April 10th, 2007 | Feature
The Game Center CX Episode Guide
The front-to-back tribute to the Japanese TV show that flies in the face of Nintendo's epilepsy warnings.

 

Game Center CX Season 2 – Back to Contents
#7
「プリンス オブ ペルシャ」の王子様
The Prince of "Prince of Persia"

Chousen

Shortly after Arino completed Solomon’s Key, Sasano stepped in with a Super Famicom and offered Arino the next challenge’s game: Prince of Persia. Arino starts it right after, with no break in between. He reads the manual and learns the setup: save the princess from the evil Jafar by completing 20 stages in under two hours. He begins and tries to learn the controls, but ends up dying in the first level, over and over again. He learns to walk with the A button, which helps him somewhat.

After about an hour, Sasano steps in. He tells Arino it’s just about time to go, and it’s practically Christmas anyway. Sasano says Arino will have to return in 10 days to continue the game. He’s handed the Super Famicom and sent home.

Arino returns to work 10 days later and starts the game properly. He goes through level 1 again and gets the prince’s sword, but soon afterward keeps dying in the same spot as last time; he just can’t get the jump timing down. Once he gets past that, he runs into his first sword fight. And then he finally gets through level 1 — in 17 minutes. Level 2 is more of the same, except Arino gets the defensive potion, and generally breezes through the level in just under 4 minutes. Level 3 is less smooth, however, but ends with a close call — in 21 minutes.

Skipping ahead to level 5, Arino notices a large mirror on a ledge. It’s a key point, as it’s really a portal that leads to a critical step-switch. Arino gets down to the switch, but when he climbs back up, another mirror appears in his way. He has no idea what to do, so he hangs around for a few minutes. Eventually it dawns on him to leap into the mirror, and he does so, creating a ghostly clone of the prince. From here he goes ahead and clears the level. On the next, the screen reads "10 minutes left," but Arino doesn’t seem to notice (or understand). As he continues on, he’s introduced to the first boss, the Amazoness. He runs away at first, but manages to defeat her.

On level 7, the time finally runs out. He checks the Best Time chart and starts to think about how to beat the game in time. 120 minutes divided by 20 levels equals six minutes per level, theoretically, in order to complete the game in time. Arino then figures it out: write down the password after each level — if the clear time is over six minutes, restart the level and keep repeating the process, overlapping passwords until every level has a passable time leading up to the final battle.

Arino starts the game over. He beats level 1 in three and a half minutes and writes down the password and time on the whiteboard. Level 2 is cleared in two and a half. Arino resets the game and starts again from level 2. This continues on through level 7, where Arino’s total is just under 25 minutes so far. But since level 7 is where he last left off, Arino is a little slower here and eventually dies. He once again resets and tries again. He gets through to level 8, but gets hung up and clears it in an awful 29 minutes.

In level 9 Arino faces another boss, but keeps getting wrecked. He goes through eight attempts before defeating him, and then ends up clearing the level by falling into a pit that leads to the lava under level 10. He goes back to fight the level 9 boss, and racks up 24 more failed attempts. He beats him again, but then dies in the rest of the stage. Will Arino ever pass the cursed level 9?

After the 43rd attempt, he defeats the boss again and finally gets down to level 10 properly. He manages to push a rogue skeleton off a platform without having to fight it, but encounters a second one that pushes him off and makes it impossible for him to climb back up. He resets and tries again, and manages to complete the level. With the game half done, Arino calculates the total time so far: 37 minutes, 55 seconds.

In level 13, Arino gets trapped by Jafar. But the princess sent out her pet mouse, who frees him after a few minutes. he ends up clearing the level in 10 minutes, which isn’t that great, but he goes with it anyway. AD Sasano steps in and points out the time to Arino. It’s time to go. Sasano asks him if he’ll give up here. Not a chance; he still wants to see the ending! Regardless, Sasano forcibly ejects the game and disconnects the Super Famicom for Arino, who will have to return the next day.

I’d Like to Meet This Man: Koji Igarashi

Arino visits Konami for the umpteenth time to talk to Koji Igarashi, the main producer of the Castlevania series. With whip in hand, Igarashi talks a lot about Castlevania, of course, and how he got started with the series (a transplant from the Tokimeki Memorial team). Igarashi also talks about Nanobreaker, by far the lowest point in his career (not that anyone knew at that point in time).

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