The Bard's Tale Wiki

The Bard's Tale

InXile Releases[]

2004 Release[]

In 2004, a new "The Bard's Tale" was published by InXile for X-Box and PS2. Apart from the name, the game has little to do with the old RPG saga. It is an action-adventure with lots of humour. Ubisoft seems to have been InXile's partner for distribution in Europe. French and German versions of the game exist. The game's Windows version was published in 2005.

2012 Re-release[]

As of 2012 the 2004 game was republished by InXile for PC via digital platforms such as Steam and GOG. It is also available for Android devices including Google Play, Amazon Kindle and Amazon Fire TV, and for the Apple Pay platform. This edition is also available on consoles including XBoxOne and Playstation (PS2, PS4).

This version includes in-app purchases by which in-game items and advances, and media content (cutscenes, concept art, etc) can be purchased for real world money.

The release is subtitled "Remastered and Resnarkled". The original Bard's Tale 1-3 titles are also bundled with this release.



A nameless character called The Bard arrives at Houton, a village in a mythical version of the Orkney Islands. The sole aim of this anti-hero is to drink alcohol, frolic around with women and generally have a good time - seeking "coin, cleavage and carnage". Unfortunately for him, destiny has other plans, so he becomes a reluctant hero who explores the islands in order to face (though not necessarily fight) the evil that is bothering the land.


Point of View[]

The game features a "birds eye view" camera setting that resembles old arcade style games, while this is useful for battling the large groups of enemies that attack The Bard regularly, it does not always suit the three dimensional style of the game very well. Some objects and map features may even go unoticed unless one knows exactly what they are looking for.

Cutscenes are animated in a more 3D style.

Character Generation[]

Pre-game, you generate a character by allocating a total of 12 additional points to the 6 Statistics of Strength, Vitality, Luck, Dexterity, Charisma and Rhythm, and by picking one Talent. Statistics start at 8, 6, or 4, depending on the Difficulty level selected - Easy, Normal or Old School, respectively.

There is only one character class, Bard, and the starting equipment is always the same: Sword, Lute, and Padded Armor.


  • Strength - affects melee combat - +1 damage per point
  • Vitality - affects health - 5 Health per point of Vitality (plus 10 per Level)
  • Luck - 'subtly affects many things'
  • Dexterity - affects ranged combat - +1 damage per point
  • Charisma - affects prices paid for items, in the region of 2% reduction per point
  • Rhythm - affects the statistics of summoned creatures - +1% damage and a few % more Health per point of Rhythm


These primarily confer new combat abilities such as the ability to use additional weapons, combinations of weapons, or use weapons in additional ways. There are also other Talents available such as finding more loot, or training the Dog companion to attack. One Talent can be selected at start, and additional Talent is granted at each odd numbered Level (3,5,7 etc).

Some Talents require that the player possesses a relevant item in order to be able to make use of the Talent. For example, Shield Talents require the player acquire a shield of some type.

Map Movement[]

The largest unit in the game map is the World Area. Houton is the first World Area.

The Bard can travel to other world locations on the strategic Map if there are available world areas that are unlocked (via encounters and quests).

Within each World Area are one or more local maps. For example, Houton has the local map itself, plus the local maps of Fairyhaunt Forest, Houton Forest, and the Bugbear's Lair. These local maps may require player action to unlock. Once unlocked they are accessed by going to an exit of the current local map and pressing the interact/activate button.

Within a local map, movement in and out of buildings and rooms is achieved similarly, by going to the entrance or exit and pressing the interact/activate button or key.

The interact/activate button is also used to talk to NPCs that are found on the local maps. Talking to NPCs is the primary way to initiate and progress main quests and side quests.


Combat is real time rather than turn based. The main options are whether to use melee combat or ranged combat, which creatures to summon to assist, and the choice of weapons to use. Weapons and armour acquired greatly influence combat, as do the character's Statistics and Talents, and available summoned creatures (via their available Tunes and Instruments).

Melee Combat[]

During melee combat, the player has the option to move and to attack or block, or execute special attacks obtained from Talents. Other Talents allow stun effects to be delivered during a successful block or attack, which can be very advantageous.

Ranged Combat[]

During ranged combat, which is only possible once the player has acquired a ranged weapon, the player can either move or aim. Drawing the bow allows it to be aimed; releasing it will then fire an arrow and will usually auto-aim at a nearby enemy target.

Combat Equipment[]

Equipment used for combat can be divided into offensive and defensive equipment. Offensive equipment can be subdivided into melee weapons (4 classes) and ranged weapons (1 class). Defensive equipment can be divided into Armor (1 class) and Shields (1 class). For each class of equipment, the character can possess only one instance of that class. As soon as a superior item in that class is obtained, the previously held item is immediately discarded and converted to Silver. As such there are 7 classes of arms, which are:

  • Offensive
    • Melee
      • Sword
      • Dirk
      • Flail
      • Two Handed Weapons
        • Sword
        • Axe
        • Hammer ? (or is this only a dropped loot item?)
    • Ranged
      • Bow
  • Defensive
    • Armor
    • Shield

The Dirk, Flail, and the Two Handed weapons require the relevant Talent is first obtained before they can be equipped in combat (they can be bought and carried without the relevant Talent, but not used).

The Dirk cannot be equipped alone, but only as part of a Sword and Dirk combination (using the Dual Wield Talent).

All of the Melee weapons are equipped using the Melee menu. The Bow must be equipped using the Special menu (which also offers using your Fists, i.e. unarmed combat).

Passive shield use (armour bonuses) does not require any Shield Talents.


Combat Equipment[]

The Bard can buy many Weapons and Armor at various Stores for better gear to fight in battles. Better gear can also be looted from special corpses and chests.


The currency of the game is Silver pieces.

Loot picked up from kills or chests is directly converted to Silver, the game's currency. Any time that equipment is upgraded, the previous equipment is immediately converted to Silver. As such, there is no Sell mechanism, only a Buy mechanism.


You can also collect Tokens that confer additional benefits, usually increasing statistics.

Amulets and Adderstones[]

In addition you can acquire Adderstones, power crystals which can be expended to activate Amulets. You acquire a powerful healing amulet early in the game. Further amulets (3-4 in total) can be acquired through further quests.


At Bars you can buy beverages that have various properties (good and bad). However it is not possible to carry these beverages in inventory. They can only be consumed in a pub, and each one consumed cancels the effects of the previous beverage.


The Bard can eventually Summon up to 16 types of magical creatures with varying abilities and special powers. The 16 creature types each require The Bard to acquire new Tunes in order for him to summon them.

Initially The Bard can have one summoned creature active at the same time. This increases as The Bard acquires more powerful magical instruments via quests.

The Tunes menu gives a description of each summoned creature, and the Statistics option of this menu will show the statistics of the creature, as it would be generated by the player based on their current Rhythm.

Many (all?) of the 16 creatures also have an Upgraded version which can be obtained by finding a further Tune. The upgraded version is shown in gold colour on the Tunes menu and in the Summoning hot menu.


The Bard may also acquire a Dog companion, Roxy. Roxy can be found right by a well in Houton, the starting village. Roxy is useful for finding small items of loot, warning of enemies, distracting enemies in combat, and he can be trained to fight in battles via a Talent.

Experience and Levelling[]

You earn experience points (XP) after you kill enemies and completing most quests. When you gain enough XP you can Level Up which increases Health, allows you to add two points to one or more of your stats, and on alternate levels, lets you gain a Talent.