A Short Introduction to King's Quest IV

Released in 1988, King's Quest IV (KQ4) was the first PC game to feature a woman as the protagonist. It was also the first, I think, to take place in real-time. The game takes place in about a 24 hour period. The game came on 4 3 1/2" or 6 5 1/4" floppy disks. As you can see from the blurb on the box there the code for the game took up over 3 megabytes?! And had a 10 minute cartoon introduction! This is the first KQ's game that I played and the first that I beat. In 1988 I was 7 years old, and sat next to the computer "helping" my brother who was 11 figure the game out. Because my dad was uninterested in gaming Josh and I were left to figure the game out by ourselves... Well, Josh had other nerd friends and they probably helped him out with it... When I think of adventure games this is the first one that pops into my head. Everything looked amazing, the story was riveting (I have to save King Graham!), the music was engaging and emotion evoking... I love everything about this game: it's characters (even the stoic fisherman and his wife seem so real to me), setting, art-direction, puzzles. This LP is going to be one big sloppy kiss. It's been three years since I played KQ4, maybe more? I'm playing it blind so we'll see if there is anything I forgot. Sadly, I'll be playing the last version of the game so I don't think I'll be able to do the big easter egg in KQ4, but'll I'll double check... I'll also include the music in this one as well. It's good enough to include and, like the box says, there's over 40 minutes of the stuff! I'm not going to tell you the story the 10 minute intro will suffice.

Before King's Quest IV was released, word leaked out that Graham would have a heart attack and might die. Fans were upset enough to write in, asking to save Graham. I wanted King's Quest IV to have some pressure applied to you: a timed game, taking place over a 24-hour period, so you roam around during the day and eventually it turns to night. I don't remember other games using the same scenes at night; it looked creepy. The story always comes first, but the technology plays a big part in what you can't do. When Wizard and the Princess shipped for the IBM PC, you could play it all in B&W or in 4 hideous CGA colors. When we created EGA support for King's Quest IV, we got higher resolution (to get facial expressions and body language). For music support, Ken met someone at a trade show, made a few calls to Roland, and suddenly we could add an orchestra to the games. That did a lot in establishing the mood. I loved King's Quest IV's terrifying "Zombie's Night" and joyful "Cupid's Theme" songs. King's Quest IV won the Software Publishers' Association's "Best Adventure Game" award in 1989. I knew the female lead is just fine for women and girls who play the game, but wasn't sure how it would go over with some of the men. And you know what? It wasn't as controversial as I expected. However, it was real strange at first designing the game; quite a different point of view. Have the woman die bothered me more than I expected.(From Roberta Williams Anthology manual, 1996)

Some advertisements for the game:

Welcome to a Talking Time Production of Let's Play King's Quest IV Resources:

The Game Manual The Hint Book

The Introduction to King's Quest IV

Exploring Tamir

But first a map prepared by by Dan:

Rosella starts on the bottom row second screen from the right. This should help keep everyone oriented. Now as Genesta said Lollote (I always think Lolota or Lolita for some reason, even before I knew lolita was a word...) lives to the east in the mountains (the path to her castle is the last screen on the bottom row) but before we go introduce ourselves Rosella has some poking around to do! Actually, the first thing we have to do is get past the copy protection:

With that out of the way we can start. I always go to the bridge first (two screens right, one up) and collect the golden ball underneath it:

What a beautiful unicorn! Too bad as soon as Rosella gets close it runs off (I wonder what that means? Hmmm?) Once to the bridge Rosella peeks underneath it and nabs the golden ball, and then goes one screen right:

SIDE NOTE: When I first played this game, and for some reason still to this day. I avoid stepping into the ring of flowers. Somewhere along the way I heard that it was a fairy ring and at random times if you step into it you will die. That is not the case:

Rosella heads into the house, she's only just begun but she's already a hero barging into people's homes uninvited, if King Graham was conscious I'm sure he'd be proud! Noticing the place is a mess, and being a woman, the first thing that enters her head is to clean:

Womanfolk doing Woman's Work

With the "clean house" command entered the game takes over and Rosella gets cleaning:

Is that some kind of princess cleaning magic? Anyway as soon as she's done tidying the place up the residents come home, guess who it is?:

Rosella tries to start a conversation with the dwarves, but doesn't get very far:

One Day They'll delve Too Deep...

