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King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella

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Title Screen

King's Quest IV

Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platforms: DOS, Atari ST, Amiga
Released in US: August 16, 1988

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?

King's Quest IV is the fourth game in the King's Quest series and the first to use Sierra's Creative Interpreter engine, although a version using the AGI engine was also released. After King Graham suffers a heart attack, the royal family mourns as his death appears to be near. Luckily, a fairy named Genesta is willing to help Rosella in her quest to help her father and tells of a fruit that brings life to people. Not so luckily, Genesta is rapidly dying off, since her medallion was stolen by Lolette. It's up to Rosella to take this medallion back before Genesta dies and get the fruit before Graham dies.

To do:
This pages only covers the SCI versions. What do we do with the AGI versions?

Debug Mode

SCI Internal Debugger

Kings Quest IV SCI debug-1.png

At any point during the game, hold down both Shift keys and press the - key on the numpad. To exit this mode, press Shift and D.

Key(s) Action
Q Quit
B Set Breakpoint
O Show objects in heap
Shift + O Show objects with address
A Inspect ID in accumulator
C Inspect Current Set of Objects

Press C to see all of the object within that
set. Press I to inspect the selector.
Press E to edit that selector.

I Inspect Object/Memory - The player can

also press up/down to go up/down through
the memory by 16 bytes and left/right
to go up/down the memory by 2 bytes

F Show Free Heap
S Show sends
G Change Global Variable
L Change Local Variable
T Change Temporary Variable
Enter Single Step through Script
Tab Step across Send
C Show objects in heap
R Show resources loaded
Shift + S Shock stack usage
Shift + / Show an incomplete list of shortcuts

(Source: HWM, ScummVM Wiki)

In-game Debug Actions

Kings Quest IV SCI Debug Menu.png

At any point during the game, open up the text prompt and enter overtime nosleep and go to a different room. A new menu called "Debug" will be available and the following actions can be entered.

Input Action
TP Teleport to a room
ENTER NIGHT Change game state to night
GET MEMORY Show memory

Here are the controls for the menu itself:

Selection (Shortcut) Action
Ego info (Alt + E) Get stats on the player character
Show Room (Alt + R) Get the current room number
Free Mem (Alt + F) Show memory
Show ATPs (Alt + F) Does as it says (ATPs are Add To Pics)
Show Debug (Ctrl + F) Show internal debug when entering a new room
Clicks Allows mouse clicks to get debug info

(i.e. Left Click to get ego's info)

Set Inv (Alt + S) Give an inventory item to an actor (usually ego)
Set Var (Alt + V) Gives the player all the inventory items
Get All (Alt + G) Gives the player all the inventory items
Log (Alt + L) Log the game session into KQ4QA
Visual (F10),
Priority (F6),
Control (F4)
Show layers of a room

(Source: HWM, ScummVM Wiki)

Revision Differences

The original version of the game had a backdoor for the copy protection. The player could enter the game by typing in BOBALU (not case sensitive), regardless of what word the game requests from the manual. This was removed from the revisions.

Not only that, but several of the backgrounds were changed between the original release in 1988 and the subsequent re-releases and ports the following year. A lot of these backgrounds actually made the background objects (usually trees) less detailed so you focus more on the foreground, along with standardizing the art style.

Original PC Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic2.png Kingsquestivrevpic2.png

The background flora became nothing more than silhouettes. The flowers are more densely packed and there appears to be less of them.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic3.png Kingsquestivrevpic3.png

The two shrubs in front of the pool have been removed from the 1989 version.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic4.png Kingsquestivrevpic4.png

The shading on the roof is darker and a few trees were removed.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic5.png Kingsquestivrevpic5.png

The trees became a little less detailed.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic6.png Kingsquestivrevpic6.png

The skull cave got some more detail.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic7.png Kingsquestivrevpic7.png
Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic8.png Kingsquestivrevpic8.png

The house has its lights on in later versions.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic13.png Kingsquestivrevpic13.png

There's some background shading as well. The rocks' shadows became less cartoony, but the front of the rocks is more like a cyan color.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
Kingsquestivoriginalpic103.png Kingsquestivrevpic103.png

The night backgrounds are unique artwork in the original version, but the daytime backgrounds are re-used in the 1989 re-releases and only the night sky is a unique graphic.

Original Release 1989 Re-Releases/Atari ST/Amiga
KQIV-rosella-1988glow.png KQIV-rosella-1989glow.png

The glow effect for using a lantern was completely redone for the 1989 rereleases. Rosella was given unique sprites for glowing and isn't surrounded by a circle. Oddly, the AGI release's glow effect reflects the one from the 1989 rereleases, while most of its maps reflect the original release.

Unused Graphics


A sprite of what appears to be a beetle. The sprite is among the last of views and is only present in the 1988 release.

KingsQuestIV Smiley1.gif KingsQuestIV Smiley2.gif KingsQuestIV Smiley3.gif

Test animations involving a yellow ball.

KingsQuestIV FrogPrince1.gif KingsQuestIV FrogPrince2.gif

The Frog Prince walking ahead and behind. The Frog Prince zips off to the right once you turn him back into a human and disappears thereafter, thus leaving no opportunity to use either of these sprites.