Prince of Persia adventures

This was the post I was supposed to write two posts ago when I deviated with digital gaming down the years of my life. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Prince of Persia when it came out. I was in college at the time with a computer that finally had a hard disk. The game was so addictive that I’d become a PoP junkie in a week. I must have played it for more than a year. Towards the end of my addiction I could start a new game and finish it without any cheats, except in-game shortcuts and time saving routes, in less than 30 minutes. Years later when custom ringtones became possible in cell phones, I used a signature PoP sound scheme as my ringtone.
waterlily in our fish tank blooming during the rainsPoP-2 sequel, the shadow and the flame, came out in 1993. Though it wasn’t as awesome as the first one, it was still an enjoyable step up for gaming fans. Global gaming market was running full steam by then so there was a lot of competition and no shortage of skilled and imaginative programmers. I think Jordan Mechner, the creator of original PoP gave everything he had to the first game and then, totally unprepared for its success, skidded by on momentum after that.
I played the third game in the series, Prince of Persia 3D but stopped playing after that. Maybe I crossed some arbitrary age bar and couldn’t enjoy them as much as I did the first one, or maybe they appealed to fresh gamers only and just didn’t work for me anymore.
homes from around the world - school project for my youngest daughterI still play many games, Tomb Raider series for one (especially custom levels) and some RPG, but since newer computers won’t play PoP, I forgot about it for almost two decades. Early this year I came across DOSBox, a nifty little DOS emulator which allows old games and programs to run on modern computers with multi-core processors and GBs of RAM. It is a command line utility and if that’s a problem there is D-Fend, the GUI frontend, which does all the dirty work and behaves like any other Windows software. I’ll give links to both programs below. Either of them will run PoP 1 and 2. But you can’t buy either game since no one is selling them. They are classified as abandonware – abandoned by their makers. A Google search will give you enough places allowing you to download both these games legally. They are free. At today’s internet speeds it takes a few seconds to download them.
I played both versions this year and while I can no longer boast quick and nimble fingers, I didn’t forget the steps – mostly. Twenty years is a long time to get out of practice and getting older doesn’t help. Both my kids laughed at the graphics and the game-play. They are from a generation that won’t even look at a screen unless it’s rendering a million polygons per second in 16-bit colors and require an entire Hollywood production team with a full orchestra for the sound. It’s a pity because better graphics and sound is not the same as better game.
Once you install DOSBox, you’ll find hundreds of old-time games freely available on the net. Almost all of them are abandonware and aficionados will happily share a copy with you. Both DOXBox and D-Fend will allow them to work even on 64-bit windows without any problems.
Here are the links for DOSBox and D-Fend Reloaded. And two for abandonware sites: My Abandonware and Game Graveyard.

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