The Bard's Tale

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The Bard's Tale
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developerInterplay Productions
publisherElectronic Arts
release date1985
genrerole-play game
modessingleplayer
platformsApple II, Commodore 64, Apple IIgs, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh, NES

The Bard's Tale (Tales of the Unknown: Volume I) is a fantasy role-playing video game created by Interplay Productions in 1985 and distributed by Electronic Arts. It was designed and programmed by Michael Cranford.

Based loosely on traditional Dungeons and Dragons gameplay and inspired by the Wizardry computer games, The Bard's Tale was noteworthy for its unprecedented 3D graphics and animated character portraits.

It was originally released for the Apple II, and was also ported to the Commodore 64, Apple IIgs, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh, and Nintendo Entertainment System platforms.

Story[edit | edit source]

The following text from the box cover summarizes the premise:

Long ago, when magic still prevailed, the evil wizard Mangar the Dark threatened a small but harmonious country town called Skara Brae. Evil creatures oozed into Skara Brae and joined his shadow domain. Mangar froze the surrounding lands with a spell of Eternal Winter, totally isolating Skara Brae from any possible help. Then, one night the town militiamen all disappeared.

The future of Skara Brae hung in the balance. And who was left to resist? Only a handful of unproven young Warriors, junior Magic Users, a couple of Bards barely old enough to drink, and some out of work Rogues.

You are there. You are the leader of this ragtag group of freedom fighters. Luckily you have a Bard with you to sing your glories, if you survive. For this is the stuff of legends. And so the story begins...

In the actual game, the player forms a party of up to six characters in the Adventurer's Guild building which is the only "home zone" where the current game can be saved. Magical statues throughout the city guard entrances to other dungeons and turn to life to attack trespassing player parties.

Connection to Wasteland series[edit | edit source]

Bard's Tale appears on Wasteland as easter egg in famous first paragraph of Wasteland:

You creep up to the window and, in the soft, muted lights, you see a tall woman with long, blond hair. She sits before a mirror and brushes her hair, then stands and walks over to the sunken tub off to her left. She kneels and her blue, silken robe drops to the floor. She turns the water on and steam slowly fills the air. You watch in fascination as she reaches down into the tub, whirls, and points an Uzi in your direction. "Stop reading paragraphs you're not supposed to read, creeps." She sighs deeply. "Next time I'm going to demand they put me in a Bard's Tale game, this Wasteland duty is dangerous."

— Wasteland paragraphs #1
Copyright.pngThe contents of this page were entirely or partially copied from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, and are therefore licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The original version, its history and authors can be found at the Wikipedia page "The Bard's Tale (1985 video game)".
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