Prince of Persia The Two Thrones


It is quite insane how many search hits I see for “POP2 how to beat twin boss” or some similar form of it. Okay, the short of it is, if you really don’t want to go to, is that you attack the sword guy, get in a few hits, then when the axe guy looks like he is about to open you a new sinus cavity at the base of your skull, Roll your way out of the strike. Should have plenty of time, and when you do that his axe will be in the ground. You will have a few seconds to hit the axe guy on his knees. After you get the axe guy down to about half, you will get one of those Quick Kill scenes. Two of those, and they are dead. However I recommend googling for a “trainer” and just filling your sand bar up to MAX all the time. That way you can play it the way You Want To, and not have to worry about 500 reloads.

Update Over

(This review is broken down more or less into sections. The name of the section will be mentioned in the beginning sentence or ending sentence of a paragraph. There are no active spoilers of the plot or character development, but there are teasers near subjects concerning the characters. At the end, particularly, there are a lot of teasers, that don’t actively spoil the plot, but if you are intelligent enough, you might figure out some stuff you would otherwise not want to know. I am quite vague purposefully when describing the plot, the character development, or the storyline. You should probably avoid reading the entire section after I listed the “glitches” if you want to be surprised in the game. It isn’t hard to figure out once you’ve seen certain portions of the game, meaning there are no surprises. The game clearly tells you that something is up, but that something you might not want to think about and have it be a surprise instead)

This is the third game in a series. The Prince of Persia series, starting with the original Prince of Persia which was a majestic and charming game full of an alice in wonderland feel, with Prince of Persia The Warrior Within as the second in the series, and finally culminating in Prince of Persia 3 The Two Thrones. Those familiar with the series may want to skip past the introduction.

Basically the background is simple. The basic premise is jumping puzzles. With Mario Brothers being probably one of the younger versions of such a premise for a game. In this case, this is 3d Prince of Persia. Meaning, you get to solve jumping puzzles in fully three dimensional aspects. Up, down, Left, Right, foward and backwards. Four dimensions if you count your mastery over time. Which I think is a neat, because the Prince’s ability to manipulate time via the Dagger of Time not only is an integral story artifact but also an excellent aid in combat as well as avoiding failling to one’s death while navigating the labyrinthine jumping puzzles in the game.

The first game was amazing. I’ve described it somewhat up above, but it truly gave you a sense of the Aladdin aspect. This Persian culture and atmosphere, not quite Eastern but not Western either. The first Prince of Persia was overally, a story of a young Prince who did something he shouldn’t have, and is now trying to turn back the clock on his mistakes. The Prince has amazing acrobatic abilities. I look at his jumping and landing animations and I am like, “is this guy a monkey or what, he can lift his own body weight by the tips of his fingers and toes”. Imagine yourself running along a bleacher in a HS gym, and jumping across to a flat wall while you are 15 feet up in the air, and somehow avoiding BOUNCING off the wall when you hit it, falling only directly vertically down unto a piece of stone a foot across below you. It is like watching that rock climber naviagte a vertical mountain wall like a monkey, lifting his body weight up by the tips of his fingers and seemingly walking on all fours up the wall.

It is amazing, and it gives you a clear visual sense of things. This is among the first impressions I got. The excellent bloom lighting, the free form combat system where you strike in the direct that your mouse moves, and the excellent story line was as well.

The Warrior Within revamped the fighting system with dual wielding combos, but suffered an incredible defunction in storyline and presentation. Because the Warrior Within looked like some dark and savage prince, where the prince in Prince of Persia (1) was innocent and almost hapless in the face of great odds.

Here ends the background story, now unto The Two Thrones, which I believe quite outstrips the previous two games, in terms of greatness and excellence.

