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Prince of Persia 3D facts for kids

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Prince of Persia 3D
Prince of Persia 3D Coverart.png
  • Mindscape
  • Avalanche Software (Dreamcast)
Producer(s) Andrew Pedersen
Designer(s) Todd Kerpelman
Programmer(s) Peter Lipson
  • Jacques Hennequet
  • Chris Grun
  • John Morgan
  • Jordan Mechner
Series Prince of Persia
Engine NetImmerse
Release date(s) Windows
17 September 1999
  • NA 21 November 2000
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single player

Prince of Persia 3D is a 1999 action-adventure video game developed by Mindscape, and published by Red Orb Entertainment for Microsoft Windows. A port for the Dreamcast was developed by Avalanche Software and published by Mattel Interactive in North America the following year under the title Prince of Persia: Arabian Nights. Taking the role of the titular unnamed character rescuing his bride from a monstrous suitor's schemes, gameplay follows the Prince as he explores environments, platforming and solving puzzles while engaging in combat scenarios.

Production began in 1997 and lasted over two years. While series creator Jordan Mechner acted as a creative consultant and contributed to the narrative, he was mostly uninvolved. The visual design drew from Medieval Persia with added fantastical elements. A planned PlayStation port was cancelled in favour of the Dreamcast version. Reception of the title was mixed, with most of the criticism focusing on its gameplay and several bugs. Following its sale to Ubisoft, the series was rebooted under Mechner's guidance in 2003's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.


Prince of Persia 3D is an action-adventure video game. The player controls the main protagonist, an unnamed Prince from a kingdom in Persia; the Prince is navigated through fifteen levels. Environments are seen through a fixed third-person view which tracks with the Prince's movements. When the Prince is standing still, the player can take manual control of the camera to examine the environment. The Prince is guided using tank controls. While exploring levels, he can jump across gaps and up onto platforms, climb up and explore along ledges, deal with traps, and swim through bodies of water. Many puzzles found during levels, which must be solved to progress, involve activating levels and triggering pressure plates and switches. Potions can be found through the environments, with effects ranging from replenishing and increasing health to turning invisible or curing poison.

While exploring, the Prince can engage individual enemies in close-range combat with three weapon types; the sword, the spear or staff, a bow and twin blades. The bow can only be used outside normal combat to shoot enemies from a distance, and can also be used in some puzzle types. The health of the Prince and their current opponent is shown along the bottom of the screen. Combat is initiated when drawing a weapon with an enemy nearby, with the camera switching to a side perspective which adjusts with the Prince's movements. While always facing the enemy, the Prince can move in any direction. During battle, the player can strike from both sides and above, block attacks, and feint a move to create an opening for an attack. If a character's blow is blocked, then the attacker is stunned for a short time and the opponent can launch a faster counterattack. Some scenarios in levels allow the Prince to either sneak past enemies or use environmental elements to kill them. If the Prince runs out of health, the game ends and must be restarted either from a save point or the beginning of a level.


Prince of Persia 3D begins with the Prince and Sultan of Persia visiting the Sultan's brother, Assan. Soon enough, the Prince's personal bodyguards are killed, himself locked in the dungeon, and the Sultan taken by Assan. The Prince escapes the dungeon, and it is revealed that the Sultan of Persia promised Assan many years ago that his daughter would marry Assan's son, Rugnor, not the Prince. The Prince finds the two, but Assan kills the Sultan by mistake while trying to kill the Prince. Assan runs, but the Prince decides to pursue Rugnor, who has taken the Princess of Persia captive. The Prince and Rugnor have many standoffs, but when it becomes clear to Rugnor that the Prince won't give up, and the Princess won't submit to him, he decides to kill her. He ties her to a large gear machine, attempting to crush her. The Prince, however, arrives before this happens, kills Rugnor, and deactivates the machine. The Prince then escapes with the Princess, via a flying beast, but the Prince takes the Princess in the opposite direction of Persia, rather than towards it.


Following the poor performance of Prince of Persia 3D, Mechner distanced himself from the video game industry, feeling burned out and disconnected from the series. In 2001, Mattel sold off The Learning Company's entertainment division, which included rights to the Prince of Persia series catalogue, to Ubisoft. At that time, Mechner retained the IP rights, and Ubisoft contacted him about rebooting the series. While Mechner was reluctant, Ubisoft won him over and he decided to start over with both the series and its lead character. That reboot, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, released in 2003 to commercial success and positive reviews. The game saw multiple sequels, and is cited as the reason players and critics returned to the Prince of Persia series following Prince of Persia of Persia#Prince of Persia 3D

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