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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.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

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.


Kq4 agi icon.png
AGI Version
The alternate version for weaker PCs has its own secrets...
Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

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 addresses.
A Inspect ID in accumulator.
C Inspect Current Set of Objects

Press C to see all of the objects 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) Shows 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) Set Global Variable.
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)

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.

Unseen Death

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

The mummy in the tomb with Pandora's Box (room 69) has code to check whether the player has the obsidian scarab (item 7) and act accordingly, but in the final game it's impossible to enter the tomb without the scarab, so that scenario can never be seen without use of the debug tools.

When the mummy first approaches, if Rosella doesn't have the scarab this unique line of text will be displayed:

How did you get here without the scarab? You will be the next victim of the mummy!!

The mummy will then chase Rosella (as opposed to returning to its coffin, like it would if encountering the scarab), and upon catching her triggers a death with this (also unique) text:

Boy, those guys are sometimes fast for their age!
(Source: MrWhitman, sluicebox (code decomp))

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 later 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.