POP3 honestly acknowledges the different endings of Warrior Within. But had to settle upon one ending, in order to begin the story. The beginning is easy. You start off without the Dagger of Time, without any weapon even or sand tanks. So no ability to manipulate time for you. Basically this is the tutorial, that carries you through the mechanics of the Prince, both combat and acrobatic puzzle solving. Was very useful for refreshing old skill sets, because it has been a long time before I played Prince of Persia in any incarnation. And it also served as a very good introduction to the story, on a dual use system. The Prince is back in his home city of Babylon, expecting to see his father (who was featured in POP1) and his family. He had just gotten back from the Island of Time, where he went to get a grim reaper type assassin off his back, permanently. The assassin needed to kill the Prince because the Prince tampered with time, when he used it in POP1. So I loved the continuity of the storyline. Each story was integral to the entire plot, but it was also COMPLETE if you just played one game. The first game had a very amusing and entertaining ending. Can’t say much for the second, didn’t play it for long. I hated novels that would end with a cliff hanger talking about some “unseen” threat to the protagonist or some other character that I cared about. Hey, I care for some of these fictional characters, it sets up a false suspension at the end, which I don’t appreciate. I don’t want to know about any “possible dangers” newly cropped up, at the end, at least not in any detail. I want a sappy happy ending, if at all possible, or at least one that ties up all the endings and DOES NOT bring anything new into the mix. I don’t want to know. At least not until the author is offering up a little bit more than the teaser. I just don’t think it is fair to torture people by raising their hopes up or making them worry about characters that they have come to love or care about. I don’t like that helpless feeling.

That more or less ends the first impressions segment. Story was chugging along, combat was a lot easier to learn than Warrior Within. The excellent bloom lighting was there. Now to the critical aspects.

First thing, story line was revamped from Warrior Within, and made absolutely diamond. Second, the Dark Prince/Light Prince combat system was an excellent duality of form and function. Form because the combat mechanics of the Light Prince vs the Dark Prince are very very different, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Fun as well as challenges. For example, early on the Prince with just his unbreakable dagger using the One Weapon technique can grab enemies and throw them a long distance. Making it easier to fight groups of enemies that are out to get you, but only gives you access to the dagger combinations, basically left click 4 times for combo, that is it. And the first enemies block pretty well and intelligently. They are very hard that way, because while you are attacking one guy, they will try to sneak in behind you and hit you that way. The dagger doesn’t kill very fast, but is unbreakable, and can buy you time. Time is good when you are the Prince of Light. The second combat technique for the Prince of Light is the dual wield system, pioneered in Warrior Within. Except there’s no complex combo keys to hit, this isn’t Mortal Combat on PS. It is just basically alternations between left click which uses a dagger attack, and P which uses your left handed weapon as an attack. Yes, the Prince has his dagger in his right hand, and the sword/mace/axe in his left, for dual wield. His left hand weapon can break, but not all that often in the middle or end. In the beginning, probably, but every melee guy you defeat, will drop another weapon, and you can also use throw combos. So there are a lot more options and deadly combos with dual wield, but your defense is limited to “block” and “acrobatic kick jump over the enemy” as I call it. The Prince of Light fights by his wits, probing for weaknesses in his enemy, and doing dagger stabs when they are prone. The Prince of Light is a fast melee fighter, not one that uses brute strength, so his strength is his acrobatic attacks which are quite deadly once you get used to using them. Such things as swinging around a column to kill enemies in a 360 direction, always a favorite when I’m surrounded, to running along a wall like Farscape except you get to do some nasty Freddy style slashing attacks on the enemy. These acrobatic attacks are almost never interrupted or blocked. Unless you are just unlucky and fly into one of those dagger whirling swinging women.

Taking the time to really learn how to use the vertical wall comb attack, the running along wall attack, the kick jump in enemy face attack, as well as the single dagger grab the enemy and slice him in the back of the neck attack, really made combat not only easier but also more rewarding. In that you can activate Many slowmode, and always see a kill if you used a combo to do it. Which was a really nice pace to combat. Taking the time to learn the two weapon combos is also a treat. Because once you learn one combo, you learn all of them really, because how one works is exactly the same as how another one works. Left click 3 times, press P 2 times, for MIthra’s Vengeance. Which is an amazing spinning upside down kick that totally lays down the fury on all enemies in a 120 degree forward angle. You don’t have to wait for any animation pauses or whatever, just click in a regular pattern. I played the game on Hard difficulty level, and I only mastered the combo and acrobatics near the later middle half of the game, and I didn’t have much problems simply because of the Speed Kill ability.

The one weapon technique was great for throwing enemies off ledges, although you won’t get the sand. But great way to skip combat. The two weapon technique was great for acrobatic moves because it just added to the damage you can do, and the amount of enemies you can hit at once.

