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    FAQ/Walkthrough by Jon880

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 12/21/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    FAQ/Walkthrough by J Woodrow  <mansion880@yahoo.co.uk>
    Version 1.0 - 2007/12/12
                             P R I N C E  O F  P E R S I A
                                --  The Two Thrones  --
                   Story and script by Corey May and Michael Wendshuh
    -- Adaptation by J Woodrow ----------------------------------------------------
    The measured words of a woman's voice told the tale.
    'We all make mistakes. Some are small, some are large.'
    Trails of stars lit black ocean waters, glittering on the surface as a ship 
    glided to its course, set to the light of a new dawn.
    'But his mistake - born of innocence, fuelled by pride - was the greatest and 
    most terrible of them all.'
    A young man hung over the bow, searching the way along a rocky coast. He 
    fingered an amulet about his neck. A flood of memories came to him.
    "All that is yours is rightfully mine..." echoed a voice.
    "You cannot change your fate," came another.
    He recalled another voyage, where he became swirled in waters that swept him 
    to a place of destiny.
    'Some believed when the Prince journeyed to the Island of Time to escape death 
    that he returned alone; the amulet destroyed, the Dahaka appeased, the Empress 
    dead. The Prince was free at last. But this is not how it happened.'
    He remembered how he faced and fought a dark terrible beast, the Dahaka, 
    guardian of the Timeline, giving up the amulet to end the nightmare caused 
    when he inadvertently released the Sands of Time.
    That was one possibility. In another he was seized by the grip of a mask, that 
    allowed those cursed to wear it to change their fate. He returned to face the 
    Dahaka again, and in this changed past rescued Kaileena, the Empress of Time, 
    who he had once been forced to kill.
    'The truth is that he chose to save me from my destiny. In doing so, he set me 
    free - and doomed us all.'
    The valiant Prince of Persia stood alone at the bow and released the amulet to 
    the ocean depths. It had brought only trouble, even though it saved his life. 
    Now that he had prevented creation of the Sands of Time, he would not need it 
    again. Behind him a raven-haired beauty in white flowing robes came on deck.
    "Prince," Kaileena stepped forward. Hers was the voice of narration, but she 
    spoke directly to him now. "Of all the possible futures this one held the most 
    promise. But something has changed."
    "Do not worry, Kaileena, no harm will come to you in Babylon, I promise. Look, 
    we are nearly home."
    A skein of birds flew overhead as the ship rounded a bright sunlit cove. The 
    city came into sight. A beacon blazed at the harbor mouth. Other fires burned 
    too. Beyond the placid waters the Prince sensed something wrong. His eyes 
    widened with shock, then narrowed as he gasped: "No!"
    They drew closer and he heard anguished cries, the unmistakable sounds of 
    battle. They could see now that fires of destruction swept the city as they 
    approached. A missile whistled through the air, and startled them both as it 
    struck down.
    The homecomers were the focus of attack. A hundred flaming arrows rained into 
    their ship as a legion of soldiers in hideous hawk-like masks fired volley 
    after volley. The Prince ran for the tiller, and tried to steer away. The 
    sails were already on fire, the tiller would not answer to his course.
    High on the shore a savage brute put flame to a fireball as another chopped 
    the rope that released it from a wooden catapult. It streaked through the air, 
    and crashed with devastating accuracy into the little ship, smashing timbers 
    and toppling the mast. The tattered sail collapsed burning to the sea. The 
    stricken craft split apart, its occupants cast helpless to the boiling depths.
    The Prince kicked for the surface, lungs bursting. He rose and gasped for 
    breath, and flicked hair from his eyes. He clung to floating timbers and 
    searched desperately about.
    "Kaileena," he called. "Kaileena!"
    The body of the woman was carried by wreckage beyond his outstretched arm. He 
    saw her seemingly lifeless body drift towards the burning shore.
    'As our ship lay sinking in the harbor the Prince found himself in a city 
    quite different from the one he had left behind. The normally busy wharves 
    were now decimated. Blood-spattered awnings and splintered doorframes were 
    all that waited to greet him. And the people - merchants, beggars, fishermen - 
    were nowhere to be found. Others had taken their place.'
    The Prince hauled himself out of the water. He stood on a dock and surveyed 
    the devastation along the shore. Kaileena lay at the sea edge. Hulking horned 
    brutes descended to where she had drifted to land. One rolled her roughly with 
    his boot. Though there appeared no signs of life, a second brute heaved her 
    across his shoulder. The Prince looked on helpless, and shouted from a 
    distance: "Let her go!" If his words could be heard they were ignored.
    Ships of the invaders crowded the harbor, the home fleet turned to burning 
    hulks. At the dock edge, bodies lay strewn to a low wooden door, smashed 
    through at its foot. He rolled beneath.
    'The Prince made his way along the torn and blasted district, haunted by 
    visions from his past: the dockside tavern where he had spent many late nights 
    was now reduced to cinders. Babylon's proud armada which he would often come 
    to greet lay cracked and broken, cast to the bottom of the Euphrates.'
    Inside, devastation was everywhere. Smoke filled the air, rising from cast 
    metal fireballs that had smashed the thick walls. More pathetic bodies lay 
    scattered, and from a battlement above came the sound of labored struggle, 
    where desperate defenders fought on. Though unarmed, the Prince hurried over 
    parapets that he might somehow lend assistance - although he could not 
    comprehend what disaster had befallen his city he had to do something to help 
    save it. He ran across a gap in a wall, and as he passed close underneath saw 
    a lone defender trade heavy blows with a horn-helmeted soldier such as those 
    that dragged Kaileena away. The Prince could find no way to climb up, and was 
    forced to leave the poor fellow to his fate.
    Past more bloody corpses a ladder brought him down a shallow ramp to a closed 
    yard. Flames crackled off a fiery ball that had smashed through the roof.
    "Everywhere there are signs of battle," the Prince thought grimly, "but what 
    of Babylon's guard? Where have they all gone?"
    Several lay slumped in the yard with him, a sheet of arrows struck across a 
    door evidence enough of their valiant yet hopeless defense.
    A thick wooden column stretched floor to ceiling, and he grasped tight to 
    climb as high as he could until he faced back to a second column. He jumped 
    over to climb higher still and back to the first. From its height he jumped 
    off to a high wooden platform. Doors here were firmly shut. Looking about, he 
    observed a niche running along the far wall near its height. He made his way 
    over a plank dais to hang off its rail in order to jump back to his column at 
    its highest section, from which he could reach the niche.
    He shimmied confidently to a corner, where he dropped down to a stone pillar 
    platform. Though temporarily halted, his ingenuity came into play. He spotted 
    a short ledge at an opposite corner, and executed his characteristic wall run 
    to reach it. An astounding feat for a man with less courage and ability than 
    the agile Prince. He clung to the ledge, and by a continuation of the niche 
    shimmied to a gap in the wall and pulled up.
    Flames crackled where a fireball had broken through. Rumbles of distant 
    explosions told of the battle that raged outside. Light streamed through dust 
    in the shattered room beyond, where loose debris fell. A stone fountain basin 
    babbled to one side, and the weary Prince jumped down to take a draft and 
    clear his head.
    -- THE RAMPARTS ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Having seen so much horror already, the young Prince scarcely noticed the body 
    of a defender that lay broken at one side. He ran on down wooden stairs to a 
    balcony that looked over a courtyard. Standing below in clear view here and 
    there were sentries of the invading army. At last he might be able to confront 
    the enemy, and exact some revenge.
    He scaled a ladder to high ramparts. Fires of destruction burned across domes 
    and rooftops all around. The noise of battle was louder here, screams of women 
    and men lost in the thunder of explosions. On a rooftop nearby, remnants of 
    his father's guard kept up their vain defense. The Prince hurried to join 
    them, though yet unarmed.
    He stepped cautiously inside a low building. A short blade lay stuck into a 
    table top within. The Prince pondered. "Why is it that every time disaster 
    strikes, I find myself without a proper blade?" He snatched it up. "Still, 
    it's better than nothing."
    A guard stood outside. His horned mask gave the appearance of some savage 
    beast. The Prince ducked down and crept up behind.
    He glanced at his new blade; it seemed sufficient to deal with the guard, if 
    he struck swiftly. He crept up behind and seized the wretch. His warrior's 
    instinct told him the moment to strike with the blade: one slash across the 
    back, then a thrust to the throat, and with grim satisfaction the Prince 
    watched him fall. On the ramparts below the Prince sensed another guard on 
    patrol. Across the burning rooftops he saw soldiers locked in hand-to-hand 
    combat with yet more of the pitiless invaders. He must do what he could.
    He swung over a railing and jumped to a column. It was too far to reach the 
    valiant troops, but he slid swiftly down and came behind the pacing sentry he 
    noticed from above. He waited until his back was turned, then dropped and 
    moved quickly behind, where first a slash and then a thrust was enough to deal 
    a second death.
    Another enemy stood in arrogant stance below, and the Prince ran out on a wall 
    to work his way somehow down. He grabbed hold of a niche and shimmied along, 
    working up and across another where fire burned intensely. He passed right over 
    the head of the seemingly deaf soldier, where from a wooden platform he 
    descended a ladder to meet him. Almost incredibly, the sentry remained unaware 
    of his approach, and as he dropped closer even turned his back to continue 
    patrol. The Prince did not waste this good fortune. He sensed that if he were 
    to make headway through a sea of enemies, he had best use each weapon in his 
    armory, and though innately against to his warrior instincts he faced hopeless 
    odds; at this stage his weapons must include stealth. He dropped silently and 
    crouched low, moving swiftly behind the sentry to execute the assassin's speed 
    kill maneuver. As before, he waited for the very moment to unleash the strike. 
    With each enemy dispatched he felt this skill increased, and there would surely 
    be many more chances to test it. From the body he kicked to hand a more fitting 
    He moved down steps to an empty courtyard. From what had gone before it seemed 
    too quiet, and the Prince explored cautiously. A door was closed at either end, 
    so he moved towards an archway in one corner. Here, his instinct urged further 
    caution, and as he approached, he peeped carefully round.
    Sure enough, a hulking Guard stood sentry. This brute stood in full view, and 
    seemed disinclined to move away. There was no prospect that he might catch him 
    unawares as the others. No matter, the Prince had abilities other than stealth. 
    He showed himself and challenged the Guard head on. The invader rushed forward 
    with a roar of command. "Halt!" The Prince threw up his blade as the Guard 
    crashed his weapon down as if to cleave him in two. Their swords clashed, and 
    the Prince unleashed a few blows to subdue the attack. He blocked again, beaten 
    back by the immense but merely brutal strength of his opponent. With superior 
    agility, the Prince ducked around to leap in again, striking over and over 
    until the wretch fell back with a groan.
    Along the passage at a corner, water rushed in streams. This was part of 
    Babylon's complex sewer system. Here he needed to draw on his unique ability 
    to cross over walls at a run, this time with a carefully executed leap 
    backwards to a ledge. He came to the foot of a ladder, and rose to a chamber. 
    Through a narrow window he dropped to the battlements again.
    In a courtyard below, a door opened, and the hulking brutes from the harbor 
    appeared, dragging between them a limp body.
    "Kaileena!" gasped the Prince.
    They moved through an iron gate at the entrance to the fortress. It slammed 
    shut behind.
    "No!" the Prince pounded his fist in frustration, and hung his head. He was 
    yet powerless to intervene. "No way into the city now," the Prince realized. 
    "I will have to climb the siege tower and enter from above."
    He needed to find a way off his battlement, shattered at one side by a blazing 
    fireball. At the other was a long red cloth banner, reaching almost to the 
    ground. Taking up his blade, the Prince ran over to it, then plunged the blade 
    into the cloth. He slid down, shearing the banner but breaking his fall to the 
    bottom. Once again daring and ingenuity led him where ordinary men could not 
    He landed among the short scrubby vegetation of the shore, close by the still 
    burning defenses. He found the heavy gates where the kidnappers dragged 
    Kaileena through. These would not open. Blood stained the ground to attest the 
    brutality of the siege. As he stood wondering how he might follow inside, 
    running footsteps came up from behind. Three hulking Guards hurried to 
    confront him.
    Now there was no option but to fight. The Prince moved swiftly, closing with 
    the first. He managed to beat him to a halt, but the others crowded in, set to 
    overwhelm him. He put to use his superior agility, and rolled and tumbled 
    aside. He found he could easily vault over the clumsy brutes, and he was at 
    his most powerful then. If they pinned him to a corner he could launch himself 
    off a wall, sending them scattered like ninepins. As one closed on him he 
    threw his spare blade in his face, then jumped over to grab the hapless enemy 
    by the shoulders and fling him to the sea. The others soon had the fight 
    knocked out of them.
    Alone on the devastated shore the Prince weighed his options. The fight was 
    inside the city. High above, fireballs streaked the sky.
    The enemy had raised a wooden siege tower against the mighty city walls. A 
    forbidding animal skull adorned the entrance flanked by shields and weaponry. 
    This was how they gained access, and so might he. The Prince hurried in.
    A ladder had been propped to the rear wall, from which The Prince jumped to 
    the suspended end of another. He swung himself about and climbed to a higher 
    "I can sense the others who have passed through this place, intent on bringing 
    harm to my family."
    Another ladder hung just out of reach, yet with his acrobatic ability the 
    Prince ran upwards on a wall to spring back to a wooden ledge facing it, and 
    from there to the foot of the ladder. He rose to a higher level, shields 
    framing the walls above empty weapon racks. The Prince realized these were 
    even now being used in the destruction of his city, and against the people of 
    Birds flapped away as he emerged to the light. He stood atop a mechanism that 
    lowered a gate from the tower to breach the walls beside. Sure enough, this is 
    where the enemy must have swept into the city. He saw again the evidence of 
    "Four weeks I have been at sea, and every day spent dreaming of my return to 
    Babylon. But never in all my visions of the future did I suspect a homecoming 
    such as this. War! It is the only answer. But war with who, and why?"
    Far in the distance was the great Tower of Babylon, looming over the heart of 
    the city. That must be his goal, for if defenders lived, they would surely 
    rally there.
    He dropped to battlements, edged in sharpened pikes. Soldiers fought on across 
    the rooftops. He scaled a low wall to a wooden roof, on fire at one side. 
    Birds scattered at his approach, alerting an enemy patrolling just underneath. 
    This was a soldier armed with a bow such as those who fired arrows at his 
    ship. His feathered mask with sharp protruding beak gave the appearance of a 
    demonic bird creature. The Prince ducked down and drew his sword. As the 
    sentry appeared to settle he ran out on the wall over his head, and caught to 
    a ledge. He dropped behind, with the element of surprise. The sentry proved 
    quicker than the clumsy Guards, and soon came alert. He fired an arrow that 
    caught the Prince hard. As he tried to recover the agile enemy bounded away, 
    and dealt another arrow in his direction. The Prince blocked it with his sword 
    and closed again before the Archer was able to prime another, and finished him 
    with a few swift strokes. This enemy could trouble him at distance; he would 
    be wary of others.
    Babylon's defenders fought on across rooftops, but still there was no way to 
    reach them. Inside a doorway a ladder led down, where more of the enemy 
    lurked. A Guard paced a rough passage. Light streamed at small windows under 
    narrow ledges that ran along the walls. The Prince noticed that, perhaps 
    because of their heavy helmet masks, these simple soldiers seemed not to 
    notice when he approached from above. With this small advantage, he climbed 
    swiftly to a ledge, and inched along to come close behind, where he dropped to 
    execute his speed kill maneuver. At the passage end stood another enemy of the 
    Archer division. This too remained unaware of his approach until he grabbed it 
    by the neck and wrestled it backwards. He bent the Archer to his knees and 
    leaped over, bringing his blade down, spraying blood that sent him choking and 
    gurgling to the floor.
    He hopped a low wall to a silent passage strewn with meager supplies, and 
    climbed a ladder. He emerged now to the city streets. A stone fountain stood 
    to one side.
    -- THE HARBOR DISTRICT --------------------------------------------------------
    A rug swayed on a rod over a doorway. The Prince made his way out on a plank 
    platform to a turret rooftop.
    'You should know that it was not love that drove him, but duty. I was his 
    responsibility; he had made a promise, a promise that was now broken and 
    undone. As with all mistakes he had made, the Prince meant to fix this. A 
    noble goal to be certain, but a selfish one as well, for he was motivated to 
    ease his own pain.'
    Down in the courtyard below he saw the two thugs drag the still unconscious 
    Kaileena through the streets. Others beat and kicked helpless citizens that 
    cowered on the ground. Kaileena and her captors disappeared through heavy 
    gates that creaked and banged shut behind.
    The Prince made his way around narrow ledges, and out on wooden spars to 
    platforms set high above the streets below. The sound of vicious beatings 
    carried up, amid more distant screams and echoing moans. Rich carpets hung to 
    dry from rails, signs of the ordinary life snatched from these people. His 
    people. The Prince kept grimly to his task: he rolled under a shattered door 
    to another balcony above the street below.
    "I know these streets... knew them, anyway. I must keep pace with Kaileena if 
    I am to find the one responsible for this."
    He saw the two brutes drag Kaileena through another gate down below. He jumped 
    out to a wooden beam, just as a door closed shut behind them. As he dropped to 
    a lower beam, birds scattered, alerting the guards left behind. He hung 
    motionless for a few moments until they resumed their posts, then dropped 
    between them, hoping to put to advantage his swift skill with the blade. The 
    first fell soon enough, but the second guard came alert, and fired an arrow to 
    his direction. The Prince closed in and struck with his sword. The Archer 
    blocked with his bow across his body, and as the Prince kept up the furious 
    assault somersaulted away to gain space to fire another arrow. Now it was the 
    Prince's turn to block, and he skillfully deflected each arrow, until he 
    sprang forward to finish the cunning foe. Blood sprayed profusely as he 
    crumpled with a groan.
    There was no way through the gate where the guards dragged Kaileena. Wooden 
    beams across a narrow space at one end of the enclosed alley gave hope of 
    progress. He executed athletic maneuvers to ascend, and made his way past rugs 
    hung out for beating to face a narrow chute between buildings. He balanced out 
    on a wooden strut off a beam and jumped forwards, to wedge himself tight in 
    the slender space. He slid to ground and released.
    Two brutish guards hurried through a door to attack, swords drawn in unison. 
    He was now adept at face-to-face combat and divided his attack between them, 
    holding off one as he dealt with the other. He made use of close walls, 
    rebounding off to send them tumbling, or vaulted over their heads to slash 
    down as he landed. With one dead, and his busy weapon exhausted, the Prince 
    turned to the next and jumped in the air, landing a stubby kick to the face. 
    The body crumpled, and he stood over the stunned brute and struck him through 
    on the ground, taking from him a weapon to replace the one he just lost.
    He made ever more daring and precarious jumps off beams to a second chimney 
    chute. He could climb up as easily as down, and hauled himself to a high 
    balcony platform. Bodies of the dead lay even here, and fire blazed at every 
    window. He jumped far above the street to a beam, and slid expertly down a 
    slender chute.
    An unwary guard patrolled directly below, and in a few deadly seconds became 
    another body among those all around.
    A fire blazed under a door at the foot of some steps, but the way ahead lay 
    down a narrow walkway alongside. As he moved along it he heard a low growl, 
    and spotted guards waiting in a courtyard round a burning pedestal below. He 
    crept forwards and decided to jump to a wooden construction dead ahead. As he 
    landed birds took flight, and might have alerted the guards, but they seemed 
    to possess limited reasoning, and once the commotion was stilled returned to 
    their station. He was right above the first. He dropped in a flash, and took 
    him with two strokes of his Dagger. He crept behind the Archer companion and 
    finished him with only one, albeit that he had to drag him to his knees and 
    hold him down before judging the moment to strike.
    There was no door from the courtyard, but the Archer had stood by a ladder, 
    and up it the Prince found a platform with a jetty pointing to a balcony rail. 
    He soon made his way over and moved on, spotting a patrolling Archer before he 
    was seen. He swiftly made the enemy soldier pay.
    He rolled under a broken door at the passage end, and found a fountain basin 
    at a turn, where wooden buildings crackled with flame.
    -- THE STREETS OF BABYLON -----------------------------------------------------
    His first inclination was to drop over a rail to the streets below, yet he 
    noticed two guards patrolling at a farther balcony, and stayed his hand to look 
    for a route that he might challenge them where they stood. An outhouse section 
    stood to one side, its door ablaze. From its roof he had height enough to run 
    out on a wall and spring away to grab a wooden beam over the heads of the two 
    sentries. As one moved away, the Prince chose the moment to drop down and 
    finish him with two slashes of his blade. The second stood unaware as he crept 
    up behind and slashed just once.
    In the streets below the beating of subjugated citizens continued. The Prince 
    hurried out to a projecting beam and jumped from it to a covered walkway. This 
    led up steps to an apparent dead end. Yet the agile Prince had another 
    strength to his repertoire: aligning himself between close facing walls he 
    began an athletic maneuver whereby he sprang back and forth between them, 
    ascending on each jump and arriving shortly at a ledge strung on the wall 
    above. No ordinary man could easily replicate this feat. He scaled higher 
    ledges and came around to a high beam over the deserted streets below.
    "Where is kind Asha," the Prince wondered, "who would stand before her stall 
    selling fruits and flowers? Or the Arab children, making trouble as all young 
    ones do? Gone, all gone."
    With heavy heart he pressed on over high wooden beams to a platform, where he 
    looked down to a small enclosed space. Two brutish Guards stood ready. He did 
    not wish greater exertion than was needed; he hopped the low rail and jumped 
    away to grab at a ledge on a building opposite. He was placed now between the 
    two, and might easily have dropped to finish the first, but he had learned the 
    benefits of patience, and waited until both had backs turned. At that moment 
    he landed behind, to finish first one, then the other.
    The enclosed area they patrolled stood open at one place. Water poured from 
    spouts to run to a pool below. The Prince edged out across beams and ledges to 
    a broken balcony rail. Sunlight shafted through a thatched roof where there 
    was a high open platform. He stood on the edge, and noticed dark hand prints 
    smudged the walls. He saw at first no means of advancement, yet decided on a 
    bold run out on the wall at that point, and a leap of faith to a wooden rail 
    that struck out parallel. His nimble athleticism was such that he was able to 
    spring up off the wall alongside to grasp on to a second rail even higher, and 
    from that to a wide doorway broken into a wall ahead. Flames licked its 
    shattered timber, and a fireball smoldered within. The weary Prince took 
    sustenance at a fountain basin.
    -- THE PALACE BALCONY ---------------------------------------------------------
    He stepped over the bodies of fallen soldiers, and emerged over a low 
    balustrade to a tiled roof along a secluded yard. An open balcony beckoned him 
    to a familiar building.
    "Home," he reflected, "and yet nothing is as I remember. Objects once familiar 
    and comforting now fill me with uncertainty and dread. What has happened 
    A Guard paced a balcony ahead. The Prince waited until the figure disappeared 
    inside the Palace, then ran out along a wall and sprang to the balcony. 
    Stealthily he advanced, and lest the guard return slipped up the wall to a 
    ledge that ran overhead. He inched along until he was directly over the 
    sentry. An Archer patrolled nearby. His father's home was now filled with 
    invaders, and he would stretch every sinew to rid it of all. He waited until 
    the Archer was out of sight before he fell upon his first victim.
    He crouched and advanced into the Palace. He took up a vantage point behind a 
    large carved screen that divided the entry, and peeped round. The Archer 
    patrolled into a long hall. Another Archer stood halfway down, and the Prince 
    realized he would be seen if he made a rash move. He did not need to be told 
    that the nimble bowmen could prove troublesome together, and looked for some 
    way to come up on one or other of them unnoticed. He spotted a partitioned 
    room just behind where the second Archer stood, and chose a moment when that 
    sentry turned aside to run for it. A stack of pots at the Archer's side gave 
    no hope of direct attack.
    He made it safely into the side room. A piece of low furniture was enough to 
    let him run up and reach a high beam. He crept out, directly over the head of 
    the unwary sentry. The other had its back turned. He dropped down and finished 
    the one underneath with scarcely a sound, and crept swiftly to the other and 
    dealt his now practiced surprise. He was the intruder here, and stealth his 
    most precious asset.
    All doors from the hall were shut. The Prince cast about for some means to 
    advance, and determined to reach a high walkway along one side of the room. To 
    hand was a pedestal table, and he clambered up for a better look. On the wall 
    above the table were set curious decorative plates. Each had a hole at the 
    center, just right to accept the blade of a dagger. He hopped up and stabbed 
    for the hole. It bore his weight perfectly, and his strength and athleticism 
    were enough to reach for the higher plate from it. Now he sprang backwards to 
    the walkway.
    A door here was shut, but the open end of the walkway gave prospects for 
    advancement. A wooden shutter projected at an angle out along the wall, just 
    within reach if he ran out on it. The shutter proved to be a sprung device 
    that shot him far along the wall at an angle, this happy circumstance allowing 
    him to land safe on a balcony. Less happily, there was only a single door, and 
    that firmly shut. The door bore the familiar symbol of Babylon: an eight-
    pointed star in concentric device. A floor tile nearby bore the identical 
    symbol. The Prince moved to investigate a weapon rack against the wall, and as 
    he stepped over the tile it depressed, and became faintly illuminated. A 
    switch activated and the door opened up behind. Eagerly the Prince ran for it, 
    and passed underneath only just before it closed down again. There was no 
    switch this side, but he understood the principal of the mechanism, and 
    resolved to keep alert for the possibility of other switches to other doors.
    He was in another hall, this of rich decoration. A low table to one edge of 
    the balcony where he stood gave height for a run out over a wall, yet he 
    judged the distance to the far side too great even for his abilities. However, 
    he spotted a plate on the wall halfway across, and prepared his blade. Sure 
    enough, as he reached the limit of his incredible wall run, he passed over the 
    plate, where he stabbed with his blade and caught on. He hung for a moment to 
    regain composure, and noticed a Guard at the middle of the floor down below. 
    He dropped to a beam just over his head. He faced a dagger plate in the 
    opposite wall, and hopped quietly to stab into it. Now behind the enemy, he 
    was more easily able to attack.
    Now he needed to reach a high balcony at the end of the hall. He shinned up a 
    thin column support to a projecting beam. As he pulled up he heard a light 
    cough from an enemy nearby. He hopped to the balcony and crouched down. At the 
    end of the walkway he spotted an Archer waiting the other side of a decorative 
    screen. This enemy would surely see him if he advanced recklessly. A thin 
    ledge led all the way along the walkway just overhead. He hauled up and edged 
    along, coming right above the Archer. The Prince jumped to narrow space 
    between walls over his head, and turned about to drop behind. A squirt of 
    blood and a dying groan, and he had the balcony to himself.
    He heard footsteps and the chink of armor below. A Guard paced the vestibule. 
    The Prince hopped his balcony rail and sprang to the top of an ornate 
    decorative screen. He fell on the wretch as he passed underneath, and slashed 
    him expertly up and down with hardly a sound. He crouched by instinct as he 
    heard another enemy somewhere nearby.
    Doors at one end were shut, but the vestibule led into an open chamber at the 
    other. Furniture had been propped across its doorway, perhaps as hasty defense 
    by the men whose bodies lay all around. Unable to climb over, the Prince was 
    forced to smash the obstruction with his sword. This alerted the sentry he now 
    saw on a balcony within the chamber, so he quickly ducked out of sight. The 
    sentry saw nothing amiss and returned to his post, and now the Prince crept 
    right up beneath.
    He hopped to the rail under the Guard's very nose, and shimmied stealthily 
    behind. In a swift move he jumped over and overwhelmed him. Although the 
    Prince had complete confidence in fighting ability, he allowed that he was 
    deep inside enemy-held territory, and reckless assault could prove more than 
    There seemed no way off the small balcony, yet he spotted now familiar dagger 
    plates on a wall overhead. He jumped to catch the first, and another above it, 
    and was then faced with a strenuous sideways run to a third. He caught on just 
    right, and ran off to a balcony at the side.
    He observed an Archer on an opposite balcony, back over the chamber on a level 
    with his. The sentry seemed unaware of his presence. From a low table to the 
    balcony rail the Prince judged he could run across a sprung shutter, and as he 
    did so he adopted a refinement: he flew through the air towards the Archer and 
    simultaneously unleashed his lightning speed kill. The enemy didn't stand a 
    A large door here would not open. He noticed a beam projected overhead, and 
    performed a deft upward wall run in one corner to reach it.
    "I should be resting now," he declared, "recovering from my time away. Or 
    sitting with Father. Instead I am forced to run and hide, sneaking about like 
    a common thief. Hunted in my own city."
    Still he must press on. Off his short beam he reached to another, and climbed 
    up on a ledge around a higher balcony space. He jumped over and hopped a low 
    rail, then ducked as he noticed two sentries at the balcony exit. They seemed 
    not to see him, but he could not reach them directly since a barricade was 
    strung between. He jumped up on a low table and ran up for a stab to a dagger 
    plate. Now he had elevation to run off to one side and spring to a screen top. 
    He edged over the barricade and came close to the first sentry below. The 
    second paced to the far end of a long corridor. The Prince jumped into a tight 
    space between walls over the first sentry and dropped to finish him quickly. 
    Then he crept up towards the other.
    This stationed himself in a doorway, and seemed set there. Pots to one side 
    would make a stealth approach impossible. The Prince crouched behind a low 
    table and considered his options. He noticed a beam overhead, and thought it 
    likely that he could work to a partition room to one side, and off dagger 
    plates in a wall to another beam and an overhead jump to narrow walls, where 
    he could complete a stealthy speed attack.
    A sudden rage grew in him. This was his home, his father's palace, and these 
    wretches had no right to violate it with their presence. He emerged from 
    hiding and faced the invader directly. Hang the consequences, he would show 
    them a warrior's steel. The clumsy thug was no match for his wrath, and the 
    Prince took some small satisfaction in beating him to the ground. All was now 
    To one side was a smaller chamber, and an inner sanctum where sculptures of 
    twin bearded figures in robes gazed down from niches in one wall. Ancestors 
    perhaps. A low dais gave height to a dagger plate on a wall, and the Prince 
    clambered to a balcony ledge. A door opened up, and close above his head on 
    the very balcony where his fingertips clung, the two thugs hauled the still 
    unconscious Kaileena away. He scrambled desperately to an opening in the rail 
    where he managed to climb up, but was in time only to see them depart through 
    yet another closing door. Still, he was close on the trail.
    To one side of the balcony he recognized a switch tile, but mounted vertically 
    on the wall instead of on the floor. Its operation would surely be the same. 
    From a low dais underneath he ran up over it, and a hatch opened high in the 
    wall above. Not for the first time, the many intricacies of the palace design 
    were to work to his advantage! He quickly jumped for a beam underneath and 
    climbed through before the hatch closed down again.
    Inside he found a water basin at which to refresh himself.
    -- THE PALACE -----------------------------------------------------------------
    He started down a seemingly silent corridor. A section of floor was peppered 
    with rows of tiny holes that flashed briefly as his feet passed across. 
    Suddenly a carpet of sprung steel blades triggered at his footfall, and he ran 
    quickly ahead. A timely reminder that the palace bore many traps for the 
    A turn in the passage brought fresh danger. A semicircular blade of bloodied 
    steel swept round from a slot the full width of the floor. He stood close and 
    observed its relentless circuit, and dived through the short space it left on 
    rotation. Just beyond this lethal device a half log rolled methodically in a 
    wide groove across the passage floor. As it turned, sharpened spikes shot out. 
    As design had it, though its face was deadly the reverse side was flat, and 
    allowed him to choose the very moment he needed to dash across before it 
    flipped to display its savage spikes again. He clambered safely up a short 
    wall behind.
    Facing him was another semicircular blade, mounted vertically this time from 
    the wall where he must pass ahead. He once more chose the exact moment to run 
    through as it swept down about halfway, and he ran on to spring off that wall 
    into a second passage.
    Here another rotating log device took the place of a blade, flipping round and 
    around across his path over the wall. Again it took a few moments of 
    observation to decide the right moment to run out, and this time as he passed 
    over there was a sprung shutter at the end of the run that shot him to the 
    mouth of another passage.
    The floor comprised telltale holes that signaled spike tiles, and behind it a 
    low wall bore another rotating spiked log. He waited until the spiked surface 
    seemed ready to drop back to the wall and ran out, over the tiles and up over 
    the log to pull up on the wall with alacrity. This increased test of his 
    ability might even be considered training, since the traps seemed to increase 
    in fiendish complexity, yet served to hone his instincts better each time.
    Now there was a pair of bloody blades in the floor. These turned at the same 
    lethal rate, though one rolled slightly behind the other. It meant that he 
    needed to time safe crossing more finely than before. He came to the end of 
    the passage, where a brazier burned brightly. It was attached to the top of a 
    small wooden device with a long handle protruding from one side. With no other 
    option to hand the Prince put his shoulder to the handle and turned the 
    A sculpture moved aside in a room up above, revealing a hatch into the floor. 
    It was too high for the Prince to reach up to. A long thin metal plate on the 
    wall nearby looked like a switch of some kind, but bore no lever or means of 
    operation. The Prince took out his weapon and jumped up to slot it into the 
    device. As hoped, it acted as a lever and set the switch to operation. A block 
    extended from the wall under the hatch at his back.
    As he dropped down to investigate the block slowly retracted. The switch was 
    evidently on a frustratingly short timer. He set it again, and lost no time 
    jumping up on the block. The hatch was still out of reach, but he gained 
    enough height to pull up on a ledge, and from that pulled himself up and 
    hauled through the hatch.
    'Pay attention to what the Prince overheard as he drew close to where I was 
    being kept.'
    The sculpture that moved was one of four set about a grand pillared hall. The 
    Prince moved cautiously inside, and noticed a sentry paced on a platform block 
    high overhead. To one end of the hall was a fountain.
    -- THE THRONE ROOM ------------------------------------------------------------
    Massive doors to the room were shut. The Prince looked about but saw no means 
    to leave at ground level. He spied a ledge overhead, and a dagger plate 
    alongside. He climbed up on one of the sculptures underneath, and heard a 
    voice from somewhere nearby.
    "Many years ago I journeyed with the Maharajah of India to the Island of Time, 
    intending to claim its secrets."
    The voice was somehow familiar. The Prince listened intently.
    "What we discovered was a barren ruined place, its halls deserted and its 
    guardians gone to sand. Strange tales adorned its walls, which spoke of an 
    empress - an Empress of Time! But of this enigmatic creature there was no 
    trace. We returned to India with treasure nonetheless: a Staff; a Dagger; an 
    empty Hourglass covered in jewels; and books - such secrets they contained! 
    For even then I was an older man, and knew that my time would soon be at an 
    end. The books showed me that life eternal was not beyond my reach, but it 
    required the essence of the Empress herself. The power of the Sands. But you 
    were gone, they were gone, or so I thought. I turned my attention towards 
    other pursuits and left that dream behind. But then, four weeks ago, the 
    Dagger stirred, and showed me things, whispered to me in my sleep. It drew me 
    here towards Babylon. Alas, the Maharajah did not share my vision, would not 
    grant me leave... So I slew him and claimed his kingdom, his army for my own. 
    Nothing would stand between me and my desire!"
    So that was what had happened here: a kingdom laid waste by a madman in search 
    of immortality. The invaders had come to Babylon in search of Kaileena, the 
    Empress of Time, and now the Prince had delivered her into their hands!
    With a sense of foreboding he scrambled up to the dagger plate, and on to the 
    small platform. The Archer sentry seemed not to have seen him. The Prince 
    launched himself from a shutter and thrust his blade deep into the body of the 
    invader. He ran along a wall to a facing platform, and mounted a block in the 
    From its height he ran on to a sprung shutter, that launched him through the 
    air to a pillar ledge. By use of a dagger plate the Prince jumped to a ledge 
    and crept out on a beam, directly over the head of another Archer. From a spur 
    off the beam he jumped to a tight chute formed by a decorative arch. On 
    sliding down he was perfectly placed to execute a speed kill on the unwary 
    sentry. He first bent him back, and then thrust the blade deep into the 
    cowardly gut.
    A ledge at one side led around to a dagger plate, where with a daring wall run 
    the Prince jumped backwards to a thick pillar. On a wide open balcony nearby 
    yet another Archer paced. He waited until its back was turned, then jumped to 
    a slender column and off it to the balcony. He closed fast behind the Archer, 
    and sliced him apart with a stealthy stroke.
    In a lantern lit recess behind thin rustling gauze drapes sat an ornate carved 
    high-backed chair. This was the magnificent Throne Room, and here all around 
    were the bodies of men who had died trying to defend it.
    Two Guards were in evidence below. A wide sweeping staircase led to where they 
    stood waiting, but the Prince judged it too reckless to confront them so 
    boldly. He spotted a more inviting possibility, and hopped the balcony rail 
    near one corner to jump out to a slender pillar that matched the one he had 
    used to get up here. From it he jumped to another tight chute, with a window 
    behind, now close over the heads of the unwitting Guards. He dropped between 
    them and took both by surprise. He took a quick slash across the back of the 
    first, then hopped to repeat the attack on the other. Then he somersaulted to 
    finish the first, and as the second staggered to his feet, bounded back and 
    finished him too with his blade.
