In Jordan's Words: About Prince of Persia

Before the 2003 game, before the 2010 movie, was the original 1989 side-scrolling, running, jumping, sword-fighting game I spent three years creating and programming on the Apple II, back when a computer was something you could pop the hood off and tinker with.

Brøderbund published Prince of Persia on the Apple II in 1989. It was converted to nearly every video game and computer console in existence, selling 2 million copies worldwide.

I directed the first 2D sequel, The Shadow and the Flame (1993), then turned away from the prince to spend the next four years making a real-time adventure game, The Last Express.

Another decade would pass before Ubisoft Montreal and I took on the challenge of reviving the moribund franchise for a new generation of gamers with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. That relaunch's success led to the Prince of Persia movie.

For purists who'd like to play the original Apple or DOS games just as you remember them... well, they're out there, but I can't tell you where.

I've published my game-dev journals from that time as a book (in several languages), The Making of Prince of Persia (1985-1993). More behind-the-scenes and archival materials related to that game's development are available in the Library.

2D Prince of Persia's Past and Present

In my new graphic memoir Replay: Memoir of an Uprooted Family (now available in French, coming in English in March 2024), I recount episodes of Prince of Persia's creation from a different, personal and family perspective.

REPLAY also addresses a question I'm often asked: Why don't I do a new 2D Prince of Persia game, using today's technology, to continue the story of POP 2: The Shadow and the Flame (which ended on a cliffhanger in 1993)? My POP2-inspired artwork "Cliffhanger" contains a clue. You'll find the fuller story told in Replay's "blue" and "yellow" timelines.

The newest game in the current Prince of Persia franchise, The Lost Crown, will be released in January 2024. It's a spectacular modern 2D Metroidvania relaunch of Prince of Persia from Ubisoft's Montpellier studio. If you're curious about my involvement with the project, you'll find answers in my blog post announcement about The Lost Crown. The latest details and updates about the game, including links to pre-order, are on Ubisoft's official Prince of Persia site.

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More by Jordan Mechner

The Making of
Prince of Persia


The Making of

The Last Express