Quicklist of game characteristics -
(requested by Gameboomers members)
Keyboard Control - no mouse at all. Keys are remappable.
Originally made for Windows 95/98. Played fine in Windows
Has a patch
Third person - Over the shoulder view (aka butt cam)
Game autosaves at beginnings of levels.
You are also able to save where you want to most of the
Useful Quicksave feature
2CD's - no CD swapping
God mode available for wussies like me
This is going to be sort of a doofus review because I
certainly didn't play the game the way it was intended to be played. I
don't have any patience for defeating enemies and play action/adventures
for their exploration aspect.
Playing Prince of Persia 3D
The game opens with a video of your character, the Prince,
watching an exotic dancer wiggle her booty around. He is bored to death
and can't wait until the disgraceful scene is over and he can meet up with
his new bride, the Princess, and get some real action. But his
father-in-law, the Sultan, tells him he has to be patient so as not to
offend the Sultan's brother. Suddenly the exotic dancer whips out a knife
and kills the Sultan's guards. The Sultan's brother nonchalantly continues
smoking some sort of water pipe and is not a bit disturbed by the
proceedings. It seems the Sultan's brother is not worried about good
manners. He complains to the Sultan that the Princess had been promised to
his son, Rugnor, and not the Prince. The son has a tiger's head. Don't ask
me how this happened. I didn't play the previous Prince of Persia games.
(Don't you just love how they named a guy with a tiger's head Rugnor?)
Anyway, an attempt is made to kill our hero, the Prince,
only the poor old Sultan blocks the path of the weapon and is killed
instead. Alas. And to top it off, the Sultan's brother puts the blame on
the Prince, who is forced to flee the palace. Double alas. And now the
Prince, as a fugitive, has to find the Princess, who has been kidnapped
into the bargain. Triple whammy alas. (I wonder how many gamers wet
themselves laughing over this corny intro.)
So, your object in the game is to find the Princess and
live happily ever after. Actually your object is to find your way through
the successive levels of the game because you have no clue where the
Princess might be. That's how it is in many of these old
action/adventures. You have no idea what you're doing or where you're
going or how you'll achieve your ultimate goal. You just try to figure out
how to exit the levels until you're done. If you are lucky, the levels are
interesting to look at and fun to run, jump, or climb through. And, for
the most part, Prince of Persia had colorful and interesting-looking
There are various bad guys you have to vanquish as you
progress through the game. They are listed in the manual as Guardsmen,
Black Market Bandits, Silt Devils, Roustabouts, Demons, and Darkhold
Assassins. They all looked pretty much the same to me, except the Silt
Devils were green and naked (or nearly so). Silt Devils were my favorite
enemies because they died the quickest. Killing was pretty bloodless and
usually a dead enemy looked the same as a live one except it was on the
ground. But once in a while you'd chop off a guy's head and then of course
the head was separate.
I played Prince of Persia 3D with my brother. It is great
to play action/adventures with another person. That way if you get sore
fingers or get too aggravated for your hands to be steady, you can let the
other person take over. With the help of my brother and the god mode
cheat, I did pretty well until the endgame sequence. More on that later.
During the game, you sometimes find powerups in the form of
potions in flasks. Unfortunately you cannot collect them to be used at a
propitious moment. As soon as you collect them, the Prince drinks them.
Some of them are beneficial, and give health, strength, invisibility, or
invulnerability from projectiles. A potion's color usually distinguishes
what kind of potion it is. But some of them are trick potions that you
don't want to drink. Beware off-color potions. Some of them are poisons.
One turned the Prince into a very silly looking creature, which amused us
greatly. My favorite potion was the one for strength, which allowed the
Prince to leap great distances in a single bound. Unfortunately it's
effect was temporary.
