You are the Bard, a selfish rogue weary of pointless sub-quests and rat-infested cellars. Now includes original classic games The Bard’s Tale 1, 2 & 3!
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (459 reviews) - 80% of the 459 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 17, 2005

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Reviews

“The Bard’s Tale is easily the funniest game I’ve ever played, and I’ve played all the funny games out there.”
– IGN

“Ready your weapon and bladder as you embark on this ridiculously addicting quest and the funniest adventure of the year, The Bard’s Tale”
– Game Chronicles

“This game is satire in its sharpest form”
– Cheat Code Central

Just Updated

  • Includes Original Classic Trilogy
  • WASD controls for movement
  • Added French, German and Spanish Localizations for text/subtitles
  • German Dialog (accessible under Sound Options when game language is set to German)
  • Full Wide Screen support + supports resolutions higher than 1600 wide.
  • Performance enhancements.
  • External URLs links on main menu for support pages and related media.
  • Bug Fixes to original release

About This Game

Now includes original classic games The Bard’s Tale 1, 2 & 3!
You are the Bard, a selfish rogue weary of pointless sub-quests and rat-infested cellars. Through magical song you summon characters to join your quest for coin and cleavage!
Prepare to immerse yourself in over 20-30 hours of adventure, featuring:
  • 50 enemy types (not counting bosses!)
  • A vast world to explore with towns, wild forests, rivers, castles, towers, secret dungeons, snowy mountains, caverns, haunted tombs and more
  • A full cast of bizarre NPC’s
  • Over a dozen special boss enemies to defeat
  • 16 magical characters to discover and then summon at will to aid you
  • Over 150 unique items of weaponry, armor, instruments, tokens, artifacts and loot!
  • More Song & Dance numbers than any other game, including a zombie dance-off!
  • Over 14 hours of outstanding voice-acting from top Hollywood talent, including Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as the Bard, and the inimitable Tony Jay as the Narrator
  • Classics Games—includes original classic games The Bard’s Tale 1, 2 & 3.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
    • Processor: Pentium 4 2Ghz / AMD AthlonXP 2400
    • Memory: 512Mb
    • Graphics: GeForce FX5700 or better / ATI Radeon 9600 or better
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 6GB of free space
    • Sound: DirectX 9 Compatible Sound Card
    • OS: OS X 10.6.0 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3.6GB Hard disk space
    • OS: X11 enabled Linux distro
    • Processor: Pentium 4 2Ghz / AMD AthlonXP 2400
    • Memory: 512Mb
    • Graphics: GeForce FX5700 or better / ATI Radeon 9600 or better
    • OpenGL: 2.0 compatible video card and compatible drivers
    • Hard Drive: 3.8GB of free space
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card and necessary drivers
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (459 reviews)
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348 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Recently Posted
BW
2.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
This game is fantastic. The story is fun, witty, sarcastic and charming. The combat can be a little grindy but the charm of the game will keep you playing. The controls are simple and quests are just hysterical. The game has replay value because almost every interaction you have, has a different outcome on the path you take to completing the game. In short, the game simply tells a tale of a Bard.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kinslayer
1.8 hrs
Posted: September 21
I loved the original Bards Tale as a kid. Me and 2 other friends mapped and played it for hours (bundled in the game with 2 and 3 and wizardry 1 and 2). I tried to relive my nostalgia and I just don't have the time or patience. The Bards Tale game (newer one) is meh. I don't like it. I tried to create a save file for my Wizardry loads and it tries to load up my saves for my Bards Tale 1. I have tried to shift the save option dest/source disk settings to other options but the Wizardry games won't do anything. I'm sad I cant get into any of the bundled games, it was nice playing for a minute to remember what I used to call "good graphics" on my commodore 64.
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jonnelson40
13.6 hrs
Posted: August 8
This was the main useage for my Commodore 64 back when I was 10-18 years old. I loved this game so much, I can't even describe it. I was such a dumb kid, too...I didn't realize the old man was the bad guy the entire time until the actual moment of the battle lol. I'm going to, at some point when I'm not so busy with life, get the graph paper out and play Bard's Tale trilogy again. I am resetting my computer now because my initial run had a lot of cackling sound and they said that it's caused by coming out of hibernation so I'm going to try it again. I'm going to try to give to the kickstarter, but man for being "one of us" Brian Fargo seems to have a fairly hefty "indie" price structure at kickstarter. Is this free money to him? I mean, he's been successful with his 3 launches now, right? Their video online (that asks for the money at Kickstarter) shows about 10-20 people working full-time. He does say that he's pledging portions of his money, too...but I'm wondering if he really NEEDS kickstarter at this point? I mean, I love the Bard's Tale and I have childhood memories, but let's not take advantage of my foolish childhood attachments, Mr. Fargo? I mean, their pledges go up to $10,000. And there are a lot of "boxed" sets that are $125 to $200...the bare game itself for digital download is $27. And they have all kinds of cloth maps and things like that. It seems like he's taking advantage of people. The video he made has his kid pretend to show up in a Ferrari and then they mock the industry's practices in terms of in-game purchases and other "after-purchase marketing schemes" then they want people to shell out big (full retail, actually...I mean the AAA big boy titles that are $59.99 are also much more complex (in terms of production difficulty/man hours) prices just so they can finish or reclaim some childhood attachment to a simpler time lol. Alright, maybe I'm going too far, but maybe Mr. Fargo is doing A LITTLE of that...maybe. Anyway, I'll donate enough to get the classic old school box...I think it's like $59 bucks...it's kinda cool for someone like me...but I definitely see me as paying full AAA price for childhood memories, basically. I hope Mr. Fargo's next project doesn't have a kickerstarter campaign or else I may just accuse him of playing for free money from 40 something dupes like me and then making a video mocking that very attitude.
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bbwolfbuyer
0.6 hrs
Posted: August 7
This game does not port well to PC. I never played it on the console, but I can't believe that it was as buggy as the PC.
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Uncle Badass
18.3 hrs
Posted: August 1
Fantastic game that holds up through the ages

