Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones finally becomes playable two decades after release thanks to enterprising modder
The Prince of Persia trilogy by Ubisoft is largely considered as a cult classic, and the games definitely evoke fond nostalgia. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones was the final instalment of the trilogy and while it was widely praised at the time, it was also plagued by numerous glitches that inhibited proper gameplay.
After nearly two decades, a modder has finally released an unofficial patch that fixes the game's most annoying bugs.
The modder, who goes by the name DawidFreeman on Nexus Mods, fixed a nagging problem faced by mouse and keyboard players. The game suffered from a mouse deadzone issue, which made navigating impossible in any direction other than the x and y axes. This was because the game used gamepad analog emulation for mouse movement, which does not augur well for a PC port according to the mod author.
Fixing this seemed an uphill task because the author lacked access to Ubisoft's source code. Nonetheless, he notes that he tried his best to reverse engineer camera functionality and remove mouse deadzones, blockers, camera auto-centering, etc.
DawidFreeman additionally used the DgVoodoo wrapper to convert the game to DirectX 11 and implemented a 60 fps lock to prevent any further physics and graphics issues. This also allowed him to remove the broken MSAA in the original code and force 4x MSAA, as well as support widescreen and 4K without requiring users to deal with .ini files.
With version 1.4 of the patch, the author also managed to fix the infamous springboard bug. This bug would cause the Prince to just slide instead of jumping off springboards in the puzzle, driving gamers crazy and frustrated.
Because Ubisoft hasn't open-sourced the game, the effectiveness of these unofficial patches is still somewhat limited. The author notes,
Folks from Ubisoft decided to hard code that part of the camera in a very weird way, which is very hard to fix without source code. In the Vanilla version you can only move the camera in x or y-axis (THERE WAS NO DIAGONAL SUPPORT) which made playing this game almost impossible using a mouse. Thankfully, I’ve managed to fix that problem.”
Players were aware of these flaws for a long time and even assumed that the issue could likely be with mouse sensitivity or camera settings. It took some time to determine that the problem was actually with the game itself. This is the first time someone had actually come up with a solution in all these years.
That being said, Ubisoft continues to have problems with Prince of Persia to this day. The company recently announced that it is taking the Sands of Time Remake back to the drawing board due to largely negative initial reception, notably with regard to the graphics.