Just before the month closes, a word about some Prince mods I’ve played! I’m very familiar with the classic run of 12 levels, but I hadn’t realized until now just how popular it was to make new sets of them…
There are a couple of editors available these days at http://www.popuw.com/editors.html – Apoplexy seems to be the most modern and well-supported despite bafflingly binding the right mouse button to “erase the entire level and fill it with randomly generated junk”.
I first remembered about mods thanks to Martijn, who tweeted that his download of Prince of Persia had a completely different Level 2 from anything he’d seen on videos of the game: https://twitter.com/DavidXNewton/status/1003692727995944960 . It seems the version of Prince that’s available at myabandonware (labelled 1.4) is a modified copy where someone changed the levels to resemble the SNES version of the game (which was really a completely different adventure).
One famous one is 4D Prince of Persia, which was created in Russia – I had always thought that it was playing on the name of the third title “Prince 3D”, but it predates it by five years being released in 1994! This is a set of enormous levels that makes the game a lot more difficult – I remember making maps of the huge mazes as I went through when I was in university. http://www.popuw.com/4dprince.html
This month, I looked up some of the other famous mods that had been created, and found out about Repetition of Time from 2006 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYshsdVpPDE . It explores some of the more unexpected things that can happen when you combine Prince elements that were never intended to be used together, such as using the shadow popping out of the mirror to activate a button that the Prince can’t reach (or alternatively, to work out how to stop him from hitting a close button on his way off the screen). I had a lot of fun working through this one and exploring new ways of using the old items.
On the extreme end, there’s also Prince of Wateria, which requires encyclopaedic in-depth knowledge of the quirks of the game and how to manipulate the bugs to your advantage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtG27eVtgtg The very first screen of this is a puzzle based around having to race to the door while never letting the Prince crouch down, as doing so will trigger the game’s initial musical sting and take up the valuable time you need to reach the exit before it closes. And it just gets madder from there – even just looking at the first level is an incredible showcase of little-known tricks of the engine.