Despite the game being so old it only crashed once, other than that the game ran perfectly for me.
Though I've heard it has major problems with Linux

If you're looking for a light-party RPG with a solid story that the player has an effect on, I reccomend picking this up
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The ending words.
17.5 hrs
Posted: July 27
Even as a fan of older games, can't recommend it.
Story's fun and fine, mechanics are painful.
First staircase spam partition got repetitive and tiresome enough to ruin the game for me.

Hope others have a better time with this.
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R.A. Dalton
21.2 hrs
Posted: July 26
I have mixed feelings about this game. The humor is great but that is counter balanced by the extremely repetitious and monotonous combat sequences. The combat sequences tend toward simply trying to overwhelm you with large masses of critters which you have to slay with little help and then often have to repeat in the next area and this goes on again and again throughout the game. If it weren't for the really great quirky humor in this game I would simply have stopped playing it at some point. The humor is so funny though that I went to cheat mode and just ran through the game until I completed it, doing combat when there was no other choice. To sum it up this is a game you will buy for the unique sense of humor and cut scene dialog, and not for the highly unbalanced combat.....
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
28.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
First off, i feel this game is not good for young children. It could be played by 15 year olds and up. Also, this is not the orginal Bard's Tale game, this is the remake from 2004.

Ok, here are the pro's and con's for this game:

PROS:

`Humourous dialogue between narrater and the Bard
`Numerous quests and some side quests
`Lauging your butt off at the jokes
`Unlockable things in the menu, including art and songs
`Sung songs by the "Trow Trio"!
`It features the Original trio of games, but a warning about that "The games usually super fast, coppy, and only allow you to use keyboard on them."

CONS:

`Outdated graphics(it did not bother me, but some might not like it)
`Some jokes are told over and over again in different ways, which can get tiring if you play it for a long time
`Cliches
`Old trilogy is touchy and does not work all the time..
`Some grinding is required near the end of the game.

All in all, a great little game that features hilarious interaction between the narrator, the bard himself, and NPC's found all over the game.

Definetly Recommeneded!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
Product received for free
so finished the game , did not touch the classic ones included whit it"pleas don't g=hate me , i hate myself for it ".

well this is a pretty great game
pros: one funny story
best rpg main charcater the bard

cons:the control are a little bit weird , this a port so better whit a controller
one weird inv system


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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
I could only stomach a few bites of this turd sandwich. It's supposed to be a humour based parody action RPG and it badly fails at being all of those things. The writing and humour is so bad you'll be cringing hard. RPG elements are so light they're almost nonexistant, and the combat/encounter design/level design are all absolutely terrible. The longer you play the worse it gets. It sucks, and Brian Fargo should be ashamed.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
339 of 351 people (97%) found this review helpful
40 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2015
I bought this for The Bards Tale II: Desteny Knight

My dad purchased a commodore 64 when I was four years old, along with this game.
He spent hours upon hours moving one space and drawing it down on his graph paper.
I was a cool kid and would fetch him beers while he mapped every square inch of the towns, dungeons, and forrests.

