Even though Mechner has been involved with the series in varying capacities throughout its history, the games themselves have been developed and published by several different companies. The first two games in the series, Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, were developed by Brøderbund. Prince of Persia 3D was developed by Red Orb Entertainment and published by The Learning Company on PC, and developed by Avalanche Software and published by Mattel Interactive on Sega Dreamcast. French-based video game company Ubisoft began developing and publishing the series in 2003 with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and so far have been the most prolific of any company in bringing out new games in the series; the franchise remains with them currently.A film based on the series, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, was written by Mechner and released theatrically by Walt Disney Pictures in May of 2010.
The Prince of Persia franchise has undergone several reworkings (reboots) and many different stories are told throughout the different games. However, they all share similar story elements. For example, all of the games are set in ancient Persia and they all feature a prince, who is adept at acrobatic feats while attempting to save the main plot element.
The Sands of Time series
The Sands of Time trilogy, played out in three games between 2003 and 2005, keeps the common elements of an unnamed Prince, Vizier and Princess (Farah), and focuses rather on two critical elements, namely The Sands of Time and The Dagger of Time, both with elements of the concept of time travel. The Sands of Time have the power to infect and turn all forms of life into dangerous monsters, while the Dagger of Time has the power to slow down, stop and even reverse time. Time travel and its consequences feature both as gameplay and plot elements throughout the series, which is far more plot-focused than earlier games. As well as the three games mentioned below, a tactics game was also released for the Nintendo DS, complementing The Two Thrones, while another mainline game in the series, called The Forgotten Sands, was released in 2010.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Passing through India en route to Azad, King Shahraman and his son, the Prince, conquer the Maharajah of India for honor and glory. After looting the city, they continue to Azad. In Azad, the Vizier of the Maharajah tricks the Prince into releasing the Sands of Time, using the Dagger of Time. The Sands infect everyone in the kingdom, turning them into monsters. The Prince, Princess Farah (the Maharajah's daughter), and the Vizier remain unchanged due to the mystical qualities of their possessions: a dagger, a medallion, and a staff, respectively. On a journey to repair the damage he has caused, the Prince teams up with Farah to return the Sands of Time to the hourglass, using the Dagger of Time. As time goes on, the Prince and Farah start to grow closer, to the point where she admits her feelings to the Prince while he was unconscious. After they make their way to the Hourglass of Time, the Prince hesitates, and the Vizier uses magic to throw him and Farah into a tomb devoid of lights. Farah tells the Prince of the word "kakolookiyam" [From Hindu Sanskrit Fable Panchatantra: Kaka + Ulluka + Iyam: Meaning "Of Kak (Crow) and Ulluka (Owl)"], a word her mother taught her when she was little. The Prince awakens, and the Dagger and his weapon have been stolen by Farah, who left him with her medallion so that he would not be affected by the Sands of Time. The Prince pursues and catches her, but she falls to her death. Driven by grief, the Prince stabs the top of the hourglass with the Dagger of Time, locking the Sands of Time back into the hourglass, reversing the events of the game. The Prince awakens prior to the invasion of the Maharajah's kingdom, and makes his way to Farah's bedroom. He tells her a story about the events of the game, as she does not remember, but the Vizier shows up, and fights the Prince. The Prince emerges victorious and gives the Dagger of Time back to Farah. As he leaves, Farah asks what his name is. He responds by saying, "kakolookiyam", to prove that his story was true.
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
Seven years after the events of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the Prince finds himself constantly hunted by a terrible beast known as the Dahaka. The Prince seeks counsel from an old wise man who explains that whoever releases the Sands of Time must die. The Prince sets sail for the Island of Time, which the old man told him of, in an attempt to prevent the Sands of Time from ever being created, an act he believes will appease the Dahaka. The Prince arrives at the Island and chases a mysterious woman in black (whom he fought with on the sea) through the Empress of Time's fortress into a portal that transports the two into the past. The Prince saves the woman named Kaileena from being killed by the woman in black, Shahdee. Unable to grant the Prince an audience with the Empress of Time, Kaileena instead tells him how to unlock the door to the throne room in which the Empress resides. The Prince makes his way through the fortress, utilizing the sand portals to travel back and forth between the past and present, and narrowly escapes several encounters with the Dahaka. After unlocking the door, the Prince enters the throne room only to discover that Kaileena is actually the Empress of Time herself, who has foreseen in the Timeline that the Prince will kill her and who has decided to attempt to defy her fate, just as the Prince is doing. A battle ensues and the Prince proves victorious; he kills Kaileena and returns to the present. He believes that he has changed his fate, but another encounter with the Dahaka forces him to realize that in killing Kaileena, he was, in essence, the one to create the Sands of Time (as the Sands were created from her remains). The Prince then learns of a magical artifact called the Mask of the Wraith, which is said to transport the wearer into the past, allowing the wearer to alter his own Timeline. The Prince wastes no time in seeking out and donning the mask, which transforms him into the Sand Wraith and sends him back to the time when he first arrived on the Island of Time. He formulates a plan to force Kaileena into the present with him, believing that if he kills her then, the Sands of Time will be created seven years after the events of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, meaning it will be impossible for the Prince to release them in Azad. While still in the past, the Prince (as the Sand Wraith) ensures that the Dahaka takes and destroys his other self, who has just finished unlocking the door to the throne room, leaving the Sand Wraith the only Prince in that Timeline. This act loosens the Mask of the Wraith from the Prince's face and allows him to remove it and return to his normal form. The Prince goes to the throne room and, despite his pleas to Kaileena, his battle with her begins as before. He forces her into the present with him, and it is at this point that the game has two alternate endings, wherein the player fights either Kaileena or the Dahaka as the final battle. In both endings, the Prince sails home to Babylon (either alone or with Kaileena) only to discover that the city is being ravaged by war and the old wise man's voice is heard, once again stating: "Your journey will not end well. You cannot change your fate. No man can."
