Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bard's Tale II: Hiatus

I can save the GAME? This is different than saving my characters? FF...no, I'm not doing that.

A series of unfortunate things this week:

1) I've been on the road again, this time to the west coast, and I've had lots of down time in hotel rooms in which I could have been finishing The Bard's Tale II, but I've found it so mind-crushing that I've been re-watching Firefly instead. That would be fine if my blog was called the "geeky TV Addict."

2) When I did finally fire up the game, I discovered to my horror that the pieces of the Destiny Wand I'd managed to collect were gone! No idea where they went. But perhaps it's related to...

3) I discovered that there's a "save game" option completely independent of saving your characters, and that you can save anywhere--even in dungeons. Somehow I missed this in the manual. I had been trekking back to a guild every time I wanted to save, and then I was only saving my characters attributes, not what I had accomplished in the game. Bollocks.

4) Insistent that I was not going to reply the previous dungeons just to find those wand pieces again, I downloaded a character editor, frigged around with it, and ended up corrupting my character files, of which I had not made backups.

So I'm faced with the task of starting completely over in The Bard's Tale II. And you know what? I'm going to do it. My posts lately have sucked, I've been playing with a bad attitude, and finishing the damned thing is my penance. But I'm going to take a one-game break before I tackle it again. Might and Magic I is the next game on my list, and it was released the same year as The Bard's Tale II, so technically I'm not going out of order. I'm downloading it now and getting back into the game.

Much Later Edit: After finishing Might & Magic, I have no desire to return to The Bard's Tale II.


  1. Glad to hear it man, been missing your more up-tempo updates, and from what I've heard, M&M was a pretty decent game.

  2. sorry to hear of the mishap... MM1.. Its more or less BT1.5 ;) heheh Its going to feel like an unpolished BT1.. bigger graphics window but plays the same.

    mm2 improved graphics and mm3 really kicked things off but kept the same mold more or less.

  3. Stu, I felt that way at first (that it was basically the same game), but after playing it for a couple of hours...I find there's something ineffable about it that just makes me like it better. But I could just be in a better mood.

  4. You kind of have been in a bad mood since Ultima IV, I am under the impression that you are waiting for another game that is coming up, and you are grinding through the games in the way.

    Don't get me wrong! I see your point in not finishing Wizards Crown and BTII, but you did put in the time to finish Ultima II, and even squeezed some enjoyment out of it.

  5. Well, I can't say I blame you for not wanting to finish this one. As much as I loved BT1, it took me several years (off and on, obviously) before I finished BT2. The constant encounters are a real drag and the only really interesting thing are the snares.

  6. I haven't found BT 2 all that bad. I am playing it again on the iPad (Bard's tale app which gives you the first 3 as a bonus, apparently the DOS versions...) One issue bothered me in the 1980's was that my BT1 character names were all in caps. I know it's a minor annoyance, but a workaround this time was importing the same characters twice to the character disk (this is done via a swapping system on the iPad via a "virtual" disk drive). When the characters are brought over the second time, it tells you they already exist and asks you to rename them. Voila! Lower case letters! Plus, you get all your items and gold x 2! Some items don't transfer - Ybarrashield and Spectre Mace come to mind.
    I also found the beginner dungeon gave A LOT more xp than the first dungeon - the Tombs. In the 3rd and 4th levels of the beginner dungeon, I was routinely getting 13-15k xp for a fight. Most I got in the Tombs was 9-10k for huge packs of dangerous mobs.
    Remember how great that Wind Dragon was in BT1? Remember how annoying it was to have it disbelieved? Well, the 'ZZGO' spell (the UNKNOWN spell in Mag or Con) is great b/c it turns the Illusion into flesh and blood.
    One last note, BT 2 ramps up in difficulty quickly. Even though the XP was minimal in the Tombs, the monsters were tough. I didn't die often, but they would turn my Red Dragon against me and that cooked an adventurer or two. One note I had forgotten since last playing this in 1987, a hostile Special remains hostile after resurrection. So much for gratitude!

    1. I hope this isn't too off-topic but I'd be interested in more information about transferring characters. I'm encouraged to hear that you were able to do this on the iPad. I've been trying to do this on my macbook pro laptop with no success. When I transfer characters from BT 1 to BT 2 they come across with just the ones that came stock with the game (Omar, Merlin, Markus, etc.) with their basic exp. and weapons (not the built up level 14+ characters I developed).

      I have tried every combination of disk and slot at either end. It seems I can transfer characters within the game or basic characters from BT 1 to BT 2 but nothing more useful than that. Any help is appreciated.

  7. My first post--a couple of days ago a friend passed along the link, and I've been slowly reading since the beginning. I think maybe you were in a bad mood around this time. I mostly understood why you ditched Wizardry II & III because of the perma-death, but for Wizards of the Crown and this one it seems like you just weren't in for the core gameplay of CRPGs of this era--lots of grinding and combat :) Memorable storylines like Ultima IV were much more the exception than the rule! Anyway, I just noticed on your Index of Games Played by Title that many don't have a "Won" post--do you know what your overall batting average is?

    1. Yeah, I don't remember this time as being the highlight of my blogging experience. I really thought that if I just played games FAST, I'd be blogging about Morrowind within a couple of years, so I didn't have a lot of patience for games when they got slow or grindy. As you'll see as you read forward, that changed.

      As of right now, I've won 83% of the winnable games I've played. (This includes a handful where I cheated.) But the losses are heavily stacked towards the beginning of my blogging. As of January 2015, I haven't given up on a winnable game since August of 2012, though I did come close a few times. I even went back and won Wizardry II and III.

    2. Oh, and it's very likely that I'll re-visit Autoduel and Wizard's Crown on my way back through the 1980s. Not Bard's Tale II, though.

  8. Sorry, realized that sounded really judgmental! I'm loving the blog, as it brings back great memories and incentive to try a lot of games I've never played before. Good stuff!


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