The newest title of the famed Prince of Persia series, POP : The Forgotten Sands, was released to the public on the 12th June (Microsoft Windows version). This game, published by UBISOFT, was protected by UBI’s own DRM which itself was quite a hot topic in the PC gaming community a while back. Despite various controversies about the DRM ‘calling home’ even during the single player campaign, the system seems to be doing it’s job. True, it has not been able to stop piracy altogether but it has delayed those early leaks which were all too common with UBISOFT games a while ago. A pirated version of The Forgotten Sands eventually did appear on file sharing networks but it look pirates more than two weeks since the game’s street date develop a workaround. The pirated version seemingly works, but that too is not without flaws.

I know quite a few people who’ve grabbed a legit copy of this game and none of them seemed to encounter any showstopper bugs with it. However, the story is quite different when it comes to the pirated version. There appear to be many pirates who are unable to progress through POP due to the game not opening doors that are supposed to open and switches that are supposed to unlock. For example, in the prison level you might stumble across a door that won’t open even if you step on it’s switch. Sometimes you’ll hear the sound of the door opening but it actually remains closed. In addition to these, some save related bugs have also been reported (autosave does not resume from where it should resume after the player dies). If you wonder why this is happening, this is due to the DRM. A good explanation of how UBI’s DRM for POP : TFS works is given in the NFO released by SKIDROW:

To clear the minds of the individuals who think: "Game x was done fast and this one taking ages" etc.  The way the Ubisoft DRM works, makes it so that every game is like a brand new challenge. What it does do, is offload certain parts of the game to a server, game then requests those things at runtime. These parts can be anything that the developer wants. In the case with Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, those things were: 
Levers logic
Door timing
Upgrades
Abilities
XP & Levels
Area codes
Every time you step on a button "in game", it sends a request to server asking what to do. Server then sends the door code to open, including how much time it stays open. Levers work similarly, every time you press the "TAB" button to display skills, game asks again server: "What skills do player have", and so on and on. All that stuff takes a lot of time to implement right and we do implement it like the original do. All our doors open and close with exact same time factors as the retail do. We just wanted to clarify a little how the Ubisoft DRM really does work, because a lot of those individuals we mentioned in the beginning of this statement didn't seem to understand, yet what kind of monster this is. It's not some simply "Values" going around like it were with Assassin's Creed II.

As far as I’m aware, the workaround created by SKIDROW (as well as the Chinese ‘beta’ crack that came out earlier) functions by emulating server responses on the client side. I’m not sure if they actually wrote the server side code again (Razor1911 claimed to do so in AC2 release) or if they are using a logged response values database like in previous releases. Either way, a wrong response code for a specific trigger would mean the game would malfunction. This could very well be the reason why certain switches in the game don’t work and doors cannot be unlocked.

Anyways, some of you might be wondering, is there a way to bypass the bugs? Well there are things you could try but there is no guarantee all your problems will be solved. Whenever you encounter a bug, pause the game,  change the difficulty setting and try again. For example if you are playing on Hard, try changing the difficulty to Medium. Alternatively, you can either purchase the game legitimately or wait until SKIDROW or some one releases a fix for the pirated release (with updated server responses maybe).

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12 Comments

  1. Marian // 6/28/2010 03:12:00 AM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  2. TEAM FILEnetworks // 6/28/2010 04:53:00 AM  

    Please don't post links to cracks or torrents here.

  3. Avinash Pathak // 6/28/2010 09:57:00 PM  

    you can always keep a backup of you saved game file after every few levels so that in case you hit a problem, you can revert back and try again
    another thing to remember is not to ext the game or die after opening a door and the save game around that sequence, because that is how you will have a closed door after loading the game.
    lowering difficulty also works in a couple of gates(but not when you are locked out of doors).
    btw, save games are at
    [Disk Name]:\Users\[your Username]\AppData\Local\storage\SKIDROW

  4. sirofallsirs // 6/29/2010 08:32:00 AM  

    didn't the new crack was suppose to fix this problem? i really don't know if i should download this game or not...so many bugs.. i hope the crack which comes oout now is perfect...i can't buy the real deal... i'm poor..i spent most of my money on the computer..ask nvidia, intel, gigabyte, asus and amd for my share

  5. mybach62 // 6/30/2010 12:05:00 PM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  6. Daud Cheema // 8/01/2010 08:40:00 AM  

    i am stuck : coz first i progressed through gate adn then prince died and i was moved to my last checkpoint and where i get that door locked even if i pull that lever .. please help

  7. Alaa // 1/26/2011 06:06:00 PM  

    I reached to a level but i died in the end, so it took me to another level where i have been locked by 4 doors and none of them opens.. can any one help me?? I almost reached to the end of the game.. this level come after many level when the gin gets inside the sword..
    please help me, I wanna finish the game i spenr many days playing to reach to this level..

  8. SAM // 5/16/2011 05:34:00 AM  

    I have a problem in Prince Of Persia TFS.
    All the upgrades in my POP TFS have been locked
    It shows me message upgrade available but when i try to upgrade my player it shows that upgrades are locked.
    Even those upgrades that i purchased earlier have been locked.

  9. savr // 10/25/2011 02:32:00 PM  

    Hey guys the upgrade bug is now fixed, just goto the following link

    http://popfan-savr.blogspot.com
    or
    http://popfan-savr.blogspot.com/2011/10/prince-of-persia-forgotten-sands.html

  10. crismic // 11/09/2011 05:08:00 PM  

    The fortress courtyard
    When the Titan dies, it shatters a gate that was covering a wall switch. I Run up the wall to hit the switch, then press jump at the last moment to leap to the next wall. I Keep holding the wall-run button and the Prince will run up the wall upon making contact, allowing me to do a higher triangle jump and reach the next ledge.
    From here, wall-run and jump to one of the broken pillars, then leap from pillar to pillar to the broken beam. Jump and wall-run up to the balcony, then wall-run and jump to the overhead switch. From it, flip from flagpole to flagpole to reach the next balcony.
    Another old-school Prince of Persia trap manifests here, as the next hall is lined with pressure-sensitive spikes. Simply run straight across them to get through without injury. BUT I DIE HERE EVEN DOING Q AFTER THAT when I go to the last checkpoint I get stuck in the door it dosen’t open , I mean there’s no way to go in I can’t jump to the flag pole anyhow also..
    Plzz help

  11. Abhijit Biswas // 1/04/2012 09:52:00 AM  

    Lower difficulty can make a problem door open but it works only one time. Trying after some time latter may be one days can fixed a problem otherwise you start the game form fast.There are no loading option like other prince of persia game.This is fully rubbish for the game lovers.

  12. Vedantk // 3/15/2012 03:40:00 PM  

    I am stuck at adequate where the prince dont catch the ledge