Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale

(aka: Bard's Tale 1)

Bard's Tale 1 Hints and Walkthroughs

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GameSurge Bard's Tale Strategy Guide
Playthrough for the NES

Questions can be answered at vicstQvQnson@mailQxcitQ.com. This is version 1.0, and don't expect a 2.0 in the near future. Oh, and change all the Q's to e's to mail me.

I really don't care if you distribute it anywhere else. Just be sure to leave my name in the credits on how to contact me.

I finally dusted of my old NES, if for no other reason than to play Tecmo World Wrestling. However, I also found a Bard's Tale cartridge, and remembered how much I enjoyed playing Bard's Tale 2 & 3 on my old Commodore 64. I had never tried 1, so went for it. I got stuck in Kylerean's Tower with a golem problem, so went off to gamefaqs.com for a solution. Well, the one that was supposedly for the NES was actually for the PC. So, I decided to contribute greatly to the culture of Skara Brae (and those who want to try the game) by doing this. I used both the original cartridge and the ROM version while putting this together. If you can find the original, I salute your abilities at the local used game store. People that use the emulated version will have an easier time with the save game feature.

Starting off, your first goal should be to get your entire party up until at least level 4, and get your magic users the spells associated with that level. At level 3, fighting the Wizard statues that guard each side to the Scarlet Bard is a relatively easy task. The Bard is located in almost the SE corner of the city. You get 80 experience points for defeating each. If you wish to continue to fight these statues, head down into the basement of the Bard. (Do so by requesting grape juice at the tavern), then immediately return to the surface. The statues would be back in place, and you can defeat them again to earn the points.

When fighting in Skara Brae, most creatures gives a relatively even split of gold and experience points. The exceptions are Mad Dogs (heavier weighting on experience) and theives (more gold).

I played this game with 2 Warriors, a Hunter, a Bard, a Sorcerer and a Wizard. I have found the rogue to border on useless, unlike in Bard's Tale 3.


When you head down into the Scarlet Bard, at the first junction, go to the south, then follow the outside wall until you receive a message that you feel a "cold wind blowing from somewhere". Head through that door, and work your way over to 2N, 15E (using Scry Site if needed to determine position) and head down to the sewers.

When in the sewers, follow the path, and take the first exit to the left. Continue through the large room, then continue until you reach the North/South junction. Go South. At the next junction, the south path leads to some stairs (I'll get into that later), but head east to get towards your goal for the sewers. Follow that path around, (continuing straight at the first junction you see).

Eventually, you will run into a stone statue of a spider. Examine it, and get into a fight with a Black Widow. To win this battle, have all three of your fighters attack it. Also, have the sorcerer cast Wind Warrior before getting into the battle (which occurs 7E, 4N of the sewers entrance). You Bard should play Falkentyne Fury. The Sorcerer should cast Battle Skill on each of your three fighters in turn (although the fight should not take more than three rounds), while your Wizard helps out by casting Word of Healing on injured Party Members. After the victory, continue down the passage to get the HereticProof, which is needed to enter the Catacombs at the bizarre temple.

Now, you noticed that you netted 500 big experience points for beating the Widow. Here is where the steps I mentioned earlier come into play. They don't function to well as an exit. (Mangar's gates and a Guard are in the way) But, after you have defeated the Widow, head up and down those the stairs, then go over to where you fight the Widow. It is back, and you can fight it again for another 500 points, should you beat it. I would recommend getting your magic users up to level 8, since some of their spells (especially Magic Water) will come in very handy once you reach into the Catacombs.


Once you enter the catacombs via the Temple, which is located off the main plaza, which in turn is west of the Scarlet Bard. Cast Lesser Revelation once you get down to the sewers. Go west at the junction, and continue in the visible path until you reach the second door (located at 3E 9N) you encounter. Be careful of one-way doors that will force you to retrace your steps. They are plentiful on this level. Go north at the intersection. In general, if a door leads to a visible path, then it is a one-way door. At 10E, 15N, go through the (secret) door to the north. It is only visible under a Lesser Revelation spell. Follow that path until you get to a cross-shaped room. When you enter, you will see two doors at the opposite end of the cross. One continues south, the other goes east. Take the one heading east. Follow that path to the second level.

