The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight

aka: Bard's Tale 2, The Arch Mage's Tale
Moby ID: 1273
Commodore 64 Specs
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Included in This Compilation Includes

Description official descriptions

After a group of brave heroes defeated the wizard Mangar the Dark and freed Skara Brae from eternal winter, all seemed well in the world. However, the evil Archmage Lagoth Zanta shows up and splits the Destiny Wand into seven pieces, scattering them all over the land. The Destiny Wand has protected the lands for seven hundred years, and without it the realm will fall into chaos. Thus it falls upon the heroes to reforge it. One of them also has to ascend to the position of Archmage and use the wand to defeat Lagoth Zanta.

The Destiny Knight is the second installment in the Bard's Tale series, and a sequel to Tales of the Unknown. Like its predecessor, it is a fantasy role-playing game with first-person exploration of a pseudo-3D world and turn-based battles against randomly appearing enemies. The sequel features six towns as opposed to the predecessor's only one, and a larger overworld area. Dungeons contain more traps and puzzles than before.

The player can create a party of up to seven active characters, as well as create additional characters and store them at the Adventurer's Guild in every city. Available races are human, elf, dwarf, hobbit, half-elf, half-orc, and gnome. In addition, some monsters can join the party and be summoned during combat. It is also possible to store money and banks and gamble in the casino, though the latter feature has been removed from the PC version.

Groups +



Credits (Commodore 64 version)

20 People

Game Concept, Design, and Program Design
Scenario Design
Technical Support
Assistant Producer
Product Manager
Art Director
Package Design
EuroPackage Design
  • Grapplegroup Ltd.
Cover Painting
Manual by
Map Art
Lagoth Zanta's Name by
Package Design ©1986
  • Electronic Arts
Software ©1986
  • Interplay Productions



Average score: 83% (based on 16 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 57 ratings with 3 reviews)

Yes, the sequel is better!

The Good
I enjoyed everything that I liked about the original Bard's Tale. The best part was that there was so much more to it! You weren't stuck in the same town, you were allowed to travel to different places.

The Bad
No automapping. I still have (somewhere) the original graph paper that I used to draw out the dungeons and mazes on after I moved forward a step and turned a 360 to determine where the walls and doors were in the new square.

The Bottom Line
An excellent follow up to an excellent game.

DOS · by ex_navynuke! (42) · 2005

A brilliant game that clearly deserves the title of epic masterpiece.

The Good
This product was my initial, head first venture into the realm of a computer role playing game. I had played pencil and paper rpgs in my youth as had most of my schoolmates. Sadly though I never seemed to be able to keep up with the dice rolling, dungeon delving shenanigans of my comrades. While they assaulted me with maps on graph paper and tales of high adventure, I smiled and nodded knowing I sadly just wasn’t cut out for it. When I saw “The Destiny Knight” on the shelf of my local Computer Base I had to have it. The box cover, the graphics on the back and the wit the game used to convey it’s style hooked me.

I had never played the first “Bards Tale” game so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was a helping of electronic goodness that made me appear to be an oversized lab rat. The world was vast in that it started in a city but you could visit the surrounding environs. Sure you could get killed if you wandered somewhere where you were over powered. The fact that it let you explore though was an awesome treat. I never felt constrained or claustrophobic in my adventures with my party.

The game looked amazing to me. The first time I saw a spider pop up on the screen I shuddered. Arachnophobia was entrenched to me at a young age and the artwork was well done indeed. The portraits had just enough animation in them to give them life but not so much that it slowed the events down. The sinister, the kindhearted and the ghastly were for all to see in their graphic grandeur.

Combat in the game was turn based and that was a Godsend for me. I always had problems with my hands since I was of a young age. Never being a joystick jockey it was nice to have a more strategic angle to depose my enemies. The use of distance was particularly noteworthy as you had to really decide how best to use your adventurers. Melee combat was easy as you could expect and casting of spells was done by typing in letters that corresponded with your skill. The jumbled constantans and vowels were clever as it was almost like the spell casters spoke a secret language. You could be four different classes and could learn a few levels of spells from each with the warning that you couldn’t return to them. There was a fifth class, the Archmage I believe, that rewarded you for having certain levels of each spell table. Those were the real movers and shakers in the world and their magic was not to be trifled with.