    An open doorway stood behind. The menacing voice had come from outside. He 
    knew that Kaileena was in great danger, though he had assured her of safety.
    'Recklessly the Prince drew his weapon and charged forward, intending to 
    rescue me. It was as if he had learned nothing from his past adventures, or 
    perhaps he had simply forgotten? Made blind and deaf by fear and rage.'
    Kaileena gazed impassively, arms tied above her head. Her calm defiance belied 
    her helpless situation, held captive under a sacrificial arch on a terrace open 
    to the skies.
    'This is how it happened. This is how I died.'
    A sinister black-turbaned figure moved towards her, Guards at his side.
    The Prince ran forward with a cry. "No!"
    A squat, thuggish, bare-chested man with a bald head in a flat leather mask 
    turned as the rushing figure sprinted up steps behind.
    The Prince dived to attack but his raised arm was caught suddenly by a barbed 
    chain that wrested the sword from his hand. This savage Daggertail pulled him 
    to the ground, where the bald-headed thug held him at bay with a trident 
    The Daggertail was wielded by a curiously attired female, similarly masked in 
    elaborate horned headdress, who landed with a squawk of intrigue. "What have 
    we here?"
    These were the trusted lieutenants of the invading army. Their master turned, 
    eyes burning, his gray, consumptive skin pocked with sores. The young Prince 
    recognized the lined, bearded face.
    "The Vizier!"
    His enemy from another time held a staff to Kaileena's throat.
    "Ah, you must be the Prince of Persia, come home at last," he sneered, 
    blackened teeth bared. "Too late, I'm afraid."
    The Prince struggled against the grip of the fiendish weapon tight around his 
    arm. The Vizier returned to the bound woman. His voice oozed venom.
    "I believe I have something of yours?"
    He drew out a weapon that the Prince knew only too well: the Dagger of Time. 
    As the shocked Kaileena stared at the weapon that she knew could destroy her, 
    the evil Vizier thrust the blade hard into the abdomen of his helpless victim. 
    She moaned as breath left her body.
    "No!" the Prince shouted. "Kaileena!"
    The lieutenants watched in awe as a brilliant cloud of light formed above the 
    sacrificial arch. The body of the Empress faded to a translucent glow. Golden 
    Sands formed in the image of the dead woman, then rose into the air. Clouds 
    gathered and burst into light.
    The Vizier shielded his eyes as the Sands swept down. A thick choking cloud 
    overtook the lieutenants and washed against the Prince, still bound on the 
    floor. The weapon cast about his arm glittered and cracked as the Sands hit. 
    He wrestled free.
    Guards and the two lieutenants screamed as they were seized in the grip of the 
    choking storm that began a terrible transformation in their bodies. The Prince 
    had been stung to a lesser extent. The Sands trailed away and rushed to the 
    Dagger. Its blade glowed as the Vizier held it aloft.
    "A promise of power fulfilled," he cried. "I will be immortal!"
    In both hands he held the Dagger to the skies, then plunged it deep into his 
    stomach. As the blade withdrew glowing Sand burst from the wound.
    The Vizier clutched his arms, seized by a ghastly transformation as his body 
    was lashed by the power of the Sands. Stubs of wings sprouted from his back, 
    his body twisted under fearful contortions. Clothing was rent asunder as his 
    body crackled and tore. The wretched figure gasped for air as, like a moth 
    from a cocoon, tentacles writhed free and flared into life. On wild flapping 
    wings the changed Vizier soared across the sky, trailing Sand.
    The Dagger of Time clattered to the floor.
    The Prince ran urgently forward, giving short panting breaths as he strained 
    to beat clouds of dust that rolled from the crumbling palace. The ground 
    shook, the floor gave way, and he was cast into a pit.
    Rock fell all around as he plunged to oblivion, fingers outstretched to grasp 
    for the Dagger of Time tumbling through the air just in sight. He clutched its 
    hilt and thrust with both hands to scrape the indestructible blade against 
    solid rock in a desperate bid to break his fall. A trail of Sand splintered 
    the air as the Dagger screeched, but slowed his descent.
    He fell heavily among the debris, and sprang to his feet, dazed but mercifully 
    His forearm glowed like burning coal where the wounds from the Daggertail were 
    now infected by the Sands. Barbs protruded from swollen flesh but he was numb 
    to the pain. It seemed unlikely as yet to impede his fighting ability, but he 
    must seek urgent remedy where he may. He looked at the precious blade in his 
    hand. "Father, forgive what I have done, wherever you are."
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                              T H E  R E C A L L
    He had landed on an outside balcony. The ashen city lay spread to the 
    distance, bathed in light of a full moon that broke through distant cloud. Yet 
    here was no scene of tranquility. Fires burned, and around him masonry 
    crumbled as the ground shook. A lit doorway was open beside, and with no other 
    way down he ran in, but was temporarily hindered by scattered furniture.
    "The palace is falling," cried a voice along the corridor. "Run for your 
    Too late to heed his own warning, the fleeing soldier was crushed by falling 
    masonry. The Prince ran past his lifeless body, along the shattered corridor. 
    Fires burned, plaster crumbled down, and at a turn the floor cracked and gave 
    way under his scurrying feet. He found firmer ground at the corridor's end, 
    but flight was halted by a closed door. On an opposite wall he saw a large 
    tile device that he recognized as a switch, such as the one he had activated 
    in the palace above. With his athletic ability he was able to run up over it, 
    and the door behind opened up. He sprang away to hurry through.
    Here was no respite. Emerging on a wide balcony surrounding a central opening, 
    no sooner had he run out on its surface than it began to give way. Sections 
    ahead and behind crashed to the floor far below. He jumped over the gap. 
    Sensing that the section where he landed might soon follow the rest, he ran 
    on, over crumbling blocks to the far side of the room, where though fires 
    burned away the corner section, the floor at one point seemed to hold.
    A second surviving section of floor stood in a far corner, but there seemed no 
    way to reach it. A cracked area of tile on the wall behind him seemed to point 
    upwards, and at that spot the Prince observed a familiar device in a dagger 
    plate. He jumped up and stuck his blade in, then launched himself sideways to 
    another, and down to the corner. A door here was shut off behind a decorative 
    grille, but another could be seen at a drop alongside. A convenient red banner 
    hung down almost to its height. In moments he was down, and tumbling through 
    the open door, seconds before its threshold collapsed.
    A basin stood inside, cracked but serviceable.
    -- THE TRAPPED HALLWAY --------------------------------------------------------
    He was in a darkened passage, eerily quiet. As he rounded a corner traps 
    sprung to action. He had the measure of rotating spiked floor logs, and was 
    quite able to judge the moment to cross, but here too were tall spiky poles 
    that scythed back and forth in his path, troubling him to judge that moment 
    with care. He came to a closed door at the foot of a stairway, a wall tile 
    switch at its head.
    Through the door was an empty room of tall pillars and high arched windows. 
    The moment he set foot in it, the floor shook and looked ready to crumble. 
    Sections broke away to an abyss, and lest he follow them, the Prince searched 
    desperately about for some safe purchase. The pillars were too thick for him 
    to climb, and there appeared no ledge within reach around the bare walls. As 
    he fled ahead of crumbling floor sections, he spotted at the end of the room 
    that one pillar turned into a slender column at its base. He ran and clutched 
    tight as the floor completely disappeared.
    This column offered only temporary respite, for it shook and trembled and 
    seemed about to give way. He scaled its height, and noticed at this elevation 
    that the pillars slimmed at their top in a decorative stepped arrangement. He 
    jumped acrobatically from one to the next back across the room, climbing where 
    he could. At the last, he spotted a thin ledge around part of the room at the 
    top, and launched away to grab it. Not a moment too soon, as the columns 
    collapsed after.
    He worked around the ledges, which seemed as likely to give way. A lone pillar 
    stood at this end of the room, and he risked a jump to it, pausing but a 
    moment before leaping from it to the first in a series of dagger plates along 
    the wall on one side. The motion of jumping caused the pillar behind him to 
    crumble to the depths with the rest.
    Now he worked methodically, one dagger plate to the next, back across the room 
    again. He saw as his objective an opening in the wall on a far corner. Two 
    pillars remained, and as he leaped to them each groaned and shook. With the 
    merest pause he jumped one to the next and off to a pillar ledge facing the 
    gap in the wall. As he hauled himself through, the pillars collapsed and 
    devastation was complete.
    He turned ahead, where a long red banner hung down. How proud the inhabitants 
    of this place must once have felt, and how ruinous its destruction. As he slid 
    down its length, the Prince judged with alarm that it would not carry him to 
    the ground. He jumped at its end to wedge his feet inside an exposed chimney, 
    and from there descended to the floor.
    -- THE RUINED PALACE ----------------------------------------------------------
    Along an empty corridor, familiar traps sprang out in front. He had not such 
    haste that he blundered into them, but stayed his path until the moment seemed 
    right. He arrived at a room greatly destroyed, and looking up realized that he 
    was beneath the balcony level that he had only just perilously negotiated.
    He made his way around a broken floor, peering into its bottomless depths. He 
    reached a cracked divide where a thuggish Guard waited on the other side, 
    seemingly uncaring of his own perilous situation. The Prince finished him 
    easily and ran on, across a gap to cling on to a niche, where two more Guards 
    rushed from an alcove to hinder him. Their blind obedience to the will of 
    their master evidently overrode any sense of personal salvation. He had space 
    to maneuver and skills at his command, and two were no more effective than 
    At one side was a narrow block, up which he reached to a central platform. Yet 
    another Guard waited here, as easily defeated. The Prince seemed stopped for a 
    moment, on a raised central platform with steep drops amid the crumbling 
    devastation all around. He spotted dagger plates on a wall to one side. He 
    climbed a raised section to jump over to reach to the lowest, then one above, 
    then a thin ledge above that. He paused in his exertions to reflect on his 
    "Once more the wheels of suffering are set in motion by my hand. In taking 
    Kaileena from the Island of Time I have changed the course of history. Without 
    the Sands of Time I never journeyed to Azad, never killed the Vizier. Now he 
    lives again, driven by the same mad desire. I promised no harm would come to 
    With troubled thoughts he pressed on across last fragments of flooring. At a 
    steep drop he looked around but saw no obvious way forward, Then he spotted an 
    angled shutter plate along the wall to one side that sprang him to a narrow 
    ledge off which he found a small chamber with a workable fountain.
    -- THE ROYAL CHAMBERS ---------------------------------------------------------
    He opened a door with a pressure pad at its foot, and proceeded down carpeted 
    steps. Fire outside lit lattice windows, casting a fiendish glow on his 
    "I am being pushed deeper into the palace and further from my enemy."
    At the foot of the winding steps was an open chamber. He moved cautiously 
    inside, and advanced towards a hole rent at its center. A sudden spasm gripped 
    him, and he held his arm in agony. It glowed. 
    "My arm," he groaned. "What is happening? What has the Vizier done to me? I 
    Wracked with pain, the Prince stumbled back, and plunged into the hole. He was 
    cast to the mighty sewers far below.
    'Everything had come full circle. The Prince had resurrected his greatest 
    enemy. Worse, he had accidentally delivered me into the man's hands, 
    unleashing a nightmare plague across Babylon. As if this was not enough, the 
    Prince had nearly been transformed by the Sands himself. Though he had avoided 
    death, he had not escaped entirely untouched.'
    Stripped half bare by the fall, the Prince lay unconscious in a shallow 
    underground stream.
    "Wake up, Prince," came a voice. "Wake up."
    The Prince raised his head groggily.
    "Wake up!" the voice commanded.
    He looked to his injured arm, inflamed by a brilliant glow. The broken barbs 
    of the Daggertail protruded from torn flesh. He seemed otherwise unharmed, and 
    groaned as he got to his feet. He loosened his jaw and shook his head.
    -- THE SEWERS -----------------------------------------------------------------
    He was in a dark, wet place, of dank solid stone. Water flowed in spouts down 
    the walls, and gushed underfoot.
    "The way behind you is gone," the voice said, "so you will have to find 
    another exit from these sewers. Be quick about it, start moving."
    The Prince did not ever feel inclined to obey commands, but he had to find a 
    way from this place. He jumped to a metal bar. The rush of water was all 
    around but like the rest of the city the sewers were deserted. The voice 
    seemed real but could only exist in his mind. Was he mad?
    "What?" he gasped. "Who is there?"
    He was talking to himself. He swung out along bars strung between walls that 
    ran with streams of water. Muted light shafted from skylights above. He 
    splashed through a fast flowing rivulet. The voice seemed to caution him.
    "Be careful, the planks are slick. Mind your balance."
    The stream plunged to a deep pool far below. He was faced by a wide gap. The 
    Prince grabbed hold of a greasy bar that projected from a wall and shimmied 
    over the misty fall. Up steps he caught hold of a short bar, and clambered on 
    top to grab out to a ledge. He moved around to a chute in the brickwork.
    "Good, good," urged the voice. "Head down."
    He landed on a circular grate. A movement in the dark alerted him to danger 
    and he drew his sword.
    From the rank depths of a hole in the sewer wall came a hideous dwarf-like 
    creature, its vile green body naked and plagued with open sores, eyes flashing 
    yellow with the infection of the Sands, its malignant intent obvious by the 
    short chopping blade in its twisted hand, the other a sharpened claw. Soon 
    joined by another, the reptilian creatures growled in the darkness and lunged 
    to attack.
    The Prince backed away across the grating, illuminated by thin rays from 
    above. For a moment the creatures faltered, and covered their eyes.
    "Oh!" the voice remarked. "They do not seem to like the light."
    Cast into the depths to eke out miserable existence, these creatures, known in 
    legendary tales of terror as the Reptus, inhabited perpetual gloom. Now the 
    Sands had turned them into mutant creatures of the dark.
    "Lead them into the light," the voice said with confidence. "Strike while they 
    are blind."
    As they stumbled after the Prince they crossed into light, and each flinched 
    and shielded its eyes. With this small advantage the Prince struck back. The 
    demonic creatures proved resilient, and he had to move fast to avoid being 
    bludgeoned under a heavy assault. With persistence and agility he swept them 
    away. The last pathetic creature sank to its knees and evaporated to a fading 
    glow of Sand.
    The voice was impressed. "Excellent work!"
    The Prince could not begin to explain where the voice might originate, if it 
    were even a figment of his pressured mind, but he was in no small way 
    bolstered by the advice and encouragement it seemed anxious to confer.
    There was no way to squeeze into the hole where the creatures emerged, had he 
    wanted to, and no obvious exit in the darkened chamber where he fought them 
    off. Down a long narrow passage he thought he saw a dagger switch on a far 
    wall. Water flowed beneath planks at his feet and through low grilled arches 
    either side.
    The dagger switch activated a cogged mechanism within the stone block on which 
    it was set, that now moved away to reveal a tight space beneath. The Prince 
    dropped into it, and slid between narrow blocks to emerge in a cavernous room 
    of pillars and arches. He jumped to a metal bar and dropped down others to the 
    ground. The room was flooded in shallow water lit unhealthy luminous green.
    A door at one side was shut. Water streamed down other walls, to the shallow 
    steaming pool of the floor. He waded through, and at one end in an alcove he 
    found dagger plates up a wall. He made his way around ledges to a point where 
    he backed onto a slender pipe. This stretched from ceiling to floor but was 
    divided near the bottom. A funnel of water poured inside. As he jumped out to 
    the pipe his weight caused it to slide down, where it hammered against its 
    remainder at the base, causing the door to slot open at the side of the room. 
    A curious mechanism to be sure, but the Prince wasted no time leaving through 
    He balanced out on a beam, in a high narrow chamber where more water poured to 
    murky depths. He jumped to a long chute between block walls and slid to the 
    ground. Water splashed in rivulets to a stream that flowed to a grating on a 
    ledge beneath. A platform here opened into a much larger chamber. From a 
    platform edge he looked up to a wooden walkway, and down to a stone floor with 
    a shut door ahead, none of which he could reach. High on the wall alongside a 
    large stone block ground slowly in and out of a niche.
    The Prince clambered up short ledges built to the opposite wall and jumped for 
    a column suspended from the ceiling. It slid down a short distance and faced 
    to a pole that projected off a platform to one side. The block of stone slowly 
    ground in and out from its niche, coming flush with the wall for a moment or 
    two then retracting. A dagger plate was set on it, and he waited until the 
    stone came closest to him before leaping to stab to it. The stone retracted, 
    and he was borne along with it, till he came once more flush with the wall. He 
    prepared a lunge sideways to run off to the wooden walkway now alongside. It 
    was a simple matter of a wall run to a narrow wooden chute that brought him to 
    the chamber floor.
    Nearly exhausted after his journey through the fetid underworld, and troubled 
    by the voice in his aching head, the Prince stepped out to investigate his new 
    surroundings. All at once he was seized in a paroxysm of agony. He grasped his 
    arm where the barbs of the flail had torn into the flesh. Flashes of yellow 
    light pulsed, and suddenly he was caught in a black helix of tremendous energy 
    that bore him into the air. He gasped and groaned, powerless to resist as 
    yellow light flashed through his tortured frame and radiated out. He was held 
    motionless, then cast to the ground as the helix drew away. It left a demonic 
    figure in the Prince's place: a burnt blackened body that seemed to flow with 
    ghastly smoke, yellow eyes burning, its torso cast in crazed burning designs 
    of yellow Sand.
    "What have I become!" the Prince gasped. "A Sand Monster?"
    Creeping from the shadows came more Reptus creatures.
    "Call it what you will, Prince, but you have been given the ability to destroy 
    your enemies. Now use it!"
    The Dark Prince he had become retained some of the fighting skill of the 
    Prince, and was bestowed with new ability. His trusty sword was replaced by a 
    long section of chain, such as the Daggertail the Vizier's evil minion used to 
    assault him. He experimented swiftly, and found that he could wield the weapon 
    as a flail, sweeping about to hold enemies at bay. A sharp tug could bring it 
    to bear on the nearest, and its effect proved intense.
    As he moved around and lashed out, the Dark Prince realized with a shock that 
    his own life was constantly ebbing away, no matter how hard he fought. "What 
    benefit is this?" he cried. "Even as I fight them I grow weaker."
    "Kill them then," the voice suggested. "Let their lives replenish yours. It 
    feels good, does it not?"
    The Reptus crowded round, undaunted by the lash of the flail that flashed 
    about their heads, vanquishing each with a few vicious strokes. These 
    nightmare beings had been spawned by the Sands of Time, and as each perished 
    Sands left them as balls of energy. The Dark Prince found that he was able to 
    absorb these, and each stock gained in this way restored his life for a short 
    while at least, so that he fought on.
    The number against him seemed never ending. In packs of three or four they 
    came relentlessly, and he moved swiftly about, turning and sweeping his flail 
    to hold them at bay. He swished around wooden pillars, flying through the air 
    to chop down two or three at once, and rebounded off walls to knock stray 
    demons to the ground. All the while he kept his flail moving, lashing each 
    wretched monster, until at last they were gone.
    "Ah," the voice murmured, "I knew you had it in you."
    He had cleared away his enemies but whatever he had become he was still 
    trapped in a room that had but one door. The corruption brought a terrible 
    toll on his body in its new form: with each passing moment his life ebbed 
    away, and now the creatures were gone there remained only a few scattered pots 
    with which to restore himself. He had to find a switch or some mechanism that 
    would open the door.
    He cast about but there did not seem to be any. A stone block set into the 
    wall over a pit caught his eye. It had embossed on it the head of some 
    creature, and that seemed likely to offer some means of purchase. He cast out 
    his flail weapon and hooked onto it, then pulled steadily. The block came away 
    from the wall, and activated some unseen mechanism that raised open the door. 
    As it slid slowly back towards the ground the Dark Prince ran gratefully 
    beneath. He craved answers.
    "I assume this is not permanent?" he asked curtly.
    "It is," purred the voice. "If you want it to be?"
    "I do not."
    "But you will."
    He could not imagine that circumstance, but it was certain that at this moment 
    he had no choice other than to accept the grotesque transformation. It was 
    some small consolation that in his new state he might access a path impossible 
    to traverse in more Earthly form.
    Ahead was a short jetty to a wooden bar and a thick column that rose from 
    misted depths. He dropped swiftly, and as he recovered his breath, became 
    menaced by more creeping Reptus. He swept the Daggertail constantly, and held 
    them away as he searched for an exit from the cramped cavern where he stood.
    Through the mist at one end lay an open arch, and a passage between solid rock 
    walls beyond. Here he discovered a miraculous ability of his chain. High over 
    a pit he cast out the Daggertail to swing onwards from a banner pole, then 
    released and landed safe on a rock floor. He eagerly smashed ewers left 
    scattered about that each held a precious stock of Sand. The way forward lay 
    off more banner poles strung between outcrops of rock high over the pit, and 
    he soon slid down a chute to the plank floor of a network of caves dug into 
    the rock. Here he was met by green devils. With peace quickly gained but no 
    time for contemplation, the Prince in his dark terrible form searched about 
    once again for means of exit. To one side was the pit he had just crossed. Up 
    plank platforms behind was a shut door. Again there was no sign of a switch.
    He now recognized a block that could be pulled from a wall, and flush to the 
    cave across another bottomless pit he found one. As before he used his chain 
    to pull it from the wall, and this duly opened the door behind. He hurried 
    through to a small cave chamber.
    Seemingly trapped in his new ghastly form, the Prince's mind was in turmoil. 
    "Why then is this happening to me?"
    "You have been infected by the Sands of Time, as I am sure you have noticed."
    The Dark Prince seized on a few scattered pots to replenish his dwindling 
    stock of Sand.
    "Maybe it's the Dagger," the voice continued. "Maybe it's all the time you've 
    spent amongst the Sands. Or..." he chuckled, "amongst the Empress? Either way, 
    you are resisting it. Mostly."
    The Dark Prince scrambled up on a ledge. "Mostly?"
    "You did just transform into something rather unique. So I think the word is 
    most appropriate." He gave a short sigh. "Think of it this way: you have been 
    given a gift. You are stronger, faster."
    "Uglier." The unhappy figure pulled up on a platform.
    "Now, now," the voice chided.
    The Dark Prince ran to a ladder in a corner and pressed for more. "That 
    explains the transformation, but who are you?"
    "Have you not realized? I am your untapped potential, your unrealized dreams. 
    I am part of you."
    "You- you are inside me?" gasped the Dark Prince. This received no answer.
    He smashed pots in a desperate search for Sand to maintain his diminishing 
    health. He was on a higher wooden platform built into the rock, and stabbed 
    for a dagger switch tucked in a niche. The block on which it was mounted 
    extended briefly, and he jumped for a wall pole and on to another. A spiked 
    log section rotated in a corner, and on a moment it turned safely away he 
    sprang forward to execute a chimney ascent to a platform above. Here were more 
    precious stocks of Sand, and he ran on through a rough passage shored with 
    wood. He jumped from a jetty to a wooden chute in a rocky cavern, and slid 
    swiftly down. He dropped to a shallow pool of water.
    Instantly the dark figure was gripped by a force of energy that manifested as 
    a pale blue helix, that when ascended from his body and cast away returned it 
    to that of the Prince once again.
    He straightened up and checked himself over. Though the Sands still burned in 
    his infected arm, he seemed quite unharmed.
    "It has gone now. Water seems to fight this corruption." Even so, the voice 
    was still with him. "Why did you hide this from me?" the Prince demanded.
    "What, and ruin all the fun?"
    Unable to make sense of either his transformation or revival, the Prince 
    returned to his mission. He waded hip deep in fetid water to a wooden ledge, 
    where he scrabbled with wet feet to pull off the cavern floor. There seemed to 
    be an exit doorway somewhere above, and he climbed to higher ledges. A stone 
    block ground up and down at his back across the cavern walls, and he jumped to 
    a dagger plate set in it. As the block rose it raised him up, where he ran off 
    at one side to a gloomy passage.
    Through archways ahead pools of bright sunlight struck down from above. As the 
    Prince came towards the first, Reptus creatures shuffled from dark corners to 
    attack. He stood in the bright light and knocked the first creature away. 
    Several small chambers were linked through the arches, and there seemed to be 
    creatures in all. A door at the end was shut down, and as he fought Reptus 
    away the Prince looked around for a means to open it. He found a dagger switch 
    on a wall through the next to last chamber, and freed a little space to give 
    time to activate it. As the door opened up he lost no time tumbling 
    More arches lay off to one side of a passage. A light seemed to beckon through 
    tattered drapes at the other.
    A rough but well lit passage had its floor broken into sections. The Prince 
    jumped across and wound his way down, crossing stone beams over black depths. 
    The passage ended at a basin mounted to the wall, its waters radiating pure 
    white. A chalice cup glimmered and turned, suspended in strange light above. 
    The Prince could not resist a sip of its waters.
    In a flash the basin was gone. Here were just cold empty walls. Now the 
    passage appeared darker, and as he moved along its stillness sudden traps 
    sprang to life. Twin saw blades scythed across his path, and with the passage 
    end behind him the Prince had no option but to dive through. A narrow beam 
    extended in front, and might easily have been walked over, but ranks of 
    vicious darts shot out over its length at rapid intervals. Again he chose the 
    moment to cross, with pause at the mid point in safety between volleys of 
    darts. Now from its end he faced a leap between more metal blades. Another 
    bloody blade rotated fast across the passage floor in front. Brilliant light 
    glimmered behind. The Prince edged forward on a small broken beam, and might 
    easily have dashed past, but for the presence of spike tiles at his feet, that 
    required that he run off to one side as he did so, and tumbled past the teeth 
    of the blade. He seemed safe, and moved to the light.
                            YOU GAINED BONUS HEALTH
    He came to lying on the floor beside the mystical basin where he drank. It was 
    now broken apart, with no sign of the chalice. Behind him, the passage seemed 
    silent. He stepped forward cautiously, but no traps sprang out this time. All 
    remained silent as he made his way back along beams and broken gaps to the 
    rough fluttering drapes at the passage entrance. A curious diversion, and a 
    circumstance that he could not easily explain. Yet, undeniably, he felt 
    stamina increased.
    Ahead of him was a rank of sweeping metal blades. His excursion, real or 
    imagined, had sharpened his wit at traversing such as these, and he ran 
    through with scant concern. A more conventional fountain basin waited just 
    -- THE TUNNELS ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Through an arched open doorway he entered a rough passage hewn from rock. It 
    ended abruptly at a precipice, a barrier to all but the agile Prince. He ran 
    out along the rock wall to spring off where a small platform faced a ladder 
    fixed to the rock wall. A series of thin ledge in the reddish rock brought him 
    up a shaft, where he paused once or twice to negotiate lethal dart traps.
    He emerged to a cave, where daylight shafted through seams high to one side. 
    At a far passage end he spotted movement, and advanced cautiously over a gap. 
    Two Archers stood sentry on a rock platform across a second gap. In thin mist 
    he crept up as stealthily as he could, and jumped behind the nearest sentry to 
    cut it down unawares. In such close proximity he could hardly hope to surprise 
    the second also, and was forced to join battle. As it somersaulted away to 
    draw a bead with its bow, he cast his secondary weapon into its face, and 
    while it reeled back he vaulted overhead, and tossed it to the depths of the 
    abyss. He caught his breath, then scaled narrow rock ledges in a corner.
    One or two ledges proved ready to crumble, so he did not pause long as he made 
    his way up a sandy cavern wall.
    'When the Prince was struck by the Sands of Time something was woken within. 
    Something strange and cunning, something dark. The seven years spent on the 
    run had embittered the Prince, and made him hard. This burden sustained his 
    other half, gave it strength. The Prince was tempted to do as it said, for it 
    was a light in the darkness, offering comfort and guidance to a man who had 
    just lost everything. But what were its intentions? Why did it help him? Only 
    time would tell.'
    He came to wooden ledges, shielded by dart traps, and chose his moment to 
    ascend. Retracting ledges were as easily negotiated with good timing. He 
    hauled up into a watchtower, and saw the city laid out the other side, the 
    great Tower looming over, seemingly further than ever.
    "Babylon," murmured the Prince. "It is so far away. As a child, Father would 
    tell me stories about-"
    "Pay attention," the voice interrupted. "Something is happening down there."
    On the balcony terrace below, guards paced. A larger one appeared to be in 
    command. To the center of the terrace was a round metal plate, a hole at its 
    raised base, from which an intense beam of yellow light issued straight up to 
    the sky. The commander stepped towards it and plunged his sword into the 
    plate. In a dazzling explosion of light, an awesome creature emerged. The 
    guard stood to attention.
    "All hail Zervan!"
    "What is that?" wondered the Prince, as he realized the shocking truth. "It is 
    the Vizier! He has been completely transformed."
    The now hairless and youthful Vizier hovered on huge golden wings, his virile 
    naked body cocooned in the ghastly iridescence of light.
    "Interesting," the voice mused. "He has used the power of the Sands to 
    transform his army, and these artifacts will allow him to transport them 
    across the city with ease. He appears to be in complete control. Things do not 
    look too good for you at the moment."
    The fabulous gilded creature returned imperiously to the beam of light and 
    disappeared through the plate. The Prince pounded his fist. "I will not let 
    the Vizier have Babylon. My city, my throne!"
    He stood on the edge of the tower and considered the strange device housed on 
    the platform below.
    "He has used that beam as a gate. I will follow him through it."
    "I'd scout ahead," the voice offered, "but, well ... I can't."
    -- THE FORTRESS ---------------------------------------------------------------
    A low trellis rail that ran around the watchtower was open at one place. A 
    shaft led down, and the Prince dropped into it.
    Two guards had been left on the terrace. One paced impatiently, the other, in 
    markedly different attire, stood near the Sand Gate. That one seemed to 
    receive a charge from the infernal device, a ball of Sand drawn at intervals 
    in its direction. As the first guard came near the Prince dropped behind. He 
    wrestled the invader to the floor and thrust with his sword. Instead of blood 
    as before, a trail of glowing Sand leaked from the body. Caught suddenly off 
    balance, the Prince suffered a blow in return. With a threatening grunt the 
    other guard came alert, and ran to the Sand Gate to plunged his sword into it.
    The metal plate pulsed with light, and as he finished his first assailant, to 
    his horror the Prince saw a second hulking brute materialize in its beam.
    "Well done, Prince," the voice said grimly. "Your inaction has allowed them to 
    call for reinforcements."
    The Sand Gate Guard stood aside as the Prince closed quickly on the new 
    arrival. He knew now that these were no longer mortal; the Vizier's army was 
    corrupted by the Sands of Time. This demon beat its chest as it roared angrily 
    to life.
    "It seems that the gate won't close until all its guardians have been 
    defeated," the voice observed. "Get to work. Dispatch the guards. As long as 
    they live the beam will remain."
    The Prince turned ferociously on the commander, and though that sturdier enemy 
    proved of no better mettle than the ordinary guards, the damage had been done. 
    No sooner had the Prince extinguished one creature than a replacement appeared 
    from the Sand Gate. He ducked and rolled about the confines of the terrace, 
    meeting each as it came, and as his secondary weapon broke took the 
    opportunity to leap over and hurl one over the low trellis rail to the yard 
    below. He was grateful to find a weapon rack against one wall, and with some 
    little effort beat off all new arrivals until there came no more.
    "I'm impressed!" the voice allowed.
    The metal plate hummed faintly, and its light faded as the last guard was 
    extinguished. The Prince stepped over to examine it.
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                          A  N E W  S A N D  T A N K
    Puffs of Sand emitted from an eye at the center of the plate, charging his 
    Dagger as they had the Sand Gate Guard. He plunged the Dagger into the eye of 
    the portal, yet in a flare of light it became sealed.
    "Whuh-?" groaned the Prince. "What's happening?"
    "Well that certainly went according to plan, did it not?" The voice sighed. 
    "You really should know by now that entering portals made of Sand only leads 
    to trouble."
    There was no way for the Prince to pursue the Vizier through the gate as he 
    had hoped. "I will simply have to resort to a more traditional form of 
    "Hopefully with greater success," came the sardonic reply.
    Enemies patrolled the fortress yard below. From one corner of his balcony the 
    Prince ran out past a rotating spiked log section, and rebounded to a metal 
    bar projecting from a wall. As he prepared to swing off he heard a rough voice 
    come up from the yard.
    "Separate them into two groups. Send the weak ones to the Workshop. The strong 
    must go to the palace and the Arena for changing."
    "Somebody," came a pitiful cry, "help us!
    The Prince swung to a second bar and hung for a moment, observing an Archer 
    pacing a wooden platform close beneath. As its back was turned he jumped down, 
    and swiftly finished it from behind. Two brutish creatures patrolled the yard 
    below. The city was nearly subdued, all survivors rounded up.
    "Please, I beg of you," came another frightened voice, "let us go."
    To one side the Prince noticed a chain suspended from a beam, reaching almost 
    to the ground. He took a chance and leaped for it. As he clung on, startled 
    birds rose nearby. One guard seemed to sense the threat, but did not look up. 
    The Prince turned upside-down and slid stealthily downwards until he was 
    directly above the unwary enemy. He dropped and caught it cold. The second 
    Sand creature seemed to have moved off around a corner, where the Prince crept 
    behind and finished it without a sound. His caution was repaid as an Archer 
    stood waiting at a turn. He doubled around to approach between buildings. A 
    caged armory housed strange weapons of training: a mechanical crossbow and 
    dummies. The Archer nearby might have needed the practice, for it proved no 
    match for his skill.
    The yard appeared not to have means of exit. Doors stood solidly shut, and 
    gaps broken in walls had been roughly boarded, topped off by sharpened spikes. 
    He glimpsed movement at the fortress entrance the other side. From a wooden 
    platform in one corner he judged he might effect progress via dagger plates 
    set in pointed arches along the wall overhead. He soon jumped up and hauled 
    sideways from one to another. Off a sprung shutter he bounded to an opposite 
    wall, and away off that to a corner terrace.
    He scaled a ledge to stand below a covered walkway. A Guard stood directly 
    above. As the clumsy sentry turned its back, the Prince hopped the low wall 
    overhead and swiftly stabbed it in near silence. Further along the walkway 
    waited an Archer, and he did not care to alert it needlessly. He hugged a wall 
    and closed behind, and deftly disposed of that second enemy before it turned 
    back its gaze. These had been set to guard a flaming capstan lever that stood 
    directly above the fortress entrance. As the Prince turned its handle, the 
    outer gate of a mighty portcullis raised up. The inner gate was most likely 
    opened from the yard below.
    A spiked log section sprang to operation on an adjacent wall by a broken rail, 
    and the Prince chose his moment to run across.
    He landed on a short corner platform, and cautiously stepped out to consider 
    his path. Without warning his infected arm became gripped by a seizure. The 
    Prince wrestled in agony as his body was ringed by a strange helix spiral of 
    deepest black. Boiling clouds enveloped him as his helpless body was changed 
    once more to the form of the Dark Prince.
    There seemed no escape from the curse that overtook him, no remedy or cure, 
    and he had no control over its effect. Yet there might be some small advantage 
    to the Prince in this changed state. The Dark Prince had abilities beyond 
    those of even the agile Prince of Persia. He saw his path, and ran out on a 
    wall where he cast his Daggertail to a lantern guttering high over his 
    scampering feet. It caught on for a few steps before release as he passed 
    under, and allowed him to extend his run far out along the wall, where he fell 
    safe to a high platform section. A useful trick indeed. An Archer stood below 
    but did not trouble him as he jumped out over its head, to swing off his chain 
    and land on another platform in a far corner. Now he ran out once again, and 
    cast the Daggertail to extend his run further along the wall as before. On the 
    limit of his run, he sprang out acrobatically to cling to a chain hanging from 
    a beam alongside. He caught his breath but wasted no time before he slid 
    towards the open ground. A Guard stood immovable directly underneath. The Dark 
    Prince whipped the ends of his chain around its neck, and hauled the brute off 
    its feet. The creature struggled and clutched its throat helplessly before it 
    crumpled to the ground.
    The Dark Prince dropped silently and crept across the wide sandy yard towards 
    the inner portcullis gate. An Archer stood nearby, and this time he threw the 
    Daggertail chain over its head and throttled it with bone-crunching violence. 
    A second Guard came towards his side of the compound, and the Dark Prince 
    quickly ducked behind a pillar. Once its back was turned he closed in, and 
    swiftly tugged at its heels. He threw the brute to the ground, then as it 
    tried to get up looped the Daggertail over its head and bent it to its knees. 
    Mercilessly the Dark Prince used the chain as a garrote.
    Time was ever running out for the Prince in his cursed condition of darkness; 
    Sands drained for each wasted moment. He urgently explored.
    In a corner of the yard near the barred gate was a dagger switch set to a 
    wall. It proved a little too high out of reach, and there seemed nothing to 
    use to climb to it. A series of thick pillars approached on one side, and he 
    noticed banner poles mounted off each facing to the switch. As he cast about 
    for a way to reach up to them his luck ran out.
    "There he is!" came a harsh voice. "Call for reinforcements."
    Guards poured from the fortress to attack the intruder in the courtyard.
    "Wonderful," the voice chided. "Do we not have enough to deal with already?"
