Title: The Bard's Tale: Tales of the Unknown
Released: November 1991 (December 1990 JPN)
Developer: Interplay Productions, Inc. (Port to console by Atelier Double Co. Ltd.)
Publisher: FCI; Pony Canyon, Inc.
Exploration - First-person
Combat - Turn based
Series - The Bard's Tale
|Bard's Tale or The Bard's Tale... you decide|
(Before I get too far into this, I apologize for the screen shots, which are muted in color. I'm not sure why, but the capture card I use seems to lose some color from RCA sources. I have the same trouble from my Genesis (and I'm guessing will have the same from SegaCD and TG-16), but it's very pronounced in this game (especially the borders). If anyone has any ideas that might help I'm open to try them.)
|No intro sequence with the bard singing... actually, where did the bard go?|
|One of the first viable warriors I rolled; maybe I'm too picky|
|I realized after I finished that everything beyond the flute was sold to the shop by past adventurers|
|There are a lot of these|
|Especially with the help of the bard's songs|
- Freeze Voice - Has a chance of freezing enemies, preventing their attack. In this first battle, I used this early, and the enemy never even got a swing off.
- Lucklaran - Said to weaken the magical powers of the enemy (actually says to lose), but there was never a noticeable effect. I hardly used it, in favor of the next song.
- Falkentyne's Fury - This increases the battle skill of all melee members. Most noticeably it increases the damage of every blow. I'm not sure it stacks with Battle Skill (sorcerer spell).
- Badh'r Kilnfest (Voice of Kylearan in the manual) - Is a one time song that causes some of the enemies to become confused, and fight for the party's victory. I hardly ever found use for this.
- The Traveller's Tune - Instantly returns the party to the guild. There is nothing like this in the original game, and I believe it's the number one reason this port is much easier than any other.
- Wayland's Watch - The only description I have is that it "soothes savage foes." I'd guess it either reduces the encounter rate, reduces the number of enemies in an encounter, or as in the original game, reduces damage done by the enemy.
- The Seeker's Ballad - The manual says it lowers the AC of the enemy, but it's the party's AC that drops by 2.
|Easily reaching level 2|
|The city gate confirms we're stuck here|
|I had no idea how dangerous a prospect this was, even with Trap Zap (gained at level 3)|
|Level 3 sorcerer spells are wind warrior, disbelieve (destroys enemy summons), invincible (which never worked), and sorcerer sight (sensed nearby key encounters)|
|I don't really see it... maybe if I tilt my head... or squint|
|That sweet, sweet proof|
|One of the most deceptively devious monsters in the game|
|I finally found a use for party combat!|
|Aildrek rises from his coffin and assaults the party with a bad translation|
|The castle where Tarjan rests was guarded by a dragon that only let me pass if I held the crystal eye|
|Also, this is the first place dragons started to appear|
|Not for long|
|Trying to raise three magic-users is going to bankrupt me|
|I almost expected a fight when I saw this|
|When fighting battles like this, you really need to hit hard and fast|
|The final floor went smoothly when I returned from refreshing myself|
Thus ends The Bard's Tale. A rough adventure to play through today, but much easier on the NES. There's no level draining to contend with, and no stone status effects (even if there were, there's a spell to cure it) to bog down the final dungeon. Of course, like most games that let you create characters, if you choose the wrong party, then you're going to have a bad time.
Elapsed Time: 24h21m (Final Time: 24h21m)
|The only English name in the credits|
|Design guy, yay!|
|I read this as Graphic Stuff the first time|
|Yay for coordination!|
|Especially since we just killed him|
|Programming deserves some praise|
Final Rating: 21 [35%]
|Sound and music, definitely an integral part of the game|
|Thank you for managing to release this game|