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: Mostly Positive (289 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 17, 2005

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Recommended By Curators

"Personally, I love Bards. It's rare for them to be the star of an entire game. Enjoy the snarky adventure narrated by Tony Jay. Best sidekick ever, too!"
Read the full review here.

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
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
65.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
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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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
I doubt I'm even 1% done. This game is actually pretty good. It's graphics aren't bad for the time they were made, and I kind of like the feel they give. They aren't really retro, but still bring nostalgia. The voice acting is great, and it has a great storyline, with different responses you can choose, a kind response or a rude response and both change the outcome of the story, whether it be a small change or a large one. It's got a thorough skill system, and might I say, one of the most descriptive smithy shops in a game. The works are very described, but not so much in a way that they take forever to understand. They are clear, to the point, and yet aren't short. There are a couple glitches, and one that has halted my progress 4 hours in, which I am very upset about, but still, I love this game. And hey, every good game has glitches, It's possible to beat Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time in under half an hour because of them. Who doesn't love glitches?
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
54.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
my all time favorite game.
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1 of 13 people (8%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Okay game. Worth $2.50.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Fun game. The humorous banter is amusing at first but get old after a while and travelling around gets monotonous but otherwise I enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
great gameplay and story. Funny and fun for lovers of simple rpgs and snarky comments
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16.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
I purchased this game primarily for the three original Bard's Tale games - which were favorites back in the days of my old C64. However, I've been pleasantly surprised by newer version, even though it has little in common with the original series. The Bard's Tale has a sharp wit and isn't afraid to lampoon traditional sword & sorcery RPG games in a most amusing fashion. With Carey Elwes providing the voice of the Bard, the producers couldn't help but tip their hats to "The Princess Bride" at various points in the story. While the game is hardly cutting edge in terms of game play or graphics, it is a breath of fresh air compared to much of the turgid and predictable fare found in fantasy gaming. An overlooked gem.
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28 of 31 people (90%) found this review helpful
37.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
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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36 of 48 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
After you kill the big rate (your first quest), save the game and chose happy-face two times in a row when talking to the inn-girl.

Then load your last save and choose mad-face both times.

In that moment, you'll understand everything ;)
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
126.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
There are very few games I play through more than once. There are even fewer RPGs. This is one of them. With the amazing vocal talents, excellent music, laugh-out-loud funny comments, asides, and conversations, this game will forever give me a smile.

As with the majority of RPGs, you're a low-level schmo who gets 'invited' to partake on an ever-expanding adventure where you ascend the level tree, getting bigger weapons, fighting bigger monsters, and eventually get the girl, and live happily ever after. Except in this case, the game shows that things aren't quite peachy, and seem to go downhill, rather than up.

The game shows you the wonderful side-effects of your murderous misanthropy, as you gaily stab, shoot and zap your way across a beautiful scottish and norse-themes fantasy land... Whether you follow the plot, or try to deviate from it, the wonderful writing keeps you amused, and on your toes, guiding you in the right direction at all times.

There's a LOT in this game, although it sometimes doesn't feel that way. The level-grinders will find a lot to keep them amused, the magic-lovers, the archers, the swordsmen, will all find that the balance is quite nice (although I think the bow may be slightly under-powered compared to the sword, but only by a fraction, and the ability to sit out of the action and pepper opponents with arrows is fun enough.). I've played this through as both sword and bow, and both are very playable.

I can heartily recommend this to anyone who likes a good old-fashioned RPG, but wants something with its tongue firmly wedged in its cheek. Wonderful on both PC and android, it's a great game for whiling away the hours.

The voice acting of the wonderful Tony Jay will forever be missed. His voice lives on in all the games and TV media he did. You should play this, just to hear his wry humour and phenomenal voice.

Thanks InXile! You've made an old-fashioned RPGer very happy!

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17 of 23 people (74%) found this review helpful
77.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Jesus ♥♥♥♥ing Christ it's been so long since I played this game last. On my long-gone PS2 the week it came out in 2004. Got it from one of my best friends not long ago, haven't played anything else since. Playing it as a kid was amazing, but I can't begin to describe how much fun I'm having now that I'm older, understand sexual jokes and implications, and know what the heck the 4th wall is.

This game is a gemstone among PS2 games, and having it re-amped in HD on my PC is beyond amazing.

If you played this even once as a child, getting it now is like giving your childhood memories multiple ♥♥♥♥♥♥s, but even if you never did, it's a game definitely worth playing. More suggested and recommended than any other game I've played <3
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
What the game doesn't have in graphics and gameplay, it more then makes up with incredible humor and sharp sarcasm. Well worth purchasing and playing through once or twice for all the awesome dialogs. Greatly enjoyed it!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
A classic RPG that should be in EVERY RPG fan library. It has a great story, some nice puzzle elements, and it's wrapped together by humorous banter between the onscreen character and offscreen narrator.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
41.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
I love the humor and game play in The Bards Tale. The story line makes it interesting and fun in the natural flow of the game.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Drunken singers, accents, 4th wall destruction, innuendos, even good old save points. This is a great game from what I have experienced so far.
( Note: Havent played this game very much but from what I have played it seems really good. I will change this if that changes)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
Been a while since playing this on the Xbox but from what I've seen on the pc version (which does have controller support), the art still looks decent but the music & voice acting along with the humorous writing are still incredibly good. If you want a good game with some British humor to it plus getting the original Bards Tale games included, this is quite worth it.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Sarcastic narrators, sing alongs, and wenches. What's not to love?
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
Classic. A very nice game, the story is interesting, full of humour and songs. The gameplay is repetative, enemies are strong and usually there are many of them, but the story really worth it and several bugs can make battles easier (sometimes enemies just stand in a corner without casting spells or attacking). If you are going to buy this game - don't expect really interesting gameplay features, but I'm almost 100% sure that you will sing songs along with the NPCs and laugh at dialogs between characters or narrator's comments.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
30.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Great if you like 4th wall breaks, terrible humor, and a main character who thrives on snark.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
One of the funniest games I ever played. Sadly there isn't Polish language on Steam version because it so much better (for me at least). But still great game!
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