This level is a little easier, once you know where you are going. Go North at the junction, then follow it along until you reach the junction that allows you to go south, or continue west. Go south, and you will enter a room with three doors heading off in different directions. Take the one that heads east. Go north, follow the path, and go through the first door you see (it heads south). At the next options, go south, pass by the door, south again, through a door to the east, and continue towards the downbound stairs.

Onto the final level of the Catacombs. South at the first junction, then follow the path that is in the SW corner of the room you emerge in. In the second room where you have an option, take the path to the north. You will reach an east/west junction. Go east, until you see a door at 7E, 13N (all directions are according to the Scry Site spell). Go along that path, and take the first door to the south. After going through the next door, head immediately to the south. Around the corner, you will see a door. Ignore it, and go to the south, down the hall and through that door. Go through the two doors, and then hug the North wall in the room you enter. (There is a teleporter in the SE corner). Continue along the path. You will enter a room with four doors. Go to the position where there is a door on your immediate left and right. Take the one to the east. You will be teleported into Aildrek's chamber. Have the Sorcerer add a Wind Ogre to your party, get healed, and move forward for the battle.

As with the Widow, have your warriors and hunters attack Aildrek. The Bard should play Falkentyne again, with the Sorcerer casting Battle Skill onto your fighters in turn. Your wizard should cast Armor Collapse on Aildrek, then use Emit Flare in subsequent rounds. 3-4 rounds should do it, but there likely will be the death of one your fighters in the process. Just resurrect him at the temple, and enjoy the 5,000 points your survivors received. As with the widow, you might want to return to fight the battle again, since you should try to be at level 14 before you head into the tower. Sadly, there is no path like with the Widow. So, keep going through the Catacombs to gain the experience needed.


After you are at a suitable level, make your way to the castle in the NW corner of Skara Brae. There are 4 paths heading away from the first chamber you enter (not counting the nothern path to the throne). Of the four heading east or west, take the SouthEastern most door. Go North after going through that door, and through the door at the nothernmost end of the tunnel. Go south, through another door. Follow the path. Ignore the first door, but get ready for a fight with 3 groups of 5 Darkfighters when you go through the second! Have your fighters duke it out with one of the groups, as your Sorcerer and Wizard use Mind Darts and Arc Blizzard on the other groups. 2-3 rounds should be easily enough to give victory to your side. Return back to the throne room, and stride up to the throne. Plop down on the throne, and a secret passage opens. To reach the stairs, go east, east at the next junction, past the first door, but through the second, and down to the upward staircase.

You need to retrieve an item on this level before you go up to the next level. It is needed in the next tower you will visit. Head east at the nearby junction, then north at the next one. You should reach a door where you "hear a strange voice". Fight your way past the Gray Dragon (use the same methodology that was used to defeat Aildrek, although you might want to substitute Flesh Anew for Emit Flare, depending on the condition of your party). Rescue the Crystal Fighter. Return to the junction, and this time, head south. Go down the new passage, and take the southern door. Don't go through the next door. Instead go west, and follow the path. When you see a junction, the way ahead leads towards a teleporter, but the eastward path takes you up to level 3.

Head west at the first junction, and follow the path until you reach a room. Go through the door, and head to the south when you get the option. Follow the path counterclockwise, ignoring all the doors. Finally, at 15E, 11N, the path will end. There are two doors there. Take the one to the west. Go through the door that you immediately face, then turn immediately take a turn to the south. Enter the door, and pass the magic mouth. Follow the path. Ignore the first door. The second one is of interest. Cast Flesh Anew, and enter into a battle, with a mere 3 groups of 9 hunters each. Don't Panic. Have everybody guard, except for your magic users. Let them blast each group, one at a time, with Magic Darts and Arc Blizzard. Cast Fllesh Anew to heal the slight wounds, then continue along the path. Not much further ahead, you'll see Tarjan's statue. Check it out, and, as per usual, fight the statue. Remember how you beat the Grey Dragon? Use that method yet again. WOW! 18360 experience points. Try to get to level 20 before moving on to:


