Prince of Persia author releases 1980s source code
Lucky find a glimpse into game history
Retro games fans will be heading over to Github, where Jordan Mechner has posted the source code to his original classic, Prince of Persia.
The posting follows the discovery in March of the original software in “a carton at the back of a closet”, as Mechner explains in this blog post. To recover the data, Mechner called on the assistance of archivist Jason Scott, who among other things is an adjunct archivist for the Internet Archive.
Mechner says the task of extracting the source code from 3.5-inch floppies 22 years old “took most of a long day and night”. The Github archive contains the original 6502 assembly language source code, with some supporting documentation written back in 1989 to help port the game to platforms like Amiga, Sega and the PC.
While interested parties are encouraged to look at – and play with – the code, Mechner emphasizes that Prince of Persia is an ongoing Ubisoft franchise: “Ubisoft alone has the right to make and distribute Prince of Persia games”, he writes.
The archival challenge is described in detail by Jason Scott here. ®
A magnificent achievement.
You have won the official Wet Blanket Award for April, and you have been shortlisted for the annual 2012 Wet Blanket Award. I for one reckon you've got an excellent chance of the big prize.
True. I've always been saying - take all these Rubens, Da Vinci, other "old master's" paintings. Just slaps of various pigments mixed with oil and stuck to a piece of old cloth. No breakthrough chemistry, no synthetic materials. Never understood what the fuss was about...
We still teach the works of The Bard of Avon ... It's not about how it compares to modern kit, rather it's about teaching how to make modern kit work within the confines of current kit.
You assume everyone has your prior knowledge of how to code games, perform blits, is aware of tiles, has no interest in assembly language etc. In other words, you assume everyone else is you. They're not.
Did someone kick your puppy this morning or something?