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The Bard's Tale (Interplay) Solution

     Part 1

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
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

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 2

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 overstress 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

The Catacombs

 The Catacombs are reached from one of the Mad God's Temples, located on
the east side of  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 3

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 warmup 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).

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