Combat! Combat! Jordan Mechner’s journey creating Prince of Persia


Prince of Persia was hard as…<shout favorite swear word here>.

That’s my lasting memory of it.

The protagonist, we’ll call him Prince, felt so heavy during gameplay. I was accustom to games like Super Mario Brothers. Mario and Luigi were light. They had spring when they jumped. They could don a racoon tail to float and fly past foes.

Prince of Persia? Na man. The Prince had weight. The realm had gravity. And as I learned, this was by design.

The game’s creator – Jordan Mechner explains:

What if we combined that gameplay with a charachter who’s so human feeling that you feel like if you miss the jump and you fall, it’s really going to hurt?

Because in the early platform games charachters were kind of weightless. You know, you would jump, and you’d make it or not, but you’d float down to the bottom. It didn’t feel like you could really get hurt.

Jordan Mechner

This War Stories video is a revealing look at the process behind creating a video game.

Toil and grit man.

Toil and grit.

Have a watch:


Bonus Jam: Jordan’s new book, The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993–Illustrated Edition is out now.