    There seemed too many to repel with finesse. The Dark Prince swung his 
    Daggertail viciously, hacking and slicing as each brute came close. He kept up 
    a steady sweep, and where the Prince might have found his own sword would 
    clash uselessly with a defender who blocked, the razor-sharp flail cut through 
    without effort, and soon the enemies vanished to dust. Even so, yet more 
    arrived, and the Dark Prince was surrounded once again. Combat was fruitless 
    with the objective overlooked.
    A slender column stood to one end off the banner pillars, and the fugitive ran 
    for it. He shinned swiftly up, and sprang from one pole to another until he 
    clutched to the dagger switch in the corner. A mechanical ticking sounded as 
    it drew down, raising the barred gate alongside at least temporarily. He 
    dropped off the switch and dodged attackers as he scrambled over stones and 
    scrub to the gate on the other side of the wall. He ducked under, and the gate 
    crashed down, holding back the enraged demons inside.
    He was outside the fortress at last. A road wound towards the city. Transport 
    was here readily available, as the voice drily remarked, "That chariot should 
    get us home."
    A shallow moat ran outside the portcullis gate. A pair of black horses and an 
    open chariot did indeed stand patiently the other side. The Dark Prince waded 
    into the water, and on first contact instantly changed back to his accustomed 
    form, casting off the dark force that surrounded him.
    The Prince emerged dripping, and clambered aboard the chariot.
    "Are you sure you can control this thing?" the voice challenged.
    The bold young man whipped the horses to action. The powerful beasts kicked 
    and whinnied, and charged off in a clatter of hooves. "Let us hope, if I 
    crash," the Prince replied, "it is the end for both of us."
    On the dusty road ahead, two brutish Guards carried a wooden cage on poles 
    between them. The Prince steered aside to knock one creature to the ground, 
    and charged on.
    "The Prince!" the battered Guard exclaimed, yellow eyes burning with hate. 
    "Stop him."
    The other rushed to a chariot, and gave chase.
    The toppled cage lay unattended on the ground. A woman's foot kicked out the 
    broken bars of her temporary prison.
    'And so once more the Prince began the journey home, his mind afire with 
    visions of the justice he would visit upon the Vizier.'
    The Prince raced through a rock gully. Overhead, a narrow bridge spanned the 
    chasm. Ahead of it, an enemy chariot clattered to the chase. "There he is!"
    The rough, scrubby road to the city was littered with bodies, and splashed red 
    with blood.
    "Be vigilant," the voice cautioned.
    The chasing chariot charged down from the left and crashed against his. He 
    hauled the reins to force it aside. The two locked as they battled along the 
    harbor road toward the port gates. Wheels screeched as the horses galloped 
    along. At the last moment the Prince steered through an open arch, and forced 
    the other chariot against the city walls, where it was dashed to a thousand 
    The Prince thundered on, through narrow twisting streets. A fireball streaked 
    across his path.
    "Run right!" urged the voice.
    The street split to a raised section that he mounted to miss the rubble of the 
    lower path. He careened along the city street once again.
    A Guard jogged out from one side and effortlessly hopped on to impede the 
    fugitive. The Prince hacked it away as another climbed aboard. He could almost 
    admire their bravery but such action was more than foolhardy; a single cut of 
    his blade sent each tumbling.
    Still he wrestled to keep his maddened horses to their path. One mistake would 
    see him dashed to pieces just as the other had been. He grazed low arches, 
    gruesome hanged bodies strung above, and smashed aside wooden stalls as the 
    street twisted first left, then right and left again.
    Another fireball crashed into a building on the road ahead. Rubble collapsed 
    across his path.
    "Head left," the voice ordered.
    He swerved up over a narrow divide, and clattered on.
    The chariot took flight through the air, wheels spinning, its twin horses 
    straining ahead, the Prince clinging for his life. It was at once thrilling 
    and terrifying. He landed safe and raced on.
    "You have done well, Prince, though I am sure it was not intentional."
    Another Guard scrambled aboard, and the Prince hacked it aside. The street 
    split again, and with barely a moment to consider the Prince yanked the reins 
    right, and swung up a wide elevated section. The chariot flew over a gap 
    without break in the horses stride, under an awning, to firm footing again. 
    The Prince fought to guide them away from the edge. Up ahead an enemy wheeled 
    a heavy cart laden with goods across his path. He pulled the reins left at the 
    last moment and soared across another gap to the other side of the market, 
    shaded under gaudy red canopies. He wrestled the horses to their course and 
    clattered back down to the street.
    Another reckless Guard mounted his chariot. The Prince tried to keep one eye 
    ahead as the horses thundered up a slope under shady trees. As the intruder 
    was beaten away yet another Guard tried to come aboard. "Watch out!" the voice 
    warned. The Prince ran it under the wheels.
    "That was close."
    The road ran along the shore once again, and another enemy chariot closed in 
    from the side. The two crashed together and raced headlong. Damaged buildings 
    dotted the city. He could see the great Tower of Babylon in the far distance. 
    The voice urged him on.
    "Behind that column!"
    A fireball split a massive stone column across their path. Debris cluttered 
    the road, and the enemy chariot was forced wide. It crashed into the fallen 
    rubble, and threw the rider headlong, wheels and carriage dashed to bits. The 
    gates to the city lay ahead.
    "We made it," gasped the Prince.
    He mounted the front rail, and tugged hard at the traces. At that moment 
    another fireball whistled down and smashed his carriage, splintering wood and 
    blasting wheels apart.
    "All yours," the voice cried, as the Prince leaped from the stricken chariot.
    "Come on," the Prince panted, as he fell directly onto the back of a still 
    fleeing horse, broken loose. He hauled himself upright and grasped for the 
    His steed whinnied and snorted as it galloped towards the massive gates, 
    ominously closing together. They barely squeezed through as the gates crashed 
    shut, whirling clouds of sand and dust that fell about a broken wheel, rolling 
    in the Prince's wake, to clink gently against the now solidly shut city gate.
    'The once bright and vibrant streets of Babylon now stood all but deserted, 
    its inhabitants either dead or fled. Those left behind suffered terribly: 
    captured, tortured and transformed. But the Prince did not notice this, so 
    focused was he on the Vizier.'
    He cantered to a stop before an ornate gate, and leapt from his steed. Using 
    an abandoned cart as a ladder, with a few agile bounds and a handspring he was 
    up and over the top.
    He weaved through a rough passage and swiftly scaled ledges and ladders.
    "I'm impressed," the voice remarked.
    "Oh, good. Your opinion means a great deal to me."
    "Is that how you thank the man who just saved your life?"
    "First," the Prince snapped, "you did not save my life. I did it. Second, you 
    are not a man, just a disembodied voice, a ghost. And third, I never asked for 
    your help, and I certainly do not need it."
    "While I admire your bravado, you would be wise to show some respect."
    "And you would be wise to keep quiet. You are distracting me, and we are no 
    longer alone."
    Fires burned through the buildings above. He hopped a rail over thick choking 
    smoke and climbed ladders and ledges. He emerged to the open rooftops, and 
    took refreshment at a fountain, where water streamed into a gutter.
    -- THE LOWER CITY -------------------------------------------------------------
    The sounds of distressed prisoners carried up from the streets. On a balcony 
    terrace close below a terrified citizen was brought before a captain of 
    "Go," it growled. "Put him with the others."
    The man was shoved to one side and led away through a gate.
    "Why are you doing this?" he wailed. "We have done nothing wrong."
    "Save your crying for someone who cares."
    "I should do something," the anguished Prince cursed.
    "Go ahead, fall to your death," the voice responded. "That will be of great 
    use to them."
    From his elevated position the Prince could do nothing. As screams and cries 
    echoed from below, he did his best to work down to the helpless citizens and 
    do what he could along the way.
    The captain remained on the ramparts below. Another guard patrolled into a low 
    "Why am I always stuck with guard duty?" grumbled a voice somewhere close by, 
    "...here, a turn in this Sand-damned hovel, wasting my time."
    The Prince dropped to a vented window ledge, and noticed that the disgruntled 
    guard stared directly out of the window close alongside. He dropped once more 
    to a ledge that ran under the window, and shimmied beneath out of eyeshot. If 
    that dissatisfied demon spent more time paying attention to duty instead of 
    complaining, it would see more of the action it appeared to crave. The Prince 
    resolved that it and its fellows got something of that before long.
    As he shuffled along the Prince noticed another guard standing sentry on a 
    balcony a little too far below to risk a drop, and another creature with back 
    turned on a terrace nearby. He pulled up where a lantern rail led away. 
    Directly in front of him an intense beam of light projected upwards from 
    another Sand Gate in the courtyard several stories below. It hummed with 
    sinister energy. These mysterious portals seemed to be a hub of activity, 
    since yet more guards could be discerned pacing around it in the courtyard 
    He jumped past the beam of light to a small terrace balcony still high 
    overhead. From its open edge he ran out on a wall, and sprang from a shutter 
    to an opposite balcony, where he fell on an unsuspecting Guard. He slashed it 
    to silence, and crept inside an adjacent room, where the grumbling Guard he 
    overheard was now relieved from its boredom. There was no way from the room, 
    so he returned to drop over the balcony wall, directly over the head of one 
    patrolling Guard he spotted before. The second stood not far away. He waited 
    until that turned aside, and dropped down.
    As the Prince moved to attack the first Guard, he overeagerly mistimed his 
    Dagger slice. The brute seized him by the throat in an iron grip. The Prince 
    choked but fought clear, and recovered sufficiently to knock the insensible 
    creature down. In his distress the Prince inadvertently kicked over a pot, and 
    the second came running. Temporarily cornered, the Prince threw his spare 
    weapon in the face of the attacker, then jumped to grab it, and flung the 
    brute from the balcony edge. As the other Guard resumed its attack the Prince 
    was more able to maneuver, and so faced it easily. A few skilled blows and he 
    was alone. He vowed never to misjudge his attack again, since stealthy 
    progress was more easily rewarded.
    He collected his thoughts, as from the courtyard below came a boy's cry, 
    "Father, father!"
    "Quiet, whelp," a harsh voice returned. "Do you wish to join him in the 
    "Don't--don't take me there!" begged a frightened citizen. "Anywhere but that 
    The Prince was desperate to assist. "Something is happening down there."
    The voice warned him off. "Whatever it is, it will continue until you have 
    defeated the Vizier. You cannot help these people!"
    Though harsh, the words made sense in the greater scheme of things. "Then let 
    us make haste," the Prince agreed.
    He balanced out on a wooden beam. Enemies surrounded the Sand Gate directly 
    below. He jumped for a bar off a wooden beam in front, and swung forwards to a 
    chute between narrow walls. He slid quickly down, and paused safely out of 
    sight, to observe the enemies in their movement around the courtyard below. 
    There seemed to be three, two ordinary patrolling Guards, and a Sand Gate 
    Guard in command. As before, the Prince reckoned that that one for certain 
    must not come alert. As one of the others came close under his vantage point 
    it turned, and the Prince chose that moment to drop behind. With the lesson 
    learned from his last rash attack, he jumped nimbly from one to the next, 
    cutting each with a perfectly timed stroke. He dived back to the first to 
    finish it with a thrust to the belly, then jumped to the second to cut it from 
    behind, before it had even regained its footing. So swift was the attack that 
    the Sand Gate Guard had not even become aware of the danger, and he crept up 
    behind it to punish such offense. A swift slash had it reeling, then a thrust, 
    and he jumped over to haul it backwards to the ground, before delivering a 
    third, fatal blow.
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                        1 0 0  S A N D  C R E D I T S
    The voice was fairly unimpressed. "At least you came out ahead."
    The Prince sensed he ought best to deactivate the Sand Gates where he found 
    them, with the hope that in this way he might limit the power of the Vizier. 
    He plunged his Dagger to the center of the glimmering circular plate.
    Through a rounded archway to one side of the courtyard he found a smaller 
    enclosed yard. It seemed empty, yet as he explored he heard footsteps, and 
    ducked flat to a wall behind a building edge. Two Guards patrolled. They 
    paused in their rounds, and he took the opportunity to creep up behind and 
    deliver his devastating speed kill attack.
    "We really need to get you back on track," the voice said. "Try and stay 
    focused, it might improve your fighting skills."
    Steps at one end of the enclosed yard led to a gateway, its door firmly shut, 
    a still blazing fireball lodged alongside. An arched gateway at the other end 
    lay similarly shut. With the aid of a dagger plate reached from a platform 
    dressed in rough matting, he jumped over a shattered wall.
    The alley the other side appeared deserted, but from a side passage came the 
    skittering sound of clawed feet. Strange wolf-like creatures emerged charging 
    to attack. These devil dogs were afire with the Sands, and with bared teeth 
    and sharp claws might prove every bit as deadly as their mutant human forms. 
    They rushed to the kill, hunting fresh meat. The Prince knocked one hound 
    aside, with its blood-chilling screech, as the second stood square and opened 
    its maw. It glowed with the fire of the Sands, and a sucking wind whistled 
    out, that drew a cloud of Sand from his Dagger.
    "Careful, these creatures seem to feed off the Sands," the voice warned with 
    some urgency. "Kill them before they steal any more from you!"
    The Prince leaped over and battered the creature to the ground. It thrashed 
    and writhed, emitting a high-pitched scream. He thrust the Dagger into its 
    ribs, and turned to finish the first. Sand flared then faded as the loathsome 
    creature wriggled to dust.
    Wary now, the Prince made his way along the back streets. Devastation was 
    everywhere, with broken walkways and blazing timbers at every turn. As he 
    jumped forward to enter one room with its burning floor he was gripped by the 
    terrible transformation to the Dark Prince again. As ever he had no control 
    over its effect, and now as he rose up in his mutated form, more hellish hound 
    creatures bounded to attack. He was knocked to the ground in the shock of the 
    assault, but recovered quickly, and his whirled flail saw them off. He turned 
    to leap a gap and press on with his quest.
    It was to be admitted that a wide gap such as this would have proved too much 
    of an obstacle for the Prince in his usual form. The special abilities of this 
    darker alternative served each the same purpose. The voice seemed exhilarated. 
    "Onward and upwards, Prince. Hurry to the palace and reclaim your throne."
    "I'm moving as fast as I can. What do you suggest - that I grow wings and 
    "One can always dream."
    As the tiles under his feet cracked away he jumped to a wall pole and grabbed 
    to a platform overhead. An Archer stood at its duty even here, amongst fires 
    all around. The Dark Prince strangled it without a moment's pause. 
    At this point the Prince would certainly have conceded advantage to his 
    transformation in this strange unearthly form. As he ran out over a wall too 
    far for even extraordinary agility, the Dark Prince cast forward the 
    Daggertail, hooking rafters high overhead to swing out over the streets below. 
    As the Prince he would never be able to cover the distance. He landed safe on 
    a wooden platform. Safe that is, but that the burning timbers at his feet 
    began at once to crack and crumble. Almost in a blur, at a turn he saw across 
    a gap a ladder on a wall. He quickly jumped out and used his flail slung from 
    a beam to reach it, then scrambled up to emerge from a shaft, where he looked 
    out over his city again. The cries of the people carried up.
    He ran through a shallow tiled pool filled by a spout at one side. At the 
    first touch of water his tortured body began to change back to that of the 
    Prince. He fell to his knees in the clear shallow water, feeling its purity 
    cleanse his tortured soul. As he took a few moments to recover, the voice 
    scolded him.
    "Did you fall asleep? Wasting time makes me very angry, can we go now?"
    Where the mysterious voice had once appeared to offer guidance and 
    encouragement, the Prince wondered if it was not now more insistent, the edge 
    of sarcasm perhaps a symptom of some underlying stress. What could be more 
    important than that he complete his task in his own way, and in his own time? 
    Was he not master of his own destiny?
    "Babylon's defenders still live," he judged. "The city is not yet taken. 
    Perhaps Father is among them?"
    -- THE LOWER CITY ROOFTOPS ----------------------------------------------------
    The sun hung low in a sky filled with smoke from the fires that blazed 
    throughout the stricken city. The Prince drew his sword as he observed guards 
    patrolling the rooftops. He jumped to the first, and managed to creep up 
    behind the unwary Archer on it, and promptly slit its throat. A second 
    patrolled a roof just below, and he dropped stealthily to repeat the trick.
    He now faced the tricky problem of how to descend from his lofty position. 
    There were no convenient rooftops below. He saw on a wall far ahead a shutter, 
    and ran out to spring off to a second on another far wall. In this manner he 
    was fired high over the streets below, to a balcony where he grabbed hold of a 
    trellis rail.
    A guard rushed towards him, temporarily defenseless as he clung on. As the 
    brute swung his sword the Prince braced himself for a blow that did not come; 
    an arrow shafted from somewhere nearby and caught the guard full in the chest. 
    A second followed to send it staggering back, then a third cut through its 
    helmet full in the face, and with that the threat was gone.
    The Prince swung quickly to his feet, and peered suspiciously about. There was 
    no sign of any person, friend or foe, on the array of rooftops or windows 
    close about. His eyes lit on an arrow at his feet. He picked it up to examine 
    its unaccustomed design.
    "What is this? Someone helping us... Who is there?" he called. "You have done 
    me a great service. Show yourself, that I might thank you." There came no 
    reply. "So very strange."
    He was reminded of one he used to know, whose weapon was a bow. "I wonder..." 
    The Prince cast the arrow to the ground. "No. It is silly to think such 
    He hurried on across the canopied roof on which he stood. A jump across a gap 
    brought him to a short section of roof, where a weapon rack yielded a 
    secondary sword. Just above, an Archer seemed nearly alert, and he waited till 
    its back was turned before rising behind it and slicing it apart. He had need 
    to make little sound, for across another gap at this level two more Archers 
    He watched and waited, then chose a moment when they seemed to turn away, and 
    made a great leap to join them on their section of roof. His luck seemed to 
    run out as one spotted the intruder, and both turned their arrows on him. He 
    had to act fast, and vaulted nimbly over one, to grip it by the head and hurl 
    it over his shoulder to the streets far below. He closed on the other and 
    slashed it where it stood.
    "Luck," the voice muttered. "Blind luck."
    He had come to a gap too wide to jump. Here were only rickety wood platform 
    sections. "No more rooftops," the Prince observed.
    "Indeed," the voice replied. Yet there seemed a route he might work lower 
    down. "Irritating little detour," the voice continued, "but let us be on with 
    it; head down to street level and we will look for a way to regain the 
    The Prince disliked taking orders, but he saw the inevitability of the plan. 
    "You are an insistent inner voice, aren't you."
    "Well, someone has to make the decisions."
    The Prince climbed to a higher roof section. The great Tower of Babylon loomed 
    in the distance. Not far away he saw the awnings that crowned the Arena. What 
    was it that so terrified the captured citizens? What could be happening there? 
    He noticed arrows stuck fast in a brick pillar and wondered again about the 
    mysterious archer who had come to his aid. There was nobody to be seen and all 
    was quiet, though smoke billowed from burning buildings round about.
    "You're certainly taking your time getting to the Palace," the voice chided. 
    "I have to say I'm disappointed."
    The Prince had long learned to ignore these nagging reminders. He knew what 
    his task entailed, and could do no more than work quickly and methodically 
    such a route as seemed viable. He looked across a gap through the low broken 
    wall that fenced the roof section, and judged he could risk the jump down to a 
    far roof section.
    He made the leap with but a jolt. From a wall to the side he ran out over a 
    springboard to launch himself diagonally to a chain hanging down into an 
    enclosed space. Enemies patrolled below. He slid gracefully to the end of the 
    chain, and observed two Archers patrolling. He waited until one paced near, 
    and the other turned aside. He dropped stealthily behind the enemy below, and 
    dispatched it easily. The second sentry stood unaware, and the Prince crouched 
    low to come around a thick pillar and finish it from behind. He felt no 
    dishonor in such stealthy attack; he was alone against so many, and who knew 
    what dangers lay ahead?
    But was he actually alone? He seemed cursed to be twinned with that 
    inexplicable creation that dwelt within, ready at any moment to usurp his body 
    to its own inhuman form. And there was that other, somewhere out there, 
    leaving him with the unsettling feeling that he was always being watched. He 
    had best stay alert.
    From a gap in the floor nearby he jumped first to a ledge, then dropped down 
    to another. It crumbled ominously, but simply broke his fall to a third ledge 
    nearer the ground.
    At a passage end he found a dagger plate high on a wall, off which he climbed 
    other ledges to a roof platform. A wall run here brought him to another dagger 
    plate, which he caught barely in time, catching his breath before dropping to 
    another, and then to the ground.
    He was in a small enclosed courtyard, a closed wooden door at either end. 
    Wooden tables stood about. This was once perhaps a dining area. He cleared 
    baskets from under a pair of dagger plates, from which he could launch himself 
    sideways onto a lever. Both doors opened up.
    Life Upgrade #2 [crown]
    -- THE ARENA ------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the end of a narrow passage stood a low rounded arch, through which he 
    caught a glimpse of movement. Something very large worked busily. Scraping 
    sounds of a blade being sharpened carried through.
    The Prince stepped cautiously along the dark passage, the sounds growing 
    louder as the figure came into view. "I don't like the looks of this," he 
    thought grimly. 
    The intrepid warrior emerged to the harsh light of the Arena, a place 
    constructed for combat and sport. A gigantic creature bent over a massive 
    sword, honing it with a rock.
    "This thing was once a man," the Prince gasped. "He was there when Kaileena 
    The squat lieutenant at the Vizier's side now presented a ghastly sight. 
    Ravaged by the Sands, they had wrought on him a grotesque transformation that 
    magnified his worst instincts. Face masked, jaw smashed, crooked teeth bared, 
    and in this hideous state grown to enormous size. A thick bloody tongue hung 
    from a gaping maw, trailing smears down the throat to its massive chest. A 
    sheaf of arrows peppered the monster's back, to which it seemed oblivious. If 
    man it once was, this creature was no longer capable of thought or feeling 
    beyond a primitive urge to kill.
    The nightmare creature sensed the new arrival and rose to its feet, then swung 
    its sword in anticipation of fresh sacrifice to the mighty weapon. The 
    terrifying figure stamped its foot and roared to the skies, where carrion 
    birds circled expectantly. With the full force of both hands it crashed the 
    blade down, blasting the Prince aside with the shock of the impact.
    The young man was a hardened warrior, and not easily disposed to flee from a 
    challenge. Even the monster's enormous size might prove no deterrent, he had 
    faced such disparity before; size was often in inverse proportion to agility. 
    Steeled for combat, the Prince dashed forward to try what he may. Yet the 
    beast swooped down a mighty arm, and snatched him off his feet. It gripped him 
    in a giant crushing fist and brought the specimen close.
    "Ooh, I think he wants a kiss," the voice said, displaying grim humor. The 
    giant contemptuously flung the Prince across the Arena. "Guess not," it 
    The determined young man staggered to his feet and ran aside, as the massive 
    fist smashed to the ground behind him. He had few enough reserves to withstand 
    that sort of punishment for long, it was surely more prudent to stay out of 
    reach. He ran along the edge of the Arena, looking for escape or place of 
    refuge. The beast lumbered about as the Prince ran desperately ahead.
    The Arena was a wide circular pit, surrounded by terraces arranged above a 
    high wall. Ragged canopies would shade spectators from a blazing sun, though 
    there were none here to observe this gruesome spectacle. A huge circular grate 
    at the center of the dusty ground might serve as a sluice for the blood of the 
    many victims that had no doubt met their fate here. Gates on the arena floor 
    were firmly shut, and the walls spiked with obstacles and traps. It had never 
    been part of the design of this place that any should escape the killing 
    As he ran for his life the Prince was pursued relentlessly by the beast 
    clomping about. It smashed a mighty fist or struck down with its sword, 
    shaking the Prince off his feet. To stand and attempt to fight back would mean 
    certain death.
    "Pay attention to the environment," the voice said. "There must be a way to 
    gain ground and bring yourself to his level."
    There seemed no better plan. The Prince could not run forever, and would soon 
    become exhausted. He began to search around the walls for something to climb 
    up on.
    Barely discernible in a corner, a short wooden platform seemed caught in a 
    pool of light. It led under a dagger plate, no use as means of escape for any 
    man without the Prince's athletic ability, but the very device that might 
    service his plan. He ran up and hung off it, and moved swiftly to another 
    alongside. His path seemed temporarily blocked, until the enraged beast 
    cleared a wall with a misdirected lunge from a fist. The Prince ran on to a 
    short platform the other side, now revealed, and jumped up to another dagger 
    plate on the wall above. He quickly ran off at one side to a projecting wooden 
    He was now at a height nearly level with the beast Klompa's head, and as it 
    turned towards him standing there, the Prince jumped forward to land on its 
    shoulder, and struck down with the Dagger. As the monster scrabbled to pluck 
    the irritation aside, the Prince switched shoulders, and struck a second blow. 
    The powerful beast seemed hardly injured.
    "Go for the eyes, Prince," the voice urged. "He cannot kill you if he cannot 
    see you!"
    The Prince jumped nimbly to Klompa's bullish head, and tugged it back. With a 
    fast lunge he struck down with his blade. It squelched into the jelly of the 
    furious monster's eye. As it thrashed wildly, the Prince slid down its barrel 
    chest and tumbled acrobatically to the ground.
    The enraged creature blundered backwards, lunging for its prey. The Prince ran 
    ahead, searching for escape. The platform where he climbed before was gone, 
    blocked by fallen rubble. He circled the Arena again, seeking some other 
    vantage point.
    In a corner, tucked behind a wall, he found a shallow wooden ramp. As before, 
    this would have offered no escape to an ordinary man, however desperate, but 
    the Prince easily ran out on a wall to clutch to a wooden beam. Even so, he 
    saw no means to progress, until a thick meaty fist crunched down and 
    inadvertently broke away an obstruction. Here as before a platform was 
    revealed beyond, with a dagger plate and high platform above. In moments the 
    Prince was up, as Klompa grunted and growled. He faced the enormous beast 
    again, and launched forwards to resume the attack.
    He sliced down into a shoulder, but this time Klompa caught him in its massive 
    paw. The Prince wrestled about in the crushing clam that gripped the life from 
    him, but held his nerve until he judged the moment to strike: as hard as he 
    could he thrust his Dagger into the hand. Pain and anger caused the beast to 
    hurl him skywards, where he fell to hang off its face. Panting hard, with a 
    deft thrust he plunged the Dagger once more, and struck out its other eye. 
    Klompa screeched and crumpled to its knees, clutching its face and spilling 
    the Prince to the Arena floor. He ran to safe distance among scattered bones.
    "Good," the voice said. "You have robbed him of his sight. Now bring him to 
    his knees!"
    The Prince boldly closed in and struck at the gigantic creature's legs. 
    Flashes of Sand emanated on each successful strike, and he hacked and dodged 
    aside as the mighty beast howled and grunted, slashing its weapon in fast 
    sweeping circles to fend off the unseen pest hacking at its heels.
    "He can no longer see you," the voice pointed out with satisfaction. "Move in 
    and attack him directly."
    Klompa's left foot swung furiously; a blow from the huge solid appendage might 
    nearly knock the life from the Prince's body, and he moved closer to the 
    standing foot to avoid it. He kept up the assault, and rolled behind as the 
    enraged creature hopped madly and turned about. It staggered back, ready to 
    kick again.
    "His legs, Prince," the voice urged, "cut them!"
    He took a tumble as the beast lumbered side to side, but stayed close to the 
    heels. He drained its energy with constant stinging slashes that brought 
    flashes of Sand from the back of the legs. The mighty foe stilled for a 
    moment, and teetered on collapse, one wounded leg poised. The Prince turned to 
    the standing leg and struck hard. Klompa was finally exhausted, and sank to 
    its knees. The Prince was nearly exhausted too, but now saw his chance.
    He bounded up onto the back of the beast and struck down with the Dagger into 
    its spine. Klompa howled and spun about, clawing to remove the searing 
    attacker. Once more the Prince was flung into the air, but struck again as he 
    landed. His blade stuck into one shoulder. Klompa swung wildly, and now the 
    Prince stabbed into its neck with the last of his strength, and stitched the 
    length of its spine with his attack, striking flashes of Sand as the creature 
    arched in agony and screeched its dying breath. The Prince fell away exhausted 
    and stumbled from the twisting, writhing creature. Brilliant Sands sprayed 
    from its body, that crumbled to dust as it crashed face first to the ground, 
    blasting apart the sluice grate at the center of the Arena. The last remnants 
    of the once terrifying and invincible creature disappeared into a hole that 
    broke through the dusty ground. A deep well became exposed.
    As the ground shook, a cleverly constructed mechanical disc that formed a lock 
    rotated in the massive wooden gate to one side of the Arena. A latch was 
    released and the gate rose up. Imprisoned townsfolk, intended fodder for the 
    now departed beast, emerged blinking into the light.
    "We're free!" they cheered. "We are free, he's a true hero!"
    At that very moment the Prince felt his body begin the transformation to the 
    Dark Prince. He grasped his arm, aglow with the Sands, and turned away from 
    the freed citizens. "Keep away from me!" he yelled. They must not see him like 
    this. He sprang to the nearby well, and dropped into its depths.
    He landed safe, but wracked with pain as his arm pulsed and glowed with 
    ravening Sand. The transformation took hold, and he was again enveloped in 
    coils of dark energy.
    -- ARENA TUNNEL ---------------------------------------------------------------
    The Dark Prince reformed in a gloomy underground passage. Each second that 
    passed drained his energies more; he must press on and hope that his quest 
    might bring an end to the nightmare that presently engulfed him. He crossed a 
    gap and climbed a ledge, timing the moment to climb higher before he swung out 
    on a beam with his flail, and on through the underground passage again.
    Pounding blocks waited at a turn. He had only seconds to judge the moment to 
    run between them and swing to a far wall, where his upward progress was 
    hindered by more.
    'The Prince fled from the Arena, embarrassed at the unwanted attention, 
    fearful that they might realize he was becoming a Sand Monster. But something 
    tugged at him. The freed citizens believed he had come to rescue them, that 
    people - his people - now lived when they should have died. This was just an 
    accident. His thoughts had been only of reaching the Vizier and exacting 
    revenge. Perhaps now the Prince would remember he once fought for something 
    other than his lost honor. It was simply too soon to tell.'
    As he ran on the Dark Prince searched about for some slight store of Sand to 
    revive his strength. He searched too for water, that it might release him from 
    this curse, at least temporarily.
    At the foot of a ladder he reached behind with his flail, and latched onto a 
    thick block that slid easily from a wall. He jumped backwards and mounted it, 
    and climbed to the passage above, where a door was even now closing down. He 
    felt energies ebb but found precious grains of Sand among scattered goods 
    His flail proved invaluable as he crossed over a gap to ledges, and back on an 
    opposite side, where he clambered up to return over beams. Down a ramp an open 
    door beckoned, and through here at last he found a shallow pool of water. His 
    mutated body flashed with the release of fiery energy as he began to transform 
    back to the Prince he knew.
    He groaned in agony. His whole arm and now his shoulder were ablaze with the 
    infection of the Sands. "It's spreading!" he groaned.
    He was close to the fight once more; here were bodies of soldiers, one even at 
    the bottom of the plunge pool where he stood. Others lay scattered on a short 
    staircase to a chamber with its door ablaze. Flames licked the timbers of an 
    opening to a balcony. The Prince stepped outside, still groggy.
    A horned guard rushed at him from the shadows of an alcove. Taken unawares, 
    the Prince leaped aside then moved to block. From nowhere a string of arrows 
    struck the creature full in the chest, one after the other. It reeled back but 
    recovered, blade held high still intent on destruction. The Prince skewered it 
    with a deft thrust, and kicked the body away. He turned to find his unknown 
    He looked across to a small open balcony where a beautiful young woman in a 
    red sari gazed impassively.
    "Well, look at that," the voice remarked.
    The woman turned away.
    "Farah!" called the Prince.
    She stopped. "How do you know my name?"
    "Yes, I..." the Prince shrugged, then trailed off.
    "I eagerly await your response," chimed the voice.
    "I have heard tales," the Prince recovered. "Wondrous tales of a beautiful - 
    and brave - princess of India. One who has traveled to Babylon seeking to 
    punish an evil vizier..." the Prince improvised, "who has caused her great 
    The woman took up her bow in an instant and aimed straight for the Prince.
    "See?" the voice said. "Now she is going to kill us."
    The arrow whizzed over his shoulder, and scored a direct hit on a second 
    horned guard sneaking up behind. As it collapsed to dust the Prince checked 
    over his unharmed personage. He looked up as the woman shook her head 
    "How in the world did you manage to survive this long? Good luck, stranger."
    With that, she was gone.
    -- THE BALCONIES --------------------------------------------------------------
    Beneath the window where the young woman appeared a Guard stood in company of 
    an Archer. They seemed as yet oblivious. The Prince flattened himself to a 
    wall and watched until both had backs turned, then executed a nimble wall run 
    to a shutter board, off which he sprang to swiftly kill first one then the 
    "You, a warrior?" the voice said, unimpressed. "I have seen cats with greater 
    There was no way to pursue Farah, though he had much to ask her. Ahead, from a 
    courtyard below, another Sand Gate thrust its beam to the sky. He moved to 
    investigate. There lay his best hope of challenging his enemy. The Prince knew 
    that with each gate he closed off he might limit the power of the Vizier - or 
    whatever he had become.
    On a balcony diagonally opposite paced an Archer. It seemed not to have 
    noticed him. He crept to a wall to align himself with a shutter. When the 
    creature turned its back, he ran out and sprang across to deliver a deadly 
    blow. Stealth was prudent here, as a Guard waited on a covered terrace nearby. 
    The Prince hung over his balcony edge and jumped to grab a rail there, close 
    behind the unwary creature. He slid over the rail and slashed it to a choking 
    gurgle of fading Sand. He hopped a rail and moved on, thoughts troubled.
    "She called me stranger. She remembers nothing of our past together."
    "Because it never happened!" insisted the voice. "You know, no Sands of Time, 
    no Azad; you get the Vizier but you lose the girl. It doesn't matter, we're 
    better off without her. Or have you forgotten? Maybe a few arrows in the back 
    will help stir your memory."
    It was a bone of contention, since the Prince had found that on occasion his 
    own clumsy maneuvers might cause him to catch a stray arrow from Farah's bow 
    when they fought alongside in their previous life. A small irritation, he was 
    man enough to take it. "We must catch up with her."
    "Fair enough," groaned the voice. "Though I suspect you and I want very 
    different things from the girl."
    The Prince occupied himself with a run off a row of dagger plates to a hanging 
    chain. He slipped down, and paused as a guard came into view underneath. He 
    dropped behind and took it with two deft thrusts of his Dagger.
    From an enclosed yard down below came the bright shaft of light off a Sand 
    Gate. A solitary monster patrolled it, but as he balanced out along a beam the 
    Prince knew it was too far down for him to reach. Directly ahead was another 
    hanging chain, and a Guard in evidence on the platform below. He slid down its 
    length but gave pause, and looked about. His instinct was correct, for a 
    second Guard patrolled a covered passage to one side, and had the Prince 
    dropped hastily to attack it would surely have raised the alarm. He waited 
    until the Guards moved close to one another, and dropped between them to 
    finish both in one dazzling display of the assassin's art.
    He peeped over the balustrade and observed the Sand Gate Guard pacing around 
    the portal, entirely unaware of his presence. Still it was not certain a 
    frontal assault would be his best way forward. The creature stood facing him, 
    then made his rounds. A low wall just under where the Prince watched offered 
    little prospect for concealment if he dropped recklessly down, but a small 
    enclosure opposite in the yard might give a better chance. He made his way 
    along the covered passage to a gap in the trellis window screens, and dropped 
    through. He found himself inside the small pen enclosure. Through a gap 
    between its walls stood the Sand Gate Guard, with back turned.
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                      T H E  E Y E  O F  T H E  S T O R M
    Armed with new powers for the Dagger of Time, the Prince made his way back up 
    around the covered passage in search of a switch for the only door from the 
    At the top of a narrow flight of steps an Archer bounded into view. A mob of 
    Guards hustled behind. The Prince lost no time triggering the Eye of The 
    Storm. To his astonishment, Time slowed for all around, yet he kept his usual 
    motion, so that he was able to close in up the steps and strike out among the 
    Sand Monsters as they waded in a quagmire of slowed Time. He easily ducked 
    under such arrows as were loosed in his direction, and tumbled behind lunging 
    Guards as they tried to swing weapons against him. Again and again he 
    unleashed the power of the Dagger as it wore off, and kept up his attack, so 
    that even though they crowded him close it was all the easier to finish every 
    "Nice moves," the voice remarked, though with something less than real 
    The Prince scarcely paid heed. He sheathed his sword in satisfaction. Here at 
    last he had the perfect weapon to even the greatest odds.
    On one wall was a tile switch, that when triggered opened the door in the 
    courtyard below. Yet as he jumped out to run to it, the door closed down 
    again. Here was the opportunity for the Dagger to assist him, and the Prince 
    realized as he ran for the door in slowed Time that he would not have been 
    able to pass through without it.
    A dead body lay under broken rails of a gate where he tumbled inside, and 
    others, pierced by arrows, within the rough chamber he found there. Somberly 
    the Prince hurried to his task.