As soon as the dwarves are done eating they head back to the mine. Do any of them bother to clean-up after themselves? Of course not! Why would they do that when there is a woman right there!

Looks like one of them left something:

??!?!?! Rosella being fabulously wealthy already, decides to return the pouch to its rightful owner. Now to find that mine. Rosella exits the house and goes right then down then left (for those familiar with the map, and directions, you've already noted that Rosella could have just gone down from the house, I had my reasons!)

You never know when a worm will come in handy! Rosella heads into the mine:

None of the dwarves seem interested in talking to her or talking back the pouch she heads deeper in:

Sweet! Rosella gets to keep the diamons and gets a sweet ass lamp. Rosella loves lamp. Rosella is doing alright but there are still a few things I can think of to pick-up before we head up the mountain to meet that evil fairy (is that even a thing? Can you be an evil fairy?) From the mines Rosella right, down, right, right, down taking her to the shanty on the beach, she then heads out onto the dock:

The fish seem to be ignoring him... After a short while he heads back along the dock and into his shanty, Rosella follows:

Rosella tries talking to the woman, with little success, and then approaches the fisherman:

Rosella doesn't need the diamonds and these people seem pretty hard up... Rosella gives them to the fisherman (what is he going to do with them? Who knows... Trade them to Lolotte for food? Maybe with the Ogre? The economics of Tamir are beyond Rosella and me.)

Now that we have a fishing pole, we better bait it:

Now for some fishing:

Fish and Other Ocean Related Things

I had to type "fish" four times before Rosella caught anything:

Rosella looking off into the distance spots a dark smudge on the horizon, recalling that Genesta flew off in that direction she dives into the water and begins swimming:

Here's the map of the island (thanks again to Dan!):

Rosella pokes around a bit:

Again, you never know when a peacock feather is going to come in handy! Rosella heads into the castle. Maybe Genesta will offer her tea?

Stupid tiny fairies! Spoiling my tea time!

More Tamir wanderings

With nothing else to do on Genesta's island Rosella returns to the mainland and heads for the pond (just up from the bridge):

Oh, Rosella! You're so clumsy, just like all women! (amiright, guys?)

We all know what comes next...

Class act, that one... With the tiny crown (and her golden ball) in her possession Rosella heads north:

Pan ignores Rosella and continues playing at his flute. Rosella goes up and then down and then up and then down until:

"Boogah! Boogah! Boogah!"

Hahaha stupid demigod! Know I control the Power of Love!

up, right, right, up, up and we find ourselves outside the only other house in Tamir, Rosella heads in:

spooky? Right



The Sounds of Questing, Part One

Pan's Fluting:

Unicorn Sighting:

Dwarves' Theme (plays when they enter house and in mine):

Rosella Cleans:

Cupid Bathes:

Frog's Pond:

Play me a Song Organ Woman

We last left Princess Rosella of Daventry in an abandoned home, searching a wall. Why? Well, because that's what adventurers do of course! As you will recall she found a latch. It goes without saying that she flipped that latch. Flipped it good:

A SECRET DOOR?! I never would expected such a thing! Rosella investigates:

It goes without saying that Rosella swiped the shovel. At this point in the series half of the King's Quest games have shovels in them. How's that for useless trivia? Rosella will be doing something much, uh, cooler? with her shovel though... You'll see! With the shovel firmly secreted away somewhere Rosella ascends the tower:

Yes, you have to type "sit down" before you can "play organ"

She is pretty good too! Sadly, playing the organ does nothing... There is more to the old house and we'll eventually see all of it, but for now Rosella exits. Taking in the surrounding scenery (not pretty)

Nothing scary about the graveyards. I do wonder though why someone would build their house right in the middle of them though... And in front of a forest full of evil trees? Worst realtor ever!

Looks are Never Deceiving

Game over music


Clearly Rosella isn't ready to go traipsing through this forest... So she heads back for the shore, near the Fisherman's shack:

It's a bard!

I mean minstrel! He plays Rosella a tune. It's something, I guess...

