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The Return Of The Bard's Tale Confirmed

simoniker posted about 11 years ago | from the thorin-still-singing-about-gold dept.

PC Games (Games) 37

Thanks to GameSpy for their article officially revealing the return of classic RPG series The Bard's Tale, following recent rumors that a new title was in the works. However, screenshots of the title, from former Interplay boss Brian Fargo's new company, inXile Entertainment, reveal a radically different top-down view, as the game, due out at the end of 2004, "is being developed primarily for the PS2", and "is using an improved version of the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance engine." There are also noticeable similarities to the classic original series, as: "The plan calls for the game to start near the original town of Skara Brae, an ancient ruin in the Orkney Islands on the northern tip of Scotland." Update: 10/01 22:34 GMT by S : There's now an interview with Brian Fargo about the new Bard's Tale title, also courtesy GameSpy.

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Skara Brae (1, Interesting)

SoundGuy666 (467270) | about 11 years ago | (#7094756)

is one of the towns in Ultima.

I always find it interesting finding out little tidbits about what inspired designers in your favourite games. Ultima Online [] was a good one, with each of its game servers named after something local to where it is located - they even wrote a wee summary of the story behind the name.

Re:Skara Brae (3, Informative)

casio282 (468834) | about 11 years ago | (#7095164)

That's true, but it's also the city from the original Bard's Tale [] .

Before anyone starts getting litigious, they should recall that there's prior [] art [] .

Is this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7094786)

the same as this? []

Re:Is this... (2, Informative)

simoniker (40) | about 11 years ago | (#7094959)

Nope, that's a much more faithful re-imagining of the original Bard's Tale, but very unofficial. Looks like a good bet for those who liked the original gameplay style, though.

Another link (1)

SoundGuy666 (467270) | about 11 years ago | (#7094827)

It also made the news [] on GameSpot [] . Not anywhere near as much detail here though.

They suggest somewhat more PC involvement than indicated above:

"Brian Fargo's inXile entertainment has today announced that it's currently working on a new Bard's Tale role-playing game for PC and current generation consoles."

Gamefaqs also has some info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7095363)

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The real sequel (5, Interesting)

Txurlo (555886) | about 11 years ago | (#7095574)

As much as I wet my pants when I saw this newspost, I can't really say I'm excited.
The Bard's Tale series was absolutely HUGE for me, specially the third installment. I even made my own BTIV with the Bard's Tale Construction Set!
Anyway, if you want a sequel which is more than spiritually linked to the originals, go for Devil Whiskey [] . It's still in demo, but also quite impressive!

Re:The real sequel (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7099084)

I remember hex editing Bard's Tale II on the Apple II GS. Create new pictures, crazy party members. One of the best was I had a super monster I made as a party member, gave him some crazy background and the ninja picture.
So I walk around, go into one of the last dungeons and have to solve some pain in the ass riddle. I go into this trap room and save, whoops. The whoops is, before I can solve the puzzle to get out, something in the room makes the monster I made go crazy and kill my whole party in, like, one round.
I don't know, for some reason that always makes me laugh.

Re:The real sequel (1)

Txurlo (555886) | about 11 years ago | (#7102932)

Yeah, I hacked into the PC versions of Bard's Tale II and III, back in the day!
And I remember what I felt the first time I played BT1 with a mouse... you could see the spell lists!!! =)
Anyway, my 'hacking' experiences were only to translate the game into Spanish (my mother tongue), just to get my friends into it. Strangely enough, I succeded! =)

downloads (4, Informative)

tiled_rainbows (686195) | about 11 years ago | (#7095690)

The article should really have included This Link [] whence you can download the original trilogy and construction set for Windows.

Not half as cool as I remember it. Expectations change, I guess.

This is not the Bards Tale (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7095696)

It's an action RPG that they've slapped the Bards Tale name on.

Re:This is not the Bards Tale (1)

slaker (53818) | about 11 years ago | (#7095945)

That's what it looks like to me, too.

Of course, I really can't imagine playing a (real, PC-style) RPG on a console system anyway.

The faithful are probably going to be much better off with the fan-made recreation than they ever would be with this.

Re:This is not the Bards Tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7100166)

What I mean is that they're just mining the franchise. There doesn't seem to be a shred of similarity outside recognizable names from the old series.