    -- THE DARK ALLEY -------------------------------------------------------------
    A stairway lit with tiny stacks of candles led only to a shut door. In an 
    alcove at one side narrow walls formed a chimney. First clearing a rack, he 
    began a strenuous ascent, leaping back and forth between the walls, until he 
    reached sufficient height to stab his dagger into a metal plate, then steadied 
    himself for a jump sideways to a higher chamber.
    "You still have feelings for her," came the voice in derisory tones. "Admit 
    "Farah and I went through so much together. Though she may not remember, I can 
    never forget."
    In a raised niche stood a ladder. He climbed to emerge once again high over 
    the rooftops of Babylon. The Tower was closer now.
    He ran to the edge of a rough wooden platform, and soon observed Archers 
    patrolling below. As he landed on a flat roof, pigeons took flight, bringing 
    the enemy to alert. The Prince crouched low till they seemed relaxed, then 
    dropped over a rail to finish the first. He ducked behind stacked baskets to 
    be sure the other had not seen him. As it turned away he ran out over the edge 
    of his rooftop to take it from behind. He saw the bloody corpse of a soldier 
    at the Archer's feet, and felt no remorse.
    He scrambled up a wall and came across the girl in the red sari on a nearby 
    rooftop. She ran at his approach but turned in surprise, her eyes wide. "The 
    Dagger of Time!" she exclaimed. "How did you come to possess that?
    "Here we go again," sighed the voice.
    "I took it," the Prince shrugged. "From the Vizier."
    "That traitor. He murdered my father; enslaved my people; imprisoned me. And 
    all in the name of becoming some kind of god."
    With breastplate and leather bindings she had the bearing of a warrior, and 
    she had the heart too. Their enemy was the same.
    "I know too well what he is capable of. But I intend to find him," the Prince 
    swept his sword for emphasis, "and punish him for what he has done to my 
    "You are the son of Shahraman, the Prince of Persia?"
    "And you are the daughter of the Maharajah. We both seek the same thing. 
    Perhaps we should journey together?"
    "Perhaps. Provided you can keep up."
    She scampered away up steep steps to a far rooftop.
    "I grow tired of her little tests," the voice said.
    "It is simply her way. I assure you, she will prove a valuable ally."
    The infection had taken root past his shoulder to the small of his back. The 
    Prince did not know to what extent the Sands might overcome him, but he sensed 
    the urgency of his mission.
    He swept under a rope line hung with carpets, and ducked on instinct as he 
    came close to a lower rooftop. A lone Guard waited on it, and the Prince 
    dropped to creep up behind. He had need of a blade and snatched the weapon 
    from the mutant creature's fallen body. Above one corner on a wall was the 
    first of a pair of dagger plates. With no better means of progress he used 
    them to swing to an adjacent rooftop. From their post in waiting, a Guard and 
    an Archer came running to meet him.
    The Prince dropped down and closed on the nearest. He knew from experience 
    that lumbering Guards could easily be kept at a distance through his agility, 
    but arrows more frequently troubled him. He cast the spare blade at the Archer 
    to send it reeling, then vaulted over and flung it from the high rooftop. One 
    on one now, the Guard stood little chance, even though the Prince had left 
    himself with but a single weapon. He collected that of the soon departed 
    enemy. Drawn by the commotion, across a far walkway two thuggish guards ran to 
    confront him on an adjacent rooftop terrace.
    The Prince jumped across and threaded carefully between clusters of burning 
    laths where the tiled terrace floor had given way. Combat was brief but 
    exhilarating. He swung around a short wooden pillar to kick to the face of one 
    as he twirled his blades across the body of the other. He clubbed the first to 
    the ground then sliced the second before it recovered. What fight they 
    retained was shortly extinguished.
    The girl reappeared. His fighting skill had evidently been under scrutiny. 
    "All right," she said, "I am impressed. I suppose it is wise to work together, 
    there is strength in numbers after all.
    "I'm glad you have come around."
    "Just don't make me regret it. Now, let us find the Vizier." She fired an 
    arrow that opened up a door to a vestibule behind him.
    Unable to reach him directly, the mysterious girl made off in another 
    direction. Beneath where she appeared a tortured body pierced with arrows hung 
    from a rope, used perhaps as target practice. Flames crackled around the dead 
    on the terrace, and still came the distant cries of tormented citizens. He 
    turned to his mission.
    The tiled floor of the vestibule was broken up, and at one side a short jetty 
    gave on to a narrow chute. The Prince slid down and turned to a dagger plate 
    on an opposite wall. It was set beside a long curtain that brought him safely 
    to the ground. Through passages here he returned to the back streets of the 
    city. Washing hung forlorn between empty houses. He used another long curtain 
    to jump backwards to a passage, and moved on, the distant wails and cries of 
    the captured citizens faint but insistent as ever. An apparent dead end was 
    overcome by a chimney ascent, and he made his way around high ledges.
    'With the Dahaka defeated, the Prince was slowly regaining pieces of his 
    former self. The pressure and desperation which once drove him were gone. Grim 
    as things seemed, there was now hope. Hope that peace could be restored to the 
    land and to our tortured hero. But the Vizier's army still hunted him, and 
    they grew more determined by the hour.'
    The Prince was undeterred. He jumped to a platform, and made a daring wall run 
    to another, where at a turn he found a ladder. At the top was a small chamber 
    where light fell on a decorative star set into the tile floor. He hurried on 
    up a second ladder and emerged to fresh light. The trickle of water announced 
    a fountain basin standing in shadow at the passage exit.
    -- THE TEMPLE ROOFTOPS --------------------------------------------------------
    The Prince emerged above a garden on a wooden platform fringed in hanging 
    vegetation. Farah stood on a higher platform beside, transfixed as a ghastly 
    apparition hovered across the garden below.
    "What!" she exclaimed. "What is that thing?"
    The Prince stepped to a balcony rail and watched grimly as a golden gliding 
    creature hovered over the ground.
    "It is the Vizier!"
    Farah was appalled. "What has happened to him?"
    "Something terrible," said the Prince.
    "Something wonderful," murmured the voice.
    "No!" the Prince drew the Dagger of Time and moved to confront the golden 
    apparition as it disappeared inside a temple doorway.
    "Wait," called Farah. "Be happy that he is gone. You never would have stood a 
    "Oh, how silly of me, you are right. Perhaps we should surrender, or turn away 
    and leave the city? I know a lovely little island just a few weeks' journey 
    from here, I am sure by the time we return this will all be sorted out."
    "If it comforts you to mock me then by all means continue, but you are so 
    focused on killing him you've thrown strategy completely out of the window." 
    She crossed her arms and chastened him. "You could have died."
    "I suppose. But now we need to find a way to enter the Temple. We are wasting 
    time here."
    "That seems to be our best bet." She gestured towards an opening high in one 
    The Prince jumped down into the garden courtyard. All appeared tranquil now 
    that the Vizier had gone, but his warrior's instinct caused him to draw his 
    From nowhere a figure reached out to attack him. A bone-chilling hiss emanated 
    from its body, nearly invisible. Another came at him from behind. The 
    attackers were much the same as the Reptus from the sewers, short and stocky, 
    and equally vicious. These seemed as chameleons, taking color from their 
    surroundings so perfectly that they became almost transparent.
    "You may not be able to see these creatures but you can still hear them," 
    warned the voice.
    The Prince hacked blindly, twisting and leaping as his sword connected with 
    solid flesh. For a moment the stunned creature under his blade dropped its 
    disguise and revealed its ugly green form, draped in ragged bindings. He dived 
    forward, and slashed across its now exposed body again and again until it 
    crumpled to Sand as so many before. Others closed in from behind. The Prince 
    moved confidently about the pillars of a ruined colonnade, sweeping his blade 
    and striking each sly clumsy attacker as it sought to impede him. These 
    creatures needed stealth since their fighting ability with short chopping 
    blade was patently limited, and the half dozen that took their chance against 
    him were soon cleared away.
    "Excellent work!" the voice remarked, seemingly reinvigorated now that the 
    was close.
    Each side of the garden was completely screened off by an iron fence. The 
    massive Temple doors stood at the top of a flight of steps, but there was no 
    way through, nor at any of several smaller doors. Treasure and trinkets lay 
    scattered among the ruined grounds. At one point, not far from where Farah 
    stood waiting overhead, he found a dagger plate high up on a pillar. He 
    executed an upward wall run to latch onto it, and from there reached up to a 
    niche in the pillar, dripping in bearded vegetation that he used to shimmy 
    right around. A slender upright column stood between him and the walls to the 
    castle building, and he was soon onto it and away, to snatch his blade at 
    another dagger plate. From a side run off a shutter, he grasped a short pillar 
    at a balcony edge, and stepped out on firm ground.
    A heavy door off his balcony was solidly shut. Now what? He shrugged. Farah 
    drew her bow and shot an arrow to sever a rope attached to a hanging bell 
    alongside. It clanged to the ground, its note resonating through the ruined 
    courtyard. The Prince jumped across to where it lay at the foot of an alcove, 
    but before he could examine it was beset by another invisible Chameleon, that 
    grunted and wheezed menacingly. When he had seen it to oblivion the Prince 
    turned to the heavy bell.
    He was beneath the hole Farah had spotted, and soon dragged the bell so that 
    he could climb through. A dagger switch lay within, and he effortlessly set it 
    to operation. Doors about the garden balconies slotted open, and Farah called 
    across from one where she stood.
    "It worked! I'm going in."
    As she ran inside, the Prince lowered himself out of the hole in the wall.
    "I'm not sure I like how this girl is always charging ahead," the voice 
    The Prince dropped onto the caged bell. From it there was sufficient height to 
    return with a wall run to the pillared balcony. "Fear not," he assured. "She 
    has already proved a valuable asset to us."
    The door was now open. No sooner had he stepped inside than it slotted shut.
    Lit torches guttered along walls and light shafted down at intervals in a 
    gloomy passage, with its floor far below. He ran over a wall to a narrow 
    ledge, and sidled across to a dagger plate behind. This allowed him to reach a 
    section of ledge further along, yet as he landed it shook and crumbled 
    alarmingly. With no time to waste he edged on, and jumped for a second dagger 
    switch at the very moment the ledge broke away. A further section of ledge 
    seemed more secure.
    "You know," came the voice, "I have been thinking about what Farah said 
    earlier. She has a point, how do you plan to kill the Vizier? He is immortal 
    "The Dagger made him into what he is. It can unmake him."
    "I suppose we will know the truth of this soon enough."
    A dagger switch on a wall behind him opened out mechanical ledges beneath. The 
    Prince was somehow certain they would not stay projected for long, and 
    shimmied quickly to one side, and jumped across the passage to another. A 
    ledge just above provided no firmer refuge, for even as the mechanical ledges 
    retracted underneath the stone footing cracked, shook, and began to fall away. 
    He clutched just in time to a niche above. A stone ledge further along felt 
    suitably strong, and from a last dagger plate he reached the treacherous 
    passage end. Here was a door solidly shut, yet ledges overhead brought him to 
    an open arch, with what looked to be a courtyard garden beyond.
    As the Prince hauled himself up, a demon beast bounded to confront him. 
    Another Hunter Hound. Its wolf-like body arched as it planted thick paws and 
    opened its jaws. The brilliant glow of Sand filled its mouth as it sucked 
    breath from his direction. His Sand Tanks drained even as he moved to attack.
    "These creatures seem to feed off the Sands," the voice reminded him. "Kill 
    them before they steal any more from you!"
    The Prince struck out. The beast screeched and flailed, slashing with its 
    vicious claws, as he beat it away. A second beast sprang to the assault, and 
    another crawled from a pit to one side. He knocked them away, though even as 
    these squirmed on their backs another came slinking from the pit. The Prince 
    used what Sand he retained to slow Time, giving himself precious moments to 
    dodge their swipes, or slow their suction stance that threatened to drain his 
    miraculous, hitherto invaluable asset. As the last remaining Hound stood with 
    jaws agape he thrust the Dagger into it, and sucked the very life from its 
    body. He put a boot to the carcass of the still writhing beast and kicked it 
    to the depths whence it came.
    "Such skill!" the voice remarked, still elated by the close pursuit.
    With the enemies in the immediate vicinity banished to dust the Prince took 
    stock. The courtyard was surrounded by high walls, and was empty but for twin 
    ruined round towers that stood at one side. These gave no obvious means of 
    ascent. Off a low block beside the bottomless pit the Prince judged a run 
    around a curved wall could bring him to a projecting horizontal pole hanging 
    over. This faced a dagger switch set into one of the towers, and its operation 
    brought a stone block out of the ground in a corner behind the second tower. 
    In no time he was up and around with a wall run to a wooden section midway up 
    the first tower. A run over its curved wall let him catch to another 
    horizontal pole. Turning about, he swung up to the broken wall of the tower 
    top. A long and seemingly impossible leap brought him to a small shattered 
    section of walkway close over the door where he entered the courtyard. He used 
    a dagger plate above to run and jump out for a pole, and then a wooden spar.
    He caught his breath for a moment. From close by came the angry snorting sound 
    of guards patrolling a Sand Gate, just on the other side of the wall where he 
    stood. He looked cautiously to an opening beneath, and sure enough saw a Guard 
    standing staring in his direction. He waited until its back was turned, then 
    leaped for a covered balcony high alongside.
    The Prince crept stealthily to the balcony rail and looked down. Three Guards 
    paced around a Sand Gate. He might easily drop down to take out the nearest, 
    but judged he was unable to reach the Sand Gate Guard before it might summon 
    reinforcements. This was no time to be cavalier. He spotted a series of dagger 
    plates around the walls of the courtyard enclosure, and hung off his balcony 
    rail to use the other side of the wooden spar projecting trough the wall to 
    reach the nearest plate. The creatures below seemed none the wiser as he 
    sprang off a shutter to a plate on the far wall, where he angled sideways to 
    stab to the last. Now better situated, he looked down and waited until all 
    three creatures below had their backs turned away. Ironic perhaps that while 
    it could only be guessed what hazard they expected, and from which direction 
    it might come, when danger threatened they were unprepared. He dropped between 
    the nearest two and executed a dazzling strike on each, somersaulting between 
    them in turn, neither able to resist until both were dead. The Sand Gate Guard 
    came to his senses and rushed to put the gate to action, but the Prince jumped 
    over and stopped him just in time. Even this hulking brute was no match for 
    the young man's agility, and within seconds the Prince had the courtyard to 
    himself. His first action was to close off the simmering Sand Gate.
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                          A  N E W  S A N D  T A N K
    All doors from the courtyard were closed. In one corner, two dagger plates 
    were screened off, one above the other. The Prince cleared pots from beneath, 
    and judged them a little to high to reach. A heavy metal bell stood to one 
    side. He dragged it over to the dagger plates, and soon hauled himself up to a 
    small grassy platform. Farah emerged from a doorway.
    "Such a beautiful building," she mused.
    "Father built these gardens as a symbol of his love for our people. Once, all 
    the kingdom was like this."
    "Try using these levers." Farah gestured to a neat lawn her side of a wall. 
    "If I can reach the other side I might be able to find a way to open that 
    The levers were a series of capstans lit by burning braziers, such as he had 
    used many times about the city. They were invariably useful, but he could not 
    guess what action these might perform here. It appeared there was nothing else 
    to be done; a dagger switch close by where he stood was too high out of reach.
    He dropped over a low wall under the dagger switch and clambered up to the 
    nearest capstan. It stood alone beside the ruins of a round tower. As he moved 
    its handle, top sections of other round towers nearby began to rotate. 
    Projecting platforms spun round as a turntable, facing to one another. The 
    Prince began to see the makings of a plan.
    He jumped down under the dagger switch once more, and from a low dais in the 
    ruined tower managed to grab up to a dagger switch. Others alongside brought 
    him around to an open wall, which he reached to climb over.
    Here was the neat lawn that Farah had found, with its two burning braziers on 
    capstan levers. She stood on a high tower platform watching the Prince as he 
    prepared to put them to operation. It seemed each lever turned the two towers 
    nearest to it. The one nearest Farah brought her platform around ninety 
    degrees, and another tower platform cranking away from it. He would need to 
    turn that one back.
    He tried the second lever, and it duly revolved the tower in the reverse 
    direction, so that it now faced on to her platform. Farah hopped the short 
    gap. The Prince ran eagerly to greet her.
    "Do you think you could move a little faster?" she called down.
    "You are more than welcome to try come down here and try it yourself," he 
    called back. He shook his head and muttered: "Seven years and still nothing's 
    "Seven years?" She looked puzzled. "What are you talking about."
    "It's, uh -- a figure of speech."
    Now Farah shook her head. "There is something very odd about you."
    The voice gave a short laugh. "She has no idea."
    The Prince ran back to the far capstan and put his shoulder to its handle 
    again. The turntables came about once more, raising dust as they cranked round 
    sending Farah out overhead. Hers and a third platform met in the middle, and 
    Farah stepped over to the next tower.
    "Ah," the Prince grinned, "we are making progress."
    "I think I see a bell in that tower." Farah pointed to a hole at the top of 
    the ruin. "Perhaps if you can get me to the next balcony I can sever its rope; 
    you can use it to access the door switch."
    "With my luck, it will probably trigger some terrible trap, or summon Sand 
    Monsters. Or bring about the end of the world."
    "Would it kill you to show a little optimism?"
    "Experience has taught me wishful thinking only leads to disappointment."
    Farah stood now on the third tower platform. Using the same lever, the Prince 
    brought it back round again, where Farah jumped across. At this moment of 
    triumph, Sand Monsters scaled walls from their lair below and closed in on the 
    Prince. Just as he feared.
    These were more devilish Hunter Hounds that sucked precious Sand from his 
    store. He whirled round and knocked the nearest on its back, where it wriggled 
    and squealed. Bony ribs blazed with fire of the Sands, and the Prince slashed 
    down without mercy. Familiar now with their mode of attack, the Prince faced 
    another as it came, and watched for it to open its jaws, at which he plunged 
    the Dagger in, turning the tables on the creature as he sucked out its life, 
    twisting and screaming on the end of his blade.
    "Well done," the voice said, with more than a hint of sarcasm.
    The levers in the garden space moved only the outermost towers. He needed to 
    return to the first capstan in order to rotate the inner tower back to its 
    starting position. Soon enough he sent Farah turning about on its high 
    projecting platform.
    "See?" she said, bowing an arrow. "You did it."
    "We did it," he stressed.
    He looked up where Farah shot her arrow though the ruined tower alongside, 
    severing a rope. A bell suspended from it clanged to the ground.
    The Prince hopped down. With its wooden housing, the bell was the perfect 
    platform to reach the dagger switch. As hoped, it opened a door alongside. As 
    he dropped off the switch, ready to investigate, moans and tortured cries 
    could be heard.
    "Wait!" Farah shouted. "There are people hurt inside. We should help them."
    As the Prince pondered what to do, the metal door beside him clanged shut 
    "Now is not the time, Prince," the voice cut in. "You can help all you want 
    The Prince was torn. "Go, Farah," he called over. "Tend to the wounded. I will 
    catch up with you once I have dealt with the Vizier."
    She ran off inside the fortress. The Prince turned again to the dagger switch 
    and reopened the door. He climbed the low wall to run inside before it closed 
    down again. He made his way along narrow ledges using a dagger plate to cross 
    a bottomless passage inside.
    'And so the Prince and Farah separated. She sought to save lives, he to end 
    them. For the Prince intended to confront his enemy and perhaps utilize the 
    powerful warriors who had holed up inside the temple. His mind churned with 
    thoughts of glorious vengeance. But something new as well; descending into the 
    depths his thoughts kept returning to Farah. He wondered if she was thinking 
    of him as well.'
    From a platform at the passage end he mounted a dagger plate to reach ledges, 
    and swung to one side off a high dagger plate to pull himself up along a 
    narrow stone passage. A door here was soon opened with a dagger switch 
    -- THE TEMPLE -----------------------------------------------------------------
    At the foot of spiral turret stairs he came on a gruesome sight. Bodies of 
    soldiers, their armor no protection, slumped where they had been slaughtered.
    The Prince turned away sadly. From a short balcony he looked down into the 
    tower. More of his father's dead warriors lay piled at the feet of a demonic 
    creature that even now confronted one valiant survivor. As the Prince watched, 
    horrified, it sliced the brave soldier clean in two. With unbecoming relish 
    the creature uttered a harsh exclamation of triumph.
    This was the Vizier in his new, terrifying state of transformation.
    "To conquer a city is one thing," the shocked Prince exclaimed, "but to do so 
    with such violence and cruelty is something else entirely. I will return every 
    blow he has landed against my kingdom!"
    "We are close, Prince, so close," urged the voice. "Let us make him suffer."
    Somehow the rage that built inside the Prince at that moment triggered the 
    change that began with a seizure in his infected arm, then sucked him into a 
    vortex of dark energy as Sands radiated through his body. Cast to his knees 
    the noble Prince rose as the Dark Prince once more.
    In whatever form, his task remained to confront each wicked foe that enslaved 
    his kingdom, and ultimately face their evil master. He hopped his balcony 
    vantage point and sprang to a ledge. He dropped off to a beam and saw a Guard 
    on a balcony below. From a second beam he dropped onto it, planted a foot in 
    its back and throttled it with his chain. At that a Hunter Hound crept up to 
    join him on the balcony. He waited till its glowing jaws were spread wide, 
    then flung the flail around its head and struck with his Dagger, sucking the 
    squealing beast dry of its Sands.
    With his stock renewed the Dark Prince headed off in pursuit of the Vizier. In 
    a cavernous room of stone pillars he ran around walls, deploying his chain 
    where he could and falling at length on a lower balcony with its requisite 
    Guard. No sooner had he dispatched the hapless sentry than not one but two 
    Hunter Hounds prowled to greet him there. A few lashes of the flail were 
    enough to subdue them. He looked about for some means of progress, and from a 
    rough wooden edge to the balcony observed a stone block, that when extracted 
    served as a platform for an upward run to a semicircular open platform.
    Through an arch was a deep narrow chamber room, its walls lined with pillars. 
    He dropped to a ledge that backed to a stone block in an opposite wall, and 
    tugged it out with his chain. This served as a launch platform to run across a 
    wall, swinging from lanterns and springing from shutters. The Vizier was here 
    somewhere, carrying out his evil work.
    "I am Zervan, God of Time," were his gloating words. "I bear gifts: pain and 
    suffering. Come closer, that I might share these treasures with you."
    "It-it has Fazad," came a terrified voice.
    "What's it doing to him?" trembled another.
    "Stand your ground! Do not let it- argh!"
    A brave defender's urgent cry was strangled by a blood-curdling scream of 
    anguish. The Dark Prince listened grimly as he fought aside Sand Guards on the 
    balconies above, and made his way further along walls and platforms.
    "Doomed, we're all doomed," wailed a last desperate voice. "Retreat to the 
    The Dark Prince stood on the rough planks of a corner platform.
    "Babylon's last line of defense fallen," he realized. "These men served my 
    family well; with their defeat the city is fully in the hands of the Vizier."
    The Temple was a high room that housed monumental sculptures of cowled figures 
    each bearing a bowl of flaming coals. One such had been shattered to the 
    floor. The Dark Prince ran out to wedge himself behind the nearest, and 
    lowered himself a little in order to use his flail to jump forwards to the 
    next. He lowered down a little again, to jump and land on a corner platform, 
    with a balcony above. Unable to climb directly up from here, he ran to an 
    opposite platform passing underneath the balcony, and ascended from there.
    Two Guards were taken by stealth, then he rounded the walls of another 
    chamber, dropping down long hanging red banners to the floor.
    Strange runic stones adorned in ancient ideograms stood in alcoves to each 
    side. This might once have been a place of holy ritual. It threatened at this 
    moment to become a place of sacrifice: from holes in the walls came creeping 
    Reptus. The Dark Prince had no time for endless combat without profit, and ran 
    to step on a decorative floor tile, that opened a door at one side. He 
    hastened through, leaving the growling, hissing creatures to their domain.
    A stone stairway led up, and as he passed over another floor switch at its 
    foot he heard a door open at the top. Certain that it would not remain open 
    for long, the Dark Prince made his way up the stairs, little troubled by 
    swishing sword drums at each turn, or pounding blocks between. At the top of 
    the stairs was the open door, and the Vizier in his mutated form visible 
    hovering in a chamber beyond.
    "I came offering power, and this is how you respond?" scoffed his voice. "So 
    be it. Join your brethren in the afterlife!"
    As the Dark Prince entered to face his quarry the demon Vizier vanished. Feet 
    splashed in water, and a burst of energy bolted through the tormented figure, 
    transforming him back to the Prince.
    He was in a cylindrical chamber similar to the last, flooded by a shallow 
    pool. Here in an alcove were more of the strange runic stones, framed in 
    sculpted bas-relief. Facing this in another alcove stood a flaming capstan, 
    water flowing underneath. The Prince waded over. Its operation set down a 
    shutter that stopped the flow of water, at the same time opening a sluice to 
    drain the chamber pool in gurgling eddies.
    The Prince stepped out on the floor to investigate what new possibilities had 
    arisen. Without warning, two strange slender beings emerged from the dried 
    center sluice, raising foul clouds of yellow dust about their ethereal form. 
    Each flung rapid volleys of short blades that stung him backwards. As he tried 
    to close to attack they glided about the floor and disappeared as a mere 
    illusion from the lash of his sword. One creature flung him to the ground as 
    it sailed past, too fleet for his swing. Demonic shrieks echoed in the chamber 
    as blades came flying, and as he turned to attack each enemy melted away. 
    Enraged, the Prince flung his own weapon, and scored a direct hit, the 
    stricken Illusion melting away. He snatched up a fallen blade and repeated the 
    trick on the other.
    Despite his efficient dispatch of these most unusual enemies, the voice was 
    unimpressed. "What happened to the Prince I once knew?"
    With water now drained from the room, the Prince found that he could more 
    easily run up on walls. He noticed the stump of a broken column facing a 
    niche, and at this point he gained sufficient height to spring backwards to 
    the remainder suspended from the ceiling. He scaled it as far as he was able, 
    then turned to a second short section of column protruding downwards, and from 
    it jumped back to a platform ledge. The chamber flooded light from an opening 
    high above, where last he saw the evil Zervan.
    "Every time I reach him he slips away. Why will he not just stay and fight? It 
    would make things so much simpler."
    "It is not always about combat, Prince. Some battles are waged in other ways, 
    on other terms. I fear we have underestimated our opponent. Let us not make 
    the same mistake a second time."
    The Prince ran out on a wall and jumped to grab a thin metal bar that almost 
    spanned the chamber. Other bars were set at intervals to the opening at the 
    Life Upgrade #3 [scepter]
    He jumped from the last bar and hauled out of the Runic chamber. A shaft of 
    sunlight struck down from a dome skylight into the octagonal hole.
    Through a doorway more bodies lay broken on the floor. A flaming capstan stood 
    ready. He turned its handle, and passed under an opened door.
    'Babylon had finally fallen, and none were left to come to the Prince's aid. 
    He was now the cities only hope. If he failed his entire world could be lost, 
    for the Vizier was not content to simply be a king. No, he fancied himself a 
    god. The question now was whether the Prince realized the position he was in? 
    And if he did, would he accept this responsibility. Would he become a hero?'
    At a gap in a balcony rail the Prince ran out on a wall to a long red banner, 
    and jumped away at its length to a second on the wall behind. He slid to 
    ground, where through an open door he found a dagger switch. The door it 
    opened closed down slowly. Passing under he found himself in a rough stone 
    He ran out on a wall to cross a drop, and climbed a balcony rail. Wind whipped 
    the barren passage, and he heard once more the cries of his people. He hurried 
    up a ladder and saw daylight ahead.
    -- THE MARKETPLACE ------------------------------------------------------------
    The Prince emerged along an arched colonnade above the old Marketplace. He ran 
    quickly down steps to one side, where he found Farah waiting behind a barred 
    "Are you all right?" she asked.
    "He has escaped." The Prince put his hand to hers. "And you, what of the 
    "Dead, all dead. But I saw the Vizier, or whatever it is he has become. He 
    flew towards the palace."
    "Then we know where to go."
    "All right, but I seem to be - well - stuck. Could you find a way to open this 
    "I understand the principles of courtesy," the voice grumbled, "but I think 
    you take things a bit too far."
    The Prince turned to look about. Farah did not seem to notice that nearly the 
    whole of his back now glowed with infection of the Sands.
    A body pierced by arrows lay slumped over a balustrade. The Prince could find 
    no switch or mechanism nearby that might open Farah's door. He reasoned that 
    it had to be below, but there seemed no way down. The Prince returned up the 
    steps to try further out along the colonnade.
    Fires drifted up. A pall of smoke hung over Babylon. Still there came the 
    distant cries of the citizens. Broken steps in front might have proved a 
    barrier to lesser men, but the Prince ran out on a wall and jumped to a wall 
    turret ledge. He shimmied around and jumped to a narrow chimney formed by the 
    wall and a trellis. He slid towards ground.
    Two Sand creatures patrolled below. They seemed in appearance - if it were 
    possible - even more menacing than the Guards he encountered elsewhere in the 
    city. Their armor was heavier and more elaborate, bearing spiked epaulettes, 
    and they carried extra weapons. Despite this fearsome appearance they were as 
    unwary as the others, and fell to the swiftness of his stealthy attack just 
    the same.
    He sheathed his Dagger and looked about. He was in a narrow alley section, 
    blocked by blazing rubble at one end. Trellis barred arched storage sections 
    along one side. He stepped on a floor switch that opened up a door, but this 
    slid shut the very moment he stepped off. There was no hope of him reaching 
    it, even with his ability to control Time. He would need to find something to 
    weigh down the switch. To one end of the enclosed space, a likely candidate 
    showed itself as a large wicker basket with handles. He dragged this over the 
    switch, and the basket indeed weighted it sufficiently. The Prince made his 
    way through.
    The passage beyond was scattered with the bric-a-brac storage of the 
    marketplace: pots, jars, boxes, baskets, sacks. The passage led only to a 
    closed trellis door. The Prince clambered up to an opening above, and ducked 
    down as he saw more Guards below.
    Invaders had looted the market. Bodies lay strewn among burning carts and 
    sacks of goods. A tortured soul hung off a gibbet. The Prince jumped out to it 
    and swore silent vengeance on the curs that sought to perpetrate such 
    atrocities. He stared down at the three that occupied the marketplace. Though 
    similar in appearance, one in particular seemed different. He judged that the 
    Sands had infected the invaders to varying extent, and that some more 
    prolonged exposure might cause greater mutation. He spurned the easy 
    opportunity to descend on the nearest enemy below, and began to work his way 
    closer to the strangest of the three. He jumped to a second wooden post, and 
    off to a dagger plate on one wall. Here he gained a more advantageous angle to 
    surprise the unwary posse. He fell swiftly and struck out with his Dagger.
    As he suspected, the strange Sand Monster had gained greater strength than 
    those he met previously. Fully five sweeps of his flashing blade were required 
    to send it choking to the ground. Now he crept to the others, and dealt some 
    small recompense for the deaths of blameless citizens.
    Even with the enemy cleared he saw no obvious route ahead. This side of the 
    market was blocked by rubble as the other. To hand was a wicker basket, and he 
    judged that it might be the right height to give onto a twin arch section with 
    a lower wall at one side.
    Here was the far corner of the marketplace. A pair of Guards stood sentry. A 
    wooden spar jutted towards a dagger plate, and with sprung shutter boards to 
    another dagger plate alongside, the Prince worked his way over the heads of 
    the unsuspecting monsters. He dropped down and finished them as one.
    On the ground were two switches much the same as the one he had last weighted 
    down, but there did not appear to be any heavy object that he could place over 
    either. In any case, after experimentation neither switch opened the door at 
    the middle of the area that seemed the only means of access. It appeared that 
    the switches must be depressed at the same time, but he was conspicuously 
    alone. At the far end of the space, in a covered alcove a dagger switch was 
    mounted to the wall. This opened the gate that held Farah captive above, and 
    she emerged to look down on the Prince from the colonnade. "Thank you, 
    "Of course," he shrugged. "The problem is, now I am trapped."
    "Just like a woman," the voice remarked. "Solving her problem creates a new 
    one for you."
    Farah spoke up. "Allow me to return the favor, then."
    She looked about, and finally shot an arrow at a winch platform suspended on a 
    rope. As one side snapped loose, the platform tilted, and a large wicker 
    basket hoist on it toppled down.
    "You were saying?" the Prince asked of the voice.
    "Go on, then," it conceded.
    He dragged the heavy basket over the nearest switch. A mechanism slotted to 
    operation, though the door remained shut. He ran to the second switch and 
    stood on it. The door at the middle of the space opened up. It promptly began 
    to fall the moment he stepped off his switch, but he ran the short distance 
    and rolled under.
    Inside were small chambers cluttered with goods. Beside another dead body he 
    climbed a ladder to a wooden shaft. Thin beams of light struck down through a 
    partly broken grille. He clambered up using a dagger plate.
    "I hope Farah is all right."
    "You are spending way too much time looking after the girl," the voice 
    returned. "Is this necessary?"
    "You sound upset. Are you jealous?"
    "Just focus on getting to the palace."
    From a broken balustrade he ran out on a wall, and sprang off a shutter to a 
    dagger plate, nearly concealed by hanging branches. He swung off to a thin 
    ledge at one side and continued around battered brick walls high above a 
    twisting passage, striking out on dagger plates, beams, and shutters, until he 
    pulled up in a passage of stone arches. Any moment of contemplation brought 
    sharp rebuke from the voice.
    "Dreaming about the girl again? Well, wake up!"
    -- THE MARKET DISTRICT --------------------------------------------------------
    The Prince dropped to a small platform, where he ran out over a wall and 
    jumped to a pillar ledge. He dropped to hold on, and shuffled about a turn 
    where he dropped to a dagger plate. Enemies patrolled a Sand Gate in a 
    courtyard below. There was no way that he could risk a drop from this height, 
    and he swung to a dagger plate on the other side of the pillar to pull up on 
    ledges. Farah came running.
    "There you are," she called with relief.
    "Keep your voice down! There are enemies below."
    "OK, but see if you can do something about these crates, I cannot get past 
    them." A tall stack of wicker crates faced her between her wooden walkway and 
    "Do you understand now?" the voice said. "This is the sort of thing that slows 
    us down."
    The Prince carried on around the pillar to a wooden hoist that projected 
    towards a narrow chute in a wall opposite. More guards patrolled the space 
    below. He dropped above the head of one, and though he may have taken it by 
    stealth very easily, he observed another sentry closing in. To alert all at 
    once might provoke unnecessary danger, and he waited until the sentry turned 
    away before he started his attack. Such caution was well founded: the guard 
    below proved to need a lot of killing. As the sentry returned, the Prince 
    climbed a ladder out of sight.
    The sentry appeared to find nothing amiss, and now the Prince looked to where 
    a third stood guarding a door. That seemed the most likely means of exit from 
    the small enclosed yard, and he noticed a niche in the wall that led right 
    around to a beam close above it. He jumped across to grab it, and made his way 
    to the beam. Here he delivered a dazzling attack that caught the sentry 
    underneath by surprise. The other came running. A cart blazed in a corner and 
    the Prince vaulted over the enemy to grab its shoulders and toss it to the 
    flames. He cleared loose pots from beneath a dagger switch on a wall by the 
    ladder. It helped that the Prince had recourse to the Eye of The Storm to pass 
    under as it closed down again.
    Along a cluttered passage he came to a trellis screen the other side of the 
    courtyard space where he discovered the Sand Gate and its legion of guards. He 
    climbed up on top to survey.
    The Sand Gate lay directly ahead. He edged out along a beam and counted four 
    guards below. The Sand Gate Guard was furthest from him - he saw puffs of Sand 
    drawn to the figure at regular intervals - and he judged it prudent to tackle 
    that enemy first. Four were enough to deal with without reinforcements making 
    life difficult.
    He jumped to another beam close behind the Sand Gate Guard. Though dagger 
    plates against a far wall might bring him closer, the situation was not 
    advantageous. One guard seemed to cover another so that whatever chance he 
    took he was as likely to alert one or more. He faced to the Sand Gate Guard, 
    dropped behind it and finished it fast.
    Now the others were alerted but he had confidence in his ability. The Prince 
    moved swiftly, drawing the clumsy brutes around the marketplace, skirting 
    scattered pots and baskets then lunging forward, slashing them as they fumbled 
    about. He used walls to rebound, knocking one and another to the floor, and 
    used Eye of The Storm to limit their attack should any catch him in the force 
    of its blade. With patience and persistence he vanquished the heathen horde.
    "It's a good thing you have plenty of time," the voice grumbled.
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                         1 5 0  S A N D  C R E D I T S
    He saw a stack of wicker crates to one side. As he pulled away one at the base 
    the others fell, allowing Farah to skip nimbly past overhead. As the 
    precarious stack toppled, she jumped and flew through the air, barely grasping 
    to a high wooden platform. With gymnastic agility she pulled herself up and 
    looked about.
    "I can see the palace from here. Make your way to me."
    His hands still on the wicker crate, the Prince noticed he could use it to 
    reach up to a dagger switch underneath where Farah landed. This opened a gate 
    at the other end of the enclosed area. He hurried through.