The Dark Prince is a Prince of a different color indeed. The transformation steadily drains your health until you grab a sand tank, which replenishes your health to full. Which means so long as the Dark Prince has 4 enemies in front of him, he is Golden. Or shall I say, Dark Enflamed.

The Dark Prince uses the Daggertail as the second weapon, in a permanent two weapon combo. This daggertail weapon is visually stunning and appealing, as well as amazingly deadly. I’ve destroyed up to 8 enemies in a row by simply using the simple combo of left click, P, left click, P, and repeat. They simply got slashed to death, without being able to land a single blow on me. Or even get near me. The dagger tail is a chain attack that causes a bright yellowish sear across the vision as it swings through the air. A 360 degree attack that can even reach enemies beyond melee range. The Dark Prince is certainly unbeatable in combat, well at least unbeatable until you play the first battle through a few times to get the hang of it hah. He is a hurricane of destruction, one orchestrated by you, the player. He can hold enemies that surround him at bay by hitting the “throw weapon” key, just generating a hurricane of pain with his chain spinning around in a circle protecting him. Then lashing out at whomever you deemed fit. The few battles in which the Dark Prince transforms and is given many many enemies to kill in an open space, is simply a fun way to relieve the stress of solving puzzles. No need to wrack your brain or use subtlety or fear being killed. Simply unleash the Power, and the sands are yours for the taking.

However, with power comes a price. The Dark Prince is necessary for you to get through some portions of the game, meaning the puzzle portions. This of course, means that you are trying to solve puzzles while your health is draining. So either you need to kill monsters to replenish your health or find sand by breaking objects. This might have been a really stressful situation, if not for the fact that when you are the Dark Prince, every container you can smash, will give you a sand tank. Which replenishes your health. But there is a time limit, so it creates urgency, which I found to be quite stimulating. You can’t just be the Dark Prince and go idle, and come back. This power is corruptive in nature and very lethal. Overall, everytime I found I was losing health badly, there was always a source of sand tank for your Dark Prince. So long as you don’t take too long, of course. Some of the traps push you towards your limits, but it is nothing one or two Eye of the Storms won’t cure (slow time power).

The reason why I described the Dark and Light Prince in detail, is because they are in fact the foundations upon which the story is driven. Sure, you are out to kill the Vizier, and that sounds like same old same old, but it really isn’t about the Vizier. It is about you, or more specifically, the fate and nature of the character you play. The Prince. If it was just a game about “go kill this uber bad villain”, this story wouldn’t really be all that special. We know who the Vizier is, he is a villain and needs killing, not much else there there.

But the nature of the Prince of Light and the Prince of Darkness, and the choices and moral dilemmas faced by the actual Prince as he has to choose between the two, is the driving force behind the story. And the story is supported by the game mechanics. The combat and puzzle mechanics of the Dark Prince and the Light Prince.

The Dark Prince is a supreme fighter, using brute strength and furious speed to annihilate all in his path. He feeds upon the essences of those that he vanquishes. He is propelled by urgency, by danger, by the very fact that his death is eminent, as he runs along a wall, jumps from beam to beam, and uses his dagger as a fulcrom.

The Prince of Light is a fighter based upon dexterity, speed, and intelligence. He relies upon stealth to backstab and Speed Kill his enemies with lethality and silence. When forced to fight, he relies upon his wits to use the environment to his advantage, rather than the strength of his thews. He is a man that takes his time to look at the beauty around him, to look upon the suffering of his people, the decay of his city, and the destruction of all that he valued in life. The Dark Prince simply cares for nothing but his own survival, as he procedes towards his destination, leaving all others in his wake, neglected, for his very life depends upon him achieving his goal, his goal and the goal of no other.

What I have described is consistently present in the story, in the combat mechanics, in the dialogue and the cutscenes, as well as the ending. They are not just pretty words, they are accurate descriptions of what the Two Thrones is all about. This is the story of a Prince that will either mature or will be destroyed in the process. Which road will he take, which path, which Throne?

