RETRO – For decades, The Bard’s Tale games have been a staple of the role-playing game (RPG) genre, enchanting players with their whimsical humor, memorable characters, and engaging gameplay. Now, with the release of Google Bard – an experimental AI-powered chatbot – the name “Bard” has taken on a whole new meaning. But let’s not forget the games that started it all.
Ah, The Bard’s Tale – the RPG series that’s been around since before the internet was even a thing. It’s a game that’s withstood the test of time, much like a Twinkie in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And much like a Twinkie, it’s got a certain charm that never fades, no matter how many years go by.
But let’s not forget the true heroes of this franchise – the developers who brought us all those unforgettable characters, epic adventures, and of course, those hilarious moments that made us laugh out loud. I mean, it takes a certain kind of genius to come up with a story about a bard who saves the world with the power of his lute playing, right?
And while we may never know the true depths of their creativity and imagination, we can only hope that they were well-stocked on caffeine and pizza during the development process. Because let’s face it, creating a world full of dragons, wizards, and talking cats is no easy feat.
So, let’s raise a glass (of mead, of course) to the developers of The Bard’s Tale, for bringing us decades of laughter and adventure. Here’s to you, you magnificent bastards.
The Bard’s Tale games are a series of RPGs that have captured the hearts of players around the world. Known for their humor, engaging gameplay, and memorable characters, these games have stood the test of time, with the first game in the series released in 1985. Over the years, the series has seen several sequels, spinoffs, and remasters, solidifying its place as a classic in the RPG genre.
The Bard’s Tale – Tales of the Unknown (1985, Apple II, Commodore 64, PC)
In 1985, the first game in The Bard’s Tale series was released by Interplay Productions. Titled “The Bard’s Tale – Tales of the Unknown,” the game was a dungeon-crawling RPG that took players on a journey through the city of Skara Brae. Players took on the role of the Bard, a skilled musician and adventurer, tasked with rescuing a group of abducted adventurers. The game was a commercial and critical success, leading to several sequels and spinoffs.
Over the years, “The Bard’s Tale” has been remastered and re-released on several platforms, including the Amiga, Apple IIgs, Commodore Amiga CD32, and PC.
The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight (1986, Apple II, Commodore 64, PC)
One year after the release of the first game, Interplay Productions released “The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight” in 1986. The game continued the story of the first game, with the Bard and his companions journeying through time to prevent an ancient evil from returning. The game introduced new features, such as a spell-combining system and the ability to create custom characters.
Like the first game, “The Bard’s Tale II” was remastered and re-released on various platforms, including the Amiga, Commodore Amiga CD32, and PC.
The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate (1988, Apple II, Commodore 64, PC)
In 1988, the final game in the original trilogy, “The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate,” was released. The game saw the Bard and his companions traveling to the underworld to prevent an evil deity from escaping and wreaking havoc on the world. The game introduced new features, such as the ability to hire NPCs and the inclusion of non-human playable races.
As with the previous games, “The Bard’s Tale III” was remastered and re-released on various platforms, including the Amiga, Commodore Amiga CD32, and PC.
The Bard’s Tale (2004, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
In 2004, a new game in the series was released, simply titled “The Bard’s Tale.” Developed by inXile Entertainment and published by Vivendi Universal, the game was a reimagining of the first game in the series. Featuring a new storyline, updated graphics, and a more action-oriented combat system, the game was well-received by both critics and fans.
In addition to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions, the game was later released on PC and Mac.
The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep (2018, PC)
After a long hiatus, inXile Entertainment – founded by Brian Fargo, the creator of the original Bard’s Tale games – released “The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep” in 2018. The game was a return to the classic dungeon-crawling RPG gameplay of the original games, featuring a new storyline and updated graphics.
In addition to the PC version, “The Bard’s Tale IV” was also released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
A true RPG classic series
The Bard’s Tale series has captivated players for over three decades with its humor, memorable characters, and engaging gameplay. With its classic RPG elements and unique blend of humor and adventure, the series has been a major influence on the genre as a whole. From the early days of Apple II and Commodore 64 to the latest remastered versions, The Bard’s Tale games have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed by players today.