    Inside a bare passage he found a ladder. The passage at the top ended abruptly 
    in a deep drop, but he crossed with the help of sprung shutters.
    The Prince landed heavily, and rolled to his feet. Farah joined him from a 
    doorway nearby. The Prince looked about and spoke solemnly. "At last we have 
    Before she could comment, Farah drew her bow and turned as a terrified female 
    voice echoed from somewhere nearby: "Please! Do not make me go back down 
    there, I--I do not want to become like the others."
    "Did you hear that?" Farah said urgently.
    "If you know what is good for you," the voice warned, "say no."
    "Farah, we must press on. I am sure she will be all right."
    "Are you mad? She was begging for her life. She said there were others."
    "No, we can afford no more delays." He walked away, a hand glowing with Sand 
    pressed to his weary head.
    "Good," the voice agreed. "Put her in her place."
    "These are your people," Farah insisted. "You are their prince, and yet you 
    would leave them to suffer?"
    The Prince turned on her. "That man has taken everything from me, and now that 
    I have the opportunity to punish him you want to delay me? Have you forgotten 
    what he did to you?"
    "But, I-"
    "You are burdened by a guilty conscience, Farah. He made you watch as your 
    people suffered, unable to aid them. You were not to blame. Do not let it 
    cloud your judgment."
    "It is not I who suffers from clouded judgment." Farah hurried off along a 
    passage. "You may choose not to help them, but you cannot stop me."
    "I go to kill the Vizier," he shouted. "To end this, while you run about 
    applying bandages to axe wounds."
    She was gone. The Prince trudged away up stone steps.
    "Good riddance!" the voice uttered. "She has been nothing but a distraction, 
    always getting into trouble and slowing us down. Finally we can-" It broke 
    off, aware of the Prince's pointed silence as came to a halt. "What?"
    "Something could happen to her." The troubled Prince turned to look back. "I 
    cannot lose her again."
    Though the great Tower of Babylon loomed near, the Prince made a decision. He 
    ran back to help Farah.
    "No, no, no!" the voice hissed in frustration. "We are so close."
    -- THE BOWERY -----------------------------------------------------------------
    "Farah?" There was no sign of the Princess. "Where have you gone off to?"
    'So she had reached the Prince. He feared for her safety. Even if it was just 
    one person, at least now he thought of someone other than himself.'
    Somehow she had made it outside, beyond a sheer edge to the narrow streets 
    below. An Archer paced back and forth on a walkway ahead. The Prince ran out 
    across a wall and jumped away to a ledge. Without a sound he grabbed up to a 
    niche and edged sideways beneath the sentry. He waited until its back was 
    turned, then sprang up and slit its throat.
    He pressed on over wooden struts and ledges to a balcony, where he saw Farah 
    in a courtyard below run off through tall gates that closed shut behind her. 
    He wanted to call down, to explain his change of heart, but she was gone. At 
    that moment of remorse he was gripped by a paroxysm, and though he wrestled 
    against it, arm gripped in agony, he was caught up in the bodily 
    transformation, and soon rose to his feet, once again in the unearthly form of 
    the Dark Prince.
    "I cannot let Farah see me like this," he groaned.
    "Worried she will prefer the new you?"
    "Charred skin, glowing eyes, melted face," he uttered ruefully, "I am sure it 
    will be love at first sight."
    The Dark Prince hung over a balcony rail and used his chain to swing across a 
    gap to a ledge on a building. It collapsed under his weight, dropping him to a 
    lower ledge, from which he hopped to the ground.
    Instantly slender Illusions emerged where he landed. The doors where Farah 
    disappeared would not open, and as the Dark Prince searched for another exit 
    the gliding enemies hurled small daggers, sending him reeling. He had need to 
    reply, but should he try to strike back each swept away like an ethereal 
    shadow. This trick proved a thing of consternation to him as he dashed about 
    trying to lash with his flail, but he might as well try to punish the air. Yet 
    he had the power to slow Time, and with the Eye of The Storm brought to 
    operation he closed fast, and as he caught one in the sting of his whipped 
    Daggertail it collapsed in an instant. At a moment of peace he ran for a far 
    ledge before they came again.
    "Better luck this time," the voice said as he left the curious ambush below.
    He caught up to a higher ledge from which he gained enough height to jump out 
    and swing with his flail to a beam, off which he jumped to a balcony. He 
    entered an adjacent building.
    "Is this necessary?" the voice wondered.
    "You are sure?"
    "Yes," he returned, more insistently.
    In a gloomy carpeted chamber the Dark Prince ran up on a wall switch.
    "Fine," the voice grumbled. "Waste your valuable time rescuing the Princess, I 
    can only imagine what the Vizier is doing right now. Probably expanding his 
    army, torturing innocent citizens, deciding what kingdom to conquer next! What 
    he should be doing is dying."
    The Dark Prince slowed Time that he might make it under the fast closing door 
    that the wall switch opened up. Even so, he barely made it. This was a 
    forbidden place.
    "I have not forgotten my mission," he declared.
    "Could have fooled me."
    He came through a thick-carpeted corridor to overlook a richly decorated room, 
    bathed in warm light. He dropped swiftly down a red banner and landed to a 
    reception of dancing demons in female form. These whirled about, moaning 
    seductively, twirling flashing blades over their heads. He was at first 
    enchanted, their hypnotic swaying rhythm dulling his warrior's edge. This 
    momentary lapse proved costly, for they were as deadly as any other Sand 
    Creature. One and another came suddenly flying at him, to slash with their 
    vicious weapons or knock him off his feet. He shook himself together and laid 
    into the Enchantress demons. Each dissipated with a shrill shriek as his flail 
    cut through.
    There was not yet any peace, for a trio of ghostly Illusions materialized to 
    glide about the room and assault him. He had not long earlier discovered that 
    there was a particular combination of blows that dealt most swiftly with 
    these, and he set to with relish.
    When the room was silenced he searched about for an exit. Dim light slotted 
    through trellis screens at each end of the room and from hanging lanterns all 
    around. Amid sumptuous decoration of rich carpets and tapestries lay discreet 
    shadowy alcoves lined with soft scattered cushions. The purpose of this part 
    of the building could be easily guessed. The ghastly female creatures that 
    attacked here were no doubt the last unearthly form of its denizens. Ornate 
    filigree bars of a locked gate prohibited entry at the foot of carpeted 
    stairs. None but invited guests could enter here, and unfortunately there 
    seemed no way for the Dark Prince to leave. An ornamental mirror to one side 
    of the room reflected only darkness.
    A thick square pillar dominated the room, clad with erotic decorative friezes. 
    Ornamental columns surrounded it, that propped higher balconies, and he 
    thought it best to find some means of access to them. He scaled one slender 
    column, and jumped off to the thick central pillar. He mounted a ledge and 
    from it used stealth to kill an Archer standing unaware on the nearest 
    balcony. After a wall run to another he met more seductively whirling 
    Enchantresses, practice enough for his telling combination. Such Sand as they 
    released sustained him for precious seconds to press on.
    An Archer waited on another wall run, as easily silenced. He carried on into a 
    small anteroom, this perhaps for favored guests, a screened alcove at one end.
    "I really expected quite a bit more from you," the voice now continued. "On 
    the Island of Time you were so focused, so dedicated."
    "So selfish."
    "Nonsense. You were simply trying to protect what was yours. Where is the harm 
    in that?"
    "Look around. All of this destruction is my doing."
    The room had no exit but a nimble chimney ascent between walls in the far 
    brought him to a higher floor.
    Through an arched doorway he came on a balcony open at one edge. He glanced 
    out across the room and saw an Archer, ready with its bow. He judged the gap 
    too far to cross, and his eyes fell on a capstan behind him on the balcony. 
    Despite arrows shafting across the gap to impede him, the Prince turned the 
    capstan, which lowered a rod of lanterns from the ceiling.
    He ran quickly along the wall to spring back and use his flail to swing off 
    the lantern rod, and land safely out of arrow shot in a carpeted passage 
    between. He hurried under a billowing gauze drape to join close battle with 
    the impudent Archer.
    The demon had been set to guard an open door, which slid down behind as the 
    Dark Prince hurried under. A screen wall was open at one side of the short 
    empty chamber beyond, and he hopped through. Sounds of women sobbing never 
    left his ears.
    He landed in a pool of shallow water, at first touch of which his body began 
    its excoriating transformation back into its accustomed form.
    He looked around. Steam rose from the shallow water of the baths. Light 
    shafted through trellis screens onto patterned tiles. The luxurious purpose of 
    this part of the building was finally confirmed.
    "Traipsing through a brothel while your city falls apart," the voice chided. 
    "That's not what I would call heroic."
    "I am here for Farah."
    "You're not here for her, you're here for you. She made you feel guilty and 
    you hope to prove her wrong. Your reasons for being here are hardly selfless."
    "You do not know my motives, and you do not know me!"
    "I am you. And the sooner you realize it, the better."
    The Prince waded to an open screen on the opposite side of the bath. A partly 
    ruined corridor was alive with the sound of steel blade traps that whistled 
    and spun along the floor. Uninvited guests were not welcome here.
    He chose the proper moment and ran between rolling blades. A serried rank spun 
    fast along grooved slots in the floor just beyond. Twin sets of blades rushed 
    forward and back, daring him to try to run between. This presented a difficult 
    obstacle. Even an athlete such as he would find it too demanding a test to run 
    through safely, yet with the Eye of The Storm at his command the Prince was 
    able to judge the moment exactly, dashing forward as one phalanx retreated, 
    then switching aside as they spun rapidly towards him again. Not for the first 
    time he considered that he and he alone, armed as he was with the Dagger of 
    Time, could pass along his chosen route. At the corridor end, a pile of 
    collapsed rubble revealed a dagger plate, which he used to reach ledges above. 
    He paused before hauling to daylight at the top. Sentries prowled.
    The Prince used his stealthy attack to come up behind an Archer. He grasped 
    its throat and bent it to its knees, then struck with his Dagger at just the 
    right moment. So swift and silent was the attack that a second Archer stood 
    unawares just a few feet away, until he was delivered of the same.
    The Prince came to a low wall where a familiar figure waited above.
    "What do you want?"
    She was still displeased at his initial refusal to help. He hopped up to join 
    "I have thought about what you said," he spoke gently, "and you are right. I-"
    At that moment a blade whistled past his shoulder, cutting his words and 
    almost his head. A curious masked figure in female form looked down from a 
    balcony above. She wore parti-colored hose and a tight short gown; such gay 
    apparel might suit a carnival parade but this creature bore a more menacing 
    air. She had just demonstrated malignant intent.
    Farah challenged her. "Can't you see we are in the middle of a conversation? 
    If you really do desire death, kindly wait your turn."
    The strange creature scampered away. The Prince turned to Farah.
    "I have killed most of the guards, it should be safe. Go and find the women; 
    free them." The Prince had a score to settle with the woman who had threatened 
    Kaileena and attacked him with her flail. "I will deal with her."
    He needed a secondary blade, and dropped back down where he had noticed a 
    weapon rack. Fully prepared, he clambered up again and ran forward to a higher 
    wooden platform.
    "Wonderful work," the voice sighed. "You return to save Farah and then send 
    her back in the thick of it while you run after this one. My hero."
    "You know as well as I do that the brothel is no longer dangerous, but if I do 
    not kill that Sand Monster she will pose a threat to Farah."
    -- THE BROTHEL ----------------------------------------------------------------
    The Prince made haste after the masked apparition. He hopped down wooden 
    stages to a platform set in one corner high above a courtyard. From a similar 
    platform diagonally opposite, the demonic woman sprang to confront him. As the 
    Sands had transformed her companion to the ghastly Klompa, they had similarly 
    magnified the worst traits in this ally of the Vizier. Possessed by cunning 
    and acrobatic agility, the eyes of Mahasti glowed yellow through her mask. She 
    brandished a cruel blade in each velvet-gloved hand. As the Dark Prince stood 
    in awe she unceremoniously laid into her implacable enemy.
    Sand Monster or not, this creature was expert with swords. Twin twisted blades 
    flashed cruelly as the Prince threw up his weapon to block. He found very 
    quickly that force would not be enough, he must use speed and agility to 
    counter her lightning attack. Blows came in rapid volleys, she turning 
    balletically to deliver thrusts behind and from above. The sly mistress 
    cackled with glee as each blow struck home. The Prince blocked manfully and 
    probed for weakness.
    He found he could vault clean over her head and strike down, and this seemed 
    to do great damage till she sidestepped his landing. At once she lashed out 
    with her foot, and caught him a bone-crunching blow that threatened to send 
    him skating over the platform edge. He recovered and moved cautiously out of 
    range, allowing her to expend energy on her extravagant assault before leaping 
    to attack as she paused to recover.
    When he dealt enough damage they locked blades and began a struggle for 
    supremacy. He summoned every ounce of strength to throw her back, and they 
    resumed their deadly cabaret.
    Now she seemed more circumspect, and dodged his retaliation. He used the close 
    walls to launch at her, yet this seemed to have little impact. His aerial 
    assault delivered a satisfactory return, and he had only to ensure that he 
    avoided her kick and sudden slashes to begin to wear her down. They closed on 
    one another and crossed swords again.
    Blades struck sparks of steel. The Prince gasped with ferocious effort. Every 
    sinew strained against exhaustion. He threw the demoness back, at which moment 
    he felt the unwelcome surge through his body that signaled the Dark Prince's 
    "No!" he moaned in agony. "Not now."
    Mahasti took advantage of his torment and kicked him hard against a wall. The 
    Prince sank to his knees, wracked with the dark force sweeping through his 
    body. Black clouds boiled around him, and though he wrestled to overcome it, 
    the force surged to complete its ghastly transformation. He arose in his 
    strange unearthly form, hair flowing upward like smoke and cinders, blackened 
    body laced with fiery tattoos, his eyes glowing yellow, arms and back pocked 
    with black scaly horns. He cracked his neck and stood as the Dark Prince once 
    Startled by this, or perhaps aware that here was a very different proposition, 
    Mahasti leaped away for a far platform to take stock of her new opponent.
    "You should consider, I don't know..." the voice ventured, "following her?"
    A prompt to action came in the form of a dagger cast at him by the now distant 
    demoness. "Over here, Prince."
    She would not be tempted to close combat where now he might have some 
    advantage with the power of his lashing Daggertail. He could not stay long in 
    this place where there did not seem to be any source to replenish his ever-
    dwindling stock of Sand.
    "Were you planning on giving chase," the voice asked, "or do you want your 
    enemy to escape?"
    There was nothing else for it. If she would not come to face him where he 
    stood them he would have to chase her down, and finish her quickly.
    He ran along a wall to drop onto a flat roof platform in one corner. An 
    Illusion appeared from nowhere in a glow of yellow Sand, and screeched as it 
    flung daggers towards him. A few sweeps of the Daggertail pinned it to one 
    corner, where the Dark Prince lashed it to oblivion. A residue of Sand swept 
    to his body and replenished his store, at least temporarily. This would not 
    last him long, so he turned again to his quarry.
    Mahasti laughed cruelly from her refuge in an adjacent corner, and flung 
    blades wildly in his direction. He hopped to a plank beam midway between them, 
    and jumped to grasp the edge of her platform.
    As he raised himself ready to do battle the maddening creature sprang away, to 
    land diagonally across the wide courtyard to the platform where he began. "You 
    can't catch me," she said. "I admire you for trying."
    "She mocks you Prince," the voice confirmed. "Go to her, punish her!"
    He ran out on another wall now, and dropped to another flat roof platform. As 
    before, an Illusion rose to impede him, and was as easily repulsed. More Sand 
    to his benefit. The Dark Prince edged out on a beam, blades sweeping by, and 
    jumped to meet the artful demoness again.
    He slashed but she sprang away in an instant, and landed on a far platform as 
    before, mocking him with laughter. "Too slow, I'm afraid."
    "She's too fast for you," the voice pointed out. "Find a way to even the 
    The Dark Prince could move no faster, though he could find no other course of 
    action than to try to chase her down again.
    "Concentrate," the voice said. "I am sure there is a way for you to slow her."
    As another Illusion appeared on the platform below, the Dark Prince realized 
    he might use its Sand not only to prolong his ebbing life but also to charge 
    his ability to slow Time. "The Dagger!" the voice agreed. "Unleash the 
    Dagger's power."
    This time as the Dark Prince hung from the edge of Mahasti's refuge, he 
    triggered the Eye of The Storm to slow Time before pulling up. He closed fast, 
    and as she made to leap away again, he quickly used his Daggertail to block 
    her escape. Now he lashed her with furious combination sweeps of the chain, 
    connecting in satisfying stinging blows, each eliciting bright flashes of 
    light from her body. In pain and anger the desperate creature leaped away to a 
    far corner again.
    The Dark Prince was now confident in the wisdom of his method. Let the 
    demoness suffer under the lash of her own device! Again and again he circled 
    the arena walls, collecting such stock of Sand as the hapless Illusions were 
    forced to give up, and delivering vengeance on the fleeing Mahasti at every 
    corner opportunity. Soon enough she was trapped, and at last turned on him 
    Their weapons clanged and screeched as each fought for the upper hand. Using 
    all his strength the Dark Prince forced the lurid creature away.
    "You waste your time," Mahasti hissed. "The Vizier has already begun to 
    transform the women I have imprisoned. You buy yourself hours at best."
    The Dark Prince slashed hard against her body, sending the cruel demoness 
    plunging from the platform. Her scream echoed to silence.
    "If I had some Sands for every time someone has said that to me..." the Dark 
    Prince remarked ruefully. From the lifeless body below a burst of energy 
    surged through his mutated form. "Oh, I do."
    Farah reappeared on a platform close by.
    "The women are free, and headed for safety. It was right of you to return-" 
    She gasped as she saw the apparition. Its form was incredible but 
    unmistakable. "Prince! You ... you are one of them?"
    "No! Farah, this is not how it appears."
    "You are a Sand Monster! You lied to me, all this time." She raised her bow 
    against him.
    "No. I have been tainted by the Sands, this is true. But my mind and my heart 
    are my own. Please believe me."
    "Just stay away from me."
    She could not bear to look at him. Farah fired an arrow in his direction, then 
    hurried from his sight.
    -- THE PLAZA ------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Dark Prince stood alone. He made his way across to the platform where 
    Farah appeared and ran inside to track her down and explain, or try to.
    Along the short passage ahead was a long red curtain hanging into a drop. 
    "Well?" The voice showed little sympathy. "You did lie to her."
    "No," protested the Prince, "I simply-"
    "But she would not understand." He sighed. "What was I thinking?"
    His heart was heavy as he slid to ground and ran on along a deserted passage. 
    He wearily scaled ledges, using his flail or sprung shutters to cross 
    bottomless pits as he made his way after the wayward Princess.
    'Poor Prince. His secret self had been revealed, and Farah quite disturbed by 
    what she had seen. Perhaps he should have been honest from the beginning. Too 
    late he realized his mistake in staying silent.'
    The Dark Prince gathered Sand where he could and ran over a wall, using his 
    flail off a fixed lantern to bridge a last gap, impassible for any normal man. 
    He moved cautiously toward a sunlit courtyard.
    Instantly four thuggish Thrall creatures with bodies of colorless Sand rushed 
    to block him. He lashed out with his flail, taking to himself their life force 
    as each fell. No sooner had he vanquished the sentries than mutant troll 
    Reptus emerged from dark corners. He saw them off in the same manner.
    The courtyard was enclosed with no obvious exit beyond that where he arrived. 
    He thought he might find progress above. In a far corner, he executed an 
    upward wall run to swing backwards and use his flail off a hanging lantern to 
    reach a high beam. From a balcony off that he ran out on another wall, and 
    used the flail again to reach springboards, which ejected him to a broken 
    pillar top. He soon shuffled round its edge to reach a platform above where he 
    started. Remembering as always to replenish his stock of Sand from any likely 
    source, he climbed through a low open window.
    The distant cries of imperiled citizens had never left him, and he hurried 
    inside to do what he could to help save them. He passed around the corners of 
    a chamber with ledges and his flail to a chain suspended to the floor below. 
    He slid silently down to garrote an unwary Guard, then dropped to a polished 
    marble floor. His feet made no sound as he crept up behind a second Guard that 
    paced the room, unaware of the threat bearing down. The Dark Prince dashed up 
    and pulled the feet from under the monster. As it fell flat on its face he 
    jumped onto its back and broke its neck in a crunch of gristle.
    The doors from the lavish reception chamber were shut, but he noticed at one 
    place a wall tile switch. No sooner had he activated it than a pair of vile 
    green trolls were released from dark holes, and emerged to assault him. He 
    dealt with them quickly, grateful to restore his constantly dwindling Sands. 
    He reopened the door with the wall switch again, and hurried down a corridor 
    This time it was the Dark Prince who appeared unwary. As he ran along the 
    ruined corridor, he blundered into a guard waiting at a turn. After but a 
    short struggle, he rolled under a broken section of a rough wooden gate to 
    continue along the corridor. He spotted a fleeing figure at the passage end.
    "Farah! Wait!"
    He was temporarily obstructed by oddments strewn in the corridor, and by the 
    time he had cleared his way she was gone. At a corner he found a shut door. He 
    hopped a low wall to a room with a shallow pool for one half. There was no 
    sign of his erstwhile companion.
    As he splashed into the water his body began its agonizing retransformation to 
    its accustomed form.
    "The corruption is getting worse," the Prince groaned, "and there seems to be 
    no way to slow it! I must hurry."
    -- THE UPPER CITY -------------------------------------------------------------
    'The Prince cleansed himself in the waters of the fountain. Though returned to 
    a normal body, the same could not be said for his mind.'
    The poolroom showed no means of exit at ground level, though he could see 
    wooden walkways high above. Dripping wet, he crossed the raised half of the 
    room to where a wooden device stood against the far wall. It would not move, 
    though it seemed that it should, most likely along a grilled trough beside. 
    The base was held firmly by a raised metal plate. Still the device might prove 
    useful at its present position. The Prince clambered up to the flat top that 
    bore a wooden T-bar, and noticed scratch marks along a wall leading away. This 
    gave him inspiration to use the height for a wall run to one corner, where he 
    leaped backwards to a wooden platform rail. A capstan was set on a stone 
    He might have hoped that its operation opened a closed door just beside, yet 
    there were other possibilities as he saw the metal plate on the floor below 
    retract to free up the wooden device. He saw too that shutters became closed 
    in the wall opposite. He guessed where the wooden device might belong, and 
    jumped down to see.
    With but little effort he hauled the device along the trough to its end. 
    Climbing up, he could see that from its T-bar beam he might jump to a chute at 
    this higher level, yet the wooden shutters now proved an obstacle. He turned 
    about on the beam and jumped to the stone balcony behind in order to use the 
    capstan handle again to reopen them. He was now perfectly able to jump from 
    the beam to lodge himself in the narrow chute. He scrambled up and turned 
    about, facing a suspended beam that might have been placed with no purpose 
    other than to allow him to spring forward off it to a second chute on the far 
    side of the room. He might have used it to reach higher beams and surprise two 
    Guards waiting on the highest platform there, but he was unlucky in that they 
    became alerted to his presence. Had he shown a little caution and turned about 
    to watch, he would have stayed out of sight as they came near. Still they were 
    unable to resist his agility as he flung first one then the other to the floor 
    "In case you have forgotten," the voice chided, "Zervan has conquered your 
    kingdom, and you are fighting to get it back. Or at least you were."
    He could hardly expect praise in his enforced diversion, but the Prince 
    pressed ahead. A capstan stood on this highest platform, and as before, where 
    he might have hoped for it simply to open the door close beside, operation of 
    its lever opened a door somewhere below. As he ran over to see, the Prince 
    noticed a Guard standing in the now open doorway, no doubt wondering just how 
    it had opened. The Prince drew his blade and ducked down, but the demon soon 
    lost interest and trudged away. The fugitive used the moment to jump forwards 
    and drop through the door, where he sneaked up behind. He felt no shame in 
    these tactics of stealth; his was a higher purpose and he would surely 
    demonstrate his warrior abilities when the time came.
    Through an arch was a stone platform, its flagstones loose on wooden rafters. 
    On the walls ahead were a series of sprung wooden shutters, and as so many 
    times before the Prince shot forward on each to land on a far balcony.
    He had caught up with Farah again. The lone figure ran on in a courtyard 
    below. The Prince called out to her. "Do you see now? The change was physical, 
    nothing more."
    She folded her arms and looked up with undisguised contempt. "Why should I 
    believe you?" Her voice nearly broke from the pain of his betrayal. She 
    accused him with a sharp gesture. "Everything you have done contradicts this. 
    I have seen the way you hunger for combat. You take pleasure in creating 
    death, your constant talk of bloody vengeance, your cold disregard for your 
    own people. You heard the women in the brothel as clearly as I did, yet you 
    turned away."
    "But I came back! I came back ... for you."
    "You are a prince in title only. Go and reclaim your throne. But know this," 
    she hardened, "you do so alone."
    The Princess ran off through a gate in the courtyard below. The Prince hung 
    his head.
    "You certainly have a way with women," the voice cheered. "Those you don't get 
    killed can't get far enough away from you."
    He had to follow her, to try to explain. A chain hung down to the courtyard, 
    and he reached it via a wall run to a wooden jetty. As he landed to ground he 
    was beset by green demons such as he faced in the sewers and elsewhere about, 
    creeping from cracks low in the broken walls. He retreated to a sunlit spot 
    and took them as they came.
    Flames crackled in the building beyond and smoke hung in the air. Birds 
    chirruped in knots of vegetation high above. The door through which Farah left 
    was closed, but a wall switch nearby opened it, briefly.
    A Sand Guard paced the quiet passage beyond. The Prince crept stealthily 
    behind to finish it without noise. Who could say what other danger lay ahead?
    As he guessed, two more thuggish Guards waited at a turn. He retraced his 
    steps and found a window ledge from which he jumped to a small wooden platform 
    above one corner. He worked across a sprung shutter to rafters overhead, then 
    dropped between them and took on both in a single dazzling maneuver. He first 
    cut one to the ground, then leaped to the other and stunned it with his blade. 
    As the first recovered and drew out its sword he leaped back, held briefly 
    then slashed. It was already dead by the time he jumped back to the second. 
    Even so, he mistimed his stroke, and the monster recovered to turn swiftly and 
    grab him by the throat. It flung the Prince down and he was forced to meet it 
    directly. A few hard blows and it departed as the other.
    Here in the passage was more devastation, painful to see, and he felt little 
    remorse for dispatch of the creatures that though responsible seemed entirely 
    unconcerned. At the end of the passage a ladder stood raised to a balcony 
    ledge, and with some effort in rebounding off a wall close behind he soon 
    reached it. Now with a run up from a wall he sprang to a wooden rafter 
    overhead. Flames licked shattered timber and glowing embers drifted past. He 
    clambered up through a broken gap in a wall.
    "In my youth I would often lose myself in the back alleys of the upper city," 
    he reminisced. "I spent hours running and tumbling, imagining myself all 
    manner of creatures. The rooftops and passageways were secret windows onto 
    other worlds. But now everything has changed, the color bled away and the 
    sounds of life replaced by a heavy stillness. It has all gone dark and 
    From a courtyard below came the brilliant white beam from a Sand Gate, 
    projecting to the open sky. The usual posse of Guards paced round it.
    The Prince ran first to a beam, and on to a flat wooden roof. He took stock. 
    There was a platform balcony just below, and a Guard in evidence on a wider 
    balcony not far opposite. He edged out on a narrow ledge and dropped via 
    others to the balcony below. From there he saw shutters ahead, and with his 
    astonishing acrobatic ability came easily to a ledge above the unsuspecting 
    Guard. A moment of stealth saw him catch it unawares. It would surely be more 
    difficult to surprise the three Guards now in evidence around the Sand Gate 
    close below.
    He had confidence in his ability, but knew the consequence of rash action. He 
    singled out the Sand Gate Guard and crept closest to it. Choosing his moment 
    he fell onto the creature and wrestled it to the ground. If he could only 
    delay it from rushing to open the gate he might stand a chance. He flung his 
    spare weapon in the face of a second creature running to attack, and jumped to 
    fling the third out of the way. Quickly he turned to the gate guardian and 
    slashed hard, stunning it before beating it to the ground once again. As the 
    others closed in he sprang overhead, cutting them down, and rebounded off 
    walls to scatter them to the floor. The onslaught proved taxing; temporarily 
    cornered, he was unable to finish the guardian. It stumbled to its feet while 
    he was otherwise occupied, and bent over the Sand Gate. To the Prince's dismay 
    fresh Guards appeared. He attacked the guardian viciously, finishing it and 
    the next in a whirl of deadly steel. A fireball blazed in a corner, and he 
    tossed one attacker to the flames. As more crowded round he flung another 
    beside that, and soon built a pyre of Sand Monster corpses. He collected his 
    energy, gasping for breath as he wiped his blade clean.
    "I've seen cats do better," the scornful voice remarked. "Maybe Babylon is 
    better off in Zervan's hands. Oh - did I hurt your feelings?"
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                         T H E  W I N D S  O F  S A N D
    The effort was worth it. The Dagger acquired powers new: should he find 
    himself hemmed in again he might knock all enemies down simultaneously with 
    devastating Winds of Sand.
    He activated a wall switch and left by a nearby gate. A flight of steps led up 
    a twisting corridor, where he was soon faced by a trellised door, too solid to 
    break. A circle of light struck down from an open skylight. The Prince looked 
    up to see that the wall the door was set in was not high, though a little too 
    far for him to reach over. Perhaps among the bric-a-brac there might be 
    something that he could use to climb up on? In a low alcove, partly concealed 
    by oddments, the Prince found the very thing, a wicker crate such as had 
    served him more than once before. With but a little effort he was soon over 
    the door.
    Light vegetation grew at the open passage end, and birds twittered amid the 
    sound of running water. The voice spoke with something like impatience.
    "The Palace is close. Let us at last be on our way?"
    The Prince hauled himself atop a stone block, where he found a dagger plate, 
    and another on an opposite wall that let him reach up to a broken niche, from 
    the side of which he climbed to a chamber holding a water basin.
    'The Prince was finally forced to accept the fact that Farah was lost to him, 
    and that he alone was responsible for this. Had he not hidden the truth from 
    her, had he shown more compassion, then perhaps things may have gone another 
    way. But now it was simply too late. In spite of this - or perhaps because of 
    it - the Prince found himself profoundly affected by Farah's earlier words and 
    deeds. They had wrought a change in him, slowly supplanting the dark demands 
    of his ruthless alter-ego.'
    -- THE CITY GARDENS -----------------------------------------------------------
    From an open balcony the Prince looked down on a terrace garden. Water poured 
    from ornamental ducts at one side to a rapid stream that ran from under a 
    gate. The Prince jumped out on a pole and used dagger plates and ledges to 
    work his way over. He looked out to distant rooftops. A pall of smoke hung 
    over his city. Via more dagger plates set in fantails over the water spouts he 
    swung to a small platform ledge, where birds scattered as he fell. Above his 
    head a Guard came to investigate. Seeing nothing he turned away, and the 
    Prince crept up to service the inattention.
    He was on a covered balcony above enclosed gardens, where came the sound of 
    sentries pacing below. He pressed on across a pole to another leafy balcony.
    "You've been so quiet," his alter ego spoke up. "What's on your mind?"
    "Perhaps she is right."
    "Where is the Prince I used to know? You are a hardened warrior, stop being 
    so... sentimental."
    "Were it something I could push away or ignore, I would."
    "You must try. What lies ahead will be the greatest test you have yet faced."
    The Prince dropped off a narrow ledge and aligned himself carefully for a leap 
    to a ledge around a thick column. One side advanced no progress but from the 
    other he faced to a slender palm. Four sentries paced the greenery below. He 
    carefully jumped for another palm, and one beyond that, to the far side of the 
    garden space. He slid expertly down its trunk enough to spring to a ledge 
    along the far wall. He watched and waited and crept sideways to take one by 
    surprise. He moved stealthily to the next, but then others came running and 
    threatened to overwhelm him. At this he decided to test the new powers of his 
    Dagger. Gaining a little space for himself he summoned the Winds of Sand, and 
    though it took a moment to charge, and near drained his Sand Tanks, the effect 
    was devastating. All enemies were blasted aside, and with a few astonishing 
    twirls about a slender trunk he finished them before they recovered.
    "What was THAT," scoffed the voice, unimpressed despite such artistry.
    The Prince saved his best move for the last survivor, sweeping behind to cut 
    it in two, but even this drew no plaudit. "I've seen better."
    There was not much to find in the small enclosed garden, thick with cactus 
    and succulent plants. On a square pillar side he found a dagger switch, that 
    the Sand Monsters had evidently been set to protect. It activated stone rings 
    in the thick column he had traversed by ledges, and in their rotation twin 
    jetties faced out. Here now was the means of progress to gardens beyond.
    Back up the palm trees he soon shimmied around the column again, to drop onto 
    the first outward jetty. From the second he worked around an identical column 
    to stand high over another enclosed garden.
    "Tell me then," prompted the Prince. "What do you believe it is to be a 
    "It is to hunger for combat, to seek solution with the sword. Do you 
    "Had you asked me when we first met I would have said the same. Now, I am not 
    so sure."
    "Think on it, then," the voice advised.
    With his thoughts in this way occupied the Prince sprang out to a ledge, from 
    which he dropped to a dagger plate. The fall to the ground would have been too 
    far without it. The clink of armor and heavy footsteps alerted him to the 
    presence of enemies nearby. He made his way across jetties to a ledge over a 
    shallow pool, and climbed higher on poles off ivy-covered walls to a high wall 
    He looked down on another garden, a Sand Gate set into its center. Here paced 
    the guards he had heard. As the Prince jumped out to a slender trunk the 
    nearest was directly below at his mercy, yet the Prince had learned the 
    necessity of dealing with the gate guardian first. He jumped to a masonry edge 
    and used dagger plates to work close to a beam in the corner where the 
    guardian stood. In a second he dropped down and took it with a few slashes. 
    The others rushed to assist, too late to save their commander. The Prince 
    threw a weapon in the face of the first, rocking it back with a grunt of pain, 
    then vaulted over to toss it off the high garden edge to the waters below. He 
    dealt with the last directly, and was sickened to see that it spewed forth 
    green bile in place of blood, such was the effect of the Sands in this place. 
    With peace gained at last he turned to close off the Sand Gate.
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                          A  N E W  S A N D  T A N K
    To one side stood a square column bearing another dagger switch. This rotated 
    other jetties in columns, and raised a metal platform that should allow him to 
    reach them. He scaled the tall palm tree to return over the wall top, where he 
    soon hopped over to the column ledges ahead. He continued his discourse with 
    his darker half.
    "I think a true warrior fights for something other than himself."
    "And what of the man that battles to better his own station, to improve his 
    lot in life? Often, it is the only way to achieve greatness."
    "But what you describe is not a man, it is a monster."
    "I see."
    The Prince lost patience, and snapped: "We will have to continue this 
    discussion later."
    In the section of garden below waited fresh enemies. The Prince worked his way 
    to ledges close overhead, and chose his moment to drop between the pair 
    standing unaware, finishing both with a couple of strokes.
    Down below a circular courtyard lent the air of an arena. A colonnade ran 
    around one side and waters spilled down its edge. A wall run carried him out 
    to a pole, from which he swung to a ledge around the wall ahead. A pair of 
    Guards were in evidence on the colonnade now directly below. He dropped 
    between them to execute his twin stealth attack, and with the space to himself 
    hopped down to the arena floor.
    He stepped out cautiously, warrior's instinct warning him this place was not 
    as tranquil as might first appear.
    Sure enough, from its hiding place in a corner a towering beast rose up, 
    blasting aside thick blocks of masonry as if made of wood. It roared mightily 
    and stood over the shocked Prince.
    Its unearthly form seemed partly composed of vegetation: thick knotted green 
    sinews twisted around its body. Yet it might have been fashioned from stone 
    for the impression the Prince's blade made as it attacked. Though he slashed 
    with all his might he could not injure it, and faced death from its crashing 
    feet and thick meaty fists that pounded down to flatten him where he stood.
    "If you are to have any chance of defeating this beast," the voice urged, 
    "engage it from behind!"
    He saw the logic in that. He dived between its legs and slashed at its 
    haunches. Enraged, the creature stomped about and tried to crush the attacker 
    at its back. He fought to subdue it, rolling aside to assail it again, and 
    finally managed to bring it to its knees.
    Taking his chance, the Prince mounted one gigantic leg, and scrambled up the 
    creature's back. He plunged his Dagger into the neck. The beast roared and 
    drew its arms up to knock him off. Though the blow was not enough to finish 
    the mighty creature, he now had control over it, and as it reeled about in 
    fury he fought to stay on top.
