If you haven’t played it, go play it now. Jordan Mechner’s follow-up to the just about equally great Karateka also used rotoscoping techniques to capture realistic motion. This time, the setting is Persia, where the evil vizier Jaffar has kidnapped the princess and placed a magic spell on her where she will die if she doesn’t marry him within the hour. The brave foreign prince, her suitor, is thrown in the dungeon. As the prince, you have one hour in real time to find your way to the princess and defeat Jaffar before the hour is up. (Yes, it sounds a bit like Aladdin, but this came before that movie.)
The game is nominally a platformer, with awesome running jumps, catching ledges and pulling yourself up, and all manner of traps. But there is also exploration, hidden secrets to find, potions that alter gameplay, some puzzles, and a few neat twists as well.
And let’s not forget the swordplay. You find a sword early on and can defeat the first guard fairly easily. But to progress, you need to quickly learn timing and how to parry. By the final climactic sword fight against Jaffar, I felt like I was Errol Flynn. It was awesome.
This is the original release of the game, which came in a one piece large box with both 5.25 and 3.5 inch disks. There is a re-release that comes in a cool oddly-shaped box, but this is the original version. I still have not quite figured out my lighting, so apologies that the right side of the photo is a bit washed out.