Spring Cleaning Reveals Prince of Persia History

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Spring Cleaning Reveals Prince of Persia History


The original source code for the 1989 classic Prince of Persia has been discovered stuffed inside a cardboard box.

Old-time gamers will recognize the name Jordan Mechner as that of the man who created the classics Karateka and Prince of Persia. Less well known is Francis Mechner, who made the music for both games and who also happens to be Jordan's dad. Jordan, as kids often do when they move out, left a bunch of his crap behind at his parents' place, and his dad, as dads often do during frantic bouts of spring cleaning, finally got sick of having it lying around. So he stuffed it all into a box and shipped it to him.

"The carton arrived yesterday. My jaw dropped when I saw what was inside," he wrote on his blog [http://jordanmechner.com/blog/2012/03/prince-of-persia-source-code-found/].

"No, I don't mean the stacks of Spanish Drosoft versions of POP and Karateka (though those are cool too, especially if you have an Amstrad computer with a cassette player)," he continued. "I mean those three little plastic 3.5 inch disk boxes nestled among them... which appear to contain the ORIGINAL APPLE II SOURCE CODE OF PRINCE OF PERSIA that I've been searching for, off and on, for the past ten years."

From a gamer nerd perspective, this is an amazing find - not the Rosetta Stone, perhaps, but a legitimate piece of cultural history nonetheless. And those sealed copies of Karateka and Prince of Persia are very sweet in their own right too. Mechner said he's pestered Danny Gorlin, Doug Carlston and "everyone who ever worked at Broderbund" over the years in a quest to find the source but had given up on ever actually coming across it.

Now that he has, he's going to work with a "digital-archaeology-minded friend" on getting the data off of the 3.5" Apple ProDOS discs and onto a more modern, usable format. The process may take awhile but he promised to document the progress on Twitter and Facebook.


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Fappy

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That's pretty bad ass actually. Now if only we could located the lost artifacts from Swordquest. We may have won the day but there are plenty of adventures on the horizon...

I'll give a cookie to whoever knows what the fuck I am talking about.
 

jurnag12

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Fappy said:
That's pretty bad ass actually. Now if only we could located the lost artifacts from Swordquest. We may have won the day but there are plenty of adventures on the horizon...

I'll give a cookie to whoever knows what the fuck I am talking about.
You mean the unfinished game series that tied into a real life set of contests with awesome prizes, but never actually finished because Atari went tits-up?

Didn't the AVGN do a review of the ones that did come out?
 

Tomtitan

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It's funny how something only 30 years old still needs a specialist 'digital archaeologist' to read.

And yes, I too recall AVGN's Swordquest review.
 

Fappy

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jurnag12 said:
Fappy said:
That's pretty bad ass actually. Now if only we could located the lost artifacts from Swordquest. We may have won the day but there are plenty of adventures on the horizon...

I'll give a cookie to whoever knows what the fuck I am talking about.
You mean the unfinished game series that tied into a real life set of contests with awesome prizes, but never actually finished because Atari went tits-up?

Didn't the AVGN do a review of the ones that did come out?
Yeah, and that's actually where I learned of this depressing tale. If you haven't watched it I suggest you do. Some cool industry history in that episode.

... oh yeah... here's your cookie >.>

*hands cookie*
 

jurnag12

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Nov 9, 2009
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Fappy said:
jurnag12 said:
Fappy said:
That's pretty bad ass actually. Now if only we could located the lost artifacts from Swordquest. We may have won the day but there are plenty of adventures on the horizon...

I'll give a cookie to whoever knows what the fuck I am talking about.
You mean the unfinished game series that tied into a real life set of contests with awesome prizes, but never actually finished because Atari went tits-up?

Didn't the AVGN do a review of the ones that did come out?
Yeah, and that's actually where I learned of this depressing tale. If you haven't watched it I suggest you do. Some cool industry history in that episode.

... oh yeah... here's your cookie >.>

*hands cookie*
I have watched it actually, it's just that my memory is shite and that all I remembered was remarkably vague. Still, it was an awesome concept to do. And I do wonder what happened to that damn sword.....

Also, my thanks for the sweets, good Sir! */Takes cookie*
 

oldtaku

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Thank goodness it wasn't Mom Mechner. With Moms it's *whoomph* into the garbage can.

(edit: why no, I'm not still bitter at all *sob*)
 

Jazoni89

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Hopefully there are some prototypes of the game kicking around in that box.

Now that would be a treasure.