Prince of Persia creator Mechner remaking Karateka

Apple II martial arts game reborn on PSN and XBLA.

Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner is remaking his 1984 martial arts game Karateka.

Its development marks Mechner's first deep involvement in day-to-day development for years.

Karateka, which Mechner created while at Yale University, launched first on Apple II. It proved a big hit, and drew praise for its realistic animations.

The side-scrolling brawler was set inside a Japanese fortress, ruled by the evil Akuma (no relation to the evil Street Fighter). You had to fight guards and eagles to rescue Princess Mariko.

It was later ported to a raft of platforms, including the Amstrad, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Game Boy.

The new version is a downloadable game due out on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade later this year.

"Today's downloadable game space is a perfect match for the combination of simple fun gameplay with a strong, human story that gamers embraced in the original Karateka," Mechner told Variety.

"In remaking Karateka, I want to honour the original game with a compact, pick-up-and-play game that is fluid, atmospheric and beautiful. It's a reinvention that brings the original story to life with all the incredible graphics and sound capability of today's consoles."

Mechner compared the game to a "silent movie". "I wanted to keep that simplicity," he said.

"Making the original Karateka was a labour of love. To have so many people embrace it and share their stories of playing it has been really rewarding. I am always surprised to hear how much impact that game had."

Mechner's last made a game eight years ago, with 2003's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Since then he's focused on writing graphic novels and movies, including the big budget 2010 Hollywood Prince of Persia film, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley.

There's plenty more on Mechner's blog.

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