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 (389 reviews) - 79% of the 389 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 17, 2005

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Bard's Tale


Recommended By Curators

"Trigger warning: old game. A funny RPG game for a change. A pretty solid game with hilarious dialogues."

Recent updates View all (2)

June 4

The Bard's Tale IV In-Engine Video

Greetings Exiles,

We finally put the finishing touches on the video for The Bard’s Tale IV In-Engine Video. The biggest question we get is how we plan to bring the genre forward, and this video should answer the question!

For the full gameplay video and Kickstarter update text, check here:

6 comments Read more

June 2

The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter launched!

Greetings Exiles,

It's been a long time. Released 30 years ago, Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale was released to glowing reception and quickly became a defining role-playing game of the 80s, inspiring countless games and putting Interplay and Brian Fargo on the map. But it's been many years since we had a follow-up to the series. In 2004, Brian and inXile released The Bard's Tale, a console-oriented spin-off that was well received, but even then the team knew it wasn't necessarily a true follow-up to the classic games.

Now, the same team that brought you Wasteland 2 in 2014 invites you to lend your support once again for The Bard's Tale IV. As a sequel to the original trilogy by Interplay and Brian Fargo, The Bard's Tale IV will revitalize the dungeon crawling and CRPG genres with gorgeous visuals, Gaelic music, and fast-paced dynamic phase-based combat... not to mention all the twisting, mind-bending dungeons you can handle.

The game won't be possible without the backing of our amazing and generous community. On the 30th anniversary of Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale, help us return back to Skara Brae and bring back the dungeon crawl! These kinds of games would not exist under a traditional publishing model, and we need your support to make them a reality. Please lend your aid and back The Bard's Tale IV on Kickstarter today.

Thank you,
inXile Entertainment

3 comments Read more


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

“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

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
64 of 64 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
A fun little (2004) action rpg. You play a bard and navigate (pretty) linear areas, use melee weapons, bows, and summons, and collect money to buy better gear. The best parts about the game are it's humor (it is actually pretty funny) and the freedom of combat options (depsite being only able to play one character). You level up abilities which in turn allows you to specialize in summoning, melee, bows, etc. Worth a play. Around 12-15 hours or so with one or two optional sidequests. Like I said, It is pretty linear, so dont expect Diablo.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
Just as i remembered it! This game is so much fun, Everyone should give it ago!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
153.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
First, this is a review from The Bard's Tale, not the 3 originial bards tale 1-3 that come with the game. The Bards tale is a lackluster, basic rpg that you will enjoy playing but doesn't have the depth, roleplaying aspect, nor versitily to be a good rpg. Most characters wind up exactly the same, the only difference is if you want to concentrate more on an archer character (recommended) or a melee character.

You start off as The Bard, and like all rpgs you run into problems, have to fight monsters, visit stores and talk to people, and bla bla bla. Unlike some rpgs this game tries to keep the Bards Tale humor in it, with funny comments and happenings. Sadly this does not add to the gameplay or the depth of the game so instead of making the game better, all it does it make it a tad funnier. If i wanted funny i'd watch a comedy stand-up show.

You can fight either with melee weapons or archery, and your main ability is to summon allies to help you in your quests. You really have no choice on your character build other than if you want to focus on melee or archery, all characters usually wind up with max summoning, luck, endurance, etc. Your real only choice is to have strength and use melee weapons/shields, or dexterity to use bows, and since bows seem to be vastly superior to melee choice, most just go with bows. You only have 1 line of bows to be skilled in, while if you focus on melee you have a variety of choices such as 2 handed, dual welding, weapon/shield, etc. If you pick bows, you just focus on bows and get better much easier. Plus bows let you attack out of range, bows are useful vs all foes in the game, and only bows are useful vs some foes in the game, making picking anything other than bows as your main attack ability wasteful.

The maps are small, basic. The gameworld map overland map is small, not many locations, linear in nature, you do get a few extras while playing such as artifacts to use in combat, which sadly you won't use 99% of the game because it isn't a hard game especially with your summons. You can summon a variety of helpers to use, a few you will use a lot but many you won't even touch due to there not being a huge variety of combat gameplay that would need them. You can summon melee warriors, area-of-effect summons, distance attackers, plus support healers, light casters, etc. As you progress you can upgrade the summons once into better summons, but again you will find yourself simply using a half dozen or so summons all the time while the rest sit in the dusty closet never to be touched. You and your bow are the main force in combat so you'll have some melee fighters to hold off foes while you plink away at them, and a backup healer just in case. Thats about it.

Most fights, even boss fights just require you to smack them until dead, very little strategy nor difficulty. Some boss's i just blasted with arrows and my summons and they were dead in 10-20 seconds.. Not very difficult boss fights. There isn't really an inventory system, there isn't really a stat/skill system to vary your characters other than noted earlier, melee or archery. There isn't any crafting, not many secrets, not a huge store variety to buy stuff (you are given most of your gear as you play), and absolutely no replay value to the game at all.

Lackluster graphics, gameplay, maps, and rpg elements make this game a nice buy when its on sale due to the inclusion of the original bards tale 1-3 games, plus the game isn't incredibly bad, but just make sure to pick it up on-sale so you can enjoy a basic so-so rpg game that you've seen 1000 times before, usually with better gameplay.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny