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Is anyone interested in a speedrun of the Bard's Tale GS? Smiley I grew up with the game and so have an affinity for it. Let me know.
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I looked up some pictures with Google. It doesn't look that interesting, but that doesn't mean it can't be good!
How fast do you think you could run it? In less than 30 minutes?
Do you know any good glitches that you could exploit? Smiley
You got a deletion wish?
The IIGS version?  My parents and I love that!  Tell me you've actually got a workable GS on you (running on Fast speed). 
Shit, I don' I'm using KEGS OS X. I'm wondering if that would be an acceptable alternative for speedrun submission, as it is a rather undeveloped emulator (and less prone, I suppose, to hacking).

Your parents played it?! Oh, that's funny!

30 minutes? Uh way. You have to level your guys up first, which can take time.

In terms of strategy, I know that the 4 x 99 berserkers are an easy way to level up; and in the beginning, you can fight 66 skeletons in the catacombs (level one) w/ the fire horn for like 1200 exp.

I really don't know much about this game...if anyone wants to chip in, feel free.
Edit history:
MatrixTN: 2007-01-19 06:20:42 am
You got a deletion wish?
I'm using KEGS OS X. I'm wondering if that would be an acceptable alternative for speedrun submission, as it is a rather undeveloped emulator (and less prone, I suppose, to hacking).

Ah, a fellow Mac user!  Unfortunately, there are several problems with this picture.

#1: Can't use emulators; the run has to be done on the actual system (in this case an Apple IIGS, assuming you have a working one on you and a way to output to a VCR)

#2: Somehow, I'm not trying to shoot this down or anything, I don't think the game is speed runnable under 7 hours.

#3: I happen to like the music in both BTs (wish I had them to listen to though).

You might want to read these before proceeding with a run if you haven't already: Rules, FAQ, and SDA Knowledge Base.  Good luck with any endeavors you attempt.

I've yet to beat it myself, but happen to know that Mangar is a pain in the ass.
Sorry, but an old game over 7 hours isn't very appealing to me.
I suspect this is theoretically runnable in under 7 hours, but it's probably not realistic.
I've certainly completed it in two sittings, without trying *too* hard to optimize everything, and you can certainly go fast and run from nearly all fights, but Mangar requires extreme luck or high levels to resist spells or breath attacks.

Tool-assisted this might be 20 minutes.  Played straight, I'm betting planning and practice and dedication might bring it down towards 5, but probably will require a lot of attempts.
I thought about this some more (i know, many years after the inquiry).

The game requires only one thing for victory: kill mangar.
This basically requires enough resistance and/or healing to survive the fights, and instant kills like deathstrike.  Deathstrike requires only level 13, and a reasonable chance to resist spell effects probably requires something like level 16.  You could get really lucky, but that's probably the lowest that would work (testing worthwhile).  By level 18-20 it becomes a fairly reliable victory.  So there's one timesink, gaining some levels like that.

The second requirement is that you can get to mangar at all.  Played straight, this has the following set of dependencies:

* You need three items, the silver circle, triangle, and square, to get to him on mangar's tower, level 5.
* To get the silver circle, you need to go to certain room on Mangar's Tower, level 2.
* You need a key (forget the exact name) to get into his tower at all.
* To get to Mangar's tower entrance, you need to go through the sewers.
* To get the key (and the silver triangle), you need to complete Kylerean's Tower.
* To get the silver square, you need to complete a puzzle section in Harkyn's Castle 2.
* To get into Kylerean's Tower, you need to defeat the mad god in Harkyn's Castle 3.
* To fight the Mad God, you need an eye from Catacombs 3.

That's pretty much it for required actions, which can be optimized, more or less:
* Go to Catacombs 3 (can teleport to Catacombs 2 stairs down, walk from there), to kill spectre for eye.
* Go to Harkyn's castle 2 (can phase door south from entrance to find stairs up), complete silver quare "puzzle".
* Teleport up to Harkyn's castle 3 mad got location, kill mad god, get teleported to Karylean's.
* Solve Karylean's, get key & triangle.
* Enter sewers, teleport immediately to stairs up to mangar.
* in mangar, teleport directly to silver circle on Mangar 2.
* Teleport again to stairs up to Mangar 3.
* Walk to seven words puzzle, enter solution.
* Walk to stairs up to level 4.
* Complete level 4 and 5 (both pretty linear), using the silver objects to get to managar and kill him.

