Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Tits & Sand (& Pixels): Prince of Persia 2

boxshotI was asked about Prince of Persia 2 a few hours back, just as I was looking for some images to illustrate this post.
I’m not a fan of nostalgia gaming, but indeed there were some interesting gamesd in the past1, and maybe something interesting can be extracted from those memories.

The complete title was Prince of Persia2: The Shadow and the Flame, and it came out in 1993. It worked with both DOS and Windows.
By that time I had a color PC display, and the new game looked like a million dollars on my Zenith . And indeed, superficially, it looked just like that – more eye candy, a refurbished look for a game that was basically the same.

The gist of the game: evil vizier Jaffar, that we thought defeated at the end of the original game, is back. He steals the Princes’ identity, puts a death spell on the Princess, and sits on the throne. But once again the Prince escaped his captors, and he’s on a quest for the tools that will help him defeat the bad guy. Continue reading


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Tits & Sand (& Pixels): Prince of Persia

The 1980s. Videogames.
The Adventures of Robin Hood, Erroll Flynn and Basil Rathbone.
Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Rotoscoping and Max Fleischer.
The Arabian Nights.
Fantasy writing and three writers laughing and reminiscing.
This post had to happen.

prince_of_persia_1989_coverA few days back I mentioned Prince of Persia, cited as a direct influence by a young fantasy writer, who replayed it as documentation for a novel.
That post led to a chat with two friends of mine: Mauro Longo, game designer and writer, and Samuel Marolla, writer, publisher and screenwriter. We laughed a lot, wondering if the young novelist re-played our Prince of Persia.
The one that ran on a single floppy disc, and in which you could save only after the third level.
We all had our special memories of the game – the almost hypnotic state in which repeating the sequence of commands would drop us. The sword duels. The traps.
We laughed a lot, and we remembered the fun we had back then.
Later other friends joined the discussion, pointing out how sophisticated and elegant the game was for its times, how mind-bogglingly beautiful it looked in that time of 8-bit graphics.
But at that point, of course, I had already reinstalled it on my PC, and had a go at it after twenty-five years. Continue reading


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Marina Warner’s Stranger Magic

strangermagicsbookscanWell, this is the week dedicated to the Arabian Nights, or so it seems.
So why not go on and talk about another good book I will be quite happy to find the time and re-read, not just because it will be fun research for the Mana Bros Alam al Mithral project, but most of all because it is one of the ten best literary essays I ever read. And I kid you not.
The book is Marina Warner’s Stranger Magic and I have bored to death all my friends, trying to push it on them, and now I guess it’s your turn. Continue reading


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Tits&Sand: Marrakesh, for free

51vsfdkdsl-_sy346_… And talking about Arabian Nights and Tits&Sand, I just found out that Graham Diamond’s Marrakesh is available for free on Amazon.
I don’t know how long the offer will last, so hurry!

What’s it about?
It’s about a guy that falls in love with the last descendent of the Forty Thieves, those from Ali Baba and all that. And they set out on a treasure hunt. And there’s a bad guy…
Damn! What else do you need?

Here’s the link.
Hurry!


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Tits & Sand – Road to Morocco (1942)

15110-8709408519-5116511201-9548258739-large-400x570Morocco was never like this.
And frankly, who cares?

Road to Morocco (1942), directed by David Butler, is the third in the “Road to…” franchise (did they have franchises, back in 1942?1), and is probably the best of the lot.
The formula was quite simple – two happy-go-lucky Americans, an exotic locale, a beautiful woman, some flimsy reason for adventure.
And after all, exotic locales and beautiful women are usually reason enough for adventure – in fiction at least.
The formula worked for over twenty years and seven movies.

The team-up of straight guy Bing Crosby and funny guy Bob Hope did also work on the screen, and American audiences were getting acquainted with exotic places because of the war and, later, with the popularity of international tourism in the post-war years.
Dorothy Lamour adds the glamourous bit – and the three leads can sing, too! Continue reading


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Other People’s Pulps: Chandu the Magician (1932)

While I’m still trying to decide what I will watch for New Year’s Eve, I spent about an hour and a half having lots of fun with Chandu the Magician, a 1932 film directed by William Cameron Menzies and Marcel Varnel.
Maybe not exactly a Christmas movie, but quite a treat1.

chandu-the-magician-movie-poster-1932-1020199670

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