If you use the god mode cheat, it has to be refreshed
whenever you start the game and again whenever you reload a save,
including a quicksave. You also have to refresh god mode whenever you
enter a new level of the game. I don't know how anyone would have the
patience to play the game without god mode. The Prince's movements were so
clunky that I have no idea how he'd be able to win a fight if he weren't
invulnerable. I checked some old Prince of Persia 3D reviews to see if
other gamers had had the same troubles. Strangely, they didn't, though one
review mentioned that the Prince's "flourishes" got annoying. Although I
admit my fighting ability is pretty sad, my brother should have been able
to do better. The enemies were just too fast for us to react to them. So I
wonder if our computer speed (1533 MHz) made the fights more difficult.
God mode does not protect you from all types dying in
Prince of Persia 3D and is mainly useful for eliminating enemies. There
are many places where you can fall into a bottomless abyss or be flattened
by a trap. And it's automatic game-over, regardless of whether you're
using god mode or not. The quicksave is a very useful feature and is much
faster than loading a regular save.
God mode has a sort of Easter Egg. When you enable it, the
Prince's head gets really large. It's kind of funny. Load the game, turn
on god mode, and phloomp! watch his head inflate. You can always tell when
you're in god mode.
Despite his somewhat clunky movements, the Prince is able
to perform many feats of athleticism. He can climb ropes and poles,
crouch, swim, jump, and swing on ropes and bars to get momentum for a big
jump across an abyss. Much of the game involves jumping and climbing. I
believe the previous Prince of Persia games were the same way, only in 2D.
Fortunately the controls for running and jumping the Prince functioned
better for me than those for having him fight. They're not as good as
controls in more recent games, or even as good as controls in the older
Tomb Raider games, but they're serviceable.
The different levels of the game are quite colorful and
varied. They include a prison, a palace, rooftops, a slum district, a
fantastic multi-tiered dirigible, ruins that float in the sky, snowy
cliffs, and a temple. The Prince starts off the game in the prison and has
to find weapons before he can face any of the guards. Usually the guards
are lazy and don't chase him far past the room they are guarding. So the
lack of weapons isn't such a big deal as you'd think, even if you're not
The cistern of the Cistern level was like a large, indoor
lake. It included a boat that we had to get aboard and take a ride on.
Although you are able to save where you want to most of the time, there
are some parts of the game when this is not allowed. Saving always seemed
to be prohibited when the Prince is on a moving platform. But in the
Cistern level we were unable to save for a fairly long stretch even though
the Prince wasn't standing on the moving platform itself.
The Dirigible levels were probably the most fantastic
levels in the game. The dirigible had an impossible multi-tiered array of
boxes, ropes, pulleys, and platforms, including one large enough to hold a
park with fountains and a strange wooden tower with drawbridges. All being
held up by - well it can't have been ordinary hot air so it must have been
magic hot air - in an enormous onion-shaped balloon. Who would make a
balloon with a pointy top on it? The developers of the game, that's who.
The Floating Ruins seemed to be sort of a nightmare level.
The sky was a weird color that bothered my eyes after a while. And this
level had the trickiest jumping puzzles found in the game. I was so glad
when we finally finished it.
After the diabolical Floating Ruins, the snowy Cliffs level
was a relief. The jumps were easy ones and not those wretched combos of
the previous level. And there was a lot of climbing. Our biggest problem
with the level was realizing that we had to change arrow types to solve
one of the puzzles. We knew we had to charge up our arrows at an altar so
they'd be magic flaming arrows. But we didn't realize we had to
specifically select the charged arrows from our arrow collection before
shooting them. One thing that confused the issue was that even normal
arrows look like they're flaming when you shoot them. It was actually my
brother who realized you had to specifically select the flaming arrow
before shooting it. This particular puzzle reminded me of certain
adventure game puzzles - in a bad way. I'm sure you know the type. But
aside from that, the Cliffs were my favorite level. I like snow in games.
The Temple levels were similar to the early Palace levels,
only with more traps and more holes in the floor. And there was a
multistep lever puzzle where you have to figure out how to deflect a beam
of light to open the way to the next level.
The Finale level was a beast - a timed fight. I've
discussed our unhappy outcome in the Interface section later in
this review. At least we were able to view what would have been the
winning video sequence had we been able to win. We found the movie file
along with the other cut scene movie files in a subfolder within the game
folder. It played easily in the QuickTime movie player. The end movie was
hokey, but still better than seeing the Princess get squooshed in a giant
gear, which is what we got every time we lost.
