Karateka and Prince of Persia, classics

Now that I’ve managed to get all of the files on my old 5.25 inch disks off onto my computer and have set up a handy VirtualPC with MSDOS 6.22 installed on it, I’m starting to go through and weed out the wheat from the chaff. One of the first things I found was a game that I remember with great fondness – Prince of Persia. I fired it up and as soon as the game started, I remembered that Prince of Persia was written by the same guy who wrote one of my most favorite Apple ][ games, Karateka. What was interesting was that I had completely forgotten the author’s name, but his visual style was so distinctive that it took me less than 10 seconds to remember that they’d been written by the same person.

What made both games such classics was the use of incredible attention to detail to convey more meaning than really seemed possible given the primitive graphics and sound of the time. All of the characters in the game just moved incredibly realistically and in a way that conveyed personality and emotion. Contrast that with a game like Deus Ex, which was light-years ahead in terms of audio and video capabilities yet had such wooden and dead characterizations that I finally gave up playing half way through when I decided that I didn’t give a crap if the protagonist lived or died. But even with crappy little pixellated animations and tinny audio music, I found myself getting concerned about the princess in Karateka and genuinely worried about having to face the evil boss. Once again, the feeling of the game is as important as the whizzy bang features. (Of course, when you get both as in a game like Half Life, whooo…)

46 thoughts on “Karateka and Prince of Persia, classics

  1. Joku

    If you have a weekend to waste, find Another World. It’s for PC & Amiga. Another name for it is "Out of this world".

    Here’s a quote Underdogs review

    "Even die-hard fans of Prince of Persia will admit that Lester moves much more smoothly and realistically than their favorite Arabian prince. "

    Unfortunately ebay seems to be only place to find it.

    Reply
  2. HumanCompiler

    Totally agree…I remember when "Flashback" came out (I think I had it on Sega Genesis). The graphics were pretty horrible (ahead of its time though), but the way the characters moved made it feel so real and forced you to be a part of the story. I loved that game for that reason! I still like pretty graphics though. πŸ˜›

    Reply
  3. John Morales

    Jordan Mechner was the maker of those great games. He continued the POP series with POP2. (He had nothing to do with POP3, luckily, because that game sucked.) He made the really cool historical drama/adventure game called The Last Express and he recently consulted with the makers of POP:The Sands of Time, which captures the flavor of the original POP and Karetaka. POP:TSOT is an excellent game, pick up an xbox and play it.

    http://www.computerhistory.org/events/lectures/nvidia_06102004/bios/Mechner.shtml

    Reply
    1. paulvick

      Well, get an Apple ][ emulator and try again! The trick is to step slowly up to the gate until it crashes down without killing you. Then you wait until it comes up enough to get under and run!

      Reply
  4. Layla

    Help !

    Does anybody have the manual to play the old version of Prince of Persia ? He wants me to drink a potion with a letter matching the one that is written in the manual…. And there is the alphabet ! :o(

    Thx

    Ly.

    Reply
  5. Bron

    Hey does anyone know how to get past the two chompers on level 8 when your coming back from hitting the button for level nine? Whats your problem jayne?

    Reply
  6. ??????? ha ha ha

    the price of persia original is a verry good game I just can’t stop wanting it back on the old computers that it worked on. But of corse they don’t make them eney more AAAHHG. Do you have eney idea how much I dreem about having it. there must be an original some where on those big floppy discs you can clone it. I’ll tell you about the original game just icase you have a changed one level 3 is grey not green and the magick potion by the thee blades is green I think there is a yellow potion and on the second time round some changes have been made like on he fat man level the hole in the floor is much smaller and he can walk over it pushing the hanging prince of to hiss deth and on level 8 on the second time round if yo fall thourou the floor bourd by the beginnig gate you suddenley are bach it the poison potin room. also ther is a way to fall thourough a ledge and i think thets the hidden level on the beginning credids.

    Reply
  7. leonardo

    I need help!!!!

    I don´t get to drink the right poison in the level 2 because it asks about the manual. if anyone have the manual take me please!!!!

    Reply
  8. John

    Hi guys, does anyone know what to do on the level (think its 12) where the shadow of me is? I climb up to the top of the pillars and if I kill him, I die, he kills me, I die.

    can’t think of any way around it. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?

    Reply
  9. Tor Sverre

    Get an amiga emulator (or whatever system you prefered to play it on), I prefer WinUAE myself. Then get the PoP version cracked by Angel. It will tell you what potions to drink. It even has a trainer where you can choose unlimited time and/or unlimited health ;9

    Reply
  10. coldshadow

    Level12 11/25/2005 4:01 PM Tor Sverre

    When you meet your ghost, just put down your sword down and walk past him.

    i try it before but nothing happened , i just died πŸ˜€

    Reply
  11. Matty

    I have Prince of Persia sitting in my hands right now on a floppy disk. I also just copied it to my usb storage so now it will be with me forever. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  12. awesome guy

    if u want a copy of the game for free (mac only) google macintosh garden (not dure of website) and you can find it there

    Reply
  13. I need the Manual too!!!

    I do remember that you do soemthing like walk into your shadow, but not sure. been many years! I just found a free online version that after a bit of playing works on my PC, but again I don’t have the manual. I remember that I had the same problem many years ago and I just kept guessing till I got it… needless to say it took forever!!!

    anyway anyone got it? please email me at tash_godress@yahoo.com.au

    Cheers, oh and there are a lot of cheats if you can find them!

    Cheers.

    Reply
  14. Brian

    I remember playing Karateka on my c64 YEARS ago. I had the same problem then…I get to the point where I go downstairs to fight a guard. After I kill him, there is an invisible door that I lose stamina on if I hit it. I’ve tried kicking it but nothings there to kick… Am I missing something???

    THIS HAS BEEN KILLING ME FOR OVER 20 YEARS!!! PLEASE HELP!!!

    Reply
  15. Brian

    FOUND IT!!! It’s actually a problem with COPIED versions of the game. Some of the downloads out there now are not "cracked", so the copy protection (which on this game was pretty sophisticated for it’s day) causes you to not be able to move forward after a certain stage.

    I found a "cracked" version and FINALLY…after over 20 years….I WON!!!

    Now I can move on in life. LOL!

    Reply
  16. axer

    I need help!!!!

    I don´t get to drink the right poison in the level 2 because it asks about the manual. if anyone have the manual take me please!!!!

    Reply
  17. axer

    I don´t get to drink the right poison in the level 2 because it asks about the manual. if anyone have the manual take me please!!!!

    I don´t get to drink the right poison in the level 2 because it asks about the manual. if anyone have the manual take me please!!!!

    thanks

    Reply
  18. Joe

    Hey I need help. I’ve got Price of Persia 2 and there this bit were you fight jaffar (again:D) BUT you dont have your sword or ANYTHING!! Please I really need help. If ANYONE knows how to stop Jaffar please tell me. Oh, year I forgot to tell you I beat Prince Of Persia when I was 5!! WOOT!!!:)

    Reply
  19. ashwaniorsharma@gmail.com

    need help!!!!

    I don´t get to drink the right poison in the level 2 because it asks about the manual. if anyone have the manual take me please!!!!

    Reply

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