    The beast crashed through a solid wooden door, and another through a 
    courtyard, where it lumbered down a narrow passage beyond. Guided by the 
    course of a stream, the Prince steered it desperately between the high walls 
    lest it crash to the ground and crush him beneath. He fought to rein it in 
    like a runaway horse, maddened by the sting of the weapon at its neck. Left 
    and right and right again it careered down the watery passage, screeching and 
    roaring in fury, its mighty feet thudding faster and faster. They scraped 
    walls and rolled about, but the Prince made steady tugs on the Dagger to force 
    the beast to its course. All at once they faced a solid gate at the passage 
    end. Without break in its stride it crashed through, sending the Prince 
    tumbling to the ground. The beast thundered on and collapsed into the stream, 
    where its mutated body crumbled amid the debris that pounded around. In a few 
    moments it was gone.
    The exhausted Prince dragged himself to his feet. He was in a river gully, 
    open to the sky, studded with holes where water poured from the thick city 
    walls. A ladder stood at one side.
    Life Upgrade #4 [twin figurine]
    -- THE CANAL ------------------------------------------------------------------
    He took grateful sustenance at a fountain. A low grating lay open at one 
    corner. His path lay upward along a mossy passage, where a chimney ascent 
    brought him along a passage to a ledge and a ladder, that he descended to a 
    lower ledge and a bar to another convenient fountain.
    -- THE PROMENADE --------------------------------------------------------------
    A squat Guard patrolled the passage end down a short flight of steps. The 
    Prince ducked behind a plank scaffold as it paced towards him, then he climbed 
    on top and jumped to a beam over its head, that he might drop and execute his 
    stealth attack. Even so, it took fully five sweeps of his blade to subdue this 
    more than usually demonic creation.
    Though this passage had several doorways, each was firmly shut. A stream of 
    water sprayed from a sluice to a shallow pool beneath. He hopped a low wall to 
    splash through the water, but found no way forward. Birds twittered somewhere 
    out of sight. His best chance for progress seemed to be somewhere above, where 
    he saw shutters and ledges, but he had no means to reach them from the shallow 
    pool. He climbed back out, and noticed scratch marks along the wall to one 
    side. This set him to thinking, and as he had done more than once before, 
    hauled a wicker crate to the edge by the low wall, and used its height to run 
    out over the water. At his furthest reach he sprang back off the wall to an 
    alcove, where he performed a chimney ascent to a grassy platform. A second 
    golden guard patrolled above.
    He found another solid wooden door. Facing it was a wall tile switch that 
    temporarily dropped a shutter over the waterspout. Running over this, the 
    Prince was able to spring off a shutter back to the corner of an opposite 
    wall, where he landed on one of the ledges he had seen from below. A chimney 
    ascent brought him to the roof of a small wooden structure built out from the 
    wall. Each residence in this part of the city seemed to have one or more of 
    these curious shuttered structures built to it, and though he could not be 
    certain what purpose they might serve, with the ready supply of flushing water 
    nearby, he might guess. From this convenient projection, he ran across higher 
    shutter boards to spring to a far balcony. He hopped its stone rail and headed 
    through a rounded arch doorway. The red blaze of a sunset appeared across the 
    The Prince stepped out on a decoratively tiled covered terrace. Desperate 
    voices drifted from below: "Help us! A fire, in the Workshop, somebody let us 
    out - we're trapped inside!"
    This was no sunset. Fires raged through the city below, and roared from the 
    windows of a tall building nearby.
    "What has happened?" the Prince wondered. "These people are clearly in 
    It was the Royal Workshop that blazed closest, its occupants trapped inside. 
    At this moment of stress his body was wracked with spasms, and he began to 
    mutate to the Dark Prince again. He rose rigid above the ground, caught in the 
    black helix, rent by flashes of fiery light. He fell to the ground to rise as 
    his unholy other.
    Still he would not be deflected, and ran to give what assistance he could, as 
    shouts and screams echoed below. He dropped through a hole in a cylindrical 
    chamber ahead, and slid down a chain in a shaft of daylight at its center.
    "How convenient," chimed the voice. "A burning building filled with helpless 
    citizens just begging for rescue."
    "What do you mean?"
    "I mean, it sounds like a trap."
    "Is it? If I was an enraged Sand god intent on killing you, and you had 
    already slain two of my best lieutenants, well, I would be inclined to try a 
    less direct approach. One that exploits your new-found compassion."
    "Trap or not, those people need me."
    "No good will come of this," the voice warned grimly.
    At the bottom of the chamber a solitary guard paced out through a doorway. 
    This was a squat thuggish creature, stronger than the usual guards, but 
    equally insensitive. The Dark Prince emerged to a covered terrace and crept up 
    behind it, then vaulted over and put a boot to its throat, to throttle it with 
    the flail. No sooner had the guard vanished to dust than two of the wolf-like 
    Hunter Hounds skittered up over an open edge at one corner of the terrace and 
    pattered to attack. He whirled the Daggertail about him and lacerated both to 
    screeching agony of destruction.
    A dagger switch on a wall to one side lowered metal shutters over windows, and 
    with use of his flail off a lamp bracket between, the Dark Prince was now able 
    to run out over a wall to a long red banner that hung in a corner. He slid 
    down and sprang off its end, deploying his flail to swing under a bar to a 
    terrace edge. As he grappled up, Sand Creatures gathered to attack.
    In a tight space he was confronted by near-naked demons in seductive female 
    form. He had seen their like in the brothel. Three perverted creations moved 
    slowly towards him, whirling a blade in each hand as they hummed and moaned 
    hypnotically. These were not of the gentle sex; in a moment they lunged and 
    dealt vicious blows with a cry of triumph. At their midst bounded a Hunter 
    Hound, and the Dark Prince lost no time in dispatching it, lest it suck from 
    his body precious Sand. He would need every ounce under the constant attack of 
    the Enchantresses.
    He got amongst them, flashing his Daggertail to cut through the pack. Each 
    proved quick to block, and struck out with athletic reflex. As he gathered his 
    resources one or other performed gymnastic tumbles towards him, able to knock 
    him off his feet with a lightning strike. An ordinary man would thus be 
    quickly humbled, but the Dark Prince had an invaluable resource to even any 
    odds: he used the power of the Dagger of Time. Caught in the stricture of 
    slowed motion, these she-devils were no match for his powerful weapon, and 
    groaned under each lash of the Daggertail barbs. Soon enough he had the 
    terrace to himself.
    This was a pretty verandah with delicate hanging greenery and cartouches on 
    the walls. It overlooked a fountain and palm trees in a neat garden below. 
    This must once have been a tranquil spot. Round about were a number of 
    scattered pots, that when smashed gave up vital stocks of Sand, and with life 
    at least temporarily sustained, he looked for some means of progress.
    There seemed no way down off the verandah, but in a corner he recognized a 
    dagger switch set into a wall, and quickly put it to operation.
    Twin shutters dropped over windows on an adjacent wall. The Dark Prince was 
    now able to run out from the terrace, and used his chain to swing forward to 
    shutters, that fired him on around the corner of the building, to a flat 
    rooftop square. He heard the swing of steel as a blade was drawn, and sure 
    enough a Sand Guard waited here, but this solitary opponent was easily 
    overcome. He crossed more shutters that shot him between the narrow walls of 
    buildings shafted in evening light. He threw out his Daggertail to hook to a 
    beam, and dropped to a small rooftop garden. Enemies rushed forward.
    He had not time to waste in fruitless combat. First he used the Eye of the 
    Storm to slow his attackers, then unleashed the Winds of Sand to blast all to 
    the ground. The shock wave reverberated in the small space, smashing pots that 
    easily gave up fresh stocks of Sand as he moved near. Twin Hunter Hounds 
    writhed on the ground as he finished them with a stroke, and recovering Guards 
    proved no match for his prowess even without the benefit of slowed Time. He 
    had peace soon enough.
    There was nothing to find on this balcony, but he made a wall run to another 
    close by and found a dagger switch there. This raised up more window shutters, 
    and he climbed on top to return to the empty balcony. He ran up off the wall 
    in a corner to get onto the next shutter there, and ran out on the wall 
    alongside, where he sprang away and cast out his flail, swinging joyously from 
    bar to bar across a wall to land on a narrow stone platform top.
    He dropped off the side to a niche, and shimmied around to face a stone block. 
    He used the flail to bring it out from its wall, and jumped backwards to reach 
    it. Now he ran aside to a short hanging ladder, and at its foot extracted 
    another block from behind. From this he ran off along a wall and jumped away, 
    where he landed in a gushing pool of water. On the first refreshing splash he 
    instantly began the transformation to become the Prince again.
    He stood for a while in the cool water, collecting his thoughts. Though the 
    terrible form of the Dark Prince had been cast off once again, the voice still 
    seemed to live in his pressured mind, and soon showed its frustration.
    "Stopped to plan your next mistake? I'm getting sick of this, come on, move!"
    The Prince pondered the increased urgency. He was doing his best. He hopped up 
    out of the pool on a ledge at one side, and landed on a deserted balcony. A 
    Sand Gate projected its beam from a courtyard below.
    "I must hurry," the Prince said, "find a way inside."
    "Have fun with that," returned the voice, curtly. "You can figure it out on 
    your own for once, I will play no part in this."
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                         2 0 0  S A N D  C R E D I T S
    Through an open doorway in one corner stone blocks stopped up a passageway. He 
    hopped over and found a well-built corridor. Light came through circular slits 
    in the wooden ceiling. Ladders and builders' material lay alongside a conveyor 
    of stout wooden rollers laid into the floor. A stone block stood outside a 
    closed door, and the Prince guessed that the rollers might convey such blocks 
    as that to the Workshop further along. He followed the rollers down the 
    A branch in the rollers led from another closed door, and here at a turn he 
    faced hazards in the form of pounding blocks. These bore the appropriate 
    decoration of bull-headed rams, and he knew from past experience that he would 
    suffer greatly if caught in their path. Perhaps their function was to break up 
    heavy blocks, and there appeared to be saw blades for cutting mounted in the 
    wall either side just above. Casual passage would have been difficult if not 
    impossible. The Prince slowed Time and clambered effortlessly on top to roll, 
    run, jump, and tumble over each pounder even as it retracted.
    Through a low open archway ahead the corridor opened to a small chamber. The 
    rollers led to a shut door with a dagger switch alongside.
    -- THE ROYAL WORKSHOP ---------------------------------------------------------
    The Prince hurried into the burning workshop but skidded to a halt and looked 
    back as the door crashed shut behind him.
    "Poor Prince," came a guttural voice. "Locked inside a burning building and no 
    way out." A hulking helmeted figure gazed down through a high window. It beat 
    a fist: "Too bad for you!"
    The figure disappeared with a grim laugh, leaving the Prince helpless.
    "Well look at that," the voice remarked. "A trap. Do you see now what happens 
    when you try to help other people? You die!"
    "They locked us in here," a voice shouted. "We're going to burn!"
    Desperate citizens appeared behind barred windows high in the walls.
    "Help us," called a man, urgently. "Please help us."
    Other voices cried: "Over here, over here!"
    "Please," a woman begged, "find a way to get us out!"
    The workshop was dominated by a massive sculpture in the likeness of his 
    father, no doubt a tribute from his grateful subjects, just recently completed 
    and evidently ready to leave the workshop on a conveyor of wooden rollers.
    "Oh, Father," the Prince moaned, "give me guidance, lend me strength. Where 
    have you gone?"
    He hung his head in despair. His own words echoed: "Father, gone..."
    The image struck him of the statue of his father gone from the workshop. 
    "Wait, that's it!"
    The Prince turned and shouted up to the desperate citizens trapped behind 
    burning windows of a locked tower. "Where is the machinery that controls these 
    conveyors? Quickly please, there is not much time!"
    "Above us," a forlorn voice replied. "The stairs are burned though, you will 
    never be able to reach it."
    The Prince stood by massive wooden doors that led from the workshop. He looked 
    to the statue at the far end. A very solid stone tray projecting in front gave 
    him the idea. He considered the distance to bring the structure across the 
    workshop to the door.
    He ran down to examine the statue. It held in one hand an upright staff, and 
    the other must still have been worked on; the tray was a framework 
    construction built onto it. Still it looked very solid, and might prove ideal 
    for the purpose he had in mind.
    The Prince shinned up the staff and jumped for the stone tray. He looked down 
    on the blazing workshop, where wooden platforms lined the walls, and saw how 
    the stairs had already been burned out. From his vantage point he was easily 
    able to jump across to the nearest platform, and around a pillar where a wall 
    run and chimney ascent brought him to a ledge. He dropped and shimmied along, 
    until he could jump for a beam projecting from one wall, and to a platform 
    alongside. A capstan lever stood ready.
    These must be the controls to operate the conveyor. By the markings on the 
    floor under the capstan he judged that this should slide the statue forwards 
    and back. He turned the capstan handle and, though the statue did not move, he 
    noticed a dagger switch on the wall in an alcove change its direction 
    indicator from forward to back. Since the statue was backed firmly against the 
    far workshop wall, it could only come away, so he rotated the capstan handle 
    again to return its direction to forward just as he found it. Then he set the 
    dagger switch to operation.
    To his satisfaction the gigantic statue began to trundle along the wooden 
    rollers. As the cogs in the mechanical switch wound down, the conveyor 
    stopped. The Prince reached up to activate the switch again, but found this 
    time that the stone staff on the statue fouled against part of the structure 
    of the room, and it would not come any further. He would have to work out how 
    to bring it by stages past each obstruction.
    The Prince studied the statue. He judged that he might bring it forward if he 
    could somehow change its orientation. The workers must have planned for this. 
    He noticed a brazier burning on top of a capstan on the opposite side of the 
    workshop. It had to be a separate control for the conveyor. A ladder waited 
    close by, with an elevated wooden walkway joining the two control platforms, 
    and he hurried across.
    He found a capstan and dagger switch nearly identical to the first. The symbol 
    on the floor by the capstan showed a rotating cog, and the adjacent dagger 
    switch a clockwise symbol showing which direction it would turn. One way 
    seemed good as another to begin and he left the capstan at its present setting 
    before he put the dagger switch to action. The enormous statue creaked and 
    clanked on its mounting as it rotated fully one quarter-turn. A good start, 
    but he judged that the statue might come forward more easily with its back 
    faced into the room. He rotated it again using the dagger switch, until its 
    stone tray pointed away from the door. Now he was sure the statue could come 
    forwards again, and he hurried up the ladder to the other side. Smoke and 
    flame billowed through the rafters.
    As he pulled down on the dagger switch, the statue trundled past the first 
    obstruction. He judged that he might bring it even further into the room, and 
    used the switch again. This moved the statue right alongside. Now its stone 
    staff was blocked by the overhead walkway, and the edifice needed to be turned 
    about once again.
    He used the stone tray as a convenient bridge to return to the other side. 
    There was no time to waste; flames crackled everywhere about the workshop and 
    he tried not to be distracted by screams of the desperate trapped citizens who 
    now depended on him.
    The stone tray would foul against this side of the workshop were it to move in 
    a direction other than that in which it was already set, so the Prince needed 
    only to pull down on the dagger switch for it to move safely about. It meant, 
    though, that he could not turn it to face out since it now fouled on the far 
    side. He had to rotate it another ninety degrees, but would need to move the 
    structure back into wider space first. The solid construction of the statue 
    with its thick blocks of stone impressed him as he ascended the ladder.
    He turned the capstan lever to change the direction arrow back into the room, 
    and then pulled the dagger switch down. With the statue backed away, he could 
    see that it would now have room to rotate. He climbed the ladder once more to 
    the rotating side. This was becoming tedious but he was confident of the 
    soundness of his plan, even if the result was yet unclear. There seemed no 
    alternative to this course.
    He pulled down on the rotational switch. Now the statue faced forwards again, 
    further into the room this time. He climbed the ladder to the other side and 
    reset the capstan to forwards direction. He brought the statue further towards 
    the door, yet the troublesome staff still aligned with the next obstruction 
    ahead. It would not pass under the walkway without a little more ingenuity.
    He scaled the ladder to use the second dagger switch yet again. He dropped off 
    and turned to see his father's solemn face gazing upon him. He could only hope 
    he was doing the right thing. With desperate cries and screams of the trapped 
    citizens echoing still, he must try. He returned to the first dagger switch.
    The weary Prince drew down the switch yet again. At last the statue passed out 
    between the wooden platforms, the curvature of its staff now clearing any 
    obstruction. Indeed, it might easily move all the way to the door, but in its 
    present orientation would serve no purpose. The Prince neared the last stage 
    of the plan. The statue needed to face outwards, with its stone tray projected 
    towards the massive wooden door. To this end, the Prince hurried over the 
    walkway yet again.
    He observed that the statue rested hard against the walkway in one direction, 
    and might easily foul. Though he had until now seen no need to alter its 
    course of revolution, he first turned the capstan handle to set rotation anti-
    clockwise, that it might turn towards the door, then pulled down the switch. 
    In the open space at the end of the workshop the statue turned easily about. 
    At last it faced the solid doors through which lay all hope of escape. With 
    renewed energy the Prince hurried up the ladder to use the forwards dagger 
    plate for what he hoped and expected to be the last time.
    As he tugged down the switch the towering statue moved forwards. It crashed 
    through the door, timbers clattering down the steps outside. The statue 
    tumbled to the ground. Citizens spilled from the burning building, crawling 
    and stumbling to safety as they joyfully embraced. The Prince helped one woman 
    down the steps to the comfort of friends.
    An old blind man stepped forward, bent over his staff. "Do you know your 
    savior, friends? I tell you now and true: it is the Prince of Persia."
    The crowd was awed. "The Prince of Persia? I can't believe it! He's come back 
    to us!"
    The Prince recognized the Old Man, and came to greet his trusted mentor. "It 
    is good to see you safe."
    At that moment a woman screamed, and the throng parted as a chariot was raced 
    recklessly through the crowd. The Prince seized the Old Man and pulled him 
    from its path. The Sand Creature that mocked his fall into the trap clattered 
    away. The Prince leapt to an empty chariot and whipped its horses to the 
    -- THE KING'S ROAD ------------------------------------------------------------
    "I think you are tasking this hero business a little too far," the voice said. 
    "You've already saved the citizens."
    The Prince raced under an archway to narrow twisting streets. He steered left 
    and right at full tilt. The horses shivered and whinnied as they crashed 
    against a stall, sending debris flying. He struggled for control: impossible 
    to rein in, he judged it best to give the powerful beasts their head and guide 
    them firmly left and right ahead of time, leaving them to run full flight 
    between alternate obstacles.
    A guard jogged quickly from one side and jumped aboard to hinder him. A short 
    slash from the Prince's blade beat him away. A second tried the same tactic 
    but was cut down in similar style. The Prince stuck to his task of negotiating 
    an even path between obstacles close either side. As still another enemy came 
    aboard with a grunt he chopped savagely and sent it under the wheels. His 
    quarry shot overhead across a covered wooden bridge.
    Another thug came in front but was dragged underneath. The chariot jumped a 
    gap then flew through the air beneath the fine rainbow spray of a waterfall to 
    an underground cave passage. As he negotiated its rocky walls a chariot joined 
    the chase from an adjacent path. The two machines jostled for the line along 
    the winding path, the Prince trying his best to force the enemy against the 
    rock walls while keeping his own horses to their course. A cloud of bats 
    screeched overhead. The passage narrowed suddenly and the other chariot 
    smashed against an outcrop. He was left to steer a course to one side of a 
    divide, with a perilous drop close in front. His horses took the gap without 
    break in their stride, though the chariot bucked and crashed against rock 
    walls. With barely a moment to collect his breath, the Prince saw up ahead a 
    slender bridge. More bats flew thick from the depths either side as he 
    thundered towards it and guided the horses across to another divide. Safely 
    through, he ran alongside the fleeing chariot, with its miscreant rider.
    "You are one of us now, Prince," boomed the guttural voice of the Sand 
    Monster. "How does it feel?"
    Unable to close with the object of his pursuit, the Prince emerged between 
    buildings again. He struggled as before to guide the powerful horses between 
    walls, through narrow arches and across perilous gaps. More able now, he 
    adopted a regular rhythm, first to the left and then to the right, making firm 
    guiding gestures to keep the beasts galloping safely ahead of each turn. A 
    heavy hand would see him crash to destruction.
    As he reached a wider clearing, the Prince was rejoined by the chasing chariot 
    bearing down at his right. "Hyah!" he cried, as he snapped the reins and urged 
    his horses on as their wheels crashed together. His chariot was knocked to one 
    side, the attacker escaping past a low planted divide along the road ahead.
    The Prince's horses bolted through an arched alley, thundering towards a 
    closed gate. It shattered as nothing, though the chariot was knocked about, 
    and he careered on along a narrowing path between buildings beyond. This was 
    the private King's Road that led to the palace. He dodged scaffold at either 
    side, and smashed through another chasing chariot as it crashed across his 
    path to a dead end wall.
    The Prince grappled for control of the galloping beasts, forcing them left to 
    one side of a turbulent stream that boiled with white foam crashing from 
    above. He steered away at its edge and up a gradient path tending right again. 
    Ahead was a piton of shields and spears across his path on one side. A sentry 
    emerged from behind it to give chase. A brutal hack broke it away, as a second 
    left its post to jog alongside. The other chariot appeared again running 
    alongside beyond a divider, yet the Prince had his hands fully occupied. He 
    beat the guard off, as others came from the left and the right; he chopped the 
    first down with a savage blow and dragged the other behind like a rag doll. 
    All the while he guided his horses between the pike obstacles.
    Suddenly the whole span of the road appeared blocked, and he tugged hard to 
    the left along a plank road down to a narrow arch. He barely scraped through 
    and brushed close along another twisting street. The headstrong stallions 
    drove on, and he guided them firmly with the suggestion of a tug ahead of each 
    More guards attempted to hop aboard, and now the road obstacles were solid 
    blocks of stone. The Prince hacked a deft blow down on each attacker, as he 
    carefully negotiated left and right, and left again.
    He came to a wider course. The chariot of the Sand Monster swept alongside 
    and their wheels crashed together. The horses galloped madly and the Prince 
    mounted his chariot side. Determined not to let the Sand Monster escape he 
    hurled himself across, and send the two of them clear through a hole in a 
    building wall, tumbling to the ground.
    They landed on a wide flat circle of stone. They wrestled briefly then broke 
    apart. The creature swung a massive axe, striking it off the stone as they 
    stared each other down. Breath steamed in snorts from the foul being's mouth, 
    its cruel face pinched under a hideously horned helmet.
    As the Prince squared up to the towering axe man, a second thug appeared 
    behind. A kick in the back knocked the Prince to the ground. This pair worked 
    in tandem, and they liked to fight dirty.
    "All right, I will admit," the Prince gasped, getting to his feet, "I was not 
    expecting that."
    The new arrival brandished a wickedly hooked sword. He cast a ring of fire 
    around the arena, and gave out wicked laughter. There was to be no escape.
    The Prince closed in on the new arrival to try combat one-on-one. No crude 
    soldiers these; the brute blocked expertly and swung his massive sword in 
    swift reply. The axe man closed in from behind, and the Prince was knocked 
    heavy blows between them as he attempted to block. A boot kicked out. He could 
    not afford to be caught close between the two opponents, and rolled aside as 
    the axe crashed down. Agility was his surest defense.
    He fought back as well as he was able. His vaulting attack proved useless. 
    Whichever of the two he attacked, he was battered to the ground every time. 
    Even as he faced one he seemed never to gain advantage before the other lunged 
    fast to assault him from behind. The brutes seemed inexhaustible; as fast as 
    he struck one the other closed in, and he could not hope to hold both.
    "Turn your attention towards the one who has the sword," urged the voice.
    With no better recourse the Prince took the suggestion. He moved to separate 
    the two, testing the principal of divide and conquer. When he judged he had a 
    little space to maneuver he closed in and struck hard at the swordsman. His 
    powerful opponent blocked every blow. After two or three solid strikes the 
    Prince sensed the axe bearer closing behind, and rolled aside as its mighty 
    weapon hammered down. Confounded by the speed of its prey, the brute struck 
    solid stone, striking sparks; the blade drove into the ground and became 
    stuck. The Prince saw his chance. He moved swiftly behind and rained blows on 
    the stunned creature, doubled over and suddenly helpless. The swordsman 
    slashed wickedly in his direction but the Prince rolled aside, and kept up the 
    assault, until the axe man straightened once more.
    He had stumbled on the weakness in the twin Sand Monsters' strategy. Their 
    massive weapons required brute strength to muster, and once launched to attack 
    they could not simply wind down.
    The Prince moved to open distance between them, rolling to the center of the 
    arena to stay away from the scorching flames all around. As the swordsman 
    leaped through the air to attack, the Prince dodged aside then turned in, and 
    struck with his sword once again - it required only that he judge the moment 
    not to receive the edge of wild swings or the swordsman's cruel thrust return. 
    As the axe man closed in from behind and suddenly loomed close the Prince 
    rolled aside just in time. As before, the heavy axe became stuck in the 
    ground. Now the Prince rolled behind, and paused for a fraction to allow the 
    swordsman to counter. He moved nimbly as it launched the attack, and once more 
    railed on the stricken axe man as the swordsman thrust and slashed furiously 
    in the wrong direction. The Prince watched for the axe man to rise as he kept 
    up the assault, then moved away to set the sequence again.
    At a precise moment he was ready to dive in with his Dagger, whereon he dealt 
    a single stab to each twin. This drew fully half their strength.
    The Prince patiently maneuvered to execute the trap again and again, each time 
    luring the enraged creatures to their pattern of weakness. Soon enough he 
    sensed a chance to use the Dagger a second time. At a moment it seemed they 
    had beaten him down he ducked to the left as the axe crashed down, then rolled 
    right to avoid the sword, and jumped up to dive in with the Dagger. With the 
    last of his strength he struck one, then flipped and hung off the neck of the 
    other. He stabbed fast and threw himself clear. The demon with the sword was 
    cast onto the axe, and evaporated to dust. The Prince sank exhausted to his 
    Yet it was not over. With a terrible roar, the axe man rallied, blood oozing 
    from wounds as it leaped through the air towards the Prince, set to bring down 
    its mighty weapon on the head of its twin's assassin. At the moment of the 
    fatal blow that the Prince had not strength to avoid, an arrow struck out and 
    toppled the brute backwards, this time to oblivion. The axe crashed to the 
    stone close by the Prince's head. He looked about in wonder.
    Farah tumbled acrobatically to the arena. "It seems I chose the right moment 
    to return."
    "Thank you," said the Prince, with feeling.
    "Lucky shot," grumbled the voice.
    The Prince staggered to his feet, recovering strength. His entire arm and more 
    than half his back glowed with infection of the Sands.
    "We should move," Farah suggested. "I'm sure more are on the way."
    She ran towards a door. The Prince followed close.
    The pair stepped outside. Solid buildings were washed in eerie blue moonlight. 
    "Be on your guard," warned the Prince.
    Farah moved warily, bow ready. "I always am."
    Mist rose off the cold stone of a wide deserted plaza. The great Tower of 
    Babylon was silhouetted against a lowering sky. All seemed quiet. Too quiet. 
    The Prince touched a hand to the ground. He stood and looked around, his 
    warrior's instinct bristling. Something was coming.
    They fled across the open plaza, dwarfed among towering statues. The ground 
    shook as an ominous rumble rolled towards them.
    Sand Monsters appeared from a doorway then spilled from all corners. Vicious 
    demonic creatures, wickedly armed, gathered to the attack. Scores, hundreds, 
    swarmed from every building, under arches and along colonnades, and ran like a 
    flood to surround the couple trapped in the plaza. 
    The Prince and Princess skittered to a halt. The creatures closed in, hundreds 
    upon hundreds, twisted beasts in hideous form that hissed, grunted, and 
    growled, foul breath steaming, cruel weapons drawn. Their yellow eyes burned 
    with hate. The Prince and Princess stood firm, back-to-back. Farah pointed her 
    bow at first one then another. It would make no difference; the two were 
    hopelessly outnumbered.
    A shout came from one side of the plaza: "All hail the Prince of Persia, the 
    greater hero the land has ever known!"
    The creatures turned as one. A mighty cheer rose from the crowd of citizens 
    that appeared from the buildings and rushed to the Prince's aid. Each man bore 
    a weapon waved to the sky: spears, swords, staffs, clubs, and poles, any 
    implement brought to hand and turned to a weapon.
    "You have saved the people of this city," the Old Man at their head cried out, 
    "and we have come to repay the favor!"
    With a roar of defiance the people charged, hurling spears and firing arrows 
    as they ran to join in hand-to-hand combat. The demons reeled under the force 
    of the charge. A spear was thrust, a creature swept off its feet. A monster's 
    sword came down but was blocked in a valiant clash of steel. One giant brute 
    lumbered through the tide and was clubbed aside in a solid blow, head smashed. 
    Swords slashed and demons were bludgeoned to the ground. Arrows flashed and 
    stunned first one then another. In the thick of it, Farah kept up rapid fire. 
    The headless giant fought on, Sand glowing from its body. She shot an arrow 
    that finished it, as simultaneously the Prince vaulted its now fading form.
    A ring of stout defenders shielded the Old Man. The Prince bounded to his 
    side. "You cannot kill these creatures," he warned.
    The Old Man nodded. "But we can slow them. Go Prince, find the Vizier and 
    finish him, so that this nightmare might finally end."
    Farah fought off attackers with her bow. The Prince rushed to her side and 
    slashed a brute to a flash of dust as the pair ran fighting through the horde.
    From the top of steps to a gate more creatures rushed to block their escape. 
    The Prince pushed one aside and forced his way up. The Princess turned to 
    cover their backs, and drew an arrow from her inexhaustible supply. It found 
    its mark, followed swiftly by another. Devilish creatures fell with a groan. 
    The Prince led the way to the top. A Guard lunged with a sword but he slashed 
    it to dust, and elbowed another aside. As he ran across the threshold under 
    the gate, Farah close behind, the Prince cut a rope with a sweep of his sword. 
    The portcullis crashed down, trapping the demon horde behind them and allowing 
    the Prince and Princess their escape.
    Farah ran on, through an open door. Thrall creatures leaped with a roar from 
    high walls to cut off the Prince. The door thudded closed behind the Princess.
    "Separated again," the Prince sighed. "I'll be with you soon, I need to find a 
    way to open this door."
    At this critical moment his body was seized by the transformation to the Dark 
    He became surrounded by brutish monsters, that clubbed him from behind if he 
    stood overlong. He moved about, sweeping his flail as he tended to each. They 
    swept down from the walls in great number, one on another. He retreated to low 
    steps at one end of the courtyard, that he might at least limit the direction 
    of their attack. Gleeful Enchantresses formed up out of the ground to lend 
    support to the attack, and he whirled fast in reply, dealing on them the same 
    swift account as on the others.
    With strength and agility he gained peace at last, but sensed he had not long 
    before others arrived. As he searched about for some means of exit the brutes 
    came again. They stood foursquare and challenged him on. Temporarily 
    outnumbered, he summoned the Winds of Sand and cast them all to the ground, 
    then swung his flail expertly and banished them to dust.
    As the last expired a door opened up to one end of the courtyard. The Dark 
    Prince hurried through and found a smaller enclosed yard. Doors either side 
    were shut but he spotted a gap in a decorative screen at a terrace window in 
    front. He cleared pots to scramble up one side and shimmied across to climb 
    He was in a luxurious chamber. Food and other delicacies were laid on a low 
    inlaid table surrounded by scattered cushions. As the Dark Prince cast about 
    for Sand to replenish his stocks, feathers flew in the air. A shallow bath lay 
    at the foot of short steps. He pushed through a gauze drape and plunged in.
    The touch of water quenched the fire that raged within, and returned his body 
    to that of the Prince, at least for the present. The dark force departed in a 
    helix of palest blue light.
    "I must find the Vizier soon!" the Prince groaned. "I feel I shall lose myself 
    entirely to this corruption."
    Bare-breasted statues illuminated alcoves to either side. Set into a wall 
    display ahead, twin figurines of the mythical Griffin held a golden chalice 
    between them. Echoes of legends past. The Prince hopped a low rail above, and 
    took grateful sustenance at a fountain basin.
    -- THE PALACE ENTRANCE --------------------------------------------------------
    A light beckoned him up steps along a gloomy hall. He emerged on a small 
    balcony, and stepped cautiously out.
    "Incredible." Farah came from a side room down below and looked up. "I have 
    only heard stories of such marvels, but to see one up close..!" She stood at 
    the foot of a mechanical tower. "Is there not a similar device in Azad?"
    By the square platform at its base it appeared to be an elevator of some kind. 
    The Prince called down to her.
    "This lift will bring us to the Throne Room," he reasoned. "But wonder of 
    wonders, it seems to have stopped working. I will try to return it to life."
    Farah stepped inside the device and stood in awe. "I do hope to visit Azad 
    some day."
    The Prince was at the next storey above. A gap in the low balcony rail allowed 
    a wall run to a springboard shutter. He landed on a thin ledge, a chimney gap 
    behind him. He skimmed upwards until he reached the level of the next storey. 
    On a balcony here stood a capstan with its familiar burning brazier. Making 
    sure he had enough height to complete the jump, the Prince leaped forward and 
    caught the balcony edge. In moments, he turned the capstan handle, and a door 
    alongside opened up.
    He stood in an opulent hallway. The sound of machinery creaked and clanked 
    somewhere beyond. It seemed the capstan also set the mechanical device Farah 
    waited upon to motion; the elevator rose in its tower. There seemed no exit 
    from the hallway. A pair of wooden doors was solidly shut, but a wall pillar 
    had been broken away at one side, where torn lattice windows faced the rear of 
    the lift shift at the center of the room beyond. A red banner hung off it, and 
    with no other way forward the Prince jumped out and dropped from its end.
    He caught a fissure in the wall under the broken pillar, further evidence of 
    the destruction wrought by the invaders, and indeed he was not alone in this 
    place - as he shimmied to an alcove area, above the clanking of machinery came 
    the angry roar of horned Guards on alert. He scaled a wall under the very 
    balcony on which they waited, and sprang up to do battle. Fierce as they 
    appeared, these two were no match.
    As below, there seemed no exit through a very solid door. Yet as before he 
    found a narrow gap in the balcony wall that let him run out beyond, there to 
    spring backwards to a metal bar. He was midway up the elevator shaft, that 
    though damaged was evidently still operational. He jumped up to a higher bar. 
    On the wall facing him was the recognizable shape of a dagger plate, and no 
    way forward but a leap to it. As he crouched suspended by his blade in this 
    perilous position, the Prince considered, not for the first time, that his 
    path would prove impossible for any man of no more than ordinary ability. By 
    way of confirmation, he made his characteristic sideways wall run off to a 
    balcony. Farah should know of his efforts, and his reasons.
    "I am sorry," said the Prince, quietly.
    "What?" answered Farah somewhere above.
    "I said 'I'm sorry'. I never apologized for the way I acted, for the things I 
    said. For who I was."
    "I owe you an apology as well," she conceded. "It was unfair of me to accuse 
    you of such terrible things."
    "But I have done terrible things."
    "We all make mistakes, Prince. The difference is that you have accepted yours. 
    I saw what you did at the workshop, and what the Old Man said is true - you 
    are a prince."
    "You're killing me," commented the voice, drily.
    Once again, there was no easy exit from the balcony where he stood. He hopped 
    the low wall to one side, and aligned with a dagger plate on the wall beyond. 
    The Prince wondered at the purpose of these decorations, seemingly useless for 
    any but himself. Without them he could not advance, although even with their 
    indispensable utility he faced peril. Here now he judged he must time his run 
    off the plate to a stone platform at one side. This made slow steady extension 
    to butt against the elevator shaft for a second or two before sliding back 
    into the wall. The Prince guessed that it might serve some use as a service 
    platform, for the elevator shaft showed signs of patched repair at that point. 
    One thing was certain: he had only those few seconds the platform connected in 
    which to effect a wall run up from it to rebound against the planks above and 
    there find safe purchase on a higher dagger plate. Any mistiming would see him 
    plunge to the floor.
    He could see no vantage to either side, but poles from the adjacent wall 
    appeared within reach of a daring run and jump. He swung for a moment and 
    noticed on a balcony ahead wicked seductive Enchantresses that whirled in 
    anticipation of their next guest. With his warrior's ardor the Prince launched 
    a furious assault, but where the Dark Prince had cut them effortlessly with 
    his flail, with his own weapons the Prince failed to observe that in their 
    whirling trance state, the strange apparitions were immune to attack.
    "Wait until they stop moving before you attack them," the voice cautioned.
    Summoning the Eye of the Storm, he slowed them sufficiently and returned their 
    advances, with interest.
    "Come on," the voice sighed. "Show me something I haven't already seen."
    The Prince was not aware that he had been fighting for the delectation of the 
    voice that spoke within. On the narrow balcony was a capstan lever, that 
    opened a side door to a small anteroom.
    Life Upgrade #5 [hand mirror]
    He jumped for a dagger plate and clambered up to a balcony. As at a lower 
    level balcony, a dagger plate on a wall beyond beckoned him. He hung off the 
    rail and jumped to stab to it, then angled for a run to the side, where a 
    second retracting stone platform gave a second or two for him to jump forward 
    to a narrow ledge.
    The ledge ended short, and there was no option but an upward ascent by means 
    of rebounding from the elevator shaft, here shored up with planks. At the top 
    was another balcony, with reception party as ever. He fought aside two clumsy 
    Guards, then looked for a way ahead. He was now very near the top of the room. 
