Video Game: King's Quest IV: The Perils Of Rosella
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella is the fourth game in the King's Quest series. Release in 1988, it was one of the first games to implement beyond-PC sound, improving overall sound quality, and the first Sierra game with high(er) resolution graphics. It also has a largely-unknown version with the graphics and (lack of) music of the previous three games, created because Sierra (wrongly) feared there were too many low-end computers on the market that wouldn't be able to run the high-quality version.In this game, you play as Rosella, the twin sister of Alexander and daughter of King Graham. Your father has fallen deathly ill, and his only hope is a magical fruit that grows in the island of Tamir. A good fairy named Genesta sends Rosella to this land, but her powers are weakened by the evil sorceress Lolotte, meaning the trip is one-way. To win the game, you must find the fruit, defeat Lolotte, and return Genesta's powers to her— all in the span of a single day.Sadly, while AGD Interactive remade King's Quest 1, 2 and 3, they have since admitted they will not remake this game, as they decided to instead spend their time working on their own original games.
There is some justification behind this: you're put on the island after a complicated series of events, and the only other object you can find there does nothing but get you back to the mainland from the island. As per standard adventure game mind-think, there has to be something else there.
In current versions of the game (SCI) the narrator draws your attention to gleam coming from inside the boat. Must be close to the boat for additional clues.
Badass: Sure, Rosella is a princess, and unaccustomed to adventuring. She's also pulled to a land she's unfamiliar with and given no resources to accomplish her quest. And given her predicament in King's Quest III, it's likely that she hadn't slept or eaten for days. But she successfully evades or defeats ogre, evil witches, zombies, a mummy, evil trees, and a deadly powerful evil fairy. She may have inherited it from her father, but she can certainly hold her own.
Chekhov's Skill: She was taught to play the organ in her youth and is as the game states "A Virtuoso" yet despite you can discover this skill early on it doesn't actually have a purpose until near the end.
Cool Horse / Unicorn: It's widely agreed that getting to befriend and ride the unicorn is one of the best parts in the game. It's too bad it didn't want to still be your friend longer than a day (at least you can kiss it's nose while it's "tame"!)
Copy Protection: This game is notorious for this, as you can't even start the game unless you insert a keyword from the manual. Luckily all newer compilation manuals have all the keywords bunched in one section instead of having to painstakingly look up the third word of the second paragraph on page 8, etc...
Covers Always Lie: That picture of Rosella in her princess outfit riding a unicorn away from a winged goon is... not accurate. At one point in the game, Rosella does ride a unicorn, but (a) she's wearing a peasant's outfit at the time, and (b), she's riding it towards Lolotte's winged goons.
Expy: Judging from their designs, Genesta and Lolotte are clearly based on Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. In fact, Lolotte's death at the end of the game directly references the famous "I'm melting, melting!" line from the movie.
Fairy Tale: Standard for the series. Unless you know your Grimm, you have no reason to start cleaning the Dwarf house you come across.
"Far Side" Island: A far side island becomes an actual walkable terrain and part of the story.
Game Over Man: Every time you die, you are greeted with a pixelated portrait of Roberta Williams smiling at you. Though whether the player sees this smile as friendly, or mocking, depends on who is playing, and how frustrating the puzzle that killed him/her is.
Genre Blindness: The Frog Prince is too oblivious to realize that Rosella's kiss outright proves that she can't be anything other than a Princess.
In-Universe Game Clock: You only have a day to get the fruit and save Genesta, plus some tasks have to be completed at night.
Fortunately, night normally won't fall until you need it to fall, and dawn won't come until you reach the end of the game. Night will fall on its own if you wait long enough, at which point you end up getting killed by zombies pretty quick. Fortunately, the time it takes is literally hours of Real Time, and if you do the event that causes night to fall earlier then the zombies aren't a problem.
King Incognito: Rosella is a princess in disguise, dressed that way to avoid the suspicion of the evil Lolotte. It doesn't really work, as Lolotte nonetheless suspects that Rosella is something more than she seems because she's just too beautiful for a simple peasant girl.
Luck-Based Mission: Navigating the damn cave and avoiding the troll. The troll can appear from any of the room entrances, at any time, and kills you instantly if it touches you. And it moves faster than you. And it will always show up. You have no defense other than running away, and you can't even do that. And you have to navigate the cave twice.
The Maze: The maze of caverns behind the waterfall, which you have to navigate in the dark. Well, you do have a lantern, but it doesn't give off any light note the "sprite" for the lanterns light hovers directly behind Rosella, and there's only a few pixels around that allowing you to glimpse the path, or lack thereof. Oh, and there's a troll in the cave trying to eat you.
It's not really a maze: it is four rooms arranged in a square.
Wandering Minstrel: Rosella meets one who is absolutely terrible at his job. She gives him a copy of "The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare" [sic], so he can go off and become an absolutely terrible actor.
His official name is Frankie of Avalon.note A reference to Frankie Avalon, Teen Idol singer of the late 50s turned actor of the 60s and 70s
Zombie Apocalypse: The cemetery and manor house after dark. One touch should result in Rosella turning into a zombie, but this is unlikely to happen: zombies don't show up until night falls, and night won't fall for 12 hours of real-life time or once you get both the fruit for Graham and the item that protects Rosella from zombies. The zombies end up being a little pointless, even. The final Fetch Quest of the game even requires Rosella to venture into a tomb where a mummy tries to attack her, but it's repelled by the protective item! What a waste of a puzzle!
Lampshaded in that the death message for the mummy literally asks how you got there. It's probably not possible to enter that room without the undead-repelling item, except by using the teleport cheat.
In at least one version the mummy was simply programmed to be repelled, full-stop. Even cheat-teleporting straight into the room without having the item produces the same animation.
It's possible that this was a Throw the Dog a Bone moment, (the dog being the player) especially considering all the stairs Rosella needs to traverse in the game. Plus, it would have been a puzzle just like the dog puzzle at the Ogre's house. Maybe the creators wanted a giggle.