At PAX East a couple of weeks ago, a few of us here at Geekosystem attended the keynote, which was headed by none other than Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia. During the keynote, he recalled how he recently found a box that contained a bunch of old games and data, which happened to have the source code for the original Prince of Persia. During the keynote, he said he was planning on releasing it. Well, release it he did.
If one travels on over to GitHub, one will find that Mechner kept his promise, and released the source code for all to peruse. He wrote the game on an old Apple II, in 6502 assembly language, from 1985 to 1989. Not only releasing the source code itself, Mechner continues to help, and released a technical explanation of the code alongside the actual code itself, in PDF format, which he put together for teams in 1989 that were porting the game to other platforms.
The source code was extracted by Jason Scott and Tony Diaz, from a 22-year-old 3.5-inch floppy archive. If you’re wondering why Mechner posted code for an iconic, though admittedly old, old game, he explains:
We extracted and posted the 6502 code because it was a piece of computer history that could be of interest to others, and because if we hadn’t, it might have been lost for all time. We did this for fun, not profit.
He also says that he has no problem with anyone studying, modifying it, or attempting to run it. He’s a cool guy like that. He does, however, note that him not having a problem with people modifying, studying, or attempting to run the code doesn’t grant rights to the Prince of Persia franchise in any way.
So, if you’re the kind of person that likes to peruse digital history or muck about in its guttyworks, Jordan Mechner has just enabled your hobby.
(via Jordan Mechner)
- Real life pixelated Prince of Persia prowling city streets
- A Prince of Persia reboot almost took place in modern times
- That Prince of Persia movie didn’t actually do too badly
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