#56 – The Bard’s Tale


                 “So I was just walking down the road, right? And this guy threw a Bard’s Tale cartridge at me!”



                                                                 I sentence you to cast this game into oblivion.




DEVELOPER: Atelier Double

GENRE: Computer RPG

RELEASE DATE: November 1991

The Bard’s Tale is one in a long line of computer adventure games that was inexplicably ported to the NES a few years too late. In the mid-80’s and early 90’s, RPG’s were advancing at a fairly quick pace. The general meat-and-bones was the same – grind, grind, grind – but the advances came in other ways, like better graphics, more interesting stories, and perhaps most importantly, well-made menus that didn’t take years to navigate.


The story is your typical “band of misfits goes against an evil ruler” with one exception: your absolutely fabulous bard. Because the bard’s singing often raises your attack or strength during battles, they are arguably the most important member of your party. It’s a nice change from the warrior taking all of the pixelated glory, but it’s the only real innovation in the game. The rest is sloooooow going, as all of the mid-’80s fantasy RPG tropes are nestled firmly within the game’s CPU bosom. You want to buy weapons for your party in a quick and timely fashion? Think again! You want to fight enemies that aren’t insanely harder than you? Not possible! Methinks the Bard should have kept this slow-paced tale on the computer. It’s a literal slog.




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  • shadowdancer21b

    This game has some good depth of strategy, but your assessment is completely correct all the same.

  • Zoro Gallade

    At least “grinding” in most RPGs is killing monsters, which gives you at least something good to look at. Or at least imagine you are.

    The most efficient way of “grinding” in ABT is to recruit adventurers, pawn off all their starting gear, then expelling them from the party. Yay…?