Hey that bard thing got me thinking! This guy could learn something from the Bard:

Rosella hopes the man is better in his second career than his was in his first. Now that Rosella has a lute, she can finally put together that Emo band she's had on the back burner the last few years! Chicken Nugget Allstars is bound to be big!

Now, I've got to find Pan again. Rosella goes up one and right one and then bounces between this screen and the one to the left and up waiting to run into the satyr once more:

There he is! Little guy seems to like music (click the picture to listen):

Rosella tries talking to the faun but he just stares at her like a moron... Giving up on communication she thrusts the lute at the creature:

Pan is much better at the lute than the minstrel was... and he dances out of our lives forever.

Meeting the Big Bad

Okay, that's enough I guess... Time to meet the Big Bad of KQ4: Lolotte. She lives in the eastern mountains of Tamir the path up the mountains is to the right of the dwaves' mine:

Rosella doesn't get far until she is frozen in her tracks with fear and weird winged men take her away:

and dragged before the evil fairy, herself (ominous music is ominous):

Rosella lies like a champ!

Because being tied up in front of a giant, three-headed dragon is a cake walk compared to this... How could she forget this? It just happened?!

Maybe Rosella will get lucky and the cell will be a comfortable two bedroom/one piece affair? No?

Guess not. Lolotte lets Rosella stew in the room for a few minutes. As a wee lad this room drove me crazy... I was convinced there was something to do in this room. Like get a bone or that cup under the rack. (Turns out I was right I just had the wrong version of the game)

Task the First

Awh, that hideous green man has a crush on Rosella!

I bet she wants to eat it, I hear it tastes like magic! And with that we're banished back to the Tamir wilderness.

Rosella has half of what she needs to capture the unicorn, but before she goes, I just remembered something:

Rosella heads to the waterfall, puts the crown on, and swims behind it.

Rosella grabs the board and heads into the cave! Parser tells me it's dark and that there are some bones. Rosella grabs one and then exits the cave and the waterfall (no need to use the crown just walk into the water and be swept out)

Before you capture a Unicorn you must first go Whale hunting!

Okay, Rosella's met the enemy, she has to somehow defeat her and revive Genesta. The first step? Capturing a unicorn! Let's do this Rosella! Let's save the day, save your father! LET'S GO SWIMMING!

Wait! What?

"Thair she blowes!"

(Not a very good shot but that was a whirlpool that sucked Rosella in)

Not much in the whale's mouth: a wrecked boat, a skeleton, a message in a bottle.

And now for arguably the hardest part of King's Quest 4! You can only spend so much time inside the whale's mouth before you die. So, Rosella has to find someway to escape. The key to escaping? That new word we just learned: uvula. How do we reach it though? We've got to climb the whale's tongue first:

This is a trial and error sort of thing and can be very frustrating. My best advice to you is to start at the lower right and to slowly make your way up to the upper left. This is going to piss some people off, but I wanted you all to know I climbed the whale's tongue on my first attempt this playthrough (that is not the norm for me. I usual take three or four attempts before I get it right.)

Escape from the Mouth of Madness

Once you're on top of the tongue carefully walk over to its center and tickle that uvula! How? With the peacock feather of course!

Nothing to it! And that friends is why Falselogic always carries a peacock feather on his person. You never know when you'll be swallowed by a whale and need to escape it's mouth! With no where else to go Rosella swims towards the island in the background:

This is another timed event. If you stick around on the island too long the game will default to a game over. You have to be careful here though. There is an item on this island that if you don't get now will make the game impossible to beat. The game won't let you get much further either, but still it does put you in an unwinable state. The only things worth noticing are the pelican and the wreckage. Head over to the wreckage on the right and go walk up towards the broken ship's bow:

If you don't grab the bridle now you can't capture the unicorn. You also can't get back to this island... Now that we have it though we can leave. We throw the fish we caught earlier to the pelican:

We pick up the whistle, blow it, and ride the dolphin it summons back to the mainland:

To Sooth the Savage Beast

Back on land Rosella heads for the meadowlands where she's encountered the unicorn before. Remember it always runs off shortly after you enter the screen. This time though, Rosella shoots the damn beast as soon as she sees it (yes you do have to type that all out) :

Rosella tries to mount the beast but PARSER is being picky... Clearly the Williams had never rode a horse before (you can guide them using your knees...) Good thing Rosella has that bridle she found on that isle!

