King’s Quest IV part 9: Ghost therapy


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

It’s still night, it’s still spooky, and there are still ghosts roaming all around the mansion estate that Rosella is visiting. What I wouldn’t give for a proton pack and a temporary change of game genres!


Well, if video games have taught us anything, it’s that wandering, miserable ghosts only need a stranger to find that one physical object to deliver them eternal peace. So that’s what we’re up to here, as Rosella keeps digging up graves while zombies accost her and then run away, frightened of her awe-inspiring scarab.


First it was a ghost baby, then a ghost miser, and now a ghost mourner. What I want to know is, what killed all of these people? And is it viral? Should Rosella be quarantining this house instead of playing ghost therapist? Is she infected?

Forget the ghosts, let’s feel bad for Syp for a minute. Apparently in all of this ghost appeasement process, I broke my shovel digging up the graveyard. It’s only at this point do I find out that the shovel can be used FIVE times before it breaks, rendering the game unwinnable after that. This means that I have to revert to a much earlier save file and start the haunted house stuff all over again.


King’s Quest IV… you need to learn some manners, son. This ain’t cool.qq4

After a relaxing 20-minute retreading of everything from the witches’ cave on, I make a few more ghosts happy and get back on track!


“Lord Poshington, I presume?”

qq6This is all interesting and everything, but five ghosts into this manor, and the whole conceit starts wearing thin. I should want to help the ghosts, not wish that I could bind their wills to mine and make the spectral undead serve me for a change.

qq7It also doesn’t help that this last ghost is an outright jerk to Rosella, whereas the other four were merely feeling sorry for themselves. What’s in that chest? I MUST KNOW.

…it’s sheet music. Oh, King’s Quest IV, why must thou tease me so?


Naturally, the gigantic pipe organ to play said sheet music is located up two flights of stupid-Sierra-pathing stairs. Bringing this thing up there is probably what killed the ghosts.

Anyway, Rosella jams out an incredibly long funeral dirge on the organ, possibly looking around to see if any ghosts are holding up lighters and calling out for a Songbird encore. Following that, she grabs a skeleton key from the organ and heads back to the graveyard, where the contents of a crypt await!

scarabWhat is it about this scarab? Seriously? Also… mummies?

Pandora’s Box awaits for the taking! And, like probably every single gamer who got to this point in the 80s, I open that box right up to see what will happen.

pandOh stuff it, game. Let me have my fun.

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