Publisher and developer Broderbund released Prince of Persia in 1989. Set in ancient Persia, the player assumes the role of a young prince imprisoned in a dungeon by the evil vizier Jaffar. The objective is to escape the dungeon, rescue a princess from the palace tower and defeat Jaffar before the sand in the hourglass runs out. Prince of Persia is considered a pioneer of the cinematic platformer sub-genre. Innovative motion capture technology allowed the prince to perform fluid, life-like movements. This breakthrough in animation was accomplished through rotoscoping, the process of tracing animation over live-action footage. The creator of the game, Jordan Mechner, filmed his brother David running and jumping and used these movements as a model for the actions of the prince. The prince moved in ways never seen before in a video game, an extremely innovative feature at a time when most games featured stiff, robot-like characters. Motion capture is standard in today's most popular games, most notably those in the sport simulation genre. Prince of Persia inspired nine installments. The most recent, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, was released in 2010. The Prince of Persia franchise elevated the art of animation in video games throughout its impressive run. Its unique blend of combat, exploration and cutting edge animation earns the Prince of Persia an important place in the history of electronic games.
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