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Old 01-08-2011, 02:02 PM   #22
Lagomorph
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Default King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella (1988)



King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella (1988)

King’s Quest IV marks the next evolution in Sierra adventures. The pixel count has been upped and, for the first time, sound cards are supported. The game is also significantly longer than its predecessors. These enhancements offer new possibilities for the genre. However, King’s Quest IV fails to use them to their full potential.

The game takes an intriguing twist in allowing the player to take on the role of a female. The story starts with a long cut scene, quite different from the previous games. I found the scene overly sentimental, however, and other missteps follow. The game takes quite an odd structure. You are given these little tasks without much of a clue as to how they are to be solved. You have to do things for people with no indication as to what it might accomplish. And then they give you something which you have to give to someone else for no apparent reason other than that this new person could have something that you might need. The game abounds with such absurd adventureisms that are ripe for parody. I’ve forgiven the series for the stairs of death up to this point, but now it’s getting rather bothersome. In fact, climbing steps is harder in King’s Quest IV than it was with its predecessors. One puzzle in particular takes this idea to new extremes of tedium.

The enhanced sound does lend something to the atmosphere of the game. There are several parts that are pretty creepy, which is helped even more when the game switches from day to night. One annoying thing, though, is that the sound stops every time you start to type something. The game also pauses, which took some getting used to after learning to type-in commands before you finished walking in previous games. I also preferred having the command line at the bottom rather than blocking the middle of the screen.

It's interesting to see all of the technical improvements that King's Quest IV brings. But with increased ability comes increased responsibility. It is with this game that all of the charming flaws of the series start becoming just flaws.

Additional Notes

Hardest puzzle:
Spoiler:
*Swimming is actually used for something in this one?
*Waiting for cupid to appear
*Seeing the gold ball, bridle, and bones are difficult (why can you only take those bones and not the ones in the whale’s mouth or Lolotte’s dungeon?)

Dead ends:
Spoiler:
*Entering the whale before getting the feather
*Leaving the island without getting the bridle

Best part:
Spoiler:
Exploring the old mansion

Worst part:
Spoiler:
Climbing the whale’s tongue

My final score (in the game): 226/230
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