The Bard's Tale

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This page may require cleanup to meet basic quality standards. The specific problem is: This page contains information for both the original game and the reboot. You can help by modifying the article. The discussion page may contain useful suggestions.

This page is for the original 1987 game. For the 2005 reboot, see The Bard's Tale (2005). For the 2018 trilogy remake, see The Bard's Tale Trilogy.

The Bard's Tale
The Bard's Tale cover
Interplay Entertainment
Electronic Arts
Europe Ariolasoft
Release dates
DOS 1987
Mac OS (Classic) 1989
Windows (emulator) June 17, 2005
macOS (OS X) (emulator) May 31, 2012
Linux (emulator) October 10, 2013
The Bard's Tale guide on StrategyWiki
The Bard's Tale on MobyGames
The Bard's Tale on Wikipedia
The Bard's Tale
The Bard's Tale 1987
The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight 1988
The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate 1990
The Bard's Tale Construction Set 1991
The Bard's Tale (2005) 2005
The Mage's Tale 2017
The Bard's Tale Trilogy 2018
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep 2018
The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut 2019
The Bard's Tale ARPG : Remastered and Resnarkled 2020

General information Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
DRM details are not known
Mac OS
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
All digital versions include The Bard's Tale, The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight, The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate, and The Bard's Tale (2005).

Essential improvements[edit]

Run in MESS[edit]

Digital versions of The Bard's Tale (2005) include the Apple IIgs version emulated in a custom KEGS build.
Using MESS allows for save states, windowed mode, control customisation and many other enhancements.
Move game files[citation needed]
  1. Download MESSUI and extract it.
  2. Make a roms folder in the MESSUI folder.
  3. Download from the latest MESS BIOS Collection and put it in the MESSUI roms folder.
  4. Launch the game through The Bard's Tale (2005), then exit.
  5. Go to the Save game data location location and copy bt1d1.2mg and bt1d2.2mg into the MESSUI roms folder.
    Or alternatively you can manually unpack 3 files iibt1.bin, iibt12.bin and iibt3.bin found in the game installation (on Linux they are under "res" subdirectory) using these passwords (they are password encrypted ZIP archives):
    02iibt112 for iibt1.bin
    02iibt212 for iibt2.bin
    02iibt312 for iibt3.bin
  6. Run MESS and select Apple IIgs (ROM03).
  7. Go to the Device View tab and mount bt1d1.2mg and bt1d2.2mg as Floppy Disk (Sony).
  8. Run Apple IIgs (ROM03) to start the game.
  9. Choose Slot 5, Drive 2 when prompted for a characters disk.
To configure the output scaler, Vsync, etc. right-click Apple IIgs (ROM03) and choose Properties.

Game data[edit]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\*.TPW
Windows %LOCALAPPDATA%\inXile entertainment\bt1d2.2mg
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) ~/Library/Application Support/The Bard's Tale/btpriv/bt1d2.2mg
Linux $XDG_DATA_HOME/BardTale/bt1d2.2mg
This game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
320x200 only.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Toggle with Alt+ Enter (when using DOSBox or MESS).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
When using MESSUI, fullscreen borderless is the default.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Use MESS for digital versions; false for DOS version.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
For DOSBox use the DOSBox Mapper (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
For DOSBox use the DOSBox Mapper (see the glossary page for other workarounds).


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Everything is text-based.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
DOS video modes
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) 2000, XP, Vista
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 6 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce FX 5700
ATI Radeon 9600
DirectX 9.0c compatible
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.6
Processor (CPU)
System memory (RAM)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.6 GB
Operating system (OS)
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 6 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce FX 5700
ATI Radeon 9600
OpenGL 2.0 compatible