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Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale

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The Bard's Tale Clue Book

Text file by Tom Greene of The Adventurers' Guild

                             Tales Of The Unknown
                                   Volume I

                              THE BARD'S TALE(tm)

                                   CLUE BOOK



        Long have I awaited thy coming of age. Our town of Skara Brae doth
slowly wither under the cursed sorcery of Mangar, spawn of demons. Many hath
challenged his power, only to encounter their doom.

        One man didst nearly succeed. Lord Garrick, the viscount of our
sister city Hamelon, became imprisoned here through Mangar's evil spell of
winter. He failed, but in his failure lies the way to thy victory. Lord
Garrick did keepeth a journal, and Mangar is either unaware of its existence,
or believes it to have perished along with the impudent viscount. But the
tome didst survive, and came into my keeping.

        Thou art a brave warrior in thy fashion, and a scholar passing fair.
Yet if thou wouldst accept this quest thou hast need of assistance. Look to
the following pages for further counsel and aid.

        The path thou must follow doth with danger abound. Go, and take with
thee the journal of a brave knight, and the prayers of an old man.



                                  Skara Brae

        It isn't to be tolerated! I refuse to kneel to the evil that has
made its home in Skara Brae. All of the brave knights who protect this town
have vanished, leaving frightened serfs, women and children to face
unprotected the hordes of strange beasts and ruffians that now inhabit the
streets. My brave party and I can do little to reduce their seemingly
infinite numbers. We must destroy the wizard Mangar, surely the source of the
evil invasion, and of the ungodly and impenetrable winter that imprisons Skara

        My old friend Pellis tells me that my servants, however valiant, are
yet no match for Mangar, and advises me to let them gain battle experience
before we enter any of the dungeons. I am further advised that to enter a
dungeon prematurely is to court destruction. I accede to the wisdom of this
counsel, and will seek out the innkeeper of the Scarlet Bard, who may be able
to assist me in my quest. The inn is convenient to my lodgings at the end of
Rakhir Street.

        The barkeep requires gold to loosen his tongue, and delights in
pouring forth cryptic drivel. I knew already the importance of the Review
Board, and its location. Journeying south on Trumpet Street, it is the second
building on the left. As for gates that cannot be stormed, it is a well known
habit of wise men to have concealed entrances to their strongholds. But I
thank the gods that my taste in drink is of a higher nature than that of my
companions. Had I ordered ale instead of wine we would be there still,
carousing and wenching in the Inn until Mangar himself came to join us. But
the barkeep is overworked, and sent me down into the cellar after my own wine.
No mere cache of fine drink in dusty bottles and skins in this cellar -- 'tis
rather an extensive maze of corridors oozing niter and slime. We will return
with our gear, and the remainder of our party.

                                The Wine Cellar 

        Ah, the rising stench of blood mingles with the cries of our fallen
foes! We were set on immediately by groups of dwarves and kobold, and
acquitted ourselves with honor. It is difficult to put pen to vellum, the only
illumination being that from enchanted weapons.

        One of our knights has been slain by mad dogs, but our party continues
 in a sobered states, our blood lust diminished. We will exact full recompense,

        There is a set of descending stairs in the northwest section of the
 cellar. The magician's spell "Scry Site" caused the walls to speak, revealing
 to us our location in the labyrinth. Here we rest, and prepare for the morrow.

                                   The Sewer  

        We are in a muck-drenched stinking sewer, and the beasts and
blackguards who attack us here are too numerous to be described. Here we gain
much wealth, and our skills are honed like fine steel blades. As we explore,
we discover strange writings on the walls of this foul hole. I will record
them faithfully here -- their value will perhaps become clear later in our

        "Pass the light at night." A cryptic verse indeed. This sewer
        conveys shadow messages, as does the fat barkeep above.

        "IRKM DESMET DAEM." I am no scholar, but neither am I a stranger
        to lore and letters. I can perceive no sense here.

        "Golems are made of stone." Is this meant to lighten our hearts
        against a fear of encountering a golem made from rice pudding?

        This sewer abounds with sorceror's tricks. We were teleported to
different locations and spun about unknowing, all at the whim of foul magic.
I am told that we are indeed fortunate to have among us the last of the great
sage-sorcerors, for he can divine our location at all times, and has even
provided us with rough maps of each wretched dungeon as we enter it.

        We have found our way through devil darkness that no spell or flame
can penetrate. There is a stairway in the midst of this darkness leading down
into further stench and blackness.