I'm not aware of any further sequence breaking possible.  The best would be to somehow skip the silver-objects gate.  Secondary would be to somehow glitch those objects into your inventory.  Finding a way past mangar or kylerean's gates would also save some time, though not that much.

I think doing the sequence straight up would take around 30 minutes tops, mostly dominated by load times for combats.

So the remaining question is how to optimize levelling.

A well-known glitch is to use two save floppies to duplicate items.  With this you could easily get infinite fire horns, and you start the game with a fire horn in the premade party, so multiple bards all using horns every round could really decimate the fixed fights.

I think with three bards in your party, each with horns, you could use the following grinding points:

* skeletons and zomgies in Catacombs 1
* ghouls and wights in Catacombs 3

to get from level 1 to level 13 in under an hour, once the item duping is done.  Maybe you could get to level 20 in under 2 hours.

So maybe the whole game could be run in under 3 hours without any additional special tricks.  Just in case someone wanted to try.

It would be a boring thing to watch, for sure though.
For testing, I think it's easy enough to hexedit your characters with arbitrary experience, letting you level the up to any point of your choosing to see how readily you can speedrun a given segment.

Other ideas:
* first party slot as paladin will let you run away more reliably.
* A nospen ring (ignore spinners) or speedboots (can always run) would obviously help a lot.
* I believe there's a prodosGS version which you could install on a hard drive to skip floppy loading times.
in speedrunning the third game, there is a bug/cheat code that you could use to have 7 archmages. Under 30 minutes without counting load times is very much possible. My dad did it as a kid
i might post a run in the remastered version
The remastered versions are surprisingly not terrible to play through. It's a bit weird going into these with a ghosty reflex reminder to c 6 arfi and or whatever with the QOL changes. The keybindings seem almost completely on point, so figuring out what they currently are and using them without the mouse still seems like the absolute fastest way.

'j' will reveal a map which scrying will reveal your position on-- Tarjan is still the name of ol' boy. And the default party still starts with a fire horn.

*Grind in Mad Monk's Temple (Tarjan) for teleport spell using fire horn
--possibly get another instrument--or several
--use multiple bards, use instrument and spell spam
--use above instructions, somewhat. The new games are balanced to be 'dex first action', so you need FAST bards and FAST spell users.
Categories might be an issue since the remasters actually have options. I believe one of them makes 'event' encounters repeatable, but pretty much all of the rest of the options seem terrible at first glance.
Edit history:
Silentsigil: 2019-09-01 05:03:15 am
If anyone wants SDA staff's input on what categories should be permitted, feel free to bring it up here.

that is a longplay vid for the og bards tale use that for reference
but in the remastered version aka bards tale trilogy

Edit history:
Silentsigil: 2019-10-08 10:11:01 pm
Silentsigil: 2019-10-08 10:10:47 pm

Did some light digging. It looks like in the original a lot of the stat descriptions didn't actually mean anything. Dex specifically has little or no bearing on action speed in combat, and action speed has some relation to the number of successful combats the units were in.

If that last part is still true in the remasters, it'd be potentially useful to grind whatever the threshold of battles is to get some speed over the enemies in the final map of BT1, as Mangar and his buddies can wipe.

I did get a sort of 'test' run through to the end, and the new sneak attack backstab of the rogue is OP for the Mangar fight. You just hide for enough turns to OHKO the enemies at whatever distance and repeat. While hidden, the rogue cannot be targeted by spells or strikes. Each turn of hiding they move 10', so you can shank your way to victory over the corpses of your allies who all died first turn.

*edit* mostly accurate notes on the ideas i had.

Get melee units, let them die on 1st turn. Keep bard in first backrow slot. Grind in catacombs 1f using bard horn.

Res. When at 10k xp, level spellcasters.

Remove melee users at adventurer's guild. Summon wolves to fill the slots. Remove them when they die. Same strategy as before, but you can now do multiple fights just replacing wolves without having to back out to a temple.

Once you have enough xp to teleport, the rest of the game is mostly free. Jump to specific spots, get key items. Walk the 2-5 floors you can't teleport through. Keep your rogue levelled so he can backstab Mangar at the end.