King’s Quest 4

Game Title:
King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella (Gold Box)
Release Date: 09-23-1988
Release Number:
Part of Series: King’s Quest
Previous Game in Series: King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human
Next Game in Series: King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!
Designer: Roberta Williams

King Graham and Queen Valanice were glad to have their children back. Graham thinks that it is time to pass onto them his old adventurers’ hat. When he throws it across the room, he suffers a heart attack and collapses on the floor, and he is carried off to bed. The only way that Graham’s health can be restored is by retrieving the magic fruit in the faraway land of Tamir. A beautiful fairy called Genesta offers Rosella the chance to be transported to the land, and find the fruit. But once she gets transported, she cannot be sent back unless she helps the fairy regain her talisman that was stolen by the evil witch, Lolotte.  (From Mobygames description)

Alternate Releases:
Versions programmed in both the AGI and SCI languages released.

King’s Quest 4 History

Roberta says:
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)


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