Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prince of Persia

Prince of Prussia

King of Prussia was settled by Welsh immigrants in the early 1700’s who originally called it Reeseville, after a prominent family who owned much of the land. During the later part of the 18th century it became common to refer to the area as King of Prussia, after a tavern by that name operated by the Reese family. That may be the only piece of the puzzle which is certain; the exact date when the tavern was established, and the political reasons behind the name, are clouded by time.

The tavern was first licensed sometime between 1762 and 1769, but the building may have existed as a private residence as early as 1709. It was not uncommon at the time for homeowners situated on a main thoroughfare to take in travelers, and many inns evolved from private residence to public house over a period of years.

All agree that the inn was named to honor Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia from 1740 to 1746, but the political reasons behind the name are debated. One theory asserts it was named prior to the Revolution, to honor Frederick’s assistance to the British in the seven Years War with France, which ended in 1763. Others argue it was named to recognize Frederick’s support and admiration for George Washington during the Revolution. A more sales-oriented idea is that it was named to attract the business of Prussian soldiers camped at Valley Forge. But on a spy map of 1777, the inn is referred to as “Berry’s,” the name of the general manager at the time. In 1850 the postal service made common usage official, recognizing the surrounding town’s name as “King of Prussia.

Prince of Persia (1989)

Released for PC, SNES, Mega CD, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST and Macintosh, the original platform game prided itself on the realistic movements of the characters and the 'real-time' effect of time limits to complete a level. The Prince had to solve a range of puzzles to work through the luxurious palace and its dungeons, as well as sword-fighting guards, skeletons and even his own reflection at one point.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2003)

After a similar sequel of the original game in '93 and a 3D verison for the Dreamcast in '99, the franchise was revitalised by Ubisoft with Sands of Time in 2003 for the PS2, Xbox and GameCube. With the capabilities of the new consoles, the 3D roaming action was now properly possible and retro fans and new believers alike made it a massive hit.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (2004)

The follow up to Sands of Time arrived the following year and now had a mature rating due to the increased violence in the fight scenes. The Prince could now wield two weapons, throw them and also dismember enemies with some gruesome finishing moves. The game also featured alternate endings depending on whether or not the player had aquired the hallowed Water Sword.

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (2005)

Continuing the story running throughout Sands of Time and Warrior Within, The Two Thrones sees the Prince return to his home of Babylon, with the rather lovely Princess Kaileena, only to find it ravaged and burning. During his quest to free his city, his personality is split (echoing the original platform game) creating a 'Dark Prince', and the battle against this alter ego makes up the majority of the game. Virtually the same game was released for the Wii in 2007, making use of the motion sensor controls for sword fighting.

Prince of Persia: Revelations (2005)

As with many classic PlayStation titles, Prince of Persia was ported onto the PSP in 2005, with Revelations much the same as The Two Thrones in terms of story line.

Battles of Prince of Persia (2005)

Not wanting to lose out to Sony, a Nintendo version was made for the DS, but the gameplay was significantly different, adopting a turn-based battle strategy game.

Prince of Persia Classic (2007)

Fans of the series will be glad to know that the tale has come full-circle, with a brushed-up version of the classic platformer now available on the Xbox Live Arcade. Prepare for falling drawbridges and spikey floors all over again!

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