He made a character that was "mine" and would ask what to do when that characters turn came up. He even let me name him "foopicker" <--- I was 4...

We spent so many hours having fun playing this RPG, it brought back a lot of memories when I seen it on the market.

Today, thirty years later, it's fathers day and I took my laptop over to my dad's house.
I created a party and had him name one of the characters.
He choose "foopicker" and laughed then went to the other room as fast as his broken, old body could take him.

He returned with a weird smile on his face, in his hands was a dusty old shoe box that looked like time forgot about it.

When I opened it, it had his old graph paper maps, some barely visible.

He then handed me a beer he got from the fridge, sat down, and we played this RPG together again, perhaps for the last time.


This is the power of The Bards Tale.
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68 of 74 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2013
The Bard's Tale is a great casual RPG that takes you back to gaming as it was nearly ten years ago. So be prepared for a top down third person view most of the time. What makes it most enjoyable are the bawdy humor in the dialog and the lyrics to the songs.

Our hero in the game, The Bard, is not really a hero; but a scounderal given to snarky comments and possessed of an ability to get himself into trouble. His comments are not limited to dialog with NPC's. He is equally capable of taking issue with the narrator and both seem to have a mutual hate relationship which adds to the fun. You'll also encounter Scottish, English and French accents with a healthy dose of Scottish words for things, which is fitting for story based on legends from the Orkney Islands of Scotland.

The Bard needs to recruit a team to help rescue a damsel in distress and true to his character, he's not willing to help without a reward, which the damsel offers. That offer ought to make you chuckle. Along the way you'll summon many creatures and finally figure out which ones are most useful to you. After that you'll have an opportunity to really wreak mayhem and get yourself into some interesting situations. The game is full of cliche's on purpose and they spice it up instead of detract from game-play. And of course there are always complications along the way to add dimension to the game.

The screen resolution choices are based on what was available at release time. Don't fuss over them too much. Pick the largest resolution with the same ratio as your screen and it ought to look fine anyway. Works fine on a 1900x1200 monitor.

It can be played with a controller, but you may find the onscreen prompts to be confusing and awkward. If you do use a controller, you can find a useful list of controls at http://www.gamefly.com/Rent-The-Bard%27s-Tale/109860/GameplayControls/ - seriously though, the game is best player with a mouse and keyboard. It just works better for a game this old.

The original game was released in 1985 and twenty years later this version was released with much improved graphical content and music. If you want the full retro experience, the menu system will let you load up the original game and have a go at it.

If you want to get a feel for the music and dialog in the 2005 version of the game, I would recommend these YouTube videos:

* The Tale of the Nuckelavee
* The Bard's Tale Silkbeard and the Viking Song
* Here's to the Bard
* The Chosen One #4 (There are several variations of this song and all of them have an Oompa Loopa feel to them right down to ending with a Diddly-Do.)

I just replayed a bit of the game on my Win gaming rig, but it will play equally well on a computer with low graphics capabilities. Worked just fine on a stripped down Mac Mini when I played it a few months back. (Disclaimer - used non-Steam version on my Mac.)
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57 of 60 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
65.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
I enjoyed the game from the very beginning till the very end and probably will replay it at least once sometime later to buy all the extras (funny songs and arts there) and find two last tunes. The game is short enough (about 20 to 25 hours of gameplay tops, and you level cap could be achieved easily) but very funny and costs every cent of its price.

The strongest part of the game are its witty dialogues and excellent voicing, however the plot is not so bad too and jokes are good (and yes, I’m almost forty). Combat is simple, especially with a bow and easy mode (which affects only start attributes and number of save points, so don’t bother with harder difficulty). This game is really a game, not some kind of computer sport where you need huge guides on spell usage and skills allocation. Still, the summons are fun and efficient, the weapons are sparse but don't become obsolete too fast. You are free to experiment. Save points number and location are well chosen. Songs and music are awesome! I sing them under my nose now and then.

In short I like the game, the way it is designed, its gameplay and humour. If you are not combat-obsessed power gamer try it. If you are, still try it to for a change.
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48 of 51 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
37.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 12, 2014
Top-down view RPG-lite, more of an action-adventure, I suppose - one of those titles that focuses more on the characters and story rather than loot, combat, or game mechanics in general.

That is not to say it abandons game mechanics completely - just simplifies them compared to more mainstream RPGs (especially "western", as opposed to JRPGs).

However, in the story department - it excels, with witty, humorous writing (it's essentially a parody/spoof of fantasy RPG games) and superb voice acting (at least in English version). Well worth playing just for that! And you'd be surprised how much is based on real world mythology and places.

There are essentially two main characters in the game - the eponymous Bard, whose misadventures you follow and whom you control directly, and The Narrator, who holds the Bard in great contempt, never failing to throw in some sarcastic commentary. There's fourth wall to be broken for sure, and generally the game does instill this idea that it is a tale, sort of reenactment you're witnessing, rather than directly participating in, at least that's how it worked for me - I would place myself, perhaps paradoxically, more next to The Narrator, who's spinning the tale, rather than the Bard, who's living (reliving?) it.

The story mostly revolves around Bard being a Chosen One, enduring trials and tribulations to save a princess, although his motives are clear: coin and cleavage, and definitely not saving the world. Which rapidly enters worse and worse state. Which may or may not be related to Bard's questing around. Nothing really to dwell on much, you're here pretty much to enjoy the ride.

I finished it on hard difficulty, but I wouldn't really bother if I were you, it only serves as annoyance really rather than a proper challenge, and everything can be easily cheesed anyway, with you shooting offscreen enemies with bows, minmaxing dexterity and rhythm (as a bard, you can summon variety of allies and rhythm makes them stronger), so playing it easy just lets you enjoy the ride more.

If you're unaware, it's well worth pointing out that none other than Brian Fargo is behind this game, one of industry titans (does Fallout ring a bell? something he was personally responsible for, not mentioning other great titles he was more or less involved with, and most recently, Kickstarter backed great promises of Torment and Wasteland 2). You really should cast away any doubts with regard to writing quality this game has to offer (mind though, again, it's not a "serious" title, and not big one either, giving off somewhat indie, passion project vibe rather than triple-A vibe Interplay could muster and inXile not so much, at least until Kickstarter and ever growing technological advances.. but I digress; look the guy up on Wikipedia if you don't know who he is).

Oh, it's bad luck to be you.
A chosen one of many isn't new
When you think you're full of luck
in the bullocks you'll get struck
Oh, it's bad luck to be you.
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 21, 2015
I have never bothered to review this game because, meh. However, since they added the original trilogy, this just got 1000 times better.

I still have my original 5.25 floppies and graph paper maps for the first game. I still have my character disk for the party I took through the whole trilogy. I think the fact that I still have those things is a testament to how much I loved the games. (or I'm just a hoarding nerd)

I highly recommend you play the old games in the old way. Get yourself some graph paper and make your own maps. Don't use the maps provided (cheater!). Print out the documentation and the map for Skara Brae and time warp back to the mid 80's.
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35 of 41 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2014
A classic. Game centers around The Bard, a less saving-the-world, more coins-and-cleavage kinda guy. Well worth my money.
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26 of 27 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 13, 2015
The creators of The Bard's Tale (2004) said that they wanted to create something special and that's exactly what The Bard's Tale is. The game is something of a fractured fairy-tale and focuses more on poking fun at the fantasy/adventure/rpg genre than creating just another entry in the sea of fantasy rpgs. You play as The Bard (voiced by Cary Elwes) who is more interested in women, wine, and coin than adventuring. He uses his magic for his own personal gain. Being pulled into an adventure to save a damsel in distress and stop an evil sorcerer was the last thing on his mind. So of course... that's what happens. And so our story begins... The game serves more as a vessel for crude humor, snarky remarks, and breaking the 4th wall. This may not be for everybody but certain lines are bound to make you chuckle. As for the gameplay, it's not bad at all. The game is solid, simple, and different from most fantasy games. Rather than having convoluted tech trees and a long list of abilities, The Bard's Tale focuses on simple top-down combat and using summons. My main complaint is the repetitiveness of the combat. Some segments felt like they were there to pad the game time and give you more experience but gaining new summons and the occasional weapon upgrade help to keep things a bit more fresh. Overall, I had a lot of fun playing this game and enjoying some sharp wit and silly songs while exploring a unique Scottish fantasy setting.

For those who are fans of the original games, the original Bard's Tale trilogy from the 80s now comes with this game. I haven't played them but I've heard that The Bard's Tale (2004) hardly resembles the original games. With 4 games in 1, this may be enough to hold you until the release of the newly kickstarted The Bard's Tale IV.

7/10
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