Once upon a time, the Prince of Persia games took us on wild adventures with a white dude fighting skeletons and a guy dressed as Aladdin battling bird-masked foes. But let's be honest, none of those games really captured the essence of the ancient Persian folk tales my dad used to tell me. That is, until Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown came along, and boy, did it change the game!
You see, I come from a Parsi Zoroastrian family in India. We're descendants of Zoroastrians who fled persecution in Iran and settled in western India, where we embraced the local culture, language, and even the food. We've held onto our prayers and stories throughout the generations, and it was about time a game truly represented our heritage.
While the previous Prince of Persia games dabbled in Persian architecture and symbolism, they fell short on the lore. The 2008 reboot and its spin-off were guilty of name-dropping Persian mythological characters without any real relevance. But The Lost Crown changed the game, quite literally.
The writers of The Lost Crown didn't settle for superficial references. No, they dug deep into the rich Persian history and mythology, and it shows. Take, for example, the blacksmith Kaheva, a direct reference to Kaveh the blacksmith who forged the weapon that defeated the villainous Zohak. The attention to detail and faithfulness to the source material in this game is like finding a diamond in the sand.
As a Parsi Zoroastrian, seeing familiar architecture, like the temple outside my house, or hearing about the Towers of Silence, brought a sense of pride and joy. Finally, my culture was represented in a triple-A video game! It's not about historical accuracy; Ubisoft Montpellier made it clear that this game is set in a fictionalized version of ancient Persia. But they made an effort to weave the history, culture, and heritage into the game's lore and visuals, unlike their predecessors who simply dropped Persian names into the plot like confetti.
The Persian folklore is a treasure trove of captivating stories. From the tragic tale of Rustom and Sohrab to the corruption of Zohak and the heroism of Gordafarid, these stories have been immortalized in the Shahnameh by Ferdowsi. With so many triple-A studios looking to various mythologies for inspiration, they should take notes from Ubisoft Montpellier on how to adapt one of the most magnificent mythologies in existence.
Sure, The Lost Crown didn't necessarily need to pay such close attention to the lore since it's a Metroidvania game, but I'm eternally grateful that they did. They honored our culture, and for that, they deserve all the praise.
So, my fellow gamers, if you're tired of superficial adaptations and crave an authentic and captivating journey, grab your controller and embark on Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. Get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of ancient Persia, where time mechanics and Persian legends intertwine, and where you'll discover a world that finally does justice to the rich tapestry of Persian heritage.