The Let's Play Archive

The Bard's Tale (NES)

by Miketopus

Part 4: Chapter 5

Welcome back, everyone. Introducing four new characters... and a new team theme. Check it out a bit later in the update. There were 302 screenshots this time, but don't worry; I've trimmed it down to less than a third of that.

I had enough time to get everyone revived before...

Aw, crap.


At least ONE character decided to kick ass in this fight.

Let's see how these two hold up.

Probably the only instance in which this has actually been true.

No, this isn't the solitary barbarian. It was a group of four. But still, I fought a lot of these bastards in a very short time span.

Meatshield, I choose you!

I'm not going to lie, this next part took a solid hour of nothing but fighting. Amazingly, however, everyone survived to the spellcasters' next level increase.

Hmm? Well, thanks to a handy dandy map of Skara Brae made available earlier in this LP, we can look it up easily enough. "TEMPEST"


It is my hope that someday Kymas gets a stat increase in a way that's anywhere near meaningful to his chosen profession.

How's Flamesack doing with his conjurations?

Not bad.


In other news, half-orcs are stronger than full-orcs.

More leveling up stretched out over the course of about half an hour.

Sometimes enemies will drop a "Weapon" or "Armor" or somesuch. Basically, you need to have Garth identify it for a nominal charge.

In this case, the Weapon was a Broadsword. Because apparently it's somehow different from the twenty other ones I've picked up during the course of the game.

I just want to re-iterate how much I hate barbarians. Fortunately, I avoid a wipe by running away successfully.

More leveling up. And then...

Flamesack's Diary: Day 18

By all accounts, I am no different than the day I first left the oppressive foliage of my elven homeland. We are a people who are slow to change; aging and dying are less frequent occurrences in our lives than eclipses of the heavenly bodies.

And yet, as I wander Skara Brae, I find that death surrounds me like a maelstrom. I must murder, or be murdered, like the countless creatures, madmen, and allies I have encountered. Once before, I felt death's hand upon my soul. I felt death, and returned to life via the grace of the gods and the graciousness of my allies. Not all of my group have been so lucky. And yet, perhaps it was that brush with death that truly encouraged the changes within me. I am... stronger, now. More cunning. I find the powers come more easily to me, and in greater abundance than ever before.

Is it this city? This Skara Brae? Or is it... me? Has something snapped within my mind, unhinged my inhibitions? Have the unrelenting hordes, especially the brutal axes of those who call themselves barbarians, somehow broken me from the yoke of my kin? I... hate them now. So very much. They ended my life once, and I watched helplessly as they butchered the others, laughing all the while as their bearded visages were drenched in blood.

But now, all that has changed. I have discovered the ultimate power... That Which Slays All. Barbarian's Bane, some call it. They no longer hold sway in this city. I will... I will annihilate each and every one of them for what they did to my dearest friends... they will be made to suffer! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

That's right everyone, Flamesack made it to level 5. And now he has access to third-level magic. But he isn't the only one.

Journal of Kymas Turan: Day 18

What an odd place, this city. From the moment I arrived here, I have been beset by all but a few good people with whom I formed a tentative alliance of magic and muscle. Most have fallen, and indeed it was only myself and the curious elf who calls himself Flamesack that have survived for more than a week.

As a learned halfling of lore, philosophy, and science, death is something which I regard with a certain altruism. It winnows the weak, and serves as a lynchpin to encourage survival of the fittest. Skara Brae is, perhaps, an experiment that proves this to me beyond reasonable doubt. For indeed I am stronger now than I was before. My powers have changed, and granted me the opportunity to survive ever more incredible challenges in this place.

Let us see where this experiment carries us, shall we?

Level 3 magician spells. Not bad if you can get it.

This looks awesome enough, but I know you want to see this in action.

Not bad, but I'm sure we can find a more worthy target.


I decide to fight things out a little at night this time around. Sorcerers might seem intimidating at first, but a few blows to the face took care of that quickly.

Again, the map tells us the answer to this one: HAWK SCABBARD.

More level-ups!

And now, my fighters will occasionally do more than one hit per attack!



They've got a party horse
that never survived before
They've got the ability to torch
and to freakin' mess up these orcs
No one can ever take them down
the fire flies on their si-ee-ii-ee-ii-ee-ii-ee-iiide!

Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
Mighty torchin' Power Mangers!

They know the fate of Skara Brae is lyin' in their hands
They know to blast their foes beyond the fence
No one will ever take them down
the fire flies on their si-ee-ii-ee-ii-ee-ii-ee-iiide!

Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
You mighty torchin' Power Mangers!

No one can ever take them down
The fire flies on their si-ee-ii-ee-ii-ee-ii-ee-iiide!

Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
You mighty torchin' Power Mangers!

Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
You mighty torchin' Power Mangers!

Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!
Go Go Power Mangers!


(Try it again with this one:


Well everyone, looks like we have a solid party! Time for the real adventure to begin!

As a bit of advanced notice, I may eventually replace one of the melee characters with one more spellcaster, since the flow of the game will put magic at a premium over pure muscle. Since this is where the real adventure begins, I'm going to put a preference over magic users that either tickle my fancy or are so detailed they can take a life of their own. I've already seen a few, and I'll be going over the entire entry list before making a decision.

In the meantime, if someone has a recommendation for this eventual newcomer, please feel free to share it in the topic. Be honest! Find either a conjurer or magician that caught your eye.

Next update: Story progression, maybe?!

Statistics for this chapter:

Enemies killed:
Thieves: 5
Kobolds: 52
Hobgoblins: 42
Dwarves: 49
Magicians: 31
Barbarians: 23
Mad Dogs: 19
Skeletons: 27
Spiders: 40
Nomads: 4
Mercenaries: 7
Hobbits: 60 (!)
Conjurers: 2
Gnomes: 11
Half-Orcs: 13
Wolves: 7
Zombies: 4
Sorcerers: 2

Ran from:
3 Barbarians
8 Orcs
4 Barbarians
5 Barbarians
8 Barbarians

Wiped by: NOTHING!

EXP gained this session: 5121
Gold gained this session: 6016