Spring Cleaning Reveals Prince of Persia History

| 29 Mar 2012 16:38

The original source code for the 1989 classic Prince of Persia has been discovered stuffed inside a cardboard box.

Old-time gamers will recognize the name Jordan Mechner as that of the man who created the classics Karateka and Prince of Persia. Less well known is Francis Mechner, who made the music for both games and who also happens to be Jordan's dad. Jordan, as kids often do when they move out, left a bunch of his crap behind at his parents' place, and his dad, as dads often do during frantic bouts of spring cleaning, finally got sick of having it lying around. So he stuffed it all into a box and shipped it to him.

"The carton arrived yesterday. My jaw dropped when I saw what was inside," he wrote on his blog.

"No, I don't mean the stacks of Spanish Drosoft versions of POP and Karateka (though those are cool too, especially if you have an Amstrad computer with a cassette player)," he continued. "I mean those three little plastic 3.5 inch disk boxes nestled among them... which appear to contain the ORIGINAL APPLE II SOURCE CODE OF PRINCE OF PERSIA that I've been searching for, off and on, for the past ten years."

From a gamer nerd perspective, this is an amazing find - not the Rosetta Stone, perhaps, but a legitimate piece of cultural history nonetheless. And those sealed copies of Karateka and Prince of Persia are very sweet in their own right too. Mechner said he's pestered Danny Gorlin, Doug Carlston and "everyone who ever worked at Broderbund" over the years in a quest to find the source but had given up on ever actually coming across it.

Now that he has, he's going to work with a "digital-archaeology-minded friend" on getting the data off of the 3.5" Apple ProDOS discs and onto a more modern, usable format. The process may take awhile but he promised to document the progress on Twitter and Facebook.

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