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones follows Prince of Persia: Warrior Within by a few weeks, picking up from the second ending of Warrior Within in which the Prince defeated the Dahaka and left the Island of Time with Kaileena. The vessel that the Prince and Kaileena are sailing on nears the shores of Babylon and, upon arriving, the Prince is horrified to find the city being ravaged by war. His and Kaileena's ship is destroyed and the two are tossed into the sea. Kaileena drifts ashore unconsciously and is taken prisoner. The Prince fights his way through the city to try and rescue her, in the process discovering that as a result of his efforts on the Island of Time, the events of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time never occurred, meaning the Vizier was never killed. Rather, he has grown powerful and now possesses the Dagger of Time as well as his magical staff. The Prince manages to find Kaileena, whom the Vizier has captured, but is thrown to the ground and can only watch in anguish as the Vizier stabs her with the Dagger of Time, killing her. The power-hungry Vizier then stabs himself with the Dagger, transforming himself into an immortal being. The Sands of Time are released as a result of Kaileena's death, and they spread through the city, infecting all its residents. Through an open wound on his arm, the Prince is also contaminated by the Sands and a piece of a daggertail sword is fused with his body. The Prince escapes, managing to grab the Dagger of Time in the process. Traveling through the city on a mission to kill the Vizier, the Prince once again encounters Farah, who does not remember him, and the two decide to travel together. As he continues his journey, the Prince finds that his exposure to the Sands of Time has affected his mind. The infection has split his consciousness into two personalities: the good, yet jaded, Prince, and the cruel, enraged Dark Prince. When consumed by dark emotions, the Prince transforms into this Dark Prince, who possesses different powers and who utilizes the daggertail sword as a weapon and tool. After many trials and setbacks, including a falling out with Farah caused by the Dark Prince's negative influence, the Prince stumbles upon the body of his father, whom he had hoped to reconcile with. The tragedy of the discovery causes the Prince to finally accept his mistakes, and the internal voice of the Dark Prince (which had been growing stronger up until that point) is seemingly silenced forever. The Prince confronts the now monstrous Vizier and finally kills him by stabbing him with the Dagger of Time. Kaileena's spirit appears before the Prince and she cures him of his infection while also cleansing the city, ridding it of the blight of the Sands of Time. Suddenly, the Prince is drawn into his own subconscious by the Dark Prince, and the two personalities struggle for control of the Prince's being. After trying in vain to defeat the Dark Prince, the Prince ignores his taunts, and the evil personality is starved and dies. The Prince then awakens in Farah's arms, his consciousness intact and devoid of evil. Looking out from the top of the Tower of Babel, Farah asks the Prince how he knew her name upon their meeting earlier. The Prince responds by beginning the tale he told seven years ago in Azad, in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
Prince of Persia (2008)
Prince of Persia (2008) is set in a mysterious land (the setting of which is largely based on aspects of the Zoroastrianism religion) in ancient Persia where the Prince found himself in after getting lost in a fierce sandstorm. Following the sandstorm the prince meets Elika, a princess of the Ahura who is fleeing from soldiers. The prince helps Elika defeat her pursuers and follows her to a temple at the center of the kingdom. The pair meet Elika's father, who, it is revealed, commanded the soldiers to pursue Elika. Her father destroys the tree of life freeing the dark god Ahriman who spreads corruption on the land. Outside, Elika explains that they must heal all the Fertile Grounds in the kingdom in order to regain power and to stop Ahriman.
As the Prince and Elika travel the kingdom, healing the fertile lands as they go, Elika reveals that she had previously died. Her father, the Mourning King, could not handle his grief, and made a deal with Ahriman; Elika's life in return for his freedom.