I think any true fan of BT would probably be turned off by how drastically different the game is, and people who pick this up for the action RPG aspects are probably too young to have had the exposure to The Bards Tale.

Re:This is not the Bards Tale (1)

revoemag (589206) | about 11 years ago | (#7100719)

Ummm, hardly. Keep in mind that Brian and Matt were 2 of the creators of the original BT. So, I would say that they decide what is or what is not Bards tale.

That's kind of the thing isn't it.... (1)

Kibo (256105) | about 11 years ago | (#7101668)

See once your "work" gets thrown out into the wild like that, especially if it becomes a treasured part of people's experience, it's not really all yours anymore. You still created it, but now it's soul belongs to the people that embraced it.

The prequels are not Star Wars, and depending on how things turn out, their game might or might not be Bard's Tale.

A name is just a name. Would any pile of crap by the name of "a rose" not smell as foul?

Re:This is not the Bards Tale (1)

Dehumanizer (31435) | about 11 years ago | (#7109358)

Maybe... and maybe not.

Brian Fargo *had* something to do with the original BT - he headed the RPGs division of EA, before founding Interplay.

Also, read the interviews. The game actually looks like a lot of fun - especially with the "poking fun at RPG cliches" part.

Humorous anti-heroes (2, Funny)

secolactico (519805) | about 11 years ago | (#7095930)

From the article

"We are sick of cliches," he said. "We are tired of the standard sub-quests and missions. The idea of a 'chosen one' is stupid.


We want the game to be funny, but in a situational sort of way. We want to make fun of the cliches.

For all those who feel the same, may I recomend: Sir Apropos of Nothing [] . It had me in stitches for a while.

Re:Humorous anti-heroes (1)

bitrott (232312) | about 11 years ago | (#7103893)

OR, if you want to read a good book that's funny, read any of the Terry Pratchett books. They all turn fantasy conventions on their heads. That and they're not nearly as offensive (RAPERAPERAPE) and lowbrow as Peter David's boring drek.

Re:Humorous anti-heroes (1)

secolactico (519805) | about 11 years ago | (#7108525)

OR, if you want to read a good book that's funny, read any of the Terry Pratchett books.

I positively love Terry Pratchertt's Discworld books. But hardly any of the protagonists can be considered an anti-hero. That's the attraction of Apropos of Nothing. You know the protagonist is a mean spirited bastard (and not only because he was born out of wedlock). Yet you (ok, me) find yourself rooting for him.

Hrmmmm fortune knows all? (1, Funny)

Telastyn (206146) | about 11 years ago | (#7096010)

So when I load this story the slashdot random quote is "You will be the victim of a bizarre joke."

I couldn't have really said it better myself.

A dialogue... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7096087)

Designer 1: We need a way to sell this crappy console action-RPG...

Designer 2: How about stealing a beloved intellectual property from the golden age of gaming, and using it to shill what appears to be our version of Ultima XIII?

Designer 1: Can we do that?

Designer 2: Let's ask Brian Fargo.

Designer 1: Hey Brian Fargo. Here is a large check. Our game sucks, can we call it a Bard's Tale.

Brian Fargo: Wow! That's a lot of zeroes. Okay!

Designer 1 & 2: Sweeeeet...

Re:A dialogue... (4, Funny)

WinnipegDragon (655456) | about 11 years ago | (#7097702)

Damn! I forget to login and I finally get a post modded up to 5! I hardly ever post too... I am saddened...

I'm getting sick of this (2, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | about 11 years ago | (#7096247)

I'm getting sick of all these top-down view RPGs. There's way too many of them - Baldur's Gate with all its expansions, Icewind Dale, Temple of Elemental Evil, Diablo, Harbinger, Pool of Radiance and many others. On the other hand, those of us who prefer first-person roleplaying are limited to Morrowind and older titles like Wizardry and Might and Magic, and the promise of Devil's Whiskey. And now Fargo is taking yet another classic first-person RPG series and putting it into a 3rd person view, for the sake of console players. I'm not planing on buying this title.

Re:I'm getting sick of this (1)

Dehumanizer (31435) | about 11 years ago | (#7109401)

Is the perspective THAT important?

Frankly, I don't believe so... but to each his own, I guess.

My favorite CRPG is still Planescape: Torment, which uses the 3rd person-view Infinity engine...

But... guess what... it has the best plot, best dialogues, best characters, best atmosphere, best setting... of *any* CRPG, possibly any *game*.