                               Sewer, Level Two

        Cunning and deadly traps have claimed the lives of two gallant
paladins. We have been constantly besieged since our entry into this noisome
pit, and have borne many injuries. Corfid op Orfin, our noble bard, stepped
into a ray of light, burning both of his hands and one side of his body. I
feel responsible, for now the meaning of the inscription, "Pass the light at
night" becomes clear. We waited until the setting of the sun and the beam
faded, allowing us to pass unharmed. Corfid will, under the protection of two
warriors, retire from these dungeons to seek aid for his injuries.

        There are scrawled messages here:

        "Heed not what is beyond understanding."

        "Thor is the greatest son of Odin."

        We encountered filthy sorcery in the form of a vile set of disembodied
lips which speak to us these words; "Know this, that a man called Tarjan,
thought by many to be insane, had through wizardry powers proclaimed himself
a god. His image is locked in stone until made whole again." I forbade our
magician to take the obscene thing with us, as it would serve no purpose.

        The only apparent means to descend to the level below is through the
use of portals that reek of sorcery. The magician will levitate our party
down through the portal.

                              Sewer, Level Three

        More inscriptions:

        "The hand of time writes and cannot erase."

        "Seek the snare from behind the scenes."

        There is an evil place here at mid-point along the eastern wall that
we must eschew as if 'twere the Plague. Men pass and vanish, condemned to
haunt an endless void till life itself begins anew. Ghaklah, our magician,
scryed it as he meditated, proving yet again his usefulness.

        We came upon a long set of stairs continuing on to further upward
passages, but battle and trickery have rendered us too weary to go on. We will
return to the light, and Skara Brae.

                                  Skara Brae

        We emerge at last into fresh air and open space, which is welcome,
and into night, which is not. The priests in the temple exacted usurious fees
to attend to our wounded. They care not that we risk our lives for their
unworthy skins as well as for the rest of Skara Brae. I am grateful that their
doors were open to us, e'en at night. Suck was not the case with the Review
Board and Garth's equipment shop, no matter how we cursed and pounded the

        'Twas a fair dawn. Garth has deigned to open his establishment, as has
 the Review Board. Furthermore, we were pleased to find that Roscoe's Energy
 Emporium was still to be found at the corner of Grey Knife and Serpent
 Streets, northwest of the Gran Plaz.

        Pellis tells me that we were fortunate to have departed from the
sewers when we did -- to have continued would have meant our doom, for those
stairs are the secret entrance to Mangar's courtyard. He extracted this
information from a captured minion of the wizard's. I hope the gods will
forgive Pellis the method he used to gain this knowledge. Even the permissive
gods of learned men do not smile upon torture.

        Some of the streets of Skara Brae are under a strange enchantment. We
travelled south on Sinister Street to explore a back gate of the city, and
found ourselves endlessly walking past silent houses, through eerie stillness
in which no human stirred, no bird uttered forth the slightest song. We
hastily returned to our lodgings, to prepare for our next task, to challenge
the Mad God in his lair.

                           The Temple Of The Mad God

        We blundered for a day, wasting precious time trying to gain
admittance to the temple before I realized that we had been given an important
clue in the sewers. The message spoken by the disembodied lips! No sooner had
I uttered the name than we found ourselves in a catacomb. Dark and twisting
tunnels lay before us like a maze of hardened entrails, and human bones
reached out from the hard-packed earth like ghastly pallid fingers. I wish
myself back in my castle at Hamelon. We move on.

        Night and day flow together. We battle constantly endless numbers of
the Devil's horde, undead creatures vomited from the depths of Hell. Weapons
fall from our nerveless fingers, the screams of slain comrades filling our
ears until we who remain can bear no more.

        And now a message, scrawled in blood. "The ancient witch King yet
lives." Are there greater terrors yet to be encountered? Etched into the wall
we find this:

        "Fifteen doors east and thou art there,
        On souls they feast in the Dark One's lair."

        Hope trickles from us like blood from a wound that refuses to heal.

        We have found a stairway leading down. Three men have bolted in panic,
mindless dread overtake their senses. Eight remain -- myself, Cofid the Bard,
Ghaklah the magician, Isli the paladin, Soriac the archmage, and three serf
warriors. We go forward, not through courage, but because the thought of
going back the way we have come cannot be borne.

                             Catacombs, Level Two

        Insane Tarjan, who in his beneficence shares his malady with us all!
We crawl forward, attacked at every turn, sustaining many injuries from
sorceror's tricks.

        There are places here where magic dies -- would that we could battle
Mangar in one of those regions! An inscription warns us to beware of Bashar
Kavilor, High Priest, but the warning affects us but little. We are fey, and
the blood lust lies heavy on us. Come, Priest Kavilor, we await thee. Lay on!

        The High Priest proved a mighty foe, and one of our warriors lies dead
We dispatched the dragon that guarded Bashar Kavilor's treasure and, though
such gitter means little to us now, we plundered his horde.