After cleansing the lands the duo return to the temple. Inside, the Prince and Elika must defeat the Mourning King and Ahriman. In order to do this, Elika transfers her own life to heal the tree. The Prince, driven by grief, destroys the tree of life, transferring its life force back to Elika, resurrecting her, but in doing so also fully releases Ahriman. The Prince carries Elika to the desert whilst the temple is destroyed and Ahriman escapes.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Released by the time of the live action film, its story is set into The Sands of Time chronology between the first and second games. The HD version (PC/PS3/Xbox 360), the Wii version, the PSP version and the DS version all contain different plots.
In the HD version, the Prince is sent by his father to the ancient ruins of King Solomon's palace to visit his elder brother Malik, who is the rightful heir to the throne and commander of the army. Their reunion is cut short when an invading army storms the palace and easily overcomes its defenses.
Facing imminent defeat, Malik decides to release Solomon's mythical army which is sealed inside the palace's secret chambers despite the Prince's warnings. The army composed of monstrous sand creatures start attacking indiscriminately and the only ones able to fight it are the brothers as each one carries one half of the medallion that serves as the key to the seal and protects them from the monsters' powers.
Soon after the Prince meets Razia, an ancient Djinn who reveals that the army did not belong to King Solomon, but was actually created to destroy him. She asks the Prince to have him and Malik rejoin their halves of the key in order to seal the army once more. But as the Prince meets Malik he finds that just like him, his brother grows strong as he destroys the soldiers of the army and is unwilling to part with his half. As the game progresses, the prince tries to convince his brother to help him seal the army without success until the duo is forced to confront Ratash, another Djinn who is the real creator of the army. Malik manages to defeat Ratash, but its essence gets absorbed by his body and eventually Ratash's power overcomes his will.
With Malik's half of the seal destroyed, the only way to destroy the army according to Razia is by killing Ratash, using a special sword forged by the Djinn. The Prince manages to retrieve the sword from the ancient city of the Djinn and Razia fuses her essence with the sword in order to empower it. Despite being unwilling to attack his own brother, the Prince confronts and destroys Ratash at the highest spot of the palace. Ratash finally disappears, leaving a dying Malik in his brother's arms. With no response from Razia after Ratash's defeat, the Prince puts the sword back where he obtained it and departs sorrowfully to give the news of Malik's death to his father.
In the Wii version, which occurs chronogically at roughly the same time, the Prince has left his father's side in search of a Kingdom to conquer. In the Persian desert wilderness he has discovered the forgotten kingdom of Izdihar. As the ruins crumble around him, his life is saved by the djinn Zahra, who tells the prince she will lead him into the heart of Izdihar to help him conquer it. But as the Prince proceeds he discovers the country is occupied by strange beasts and dangerous forces that force him to question Zahra's motives. He discovers Zahra's existence is as a guardian of Izdahar and she has led him on a perilous journey to rid the kingdom of its powerful and evil possessors. They are a dark sorceress and a monster that was once a man. No longer possessing the dagger of time, the Prince is forced to learn new powers that will help him in his quest. He learns from the djinn how to manipulate sand to give him powers that will help him scale heights beyond all belief, and to evade death.
The PSP version features a plot in which the prophecy is written that a member of Prince's royal family will bring end to an evil fire spirit Ahihud's dark reign over hidden mystic land. To ensure his survival, the evil spirit's minions hunt down those with the royal blood. Prince escapes his tower, where he is kept protected by his father, and pursues a mysterious guiding light, which turns out to be Helem, a spirit of time who promises to help the Prince defeat his enemy.
The plot of the DS version centers around the Prince character being abducted by a cult. This cult brings the Prince to an ancient temple in India and uses his sword, which houses the Djinn queen Razia, to obtain a blood sacrifice from him. Using the Prince's royal blood and Razia's Sand powers, the cult liberates an evil force locked in the temple, erasing the Prince's memory and stealing Razia's powers in the process. The temple collapses as the evil is freed, and the Prince falls into a pit. At the bottom, Razia's spirit leads the Prince to his weapon, and tells him that the ceremony he was abducted for is the reason why he does not remember anything. She informs him further that he is a prince, and that he and Razia are longtime friends, which the Prince believes. He decides to follow her instructions warily, as he does not remember anything himself. They escape from the bottom of the collapsed temple and Razia tells the Prince that their quest must be to hunt down and kill the three members of the cult who abducted them.
Prince of Persia Trilogy
The Prince of Persia Trilogy (known as Prince of Persia Trilogy 3D on the title screen) is a remastered collection of The Sands of Time trilogy released exclusively on PlayStation 3 as part of the Classics HD range. The collection includes The Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, all previously released on sixth-generation video game consoles and PC, remastered in HD with 3D and PlayStation Network Trophy support on one Blu-ray Disc. It was released on November 19, 2010 on Blu-ray in PAL regions. The release marks the first Classics HD title to not be published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
In North America the three games were originally released separately as downloadable only titles on the PlayStation Store. The first, The Sands of Time, was released on November 16, 2010 while the other two games followed in December 2010.The Blu-ray version was to be released in North America on March 22, 2011but the collection was later delayed until April 19, 2011.
