Prince of Persia

From NEC Retro


  • PC-9801 VX
  • Super CD-ROM²
  • Super CD-ROM²

PrinceofPersia PC9801VX Title.png

PrinceofPersia SCDROM2 US Title.png

PrinceofPersia SCDROM2 JP Title.png

Prince of Persia
System(s): PC-9801 VX, Super CD-ROM²
Publisher: Riverhillsoft,
Super CD-ROM²
Hudson Soft (US)
Supporting companies:
Licensor: Brøderbund Software
Original system(s): Apple II
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
PC-9801 VX

Super CD-ROM²
Super CD-ROM²
Non-NEC versions


|og:site_name=NEC Retro
|title=Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia (プリンス・オブ・ペルシャ) is a cinematic platform game originally developed in 1989 by Brøderbund Software and designed by Jordan Mechner. The game saw many ports, including a version released for the PC-9801 VX in 1990, and a Super CD-ROM² version in 1991.


PrinceofPersia PC9801VX Introduction.png

Introduction, PC-9801 VX version.

The game is set in medieval Persia. While the good sultan is fighting a war in a foreign land, his vizier Jaffar, a wizard, seizes power. His only obstacle to the throne is the Sultan's daughter. Jaffar locks her in a tower and orders her to become his wife, or she would die within an hour. The game's unnamed protagonist, whom the Princess loves, is taken prisoner and thrown into the palace dungeons. In order to free her, he must escape the dungeons, get to the palace tower and defeat Jaffar before time runs out. In addition to guards, various traps and dungeons, the protagonist is further hindered by his own doppelgänger, conjured out of a magic mirror.


The game is a cinematic platformer, distinguished by the fluid, lifelike movements and relatively realistic physical limitations of its protagonist, the eponymous prince. Levels are composed of multiple screens with no scrolling in which the prince can move both horizontally and vertically. Gameplay requires problem solving and trial and error to overcome each obstacle. The objective is to lead the prince out of the dungeons and into a tower before time runs out. To do this, the prince must bypass many traps and fight hostile swordsmen. The game consists of twelve levels, which the player has 60 minutes to complete. In each level, the prince must find the door that leads to the next level and figure out how to open it.

The prince walks or turns around with  🡨  or  🡪 . He can tiptoe to step more carefully or position himself more precisely by holding  Space  while moving. He can tiptoe safely through spike traps. He crouches with  🡫  and jumps with  🡩 . He leaps across a wide area if he jumps while running, which can be used to traverse gaps. The player must press  🡩  a couple of steps before the edge to make the leap without running off the platform. When standing next to a ledge above him, he can jump and grab onto the ledge by holding  🡩 . If the ledge is below him, he can hang off of it by holding  🡫  when facing away from it. He can also grab ledges that he leaps onto from a running start by holding  Space . He picks up items with  Space  and enters doorways with  🡩 . In the Super CD-ROM² version, and are used for movement, and are used for jumping and climbing ledges, and is used for tiptoeing, grabbing ledges and picking up items.

The prince finds a scimitar in the dungeon, which he pulls out automatically when he encounters a swordsman. The player can manually retract his sword with  🡫  and pull it back out with  Space . While fighting, the prince attacks with  Space  and parries enemy attacks with  🡩 . The health points of enemy swordsmen are depicted by potions. They lose a health point when they are attacked and die when they lose all of their health or if they are pushed into traps. The prince cannot proceed past a swordsman until he is defeated. If a swordsman parries an attack, he is knocked back slightly, which can be used to push enemies off a ledge or into a trap (but an enemy swordsman can likewise do the same to the prince). In the Super CD-ROM² version, pulls out the sword and attacks, parries attacks and puts the sword away.

The prince likewise has his health points indicated by potions, initially three. Each time he is damaged (being cut by a sword, falling from farther than one floor, or being hit by falling debris), he loses a health point. The prince can find potions in the dungeon that restore or cost health. There are also special potions that permanently increase his maximum health. The prince dies if he loses all of his health points, restarting from the beginning of the current level. The prince is killed instantly by some traps (spike traps and guillotines), by high falls, and by being attacked by a swordsman before he has his weapon out. While the prince has unlimited lives, the time limit continues to tick down for failed attempts, so the player eventually runs out of time to save the princess if not successful. The player is reminded of the time remaining at the start of each level and every five minutes.