The speed kill system is also very very nice. A sort of pseudo and uber backstab system that gives you a Indigo Prophecy like cutscene where it will freeze the action and give you a visual cue, and if you hit the left attack button in time, it will continue with the sequence. Up until you complete the cutscene sequence, and the enemy dies. No sound, no muss. Then you just sneak in behind another guy and do the same. But it isn’t as simple as that, for the major sand gates that is guarded. For those (beam of yellow light in the sky) you must use the environment to jump around until you get into position, and then strike the Red Guard. Because if the Red Guard sees you or hears you fighting, he will go to the sand gate and summon in reinforcements. And so long as that guard is still alive, more and more reinforcements will come even if you kill off the current crop of foes. So that guy must be killed as soon as possible. This presents a tactical challenge to be solved, which I found very interesting and entertaining.

This system is very versatile because you will use it for boss fights as the coup de grace. So you are watching the action on screen, and just waiting until the right moment to “click”. The Sand of Recall is also very nice when used after you foul a visual cue up. Since you’ll get a sand from a defeated enemy, consider it even.

Another great and fun critical aspect of this game are the chariot races. Very fun. Not all that hard, though the second chariot race took me a few retries. The hardest battles were the Twin Boss circle of fire fight and the end boss fight. I was using a trainer to refill health and sand tanks both at the Final Fight and the Twin Boss fight. Those Twins contained one Sword wielder and one Axe wielder. Very intelligent fighters, very formidable, and I was playing on hard. This was just after the final chariot sequence, btw, so I had already used up most of my sand tanks (running into the wall full on is not recommended in a chariot){Nor is allowing the enemy chariot to push you into a wall ala Tron lightspeeder}. So on Hard difficulty, it was really really hard. Because the advantage of the Light Prince was totally negated. You couldn’t throw the boss one handed. You couldn’t wall climb or use any of your deadly acrobatic skills, except to kick a prone guy in the face and slash him in the air. So I said, heck with this, I’m not reloading anymore.

The rest of the game wasn’t nearly that difficult in terms of reloads. All of the rest of the boss fights were incredibly satisfying and innovative. The boss fights are basically the lieutenants of the Vizier. Their characters are shallow, unimportant to character development, and with even less descriptions. We don’t even know their names, let alone their motives. But they don’t matter, cause they are only there to get beat. The female boss fight was particularly interesting, because the boss actually behaved pretty intelligent. When she saw you transform, she did the smart thing. She ran. It is almost a complete reversal. Where as the Light Prince, you were trying to run from her and get into position, now she is trying to run from you! Since none of this has to do with the plot, more or less, I don’t have to fear giving out a spoiler. I was hoping to transform in the Twin Boss fight, to kick their arse, but of course, that didn’t happen. I think it should have happened, but what the hey.

The camera angles were I believe, much simplified in comparison to Pop1. Either they locked the camera in a 90 degree partition, meaning N, E, S, W. Or some combination where E is N and S is W. This way you can see an object and hit left, and actually go left. Whereas if the camera is diagonally based, 120 degrees, then when you try to go straight to the left, you would have to hit both LEFT and UP simultaneously. That is tricky. That causes control problems, and I usually didn’t have any problems with it in the puzzles. I didn’t move left, and the prince looked like he was running north. Most of the time, however, the camera IS NOT locked. Which means you can position yourself to a limited degree, to what you should be looking at and running towards. In point of fact, the camera has been made so easy, that I had NO trouble with finding where I was supposed to go. Sure, there were times that I got stuck, but they weren’t exactly numerous. And besides, a walkthrough can carry you past it with little hassle. The only complaint I had was that the damn camera would lock down, if I was moving foward. I couldn’t look UP and see the sky if I was moving foward. That was annoying. Reminded me of KOTOR II in fact. I couldn’t use the first person perspective, because it moved so slowly. I didn’t want to fiddle around with the sensitivity settings because I liked how it was for puzzle viewing.

After I got the silver scimitar of Doom in the game, I was on a jump festival. It was like I couldn’t fall. I saw a plate in the wall, and I know instinctively where I would be going. Because I remembered how it was like before, so it was like battle technique memory. Intuitive as well as deductive. It was very fun and relaxing, because I didn’t have to figure out where I was going or figure out how to get somewhere. It all looked obvious. For a time anyway. But that time was smooth, very smooth.

