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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's Chamber
The Bard's Tale Windows Carnage in the snowy mountains
The Bard's Tale Windows A voluptuous barmaid is the first person you meet.
The Bard's Tale Windows Cavern and molted lava

Promo Images

The Bard's Tale Screenshot
The Bard's Tale Screenshot
The Bard's Tale Screenshot
The Bard's Tale Screenshot

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

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User Reviews

Playing a "music man" is pretty darned refreshing, not to mention hilarious! Jeanne (75394) 4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars
Even mediocre endings don't lower the game's black "humour" level POMAH (39011) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars

Critic Reviews

PC Gamer Sep 01, 2005 81 out of 100 81
1UP Sep 26, 2005 8 out of 10 80
Worth Playing Aug 15, 2005 7.9 out of 10 79 Jun 30, 2005 79 out of 100 79
PC Games (Germany) Jul 04, 2005 79 out of 100 79
PC Action Jul 18, 2005 77 out of 100 77
Absolute Games ( May 16, 2005 72 out of 100 72
Game Watcher Sep 26, 2005 7.2 out of 10 72 Jul 26, 2005 69 out of 100 69
Gameplay (Benelux) Jul, 2005 67 out of 100 67


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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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Jeanne (75394) added The Bard's Tale (Windows) on Jun 28, 2005
Other platforms contributed by Terrence Bosky (5221), Kabushi (162157) and Iggi (8443)