        A bodiless voice uttered these words: "To the tower fly, a mad one
die, once lost the eye." Loss of an eye (or both) would be a gift from the
gods in this hideous place!

        Ghaklah has scryed a place of danger here where men stay frozen in
time with no chance of escape. It is to the extreme southwest of the contorted
tomb- we will avoid the area.

        We descend the stairs in the southeast quadrant of these catacombs.

                            Catacombs, Level Three

        We have become accustomed to the legions of undead, and doing battle
with them holds no special terror. While exploring the north wall, we stumbled
by chance into the chamber of King Aildrek. It was as if we expected to meet
him, having been warned of "the dead witch king's" existence. But to say that
he lives! Evil had bound his long dead sinews together, and it was with savage
glee that we assigned him to Hell. We found in his possession a bauble made in
the likeness of an eye. Verily, this must be the eye of which we were told on
the previous level, and is of some hidden import. Soriac will pocket the

        Teleportation magic enabled us to leave the witch king's locked

        There are no lower levels here. We avoided a large dragon, and
discovered another cryptic message: "Seek the Mad God's stoney self in
Harkyn's domain."

        We will return to the town.

                                  Skara Brae

        Our spirits are healed by the feel of sunlight on our faces. Rumor of
our quest has spread through Skara Brae like a fire through the dry grasses of
summer. Many seek to join our party, yet our number has not greatly increased.
We separate the wheat from the chaff, and send packing those who lust after
gold and not freedom, and thieves and assassins who would add to their purses
by pillaging a murdered comrade. I have been advised to allow at least one
rogue to accompany us -- he will be of use in disarming traps and detecting
danger. I give my reluctant consent. One of our number will keep watch on him
at all times.

        Our next task will be the invasion of Harkyn's castle in northwest
Skara Brae.

                                Harkyn's Castle

        At last we have breached the defenses and entered the castle from the
courtyard on the east wall. The guardians were fierce fighters, but we proved

        A jabberwock! Such a magnificent beast -- surely the last of its kind.
We skirt its lair with caution, and move on.

        I notice from the maps provided me by Ghaklah that all the underground
complexes in Skara Brae are roughly of a size. Was Skara Brae perchance built
over the ruins of an ancient single complex, the like of which does not now
exist, save in the minds of men?

        We found a sword wrought of a crystal substance as near to perfection
as we are ever likely to see. The rogue's nose twitched when we discovered it.
I trust not this man. The sword is entrusted to the care of the paladin Isli.
She will guard it well.

        We have done battle with golems, and discovered a throne. No doubt
'tis Harkyn's. We were asked if any of our party wished to sit on this throne,
and before I could stop him Corfin, impetuous as bards are wont to be, jumped
onto the dais and planted his arse upon the seat. We waited, horrified, for
him to be transmogrified into a wart-faced, slimy swamp creature. Instead, a
secret door opened to reveal a passageway. Why do the gods indulge in these
curious humours, and reward and punish at such chaotic random?

        We have just done battle with six men garbed in green robes. We will
don their robes, as it is apparent that they are of some considerable value.

        We waited not long to discover that value. Many guards have passed us
by without notice, for they are garbed in green robes identical to those we
have donned. The smirk upon the face of our ignoble bard is too much for
mortal man to bear!

        We find here a wasteful illusion. The stairs at the norther section
of the west wall appear to lead down, but actually they ascend. We will follow
them, pausing only to remove our cumbersome robes.

                          Harkyn's Castle, Level Two

        We encountered another bodiless floating mouth uttering an incomplete
poem. When the magician shouted out the word that completed the rhyme, an
Ybarra shield appeared from out of the ether, a powerful protective gift
indeed. We will make haste while the gods yet smile upon us.

        An old man accosted us with this riddle; "Once man alive, now living
death, it drinketh blood, and stealeth breath." Soriac knew the answer, and it
was with a bloodless visage that he responded to the old one's verse.
"Vampire," he whispered, and we were allowed to pass. Need I relate that we
continue, very much on our guard?

        We were teleported to a room where we found a flat square of silver,
an odd device of which we will take possession.

        A portal in the northwest section will, I am told by my magician,
enable us to ascend to the uppermost rooms. We press on.

                         Harkyn's Castle, Level Three

        We encountered a doddering old fool who barred our path until we told
him the name of the tavern on Archer Street. The answer, Skull Tavern, was
found to be disquieting to some members of our party.