Now to ride it:

LOL "unicron!" If I could do that I don't think Lolotte would be much trouble handling! oh, that was funny.

Once at the mountain Lolotte's goons take us up to see her:

She lied to us? I am shocked! Shocked!

And so Rosella has been given her second task: To steal a golden egg laying hen from Tamir's resident Ogre family... We'll deal with that next update though.

Task the Second

The goons drop Rosella off at the foot of the mountain. From there we go left, down, left and are at the Ogres' house, and it looks lice Mrs. Ogre has just come back from "shopping"

The ogress drops the deer and comes after Rosella. We leave the screen to avoid the ogress and wen we come back we sneak in the front door:

"good doggy!" Rosella heads upstairs first:

I know you think there's something in that closet but there isn't. I know the description text did mention it specifically but the only item you can get here is the axe. So back downstairs and through that back door:

Ogress must be a terrible cook if she is messing up venison...) Nothing else to do here... Except enter the closet!

We wait in the closet for a bit until:

Peeping Rosella

Now's Rosella's chance!


Okay, Rosella get out of there before someone's notices!

We all saw that coming, didn't we? In order to escape the Ogre you just have to get out of the house and out of the the exterior house shot screen

Rosella manages to do just that! Now to take the hen to Lolotte. I'm sure she'll trust and reward us now!

Handing over Hen

"of course you do..."

"Things are getting heavy here"

Introspection never was a strong trait in adventurers...

And with that we're dropped back off at the bottom of the mountain, with no real idea where to go... Next time: ZOMBIES!

A Slight Detour Before Task the Third

As soon as the goons drop us off at the foot of the mountain Rosella heads north. There's only one place the lass hasn't been and it's about time she figures out just what is in that corner behind the angry trees:

Oh, yeah those trees... Thier still a problem aren't they? Well, not anymore! Not with Ogre's axe!

...sissies. Anyway, now that the trees will leave us alone he head north and discover:

Castle Greyskull! OMG, OMG, OMG! Rosella can recruit He-man in her quest to defeat Lolotte and restore the Fairy Genesta! She runs inside:

(Witches' Theme)

"No, No! This is all wrong! Where is Prince Adam? and Orco?!"

The hags don't answer one of them just starts chasing Rosella and the two begin playing ring around the bubbling, disgusting cauldron (a favorite childhood game of Rosella's...)

Rosella quickly tires of the game though and goes for the eye! She knows exactly what she's doing! She's seen Clash of the Titans so many times she's lost count! Man, that movie is great! Ray Harryhausen is a genius!


Rosella tries to talk to the hags but they keep moaning incessantly about their disgusting eye (damn, I forgot to get a screencap of it too...) So, she leaves

and Rosella scores a free amulet! Again, having seen the movie she knows not to go back in and leaves the caves. With the scarab in her possession, "what undead?" she mutters to herself as she leaves Rosella has one more stop to make before settling down to find Pandora's Box.

Magic Fruit is Magically Delicious (Rosella Imagines)

Rosella again finds herself in front of the waterfall and again she slaps the little crown on her head, transforms, and heads to the cave behind it:

(Cave Theme) Well, that isn't very helpful... Good thing Rosella download a map of the cave off the internet onto her smart phone:

This cave is a real bitch to navigate cause it has pillars, stalactites and stalagmites all getting in your way. On top of that there's some sort of troll living in here.

And just when you think you're there:

Congratulations you just died! There is no way you could have avoided that without knowing it was there beforehand! Hope you saved in the last few minutes! I know you were waiting for the dick move in this game and here it is folks!

Fuck that! There is no way to be more careful here Roberta! This is a complete blindside! Back to our regularly scheduled Let's Play... So, no you know it's here you slowly scoot forward a few pixels:

and repeat until you get this message:

You can as long as you just move straight across it

Magic Fruit is Magically Delicious (Rosella Imagines), Cont'd

Rosella makes her way up to the hole she saw earlier, finds it and crawls back out into the daylight:

Never trusting water and noticing the conveniently placed clumps of land, Rosella jumps:

Over and over until she makes her way to THE MAGIC FRUIT! (yes, you have to type in 'jump' for every instance there... or you know hit F3 and enter for each one...