I don’t remember any fights where the camera would ZIPP around to the back or the forward, confusing and disorientating me, as I remember it did in POP1. POP3 used a sort of hybrid Lock and Variable camera mode. It permited the camera to move in a certain degree and angle of view, which was quite limited, but this allowed the camera not to get “stuck” 99% of the time. It was very very easy to see things, 90% of the time. Because what the camera was locked on seeing, was usually what you were trying to solve. Not like in Pop1, which I seem to remember, I kept having to try to use first person view to look at things FAR in the distance. Maybe it was just me, maybe I wasn’t as perceptive back then, but POP1 seemed like MUCH MUCH harder a puzzle game than Pop3. There were many many times that I would just get lost in Pop1, because I couldn’t find any signs of where I am supposed to go. In Pop3, there are very very obvious signs of where you should go, if you know how to look for them.

That’s it on the camera.

There were some rather serious graphical annoyances and glitches. Like the Prince’s hair would go under his right eye, and just disappear. And that was quite annoying in cutscenes, but it was easy to ignore, I just stopped looking at his eye. There was also the more serious problem I encountered, which was that in some of the maps, the bloom would disappear suddenly. Leaving things too dark and gritty to make out. This was usually during street level zones where the light was being transformed from bright and airy, to dingy and torch like. The city maps really suffered from that, but after you get out of the city, it like disappeared. It didn’t happen again. But anyways, it required me to up the brightness and contrast to see what I needed to see. Other than that, there were no graphical glitches. I’ll take the glitches for the great camera as a bundle, any day.

There’s a jump at the end of the story, where I think the coders specifically CODED the camera to go diagonally as a reminder of POP1. Jumping that was… hard. You had to jump forward… except the camera was tilted so that the platform was running NE as you looked at it. The camera was locked, you couldn’t move it. There were two jumps you needed to do. But, if you failed, there was no problem. So it was more fun and amusing than annoying. The thing was, you couldn’t make the Prince go Up and Right at the same time. He would NOT jump. There was a way around it. You had to jump by using only one key direction, but jump from one corner to the other ; )

The combat was particularly fun in retrospect. The Dark Prince giving vent to absolute destruction, while the Light Prince offered up some forethought and positioning to alter the mix. The puzzles were interesting, because after awhile, you would start to learn what each type there was of. What made them interesting is that they would combine the puzzle types. So you might have a shimmey, with a wall run, jumping off a springboard, to a plate to dig your dagger in, to wall running then jumping onto a poll, to poll vault unto a etc. You get the picture. Very entertaining to see, because at that level, you are just enjoying the view and the Prince almost plays himself. There’s nothing to figure out after you have played the game and finished 75% of it. You have to pick a spot to navigate towards, and what you need to do to get there, but the “how” of the matter is rarely left in doubt near the end of the game.


But what I most liked was the story compared to the Warrior Within when they erased the plotline, and started from scratch. This Pop3 game was like almost a retelling of the story of Pop1 The Sands of Time. Not exactly, of course, it is a different story about a different Prince, that matures the Prince out. But those who have played the Sands of Time, will see many many reminders and nostalgic moments.

The ethical dilemmas that the Prince faces concerns duty. He sees himself as a warrior. And the incessant companion(s) you will have voicing their opinions of your actions and views, as well as the narration of the Empress, will remind you quite powerfully of POP1.

I felt an eerie connection between POP3 and the POP2 storyline, the Warrior Within. It is not just the superficial requirements of continuing somewhat off the Warrior Within plot line. In point of fact, the Empress soon becomes a side character. But many elements of the Warrior Within storyline were kept. Amazing, athletically and acrobatically, amazing in my view.

The Prince will truly find the Warrior Within, and it won’t be the bitter enraged typhoon of destruction in POP2, let me assure you of that. The Dark Prince is much too stylish to be a typhoon ; ) “Divine Wind” would describe him better. So for anyone who hated Warrior Within, you get to defeat that which you hated about the Prince in Warrior Within. An excellent, creative, plot device. It draws you into Pop3 with more velocity, simply by harnessing the hate you had for POP2, ha!

I love it when the game mechanics of a game actually supports and drives the plot, and the plot drives the story, and the story drives the player’s view of the game and its characters. Because everything is consistent, everything has a purpose, there are few gaps which you might find wanting.

