The Bard's Tale 1
Downloads for The Bard's Tale 1
A series of novels based on The Bard's Tale were published by Baen Books during the 1990s. Although the books had little in common with the storyline of the games, their existence is a testament to how influential the Bard's Tale brand had become.
According to Bill Heineman (programmer of The Bard's Tale III) the name of the overall series was to be Tales of the Unknown, and the three games were to be entitled The Bard's Tale, The Archmage's Tale, and The Thief's Tale. However, the immense popularity of the first game prompted Electronic Arts to re-brand the series under the more well-known name, The Bard's Tale.
Skara Brae is the name of a real historical settlement on the west coast of Orkney (off northern Scotland). The town name is also used in the popular Ultima series of computer games.
Some shield spells in the manual are described to have been invented by a wizard named Ybarra, and upon giving the correct answer to a riddle question at one point in the game the party receives a magic item: The Ybarra Shield. This is in reference to one of the game's developers and founders of Electronic Arts, Joe Ybarra, a producer responsible for M.U.L.E., the original Madden NFL and many groundbreaking games.
players: single player
input: keyboard, mouse, joystick
graphics: CGA, EGA, Tandy
sound: PC speaker
Abandonware DOS popularity: average
- #1 - 13.05.2017 11:57 LordBucketBard's Tale 1 was a "pretty good but kind of flawed" game. If you want a classic first person dungeon crawler, it was among the best. Several dungeons, a town with night and day, a couple interesting puzzles and a four-school magic system that allowed you to progress through various classes to learn all the different spells. But the game has a few flaws. The early game is hard. You will die. A lot. Expect that the first set of characters you create will serve only to collect gold and gear and then die, so that their stuff can be passed on to your next party. Fortunately you can keep dead characters and later ressurect them, but by the time you're able to, your replacement party will probably be so much better that there's no point. You might have to do this a couple times, transferring the stray survivors from party to party to slowly build up to the point that you can keep a party alive into the middle part of the game. Next problem, the first entire dungeon is completely horribly difficult and drops terrible gear. Unless you're willing to spend days or weeks doing that above routine of letting people die and passing on their stuff...save yourself a bunch of headache by skipping to the second dungeon to get decent gear drops. The password is Tarjan. At that point, the game is good and fun for a long time. And then it kind of fails again towards the end, when you start fighting monsters in with insta-kill abilities. No matter how high level you are, no matter how many hit points you have and how much armor...oh, you fight THAT monster? You die, period. Fortunately you can ressurect in battle, so it's not a complete deal breaker, but it is frustrating. Also, be aware that late game monsters have a permanent level drain abvility. However...it's not as bad as it sounds, since you keep your hit pints and spell points when level-drained, so in some case you might actually choose to delberately have your characters drained so they can re-gain those those and become even stronger.
If you like the genre, again, this is one of the best. Just be aware that it does have some strong flaws. Also, this was by far the best of the Bard's Tale series. Don't waste your time with the others, this was the best of them.
- #2 - 14.05.2017 09:11 AbandonwareDOSThanks for the wonderful review Lord Bucket! Abandonware DOS needs those.