In the past several years I've written up blog posts which have listed various Easter eggs, glitches, and oddities in old Sierra games. This year is dedicated to all of those fun quirks in the AGI version of King's Quest IV, which comes with several Easter eggs not found in the more commonly played SCI version of the game.
King's Quest IV was released in 1988 (or as Al Lowe mentioned in an interview, it was specifically released on September 31st), during an era when games were released on floppy disks, which were easily copied by kids and cheapskates. That so many of their games were being pirated was not lost on Sierra. At the start up screen, type
ALT + D to get into debug mode and then press
ENTER/RETURN a couple of times. At the command prompt, type
pirate and one of the following images will appear.
This and "Beam Me" are likely the most well known Easter eggs in the AGI version of KQ4 (which were excluded from the SCI version of the game).
After defeating Lolotte, return to the dungeon cell and type
rap kq, in which Rosella will perform some awkward gyrations along to some snarky prose by the exhausted game developers. Making games is tough work, deadlines loom, and Christmas doesn't move.
Similar to the KQ4 Rap egg, after defeating Lolotte, go to the corridor outside of the dungeon and type
beam me, which will take Rosella to a secret room populated by the game developers. Note that John Hamilton is one of the mentioned personnel when you
look at the people in this room. More about John in a bit.
John was Here
I came across this secret "cave painting" a few months ago when inspecting the priority bands in various rooms of this game. The "John" mentioned in this scrawling is likely John Hamilton, one of the programmers on the AGI version of KQ4. More about this Easter egg was written here.
If you look at the boat in the whale's mouth, it identifies the skeleton as "James". This is James in a whale, which might be a play on the name of James Whale, the director of classic horror films like Frankenstein and The Invisible Man.
One of the innovative features of King's Quest IV was not just the passage of real time (King's Quest III had already implemented that feature), but the day to night sequence. There is a limited amount of time to complete the game, generally enough, but it is possible to lose by waiting too long. If the game becomes 6:00 AM and you haven't killed Lolotte yet, the game will be over, as displayed in these screenshots for the "death" scene.
Letting Graham Die
This is not an Easter egg, per se, but probably not a scene you see too often unless you forgot to get the magic fruit or ate it.
Early boxed copies of King's Quest IV bore a sticker for a contest to win a trip to England. If you could complete the game and earn all 230 points, you would be presented with a secret code, which was used as evidence that you completed the entire game for the contest. The updated SCI version of the game included in later removed the code, since the contest was long over.
And if you ever wondered if someone did win that fabulous trip to England (or other fantastic prizes), here's the answer: