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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 "It's bad luck to be you." is a funny tune repeated many times with different lyrics based on what has just happened.
The Bard's Tale Windows Summoned Characters are layered in submenus. Press 3 to get this main category menu.
The Bard's Tale Windows Skull Spirit
The Bard's Tale Windows Setting up your character.

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: Remastered and Resnarkled" -- PS4 / PS Vita 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 Unicorn Lynx (181725)
There's a difference between pointing out clichés and avoiding them all together. PlayStation 2 Terrence Bosky (5463)
Playing a "music man" is pretty darned refreshing, not to mention hilarious! Windows Jeanne (76511)
Even mediocre endings don't lower the game's black "humour" level Windows POMAH (53512)
Right Script and Acting, Wrong Game PlayStation 2 Indra was here (20928)

Critic Reviews

PC Powerplay Windows Jul, 2005 84 out of 100 84
GameZone Xbox Nov 16, 2004 8.3 out of 10 83
IGN PlayStation 2 Oct 21, 2004 8.2 out of 10 82
Extreme Gamer Xbox Dec 31, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Worth Playing PlayStation 2 Nov 13, 2004 8 out of 10 80
Game Watcher Windows Sep 26, 2005 7.2 out of 10 72 Windows Jul 26, 2005 69 out of 100 69
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jun, 2005 67 out of 100 67
GameSpot Windows Jun 11, 2005 5.7 out of 10 57
Game Revolution Xbox Nov, 2004 C- 42


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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 mars_rulez (44163), Terrence Bosky (5463), Kabushi (211199), Iggi (14506) and Jeanne (76511)