Prince of Persia (1989)
The prince appears in the original Prince of Persia (1989) as the protagonist and sole playable character. He is an adventurer from a foreign land who has never experienced royalty, but wins the heart of the Sultan's daughter on a trip to Persia. The prince is thrown into the palace dungeons when the Sultan's evil vizier Jaffar the wizard seizes power. However, he escapes from the dungeons, and ascends the palace. At one point, the prince inadvertently creates a doppelganger of himself by jumping through a magical mirror, but they become one again later on. When the prince reaches the top of the tower, he defeats Jaffar and saves the princess. He is offered anything he wants by the Sultan of Persia as a reward for saving the kingdom. The prince requests to marry the princess, and becomes the prince of Persia.
The Sands of Time Series
In the Sands of Time Series, the Prince is the son of Sharaman, king of the Persian Empire. The three games follow the Prince and his adventures involving the magical Sands of Time. (See each game's main article for full synopsis.)
The Sands of Time
The story begins with the Prince acquiring a magical dagger from a looted city. He is tricked by the traitorous Vizier into using the dagger to unleash the Sands of Time, which the Vizier desires to use to claim immortality.
The Prince journeys with an unlikely ally, the princess Farah, back to the source of the sands, and reseals them back into a magical hourglass. Doing so, however, causes time itself to reset, sending the Prince back to before the Sands were ever unleashed and before having met the princess. Only the Prince remembers all that happened on his adventure.
The Forgotten Sands
A couple years later, he went to his brother, Malik's kingdom.
Seven years later after his adventure at Azad, the Prince finds himself pursued relentlessly by the Dahaka, guardian of the timeline. By using the Sands to rewind time, the Prince cheated death, something the Dahaka will not tolerate. Never truly safe, never able to rest, the Prince's good nature is eroded away until he becomes a shell of his former self. Nothing is left but the grim determination to survive.
Guided by the counsel of an old man, the Prince sails to the Island of Time, ruled by the Empress of Time, creator of the Sands of Time. There, he utilizes an ancient artifact to allow himself to exist in two places at once: he allows the Dahaka to claim his life, satisfying it, and the parallel duplicate of the Prince is at last free. He sails from the island with the empress Kaileena to his home in Babylon.
However, the Prince altered the timeline while cheating death. The Sands of Time's creation had been undone, spawning an alternate history that would confront the Prince only weeks later.
The Two Thrones
The Prince arrives to find his home under siege by the Vizier, alive and well in this new timeline. The Vizier captures and murders Kaileena, in the process creating the Sands of Time. Utilizing the Dagger of Time, the Vizier transforms himself into a sand creature with mastery over the sands, immortal and extremely powerful. The Prince does not leave the confrontation unscathed. Infected by the cursed sands, the Prince develops a vicious alter ego not unlike his hardened self from Warrior Within.
Battling the Vizier's minions, the city's traps, and his own internal corruption, the Prince eventually meets Farah, who has no memory of him in this altered timeline. They journey together toward the Vizier, but Farah is captured. On his own, the Prince is forced to make peace with his mistakes and in the process silences his internal corruption. After overcoming many more trials, the Prince manages to defeat and kill the Vizier. Kaileena, now the personification of the Sands, removes the curse from the Prince and dispels the Sands of Time once and for all.
Peace restored, Farah inquires of the Prince how he knows so much about her, despite their never having met. The Prince begins his story of the Sands of Time, reciting the opening lines of the original game:
"Most people think time is like a river, that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you, they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I am and why I say this. Come, and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard..."
Prince of Persia (2008)
An all-new Prince
As a reboot of the franchise, Prince of Persia involves a new iteration of the Prince within a new world and story.
In this world, this young man is only known as "the Prince" as a nickname, and he is not related to royalty in any way. He was orphaned as a young child, his parents dying in a war that he believes was not theirs to fight. This instils a cynicism in him at an early age, leading him to care little for other people's problems, believing that involving himself in the affairs of others will only lead to misfortune, and that he should only concern himself with his own well-being. After living for some time with his uncle, the Prince ran away from home. Approaching life as a free spirit, he raids tombs for money and spends the rest of his time chasing girls.
After a particularly large haul at a tomb, the Prince is engulfed by a sandstorm, soon losing his way and his gold-laden donkey. Groping in the desert for his lost gold, he runs into a woman named Elika, who brings the Prince back to her kingdom, the City of Light, in the hope that he will help her seal the dark god Ahriman back into his prison. While he doesn't like involving himself in other people's problems, he begrudgingly admits that if Ahriman escapes, it will be everyone's problem, so he accepts, and the two journey to the distant corners of the kingdom to heal the fertile grounds that energize Ahriman's seal.
This Prince is voiced by Nolan North, known for his work in the Uncharted and Assassin's Creed franchises.
- While the Prince is never referred to by name either in in the Sands of Time trilogy or the 2008 reboot, the character in the movie adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is named Dastan, a name chosen by Jordan Mechner, creator of the Prince of Persia franchise. Mechner says he chose the name because it is a Persian word for "trickster" and can also mean "story". Read here for more information concerning the Prince's name.