    A gap at the balcony edge faced out to a partially collapsed wall, and he ran 
    to grab for a bar across the elevator shaft, and another above. As he had done 
    at a lower level, he had now to swing out to the far wall, with the 
    inconvenience of an athletic rebound or two to reach onto a dagger plate set 
    into it high above. He ran easily to a ledge at one side.
    "We are nearly there," came the voice. "Soon everything will be better."
    "You seem a bit too excited about what is to come."
    "No, Prince, you have simply forgotten your mission," the voice replied 
    sternly. "That you do not share in my joy indicates as much."
    Troubled by the words of the voice the Prince made his way to a last balcony. 
    It seemed almost routine that he be met by more Enchantresses, these two in 
    company of a Guard. Farah waited anxiously on the elevator platform, now 
    risen. He joined her soon enough.
    The elevator was a small cage, open at one side. Cushioned seating lined the 
    others. It set to operation again as he joined the Princess on it.
    "What is your favorite color?" Farah asked suddenly.
    "Shall I repeat the question?"
    He considered for a moment, then decided. "Blue."
    "Blue!" scoffed the voice, "that's not my favorite color."
    "What is the point of this?"
    "Must every conversation we have be so serious," Farah said by way of 
    explanation. "I know so little about you."
    "Very well," the Prince conceded. "Then, what is your favorite food?"
    "The pomegranate, of course."
    "I do not like pomegranates."
    "What is wrong with you," she laughed.
    "They are messy; impossible to eat with dignity. So much work for a few 
    She chuckled. "But is it not the effort that makes them that much sweeter?"
    Somehow they did not seem to be talking about fruit. The voice was not amused. 
    "I think I am going to be sick."
    The elevator arrived at its height. It burst into moonlight at the center of a 
    high walled garden.
    "What is this place?" wondered Farah.
    A few small trees grew in the enclosed outdoor space. Huge blocks of stone 
    moved in mechanical orientation about walls covered in thick vegetation.
    "It is the heart of the hanging gardens," the Prince explained. "These are 
    instruments of life, regulating and running everything."
    Farah ran off to explore a passage at one side. She skidded to a stop in 
    exasperation as a barred gate clanged down behind her. There was no way back.
    "Prince!" she yelled as a pair of mesmerizing women appeared out of the ground 
    behind him. "Watch out."
    These Enchantresses were the unfortunate women Mahasti had enslaved from the 
    brothel, and he had met their like not long before. Here they seemed more 
    determined. Eyes flashed with yellow Sand as they gyrated and moaned in erotic 
    fashion, but their intent was far from amorous. As the Prince stood spellbound 
    they unleashed violent whirling attacks. He snapped out of his trance and 
    struck back, moving among garden furniture to limit their advance, and 
    slashing where he could. Usual combat techniques would not easily prevail. His 
    reliable aerial assault was most often blocked, and any frontal attack proved 
    fruitless while their weapons whirled in front. A sudden vicious swipe hooked 
    his legs from under, and flat on his back the Prince was at their mercy. He 
    sprang to his feet and rolled aside. A wall rebound bought time to compose 
    himself. A stone lantern pillar proved useful to launch a sweeping attack, and 
    he was quick to face them directly as they recoiled, and give the full force 
    of his sword. Had he energy in his Dagger to slow Time this might all prove 
    much easier, and he struggled hard to find the exact combination of blows that 
    might be effective against them, yet if it took fifty strikes, he was 
    determined to keep up the attack until each loathsome creation shriveled into 
    After all his exertions, the voice gave but a mocking laugh. "What was that!?"
    The passage where Farah ran ahead was firmly barred by the gate. A capstan 
    lever stood at one side of the garden, and where the Prince hoped it might 
    raise the gate and allow him to follow, it put to motion various blocks of 
    stone set within heights of the garden walls, sliding slowly back and forth at 
    intervals. The Prince considered the effect.
    A block at one moment became flush, and the next formed a deep recess. Looking 
    about, he judged that he might use each condition to his advantage, and make 
    his way about the walls to heights above.
    He first waited until a block close by retracted, then began an upward chimney 
    ascent. He pulled onto a flat grassy ledge before the block returned to smash 
    him to the ground. To one side another block slid forwards at intervals, ad 
    this bore a dagger plate at its center. He jumped up to stab to it, and as he 
    was carried flush ran off sideways to stab to more. He pulled up on a higher 
    grassy block ledge.
    Now he was at a height where the first block met a wall alongside. This block 
    also bore a dagger plate, and he chose his moment to run to it. He caught his 
    breath as he was carried inside, then ran out for a ledge as he was brought 
    back flush to the wall. A vertical block section formed a temporary bridge 
    across a gap in the wall alongside, and at the limit of his run across it the 
    Prince caught onto a long red banner with his blade. He made an acrobatic 
    somersault at the end of that to a stone jetty off a thick block of suspended 
    stone. He balanced delicately to a ledge around it, dripping with vegetation, 
    and from a second jetty leaped to a narrow chimney. At its height he jumped to 
    a dagger plate, and caught his breath. Moths or fireflies drifted in the still 
    air. On a wall further along he spotted another dagger plate, and ran on so 
    that he could spring off his stone block to reach to it. Another sideways run 
    and he clung to a niche on a corner pillar, and shimmied around to where he 
    dropped gratefully to safe ground.
    He left the central garden behind and advanced through a high open arch to the 
    edge of a short grassy ledge. In front was an overgrown passage, thick foliage 
    rising from its depths and light glimmering through vegetation above. A 
    lantern swung lazily. Noise of insects and strange creatures hummed in the 
    stuffy air. Nearly hidden in the greenery covering one wall were a set of 
    dagger plates. The Prince ran out on one wall and sprang backwards to snap his 
    blade into the first. From the next he leaped out to a wall bar, and from that 
    to another dagger plate in an opposite wall. A slender block section ground 
    back and forth flush to the wall across his path to a waiting basin on a 
    ledge, and he timed carefully his moment to run over to it.
    -- THE HANGING GARDENS --------------------------------------------------------
    He looked out from another grassy ledge to an arcade of columns and arched 
    recesses. Mist rose from bottomless depths. To one side, a Sand Gate streamed 
    its infernal beam into the twilight sky. Sand creatures paced at levels close 
    The Prince dropped first to thin ledges around stone walls, and pulled up on a 
    screened balcony. He stood breathless and panting. Farah appeared on a wooden 
    walkway high above. The Prince shrugged, and gestured that he could see no way 
    forward. Farah drew her bow, and shot an arrow that struck a mechanism to 
    close down a raised shutter. He now had a flat wall to run out on.
    Midway along he jumped away for a metal bar strung between two long blocks of 
    stone that formed a chimney chute. He slid down above the heads of two Sand 
    Monsters on the terrace balcony below. He dropped behind the first, and seized 
    it by the neck, then delivered a series of deft thrusts. His blade sucked at 
    each strike, until the lifeless creature slumped to the ground. The other was 
    yet unaware, and the Prince crept behind it to reprise the performance.
    The Sand Gate was on another platform close by yet out of reach. From the open 
    edge of his platform the Prince ran out to stab to a dagger plate. From an 
    adjacent wall a thick block ledge ground slowly in and out. He judged the 
    moment to run sideways and back off his wall, clinging to the block edge for a 
    frantic moment until he could haul himself on top and run along, and off to a 
    bar that protruded from a wall close ahead. Others stuck out above, and the 
    Prince jumped to grab each until he stood on a high stone beam. A trio of Sand 
    Monsters paced on the balcony now directly beneath, surrounding the Sand Gate 
    he had seen. Ominously, he observed by the puffs of Sand that traced out there 
    were not one but two Sand Gate Guards, each able to summon reinforcements.
    Here, the once peaceful gardens were bathed in clear moonlight.
    "It's so beautiful," came the voice of Farah, somewhere nearby.
    The Prince had distractions other than scenery. He jumped for a gnarled 
    hanging branch of a tree and on to a wall pillar top. Farah stepped out on a 
    plank bridge close overhead.
    "What is he like," she called softly down, "your father?"
    The Prince thought as if for the first time. "He is a good man. No, a great 
    man. Strong, loyal, kind," he spoke with a sad memory. "Forgiving."
    "What is it?"
    "I... that is to say, we did not part on the best of terms. It was many years 
    ago. I was young and full of pride. Full of fear as well. He offered to 
    listen, but I could not find the words. Would not find them. And I only hope 
    that I may see him once more, to say that I am sorry."
    Farah nodded sympathetically.
    The threat was too obvious below. "But this is a story for another time," the 
    Prince affirmed. "Let us speak of other things. Surrounded by so much sadness, 
    we should not succumb ourselves. Returning to the matter at hand, I cannot get 
    to you from where I am."
    "I can close another shutter then," Farah suggested. "Let us regroup ahead."
    She shot another arrow and a heavy metal shutter clattered down, flush to the 
    wall just ahead of the Prince. It was certain now that he would make slower 
    progress without her.
    He ran over the shutter and grabbed onto a ledge. He dropped to a chute formed 
    by wall pilasters beneath, and descended over the very heads of the Sand 
    He confirmed that there were indeed two Sand Gate guards. He could ill afford 
    to alert either. Still he fearlessly dropped down and began his bold 
    infiltration. His blade flashed as he soared above the head of the first 
    guardian, slashing down once and again before wresting it to the ground and 
    delivering the coup de grace. So swift was this attack that the other remained 
    unaware of his presence until he served similar justice upon it. The third 
    guard came alive now but it was no match for the Prince and he dealt death at 
    his leisure. With grim satisfaction he closed off the gate. 
                                YOU HAVE GAINED
                           T H E  S A N D  S T O R M
    The Prince called up to Farah. "There is still no way for me to get to you. 
    However, you can reach the Throne Room from where you stand, and I can pass 
    through the greenhouse. This will certainly bring us to the same location."
    "Be careful, Prince."
    A door creaked shut after her.
    The Sand Gate had been set on a balcony platform at the center of towering 
    garden walls. A second balcony faced it not far above. The Prince hung off the 
    balcony rail to jump off to dagger plates set in one wall. Just above his head 
    a vertical block section slid slowly in and out. He timed the moment to begin 
    a chimney ascent between a wall and the section before it retracted. He took 
    temporary respite hanging from a niche. A Sand Monster grunted and paced on 
    the balcony not far to one side. The Prince worked his way up, and around 
    ledges to a narrow chute somewhere over the balcony. Now he spotted a second 
    The pair paced up and down, and met in the middle directly below him. First 
    one turned away then the other. He chose this moment to land between them. A 
    few swift flashes of his Dagger and the first was done for. The second had 
    walked away unawares, and the Prince crept up behind, its breath snorting in 
    the crisp night air. He pounced, and again the Dagger flared as he stuck the 
    blade home time and again, sucking out wet as it dealt the next blow.
    "You call that fighting!" scoffed the voice.
    What was he supposed to do? His mission was too important to risk all on a 
    reckless encounter with such as these. The Prince ran out on a gap in the 
    balcony and clutched to a ledge on a corner block. An athletic leap off a wall 
    pole brought him up to a mossy ledge above a closed arch. Fireflies danced as 
    he shimmied around and jumped to a higher balcony. A fountain stood through a 
    doorway beside.
    -- THE STRUCTURE'S MIND -------------------------------------------------------
    He was in a short passage. Light filtered through vegetation above. A jetty 
    projected towards a narrow chute, where vicious metal blades spun ferociously 
    at intervals to the ground.
    The Prince summoned his miraculous power to slow Time, and dropped carefully 
    between each sweep of the blades. This ability served just as well to 
    negotiate spinning spiked poles across the passage width below. Darts shot 
    harmlessly behind as he ran safely between.
    More scything saw blades barred progress at a turn, their rapid rate too swift 
    for an intruder to pass. Even with the Dagger's power the Prince risked 
    laceration as he chose the very moment to slip through.
    From the perilous trapped passage he emerged to a tranquil courtyard space. 
    The traps behind him became stilled, and there was silence but for running 
    water somewhere close by. Three low platforms enclosed the area, a capstan 
    lever on each. Between them was a wide metal grille across the ground. Through 
    it he saw a spout of water poured from the base of each platform to disgorge 
    through a tunnel in the direction of the only exit from the enclosed space, 
    where through a high open archway he saw a chamber room in pale light. 
    The chamber bore the appearance of a cathedral. Light streamed from a latticed 
    dome high above. A door could be discerned high up on the wall opposite, yet 
    the room was a deep void between, leaving no obvious means to cross to it.
    Returning to the courtyard, the Prince looked up. Around the walls could be 
    seen short metal platforms, though without obvious use. With no other 
    recourse, he decided to set each capstan in turn to see what effect they might 
    He tried the nearest, yet it did not put any machinery to operation as he 
    might have hoped. It seemed to rise slightly on its base, but then sank down 
    again, blocked as it was by one of the metal plates above. The next capstan 
    proved more promising. The platform on which he stood rose up, and metal 
    grilles cranked along channels high around the walls, to a purpose he could 
    not yet determine. Though the first platform was still pinned down by its 
    metal plate, the third platform looked clear above.
    He jumped down to try the third capstan, furthest from where he entered. This 
    platform rose up like the last, and he noted too that the metal plate moved 
    away from the first platform. If that had prevented it from operation, he 
    might now set it to action.
    He descended carefully back to the ground, and ran over to the first capstan. 
    Sure enough, it rose up, and now all three platforms were at the same level. 
    He saw that the plates appeared to move that they might lock the three 
    platforms to a particular level if they were not rotated in sequence. His 
    platform would rise no further than its present position, so he tried the next 
    one along. Although this rose further, as hoped, it also moved a metal grille 
    over the third platform, preventing its likely operation. Aware that he had 
    made a mistake, he returned the handle and moved along to try the third lever 
    again. He was still uncertain of the purpose the raised platforms might serve, 
    but he sensed this to be the correct course of action.
    The third platform duly rose higher still, now above the two others. From this 
    precarious height, he made his way very carefully by means of ledges on a 
    corner pillar to return to the middle platform. This seemed free to move up or 
    down, but he trusted his instincts and raised it to the level of the last. A 
    metal plate slid away from the first platform, now the only one still to be 
    The Prince moved on to the first platform, and turned its capstan handle. The 
    platform rose to the level of the two others, and on that operation unseen 
    machinery cranked into life. This had an unexpected but welcome effect.
    A stone bridge cranked out over the deep void in the cathedral chamber below. 
    A slender figure stood patiently on the far side. Using a series of ledges at 
    one corner pillar, the Prince dropped swiftly to the ground, to determine the 
    result of his labor. Through the metal grille at his feet in the middle of the 
    courtyard he saw a waterwheel spinning. Each platform had been a sluice that 
    released a flow to the center and this had evidently released the drawbridge 
    in the chamber beyond. He ran eagerly inside. To his delight Farah waited for 
    him at the end of the platform.
    Suddenly she was snatched away.
    "Do not take another step!" a voice roared.
    The Vizier descended in his fabulous gilded form, the helpless Farah clutched 
    in his arms.
    "I am impressed you made it past my little welcoming party," he sneered as 
    Farah struggled in vain. "Impressed but also quite annoyed, you have robbed me 
    of my strongest allies. It would be an error of me not to return the favor. 
    Farah will make an excellent queen, fit for a god! Although we will need to 
    make some 'modifications'."
    "Let her go!"
    "Ha-ha-ha-ha!" The Vizier threw Farah to the floor as he towered above the 
    Prince. "You act as though you have a say in the matter - which you don't."
    The enraged Prince charged forward, but the Vizier hurled a whirlwind of Sand 
    that blasted out the stone at his feet. The slender platform shattered and the 
    Prince fell into a bottomless pit. The Vizier's contemptuous words faded 
    "Say hello to your father."
    'The Prince was cast to his death into a pit of darkness. Robbed of Farah, 
    distanced from the Vizier, he had been warned that his journey would not end 
    Pinpricks of light glowed in the darkness. As he fell, the tormented Prince 
    began to change to the form of the Dark Prince. He cast out his flail and 
    snatched to a bar. Steel links whipped round, breaking his fall as he crashed 
    through a stone wall and collapsed to the ground.
    'Ah, but do not be surprised; the Prince's transformation had saved him. 
    Sometimes good can come of ill. Sometimes.'
    -- THE WELL OF ANCESTORS ------------------------------------------------------
    He was in a bare stone passage. He could not say how far he had fallen. The 
    only means to leave appeared to be off a closed balcony, open to one side. He 
    deployed his flail to cross gaps as he ran over walls to small ledges.
    "Agh," the voice snorted angrily. "Once again you have denied us victory. How 
    many times did I warn you that nothing good would come of pursuing that girl? 
    We would not be in this situation if you had just stayed focused!"
    "Enough! All you do is taunt and insult me. I do not know what you are 
    planning but I know that I do not trust you, and I am ashamed that I ever 
    "I have nothing but noble intentions."
    "I understand now what it means to be noble, and you are none of those 
    "You self-righteous bas-"
    "I have listened to you for entirely too long," snapped the Dark Prince. "Be 
    silent, let me finish my task, and then we shall see what to do about you."
    "Oh yes!" scoffed the voice. "I forgot who is really in charge."
    The Dark Prince descended a chain suspended at the center of a huge 
    cylindrical chamber. Blue light glimmered as pinpoints below. He dropped off 
    to a stone beam, that trembled and shook under his weight. Before it collapsed 
    he sprang off to one side, and used his Daggertail chain once more to span a 
    wide gap across a wall. He fell to a small chamber and gratefully charged his 
    Sand Tanks at a store of tall pots. In his ungodly form the Dark Prince was in 
    constant danger of seeing his short life extinguished. 
    He jumped to a stone beam, which cracked as he landed, and dropped to another 
    below. The pinpricks of light were blue lanterns fastened about the curved 
    walls. He used them to swing off with his chain as he ran around to short 
    platforms mounted at intervals. He soon slipped from a narrow rock ledge and 
    descended a tight chimney chute. He drew his weapon instinctively as an animal 
    grunt came somewhere close by.
    From holes in the walls of a small chamber came creeping Reptus, each vile 
    creation bearing a short chopping blade. He whirled among them with his chain, 
    sucking out their life-giving Sand as each fell. At a moment of quiet he 
    jumped out to the middle of the chamber and crossed from a pole with his 
    chain. He ran on using blue lanterns, dropping off ledges and clinging to 
    beams until he found what appeared to be safe refuge in a cave passage.
    Reptus swarmed from hiding to confront him as he moved inside. Their Sand 
    sustained him till he emerged to the chamber again. He inched along a steep 
    narrow ledge.
    "Listen, Prince, and look around," the voice gloated. "We are in a well, but 
    do you hear water? Do you see it? Feel its moist embrace? Why, I think it's 
    gone! I think the Vizier has drained it. How long do you think you can 
    maintain your health, your control of the body?"
    He tried to ignore the mocking words as he descended, dropping off ledges and 
    beams. On a broken platform to the center of the room vicious Illusions 
    appeared from nowhere to obstruct him. He cleared them easily enough, but knew 
    he could not afford delay. Somewhere there had to be water to rid himself of 
    the dark force that gripped him.
    He descended a narrow chute to a doorway. A stone passage led within.
    "Tick, tock, Prince," mocked the voice, "tick, tock."
    He ran on, slowing Time at a corner to diminish sweeping saw blades that 
    scythed in his path on a wall run ahead. He needed to find water, the catalyst 
    that returned his tortured body to its accustomed form, but here there was 
    none, even in pots and ewers stacked about that contained only Sand.
    "Feeling thirsty, feeling dry?" the voice taunted. "Oh, am I distracting you?"
    He tried to ignore it. The Dark Prince dropped off a ledge as it crumbled, and 
    traversed others past a saw blade beneath, till he hauled up on safe footing. 
    Safe, that is, until a pair of bloody blades ground into action the width of 
    the passage just ahead. He summoned the Eye of The Storm once again and dived 
    past. Slender pots stood at a turn in the passage with their precious store of 
    The passage floor ended shortly ahead, but he crossed over with use of his 
    flail and landed on a short section of stone floor. It trembled and shook, and 
    gave way just as he jumped up to one side and grabbed hold in a niche. This 
    part of the Palace must surely have been very ancient, and he descended to 
    rock ledges at its dark depths.
    A passage led up at one side, and as he ran on the Dark Prince suffered the 
    insistent voice from within.
    "Time is precious, time is fleeting, time is ... something you have too little 
    He ascended steps to find saw blades sweeping his path, from the walls as well 
    as the floor, and spiked rotating floor sections at a turn. He swiftly 
    negotiated each trap, and a wall run carried him past a legion of darts sprung 
    out of a wall. He clung grimly to a ledge and hauled up.
    "Oh," the voice continued, "would you like a drink?"
    What he would like was silence to concentrate. He dropped between sweeps of a 
    saw blade, and slowed Time yet again to execute an upward wall run past 
    another to hang off a ledge. He shot out the flail to grab onto a block 
    section, and drew it from the wall at his back to jump off to. Another jump 
    brought him to a ledge, and he dropped to the passage end. A door stood the 
    other side of a trio of saw blades, and with a last use of the Eye of The 
    Storm, the Dark Prince slipped through and passed over a floor switch to open 
    the door.
    The other side was in pitch darkness. As he entered, something glinted on the 
    stone floor.
    "Father's sword!" He picked it up in surprise and confusion. "But what is it 
    doing here?"
    His jaw fell. Sprawled out was the fallen body of a mighty warrior. The sword 
    clattered to the floor as the anguished Prince sank to his knees at his 
    father's side.
    "Oh, come on now," the voice said. "Did you really expect to find him alive? 
    Even after everything you have experienced, still you hold out hope!"
    "Oh, Father. What have I done?"
    He clasped the body in his arms. The voice was pitiless.
    "What now, then? Gather up enough Sand, perform another grand rewind? Or 
    perhaps you can return to the Island, and travel back to a time when he might 
    still be saved? Maybe rescue a damsel in distress along the way!"
    "No!" roared the wretched figure. "You are right, I have been like a child: 
    naive and arrogant, always rushing to undo my mistakes. Never facing the 
    consequences of my actions."
    He drew up his father's sword.
    "No more. I accept what I have done, and all that it implies."
    On those words, an unknown force surged through him. Light radiated from his 
    body. In a flash the Dark Prince was gone, and the Prince of Persia stood in 
    his place.
    "What is this?" the voice was incredulous. "You have no water, how did you-"
    "You hold no power over me now," the Prince declared. "Begone! Retreat to 
    whatever dark hole spawned you, and do not trouble me again."
    "Were it only that easy, Prince. You will see what true trouble is, soon 
    Trouble came at that in the vile green shape of Reptus, creeping from their 
    holes in the dark to assault him with short chopping blades. His father's 
    sword proved a formidable weapon. Seemingly at a stroke, each creature was 
    diminished to a flash of dust. In a fury of action, as many as they were, the 
    Prince finished each, and soon he was alone once more.
    The chamber was solid stone and cylindrical in shape. His father's body lay at 
    the center, four carved pillars around. Twin colonnades circled the room, 
    empty niches within. A fitting cenotaph for the fallen warrior Shahraman.
    His sword had other capabilities. Where first the Prince saw no escape from 
    the dark chamber, he noticed one wall appeared cracked and ready to crumble. 
    He stood in its doorway and brandished the sword. With a colossal blow it 
    broke down the wall, and shattered stone to dust. 
    -- THE WELL OF ANCESTORS (II) -------------------------------------------------
    The infernal glow of the Sand that infected the Prince's body gave unexpected 
    benefit. As he moved in the dark, his own body cast light that broke through 
    the shadows always ahead.
    The floor was everywhere broken at the edge. He could not see to the depths. 
    The walls were carved in geometric pattern. Cracked pillars held fragments of 
    the floor above. He ran over a wall to another section of floor, determined to 
    find the way ahead.
    On his broken platform something moved in the shadows. He drew his weapon on 
    instinct but could see no enemy. Suddenly he bumped into an obstruction that 
    seemed invisible. Instinctively he knew that the Chameleon creatures haunted 
    this place, and meant to hinder him here. He struck out blind, and made 
    satisfying connection with one infernal foe. It barked in fury, and he struck 
    again, forcing it to drop its disguise so that he easily cleaved it with his 
    father's sword. He ran on, over a short jump to another platform section. An 
    animal hiss greeted him.
    "You may not be able to see these creatures," said the voice, "but you can 
    hear them."
    He turned aside and struck out, once more connecting with the sly creeping 
    chameleon. A second lurked close by. The Prince slashed both to oblivion then 
    hurried on.
    Wall runs brought him across other sections to a corner. Pillars proved too 
    thick to be climbed, and there were no further floor sections that he could 
    reach. He exercised his athletic ability in an upward chimney ascent between 
    wall sections tight to the corner.
    A chameleon lurked on the platform above, though the Prince was little 
    troubled in a jump to a second floor section. The upper level was more greatly 
    damaged than below; he negotiated narrow sections further into the room.
    He trusted his ability as he leaped in the dark. Each section seemed just 
    about in reach of another until he noticed a fountain basin glimmering in the 
    darkness across a wide gap. He could see his direction, but the wall was 
    broken out between them. The Prince had first to make a detour across a short 
    broken section to another, and from that to a wider piece of floor. Wide 
    enough to harbor a last invisible foe, for a blade glinted in the hand of the 
    waiting demon.
    With a couple more daring wall runs over the dark the Prince arrived safe at 
    the fountain.
    -- THE LABYRINTH --------------------------------------------------------------
    A floor switch opened a door alongside. He ran on along a dark passage of 
    sculpted stone blocks. The Sand burning in his body cast eerie shadows. At a 
    turn a bottomless pit stretched ahead, too risky to attempt any sort of run or 
    jump to get across. Above his head along one wall was a ledge, with others now 
    barely discernible beyond. Across many slender ledges he hugged to the cold 
    gray stone as he edged for the continuation of the passage, where he pulled up 
    to find another floor switch and a door.
    Droplets fell from the dank ceiling of the rougher passage beyond. He crossed 
    another pit by acrobatic leaps off the longer of many projecting horizontal 
    poles to ledges, where he ascended a deep shaft through use of dagger plates 
    mounted at intervals on the walls. Certainly no ordinary man could pass the 
    same way.
    At the top he was faced by a collapsed doorway, stopped up with rubble. He 
    used his mighty sword to break it down. Lying in wait on the other side were 
    Reptus, issuing wild animal growls. He whirled among them, finishing each at a 
    He was in a gigantic cavern. Pillars built into the rock rose out of steaming 
    waters. Light cut through cracks in the cave roof far above. He jumped to a 
    pillar platform, and took refreshment at a basin for the trials that surely 
    lay ahead.
    'And so the Prince's eyes had finally been opened to the true nature of his 
    corrupt half, that cruel and charismatic voice which once whispered in his 
    ear. It had subtly encouraged our burdened hero to do wrong. But now the voice 
    was stilled, the Prince's mind once more his own.'
    -- THE UNDERGROUND CAVE -------------------------------------------------------
    He looked out on platforms, columns and pillars set about the cavern high 
    above. He had to find a way to them and leave this place. A nearby platform 
    ledge fronted a doorway stopped up with rubble as the last. He broke through 
    with his sword.
    Dust cleared and he found a passage broken by gaps in the floor. Twin spiked 
    poles scythed on a section between. He judged the moment and jumped over as 
    one pole sliced aside, and scrambled up and away before it returned. He heard 
    low animal growls as he shimmied along a niche to a platform floor, and at the 
    end of the passage found another doorway of rubble. He kept his sword swinging 
    as he broke through, and cleared away the reception party: green demons with 
    vicious yellowed eyes and bodies livid with the welts of bloody lesions. 
    Mutant creatures of the dark wet places, it was almost a mercy to rid them of 
    life. Others dropped from hiding to continue the attack.
    "Lead them into the light," the voice reminded him. "Strike while they are 
    Where once he had found these creatures sometimes troublesome, his father's 
    sword cut them down at a stroke.
    A wall run to one side carried him to a tight chute, where he climbed up. 
    Distant sounds reminded him that danger lay ahead. He jumped to a dagger plate 
    and dropped to a bar, and soon scrambled up to a ledge where he performed his 
    acrobatic chimney ascent to a short stone platform block under a dagger switch 
    on the wall alongside. It drew out twin blocks, sliding in and out of an 
    adjacent wall. To cross would need timing and agility. Though he did not with 
    certainty have need of it, there was always the Eye of The Storm he could call 
    on to slow their rate of retraction. With a nimble wall run and three swift 
    clever jumps he came to a wider balcony platform, where a horde of Sand 
    Monsters waited.
    The Reptus were here joined by Hunter Hounds. The Prince made sure to finish 
    them fast, for he could ill afford to lose his precious store of Sand, 
    notwithstanding that his expert swordsmanship made short work of other enemies 
    to replenish it. His father's sword proved as able to cut these creatures down 
    as any other, and in a few moments the Prince had the platform to himself. A 
    dagger switch caused thick blocks of stone to rotate about a solid pillar to 
    the center of the cavern. Ledges had been brought to face the platform where 
    he stood. He jumped across, bright foaming waters far below, and soon worked 
    around the pillar to another mossy platform. Creatures growled and waited the 
    other side of a pile of cracked rubble at a door. Once broken through, he 
    whirled among them, until he had peace to look about.
    His platform section faced a perilous drop. Dagger plates set about the walls 
    offered test of his athleticism, and soon he dropped down on a pair of 
    grunting, snuffling Hunter Hounds. Reptus descended too late to prevent his 
    clearing them aside, and another wall of rubble fell to his sword.
    There seemed no obvious way forward from the platform ledge beyond, but 
    looking up, the Prince noticed thick blocks of stone over the doorway. He 
    ascended by leaps off a wall and pulled on top. Now he performed a very long 
    wall run, at the limit of his ability, and clung to a bar sticking out from 
    the wall. It bent and swayed under his weight, but did not break. He swung on 
    to a second bar, and aligned carefully to swing to a narrow chute directly 
    ahead. He could not risk a clumsy fall from such a height, and slid quickly to 
    the ground.
    A group of Reptus waddled to meet him, and as fast as he banished them each 
    was replaced by another dropping from above. Still he stuck to it and as many 
    as there were, he was scarcely injured as he sent the pack to damnation.
    A thin stream trickled at his feet and ran over a ledge, joining the bright 
    foaming waters below. The Prince jumped forward to a dagger plate, and by 
    ledges and more plates drew up on a short platform. He had reached the upper 
    limit of the cavern. He struck a likely wall hopefully with his sword, yet the 
    blade clanged off with no possibility that it might give way. Behind him a 
    thin jetty jutted out towards a slender column hanging from the cave roof. It 
    looked precarious but there was no other alternative than a leap to cling on. 
    He slid down as far as he was able, then sprang off to a second column 
    fragment. As quickly as he could he jumped again, and landed on a lichen-
    covered platform where Hunter Hounds prowled, set to suck his Sands from their 
    store. He interjected his trusty blade, and swept them away.
    Through a cave doorway other Reptus crept towards the sound of the intruder. 
    The Prince ran through, clearing aside such few as troubled him, and found the 
    back of the cave passage stopped up with rubble. He smashed through to a long 
    narrow section of facing walls with no floor above a torrent of water far 
    below. He performed a lengthy wall run to a dagger plate, where he caught his 
    breath for a moment. He saw no plate alongside, or above or behind as would 
    have seemed usual, but there was a narrow ledge evident on the opposite wall 
    much further along. He looked down to misty depths, took a deep breath and ran 
    out again and leaped off, where he clung to the ledge and climbed around.
    From higher ledges he sprang to a fluted column, where small jetties projected 
    towards a stream running in a narrow chute off a block ledge ahead. He jumped 
    off to wedge into it, its slippery surface not spoiling his grip. He eased 
    upward and pulled out where fine spray splashed at the foot of the stream from 
    above. He sprang back and forth off close edges of block sections to arrive 
    where the stream tumbled down. It ran under scything poles set to prevent 
    access to intruders.
    He followed the chill waters upstream, rolling nimbly under each pole as it 
    rose. The water poured from a spout in a high rocky wall. To one side a legion 
    of buzzing blades coursed back and forth in his path, divided by a pounding 
    block for good measure. Had he not faced hazard enough? He was grateful for 
    the power of the Dagger of Time to guide him safely through.
    Torches lighted the way beyond. The passage was a dead end but his blade 
    hissed in the strange quiet as he hoist up on dagger plates. A shallow flight 
    of stone stairs brought him to a fountain.
    -- THE ROYAL KITCHEN ----------------------------------------------------------
    There seemed at first no means to advance, the area about the fountain being 
    closed in solid stone blocks, yet a familiar dagger switch showed itself set 
    into one wall. Its operation raised up a section in an alcove, revealing a 
    secret door.
    On the other side he was beset by whirling Enchantresses and sorceress 
    Illusions. His father's sword made short work of them, should he manage only 
    to come at a blade's distance. No sooner had he cleared every one than hulking 
    brutes dropped from a balcony edge, and hurried to attack. The sword dealt 
    with them as easily, though still they came, one after another as he put each 
    to the sword. He stationed himself between long refectory tables, to limit the 
    attacker's direction, and cast on each hopeless assailant heavy blows that 
    knocked them to a standstill. Utensils shattered and spilled as his weapon 
    whirled about, sending each to a flurry of dust.
    A huge fireplace lit one side of the room. He could see poles and beams above 
    it, and judged that he might reach an upper balcony if he could somehow climb 
    onto them. A short flight of stone stairs led up either side at the middle of 
    the room to a door. A wall switch was mounted above, far too high for him to 
    run up on. Midway up one flight of stairs was a dagger plate, with another 
    above, that the Prince used to angle himself for a run to the beams he had 
    noticed from below. As hoped, he was able to swing via a banner pole to the 
    high balcony.
    There was nothing to find there, only empty rooms that had housed his 
    attackers. A beam led out over the kitchens on the opposite side, and he soon 
    worked his way to face a dagger plate on the wall by the door at the top of 
    the stairs. The switch was conveniently alongside, and he nimbly activated it 
    as he dropped down in front of the now open door.
    Up two flights of steps stood a fountain.
    -- THE SECRET PASSAGE ---------------------------------------------------------
    On he climbed up another flight, and came to a deep drop at a turn. He crossed 
    over bars to short ledges. The middle of three retracted at intervals, but 
    troubled him little as he scaled the wall to a balcony, and climbed off. Along 
    a silent twisting corridor he approached open air through a small doorway.
    -- THE LOWER TOWER ------------------------------------------------------------
    A sinister sight greeted him. The great Tower where he stood was ringed in 
    beams of light set at precise intervals through the city below. Their purpose 
    was yet unknown, but here at their heart was surely the seat of Zervan's 
    power, or the place of his evil intent.
    Scaffold had been erected around sections of the Tower walls. The monumental 
    edifice was ever under some stage of construction or repair. The Prince 
    mounted a wooden platform and ran to a bar sticking out from the Tower wall. 
    It served well to allow him to reach a smaller plank scaffold.
    An invisible enemy struck at him here, but was easily repulsed. Reminder 
    enough that even in this most inaccessible spot enemies lurked and he was in 
    constant danger. His path was precarious enough. He kept concentration and 
    ascended by plank ledges to a platform, from which he ran to a shaped metal 
    bar built into the wall. A pulley wheel clanked and wheezed as it turned in a 
    narrow chute above a landing stage. The Prince dropped down in his usual 
    A larger construction of scaffold stood off to one side. As the Prince jumped 
    to it he noticed a Sand Monster patrolling its timbers. Birds scattered on his 
    arrival, but there was no need for stealth here. The lone Guard stood no 
    chance against his father's weapon even if brought to alert. A capstan stood 
    ready on the far side of the platform, and the Prince could not resist putting 
    it to operation to see what function it might serve. A lift cranked inside a 
    rough plank partition, rising to the next stage above. Pulleys hung off arms 
    at points around the scaffold, but he could at first see no way to reach them, 
    until he found a raised ledge on the lift partition at the platform center.
    He jumped off to one pulley arm and edged carefully towards the next. Wind 
    whistled about and clouds whirled far below. Was that a sunset or a sunrise on 
    the far horizon? In all his exertions the Prince had quite forgot the hour of 
    the day. He jumped to an empty platform at one side.
    Empty but for the unwelcome appearance of chameleon creatures. They hissed in 
    warning and he struck out fast, and connected well enough though he could not 
    see his enemy. These creatures used stealth as their ally to mask their 
    relative weakness; no sooner had he found them with his blade than they were 
    gone. A spur jutted out and he jumped to the next highest platform. He came 
    now to another capstan lever, that with the small inconvenience of a chameleon 
    to be cleared was soon put to operation. He saw now that the lift he operated 
    carried a large stone block up a shaft. It might come to some use.
    The Prince scattered birds off their perch as he clambered onto another pulley 
    arm. With a few jumps he came to the stone block on the lift. As luck would 
    have it, there was a dagger plate in evidence on the Tower wall, at just such 
    a height as the block might allow him to reach.
