It’s been a long time coming but the source code for the original Apple II version of Prince of Persia has finally been released for free online, meaning it is now easier (and presumably more legal) to port it over to any system you could wish to choose.
Of course, as others have pointed out, it’s already been commercially ported to nearly every system in history, and even those that never got one sometimes had a fan-made version built from the ground up.
Bearing that in mind the obvious beneficiaries of this generous move will be open source platforms such as the GP2X and it’s successors and then mobile platforms, such as Windows Phone or Android, which can now benefit from a perfectly legal homebrew port released in their respective app marketplaces. Of course it could just be emulated, but it will play more smoothly when run natively on a device rather than emulated.
I’m not sure whether it would be legal to charge for it but I’d hope whoever took the time to do a port would honour the free principle of the open source code and not charge (I’m not sure how I’d feel about advertisements to be honest, being a form of payment, just not by me).
Admittedly it would take a lot of time and effort to produce such a game and I know I couldn’t do it, but it would feel a bit mercenary to see a new port being paid for when the owner of the source course has just given it away for free.
Nonetheless I’m hoping to see a Windows Phone or GP2X port appear at some point in the future. It’ll be interesting to see what platforms it does crop up on, I can see new versions coming out just as homebrew projects, and I’m guessing Prince of Persia mods could become quite a fun distraction given how many DOOM mods there are out there and that is similarly open source.
So what platforms would you like to see Prince of Persia appear on that it hasn’t already?
Regardless of the platform, I still fully anticipate being absolute crap at actually playing the game.
UPDATE: A kindly commentator below has pointed out that as the source code is on an old machine code it won’t be of much use for modern systems, and as the C64 now has a proper version I’m not sure what can be done with it. I’d guess that someone could build an Apple II emulator of sorts and have the game run natively within it as an all-in-one pack, but then it feels all unnecessarily complicated then doesn’t it?