        Teleport traps abound, and we shrug them off like so many buzzing

        Ah, pride before a fall. Once again we are challenged to the utmost
of our abilities, and emerge not unscathed. The berserkers! They attacked
in an endless flowing stream, to slay them akin to holding back the tide with
a bottomless bucket. We found out (too late!) that our recently abandoned
green robes would have rendered us immune to attack. At last we stumbled,
blind with weariness, over hundreds of corpses, four of our slain warriors
lying hidden beneath stinking mounds of Baron Harkyn's dead legions. We can
spare no time to hunt for them -- may the gods forgive us.

        I write from within the gates of the wizard Kylearan's Tower, where
we were teleported after the battle. AS we approached an old statue in the
uppermost level of Harkyn's domain, the eye shaped bauble we had collected
floated from Soriac's belt pouch, up, up..... and the statue became animate!
We fought, desperate for our lives, and finally bested the foul thing. The
archmage tells us that this dreadful foe was Tarjan, the mad god. It is little
wonder that the battle cost us dear. We are now but seven in number.

                               Kylearan's Tower

        And now the mad Tarjan, our fallen comrades, our surroundings -- gone.
We will enter the tower and demand an explanation for our presence here.

        Soriac told us of a ritual that must be followed to enter the tower.
We took one step west, one step south ... only then were we able to enter the
amber tower.

We received two messages here:
        "Made of earth, without soul, as living statue, he is whole," and
        "As a guardian he must walk, the first part of his name means rock."

        Remembering the message from the sewers, we approached the magic mouth
(as Ghaklah is now calling them). It challenged us to answer the riddle: "Name
the one of cold, foretold, twofold," and, because we were forewarned, we did
so with ease.

        We were teleported to a vast dark area where we stumbled upon a second
magic mouth. "Name the endless byway," it demanded of us. I shuddered and
answered, remembering that eerie, enchanted street of Skara Brae. But although
our answer was correct, it appeared to have no immediate effect. It was not
'til later that we found a door in another part of the maze, a door that had
hitherto been invisible.

        We found a triangle of silver, akin to the silver square discovered in
Harkyn's castle. I have given them to the rogue to carry. Perchance he will
return our trust with his loyalty. And then perchance he will not -- the
silver is of little value, and I am sure he knows this best of any in our

        An inscription warns us to beware of the sting at the end of the
serpent's tail. Ghaklah tells us this refers to a room at the end of a
snake-like maze of corridors. We will avoid this area.

        We have done battle with and slain a golem of crystal. The melee went
ill for us until the paladin Isli stepped into the fray, wielding the crystal
sword. A few blows and the golem splintered into tinkling shards.

        We stumbled upon three rooms, all identical, all with doors leading
in every direction. One of these led into a small hallway. Exploring this, we
were teleported, to confront the wizard Kylearan. We readied for battle, but
his intentions were peaceful. He approves of our quest, and offered us aid in
the form of a key wrought of shining onyx. A noble gift indeed, none other
than the key to Mangar's front door! We take our leave of the friendly wizard.


                               Mangar, Level One

        And now the final test. We are healed, and rested, and our fighting
strength is again a fair number. We are ready to challenge the vile wizard in
his lair. Only one thing rankles -- the rogue has disappeared, taking with him
the silver shapes. We searched for him, but to no avail. There is no more
time -- we leave now for the wizard's castle.

        We entered Mangar's domain by ascending the stairs in the third level
of the sewers, and using the key of onyx. Hordes of creatures abound here,
protecting their master from intruders. They fall before us like wheat beneath
a scythe. There are tricks and illusions, but we expect this from a wizard. We
smell his vile stench, and his nearnes lends us wings.

        A magic mouth lectures to us on the virtue of perseverance. I was
angered, thinking this to be the evil wizard's mockery, until Soriac informed
me that the actual words uttered by the magic mouth are the means to unlock a
door in the northeast section of this level, and be teleported to the next


                               Mangar, Level Two

        A magic mouth assailed us with a riddle: "Two shapes yours, and one's
around, speak the shape, and final found." This gave us pause until Soriac,
who is of a scientific bent, gave the answer: "Circle." He was provided with
a flat, silver circle that matched the ones stolen by the cursed rogue. Could
it be that the shapes are of some great import? May the evil, villianous rogue
burn in Hell!

        The demons, vampires, and furies that are here unleashed take their
toll on our party. The plunder here is wondrous beyond compare, yet we gather
it quickly, reluctantly, resenting the time it steals from our real purpose.

        We are attacked without respite, and our spirits decline as do our
numbers. It is with leaden feet that we proceed. We find the door to the next
level in the southeast section of this area.


                              Mangar, Level Three

        One by one our noble group falls prey to the wizard's servants. Magic
mouths and disembodied voices assail us at every turn, their messages too
numerous to be set down here. I fear this may be the end of our glorious
quest, to be doomed to wander in this hellish place until the last of us is
slain, or driven mad by the ever-present mouths.

