King’s Quest IV part 7: Kris Kross will make ya jump jump


(This is part of my journey going checking out King’s Quest IV. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

So Rosella, apprentice of Evil Inc., has two pressing quests and a ticking 24-hour deadline. She’s still got to get the magical fruit for her father, who — as you may recall — is dying of congested heart failure in a completely different realm. Here, dad, some fructose. That’ll cure ya. Rosella also needs to get Pandora’s Box for the evil fairy just because she has a hard time saying “no” to villains.

Let’s get that fruit first, shall we?

To do that, Rosella needs to return to the waterfall and brave the pitch-black cave with the troll once again. Sure, she’s got a lantern, but instead of shining any useful light, all it seems to do is be a beacon to the troll saying, “Free dinner and/or mate here!”

That is to say that I saw this screen a LOT:


I may hate this troll more than I’ve ever hated any video game character. Well, not Navi from Zelda. Or Elves. But that troll is UP THERE.

As if getting chased by a troll who can run faster than you and pop out of nowhere in the darkness isn’t maxing out your fun quotient for the day, Rosella must also find an exact spot — in the dark, mind you — to lay down a board and cross a chasm. Chances are you’ll fall and Rosella will say, and I quote, “Oh my goodness! A chasm!” before smashing all of her bones on the floor. I guess this was a family-friendly game, so she probably wasn’t allowed to use her limited assortment of curse words while plummeting to her death, but still. That quote is just silly.

Honestly, the game really isn’t being fair at all here. If you can’t see anything in the dark, even with the lantern, then the only way to make it is through excessive save scumming and incremental progress. This is the least satisfying way to play an adventure game ever.


Hey, it’s the Swamp of Sorrow! I wonder if Atreyu’s horse is still down there in the muck somewhere, regretting his life choices. Anyone else find it hilarious that a movie horse got depressed and then eaten by a swamp?


Can I say how really weird the narrator is in King’s Quest IV? It’s nowhere near as snarky and fun as the one in the Space Quest series, but it’s still trying to be slightly humorous while maintaining a formal tone. It doesn’t really work. “You contemplate this final information?” Who writes like that?

Also, why can’t Rosella just swim here? You know, above the muck? She’s demonstrated that she’s a very good swimmer in this game, actually.

No, actually what you have to do is to jump across the little patches of dry land here. And since this isn’t a platformer, the only way to do that is — yes — to type “jump.” Over and over. 16 times, in fact. Each way. And I am not joking in the slightest. Jump jump jump jump jump jump jump…


Naturally, there’s a cobra guarding the magic fruit tree. Rosella busts out some tunes and makes a groupie of the snake. I try hard not to think about when the girl had the time to become that good at playing the flute and just grab the fruit and run…

…er, jump jump jump jump jump jump…

…dark cavern, fall into chasm…

True story: It was here that I realized I forgot to grab the board back at the island. You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you. I had to go back, jump sixteen times to get it, sixteen times back, just for that board.

…walk in dark, lay down board…

…evade troll, save, reload, save, reload…

So much fun, you guys. So much fun.

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