|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2009)|
The Vizier is the predominant antagonist in the entire The Sands of Time series and remains the greatest enemy that the Prince of Persia ever fights. His lust for immortality and power is his driving force and he will go through any obstacle in order to obtain that power.
The Vizier's name comes from "Vizier", a term for a high-ranking political (and sometimes religious) advisor or minister, often to a Muslim monarch such as a Caliph, Amir, Malik (king), or Sultan. In modern usage, the term has been used in the East generally for certain important officials under the sovereign. It is also used anachronistically or in a modern Islamic republic's cabinet.
In The Sands of Time', the Vizier is the main antagonist. He betrays the Maharaja of India in favour of King Sharaman of Persia in an effort to obtain the Dagger of Time, which he could use to obtain immortality. (The Vizier does not actually reveal this until the end of the game, but it is hinted at by his tuberculosis.) However, Sharaman's son, the Prince, finds the dagger first. Sharaman, ignorant of the Vizier's plans, refuses to take his son's well-earned prize, instead allowing the Vizier to take any other item (not including the Hourglass of Time). The Vizier is then taken into service under Sharaman.
The Vizier travels with the victorious Sharaman to pay a visit to the Sultan of Azad, to whom Sharaman presents the spoils of their victory. The Vizier tricks the Prince into opening the Hourglass with the dagger, thereby unleashing the sands upon the palace. He then demands the dagger so he can reverse the damage, but the Prince refuses. Throughout the game, the Vizier uses the sand-corrupted inhabitants of the palace in an attempt to recover the dagger, but the dagger's time-manipulation powers allow the Prince to survive the attacks. Along the way the Prince meets Farah, who had been captured by Sharaman's soldiers. She journeys with the Prince,but dies towards the end. At the climax of the game, the Prince restores the Sands of Time to the Hourglass, rewinding time to the night before the Persian army attacked the Maharaja's palace. The Prince attempts to warn Farah and return the dagger to her, but the Vizier interrupts just as he finishes his fantastic tale and attacks. During their battle, he admits his treachery within earshot of Farah, and is killed shortly thereafter.
The Vizier's past is explored in the Nintendo DS game Battles of Prince of Persia, where he is revealed to be the cause of the rage behind the game's antagonist, Saurva. The Vizier's missions in this game take place before The Sands of Time, as he is killed by the Prince at the end of that game.
It is shown, through his missions, that before the events of the game he fell in love with Saurva's sister, Sindra. He became so infatuated with her that he forced Saurva to steal the Box of One Thousand Restraints, for then unknown reasons. He threatened to kill Saurva's wife if he failed to do so. When Saurva returned with the Box, after killing many Indian soldiers in doing so, The Vizier killed his wife and imprisoned Saurva, along with all of his race, in the Box when Sindra refused him. Years later, when the Prince seeks the Box of One Thousand Restraints to attempt to seal away the Dahaka, he unleashes Saurva and his army.
The Vizier returns in The Two Thrones, again as the central nemesis. Because of the Prince's efforts to defeat the Dahaka in Warrior Within, the timeline of The Sands of Time has been negated. As such, the Prince never killed the Vizier, and his quest for immortality has continued unabated. However, since the Sands of Time were never created, the Vizier's plans have been stunted.
Now possessing the Dagger of Time, but lacking the Sands, the Vizier uses the Dagger-provided visions to track the Empress of Time to Babylon, which he has attacked. He captures Kaileena and kills her with the Dagger, thus recreating the Sands of Time. He then stabs himself in the heart with the Dagger (an ironic outcome, as the Prince had intended to kill him in this very manner in the first game). This grants the Vizier immortality and restores his lost youth, after which he transforms into a large, winged sand demon. In his new form, the Vizier takes the name Zurvan, the name of Zurvanism's god of infinite time, space, and fate.
