Jordan Mechner, creator of the Prince of Persia and Karateka, apparently had lost the original PoP source code, last month received a box from his Dad. In it were a few Amstrad cassettes of his games and, more important, the original Apple II source code stored on 3.5-inch floppy disks.
* Superimpose “Turn disk over” message
The only way to actually play the 1980’s game, until today, was to run an emulated, extracted ROM. Now, with the help of Jason Scott, Mechner pulled all the data from the floppy disks, and posted the source code to Github.
Mechner also plans to bring the PoP back in its original form to the 6502 processor code:
So, for all fifteen of you 6502 assembly-language coders out there who might care… including the hardy soul who ported POP to the Commodore 64 from an Apple II memory dump… I will now begin working with a digital-archeology-minded friend to attempt to figure out how to transfer 3.5&Prime Apple ProDOS disks onto a MacBook Air and into some kind of 21st-century-readable format. (Yuri Lowenthal, you can guess who I’m talking about.)
Mechner and Scott both shared their own description of the process of pulling the data — here is waht Scott’s said:
Pulling data off dead media in the present day is both easier than it ever has been, and as frustrating as ever. (When I say “dead,” I mean the format. You can’t really go down to the local store and buy a box of 5.25&Prime floppy disks any more, nor would you want to — a USB stick will give you well over a million times the space and cost you almost nothing.) Thanks to a lot of work by a lot of different people, pulling the data off these floppies can now be as simple as putting it into a vintage disk drive, or a modified recent one, and pulling the individual sectors right into a file that can go into the internet in seconds. But just as it’s so trivial to do this, any clever tricks done to the floppy that made sense way back then could make it a puzzle wrapped in a goose chase to extract. Not to mention, these discs are old — in this case, at least twenty years old, and they’re just magnetic flaps of plastic sealed inside a couple of other sheets of plastic. A lot can go wrong, and no extraction is guaranteed.
You can grab all of the PoP source code right here.
Here is Making of Prince of Persia video:
Prince of Persia 1 Speed Run (PC, DOS):
Level 1 – 0:28
Level 2 – 1:06
Level 3 – 1:49
Level 4 – 2:32
Level 5 – 3:13
Level 6 – 3:43
Level 7 – 3:51
Level 8 – 4:38
Level 9 – 5:35
Level 10 – 6:29
Level 11 – 7:06
Level 12 (pt1) – 7:57
Level 12 (pt2) – 8:33