        We have encountered a merchant, a filthy merchant who tried to sell
us a key! The absurdity of finding suck a one in such a place overcame us all,
and we collapsed in laughter. The old man claimed that the key would gain us
admittance to both the gates of Kylearan's abode and to Mangar's. Knowing the
nature of merchants, it would not surprise me to discover that the key was to
a rusty, empty chastity belt in a deserted lady's chamber! We paid his high
price -- the lift he gave to our failing spirits was beyond gold.

        Soriac, wisest of the wise, has answered the riddle of magic mouths.
He tells us we must seek the mouth that asks us to reveal the answer and say
this: "Lie with passion and be forever damned." To find a moral proclaimation
in this place is obscenity, and I am ever more determined to lay the wizard
and his works to ruin. We find the mouth in the southwest section of this
level, and utter the answer. Stairs are revealed slightly to the northwest
of the mouth, and we ascend.


                              Mangar, Level Four

        We have entered Hell, and the demonspawn and mutant brood of undead
things that do battle with us freeze our souls. Grimly we fight on, the five
of us who remain. May the gods pity us, and grant us e'en the slightest chance
to complete our task.

        We are asked to name the greatest son of Odin and we answer correctly,
pleased to be rewarded for our time in that cesspool sewer. From the ether is
given us a small statue, and Soriac tells us that it will aid us in battle.
Have our prayers been answered?

        We are teleported to the northwest region of this level, where
suddenly all the walls turn into doors and all the doors into walls! We
proceed west and are teleported once more. We try many doors until we find the
portal in the extreme southwest of this level, and it is here we find the
entrance to the uppermost level of Mangar's castle. We commend our souls to
the gods, and for the final time, ascend.


                              Mangar, Level Five

        We are defeated at the last. The silver shapes were the key to
entering the main chamber wherein resides a gloating Mangar. We are trapped
like rats in a tiny room where even now the wizard sends his minions to storm
the door.

        But we are given wise counsel by Soriac, who advises us to try to get
this journal to Pellis, in the hope that he will pass on the experiences
written here to one capable of defeating Mangar. One final spell, using the
life forces of Soriac, Corfid, and myself, will render Isli invisible for a
time, enabling her to escape this place with the journal. Yet it is evil
magic. Everything we have accomplished will be rent from the fabric of time
and destroyed, and as the spell burns itself out Isli will be consumed.

        I embrace my companions, and taste the salt of Isli's tears. Ghaklah
has asked for my dagger -- he has no wish to be captured alive. As he prepares
the spell, I can but reflect that no man could wish to die in better company.

        Ghaklah begins. They come.
                    Software (C) 1985 Interplay Productions

                          Clue book by T.L. Thompson
             With research by John P. Manley and Maryrose Doherty
                          Edited by Nicholas Lavroff
                           (C) 1986 Electronic Arts
                              ISBN 1-55543-064-3

                              ELECTRONIC ARTS(tm)
             1820 Gateway Drive, San Mateo, CA 94404 (415)571-7171



Wizard from The Bard's Tale Clue BookWalkthrough for The Bard's Tale

From the official Interplay Productions web site

Part 1

The Bard's Tale is a multi-character role-playing game in the tradition of the Wizardry series. It was written by Michael Cranford of Interplay Productions and distributed by Electronic Arts.

The game begins in the town of Skara Brae, where the evil wizard Mangar the Dark has isolated the town from all help by casting a spell of eternal winter on the surrounding countryside. Mangar has defeated all the good wizards and warriors of note in the town and has infested the town with his evil minions. The task now before you as junior magic casters and warriors is to defeat Mangar and restore Skara Brae to its rightful inhabitants. Oh yes, you should bring a bard along to record your deeds. He will sing your praises if you succeed, or croon a dirge at your funerals.

The magic system used in the game is rich in diversity. A magic user must start out as either a magician, specializing in casting magical effects on non-magical objects, or a conjurer, who deals with the instantaneous creation of objects and effects through magic. After learning at least 3 spell levels in a magic art, a magic user can change from one class to another. But do not be too hasty: after leaving one class you can never go back to it.

Once a magic user becomes proficient in at least one art, he can then become a sorcerer. Sorcery deals with the magic of illusion and magical perception. If a magic user becomes proficient in at least two of the arts, he can then become a wizard. Wizardry deals with the summoning and control of supernatural creatures. The experience points required to advance a level as a wizard are much higher than the other magic classes. It is best to let your magic user advance all the way to level 7 in whichever art he is in before changing classes. But be sure to change class after he has attained level 7 of the art. In the dungeons there are many traps for the unwary; you never know who will be killed and what spells are required to save your party from extinction.