There is one cutscene in POP3 that evokes a sense familiar to fans of Naruto and Bleach, as well as fans of Planescape Torment. The voice of the Dark Prince is heard on many levels, a sort of erie vibration. That cutscene (similar to the ending in PT) was able to use that modulated voice quite well, to evoke human emotion. Not to be missed.

There’s a lot of character development of the Prince in POP3. More than even POP1, I would say. In terms of taking responsibility and maturity, you see more of it in PoP3 than the first or especially the second in the series. And the ending? Fans of Sands of Time will find it enjoyable. But perhaps not in the way they believe. At the end, the Prince of Persia The Two Thrones, in my view, has lived up to its name. [Review of Pop4 or Prince of Persia soon to be written]

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10 Comments on “Prince of Persia The Two Thrones”

  1. saeed Says:

    would you please help me to win twin bosses? what ever i do after attacking axeboss while the axe is stucked to the floor i can not get the
    quick kill flshing and the life limit stays half way. help me very simply way that i understand it . thanks

  2. ymarsakar Says:

    It took a long time for me to get the quick kill moment when attacking the axeboss while he had his axe stuck. It took 5-10 repetitions because I was trying to get away from the swordboss, who hits me for much damage.

    The FAQs I’ve read said that you need 2 quick kill sequences. Each one takes off 50% of the boss’s health.

    The key thing to remember is that it is a good idea to inflict as much damage on the axe boss when he is stuck and avoid getting hit by the swordboss. If you keep doing this, it will trigger. The problem is staying alive, which is why I recommended that you use a trainer to get infinite sand bars in order to rewind time.

  3. ymarsakar Says:

    Btw, here is the quote from the gamefaqs guide I was refering to.

    D. Lieutenants Blade and Axe (3rd Boss)

    Okay, this is a boss fight with two bosses. The one on the left with the
    sword I call Blade. The one on the right with the axe I call Axe. Hey, I’m not
    here to entertain you, I’m here to help you!

    Each of them has more than their fair share of standard attack. Axe can swing
    his weapon surprisingly quickly, has a decent jab and a boot counter. He’s
    also invincible defensively. So, suffice to say, we’re going to be focusing
    our attention more on Blade.

    Blade has a few sword combos up his sleeve, along with some devastating lunge
    attacks. He has power attacks capable of breaking through your block with
    ease, and will counter any and all forms of unconventional attack.

    So, how do you beat these expert duo of cheese techniques? The secret is to
    constantly attack Blade with your dagger’s standard B combos. Doing so will
    prompt Axe to leap into the air with a chop. If you get hit it’s all for
    nothing, but if you roll out of the way he will get his axe stuck in the
    ground with comical effect, and you are free to pummel him with dagger combos
    to your heart’s content…

    …with a catch. The real danger lies here, as Blade will be attacking
    ferociously to protect his partner. You have to attack Axe to win, but doing
    so leaves you with the risk of suffering serious damage. Stay as far away from
    Blade as you can when you attack Axe. Rolling around Axe to keep him between
    you and Blade is effective, and vault over him if you’re really in a pinch.
    When Axe recovers, start smacking Blade again to provoke him into doing
    the same leaping chop. Dodge, rinse, and repeat.

    When you take away about a third of health from Axe, you will get a prompt for
    a Speed Kill. Match with two visual cues to clear the first phase of the
    battle and take both enemies down to around half health.

    Continue this same pattern. When Axe is nearly out of health, another prompt
    for a final Speed Kill will commence. Match the two visual cues to finish the
    two and end the boss battle.

    If you need more info, you can go here.

  4. jemes Says:

    i like prince of persia serise like worriorwithin best game ever
    but twotheronce i don’t beacause the game is not available no store
    please take address for my email address

  5. bootkiller Says:

    great game! thanks

  6. Роман Says:

    Не маленький опыт профессиональной деятельности нашего коллектива позволяет нам работать над заданиями любой сложности, и осущесвлять качественных и успешнных результатов в реализации самых смелых и интересных фантазий

  7. Gershon Says:

    Cool. i love this game.

  8. Kewl site man…

    keep up the good work man…….

  9. tavishnaruka Says:

    wow, your review is really good

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