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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 A voluptuous barmaid is the first person you meet.
The Bard's Tale Windows MacRath's Dungeon
The Bard's Tale Windows The 3rd evil meanie .. Mannanan.
The Bard's Tale Windows Aha! The coveted sword is found!

Promo Images

The Bard's Tale Concept Art
The Bard's Tale Screenshot
The Bard's Tale Render
The Bard's Tale Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "新冰城傳奇" -- Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "冰城传奇" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Похождения Барда" -- Russian spelling
  • "The Bard's Tale: Song of the Bard" -- Working title
  • "The Bard's Tale: Remastered and Resnarkled" -- PS4 / PS Vita / Nintendo Switch / Windows Apps / Xbox One title
  • "The Bard's Tale: Opowiesci Barda" -- Polish title
  • "The Bard's Tale (2004)" -- Common title
  • "Bingcheng Zhuanqi" -- Simplified Chinese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Playing a "music man" is pretty darned refreshing, not to mention hilarious! Jeanne (76326) 4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars
Even mediocre endings don't lower the game's black "humour" level POMAH (62681) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars

Critic Reviews

GameLemon Mar 26, 2005 8.6 out of 10 86 Oct 01, 2005 84 out of 100 84 PC Gaming Jul 05, 2005 8.3 out of 10 83
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Oct, 2005 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Worth Playing Aug 15, 2005 7.9 out of 10 79
PC Action (Germany) Jul 18, 2005 77 out of 100 77 Apr 14, 2005 74 out of 100 74
Absolute Games ( May 16, 2005 72 out of 100 72
Gameplay (Benelux) Jun 27, 2005 67 out of 100 67
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Jun 25, 2005 C 50


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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 (76326) added The Bard's Tale (Windows) on Jun 28, 2005
Other platforms contributed by mars_rulez (43848), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (352172), firefang9212 (74066), Terrence Bosky (5463), Kabushi (256460) and Iggi (20994)