(This is part of my journey going checking out King’s Quest IV. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
All right, let’s finish this game up! With both magical fruit and Pandora’s Box in hand, Rosella returns to the evil fairy’s mountain fortress. I can’t complain that the game keeps sending these flying goons to carry her up there — beats walking that path — but I feel bad for the girl. That cannot be good on her shoulder joints.
Up at the castle, Lolotte gives Rosella her “reward:” forced marriage to the shy and very green Edgar. Can’t help but think that this is all of Rosella’s gangster life karma coming back to bite her in the tuckus.
The marriage ceremony will take place in the morning, for no reason other than to presumably offer Rosella a chance to escape. She gets locked in Edgar’s room while Edgar get the couch.
As Rosella dithers in a pre-marital panic, Edgar shows up and slides a rose under the door. Aw. And it has a key in it. AW YEAH MY BOY EDGAR. I shall let you live when my throne comes to power.
Rosella creeps through the castle, avoiding all of the goons, and getting her stuff back. At least they put it all in one easy-to-find location. Not really in the mood for a scavenger hunt at this point.
For giggles, Rosella sneaks up to Lolotte’s room and shoots her with Cupid’s bow. This proves more fatal than you’d expect, since love apparently is poison to green witches. The description above makes me far more wary about Rosella than before. Once she gets a tastes for revenge, watch out!
Now the looting can commence! Rosella takes the talisman off the dead fairy, then reclaims the hen and Pandora’s Box. I like how the room with the chicken running around in it reprises the Astro Chicken theme from Space Quest III. Gave me a chuckle.
No quick resolution here — this game is going to make you work for your ending! Rosella lets the unicorn go (why? would’ve been a great mount) and returns Pandora’s Box to the crypt. Then she makes the long journey back across the world, across the ocean, and into the good fairy’s palace. Nice to know that this lady is sleeping away the hours while Rosella is doing all of the hard work!
Anyway, Rosella gives both the talisman AND the hen back to the fairy. In return the fairy changes Rosella’s clothes back (oh, hooray) and transforms Edgar from an ugly green guy to a definitely much-more-ugly reddish “hunk.” He then proposes to Rosella on the spot.
Hilariously, Rosella shoots him down with a “oh man, got to go save my dying father seeyalaterbye!”
And King Graham is saved! The end.
Overall, King’s Quest IV is an enjoyable game and a definite step up from its predecessors. It not only took a graphical and audio jump forward with this installment, but it manages to tell a better story with cutscenes, more of a plot, etc.
Big kudos to Sierra for putting a female character as a lead — the first time that they did that for one of their graphical adventure games, I think. There’s a lot of mixed messages here that you can take or leave depending on your irritation with princess fantasies and subtle sexism, but for the most part Rosella is portrayed as capable, level-headed, and a stone-cold killer with the bow of love.
The game isn’t without its faults, of course. Hardcore pathing and obscure puzzles are everywhere, the writing is kind of lame, and there are a few spots where you can get into a no-win scenario that requires you to go WAY back in the game to fix. But yeah, I didn’t mind it at all. Good times.