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The gods are dead. In their wake, man and giant survived through a tenuous alliance, driving black destroyers called dredge, deep into the northern wastes. Now is an era of growth and trade. Life goes on. Only one thing has stopped. The sun.

The Banner Saga is a Norse fantasy-themed hybrid tactical role-playing game. The player controls one of many main characters, which will change as the story progresses, indicated a story chapter. These main characters lead a party of heroes and a caravan which travels to a linear story-wise destination and it is up to the player to ensure that the caravan survives the onslaught of human, varl, or the fearsome dredge, may it come in the form of combat or story decisions.

The majority of the story is represented by visual novel-style dialogs or events, prompting the player to choose one from several options, many of which may result in a beneficial or negative outcome. These choices, for the most part do not change the overall story, however will affect the player's accessibility to for example, heroes and items or result in the immediate death of a hero.

The heroes consist of human or the varl (horned giants), each with a unique biography (lore), as well as different classes and different traits. The character sheet of a hero primarily explains his or her combat abilities, a few examples are:

  1. Ability and Willpower
    Ability is unique combat power that hero possesses due to his or her character class. A hero has one special attack and one passive ability. Each ability has three different ranks, with each higher rank a more powerful version of itself. Willpower is power needed to activate abilities. It does not by default replenish during combat and will have bonus/penalties subject to morale of the caravan.

  2. Armor and Strength
    Armor the hero's ability to block combat damage. The lower the armor, the higher the damage to the hero, up to the point that it may different affect the hero's health. Strength is both the hero's ability to inflict combat damage, as well as the hero's health. When strength falls to zero, the hero will fall unconscious and cannot be revived for the remainder of combat.

  3. Promotion
    Character development of heroes progresses when the hero kills a sufficient number of enemies in combat. If the requirement is reached, the hero may be promoted at the cost of renown to the next level. Promotions will reward the hero with points which may be distributed to increase the aforementioned skills as well as access to higher special ability ranks. Hero levels are capped at Level 5.
Additionally, heroes may also carry a maximum of one item, which have beneficial properties when equipped. Items have a level requirement and may be purchased from merchants or obtained through story events.

The Caravan
As the story progresses, the player's caravan travelling between locations will become a prominent feature of the game. This caravan consists the party heroes, clansmen (non-fighting members), fighters, and varl. Although the destination cannot be changed, the player may opt to break camp at any time to equip or rest wounded heroes, as well as practice combat in training sessions. The caravan also brings supplies, which will affect the moral of the caravan. Supplies will be consumed at the start of each new day.


The Banner Saga Windows Hero Rooster - The rooster is primarily used to rearrange turn orders and provide a quick view of hero status. Injured heroes and days needed to recover will also be displayed here.
The Banner Saga Xbox One Choosing the fate of the village
The Banner Saga Xbox One Placing the troops before the combat commences
The Banner Saga Windows Jorundr, the wounded Varl king.

Promo Images

The Banner Saga Other One of the oldest living varl warriors. Younger varl often come to him to train and learn how to fight. Not many creatures on the planet have seen more fighting than him, but he’s semi-retired now in a remote village near the wastes.
The Banner Saga Screenshot
The Banner Saga Wallpaper
The Banner Saga Concept Art


Alternate Titles

  • "旗帜传说" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "バナーサーガ" -- Japanese spelling

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Games Finder iPhone Mar 05, 2015 9.5 out of 10 95
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) Windows Jan 27, 2014 9 out of 10 90
PC Games (Germany) Windows Jan 14, 2014 87 out of 100 87 Windows Jan 14, 2014 86 out of 100 86 Windows Jan 28, 2014 8.3 out of 10 83
GamersGlobal Windows Jan 15, 2014 8 out of 10 80
Nintendo Life Nintendo Switch May 24, 2018 8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars 80 Windows Jan 14, 2014 16 out of 20 80 PlayStation 4 Jan 12, 2016 80 out of 100 80
PCGamesN Windows Jan 17, 2014 8 out of 10 80


Topic # Posts Last Post
Kickstarter Credits 1 Indra was here (20874)
Mar 16, 2014
Hybrids will be the death of me. 8 Indra was here (20874)
Feb 09, 2014


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Contributed to by Kam1Kaz3NL77 (364804), Kennyannydenny (124196), Sciere (727042), Kabushi (256829) and Indra was here (20874)