Upon entry, head north to the large, central room. Go through the door at 11E 9N. Enter the L-shaped passage. Go through the door you are facing (East). At the next option when you encounter two doors, go east as well. You will enter a long passageway that runs along the inside perimeter of the visible passageway. Just go right beside that, hugging the outside, not going through any doors that will take you away from that pathway. You will eventually run into a crystal golem. A relatively easy fight, but with one nasty catch. Remember that crystal fighter you picked up at the Castle? You need to use it during the battle, or the sucker will just keep popping back to life. After that little inconvenience, enter a room with 4 doors, the one at 4E 10N (the farthest SW) is the one you want. Head to the second level.

It is actually quite simple, at least from a maze viewpoint. Spiral your way into the center. Go through a westward door at 6E 10N. The next door you need is at 12E 8N. Once you reach the center, you will meet Klyerean, and get the key needed to enter Mangar's tower.


Head into the first visible passage, and move to 4E, 2N, where you will go through a teleporter. Turn around, go through the door, and turn to the west. Go through the door you see. Follow the path. Don't go through the door at the end of the L-shaped passage, instead walk through the secret door on the east wall. Turn south, and walk down to 9E, 4N. There turn to the east, and go through the door you see. Follow the path, until you emerge in a large room. Go north at this point. Turn west and use the door. Now go northn and use that door. You should be at 14E, 11N at this point. Turn East, and follow that path all the way up to 15N, 10E, where you will teleport to the second level.

Go south for as far as you can. Follow the path to 11N, 14E. You will see a door to the south. Use it. Go south a few steps into a large room. Turn east, and use the door you see. Head south. Once you go through the door, turn west. Walk west, and you will see two doors. You want to go through the southernmost of the two. Follow the path, past the one-way door into a large room. At 7N, 7E, walk to the west. You emerge in a room, where you should take the door in the NW corner. Use the NW door in the next room. You enter a room with 2 doors in the NE corner. Take the one facing North. Continue North in the room you enter, and use the door at 14N, 2E. Follow the path you walk into. Ignore the first door you see, and walk to an area where you see doors on the south and east walls. The eastern door will allow you to enter a path that leads towards the stairs to level 3.

This is quite easy. Stay on the visible path. Go west at the first junction. Ignore all doors, until you reach a four way junction. (Door to the east, paths in all other directions, you will approach from the south) It is located 4N, 6E. Use the door. Walk a few steps, and a short path will appear to the south. Walk down it. You will be given the choice of 4 buttons. Press them in this order: Dragon, Fire, Crystal, Sword. Walk north in the path you are sucked into, and walk to the steps to the 4th level of Mangar.

Here is the fun part. Walls can change to doors, and vice versa on this level. Sounds like fun? True, but it makes a walkthrough damn near impossible. You are on your own, but here is what you really need to know. There are stairs at 4N, 1E. They take you to the final level of the tower. Good luck, folks.

On the fifth level, go north at the first junction you encounter. Stay on the visible path, ignoring any dead ends. You will eventually reach a door where you sense something dreadful on the other side. Fight the Demon Lord you encounter. It should not be too hard. Use Armor Collapse & Battle Skill to help, if needed. Then, get healed, because the big one is next. Walk North, and at 14N, 14E, you will meet Mangar.

The Bard should play Falkentyne. Your Sorcerer should cast Battle Skill on each of your fighters in turn (cast a Wind Dragon into your party before moving in to rumble with Mangar). Your Wizard should cast Dragon's Breath, or Flesh Anew if healing is needed. As your illusionary characters die, have your sorcerer bring them back. Your fighters attack. 10 rounds or so are needed, but victory will be yours.

Kylerean will offer congrats, and the game is over.

Vic Stevenson, perpetually hunting for Skara Brae