Edward, King of Daventry, is dying and, having no heir to his throne, chooses his favorite knight Sir Graham ro rule when he finally snuffs it. To prove himself worthy of the throne Graham is set the task of finding and returning three great treasures to the kingdom. This he does and ruler he becomes (King's Quest 1). Quickly bored with being king, Graham looks in his magic mirror (every ruler should have one) and sees a beautiful girl held captive in a tower by a jealous crone. He decides she is the one for him and sets off to rescue her. He does so (King's Quest II), they marry and produce twins. Life is brill until a three-headed dragon attacks the kingdom and their daughter, Rosella, is captured... and rescued (King's Quest III). The scene is now set for King's Quest IV...
Graham is dying (here we go again!) and only a magic fruit from the swamplands of Tamir can save him. Rosella discovers this through the magic mirror (what would the do without it?) and is transported to Tamir by Genesta the fairy to not only get the fruit but also retrieve the fairy's magic talisman before she (altogether now) dies.
Playing the part of Rosella - pigtail and 'all - you find yourself whisked to a sandy beach in Tamir... miles from home with no idea of where to go.
The fisherman's hut is a good place to start, asking questions provides a couple of clues. The land to the east of the beach area is full of interesting and wonderful things such as unicorns, dwarfs, ogres, magic woods, frogs that change into princes when kissed, haunted houses and the stronghold of Lolotte - she's got the talisman.
To the west of the beach is the sea in which you can swim, although you tire easily and may fall foul of the many predators roaming the waters. Keep swimming west and you'll reach the island where Genesta lives (or dies, depending your actions). You'll also come face to mouth with a whale that seems to think Rosellas are good to eat.
You can actually wander around Tamir for quite some time not having a clue as to what to do. If you're not in the right place at the right time you may miss an event vital to your progress: the unicorn only pops up occasionally, Pan dances about all over the shop and should you only visit the pool once you'll never get to see Cupid, let alone nick his arrows. Revisiting locations is hardly painful however, as they're mostly attractive to look at and there's usually plenty going on within them.
King's Quest IV is a most enjoyable adventure. Graphics are colorful and well drawn and animation, although slow in places, is neat and often humorous. Sound FX are good but I wish Sierra would do something about their music, it's dreadful.
Obstacles are many and varied, from brain teasers such as what to do with the three hags in the skull cave to manual dexterity tests like climbing stairs or negotiating whale tongues.
Unfortunately, I found the game fairly easy to complete, a factor that, for me, greatly reduces value for money. But it was fun while it lasted.
People who downloaded King's Quest 4 have also downloaded:
King's Quest 5, King's Quest 6, King's Quest 3, King's Quest 2, King's Quest 1, King's Quest 7: The Princeless Bride, Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, Loom
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