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The Bard's Tale

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The Bard is a cynical, opportunistic musician who roams the country in search of carnal pleasures. However, this impatient and selfish fellow is compelled to accept the greatest quest of his life: save the princess Caleigh from a demonic cult that has kidnapped her. The unlikely hero must now explore the land in search of the princess, accompanied by the omnipresent Narrator who obviously can't stand the Bard and uses every opportunity to sarcastically comment on his actions. Furthermore, Fionnaoch, the mysterious abductor of the princess, does everything he can to stop the Bard, sending his minions after him.

A self-proclaimed "quest for coin and cleavage", The Bard's Tale is an action RPG that is more of a whimsical take on role-playing games than a remake of the classic series. As the Bard, players can fight off hordes of foes with blade and bow, and summon companions through magical Bard Songs. Leveling up allows the player to raise the character's main attributes and invest specialization points in the different types of weapons he can use. Magical companions must be sought out and then summoned during battles. After being summoned, they act pretty much like AI-controlled party members; some of them specialize in physical attacks and offensive spells, while others can heal the hero.

During conversations the player can choose "nice" or "snarky" responses for the protagonist. While mostly used for humorous effect, some of these responses may affect subsequent events. The game uses the Dark Alliance engine and has a similar camera and control scheme.


The Bard's Tale Windows Fionnaoch - the evil menace who imprisoned the princess.
The Bard's Tale Windows Fionnaoch's Chamber
The Bard's Tale Windows The Bard's Tale features several songs. This one is about beer.
The Bard's Tale Windows Sometimes it's better to be "Snarky" rather than "Nice".

Alternate Titles

  • "新冰城傳奇" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "冰城传奇" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Похождения Барда" -- Russian spelling
  • "The Bard's Tale: Song of the Bard" -- Working title
  • "The Bard's Tale: Opowiesci Barda" -- Polish title
  • "The Bard's Tale (2004)" -- Common title
  • "Bingcheng Zhuanqi" -- Chinese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Dull game in a slightly funny outfit Xbox אולג 小奥 (170320)
There's a difference between pointing out clichés and avoiding them all together. PlayStation 2 Terrence Bosky (5234)
Playing a "music man" is pretty darned refreshing, not to mention hilarious! Windows Jeanne (75620)
Even mediocre endings don't lower the game's black "humour" level Windows POMAH (34147)
Right Script and Acting, Wrong Game PlayStation 2 Indra is here (19704)

The Press Says

GameZone PlayStation 2 Nov 08, 2004 8.6 out of 10 86 Windows Oct 01, 2005 84 out of 100 84
GameZone Xbox Nov 16, 2004 8.3 out of 10 83 PlayStation 2 Jun 30, 2005 80 out of 100 80 Xbox Jun 30, 2005 80 out of 100 80
Extreme Gamer Xbox Dec 31, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Absolute Games ( Windows May 16, 2005 72 out of 100 72
1UP PlayStation 2 Jan 19, 2005 7 out of 10 70
Yahoo! Games PlayStation 2 Oct 26, 2004 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70 Windows Jul 26, 2005 69 out of 100 69


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The Polish version contains the first three Bard's Tale games as a bonus, just like the US one, but apparently unlike any other European release.

Information also contributed by JRK

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Contributed to by Terrence Bosky (5234), Kabushi (122866), Iggi (4593) and Jeanne (75620)