King’s Quest IV part 8: Thriller night


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

Magical fruit attained, it’s time to scope out Pandora’s Lunchbox. For this, Rosella wanders blithely into a grove of friendly-looking trees…


…and immediately gets crushed to death. The game informs me that I’ve been a “real sap,” because King’s Quest IV was written by someone from the 1940s. Have some respect, man! That poor girl’s guts have been smooshed into a gooey red paste, and you’re making puns that no kid in this generation or the last three would recognize.

But you know what this means? Mean trees vs. a girl with an axe. It’s time to get CHOPPIN’.


For the love of Pete, c’mon! So instead of actually hurting these murderous trees, Rosella takes her axe and waves it around in the air like she’s putting on some sort of pageant routine. And the trees are somehow so impressed by this that they leave her alone. GAH.


Yes, I have some questions about this screen. Was the cave always like this and the witch moved in because it was thematically appropriate, or did she carve out this goofy grinning skull to match her mood?


Inside the cave, the witches grab Rosella and boil her alive. The above post-death screenshot is actually disturbing in how they staged it. At least the narrator is there for a sad stab at black humor: “You knew you needed a hot bath, but not THIS hot!” Har har.

This part is a little tough. The three witches are blind but can see using a glass eye they keep passing around. So while one chases Rosella, the other two keep juggling the eye. Rosella has to dodge the chaser and grab the eye without getting grabbed herself. This sends the witches to their knees, pleading for the eye back in exchange for a scarab.


Yeah, I am NOT falling for that. Nice try, though.


The game then informs me that night has fallen, so I’m assuming that at least half of my allotted 24 hours is up. Get a move on, Rosella!


Zombies start popping out of the graves like it’s feeding time, but Rosella’s newly acquired scarab somehow repels them. Hey, it’s useful!


Hands up if you think that blindly pursuing the sound of a crying baby in a haunted house at night is a smart move. Rosella has her hand up. Of course she does.

Even though there’s a baby’s room with a rocking cradle and an eerie lullaby playing, the baby isn’t there. Naturally, the next step is to grab a shovel and go dig up graves to see if we can find any tiny corpses.

No, I’m not joking.


The gravestones are actually pretty amusing, along the lines of Disney’s Haunted Mansion.


Whew, one rattle but no small bones. Still, grave robbing, everyone!

The rattle does the trick: By dropping it in the moving bassinet, it apparently calms the ghost baby down and Rosella can leave before the game makes her adopt a spectral infant. Oh, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Of course, the second she walks out of the room, another ghost pops up — this one an old fart with a lot of chains rattling behind him. Going to be a loooong night, people.

One thought on “King’s Quest IV part 8: Thriller night

  1. Gamera977 April 25, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    Wow, I still remember that skull cave from ads for the game thirty or so years ago. Love these play-throughs, they remind me of games I missed when I was younger but probably wouldn’t have the patience to work my way though these days.

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