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The Bard's Tale (Windows)

74
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

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.

Screenshots

The Bard's Tale Windows Fionnaoch - the evil menace who imprisoned the princess.
The Bard's Tale Windows Sometimes it's better to be "Snarky" rather than "Nice".
The Bard's Tale Windows Summoned Characters are layered in submenus. Press 3 to get this main category menu.
The Bard's Tale Windows MacRath's Dungeon

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

Playing a "music man" is pretty darned refreshing, not to mention hilarious! Jeanne (75612) 4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars
Even mediocre endings don't lower the game's black "humour" level POMAH (34772) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars

The Press Says

PC Powerplay Jul, 2005 84 out of 100 84
2404.org PC Gaming Jul 05, 2005 8.3 out of 10 83
PC Games (Germany) Jul 04, 2005 79 out of 100 79
Worth Playing Aug 15, 2005 7.9 out of 10 79
Daily Game Nov 28, 2004 7.7 out of 10 77
Gamesmania Apr 14, 2005 74 out of 100 74
Game Watcher Sep 26, 2005 7.2 out of 10 72
Fragland.net Jul 26, 2005 69 out of 100 69
GameSpot Jun 11, 2005 5.7 out of 10 57
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Jun 25, 2005 C 50

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Trivia

Extras

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

Related Web Sites

Jeanne (75612) added The Bard's Tale (Windows) on Jun 28, 2005
Other platforms contributed by Terrence Bosky (5234), Kabushi (125151) and Iggi (4744)