Yeah, right, it's ALL a question of whether it's top down or first person... :)

Problem (1)

(trb001) (224998) | about 11 years ago | (#7096592)

Can someone check the link to the screenshot page? I'm sorry, but there seem to be a lot of overhead shots in there, and everyone knows the trademark of BT games is the FP view.

Actual combat will be in the style of Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, action-based and visceral. Clearly, the new game's connection to the old Bard's Tale games is more spiritual than gameplay-related.

Oh. <sniffle>, that sucks.


99 Berserkers? (2, Funny)

ckessel (607295) | about 11 years ago | (#7097186)

Yea, but are they going to have a room where you open the door and are confronted with:

99 Berserkers
99 Berserkers
99 Berserkers
99 Berserkers

Ah...that was my favorite door, experience up the wazoo.

Re:99 Berserkers? (1)

WinnipegDragon (655456) | about 11 years ago | (#7097675)

Or better yet...

1 Tarjan
20 Dark Hunters
20 Dark Hunters
20 Dark Hunters

Wow... (1)

WesternActor (300755) | about 11 years ago | (#7098264)

I am so completely and utterly floored by this news. I never thought I would live to see another Bard's Tale game, but I'm thrilled I am. I think The Bard's Tale did more than most other series released around that time to really burnish and foster the CRPG genre as one of significance and creativity... I'm not sure how many games of today can trace their lineage directly to The Bard's Tale, but it certainly strikes me as a game (and series) as influential and groundbreaking as it was fun to play. I'm glad to see it coming back, and I certainly hope it remains somewhat faithful to the precepts that made the original(s) so good.

The BT legacy (1)

Txurlo (555886) | about 11 years ago | (#7102904)

Talking about legacy, on the top of my head I can think of these games that drew from the BT series:
  • Eye of the Beholder (1 2 and 3)
  • Everything from Interplay (Champions, Death Knights and Dark Queen of Krynn; Buck Rogers series, Gateway to the Savage Frontier; Pools of Darkness & Radiance; very large etc.)
  • Wizardry series
  • Might and Magic series
  • And of course, every FPS out there (okay, maybe that's too much :)
IIRC, the only RPG prior to BT that used this perspective was Bloodwych [] , a very obscure game of the late 80s.

(sigh) those were the days (when we had time to play!)

Re:The BT legacy (1)

Molt (116343) | about 11 years ago | (#7108916)

It looks like you remember incorrectly. Bloodwych [] wasn't out till '91, Bard's Tale [] was out in '85.

The reason I went looking was I remembered Bloodwych being a so-so game for the Amiga, but BT being kick-bottom on the C64.

Can I have my pedant point now, please?

Re:The BT legacy (1)

Dehumanizer (31435) | about 11 years ago | (#7112245)

Those games were not from Interplay, they were the SSI Gold Box games.

Re:The BT legacy (1)

mink (266117) | about 11 years ago | (#7125492)

I think you will find Wizardry pre-dates bards tale.

1981 : Wizardry-Prooving Grounds of the Mad Overlord
1985 : Bards Tale

The other stuf looks right.

Am I crazy? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 11 years ago | (#7099165)

There are also noticeable similarities to the classic original series, as: "The plan calls for the game to start near the original town of Skara Brae, an ancient ruin in the Orkney Islands on the northern tip of Scotland."

Maybe i wasn't paying enough attention at the time, but as best i can remember the original Bard's Tale took place in Skara Brae, but not the actuall real life Skara Brae in Scotland, which would make this game not really like the original at all.

Up left up up up left up up left (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7099456)

Am I the only one who still has a couple dozen common paths say from the guild to Roscoes Energy Emporium, and to tarjans temple permanately burned into thier kinetic memory?

It's a shame. (2)

Absurd Being (632190) | about 11 years ago | (#7100397)

I'll bet they won't have the four letter spell codes anymore then. Those rocked!

Hidden link of Official Bard's Tale Website (1)

Broham77 (654839) | about 11 years ago | (#7106832)

Check out the Website Place your mouse button over the barmaids chest a few times and the barmaid gives you a few choice words and forwards the webpage onto a new website.

Speaking of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (1)

MeThOdXxX (687526) | about 11 years ago | (#7108699)

I haven't been keeping up with games too much lately. Is the second Baldur's Gate out yet for the PS2? If so, what is the name of the second installment?
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