We learned back in February that Prince of Persia creator and game industry legend Jordan Mechner’s very first published video game Karateka would be seeing a modern re-release, and that it might hit iOS platforms in addition to the usual slew of digital download services. A leak by the ESRB that was spotted by Siliconera seems to confirm those initial rumors.

Karateka is one of the earlier side-scrolling beat ‘em ups that originally released on the Apple II back in 1984. Jordan Mechner had previously stated that this new version would be more along the lines of a reimagining of the original game, rather than a radically new game using the same IP or simply a faithful gameplay port with fancier graphics. It sounds like the biggest change will be the ability to play as three different heroes in your journey to rescue a princess from an evil overlord.

What other changes are in store we’ll just have to wait and see, and while the new Karateka doesn’t have a specific release date yet it looks like it’ll be hitting sometime this year.

[Joystiq via Siliconera]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003374971808 Tony Teulan

    Oh my. Really?! I sent Jordan a tweet asking him to promise he wouldn't turn the franchise into a Temple Run clone like Pitfall. He did. But this doesn't seem all that much better. Why can't they just keep the original style? Or at least do a straight port of the original as well? :/

    • webman2k

      You know, I really like PitFall. If you think about it, it was the first real "runner". They haven't really changed the core mechanic, just made it so you can't stop.  You're still swinging and jumping and running. In fact, it's my favorite one - very stylistic, and the different areas really change it up - especially love the mine car.

      • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

        I completely agree with you on Pitfall. That game totally surprised me. I keep going back to it and the IAP seems almost exactly right as the changing environment and threats make it fun to start over frequently and earn continues.

        More on topic, I think the direction for Karateka actually makes good sense as well. That game almost felt like a rhythm game back in the day -- before those types of games existed. I would frequently notice a sort of drum beat going on from the resulting blocks and hits that would help you remember how to defeat a foe the next time you tried.

        The greatest thing about that game back on the Apple ][ (for me) was the cinematic nature of it. The music the drama the animation, the key moments where the game was changed up for a very short time. It's a classic in my book. Unfortunately that part is no longer unique in games, so the rhythm thing in a martial arts game makes a much stronger hook.

  • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

    Karateka was another one of my favorite games when I played it on my Atari 400. I'm all for improvements, but I do hope they keep the original flavor of the game.

  • bfos

    Upside down mode, please.

  • nickmorgs

    'In this rhythm-fighting game'....

    Little for fans of the original here I reckon.  Hit the button in time to the music to hit your opponent.  Sounds thrilling.

    • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

      Hit the button to hit the unblocked area on your opponent. Sounds thrilling. 
      Back then it was, but now? Can it really stand out with the original game play?

      I do admit that the original has something special in the somewhat slow movement of your character in that you had to plan carefully how to attack each time and there was a nice moment for dramatic tension before you see if each hit registers. Maybe a more direct translation would be effective. I just don't know if enough people would care.

      I see potential in the rhythm aspect, myself.

      • http://twitter.com/try2bcool69 Jay G

        Well, you know they will have to speed it up for the OCD kids.  Breakneck pacing is the standard of entertainment these days.

  • Artfoundry

    Yessss!!! I loved this game in my Apple and have been waiting eagerly for it to make it to iOS!

  • Nycteris

    Oh my goodness, I remember putting my tape recorder next to my Tandy 1000 and recording the end winning music!

  • Trev1

    Loved the original on the commodore 64 .....but this just ain't my thing....will it uphold the dark style of gameplay while tapping to beats? I doubt it...