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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 A voluptuous barmaid is the first person you meet.
The Bard's Tale Windows Here a would-be "Chosen One" encounters a monstrous Trow.
The Bard's Tale Windows Fionnaoch's Chamber
The Bard's Tale Windows The 3rd evil meanie .. Mannanan.

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 Oleg Roschin (164803)
There's a difference between pointing out clichés and avoiding them all together. PlayStation 2 Terrence Bosky (5237)
Playing a "music man" is pretty darned refreshing, not to mention hilarious! Windows Jeanne (75633)
Even mediocre endings don't lower the game's black "humour" level Windows POMAH (31333)
Right Script and Acting, Wrong Game PlayStation 2 Indra was here (19088)

The Press Says

Game Chronicles PlayStation 2 Dec 14, 2004 9 out of 10 90
The A.V. Club iPhone Dec 12, 2011 B+ 83
IGN Xbox Oct 21, 2004 8.2 out of 10 82
RPGFan Xbox Dec 16, 2004 82 out of 100 82
PC Gamer Windows Sep 01, 2005 81 out of 100 81
Extreme Gamer Xbox Dec 31, 2003 8 out of 10 80
GameSpy PlayStation 2 Oct 26, 2004 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Gamesmania PlayStation 2 Apr 14, 2004 74 out of 100 74
GameSpot Xbox Oct 25, 2004 6.7 out of 10 67
Just Adventure Xbox Jan 11, 2005 C+ 58


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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 (5237), Kabushi (116224), Iggi (4315) and Jeanne (75633)