Prince of Persia graphic novel
Jordan Mechner finished writing the story for a graphic novel in 2007. The novel was written by A.B. Sina, and illustrated by Alex Puvilland and LeUyen Pham. It was released by First Second Books in autumn 2008.The story follows two Princes, jumping to and from the 9th and 13th centuries. Although it belongs to the franchise the plot is not related to any of the game continuities or that of the 2010 film.
Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm
"Before the Sandstorm" is a 2010 one-shot comic book that serves as a direct prequel to the feature film and thus explaines the motives and backgrounds of some characters. It was published by Disney press and written by Jordan Mechner with illustrations by Todd Mcfarlane, Nico Henrichon, David Lopez and Bernard Chang.
Film adaptationPrince of Persia: The Sands of Time (film)
The Prince's darker side
In both original 2D games and The Sands of Time trilogy the Prince encounters alternate forms of himself.
The Shadow is created in Prince of Persia when the Prince leaps through a magic mirror. The Shadow mimics the appearance of the Prince, but is clad in darker coloured clothes. It hinders the player's progress several times throughout the game, but in the end the Shadow and the Prince merge, becoming a single person once again. The Shadow returns in Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, but this time, rather than being a separate being which hinders the Prince's progress, the Prince can become the Shadow, abandoning his body to become an invisible ghost. The Shadow allows the Prince to retrieve a sacred blue flame from a temple, as the Prince is killed by a guard. When the Shadow retrieves the blue flames, the Prince rises again, this time possessing the flames himself. During the end events of the game, the Prince takes the appearance of the Shadow again, using it to launch the sacred flame at Jaffar, killing him. The Shadow then merges again with the Prince, making no further appearances.
In Warrior Within the Prince encounters the "Sand Wraith", who is later revealed to be the Prince from the future, wearing the "Mask of the Wraith" - a powerful ancient artifact, which can be used to travel back in time to fix one's previous mistakes. The Sand Wraith has much improved time controlling abilities, but his health degrades over time. With the help of the Mask, the Prince manages to sacrifice himself from the past and change his fate.
In The Two Thrones the Prince is infected with the essence of the Sands of Time, which causes him to develop an evil alternate personality - The Dark Prince, which in turn is the evil side of him for the past seven years, which led to the events and the reason why Warrior Within is so brutal and bloody. The Dark Prince has some improved fighting and acrobatic skills, but his health also degrades over time, so he must regularly consume Sands of Time to remain alive. The Prince reverts back to his normal form by touching water. Sensing that his alternate personality is slowly taking him over, the Prince finally manages to overcome it and defeats his enemies on his own.
The Dagger of Time is a powerful weapon, capable of allowing its wielder to harness the power of the Sands of Time, and manipulate time itself. If the wielder steps into a large concentration of the Sands of Time, the Dagger of Time will allow them a brief look into the future. The Dagger of Time also is capable of making its wielder immortal. If the wielder uses the weapon to harness the power of the Sands of Time, then impales themselves with the blade, it will embed the Sands of Time into that wielder, making them immortal. The Dagger of Time is also the "key" which opens the lock on the Hourglass of Time.
The Dagger of Time was created on the Island of Time for the ability of controlling the sands, as indicated by the Vizier in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, who expressed his feelings over finding it there. It was stolen from the Island of Time before the events of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time by the Maharajah of India, along with the Hourglass of Time, which contain the Sands of Time. The Prince uses the Dagger of Time to release the Sands of Time during the events of the game. This brings about a plague of sorts; only carriers of the artifacts of time avoid mutation, and the resulting monsters can also only be killed by the artifacts of time. At the end of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the Prince uses the Dagger of Time to lock the Sands of Time back into the Hourglass of Time, reversing the events of the game. He then gives the Dagger of Time to the Maharajah's daughter, telling her to lock it in the Maharajah's treasure vaults.
It is revealed in the Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones that the Vizier is alive again, due to the Prince's manipulation of the time line. Upon searching the Island of Time, the Vizier once again finds the Dagger of Time . He kills the Maharajah of India, and uses his army to invade Babylon, the place where the Empress of Time will soon arrive. He uses it to kill Kaileena, releasing the Sands of Time, but then impales himself, which makes him immortal. During this transformation, the Prince retrieves the Dagger of Time once again. At the end of the game, the Prince uses the Dagger of Time to kill the Vizier. The freed Sands of Time form a physical manifestation of the spirit of Kaileena, who takes the Dagger of Time from the Prince, and destroys it, along with the Sands of Time.