Using the sands, the Vizier mutates his army into sand monsters and unleashes them upon the Prince's kingdom, capturing and killing most of the populace or turning them into more sand monsters. The Prince manages to catch the Vizier in a temple, but he is knocked into the palace well while the Vizier kidnaps Farah with the intent of making her his bride. The Prince catches up again and confronts the Vizier, ending with the Prince plunging the Dagger of Time into the Vizier's heart. As the Prince wrenches the Dagger from the Vizier's chest, he writhes in pain and yells, "This is not what the Dagger promised!", before he is overcome and explodes, destroying his monster army and the Sands of Time once and for all.
The Vizier has several subordinates in The Two Thrones, all of whom transformed by the Sands of Time upon the death of Kaileena.
Klompa is a powerful ally and Lieutenant of the Vizier's army, wielding a halberd in his human form. When he was corrupted by the Sands of Time, he became a tremendous grotesque giant. Bearing many wounds, he lacks a lower jaw and dons a mask and wields an immense sword. He makes his home in the Arena, where he has captured many people. Despite his size, defeating him is made fairly simple thanks to the many ledges which the Prince must climb to blind the giant. The Prince defeats him by firstly blinding him, then leaping onto his back and disembowelling him with the Dagger of Time.
Mahasti is a trusted Lieutenant of the Vizier. She is responsible for embedding the daggertail in the Prince's left arm. It appears that the Sands have not been so merciless in destroying her appearance as they were with the other characters, although they have granted her strength and extraordinary agility. She imprisons many women in a brothel, where she confronts Farah and the Prince. She battles first with the Prince, and seems to be more than a match for him, but in the middle of the fight, he transforms into the Dark Prince, and the battle end with the Dark Prince overpowering her and pushing her off a ledge: the defeated Mahasti falls to her death. She wears purple armor and a helmet shaped like the face of an elephant. She wields two jagged swords and fights much like the character Shahdee in Warrior Within. She also has the ability to create some monsters as seen when the prince fights her in the brothel.
She's voiced by Lucinda Davis.
The Twin Warriors, Axe and Sword
The Twin Warriors are two powerful unnamed Lieutenants of the Vizier's army. Gamers have referred to them as simply "Axe and Sword" on the account that one wields a large axe while the other wields a large sword, and together they fight as one nearly unstoppable force. Axe locks the prince in a burning workshop, leaving him to perish in the flames. Axe then pursues the Prince on a chariot after he has escaped the workshop. The two gang up on the Prince and fight him in a ring of fire. The Prince kills Sword and wounds Axe, who is afterwards killed by Farah's arrows.
The Vizier's Troopers
When overheard by the Prince in the palace throne room, the Vizier states that he seized the kingdom and army of the murdered Maharajah. It is presumably this army which is the source of the Vizier's troops. Their helmets are shaped like animals; bulls for the regular troops and birds for the archers. They are mutated by the Sands when the Vizier kills Kaileena, and likewise die when the Prince destroys the Vizier.
In the live-action 2010 film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the Vizier, given the name "Nizam", has been confirmed as the main antagonist and will be portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley. The Prince, Dastan, will be portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, and the film, directed by Mike Newell, will be released on June 10, 2009.
It has been revealed that Nizam will be depicted as the brother of King Shahrman of Persia, who kills him and puts the blame of the murder on the King's son, Dastan. Nizam himself claims the throne of Persia and in order to achieve immortality and power, he seeks the mysterious Sands of Time and eventually take over the world.
In Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the Dahaka serves as the physical manifestation of the inevitability of fate. The beast is the guardian of the timeline, and seems to appear only when the timeline is disrupted. In The Sands of Time, the Prince uses the Sands of Time literally to manipulate the timeline (cheating death, stopping time, etc.), culminating in him rewinding time to before he stole the dagger. Since the Prince was destined to die upon unleashing the sands, a fate which he has avoided thanks to the memories he retains from the alternate timeline, he creates a paradox. This brings the wrath of the Dahaka upon him, its duty to kill the Prince in order to restore the timeline and another reason being that the Prince is the only one who seems to know the secrets of time.
