Jordan Mechner Knows How to Party Like It's 1989

Jason Bennett,

June 16, 2024 3:58 PM

It took roughly four years to develop the 8-bit video game classic Prince of Persia, but now Jordan Mechner wants to see you beat the game as fast as you can to celebrate!

They say that good things come to those who wait. For video game pioneer Jordan Mechner, 35 years was the perfect time to celebrate the release of his iconic title Prince of Persia. But rather than mark the anniversary with just some candles and birthday cake, Jordan wanted to celebrate with the gaming community, and what better way to do that than offer up some awesome prizes for those who are ready to revisit the classic, or play it for the first time?

The release of Prince of Persia for the Apple II computer in 1989 marked the culmination of four years of effort and a labor of love. Along the way, Jordan not only innovated his way out of the limitations of the computer's 48k of memory, he wisely followed the advice of his friend and longtime collaborator Tomi Pierce who, upon watching the game in development, intoned: “more combat.” The comment gave Jordan the spark to stretch the Apple II's hardware yet again and the inspiration to bring the game full-circle back to his childhood love of swashbuckling adventure captured in the 1938 Hollywood classic The Adventures of Robin Hood.

The title screen of 1989 MS-DOS release set you on a course for adventure
The title screen of 1989 MS-DOS release set you on a course for adventure

Although Jordan was initially fearful that the game's release in 1989 – at a time when the Apple II was well past its technological prime and popularity – would doom it to obscurity, Prince of Persia enjoyed multipe lives as it was ported to newer computers and video game consoles, leading to the creation of a gaming franchise that continues to this day.

To celebrate the game's anniversary, Jordan collaborated with ThecePlay for the ultimate challenge – by going full retro on the original MS-DOS release and inviting you to beat the game as quickly as possible for your chance to qualify for some amazing prizes. Up for grabs: 3 rare signed copies of Jordan's new graphic novel REPLAY, a story featuring four decades of making games interwoven with Jordan's family saga - ranging from his grandfather who served as a First World War Austro-Hungarian soldier at the Russian front to his father who fled France as a child refugee during World War II.

As well, there's the chance to claim a Steam key to unlock your very own copy of the interactive documentary The Making of Karateka.

Jordan Mechner poses with his new graphic novel release, REPLAY
Jordan Mechner poses with his self-illustrated and written graphic novel weaving together his personal and family history. 

To help Jordan celebrate, all you have to do is download the original computer file from the Internet Archive, or play the game on-line for free at the same address with your web browser. 

But like all birthday parties, there's a time where the guests have to be ushered out the door so Jordan can begin to tidy up his place again, and that deadline is July 8, 2024 at 11:59pm PST.

Congratulations on a fantastic milestone, Jordan and happy birthday Prince of Persia!

Are you ready to join the party? Check out all the details at ThecePlay now!


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