Remaking the Bard's Tale 1-3

Bard's Tale sequels related discussions
Post Reply
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:17 am

Remaking the Bard's Tale 1-3

Post by Ether »

I know when people talk about reviving the series (Which I know is unlikely to happen...), I've usually seen Bard's Tale 4 discussions. But, let's say someone decides to redo the first 3 games. Given that these games are 20-25 years ago, I'm not sure a remake with just better graphics and sound would go over well. Some things probably would need altered to make it in-line with other modern games.

A few of my ideas:

1. Streamline the games: A no-brainer for me. What was in one of the games needs to be present in all of the games. Such as:
- Distance combat
- The thief can backstab
- The Destiny Knight keeps the Destiny Wand and his powers when he returns to Skara Brae.
- Items don't get lost between the games
- One can save anywhere in all games

Probably several other things can be done also. Essentally, the improvements that the sequels had now need to be in the earlier games.

2. Better character balance (in relates to fighters): I don't think this is that bad in the first Bard's Tale. In the Bard's Tale 2, it starts to lean towards the Hunter or whomever has a one-hit-kill weapon, though it becomes moot by the Maze of Dread because nobody can hit anybody by that point. But it's real bad in Bard's Tale 3. The Hunter is the best fighter by far. The Monk gets a boost and can kind of keep pace. But it's pretty apparent the only purpose of a Warrior and Paladin at that point is to protect the Mages until they can become a Geomancer.

In other words, make it so it's not so obvious that the Warrior/Paladin needs switch, and that the Warrior or Paladin isn't the obviously class left out when making a party.

3. Character customization: When advancing, characters - depending on class - acquire certain skills/boosts that the player can choose from. A warrior can choose from say, an extra attack, increased strength, or a chance of a critical hit. Mages could go for an extra spell point boost, extra spell power, or maybe even some melee combat ability. etc, etc

4. The plot: I think this should largely stay the same, but some plot holes can be filled (why is Kylearan just sitting in his tower, why doesn't Lagoth just fry the party after the 4th snare, exactly how does Tarjan come back, etc). And some character development can be added to. A few minor changes to the overall story could be done also.

I can think of more, but this is enough for now. Any thoughts?
User avatar
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:10 pm
Location: Germany

Post by ZeroZero »

I agree in many points...

However... no two versions of any BT episode was alike compared
to any other version on another system...
Not even character balance was alike between, lets say Apple II,
Amiga and DOS versions...

So what standard to use?

There were bugs in one version that weren't in others and vice versa.

Not easy to start going.
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:17 am

Post by Ether »

Two things I forgot to mention when typing the first post (my kids were waking up from naptime) - more Bard songs, and have references to the later games earlier on.

That's interesting regarding the different computers. I played the Bard's Tale 1 and 2 only on a Commodore 64. I of course played BT3 on that, put I also got to play it 7 years later on DOS. I didn't notice any real difference. Of course, I can't speak for the other systems.

I don't think character balance would be that tough, at least between the fighters. My opinion essentially is that as a whole each of those classes are equal, but one is better than the others in certain situations, but worse in others. A Hunter, for example, with his critical hit (which I think should be scaled down from an automatic kill to just damage multiplied X number of times), can quickly take down a high-power monster. And he only has to hit the thing once, whereas to other fighters need to hit multiple times to come close to the same amount of damage. However, in contrast, with only one attack, he can only go after one creature at a time, while the Warrior/Paladin/Monk could go after another creature should they still have attacks left. And of course, some creatures may be harder or impossible to critically hit (how do you critically hit a skeleton), rendering the Hunter at a disadvatage in these cases.

A Monk could be harder to hit thanks to his naturally low AC, but have trouble with damage spells because he wears no armor.

More difficult I think would be keeping a balance between the fighters, the Bard, the Rogue, and the Mages.

In doing this, one thing that will need to be done is the whole monster list probably needs reworked, from the first battle on the streets of Skara Brae to the final battle with Tarjan. That would definitely be a difficult task.
User avatar
Quantum Reality
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:34 pm

Post by Quantum Reality »

Well, the C64/Apple ][ versions are the closest to being 'canonical' in the sense of closeness to the original foundation as envisioned by the programmers, since they came first :P

The problem with adopting THAT codebase is it's also the toughest because they rely on features of the computers they were programmed on, whereas adapting the IBM version might prove more amenable to restructuring. That said if the task is to essentially re-create these games on the computers we're emulating then building off the existing codebase is best.
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:15 pm

Post by dulsi »

To some degree that this is what I envision being able to do with Bt Builder. Of course it will be a while before it can do that.
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:17 am

Post by Ether »

I'll add this question:

If you were in charge of this, would you release each game individually, or combine all three into one game.

I myself would combine them all into one game.
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:56 pm
Location: US

Post by misterhamtastic »

heh. every so often I send inExile a letter about this subject. If I ever hear anything, I'll let you know. Try emailing the creators of Bard's Tale. You never know, they might get fired up about the concept.
"Why can't I just stand back and throw rocks at the statue? Won't Tarjan show up?"

Hamtastic as a child
User avatar
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:46 pm

Post by danp68 »

I would be 100% behind any effort to bring these old classics back to life. But more than remakes, I would prefer to see the spirit of the series continue with home brewed sequels.

Honestly if the BTBuilder ends up being a success, that would be the ultimate. I can envision a repository of new BT games uploaded by fans on a continuous basis, per Neverwinter Nights, so that the series comes back to life completely.
Post Reply