The Bard’s Tale

The Bard’s Tale IV Kickstarter is drawing to a close.

The Bard’s Tale IV Kickstarter is ending in a few days (as of the writing of this). If you have not donated, and you are a collector of old PC games, I recommend getting the $65 LP style box at the very least.

The modern sequel reminds me of the time I spent with its predecessors.

Tales of the Unkown: The Bard's Tale
The LP style cover of the first game.

It seems like most people had The Bard’s Tale for the Apple II. We played it growing up on our Tandy 1000 SX. To this day, the IBM PC version is the one I find most appealing. The graphics, for one, were superior, and the mouse support (while rudimentary) was more than sufficient.

To those who talk about Dark Souls being the end-all-be-all of difficult RPGs, I would like to present a new challenge for you. I cannot tell how many times I got lost wandering around in Skara Brae. To make matters worse, you could only save your game back at the tavern. So, this led to some real nail biters for me wandering around in the city.

Combat in Bard's Tale.
The party happens upon Kobolds. Could be worse.

I obtained a photo copy of the clue book from somewhere. Even armed with this book, I could not get very far in this game. The deck was stacked against you from the very start. For one, you started with no equipment at all. To arm up, you had to trek through the city to the weapons and armor store. Since you can be attacked anywhere in the streets, often by something much too high level, you could literally be defeated before you even got started.

The graphics were quite good at the time, especially on the IBM PC. 16 color EGA never looked so good. And, the detailed portraits of beasties were animated. If you want the very best graphical experience, grab the game for the Amiga system.

I only ever remember hearing the music through a PC speaker. Let me tell you, that tavern song is ingrained somewhere in the recesses of my memory.

The game was followed by The Bard’s Tale 2: The Destiny Knight, and 3: Thief of Fate. I never had those games growing up, not that I didn’t want them. There was another Bard’s Tale game that was released during the Playstation 2 era. I have not played it, but I understand it has little to do with the old series.

I’m looking forward to playing Bard’s Tale IV. Maybe I’ll take one last crack at the first game for good measure.

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