The Dahaka appears as a massive and powerfully built humanoid, clad in black. It has long ram-like horns that twist in the form of a lemniscate, the symbol of infinity, and its eyes burn with a fierce inner light, though the area around it is always covered in shadows. It also has the ability to shoot four or more tentacles from its abdomen, which it uses to capture the Prince should he fail to keep enough distance between him and the Dahaka. Every aspect of this being suggests it is a creature of a more supernatural world. Until the very end of the game, it is impossible to fight the Dahaka, since it is impossible to approach.
At several points in the "present" sections game (known amongst players as "Dahaka Chases") the Dahaka will catch up with the Prince and chase after him. The player will then have to flee through a series of obstacles in order to escape the beast. If it does catch him, it will reduce the Prince to sand and absorb him, thus eliminating him and his actions from the timeline. The Dahaka appears blurry during these moments and can sometimes teleport a few yards at a time. During his adventures, the Prince discovers that, like all the Empress' sandy minions, the Dahaka has an intense aversion to water. Contact with water harms the creature, and it cannot pass through the curtains of water that cover certain palace doors and corridors. The Prince must exploit this weakness to escape the Dahaka. Because of its weakness to water, the Dahaka would seem to be one of the creations of the beings that created time, the Empress of Time, and the many time artifacts (Dagger, Amulet, etc.), presumably as a failsafe to prevent misuse of their powers.
Additionally, the Dahaka will appear in the past during two cutscenes. The first occurs after the Prince unlocks the throne room. In the Central Hall, the Sandwraith suddenly appears before him and the Dahaka blocks the exit, causing the Prince to surmise that the monster has somehow followed him to the past. Strangely enough, as the Prince begins to flee, the Dahaka grabs the Sandwraith, kills it, and leaves. Later, after the Prince has himself become the Sandwraith and travelled back in time using the Mask of the Wraith, he encounters his past self at the same time and place. Knowing of the attack beforehand, the Prince is able to elude the Dahaka, allowing his past self to perish and freeing himself from the Mask. Although no explicit explanation is given about the Dahaka's odd behaviour in these scenes, it can be surmised that, like with its attempts to kill the Prince in the present, it is attempting to correct the timeline by removing the contradiction of the Prince existing in two places simultaneously.
If the Prince fails to acquire the Water Sword, then kills the Empress in the final duel in the present, the Dahaka will come forth to claim the Empress' body and then the Prince's Amulet. Both are the last relics of the Sands of Time. With those two things gone, the Dahaka no longer has a purpose to exist in this timeline and vanishes into the mists. However, if the Prince manages to claim the Water Sword, the final battle will be with the Dahaka instead, with the Empress assisting him. At the end of the fight, the Empress strikes the Dahaka with a blast of energy and knocks him to the edge of the platform. The Prince then attacks, driving the water sword into the Dahaka's skull, causing it to lose its grip and fall into the sea below. In the official ending, there is an explosion of dark power that rises from the water; grown to a massive size, the Dahaka ascends over the Prince and the Empress, flailing in rage. It then collapses back into the water, and is destroyed forever.
The fact that one can escape the Dahaka can be seen as a suggestion from the game's designers that while fate seems inevitable, it can in fact be avoided and even conquered.
During the game, the Dahaka appears to speak in a bizarre language. In actuality, it talks in backward speech, which the player can understand by rewinding time after the Dahaka is finished speaking. Phrases like: "All who have come before you have fallen", "Come to me... come to your death!", "Disrupt the Timeline no further", "No one escapes the Dahaka", and "You cannot change your fate, you have fallen" can be heard though with this process.
