beginning.
Or better still, play something else. So that's what I'll do.