Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale
was first released in 1985, with the final game in the trilogy released 3 years later in 1988. After 30 years, the stars aligned to allow its fans to play an updated, remastered release of the trilogy, from the very first moment the Bard began his story:
The Bard's Tale Trilogy: Remastered
brings back the grid-mapping, dungeon-diving, turn-based combat, party-scale adventuring of the classic trilogy, with updated graphics, audio, music, interface, and some general gameplaying improvements.
What you'll find in this package is the same games*: The same maps, locations, creatures, characters, properties, items, and lore. But here packaged in a more seamless collection. Characters will be able to move forward into each sequel easily and quickly, as if it were the very same game.
Each of the games' content can still be found in their respective sections on Bard's Tale Online, but be aware that there have been a number of tweaks to statistics, some gameplay mechanics, map content and more, so if you spot something different in the Remastered version than recorded in these classic archives, you may have found one of these updates:
Tales of the Unknown / Destiny Knight / Thief of Fate
For a visual runthrough of the items outlight below, see the video guides
at the end of this article. Drool
- two other members of the "A-Team" of beta testers - will take you through the game's changes and mechanics with a brief playthrough the beginning of Bard's Tale 1, remastered.
If you haven't played the classic Bard's Tale before, and perhaps heard of how hardcore (or to some, tedious) the gameplay of the originals is - the necessity to hand-map all the levels on graph paper, for instance - don't worry, a number of gameplay aspects have been adjusted for the remastering. But, this release contains a LEGACY MODE, to which has been relegated quite a number of these mechanics that have been given a 'modern' tweak. So if you still want an experience most similar to the original games as possible, you'll want to enable that Legacy mode.
There is no physical game manual! That means many of the information you found in the manual and had to keep referring to on your computer desk is now available in the game - find hints and tips throughout the game to help you start out.
In the default Remastered mode, you'll notice new features such as the AUTOMAP, which now exists for all three games, and displays as an optional overlay on the viewport, in addition to a full screen map mode with more robust notations.
Feast your eyes on the greatly improved graphics! From 3D HIGH RES ENVIRONMENTS
(with an optional FREE LOOK
) to recreated HIGH RES PORTRAITS
both updated from the original portraits to quite a number of brand new visuals, like female class portraits.
Many other 'quality of life' improvements have been made as well, like tooltips for more details on spell and items, drag and drop party reordering, and save anywhere
in all 3 games, and more.
A few these improvements will be most noticed in Bard's Tale 1, such as the default 7 character slots instead of 6 plus the Special - but remember, there is the LEGACY MODE
if you want to experience Bard's Tale 1 the way it was originally made!
With all that said...
...Break out the graph paper and clicky pencils, create your custom team of adventurers in the Adventurer's Guild, and get ready to explore and save the lands of Skara Brae in all its renewed glory!
* Bard's Tale 2: Scheduled for release in fall 2018
* Bard's Tale 3: Scheduled for release in winter 2018
** Legacy mode: Scheduled for release in a winter 2018 update