    The Prince hung off a plate and considered his options. There did not seem to 
    be any platform within reach, and nothing anywhere about that he might easily 
    climb on to. He steeled his nerve for the one possibility: a daring run along 
    the wall and a leap into space to clutch for a thick wooden pole suspended 
    from a pulley. Somehow he made it, and returned to the wall to make more 
    conventional - though no less daring - progress via dagger plates and wall 
    bars, turning about to swing up to a high wooden walkway. He soon reached 
    another above, and at its end returned gratefully inside the Tower.
    Yet here were hazards as great. The passage ahead had no floor. A saw blade 
    buzzed up and down in the wall over which he must run, and rotating spike 
    sections were set close behind. This presented an impenetrable defense, but 
    the Prince had the Eye of The Storm. He used it to slow the lethal traps 
    sufficiently and ran over, where shutters shot him safely to the point where 
    the passage floor resumed.
    More hazards were in evidence here. A differing configuration of saw blades 
    and spikes were once again countered by slowing of Time, and further obstacles 
    at a turn in the passage by confident rolls. He took as light exercise the 
    negotiation of dagger plates and shutters beyond.
    -- THE MIDDLE TOWER -----------------------------------------------------------
    A dagger switch opened a door. The Prince stepped out onto a square stone 
    balcony. Thin sunlight broke between distant mountains. The beams of light 
    that ringed the Tower projected at regular points from the depths of the 
    walled city below. As he contemplated their sinister implication, whirling 
    Sand creatures materialized at his back. He slashed quickly and soon cleared 
    As before he made arduous negotiation of the curved Tower walls by dagger 
    plates and platforms to a thick hanging pole, and off that to another plank 
    scaffold workstation. Here was another capstan lever that operated a wooden 
    lift. It brought a stone block to the level above.
    The Prince made his way up, and cautiously moved to investigate. This middle 
    platform appeared deserted as the last, but Sand Monsters paced the level 
    above. A lift platform stood empty, but the block waited on its separate 
    hoist. The Prince spotted an empty cage suspended far off to one side, and 
    wondered if this block might somehow belong there. A capstan lever at his 
    level activated the empty lift, so he first slid the heavy stone block over to 
    it. The Guards above seemed unaware of the activity as the block was hoist 
    He made his way up using poles off the wall. The block waited on its lift but 
    he had first to clear the platform of danger. He dealt easily with the clumsy 
    Guards, who were soon supported by invisible Chameleons. None troubled him 
    To the far side of this highest platform was a small winch lift. The Prince 
    saw now that he had no hope of maneuvering his block out to the suspended cage 
    lift, but decided to bring it to this other one to see what effect it might 
    bring about. As he slid the block off its lift and across the platform it 
    appeared to become stuck, but this was a Chameleon in his way attempting to 
    delay him. An obstruction soon cleared. It was a tight fit but the block slid 
    into the small winch lift well enough. At once the heavy block caused the lift 
    to fall. Counterbalanced, the far lift rose on its rope. The Prince saw that 
    it was at such a height that he might reach it from the Tower wall. He climbed 
    up on a ledge and stepped onto a platform, where he stood ready.
    He gathered his strength and ran out on the sheer wall, high above the domes 
    and minarets of the city stretched out below. By a superhuman leap into space 
    the Prince clutched to the wooden rail of the suspended lift. He hopped in and 
    hopped over, and from another rail made a leap to a far winch beam off a 
    rugged plank platform. He soon ascended a pulley station to a projecting beam.
    He startled more birds off their perch as he jumped to a small wooden 
    platform, and by dagger plates and wall bars came up over small platforms to 
    enter the Tower again. He judged that he must be nearing the top now.
    Life Upgrade #6 [seal]
    Inside were more impenetrable traps. With daring and timing, and judicious use 
    of the Eye of The Storm, the Prince passed along walls over saw blades and log 
    traps, over shutters and dagger plates to haul out at a passage end, where 
    Sand Guards patrolled a covered walkway. He cleared them away for a little 
    peace to consider his next move.
    He was inside the Tower where stout vegetation had partly broken through the 
    walls. Water ran down from gaps rent in the block work by branches of a tree. 
    He ran out over and swung off wall bars to a ledge by an outer wall. A 
    scaffold tower of wooden platforms had been rigged at the center of the space 
    to effect repairs. It stretched from the depths up to where he observed high 
    platforms around. That way his path surely led.
    Outside from a small grassy platform he looked out on the gray city ringed by 
    the beams of sinister light. He advanced to a second small platform and 
    clambered through a wide gap in the wall to return inside. A hypnotically 
    whirling Enchantress lay in wait on a rough plank walkway the other side, 
    moaning to herself in trance-like gyrations as she awaited her next foolishly 
    tempted victim. He dealt with her swiftly then ran up the walkway to jump for 
    the lowest platform on the central scaffold tower. From an adjacent platform 
    came the regular rhythmic exhalations of an Enchantress limbering up her 
    athletic somersault routine. Sand Guards tramped about to accompany her. No 
    doubt he would get to them soon enough.
    His platform was bare but for a squared stone block. The block served no 
    purpose on this empty platform, but he somehow felt with certainty it would 
    serve him above; he pushed and pulled it into an open lift at one side.
    He hopped the rail and jumped out to a grass ledge in the shadow of the thick 
    tree trunk that had broken through the wall. He jumped quickly to the wider 
    ledge that the Sand Monsters waited upon, and rushed to do battle. Prepared as 
    they were, even these offered disappointingly limited test of his skills. He 
    made his way along their platform to return to the central scaffold tower, at 
    the next platform up.
    A capstan lever brought the lift underneath past his platform to the one 
    highest up. He balanced out on a thin beam to find some means of rising to 
    meet it. From a small plank platform he climbed to a covered walkway identical 
    to - and directly above - the one where he first entered the space. The 
    reception here was a pair of Enchantresses, and where once they had troubled 
    him greatly they fell almost at once to the power of his new sword.
    From the end of the walkway an extension reached, and he jumped up eagerly to 
    a beam that faced the highest platform on the scaffold tower. Two Guards drew 
    their swords on it, ready to stop him, but they could not have expected the 
    powerful weapon in the hands of the determined figure that fell vengefully on 
    Here was the block in its lift. A second lift led off another side of the 
    platform, and in moments he pulled the block off the first lift and pushed it 
    onto the other. As that lift fell under the weight a third was raised, close 
    to the wall. The Prince hopped across from the back of the empty lift on his 
    platform. From the risen lift he had height enough to jump to a grassy 
    platform in one corner.
    This might have been a tranquil spot in different circumstances. Bright 
    sunlight illuminated windows around, and light vegetation grew over walls. As 
    it was, twin Enchantress demons whirled and twirled about, waiting the arrival 
    of a likely paramour. The Prince dealt merciful death on them with not so much 
    as a hint of pity or remorse.
    He climbed about the walls of the cavernous space, on a beam, and up ledges, 
    now shinning up a thick hanging branch of the tree, to jump for a plank 
    platform. Scratched marks on the wall indicated a dagger plate on the wall 
    above, and from a shutter he sprang to clutch for another, and more alongside.
    Through decorative iron trellis a pack of Sand Monsters were in evidence 
    patrolling their lonely station. He dropped through an open section and was 
    immediately crowded about. He brought down the power of the Dagger to sweep 
    them of their feet with a powerful Sand Storm. All lay dead in an instant. 
    Another section stood open to one side, and where at first there seemed no 
    prospect for advancement off a sheer ledge, he observed scratch marks on one 
    wall that indicated someone at some time had attempted to reach to a dagger 
    plate in the wall just above, which he now duly did.
    With a few strenuous reaches to more plates along the wall the Prince fell to 
    a short wooden beam. He was now very high in the space, close to its ceiling, 
    where the thick gnarled tree trunk reached out its branches. He balanced 
    precariously along the beam and jumped to another further out. He edged 
    carefully along its various twists and approached the outer wall again.
    Birds took flight as he thudded down beside, causing him to jump in 
    expectation but there was no immediate danger. He had faced trouble at each 
    turn it seemed, yet here for the moment he was alone with his thoughts. He 
    looked out on the impressive sight of the city - his city - shrouded in misty 
    gloom and pierced by the vertical beams of light. He hurried to his task once 
    more, though he was momentarily thrown by the seeming impossibility of a jump 
    from his wooden platform to another some distance ahead and a little below. He 
    stood on a wooden spar that offered some distance towards it, but judged the 
    gap still too far. He took the safer route of a drop to a twisting wooden 
    jetty just below, and off it to another, whereon he dropped safely to the 
    opposite wooden platform and on to a third close beside.
    A trio of dagger plates in vertical arrangement gave enough height for a 
    sideways run off a springboard, that launched him diagonally out over the long 
    drop to the atrium floor where he could just barely make out the platforms 
    over which he had begun to fight his way to this point, close below its 
    trellised ceiling. He clung now to a thick gnarled root of a tree, that 
    stretched down from the gardens above, where thick vegetation broke through. 
    The Prince jumped away to a thin ledge on a wall, and edged to a wider 
    platform of stone. Sounds of cheerless birdsong echoed dimly as he left the 
    atrium to return inside the Tower at this, its highest exit.
    -- THE UPPER TOWER ------------------------------------------------------------
    The Prince ran out on a wall across a bottomless pit. He stabbed his Dagger to 
    a plate at the last moment to save him from plunging into it. Now he was able 
    to run on to a thin ledge. He executed a deft upward wall climb to a higher 
    ledge, and soon ascended dagger plates to a doorway, where another pit was 
    crossed off wall bars. Retracting ledges were easily negotiated with proper 
    In a chamber room of four pillars another retracting ledge gave onto a wall 
    pole that bent under his weight as he swung away for a second pole. He 
    clambered over a rail to a silent corridor with polished gray marble floor. A 
    lattice of golden light played over a patterned carpet from a lantern shade 
    that swung gently overhead. His feet were muffled on the carpet as he headed up 
    a stone stairway.
    Through an arched door twin basins were set at the foot of short steps, open to 
    the skies. He had reached the top of the great Tower of Babylon.
    -- THE TERRACE ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Through narrow arches at one side the Prince looked out to the distant city, 
    ringed by the Vizier's sinister beams of light. The evil master was here 
    somewhere, there could be no doubt - this symbolic place formed the seat of his 
    A decorative caged gazebo stood at the top of the steps, a closed door beside. 
    Steps continued to an arched pergola framing a stone bench. The view out over 
    the city was magnificent, but for the disquieting beams of light piercing 
    upwards. To one side a narrow colonnade led directly to a wall switch. It 
    illuminated as the Prince trod over, and the closed door below slid upward. The 
    Prince hurried down to pass through. The Vizier was close, he could feel it. 
    Their destiny was as one.
    'You may wonder why I would let this come to pass? So many are dead and likely 
    more to follow. An empire reduced to rubble. A prince cast to the streets and 
    hunted like a common criminal. But I had seen the timeline and of all the 
    outcomes lay bare to me, this one held the most promise of them all. For the 
    Prince would have an opportunity to set things right. Watch now, see the thing 
    of which I speak.'
    Down a silent marble corridor the Prince hopped over a balcony rail and jumped 
    a deep shaft. Lanterns swung gently, casting yellow grids of light on the gray 
    tiled floor. At a turn it seemed his path was a dead end, a door firmly shut, 
    but light broke through a facing wall. The Prince would not be deflected from 
    his mission, and broke down the wall with his father's mighty sword. As dust 
    cleared a secret passage was revealed, stone steps leading down through arched 
    doorways to daylight beyond.
    He came into a small cylindrical chamber, open to the sky high above, but 
    without another door or means of ascent. The door slotted shut at his back. As 
    he stood to consider his course, unseen machinery clanked and hissed to 
    operation, and the floor on which he stood rose up, a disc platform bearing him 
    towards the open sky.
    He emerged at last to the top of the mighty tower, a wide flat arena ringed in 
    arched walls. The Prince looked about, and gasped sharply at the sight of the 
    Vizier in his awesome winged transfiguration, hovering before the still defiant 
    form of the princess Farah, chained to a wall high out of reach.
    "Now where did I put those wings?" oozed the Vizier, as yet unaware of the 
    arrival of the Prince on the open terrace below, sword drawn as he watched the 
    drama with growing unease.
    "Zervan?" Farah whispered.
    "What is it?"
    "In case I don't get the chance again..."
    She puckered her lips. Zervan leaned close, gratified. The Maharajah's daughter 
    spat in his face.
    "You impudent pig! I offer you life eternal, and this is how you respond? Oh, I 
    shall enjoy changing you."
    Sparkles of Sand swirled and glittered high above as the Prince looked on in 
    horror. The Vizier suddenly turned to the figure standing beneath him, as yet 
    powerless to intervene. "Hello, Prince. Not quite the homecoming you expected?"
    If the Prince expected anything it was that this evil sorcerer should die at 
    his hand. He stood ready as the ungodly apparition descended.
    The Prince had seen the wicked Zervan at work eviscerating his troops. Each 
    gilded appendage bore vicious barbs at the tip that jabbed down at every 
    opportunity. The Prince had to get close enough to strike, but remained wary of 
    this deadly attack. He rolled aside as one wing tip struck down, and though he 
    was knocked off his feet he judged the wound not too severe, and resumed his 
    Following a series of telling blows, the Vizier withdrew with a cruel mocking 
    laugh. As the Prince recovered strength a section of masonry under Zervan's 
    control flew from a high colonnade and whirled down towards him. He rolled 
    aside as it smashed to dust in his place.
    The Vizier swooped down again, and the Prince ran to meet him. He knew his only 
    chance was to strike hard with his sword. Even as he did so, the creature 
    closed its glittering wings to protect the vestige of the Vizier cocooned 
    inside. Once it opened to attack him again he thrust hard, and wounded the vile 
    being once more. In an instant it drew up as before.
    "Why do you even try to harm me," the creature said. "I am immortal."
    "Immortal perhaps, but not invincible."
    The Prince panted for breath, and stood wary. Another block of masonry span 
    down to smite him, and he rolled aside. A second followed and he ran the other 
    way to avoid that too. The angry Vizier swooped down again. As the Prince ran 
    forward to meet the evil being, Zervan fired out a bolt of energy, glowing in a 
    fiery ball towards him. He managed to tumble from its path, and recovered to 
    close in and assail the demon once more. He found if he stayed close and struck 
    fast the creature would not have the chance to unleash its fiery bolts. He had 
    only to watch for the short chopping tips of the hanging appendage.
    In this he discovered the perfect technique. Here was no demand for subtlety or 
    skill, he faced the demon full on and slashed with his sword. Two strokes hit 
    home, and then he was blocked: now he could expect Zervan to strike with the 
    tip of a wing, at which the Prince simply hopped straight up in the air. The 
    otherwise damaging blow connected only with the ground under him, and the 
    Prince landed ready to slash with his sword once again. Repeating the move 
    exactly, at the moment he found himself blocked he hopped straight up and 
    resumed the attack. It was undignified but very effective.
    The enraged Zervan rose up for a third time.
    "You will pay for what you have done to my people," the Prince vowed.
    "Done to them?" the Vizier scoffed in reply, then insisted: "things will be 
    better now, you should thank me."
    "They live among mindless monsters, in service to your madness."
    Zervan was unmoved. "It is the price of progress."
    In furious sequence three solid chunks of stone came lying at him one after 
    another, but the Prince was now ready, and effortlessly ran back and forth as 
    each came.
    Tired of the assault, the evil Vizier stilled his flight, and drew his arms in 
    front of his face. By some unimaginable force, the upper tier of the rooftop 
    arena cracked, and pillars and columns broke away. With a gesture of his palms 
    the Vizier forced rubble to the floor, where huge blocks of masonry swirled 
    about the astounded Prince, and threatened to crush him.
    He moved about, trying to steer a course between moving blocks.
    "Quick and clever," Zervan remarked. "You would have made a fine addition to my 
    army. But adding you to my collection of corpses will have to suffice."
    It seemed as though the heavy blocks moved to meet his path wherever he turned. 
    As he threaded past one another might drift between, and he surmised Zervan was 
    directing them in order to frustrate him. As he paused to catch his breath the 
    Vizier fired out a bolt of energy that blew him off his feet. He had to keep 
    moving and find some way to fight back.
    As he struggled up, a fragment smashed into him. It collapsed to dust but in so 
    doing inflicted damage that he could not long sustain. He had at least the 
    miracle of the Sands with which to undo such hurt as he suffered, if more than 
    one took its toll, but he somehow sensed he would need the power of the Dagger 
    to better purpose. He flipped himself back on his feet and drew a wary path 
    between the remaining blocks, nearly obscured in dazzling clouds of dust as 
    they swirled about.
    He made a quick assessment of the track of each block. Where first they 
    appeared to move in a random pattern, and might even seem to anticipate his 
    course, they were in fact arranged in a simple regimented pattern: three 
    equally spaced sets of three moving in circles by alternate direction. The 
    three blocks to the center of the arena need hardly trouble him, though he 
    might seek temporary refuge where none seemed to pass. He bore in mind that 
    should he stand long, the Vizier's bolts could yet easily find him. Their hurt 
    was at least the equal of collision with any block, and so best avoided. The 
    middle pieces moved clockwise, and their rate and distance troubled him more, 
    since each moved slightly faster than he could run. Conversely, this allowed 
    him refuge if he swerved to follow behind in its stately path. The outermost 
    set had greater distance between, that he could move easily aside as each 
    drifted towards him. It meant that he needed to watch two directions at once as 
    he moved towards the Vizier.
    He closed in, and looked to climb any object that might bring him to face the 
    hovering demon. He saw his chance as the evil sorcerer paused beside one 
    twinned column pillar. The Prince ducked between passing blocks and ran swiftly 
    up and sprang back, taking the moment to prepare his Dagger to strike.
    The first blow slashed fast, and the Vizier flapped his gilded wing, trying to 
    dislodge the Prince, hanging on. The determined young man brought the Dagger 
    down again and cut deep, and as he was thrown into the air put his weight and 
    force behind another that sliced the wounded wing clean off. Zervan howled in 
    rage as the Prince dropped to the ground.
    Pleased with his success, but wary of the motion of masonry blocks, the Prince 
    took to his heels in a flash. He circled slightly to get behind a moving block, 
    and followed it towards the enraged Zervan again. As the Vizier paused near a 
    twin column, the Prince ran up beside, and leaped out for a second attack.
    He sprang out off the column, and slashed at the other wing. As the Vizier 
    twisted, the Prince hopped to the other side and clung onto an arm in a 
    desperate struggle as the creature writhed about. He made two swift slashes to 
    the glittering appendage. In a swift flowing move he leaped up above, and 
    plunged his Dagger down. The second wing fell to the ground. Satisfied that he 
    had crippled the demon sufficiently, he jumped down to the arena floor.
    Still the stone blocks sailed in relentless circular motion. He watched 
    carefully and weaved a course between, tracking the wounded Vizier as he moved 
    away. Confident now of his ability, the Prince dashed quickly up another pillar 
    closest to his quarry, and slashed with the Dagger for a third assault. Now he 
    hung off the tail as he gathered for the next strike, and finally a flip high 
    overhead brought him sailing down, where he plunged the Dagger hard into the 
    crippled body of the Vizier.
    "Hah!" Zervan spat as he ascended to great height where he might lick his 
    The Prince watched in amazement as the masonry blocks whistled into the air and 
    hung overhead in fixed arrangement.
    The furious Vizier groaned in agony. His cries echoed as the Prince stood alone 
    wondering how he might reach his enemy at such great height, where still 
    wrathful bolts flared at his insolent nemesis below.
    The Prince could see Farah still chained to a platform ledge high overhead. The 
    Vizier seemed now content to stay out of reach and cast his inexhaustible 
    supply of life-sapping missiles at regular intervals. There was no way down 
    from the arena, and no Sand to recover lost strength. No other recourse than to 
    meet his enemy above.
    One piece of masonry was suspended quite low overhead, and with use of a double 
    wall pillar the Prince scrambled onto it. From its narrow surface he looked 
    quickly about and judged that his athletic prowess might enable him to reach 
    other pieces one from another, and hopefully bring him within reach of the evil 
    A bolt struck down, stunning the Prince temporarily and sending him tumbling 
    off the masonry block. He recovered his footing and jumped up to it again. He 
    would need all his speed and agility to ensure that he did not linger long in 
    one spot and receive a more deadly blow.
    He saw first that a slender piece hovered alongside, and jumped swiftly to it. 
    He climbed on its thin edge and sprang off to a pole that stuck straight from 
    another shattered fragment. Sensing a bolt due from the Vizier, he swung away 
    to a ledge off the arena wall. Without time to collect his thoughts the Prince 
    ran off around the curved surface, and rebounded to a suspended fragment more 
    slender yet. It served well enough to allow a leap to a larger piece. He 
    searched desperately about, and saw another large section to one side. He 
    jumped for it even as a bolt shuddered towards him. Farah was close by but he 
    could not reach her. He sensed her look of encouragement, urging him on in his 
    quest for revenge.
    Fragments above were too far out of reach, but a rounded flat piece stood lower 
    ahead. He jumped to it, and away to another platform ledge on the arena wall. 
    Another nimble run brought him opposite a second bar pole, though as he jumped 
    to it he sensed another bolt of energy about to strike, and hopped up on top. 
    Too far preoccupied to dodge it, the bolt struck him hard, but his presence of 
    mind meant that it simply dislodged him to hang under, and not knock him to the 
    ground far below, surely fatal at this height. He swung off to a thin edge 
    before another bolt struck. From this he balanced as far as he could towards 
    another platform ledge on the arena wall.
    A long wall run brought him to a jump for a round platform piece, and he jumped 
    quickly to others, ascending as some infernal staircase higher and higher 
    towards the Vizier. Bolts came steadily to impede him, and he took the 
    precaution of standing on poles where he thought he might have to take a jolt. 
    They seemed to arrive at regular intervals.
    He pressed on determined, and made swift progress. Finally he fell on a flat 
    platform with facing edge, and an upward run let him rebound to a higher slice 
    of fractured stone. There before him at last hovered the Vizier, his tortured, 
    twisted form hunched in golden brilliance. A last stone stood between them, and 
    the Prince jumped to it. He pulled up and finally faced the monstrous Vizier.
    The city stretched to distant hills on every side. He stood higher than the 
    tallest minaret atop the mighty Tower of Babylon. From gray ruins of the city 
    shone at fixed intervals the sinister beams of light that ringed the Tower, 
    proclaiming the stranglehold the Vizier and his cruel invaders had over 
    Babylon. One man alone had the power to stop him. The Prince drew out the 
    Dagger of Time. It flared as he sprang forward.
    He seemed to hang for an eternity, destiny locked with that of the Vizier, the 
    Dagger poised for the moment to strike. With an avenging cry, the Prince 
    plunged the weapon to the bared breast of his evil enemy. It pierced his black 
    heart. The wretched creature spiraled to the ground, throwing the Prince to one 
    side. Masonry pieces collapsed to dust around them.
    The Vizier staggered upright, the Dagger of Time lodged in his chest. The 
    Prince jumped forward and drew out the mystical weapon. A rush of Sand poured 
    from the mortal wound.
    "This is not what the Dagger promised!" wailed the Vizier.
    In a hail of noise and confusion his body was blown apart in a shattering burst 
    of light.
    High on a ledge overhead Farah's bonds were smashed in the explosion. She broke 
    free of her chains, and jumped down.
    In the streets of the city, Sand Monsters crumbled as their life force was 
    sucked into the air. The freed citizens cheered at their salvation.
    In glimmering trails the Sands swept to the top of the Tower. Farah and the 
    Prince watched in amazement as they reformed to the ghostly figure of Kaileena, 
    Empress of Time. This benign apparition hovered before them, and spoke softly.
    "This world was not meant for me. But there are others, and I will find my 
    place, just as you have found yours."
    She held out her hands, and the Prince stepped forward to place the Dagger of 
    Time into them. Her body shimmered as the Dagger was absorbed in the 
    transparency of golden Sand. The Prince looked to his arm where the barbs of 
    the flail fell away, leaving his body with not so much as a scar.
    "Be free now, Prince, your journey is at an end."
    Kaileena turned away. The Sands faded and drifted apart, and all traces were 
    swirled to the winds. Farah and the Prince stood in silent awe.
    A metal object jingled on the ground.
    "What is it?" Farah asked.
    A golden crown lay at the center of the tower floor. The Prince kneeled to see, 
    reflected in its surface as he reached out. A heavy boot trod down. A sinister 
    cowled figure snatched up the crown.
    "All that is yours is rightfully mine," a voice hissed as the cloak fell away. 
    The Dark Prince now held the crown in triumph. "And mine it will be!"
    He drew back the Daggertail and lashed it to black.
    -- THE MENTAL REALM -----------------------------------------------------------
    The tower and its arched arena appeared fully restored, lit with an eerie 
    twilight glow. Light glittered off the roofs of houses in the city below, now 
    unscathed. The Prince stood armed and fully dressed. Farah was gone but he was 
    not alone: standing before him was an impossible figure.
    "What did you expect?" asked the Dark Prince. "That when you slew the Vizier I 
    would simply disappear? Oh, but you are so blind! Your rage, your pride, your 
    selfish ways... They gave me form and substance. Even with the Sands gone I 
    have the strength to remain, and with the Vizier gone I can take your place and 
    rule the kingdom! And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it."
    The shockingly sinister being stood, arms crossed defiantly, head thrown back 
    in silent laughter, then swung a fist in a gesture that the Prince should 
    attack, if he dared.
    There was no way down from the tower, nowhere for either of them to go, no 
    escape and no reasoning. The two were bound together in this place, and here 
    their fate must be decided. For everything that the Prince had suffered to this 
    moment, the dark presence beside him was to blame.
    The Prince felt anger rise. Goaded by the mocking figure he lashed out, and 
    struck again and again, heavy blows of fury and righteous anger. The creature 
    reeled, but bent as the wind and absorbed every blow.
    With each angry strike, surroundings dimmed. The Dark Prince groaned under the 
    attack but stood firm. He no longer had his Father's sword, but the Prince 
    lashed his own weapon on the fantastical being with all the strength he could 
    muster. It had no effect. As light failed completely to dark the Prince struck 
    again, and the ground opened up. He was plunged suddenly into a void, arms 
    flailing wildly as he fell through thin ghostly streams of flowing light that 
    meshed to a web all around.
    He landed on a transparent platform that pulsed with radiant light. His feet 
    scrunched as if caught in some sticky substance, and each footstep raised a 
    glow of light on the formless surface. All around was the infernal 
    impenetrable web, hazy in constant dreamlike oscillation.
    Whatever manner of place he had come to there seemed no clear direction away, 
    until from the shapeless void a platform emerged floating nearby. The Prince 
    jumped to its flat spiral surface and saw another platform just ahead, marked 
    in a geometrical grid. He jumped to it, finding its transparent surface quite 
    sound. A second lay beyond, a similarly glass-like gridded wall between. As 
    the Prince ran across he noticed a figure waiting.
    The Dark Prince stood silently, gesturing as before that the Prince should 
    attack if he dared. There was no means of escape from the platform on which 
    they stood. In frustration the Prince struck out once more. The figure 
    vanished but its voice mocked him.
    "With the ability to manipulate Time itself you had the chance to be the 
    greatest king the world has ever known. What wars you could have fought, what 
    monuments you could have erected in your honor. What women you could have 
    Ghostly glimmering shapes formed from the spider's web of synaptic 
    connections. Was that the Hourglass towering before him? A platform seemed to 
    drift near. He landed, and another formed itself from a warp of light. A wider 
    platform stood under a four-pillared canopy. Once again the Dark Prince stood 
    in mocking defiance. Once again there was no means to depart; the two of them 
    seemed doomed to face each other in this eerie dimension of the mind.
    The Prince grasped something of the grim mechanics of the world he had come 
    to. He must challenge his alter ego in order to progress. On a single blow the 
    figure disappeared.
    "But you failed me Prince," the voice of the Dark Prince continued. "You grew 
    soft and sympathetic. My attempts to convince you to seek glory fell on deaf 
    ears. So I bided my time, waiting for the proper moment to strike."
    A short jetty appeared that led off his transparent platform, jutting towards 
    a high-raised short length of beam. Seeing no other means to escape this 
    strange world he jumped to it, and dropped to another just below. As he 
    advanced across a small platform disc, he found another rise up to form a 
    bridge to a far platform. There waited the Dark Prince as before.
    As he leaped to cross, a blinding white flash transformed his surroundings to 
    a blue-lit misty cavern. Stone pillars rose from bottomless depths, rope 
    bridges strung between. Strange as it was, this place looked oddly familiar. A 
    distant memory or a dream. In a canopy beyond the rope bridge in front of him 
    stood what he fancied a magic fountain. He moved to reach it in slow motion.
    As he jumped the surroundings changed back to the infernal web. The Dark 
    Prince confronted him, arms crossed. It ranted wildly as the Prince beat it 
    away. "You do not deserve what you have been given: control of the world's 
    greatest empire. With the power at your command you could rule the world! You 
    have squandered it, Prince. I would do it justice, and so it should be mine."
    The Prince shouted to the void: "You are just a parasite. You deserve 
    The platform on which he now stood alone spun about. Another floated to one 
    side. He jumped to it and walked out on a long beam. His head swam giddily, 
    and he struggled for balance, though if he lost his footing and fell to the 
    void he arrived magically back at the same spot. He jumped to another squared 
    platform, where his grim alter ego stood ready to answer the charge.
    "But don't I? Have I not earned it? Do you think you would be here now if not 
    for me? How many times did I save you, how many times did I unblock your path, 
    take down your enemies, remind you of your mission? While all you did was cry 
    about your father, and Kaileena, and Farah, how everything bad always happens 
    to you. Boo-hoo, Prince."
    "Your words are empty, have always been empty. You are just a desperate 
    selfish spirit."
    Another white flash, and he was tumbling through the void, arms flailing as he 
    fell towards the wreck of a burning ship - his ship, once - marooned on an 
    endless sea. As he plunged through the air to its deck he was back to the 
    realm of floating platforms. These visions from his disturbed mind were surely 
    an attempt to unsettle him, to detach him from reason and logical thought.
    He ran on across floating platforms to encounter the Dark Prince again.
    "If I am selfish, Prince, it is because you are. If I am ruthless and reckless 
    and lacking in morals, it is because you are. I did not spin myself out of the 
    ether, I was not conjured by some mad vizier. I am you."
    "No. I have seen the error of my ways, and I have atoned for the 
    transgressions of my past." The Prince then declared, firmly: "I am no longer 
    that person."
    He leaped for a circular platform down below, and found himself now on a 
    similar sized platform made of solid stone, this in a castle chamber. Pillars 
    ringed a tragically familiar spiral design on its floor. As he moved in slowed 
    motion and leaped for it he landed back in the ethereal neverworld.
    Now he climbed stairs but in a flash was at their foot again, his path in the 
    opposite direction. It was impossible to keep his bearings, and there was no 
    escape; he must simply keep pressing on in this world of warped dimension, and 
    hope somehow to find an end to it.
    He came on the Dark Prince again, framed in a cascade of globules of light 
    that flowed to infinity and streamed fast at his feet on the stage. The Prince 
    slashed at his tormentor.
    "Seasons change, tastes change. But people? People never change, and you 
    delude yourself believing otherwise," the dark being insisted. "Do not fight 
    me, set down your sword. Embrace me."
    It vanished again and the Prince jumped to another floating platform, and from 
    that to a hollow cube that shifted dimensions as he landed on its surface. The 
    plane on which he stood was too short to allow progression to his goal, a 
    stage on which the Dark Prince waited once more. Confounded, the Prince 
    returned to his previous perch, whereon the cube reformed to a more elongated 
    shape, reaching now fully towards the platform where stood his mocking rival. 
    He jumped back and ran on to the far platform. He struck the apparition as 
    hard as he could.
    "Do you need to kill me then?" demanded the Dark Prince. "To cut me down like 
    all your other enemies? Swing that sword, Prince! Huh, we have seen how well 
    that works."
    A short round platform oscillated gently towards and away from a larger square 
    platform. On landing safe the Prince judged a wall run against emptiness, the 
    only means to reach the Dark Prince, waiting as ever on the stage beyond as 
    his feet squelched towards it. In rage of endless frustration the Prince beat 
    the Dark Prince with his sword.
    "Such violence! Your anger serves only to feed me. So I have to ask: have you 
    really changed? After all, I am still right here, standing before you."
    There was bitter truth in the mocking words, a terrible truth too plain to be 
    ignored. Each small victory over the spirit brought the Prince no closer to 
    escape. Yet in the nightmare torment there was no other way for him; what 
    other way could there be for a warrior than to fight?
    He moved to a short jetty that faced a rotating beam. As it swung close he 
    hopped across, and advanced to its other edge, where he was borne out towards 
    a short but thankfully stationary beam. There before him stood the Dark Prince 
    again. Almost wearily he sprang forward to meet it, yet in a flash of white 
    light landed in a gorgeous domed chamber room with polished marble floor. Low 
    carpeted risers led up to a candlelit dais laid with a soft bed under a canopy 
    of translucent net. This he knew to be Farah's bedchamber, a distant memory of 
    another life. Through arched windows he saw the swirling clouds of infinity, 
    and knew that he was not within the palace of the Maharajah but still trapped 
    in the Mental Realm. Standing between open doors ahead a figure waited for 
    him. With relief he recognized lost Farah, and ran eagerly forward.
    In another flash of white she was gone, but reappeared as he found himself in 
    a Throne Room ringed in twisted arch columns without solid substance, the 
    whirling void an impenetrable web all around.
    "Prince," her voice begged, "leave this place. It reeks of sadness and cruel 
    intentions. You must not chase this shadow. Turn away, wake up. I will lead 
    She left up stairs to bright light, yet as the Prince moved to follow the Dark 
    Prince stood in his way. The Prince struck out. The spirit broke into two, 
    each as the first. It gave out a burst of laughter.
    "Stop please," rang an echoing taunt. "You're hurting me! Ha-ha-ha."
    The Prince struck again and now there were four mocking forms, then eight, and 
    more, multiplying over and over, as quickly as he cut them down.
    "That worked well," the voice said. "Notice how you continue to fail?"
    Was the Prince now totally mad? He brushed past the crowd of demons, 
    determined to follow Farah away from this hellish place.
    He saw that the chamber of pillars housed not one but two thrones. One sat 
    solid and stately, one blackened and scorched. The left side and the right 
    side, the dark and the light. Farah had led the way up the stairs between. The 
    Prince started after.
    "Yes, run away!" came a voice at his back. "Leave me here that I might finish 
    my work: take what belongs to me!"
    The Prince stopped. Behind him the Dark Prince seemed to multiply in form. He 
    wrestled with his emotions. Every instinct told him he could not leave it to 
    its intention, and he returned to try a last time to vanquish the spirit, 
    whatever its purpose.
    "By all means stay and fight," it declared. "I, on the other hand, have a 
    kingdom to attend to."
    As he struck the apparition again, it split and divided into identical form, 
    again and again on each blow until he was faced with a host of cruel mocking 
    demons. He hacked and slashed, whirling among them to send each to oblivion, 
    yet still they multiplied, and still they mocked.
    "Just a little bit longer, Prince. Are you ready to relinquish control yet?"
    Farah's voice called to him. "Put the past behind you, Prince. You are a 
    better man than this. End this nightmare; wake up."
    The Prince stood exhausted, surrounded by mocking forms, gesturing him to 
    attack. As much as he fought, combat achieved nothing. Over and over he struck 
    out with the same useless result. Finally spent, the Prince came to a 
    realization: this enemy could not be overcome, for it was the enemy inside 
    him, product of his own tortured mind. If he fought he fought only himself, 
    and there could be no victory there. The Prince turned for the stairway.
    "No!" cried the voice behind him. "What are you doing?"
    The Prince ran on, striving towards the light.
    "Do not ignore me. Do not leave me behind..."
    Lunatic laughter rang in his ears, fading to the darkness. The Prince ran on, 
    and the voice diminished to a last impotent cry: "No-o-o!"
    "Wake up. Wake up!"
    From dazzling white a familiar face loomed over him.
    Her concern showed in a smile. "Are you all right?"
    He was once more atop the Tower of Babylon, safe by the side of the princess.
    "I think--I think it's finally over."
    She laughed reassurance. Together they watched dawn break over the now 
    peaceful city of Babylon. Birds flocked in clear skies.
    "Prince, there's still something I don't understand. How did you really know 
    my name?"
    He tenderly brushed hair from her face. "Most people think time is like a 
    river that flows swift and sure in one direction," he began. "But I have seen 
    the face of time, and I can tell you - they are wrong!"
    A young Prince runs through monsoon rainforest. He must meet a Princess.
    "Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I really am, and why I say 
    this. Come, and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard."
    -- THE END --------------------------------------------------------------------
    (c) 2007 J Woodrow 
    This document includes an unofficial transcript and storyline from PRINCE 
    OF PERSIA: THE TWO THRONES (c) 2005 Ubisoft Entertainment. Copyright is 
    claimed for original material herein and no declaration of ownership of 
    previously copyrighted material is intended or should be inferred. 
    Transcript may contain errors or omission and is not representative work 
    of the acknowledged copyright owner. All contents are for personal and 
    private use and no part of this document may be altered or amended or 
    stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means for profit 
    without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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