The other unique thing for me was that you had to acquire seven pieces of a legendary wand that had been scattered about the land. Of course they all ended up in different dungeons, castles and tombs and were guarded by magical snares. When you would get near a fragment, the trap would kick in and you would have only a small amount of time to solve it. If you did not solve it in the allotted time you died and had to start over. The snares were ingenious and were a mix of everything from riddles to mini puzzles within the environment. It was harrowing when you were trying to figure them out in real time while the reaper was looming behind you.

“The Destiny Knight” is one of the greatest rpgs I have ever played. It more than made up for me never being able to enjoy it’s pencil and paper cousins. The greatness of this even topped itself with a surprise towards the end that I never saw coming. For it’s time “The Bards Tale 2” was the perfect way to bring an rpg to the masses via technology. I played it for more hours and more whole evenings than I care to admit. A product that can proudly fly it’s flag high and settle into my pantheon of gaming greatness.

The Bad
There was NOTHING about the game I did not like when I played it.

The Bottom Line
A game that was perfection at the time of it's release. It set standards of the time that were awe-inspiring and memorable. A classic, a masterpiece and a work of art.

Commodore 64 · by Rob Von Strahd (6) · 2013

This Sequel is BETTER than the runaway hit Original ! Amazing!

The Good
Bard's Tale II was the first ever RPG in 3D, with first person view, that allowed the player to litterally explore the WORLD. I enjoyed traveling the lands visiting different cities, dungeons, forrests, woods, and other locations. Each of the many cities were smaller than the mega-city of Skara Brae in Bard's Tale I (about 1/3 the size of Skara Brae) but they are still big enough to feel like towns/cities. . More new monsters, dungeons, puzzles (easy ones as well as mind hurting ones), along with ALL the features that made Bard's Tale I a hit. And an addition of casinos in the cities, with an ingame cardgame you can play to try to increase your money risking your luck instead of your life.

There were many different dungeons with unusual layouts. And yeah, it was cool being able to import your characters from Bard's Tale I , instead of having to create new characters...which further added to the immersion. Ye warriors ye made in olden days are back for more adventures! Arrrg! ;)

The Bad
You still have to make and draw your own maps. In the days of this game, this added to the fun. But nowadays no way - since all games have automapping.

The puzzles are a love hate thing. Love 'em because they are hard and take thinking to solve. Hate them because they are hard and take thinking to solve LOL! During its day, there is soo much features in this game that there is very little else to dislike. Maybe have more wildlife sounds in the background while in the wilderness outside the cities?

The Bottom Line
This sequel to the hit game Bard's Tale I, set the bar even higher! Twice as high! There was nooo other game out like it at all. It has all the classic elements of medieval fantasy - monsters, tons of dungeons, magic, adventuring..... and an actual WORLD the player travels around in, full of cities, wilderness, wilds, dungeons, and more monsters. Before Fallout, before Dungeon Siege, before Neverwinter Nights, before todays RPGs and MMORPGs...there was Bard's Tale II.

DOS · by XplOrOrOr (14) · 2004


Subject By Date
BT2 in the Auto-mapping Game Group? PCGamer77 (3158) Jun 23, 2011



Michael Cranford, the creator, was never directly employed by Electronic Arts. Instead he was brought in as an outside contractor. He designed the second game almost entirely from his home, and after a falling out with an old friend on he decided not to get involved with the third game.


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Related Sites +

  • Bard Songs
    An online collection of Bard's Tale music transcribed to MIDI format. All from the PC versions.
  • Bard's Tale 2 - The Destiny Knight Walkthrough/FAQ
    This text solution includes monster references and more plus the full guide. Posted on
  • Fan Site
    Nice comprehensive site with links to maps, walkthroughs and other Bard's Tale 2 fan sites.
  • The Bard's Tale Compendium
    Very complete site with lots of information, hints, downloads for every game of the Bard's Tale series.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1273
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Alan Chan.

Apple IIgs, Apple II added by Terok Nor. PC-98, NES added by Unicorn Lynx. Commodore 64, Amiga added by Belboz.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Vance, Jeanne, General Error, The cranky hermit, Patrick Bregger.

Game added April 3, 2000. Last modified January 19, 2024.