There are several different fighter classes available in the game: monks, paladins, hunters, warriors and rogues. All have different strengths and weaknesses. During combat only the first three members of your party can physically fight or be attacked; the last three can cast spells. It pays early in the game to have three fighters of some type to protect your magic users from physical combat and free them to concentrate on a magical attack.

The bard is a unique individual who can fight, albeit poorly, and cast six magical spells by playing an instrument. You must have one along, as this is The Bard's Tale.


Part 2

Obviously, the first thing you must do is assemble your party. There is a beginning party (supplied with the game) already equipped with a basic level of armor, instruments, etc. A much better and unique option is to transfer characters over from either WIZARDRY or ULTIMA III. These characters come over as fairly senior level characters and make the beginning of this game much easier. This is a highly desirable alternative.

If you create your own characters -- which you must do for your bard -- pay special attention to the dexterity attribute. This attribute determines who strikes first in combat, and can be the difference between an easy encounter and one which is a struggle. Magic users should have a high IQ, while fighter classes should have a high strength. I recommend a monk as one of your fighters. Their armor class drops as their level rises. Mine eventually had an armor class of LO wearing only a robe. They also can do the most damage unarmed in actual combat.

My starting party consisted of a monk, two paladins, a bard, a magician and a conjurer. At higher levels of the game, you will want to trade in one of your paladins and develop another magic user.

When you first leave the Adventurer's Guild, explore the city. Visit Garth's Armory, and find the Review Board (located next to the inn on Trumpet Street). Don't wander too far until you get a feel for how you can survive. To restore hit points after fighting, visit a temple. There all ills -- including death -- can be cured for a price. After a fight, you will quite frequently find objects of some type. Keep them all. If you don't need them, go to Garth's and sell them for gold -- you will need it.

Visit Roscoe's Energy emporium located off the Gran Plaz on the corner of Grey Knife Street. There you will get an idea what it costs to restore spell points.

Early on, when you are still short of gold, the best way to restore spell points is to go into the Adventurer's Guild and just wait. This game is in real time, and spell points are restored as you just sit there. If you wait on the street or in a house, you will almost certainly be attacked.

When you find an object after a fight or in a chest in the dungeons, experiment with it to find out what it is. There are no cursed items. Quite a few objects have magical properties that are not readily apparent. Here are a few of the objects that I found most useful, even though you won't run into these until later in the game: Kael's Axe seemed to be the best weapon, causing the most damage for my Paladins; a frost horn for your Bard, when used in combat, causes 40-70 hit points of damage to a group of monsters; a mage staff for your magic users allows them to regain spell points even in a dungeon (this is incredibly useful). I will leave it up to you to discover the usefulness of the other items found during the game.

After learning the game play by wandering around the city and being able to survive, it is time to visit the dungeons. This is where the battle with Mangar will be won or lost.


Part 3

There are five dungeons in the game that must be explored in the following order: Wine Cellar and Sewers, The Catacombs, Harkyn's Castle, Kylearan's Tower, and Mangar's Tower. Each contains something that will help in the subsequent stages of the game.

Wine Cellar and Sewers

The easiest dungeon of them all is reached from the inn on Rakhir Street. Enter the inn, ask to order a drink, then select wine. You will then be ushered into the Wine Cellar. I cannot over-stress the importance of mapping in this game. Whenever possible, have the MALE spell in operation. This will help you avoid some of the traps that are lying around. When you have an encounter and find a chest, always cast a TRZP spell to disarm any traps that may be guarding the chest.

Located in the Wine Cellar are the stairs down to the Sewers. The first level of the Sewers contains almost nothing of interest. So locate the stairs to the second level of the sewers as quickly as possible and get down there. The second level contains one very important bit of information that you will need to enter the Catacombs: the name of the Mad God. There are also two hints to questions that will be asked in other dungeons. Explore this level fully to find all the hints and the Mad God's name. The lowest level of the Sewers is next and contains one item of importance for later in the game. Locate and take the stairs exiting from this level. Make sure you know where the stairs lead exactly. After this (I hope you have been visiting the Review Board regularly to advance levels and learn new spells), you are ready for the Catacombs.

The Catacombs

The Catacombs are reached from one of the Mad God's Temples, located on the east side of the Gran Plaz. After entering the Temple, ask to speak to the priest, then give him the Mad God's name: TARJAN.

The first level of the Catacombs is just a survival test at this stage. Once you can survive there fairly easily, head for the second level of the Catacombs. The second level has a clue in it about the Mad God. It also contains a very nasty creature called a Soul Sucker that lurks in the southwest corner of the second level. If you decide to go in there and try him out, make sure you have your character disk backed up. You will not be able to defeat him at this stage of your development, but fortunately you don't have to.

