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The Bard's Tale: A Blast from the Past

posted Dec 4, 2009, 6:39 AM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Apr 9, 2010, 4:58 AM ]
In which "Hillside Chronicles" remembers a favorite old game...


Over the TG weekend, I spent some time at my parent's house collecting some of my things to bring back with me to NoMi. One of the items I found was an old PC game that request 256K (which was really fast at the time) called "the Bard's Tale." The long story short, this was one of the first D&D style computer games that allowed you to have 4 characters at once, with cryptic instructions. Let me tell you, I was swept away with nostalgia when I found this game!

Here is one of the best parts...in "The Manual," it has descriptions of the characters, one of which is The Bard. This is the description word for word: "The Bard make magic by playing music. He needs an instrument, of course. He can play in combat or during exploration, with different effect. Only one tune at a time. And one tune for every experience level. Then he needs to get a drink from any nearby tavern." Okay, maybe subconsciously this is where my concept of the Journeyman Guitar-Player was formed....well, at least the last part! Well, I have my instrument.

As I read on, I couldn't help but relate to background: "Bards were once warriors, and can still use most warrior weapons." I mentally checked that one off. "But they turned to music instead and now play songs with an almost magical effect on other characters...." Check again. "Any true Bard has 6 tunes on his lips...Bard songs vary according to the difficulty of the dungeon. When the going gets tough, the Bard goes drinking." I swear that it say that...and remember, it was a teenager's game from 1985!

Okay, so aside from the drinking references throughout the Bard description, the one thing that occurred to me (besides the gender-specific orientation of the game) was that this minstrel was expected to be able to play six songs at any given moment to create "magic." Well, I thought, I'm one song short right now (though I know where the nearby taverns are located!!!).

http://hillsidechronicles.blogspot.com/2009/12/bards-tale-blast-from-past.html
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