Meanings of Dahāka
The meaning of Dahāka is uncertain. Among the meanings suggested are "stinging" (source uncertain), "burning" (cf. Sanskrit dahana), "man" or "manlike" (cf. Khotanese daha), "huge" (cf. Pashto lōy) or "foreign" (cf. the Scythian Dahae and the Vedic dasas). In the texts of the Avesta, Dahāka is treated as a proper name. Avestan Dahāka became Middle Persian Dahāg or Bēvar-Asp, the latter meaning "[he who has] 10,000 horses". The Middle Persian Dahāg is in turn the origin of the Zahhāk or Zohhāk of Persian mythology's Shāhnāma. The pronunciation of Dahak in Arabic means "a laughter ".
The Empress of Time
The Empress of Time, is a mortal, though immensely powerful creature created by the Gods to protect the Timeline. She first appears in Warrior Within, and again in The Two Thrones, where she is the narrator. She carries a part of the Timeline within herself, in fact, and can utilise its powers much like the Prince can, to rewind and slow time. When the Old Man speaks to the Prince about the Island of Time on which the Empress resides, he is most vocal about the cunning and merciless Empress.
The Empress ends up as first Warrior Within's mid-point boss, and or also the final boss (depending on player's action), although in the real ending, the final confrontation with her is replaced by a fight with the Dahaka. The Empress afterwards ends up going home to Babylon with the Prince. This ending is taken to be canonical by the sequel Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones.
When the Prince first meets her, she is fighting with her second-hand woman, Shahdee, who the Prince then kills. She introduces herself as Kaileena, a mere servant of the Empress. By cleverly referring to her Empress rank in the third person, The Prince never suspects that she is in fact the Empress, and that her help is meant to lead him to his death, not his salvation. She gives him newer, more powerful swords, and information on how to access the Castle's central chamber and prevent the Sands from being created in the first place.
However, when The Prince overcomes seemingly impossible odds, and opens the door to the throne room, she is forced to reveal herself and fight him, knowing that she is destined to die at the hands of this man. In fact, her very passion and will to live is inspired by the Prince's fight to save his own life - she decides to rebel against the Timeline, asking that if he can, why should she not change her own fate? In the end, however, the Prince kills her, and believes that her death in his past has undone the very creation of the Sands of Time. This turns out to be incorrect, and he finds out that it was her death at his hand that created the Sands.
He then travels back in time and forces her into the present to kill her there, so that the Sands might still be created but not found by the Maharaja, and thus the events of the entire first game will not happen and the Prince will thus not be chased by the Dahaka. However, he ends up fighting along her (as the Dahaka is after her, because she didn't belong in that timeline, as she was supposed to die in the past) and, together, they slay the Dahaka. Their fates averted, they set sail for Babylon.
In the "bad ending" of Warrior Within (the one you get if you don't obtain the Water Sword) the prince confronts Kaileena in the present and kills her. However, the Dahaka appears and consumes her freshly-slain body before it becomes the Sands of Time, ignoring the prince altogether. Finally, the Dahaka seizes the prince and tears out his time medallion. The Dahaka's prevention of the Sands from ever being created causes it to cease to exist. The prince sets sail for Babylon, only to see it burning in the distance.
Shahdee is a scantily-dressed woman with a black, short haircut. A subordinate of the Empress of Time, she is tasked with preventing the Prince from reaching the Island of Time, under penalty of death.
Shahdee and her crew of sand demons attack the Prince's ship during a terrible storm at sea. With the visibility low, the massive attacking ship boards and sets fire to the Prince's sinking vessel. Mercilessly, the sand demons slaughtered the Prince's crew and Shahdee continued to beat the Prince in battle, launching him with a powerful kick into the ocean.
However, she fails in her mission to keep the Prince from the Island and falls into conflict with the Empress of Time. Cinematics reveal that Shahdee chafes under the Empress' rule, and finds her mistress' determination to defy the timeline to be illogical. However Shahdee meets her end at the hands of the Prince, angry for the needless slaughter of his crew. He stabs Shahdee through her stomach and as she takes her final breaths Shahdee cites, "Fool, don't you know... you cannot change your fate."