The lowest level of the Catacombs contains something you will need later. Once you have reached the third level of the Catacombs, you must use a teleport square to enter the Wizard's Realm. The teleport is located in the southeast corner of the dungeon. Once you are in the Wizard's Realm, you must defeat him to gain the Eye. After you have this item, you are ready to tackle Harkyn's Castle.


Part 4

Harkyn's Castle

Harkyn's Castle is located in the northeast corner of Skara Brae. At this point in time, it becomes very important for you to have filled your special slot with the most powerful character your magic users can summon. If you are in the process of developing a wizard, a lesser demon is best. The first level of Harkyn's Castle contains one item of importance: the Crystal Sword from the southeast corner of this level. You will now begin to find some of the more powerful objects to experiment with during your encounters. After obtaining the crystal sword, head for the second level of the Castle. The stairs are located in the northeast corner of the first level.

The second level of the Castle has a couple of interesting things. If you answer the riddle correctly ("SHIELDS") you get a magic mouth which can be used to cast the SOSI spell. You must also obtain the silver square from the southwest corner of the dungeon. The access to this is from a teleport located towards the middle of the northern section of the dungeon. The portal to the third level is located in the northeast section of this level.

The third level of the Castle contains the entrance to Kylearan's Tower and some interesting opportunities. The answer to the Old Man's question is "SKULL TAVERN." When you encounter the berserkers located at 12E 5N of this level, take advantage. They can be fairly easily defeated with the right magic spells. You should have at least two sorcerers capable of casting the MIBL spell. It also helps if your bard has a frost or fire horn to aid the others along. When you can defeat these guys easily, it is time to make another magic user. You can teleport from the Castle entrance, fight the berserkers, teleport back to the entrance, exit the castle, then do it again and again until your spells run low. At 60,000 experience points a crack, it doesn't take long to develop a decent magic user. After this, it is time to attempt Kylearan's Castle. When you approach, and fight the statue of a Mad God located in the southeast corner of this level, you will be teleported inside the gates of Kylearan's Tower.

Kylearan's Tower

After the battle with the Mad God and your subsequent teleport (you did have the eye in your possession), go one step forward, turn right, then kick the door down. You will then be entering one of the two most difficult mazes in the game. Most of it is in the dark and there are riddles that must be answered. Backup your character disk before entering this maze. Once you are in, watch carefully for teleports: they are everywhere. It is extremely important that you map this maze very carefully. After you have reached the antimagic square from wandering in a very small section of the dark, the next step forward is a teleport to 11E 12N. Explore until you find a magic mouth that asks you to "Name the one of cold, foretold twofold," The answer to this one is "STONE GOLEM." You will then be teleported again. After this, you will enter a very large, dark area. In order to get out of this, you must answer the question posed at 12E 2N which says, "Name the Endless Byway and your path will be guaranteed." The answer to this is the only street in Skara Brae with no end, Sinister. You then can map your way through a lighted section to another dark area. From this dark area you must obtain the Silver Triangle, located at the very north of the dark area. You can then exit the dark area, going south from 1E 6N. After this, you will face the Crystal Golem (did you bring the Crystal Sword?). You can defeat him with conventional weapons and spells, but somebody has to have the crystal sword or he will reappear to block your exit.

At this point, you can exit the tower to refresh your players or continue on. If you exit, when you reenter you must again answer the endless byway question to continue. Upon reaching the end of the snaky road on the east side of the maze, don't go through the south door. Take the door that goes west. You will then enter several rooms with spinners and teleports that make finding your way almost impossible. The way past these is southwest. When you make it, you will be teleported to 14E 1N. It is then an easy stroll to meet Kylearan himself. He turns out to be the friendly wizard and gives you a key that allows you to get into Mangar's Tower. He then teleports you to the stairs exiting his tower. You no longer need the crystal sword or the eye, and you are now ready for Mangar himself.

Mangar's Tower

If you paid heed and followed the stairs from the bottom level of the Sewers, you will know how to get inside Mangar's walls. If not, go to the Wine Cellar, teleport your party 17E 16N 3D, and take the stairs up. Then turn right and kick the door in. You should be at the entrance to Mangar's Tower.

Level one of Mangar's is fairly easy to find your way around in. Follow the teleports and walk around until you reach the magic mouth on the east side of the maze. What is tricky is that after leaving the magic mouth, you are now on level 2 of the tower. So be careful in mapping.

