Discuss your latest vintage Amiga finds!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Bard's Tale I & III

by intric8 Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:11 pm

One of my earliest gaming memories is playing Bard’s Tale on the Commodore 64 (1985). I wasn’t mature enough at the time to build a solid strategy in playing the game. I didn’t even map my progress. It didn’t seem to matter back then, as I typically would die off fairly early on while wandering the dusty streets of Skara Brae. And I didn’t care! The character and monster graphics - to me - were simply amazing, not to mention their limited animations. I just loved it even though I barely got far at all. Frankly it was a bit over my head.
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Awesome & iconic EA Flat of Bard's Tale
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The town of Skara Brae, seen on the inside flap.


It should come as no surprise that when I started to build my EA Flats collection, that Bard’s Tale would be one of my first for the C64. I remember when I actually bought that program for the C64 at the mall a million years ago...

But for the Amiga? Today? Holy smoke - finding an original Bard’s Tale for the Amiga is surprisingly hard. Either no one wants to sell theirs, or there just aren’t many out there floating around anymore (or both).

In any case, I did finally snag a pretty nice specimen recently. Even though it already is in the Games Library, later this year I’m going to try and do what I never have done before - actually finish it from beginning to end. And I think I’ll do it entirely on my Amiga 1000 since Bard’s Tale is one of the few fantastic games that totally supports two disk drives: DF0 for the game disk and DF1 for the character disk. It’s heavenly.
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Clue Book for Bard's Tale


In preparation for such a momentous occasion, I also found (after a looooong search) the only Clue Book by EA I’ve ever seen for the game. It’s heavily marked up by a previous owner, but honestly that doesn’t bother me at all. I actually kind of dig that sometimes to see the little notes and whatnot someone jotted down decades ago as they played these games pre-internet and only had their brain and this clue book to figure things out. That’s how I like to still do it today. Why not? We’re not in any rush, right?
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My clue book is heavily marked up, but I kind of find that charming.


I’ve also got a pristine boxed copy of Thief of Fate, the 3rd installment in the series. I’ve yet to find Bard’s Tale 2. But I’ve got plenty of time. I’ll come around eventually I know.
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Not exactly a Flat box anymore. There's simply too much stuff. But at least it's sort of skinny. Bard's Tale 2 is also not a true "Flat", either.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

Re: Bard's Tale I & III

by Shot97 Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:37 pm

Nice finds of some excellent games; shown at their best on the Amiga before Electronic Arts became the cesspool that is EA.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Bard's Tale I & III

by intric8 Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:53 pm

I forgot to show what was hidden inside the front flap: Quick-start guide, Manual, Warranty, Clue Book advert, and a kid's hand-crafted pencil-drawn map. I assume it was a kid's because the lettering is so precise yet "flowery". And the PO's save disk was in there, too.

I love it when I find stuff like this. It wasn't even photo'd on Ebay (maybe they forgot, or never looked?). I find these old hand-drawn maps just as charming as the product itself. On old yellowed graph paper no less. I swear, when I first saw this slide out of the flap into my hand, I felt like I'd found a hidden treasure map left behind by old One Eyed Willie himself (Goonies reference).
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@Shot
It's really sad how they became so beholden to shareholders. BITD, Electronic Arts was hands-down a crown jewel in the games industry. If it had their logo on it, it was guaranteed perfection. Not to mention how they completely embraced Amiga early on and made tools that helped the entire games industry. At one stage, honestly, they could have evolved into Adobe... it's weird how things work out sometimes.
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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Re: Bard's Tale I & III

by Zippy Zapp Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:56 pm

Nice condition. I never had bards tale in my library, beyond a copy from a friend. I was into Ultima and Ultima style of games like Legacy of the Ancients, The SSI games and some others. Anyway, this is making me want to go back and give it another go.

intric8 wrote:It's really sad how they became so beholden to shareholders. BITD, Electronic Arts was hands-down a crown jewel in the games industry. If it had their logo on it, it was guaranteed perfection. Not to mention how they completely embraced Amiga early on and made tools that helped the entire games industry. At one stage, honestly, they could have evolved into Adobe... it's weird how things work out sometimes.


I couldn't agree more. Although they still, via their bought studios, come out with some interesting games (Mirrors Edge, Star Wars BattleFront series, Burnout and Need for Speed games) They have certainly become a behemoth that swallows other companies and leaves a wake of destruction in their path. Well maybe not that bad, but thats the way it feels anyway.

Perusing the store shelfs back in the era and like you said, when you saw a game by EA, with that EOA cool logo they used to have you knew it was going to be a quality game.

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*Sigh* Oh well, I guess that is why so many of us like these classic games and systems from the best days in computing, IMHO.
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McTrinsic

Re: Bard's Tale I & III

by McTrinsic Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:32 am

I feel very much the same about Bards Tale I. I did map the whole thing as far as I got, but eventually didn't have the skills nor the patience - or both - to finish this.
After 'Defendet of the Crown', this game made my jaw drop and I had to get this A500... I played BT on the C64 and when I saw these astonishing graphics of the Amiga-version I was determined to play that game on an Amiga.
As I didn't finish it - I eventually switched more to Ultima IV. Never regretted it :) .
Sure it would be nice to revisit BT these days. But it takes time, and a serious amount thereof. Be prepared for lots of grinding. Also, you might want to check out the CRPGaddict and how he sees this game from a modern perspective.

Have fun!!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Bard's Tale I & III

by intric8 Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:30 am

But it takes time, and a serious amount thereof. Be prepared for lots of grinding.
This is very true - especially the types of games I gravitate towards. Last year I was trying to explore 2-3 games ... per week! It's impossible to truly experience a game like that. I mean, you can play it, but you can't really know it that deeply. I think that's fine for arcade ports, but for CRPGs it really should be given the full effort if you know you're playing a classic.

And I'm pretty sure my next game is going to take a long time. I'm leaning heavily towards cracking open Dungeon Master - the legendary Atari ST game that was ported to the Amiga in 1988.
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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA

Re: Bard's Tale I & III

by LambdaCalculus Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:28 pm

Man, Dungeon Master's one of those games I'd love to have in my library again! I had it for DOS back in the day, but it deserves a spot in my Amiga games library as well!
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200

https://nostalgiaroadtrip.com

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