(Cobra Theme) What does that cobra eat when people don't make it here once every hundred years or so, huh?

Rosella lulls the cobra into some sort of temporary hypnotic state using the flute:

(Rosella playing flute) She then uses her trust board to cross that last gap (too big for a jump, didn't you know? No? Not until you died trying? Bummers!) and grab the fruit:

As soon as Rosella makes her way off the island and over to the next screen:

Darkness Falls (Dark doesn't fall until after you've collected the fruit AND talked to the witches. Doesn't matter how much time you waste and how many times you consult the Grandfather clock in the run down mansion.)

I Thought You said There Would be Zombies!

With the fruit in her possession. Rosella heads back through the cave (going over the chasm and avoiding the Troll (you'll see him when I do the big death post, ok?)) and out through the waterfall to find a subtly changed Tamir: [IMG>http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PC/King%27sQuestIV-PerilsOfRosella-Tamir%28Night%29.png" alt="" /> She heads north only to find:

ZOMBIES! Tune in next time to learn all about the Tamirian Zombie plague and how it effects Rosella's last task for Lolotte! Or don't, no pressure!

Task the Third

Rosella has been everywhere so far... And hasn't seen any boxes worth taking back to Lolotte. The only place that doesn't seem to have anything going on in it is that big ol' house in the middle of Tamir. Maybe it's different at night? It sure is surrounded by zombies... Rosella goes to investigate:

But what are we going to do about these zombies? Rosella doesn't have a shotgun or anything...

turns out nothing. Rosella doesn't have to do anything cause the scarab the witches gave her is even more frightening to the zombies then they are to Rosella!

I never get tired of watching them sink back into the ground, anyway we were heading to the old mansion, weren't we?

[IMG>http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PC/King%27sQuestIV-PerilsOfRosella-HauntedMansion.png" alt="" />

As soon as we enter the house Rosella hears:

Ghost baby theme

Okay, Rosella all you have to do is placate a baby ghost. That should be easy, right? How do you propose we go about doing that? Grave robbing? Yeah, that could work!

That's not what we're looking for... Guess we have some more tombstones to read!

A Lovely Night in Tamir's scenic cemetaries







Bingo! That sounds like exactly what we are looking for! Dig, Rosella Dig!

With the rattle in hand Rosella hurries to the mansion and the baby ghost!

What?! There's more? (Of course there is more! There are plenty of graves out there!) Rosella heads downstairs:

A Miser, huh? That sounds familiar!

A Lovely Night in Tamir's scenic cemeteries, cont'd

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Back to the mansion:

(Miser's theme) What next?

(except you don't cause all that texts blocks her...Young woman's theme) We've read all the tombstones in the western cemetery and none of them seems to fit the bill of a bawling young woman. Rosella heads east:

Lucky us it's the first tombstone we bother to read too!

Let's get this back to the ghost and see if there are more expired beings that need our help

Grave Robbing for a Cause!

With the young woman's grave desecrated and her corpse violated Rosella now has wait she thinks the ghost wants and heads back to the mansion:

How many more of these are there?

Something doesn't sound too happy... Rosella scouts out the downstairs and finds this dandy ghost in the kitchen (judging by his outfit I'm guessing during his lifetime he never entered the kitchen...)

The Lord of the manor, huh? That sounds familiar too!

Once desecrated final resting place later and:

Rosella: personal assistant to the dead! What's this?

I guess, I'm supposed to follow him? I don't know about this Rosella. I think I've seen this movie before!

Once more with Feeling!

Okay, it doesn't appear this ghost is trying to kill us, merely be annoying: (Little boy theme)

As much as Rosella tries she can't get the ghost off of that chest (and she doesn't even know what's in it) but she knows she wants whatever is! Okay let's go do some grave robbing for kids' toys!




That's the Ticket!

Just what the little boy ghost ordered!

Now to see what he was protecting in that chest!

How Come Breaking into a Crypt is so Complicated?

