This game is the first in the Bard's Tale series, one of the great classics of early role-playing games. The town of Skara Brae is a place you will not forget after a trip through the world of The Bard's Tale: Tales of the Unknown. The world is large, encompassing the town itself, and five dungeons that are between two and four levels each. This means that the player must map all the twisting corridors and mazes of this game, which to some players is the most fun, and to others is the most annoying. Within these dungeons are several difficult puzzles that take a bit of thinking to get around and, as expected, hordes of monsters.
Unfortunately, the game world is not nearly as large as the others in the series, so you may find yourself restricted to a certain part of the game due to its linear style. This can be frustrating if you happen to be stuck on a particular puzzle and can go no further until it is solved. Also, if you are not the type of player who likes to build up characters, this can be frustrating as well, since there are times when you need spell-casters who can cast a particular spell, but they can only get that spell if they are of a certain level.
Probably one of the best features of this game is the character system. All characters, when not adventuring, are at the guild, which serves as a character storage. When you go out to explore the world, you pick any six of these characters. It is common to create more than six party members, using only the ones you need on that particular adventure. Because you can "borrow" characters from your friends, it adds to the fun of the game, and in a way turns a one-player game into a multiple-player cooperative game.
Overall, its a very difficult game as far as role-playing games go, especially if you do your own mapping, but is lots of fun once you accomplish this. If you ever wondered where it all began as far as console and computer role-playing games, check this one out and relive a classic adventure through Skara Brae.
Graphics: The town and dungeon walls are decent, but get repetitive quickly, as they all look alike for the most part. Monsters look okay but the programmers could have taken better advantage of the resolution.
Sound: The only sounds in this game are the few bard songs and the adventurer's guild song. They fit the mood and environment of the game sufficiently, but get annoying very quickly, especially since most PC speaker volume controls do not apply to the music made by this game, so it often cannot be turned down.
Enjoyment: Other than a few annoying parts such as mapping, or the fight with no less than 396 berserkers which takes almost a half hour, this game is a lot of fun. If you are the type who likes to figure things out and map your own progress, this game will provide hours of enjoyment.
Replay Value: Once you have done all the more annoying parts of the game, such as stumbling through puzzles and mapping, using that information will make the second time through the game better than the first. It is also worth playing through again to reconfigure your party before you import your characters to Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight.
The Bard's Tale takes place in the city of Skara Brae, which has been taken over by the evil wizard Mangar, who has brought an eternal winter over the city. Monsters roam the streets and it is dangerous to stay out in the streets at night.
Your mission is to lead your party of adventurers through the streets, sewers, dungeons, and towers of Skara Brae to search for a way to defeat Mangar.
Bard's Tale continued Wizardry's 3-D perspective while adding a number of innovations such as more character classes, indoor and outdoor adventuring, and color graphics, among other things.
The original Dungeons and Dragons board game heralded the rise of the role playing genre and captured the public imagination. However, RPG board games involved a lot of calculating, making notes, rolling dice and collecting cards. With the rise of computer RPG games, this changed. The computer took care of all the complex calculations, all the variables - and the most important thing: you didn't have to worry that it would try to cheat.
The Bard's Tale is one of the great RPG games that people simply loved to play. Although they're classical RPGs, they're somewhat different from the rest: you don't get to customize your characters. You need a party to go on a quest, as in every classical RPG, but you only get to select the race and the position of the party members. There are no skills, wisdom, magic, or any other points you may distribute either randomly or intentionally; you can only create characters and choose a party to go on the quest.
That quest is to overthrow the evil wizard Mangar, who has seized control of the city of Skara Brae. This may sound very easy, but bear in mind that Mangar is helped by all sorts of monsters, which you'll have to fight on the streets, in dungeons, in sewers, and in the very towers of Skara Brae, where the evil one hides.
So if you're looking for a classic RPG from the golden era of computer gaming, the original Bard's Tale is the right thing for you!
Part of the The Bard's Tale Trilogy
People who downloaded Bard's Tale 1 have also downloaded:
Bard's Tale 2: The Destiny Knight, Bard's Tale 3: Thief of Fate, Bard's Tale, The, Baldur's Gate, Diablo, Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Dungeon Master, Diablo 2
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