An ancient idol bearing a curse, responsible for the utter destruction of a civilization of ages past, has resurfaced once again and is threatening the kingdom of man. Someone has to deliver the idol to the Ancient City to break the curse, but it is a perilous journey. The city is full of monsters but even they are afraid of the unspeakable evil that has returned.
The game is played in a first-person perspective, and you use melee attacks and spells to repel the evil lurking about. You find new items to use along the journey, but equipment deteriorates over time and loses effectiveness, so one has to seek out someone who can repair them occasionally. To be able to use magic you have to find Magic Crystals spread across the game, and through them you get access to several spells from different elemental forces (Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Dark, and Light). Also scattered across the map are different obstructions, blocking off areas that you only can get past once your character has had a power increase. Therefore, there is some open-ended backtracking of sorts taking place over the game. Something new to the King's Field series was introduced in this fourth installment: the ability to swim underwater, to explore underwater caves and such. You have an air gauge to keep track of underwater; once that is depleted you drown.