Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale

(aka: Bard's Tale 1)

Bard's Tale 1 Hints and Walkthroughs

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From the Manual...

Tips from the Underground:


1. Your first three dungeons should be the sewers, the catacombs and the castle (in that order). Each is progressively tougher. Don't attempt the catacombs without a party of level 9 or higher characters.

2. Explore and map every square in every maze. There are "Magic Mouths" that give hints. There are 1-of-a-kind magic items and spell regeneration zones. Good maps will show you the logical spots for secret doors and secret rooms, too.

3. Avoid traps. Higher level rogues are excellent at opening chests, but when in doubt use the "Trapzap" spell. TRZP is guaranteed to work with no harm to the party, unless, of course, the trap is protected by even more powerful magic. In fact, you can use TRZP to disarm any traps you encounter. Gas Cloud traps have doomed many brave but foolish adventurers. If you set off a trap and nothing happens, you were lucky not good. You could have been killed.

4. Be sure that your party is fully healed before entering a new dungeon.

5. When you are finding your bearings in a maze, remember that each succeeding level goes UP in a tower or castle and DOWN in a dungeon.


1. Usually the highest dexterity character attacks first. For particularly nasty monsters (like blue dragons) attack with your highest dexterity character first. Your less dexterous characters may not survive long enough to get in a first strike.

2. Use your spells and Bard songs to lower the armor class of your entire party. The lower the better.

3.If you are attacked by more than 2 groups of monsters, concentrate on Magic Users first. If you cannot kill off all the magic-using monsters, you may want to cast anti-magic spells to protect against illusions, possessions and other spells.

4. You can minimize damage by killing off all but one monster in either of the first two attacking groups. As a general rule, attack groups with only one monster last, unless it is a deadly monster.

5. Many of the undead monsters are capable of draining experience levels, turning characters old and gray or even turning characters to stone. Treat the undead with respect. In other words, kill them quickly.

6. Be prepared to die a lot with level 1 and 2 characters. Especially at night. Especially when you don't have any weapons and are just walking to Garth's Shoppe. It might even be a good idea to stay close to a Temple at night, so you can quickly heal any wounds.

7. Fill the special slot quickly. Conjure or summon a monster or create an illusion, if necessary. The special member will take a lot of heat off your fighters. Monsters tend to attack special members first.

8. Monsters are smart. They usually attack your most vulnerable characters first, unless one of your members represents a significant threat.


1. Don't be concerned about losing a Level 1 character. Just make another one. But when your characters reach the 3rd level, back them up regularly using your favorite disk copy program.

2. If your favorite character gets killed, there are several things you can do. You can resurrect him by magic or in a temple by spending spell points or gold. You can turn off the computer and reboot, and your entire party will be restored, but without the experience, gold and magic items they have won since the last time you save game. Or you can load the character from your back-up disk onto the main disk, after first deleting the dead character from your main disk.
NOTE: you can only restore a character by rebooting if you have previously saved your party by exiting the game when in the Adventurer's Guild.

3. In "rolling" a character's attribute numbers, 17s and 18s can often make a big difference, as follows: Intelligence gives Magic Users bonus spell points; Dexterity gives fighters (but not Bards) bonus armor protection and first strike capability; Strength allows fighters to do extra damage in combat; Luck allows Rogues to survive even if they accidentally set off a trap; and Constitution gives all characters bonus hit points.

4. Most character races have at least one attribute they are particularly high in. Pay close attention to starting attributes when designing your party.

5. Develop a Sorceror fast. They are very useful in dungeons. Wizards are extremely important in advanced levels; they can summon demons, extremely powerful specials. Develop an Archmage, too. You'll need one; you'll want more.

6. Your pre-built party, excellent for beginning levels, may not be the best group for advanced levels. You may want to experiment with a hunter, because his "critical hit" capability can vanquish superior monsters, and the monk, who is perhaps the best fighter of all after he reaches the 6th level.

7. Warriors and other fighters often play less of a role against higher level, magic-using monsters. But without the protection of their armor and strong arms, your Magic Users would not survive long enough to learn the higher level magic spells.

8. Beware the Doppelganger monster. It enters your party and looks just like one of your members.


1. Don't venture too far into any dungeon without your maximum spell points. A good rule is to leave a dungeon when you are down to one quarter of your maximum spell points.

2. Manage your spell points carefully. Don't waste a spell if you can accomplish the same thing without magic. Torches, for example, often work as well as magic light spells. On the other hand, don't be shy about using magic in combat. When in doubt, blast 'em with magic.

3. Locate traps, second sight and sorceror sight spells all identify traps within 30 feet. Trapzap spell disarms all traps within 30 feet.

4. Cast a long lasting Bard spell right before entering a tavern. It's like getting a free spell.


1. Generally, the more expensive the item is, the better it works. Almost like real life.

2. There are no cursed or bad items, unlike real life.

3. Don't be stingy. Equip your fighters with the best armor, weapon, shield, helmet and gauntlets money can buy. After all, he can't take it with him.

4. Experiment with all items you find to determine their capabilities. Magical items are key to success. Remember that an item may only be magical for certain characters and classes, so trade items around if you have to.

5. Make sure some of your characters carry less than 8 items, or else the party will never be able to pick up new magical items in the dungeons.

6. Whenever your party captures an especially interesting or powerful magic item, save the party as soon as possible. That way, even if disaster strikes, you will never lose that powerful armor, weapon, talisman or whatever.

7. This manual is not protected by magic shields or air armor. Don't let your dog eat it.