The Bard's Tale Trilogy

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The Bard's Tale Trilogy
The Bards Tale Trilogy.jpg
'Til men of old, for blood and gold, had rescued Skara Brae.
Genre: RPG
Turn-Based
Dungeon Crawler
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
MacOS
Steam
GOG.com
Xbox One
Release Date: August 14, 2018 (Base Game)
October 23, 2018 (The Destiny Knight)
February 26, 2019 (Thief of Fate and Legacy Mode)
August 13, 2019 (Xbox One)
Game Engine: Unity
Developer: Krome Studios
Publisher: InXile Entertainment
Franchise: The Bard's Tale
Previous Game: The Mage's Tale (Release)
Next Game: The Bard's Tale IV: Borrow's Deep

The Bard's Tale Trilogy is a turn-based role-playing game developed by Krome Studios and published by InXile Entertainment. The game was released in parts, with the first game in the trilogy releasing on August 14, 2018. Games two and three of the trilogy released on October 23, 2018 and February 26, 2019 respectively. The Xbox One version released on August 13, 2019. The game itself is a remaster of the three original The Bard's Tale games.

Plot

Tales of the Unknown

A long time ago, during the era of magic, there was an evil wizard known as Mangar who had threatened the town of Skara Brae. Evil creatures poured into the streets and joined Mangar's side in the assault. Finally, for good measure, Mangar surrounded the hopeless town in an eternal winter, preventing the city from getting help from outsiders. Now, only the remaining adventures in the town's Adventurer's Guild can stop Mangar from turning Skara Brae to ruin.

The Destiny Knight

After the defeat of Mangar, word reaches to the wizard Saradon and he contacts the adventurers with news that mercenaries under orders from the archmage Lagoth Zanta have stolen an artifact known as the Destiny Wand, which had kept the kingdom safe for 700 years and broken it into seven pieces. The adventurers must retrieve those pieces and stop Lagoth in the process.

Thief of Fate

After the events of The Destiny Knight, the adventurers receive a letter from a man who informs them that during a celebration of the defeat of Mangar, his true master—the Mad God Tarjan—arrived and unleashed creatures of evil that turned Skara Brae to ruin. The game then begins in a refugee camp, where the last people who lived in Skara Brae live.

While exploring the ruins of Skara Brae, the adventurers meet the man in the ruins of the Review Board and tells the party to kill the first of the Mad God's servants. After doing so, the man tells the party to retrieve artifacts from other realms that will help rid the world of Tarjan once and for all.

Why It Rocks

  1. The game is all around a faithful remaster in general, adding quality of life improvements while still having the spirit of the original games.
  2. There are many new small but appreciated additions, such as being able to have a seventh party member, allowing players to chose a character's gender, and being able to save your game anywhere.
  3. The gameplay and combat systems are still as fun as ever, with all the exploration and combat mechanics still intact. The battle system in particular has aged well, with a mechanic that allows where your party members are located that affects who can use melee attacks and who can't get hit.
  4. The user interface has been updated with your likely most used actions set to hotkeys and the control overall doesn't feel clunky, unlike the Wasteland remaster.
  5. Many of the bugs and design issues present in the original releases are modified or removed in the remaster, such as the gold vanishing glitch and the infamous inescapable trick room from the Catacombs dungeon.
  6. The remade graphics and updated character portraits are pleasant to look at, with smooth lighting and textures. You can even move the camera around to look at the normally unseen details on the environment.
  7. The dungeons and locations are automatically mapped as you explore now, so you don't have to map out the dungeons yourself. Everything from the walls, traps, and anti-magic areas are added to your journal.
  8. Combat encounters can be speed up, which can be helpful to make the longer combat encounters go by quicker, such as the battles with hundreds of enemies, which went by very slowly in the original
  9. The updated bard songs sound really nice, with the cool touch of the sound of each song changing based on what instrument your bard is using.
  10. A few new spells have been added and grouped together, one new useful spell being Quick Fix (A level 1 healing spell, so you can heal from the beginning) and grouping an Archmage's Greater Levitation and Greater Revelation spells to the level 2 slot.
  11. The "Legacy Mode" allows players to turn on options that allow the game to play as the original releases did, such as turning off auto-mapping or having each character have individual inventory space.

Bad Qualities

  1. Many of the annoyances of the original games had are still here, such as one-way doors and having unclear direction on what to do next.
  2. The opening hour or so can be pretty unbalanced and requires the player to grind a lot.
  3. Some of the bard songs can get irritating to listen to after a few minutes, especially when they are played with heavier instruments.
  4. Just like the original games, a few of the enemy portraits are reused on other enemy types, such as a kobold having the same portrait as a goblin.

Reception

The Bard's Tale Trilogy received positive reception upon release. The game currently has a 10/10 on Steam.

Game Tips

  1. When beginning the game and creating a party, I recommend having a Paladin, Warrior, Hunter, and Bard in the front row and a Conjurer and two Magicians in the back.
  2. Before heading into the first dungeon (the Wine Cellar), I think it is best to grind to at least level 3 or 4 so you can be better prepared for the encounters there.
  3. Build up a Conjurer fast. They are very useful in dungeons and can get you out of a lot of tight spots.
  4. When playing the first two games and you plan on transferring your characters to the next game, change each magic user's class to the next once your spell level reaches 5 or more so you can be easily have all classes ready to switch to a Geomancer or a Chronomancer later on.
  5. It's a good idea to save before entering a door in the later dungeons. It may be tedious, but it might save you from entering an inescapable room.

Trivia

  1. The name of the trilogy's main city, Skara Brae, is based on an actual real world location. The place itself was a Neolithic settlement located in the Orkney Mainland in Scotland.

Videos

Version Comparison

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