It is unclear to whom Shahdee's message is for at first, but it is later revealed that the message was intended for the Empress. Shahdee's death remains as a form of torment for the Empress, as all is coming as it is said to pass.
She's voiced by Alicyn Packard.
The Corrupted are Ahriman's selected soldiers. Each of the four Corrupted were released with the destruction of the tree of life during the beginning events of Prince of Persia, and each takes domain in one of the four sections of the kingdom. Throughout the game, the Prince and Elika must travel through these four domains, and vanquish each Corrupted to heal the land. Each Corrupted was once human, but sold its soul to Ahriman one thousand years before the events of the game, to achieve their life's purpose. Ahriman granted them the means to serve their desires, but twisted those means to serve his own purposes, driving each away from themselves, and towards him. These deals with the devil feature classic human desires, such as power and immortality.
The Hunter is a fierce, energetic beast that uses agility, speed, and acrobatics to his advantage. Once, he was a prince who indulged in many treasures, but became obsessed mainly with the thrill of hunting. Soon, though, the prince grew tired of his favorite sport, believing himself a hunter unrivaled after killing one of each animal in existence. Ahriman caught word of the prince's discontent and offered him a chance to hunt a foe beyond all others. The prince, unable to resist such a temptation, exchanged his soul in return for the ability to hunt such a beast. Ahriman then twisted the prince into a possessed monster. The word of said monster spread to the far corners of the world, and many men came to hunt it. The prince's wish was granted, and he now had the means to hunt the most dangerous creature of all time; man.
Voiced by Sebastien Croteau.
The Alchemist is a cold and unforgiving manipulator of Corruption, a sign of his old cockiness as one of the greatest scientist of the Ahura. His turn to Ahriman only fueled his ambition of achieving immortality even more. When the Prince fights with him, the Alchemist often attempts to delude him with thoughts of immortality, although neither the Prince nor Elika are even slightly convinced.
The Alchemist was once a brilliant man who thought he had the knowledge to unlock the secrets of life itself. He became frantic as his body began to weaken, so he pleaded to Ormazd for just a few more years, as he felt absolutely certain that he could discover the secret of immortality. When Ormazd did not reply, he turned to Ahriman, who gave him the ability to manipulate Corruption in exchange of his soul. With his newfound power, the Alchemist abducted people, and used the Corruption to conduct experiments on them.
The Warrior was a king whose people were under attack by an enemy army. As peace lovers, his kingdom refused to fight back, and so was starting to crumble, his civilization being the victims of genocide. Soon enough, the king grew frantic in his search for the means to protect his people, and he was driven to ask Ahriman for said means. In exchange for his soul, Ahriman gave the king the power to defeat the rival army and save his people. In the process, the king was changed into an unstoppable monster of war. As this monster, his peace loving people rejected him, seeing his only purpose was for war. The king now serves only Ahriman.
The Concubine used her beauty and power to influence political affairs in the Royal Court, but was scarred and beaten by another woman when she was attempting to influence a man. Stripped of her beauty, and means to acquire influence, she turned to Ahriman for power. She re-gained the power to read the desires of the man she wanted to impress and literally transform to fit those desires, but there was a downside. Said man would wake up with her every morning and not recognize her, so she had to flee from him, transform once again to fit his new desires, and attempt to woo him again, every night. She grew tired of this process, and soon enough Ahriman called her to serve only him.
Voiced by Lucinda Davis.
The Mourning King
The Mourning King is the last king of the great Ahuras, and Elika's father. Before the events of the game, Elika and her mother died. The Mourning King, driven by grief, sold his soul to Ahriman in exchange for the means to resurrect Elika. He was then given a task; to destroy the tree of life, freeing Ahriman. He gave the essence of the tree of life to Elika, resurrecting her. She rejected him, however, for freeing Ahriman, and so he was driven further towards Ahriman's influence. By the end of the events of the game, the Mourning King becomes a full Corrupted, as Ahriman calls the king to serve only him, and give up his endeavors for Elika.
Voiced by Fred Tatasciore.