The Bard's Tale - Retrospective @ RPS
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 Stepping into the Catacombs (The Mad God’s Name is “Tarjan”, twenty-years out of date Spoiler fans) I effortlessly locate the room featuring 9 Wights which I used as an early grinding run, relying on my bard blowing his area-effect Fire Horn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”?
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