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The Bard's Tale I: Tales of the Unknown - All News

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Wednesday - June 03, 2015
Sunday - March 17, 2013
Thursday - November 03, 2011
Tuesday - August 19, 2008
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Wednesday - June 03, 2015

The Bard's Tale - retrospective

by Hexprone, 06:00

With the revival of The Bard's Tale on the horizon, Techraptor has run a retrospective on the first game in the series. There's a lot I didn't know, starting with the fact that Brian Fargo wasn't its main creator.

The Bard’s Tale stands out among it’s peers ... because of it’s simplicity as a dungeon crawler. Much of the credit for this goes to Michael Cranford, the designer and writer of the original game, Tales of the Unknown: The Bard’s Tale

Cranford was never an official employee of Interplay. “He was an independent contractor,” recalled former colleague Becky Heinemann. “He was able to do this since he was an old high school buddy of Brian Fargo."

After the success of the first game, Cranford would continue to work with Interplay on The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight before leaving game design completely. Cranford stated that “I was pretty burnt out on D&D game programming … and wanted to pursue studies in philosophy and theology. I also thought I didn’t need Interplay at that point and had a falling out with Brian Fargo.”

Fargo, for his part, would continue on with Interplay, while having Heinemann direct The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate

The Bard’s Tale franchise would spawn three games from 1985-1988, with Dragon Wars being a re-worked title that was planned to be The Bard’s Tale IV, before Interplay decided not to pursue a publishing deal with Electronic Arts. All titles, with the exception of the 2004 Bard’s Tale, are currently still owned by Electronic Arts.  


Source: TechRaptor

Sunday - March 17, 2013

The Bard's Tale - Retrospective @ The Verge

by Aries100, 20:19

Bryan Bishop from The Verge has penned an interesting piece about this classic rpg.
Here's some relevant quotes:

Here's a quote on what is all about:

The goal? Taking down the evil archmage Mangar, and freeing the city in the process. It has all the RPG tropes of its time: character classes like sorcerers, paladins, and rogues, with players choosing from races like humans, elves, and half-orcs to build their party. The titular bard character class is described as a former warrior with a penchant for ale, one who can create magic simply by playing songs.

Today you can get this game by buying InXile's 2004 Bard's Tale game:

However, it's since trickled down to smartphones, moderns PCs, and the Mac - and now comes bundled with the original Bard's Tale trilogy in its entirety....... Playing it today is a reminder of the delicate balance between story, game mechanics, and sheer fun. Its graphics may seem primitive, and we've come a long way from its keyboard-heavy gameplay, but the charm of The Bard's Tale persists.

Thursday - November 03, 2011

The Bard's Tale - Design Doc @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 20:42

GameBanshee has an original design document from Tales of the Unkown, Volume 1: The Bard's Tale. The document reads like a pitch, so here's the opening of what was going to be called "Shadow Snare":

SHADOW SNARE is a role playing game set in a medieval fantasy world. If it could be called similar to any existing gane, that game would be Wizardry, by Sir Tech Software.  The object in the design of SHADOW SNARE has not been to copy Wizardry, but to come up with a role playing game of similar, though greatly increased, playability. The graphics, sound, and content would be ten tines that of Wizardry, which is still a top seller, along with its varied scenarios and Ultima III.

Tuesday - August 19, 2008

The Bard's Tale - Retrospective @ RPS

by Woges, 12:55

Kieron Gillen replays The Bard's Tale (the 1985 one) and scribes up his thoughts at RPS.

It’s an odd experience. After a worryingly short period of time, Skara Brae gets beneath my fingertips. I had most of the city memorised, and the muscle memory is still there. Soon I’m running from the guild to the central temples to the magical recharge-shop to the Review Board with barely a glance at the screen. Stepping into the Catacombs (The Mad God’s Name is “Tarjan”, twenty-years out of date Spoiler fans) I effortlessly locate the room featuring 9 Wights which I used as an early grinding run, relying on my bard blowing his area-effect Fire Horn before they tore us to pieces, for about 1500XP a pop. How can I remember all this when I don’t remember the name of any 95% of my classmates? But since it’s a fledgling prototype of the modern RPG, there’s little which hasn’t been seen in more advanced games. While an interesting historical exercise, it fails on the ultimate test: which is “Is there a reason to play it now”?

Information about

The Bard's Tale I: Tales of the Unknown

Developer: Interplay

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: None

Regions & platforms
North America
· Platform: PC
· Released at 1985-01-01
· Publisher: EA

· Platform: PC
· Released at 1985-01-01
· Publisher: EA