Some floor tiles act as switches and open or close gates or toggle traps. Standing on the tile activates the switch. Some ceiling tiles are loose and can be knocked down by jumping at them.

In the Super CD-ROM² version, the player can open a menu by pausing the game with  SELECT  to save the game at any screen, change the speed of the prince's movement or attack, restart the level (without gaining any time back), or end the game. The game also saves the fastest times for completing each level. The player can enter a name, which is used for saving the game and storing the fastest times.



Level 1


Level 2


Level 3
The skeletal swordsmen cannot be killed with the prince's sword but must be pushed into pits.


Level 4
The prince must leap through a magic mirror, which creates his doppelgänger on the other side and drains his health to one point.


Level 5


Level 6


Level 7


Level 8
The prince becomes trapped behind a closed gate near the end of this level, but a white mouse opens it from the other side. It is revealed that the princess sent the mouse.


Level 9


Level 10


Level 11


Level 12
The prince faces his shadow doppelgänger. Injuring the doppelgänger injures the prince as well. To defeat him, the prince must sheathe his sword and merge back into him.


Level 13
The prince battles Jaffar.



The game was revolutionary at the time due to the quality of the animation, and is now considered a classic among gamers. It has also inspired several sequels, starting with Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, and a feature length movie.

Production credits

PC-9801 VX version

  • Original Game: Jordan Mechner
  • Programming: Seiichi Ikiuo (Arsys)
  • Product Manager: Haruhisa Ishizuka
  • Art and Animations: Takaharu Matsuo (Arsys)
  • Package and Manual Design: Kokusai Tsushinsha
  • Cover Illustration: Hirohide Shikishima
  • Music: Toshiya Yamanaka (Arsys)
  • Manual: Haruhisa Ishizuka
  • Special Thanks: Jordan Mechner, Brian Eheler, Hideyuki Kashiwabara, Art-Office Sharaku, Hitoshi Furuya, S.Akatani
In-game credits

Super CD-ROM² version

  • Original Game: Jordan Mechner
  • Product Manager: Kazuhiro Iga
  • Specifications: Yasuki Toyosawa
  • System Planner: Keita Abe, Tadayuki Shimizu
  • Main Programming: Keita Abe
  • Visual Programming: Tadayuki Shimizu
  • Graphic Design: Takaki Kobayashi, Yasuki Toyosawa
  • Visual Design: Akira Ohtaka, Toyofumi Nomura
  • Continuity: Toyofumi Nomura, Akira Ohtaka
  • Musical Composition: T's Music
  • Compact Disc Control: Tadayuki Shimizu
  • Software Anarist: Keita Abe, Takaki Kobayashi
  • Module Test: Toshihito Sugiya, Masanori Kumakawa
  • Color Adjustment: Takayuki Sato
  • Motion Control: Yasuki Toyosawa, Mami Suzuki
  • Special Thanks: Eiji Aoyama, Masanori Wake, Hiroki Shimada
  • Supervisor: Fumiya Matsui
  • Executive Director: Kazuhiro Iga
©1989 Jordan Mechner
©1989 Broderbund
In-game credits (US)

Magazine articles

Main article: Prince of Persia/Magazine articles.

Physical scans

PC-9801 VX version

PC-9801 VX, JP
PrinceofPersia PC9801 JP Box.jpg
PrinceofPersia PC9801 JP Disk.jpg

Super CD-ROM² version

NEC Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
93 №137, p27[2]
Based on
1 review

Super CD-ROM², JP
PrinceofPersia SCD2 JP Box Back.jpgPrinceofPersia SCD2 JP Box Front.jpg
Super CD-ROM², US
PrinceofPersia SCD2 US Box Back.jpgPrinceofPersia SCD2 US Box Front.jpg
PrinceofPersia SCD2 US Disc.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Super CD-ROM²
Super CD-ROM²


Sega Retro has more information related to Prince of Persia
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Prince of Persia

PrinceofPersia PC9801VX Title.png

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