The game installed from CD1. CD2 was required to be in the
drive to play the game, but there is no disk swapping. QuickTime 4.0 or
higher is required because the cut scenes use it. If you don't have
QuickTime, QuickTime 4.0 is included on CD1.
Plot and Character Development
You play as the Prince and you have to save the Princess
from the evil guy with the tiger's head. That's about it.
At least they were colorful. And there was an in-game gamma
control - a feature missing from most straight adventure games. Of course
you can't expect a 3D game from 1999 to have the best looking graphics.
Some of the game environments were interesting though. Most buildings and
architectural features had a pseudo-Arabian fairytale look. The
architecture looked better than the characters. The characters are a bit
chunky-looking and at times it's difficult to make out what part of the
character is what. More than once I was trying to pick up what I thought
was arrows and my brother asked me why I was trying to pick up a severed
head. Ewwww.... No doubt about it. The architectural features were better
looking than the people in this game.
Adequate for this type of game.
There are separate volume controls for music and sound
effects. Music was pseudo-Arabian flavored. Mostly it wasn't too annoying,
but we turned it down when it got too repetitive.
Prince of Persia 3D is keyboard controlled. The keys are
mappable, so if you don't like the default controls you can change them to
different keys. There is a separate combat mode for whacking baddies. You
get different kinds of swords and different types of arrows to shoot at
enemies. Unfortunately the Prince is not as agile as he should be and
sometimes moves like he is drugged - especially in fights.
The controls are not as "silky smooth" as one would wish.
They are nothing like it. But they are manageable, at least if you use the
cheats. We managed to jump and climb our way through the game without too
much anguish until the very last fight of the game, when old Tigerhead,
the end boss smoked our bacon in a timed fight. We could have got him.
After all, we were a god. Unfortunately we were a slow god - the god of
PII 233 MHz
64 MB RAM
DirectX 6 or higher
DirectX 6 compatible 3D
graphics card with 8 MB RAM
DirectX 6 compatible
300 MB free hard drive
QuickTime 4.0 or higher
PII 300 MHz
The rest of the specs
are the same as the Minimum specs.
Win 2000 SP2
Athlon 1.533 GHz
512 MB RAM
40 GB partition
Combo drive with 40X CD
QuickTime 4.0 (from the
PoP3D game CD)
SBLive 5.1 Value sound
We installed the patch before playing. The game was stable
on Win 2000. I suspect it would also work on Win XP, though it isn't
listed for XP at ntcompatible.com so I don't know for sure.
There was one glitch that occasionally occurred when we
used the Look key. Sometimes the Look would detach the game view from the
Prince and he wouldn't be on the screen anymore after we released the Look
key. We figured out how to get the regular view back, by adjusting the
Look view before releasing the Look key. But reloading the quicksave would
also get past this glitch.
Here are some cheats, including the god mode cheat we used,
that I found on the Internet:
Edit the shortcut for Prince of Persia 3D and add
"-console" to the end of the "Target" field so that it reads as follows:
"D:\Program Files\Red Orb\Prince of Persia 3D\POP3D.exe"
When you start using this new shortcut, press F5 to open
the console then enter one of the following codes in the console to enable
IMMORTAL - God Mode.
MORTAL - Disable God
NEXTLEVEL - Instantly
skip to the next level.
FLYCAM - Enable flying
camera. Type flycam again to turn off.
VERSION - Show the
version number of your game. (should be 1.1)
Note: These cheats will only work with the v1.1 patch.
There are also trainers and save game editors available on
the Internet, but I didn't try any of them.
There is probably limited use for a review of an old
action/adventure game. Unlike most adventure games, they don't age well.
Prince of Persia 3d was published in 1999 and it's showing long grey hairs
out its nose already.
However if you enjoy exploring fanciful game levels in 3D,
as well as the occasional jumping puzzle, the game might be worth a look.
It's a long way from being the worst action/adventure I've ever played.
And you can probably find it very cheap on ebay or GameTZ.
copyright © 2004