Level two of Mangar's is again fairly easy (not even a warm-up for level 3). From this level you must answer the question located at 4E 15N to obtain the silver circle. The answer to the question is "CIRCLE." You must then make your way to the stairs located in the middle of the southern side of the maze.

Level three is the hardest maze of all, but by this time you must be getting really proficient at mapping. You must wander around this level and obtain quite a number of items. First of all, you should get the master key, for 50,000 gold pieces, from 19E 12N. This key allows you to enter Mangar's through the front gate, instead of from the Sewers. You must then find the clues to the seven words needed to access the fourth level of Mangar's. Gratefully, you can teleport into and out of this level of the Tower. After finding the clues, you can then speak the seven words to the magic mouth located at 10E 4N. They must be entered one at a time. The words are, "LIE WITH PASSION AND BE FOREVER DAMNED." Stairs will then appear at 3E 9N. This is the only way to obtain entrance to the upper reaches of Mangar's.

The fourth level of Mangar's has only one tricky part. When you first arrive, you have a limited number of ways you can go. After reaching a certain point, located in the northeast corner of the level, doors appear everywhere. Don't be confused. Everything maps the same, it's just that doors are everywhere. Eventually you will find the portal to level five in the southwest corner of this level.

Level five is the home stretch. This easy maze leads you to the lava pit in the middle of the eastern side of the maze. There you dive in and are teleported to 10E 6N. You will then find the march up the hall of harm to be fruitless if you didn't bring the three silver items along. If you have the silver triangle, silver square, and silver circle, a door will appear directly north of you. After passing through this door, cast your REST spell to restore everybody to health and proceed directly north to the final battle with Mangar.

The final battle itself is a large disappointment as it is fairly easy to defeat Mangar and his vampires, and meet Kylearan again, who gives you 300,000 bonus experience points. After defeating Mangar, you can then proceed one more square north for the last question of the game. The answer is "SPECTRE SNARE," which you then receive (it is good for binding to your party any of your opponents in battle).



Cheats for The Bard's Tale

Extra Gold Trick

On the Commodore 64, you can get LOTS more gold in the following fashion:

  1. Load up a party of characters (i.e., *ATEAM), with whatever gold they have.
  2. Pool it to one character
  3. Remove that character from the party
  4. Add that character back into the party
  5. Pool the gold to a different character and repeat steps 3 & 4 for all the characters in your party.
  6. When all the characters have been removed (and thus, saved individually with whatever gold or items they had), turn off the computer and reboot.
  7. Load up the same party. Every character will now have as much gold as the whole party started with. This works for items, too.

Ed Walters

Summon Stone Elemental

For the MS-DOS version of Bard's Tale, when your party is anywhere in the city, you can hit the "z" key on the keyboard. Instantly, a Stone Elemental will appear and join the party.

Now here is a way to raise low level characters up a few levels relatively quickly. Enter the city with only one member of your party. Hit "z" to get a Stone Elemental. Then go down the street to the Samurai Statue blocking passage to the Scarlet Bard. The elemental will kill the Samurai with one hit, and your character will gain over 1000 experience points instantly. Go back to the guild, enter it, leave again, and repeat. After gaining a few levels, your character can seek out the Stone Giant Statue and the Golem Statues near Harkyn's Castle. Be careful though, the Stone Elemental seems to have a bit of a problem killing the Golems for you, but the Stone Giant is not much of a problem.

Vincent Diaz

Extra Gold

Here's a way to cheat at The Bard's Tale on the Apple II. Note that this may work on other systems, with some changes... First, the most obvious way to get lots of gold to start with is:

  1. Make a character. It doesn't matter what kind, he's just going to be a money holder. Add him to the party.
  2. Load *ATEAM (from the back of the Boot Disk).
  3. Exit the guild and go up to Garth's. Sell all of the characters' equipment.
  4. Exit Garth's. Go to each character's equipment screen and Trade their Gold to your money holder character.
  5. Go back to the guild. Remove all of the *ATEAM characters (i.e., everyone but the character you created.)
  6. Reload *ATEAM and repeat. The *ATEAM party will be back to their original configuration each time you load them.

Tom Greene

Rare Item Trick

This trick allows you to duplicate a rare item. This only works on the Apple II, as far as I know.

  1. Sell the item in question to Garth.
  2. Go to the Purchase screen.
  3. Open the door to the disk drive containing your Character disk.
  4. Purchase the item.
  5. Exit the purchase screen.
  6. Close the drive door and repeat steps 2-5 as nescessary.

This works because when the drive door is open, the fact that you've bought the last one of those items at Garth's is not written to disk. The next time you go back, it'll be there again. Note that this is only useful for items that you don't find very often, or that you need more of quickly. This does cost money, but it can be worthwhile. :)

Tom Greene


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