Rosella opens the chest and grabs the great loot inside:

OOOooohhhh! Sheet music! Just what Rosella always wanted! We know just what to do with it too, don't we? Back up the western tower to that organ to play this music:

Sheet music melody When Rosella is done playing the song:

Hrmmm... Now what to do with key? What door is there that I haven't opened? That crypt in the side of the cliff, perhaps? let's go find out!

Well, that was obvious...

Those things too... Well, let's just unlock it!

Task the Third: Are we There Yet?

What is a mummy doing here?! I don't know why they even bothered with this thing. The scarab repels it just like the zombies and there is no way you could have got here without having the scarab...


With the box in her possession Rosella heads to see Lolotte, this is going to go swimmingly!

O! Yay! Just what we were hoping for too! Turn in next time to see the stunning conclusion to King's Quest IV!

Castle Crasher

We last left Rosella swooning from the news that she would be married in the morning to the hideous, hunchbacked, green-skinned Edgar:

I hope they washed the sheets...

"NO, not my loot! That's where all my power comes from!"

Indeed, Rosella, now what? Rosella tries to open the door but PARSER returns with the unhelpful "Unlock it first." We search the room high and low but find nothing that looks like a key or could be used as one in a pinch...

It looks like Edgar slipped us something under the door (I'm imagining the draft in his room is terrible)

And looks there's a key attached to it! We're back in business Rosella!

Now, to find our stuff, get Genesta's gem and get out of here! Down the long stairs Rosella goes:

We hug the walls to avoid waking the sleeping guards

The bottom doorway leads back to the throne room... Rosella checks out the one at the top, carefully:

A disgusting kitchen, she scopes out the cabinets:

Nothing in that one...

JACKPOT! Rosella now has all the powers all of it

These guards/goons suck at their job. Now up all of these stairs:

Here we are folks, the heart of all evil in Tamir! What we going do?

Let's try that!

Love is like a Red, Red Rose: Killing Everything!

Well, that looked really, really, really painful!

With Genesta dead and Edgar giving us free rein... Rosella loots a corpse, just like a true hero!

Okay, just one last place to check:

oh, that's nice of you! Thanks wordless goons! Let's see what is behind these doors:

Nothing else in the castle. Time to leave.

Okay, lets get off this mountain!

One last chance to be killed off by poor path navigation! Once Rosella is off the mountain she returns to the crypt where she found Pandora's box:

Now no one can ever, ever, ever, ever get the box (cause no one knows what a hammer and chisel is... Or has magic. Everyone is safe forever!)

Saving Genesta and Game Over

Rosella makes her way to the beach, swims across the ocean and makes her way to Genesta:

Click to watch the ending

And that's the game folks! With a perfect score too! I guess I do have this game completely memorized. One more post left in this Let's Play! The death thread!

So Much Death

Sadly, KQ4 doesn't have the hilarious death texts that later KQ's do and all SQ's had... You get a small bit of text and then that ugly pic of Roberta Williams pops up and tells you to be more careful... So, now in no particular order: death screens! Get eaten by sharks:

Swim too long:

Falling from any great height (Lolotte's mountain, Lolotte's castle, the haunted mansion, dwarves' mine):

Stuck in the whale:

Awaken Lolotte:

Open Pandora's box:

note the odd final death screen here, no Roberta to be found, also no restore option... Why?) Using the crown in the magic fruit swamp:

Walk into swamp, try to jump to magic fruit island:

Cave Troll:

Cobra bite:

Ogre grab:

Ogress grab:

Witch grab:

Forget the fruit or eat the fruit:

Get caught by a goon:

You've already seen what the trees do to you... Caught by the Ogre's dog:

I showed you the dick chasm death... That leaves just three deaths. Three deaths I'm not going to show you because I'm not going to let the game run in realtime for hours until it turns nighttime on its own... (Remember KQ4 takes place in real time, the game only fast forwards when you've done everything you possible can do before night time falls... Otherwise you literally have to play the game for 6 hours or so before nightfall. I'm not going to do that, sorry. What you're missing? Taking too long to beat the game, getting caught by a zombie without the scarab, and getting caught by the mummy without it.