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A guide to fast levelling in Bard’s Tale I

If you have ever wanted to get your party levelled up faster in the remake of Bard’s Tale, then this guide is for you! This guide doesn’t worry too much about the whys and wherefores of the game, simply where to go to level as quickly as possible without suffering the dreaded party death. Read on.

Party of Six

Six is the right number for faster levelling. When you win a combat, the gold and experience is divided between the party. Also using this method generates enough gold to comfortably enable your magic users to gain their spells as they level – but only for two spellcasters. A third spellcaster (often the seventh member of a party) will just hold you back here, both in terms of being able to learn spells as you level and gaining experience.

I would not recommend the game’s starting party here. Even though they start at level 2, their stats are not the best in terms of maximising the hits and spell points they are likely to gain when levelling up. Do take the Fire Horn from the starting Bard though – you’re going to need it.

Here’s a guide to forming a party if you want more.

Phase 1 – Wine

Get down to the Wine Cellar. This is your new base, and you won’t stay here long. Go to the set fights and kill the monsters, using the Fire Horn where you have to.

Continue until: your front four have 40+ hit points each. In practise this should be around level 3.

Time taken: 30 minutes

Phase 2 – Catacombs level 1

It may seem early to head over to the catacombs, but that’s for normal speed levelling. Give the priest his word (Tarjan). Now here you’re going to operate just in the lower left corner. There are five spots which will always generate a battle for you to visit. These are: N0 E7,N0 E8, N0 E10, N3 E2, N3 E7. Use your Fire Horn early and often here, especially at first.

Avoid the rooms at N0 E6 and N0 E9 as these will generate undead who may drain or age your characters, and that costs too much to keep healing.

Continue until: you have a Sorcerer with Locate Traps

Time taken: 90 minutes

Interlude – levelling

The biggest time sink is travelling to the review Board and getting your adventurers levelled. It’s up to you how many times you want to save and re-roll those level up rolls. The fussier you are, the more time this will add. To offset this, the better your stats the longer each dungeon stay can last, so there’s a trade off either way here.

In terms of levelling your spellcasters, I recommend you go Ma>Ca>So>Wi with your first spellcaster while the second takes the Ca>So>Ma>Wi route. Taking Sorcerer as the second path for your Conjurer means you get Locate Traps sooner, while making your Magician a Conjurer gives you the important second source of Trap Zap, further extending your dungeon stays.

Phase 3 – catacombs level 2

Once you have the ability to Magically locate traps, it’s time to stretch your legs. Level 2 of the catacombs gives you even more fights in a tight area, again cutting down on travel time. The spaces to visit are N18 E12, N18 E13, N18 E15, N18 E17, N18 E21, N16 E20, N15 E13, N14 E13, N14 E20, N11 E13, N11 E14, N11 E16, N11 E18. Blue Dragons should be avoided where possible, but your party should handle everything else.

Try and avoid the one-way door to the north of N17 E19.

Continue until: your Sorcerer has Mangar’s Mind Blade and you can comfortably defeat Blue Dragons. When you’re ready to leave don’t forget to go to level 3 and pick up the Eye so you can get past Harkyn’s Castle later.

Time taken: 90-120 minutes

Phase 4 – Harkyn’s

There is a difficulty lift between the Catacombs and Harkyn’s Castle, so don’t get lulled by the ease of fights in the catacombs. If there’s one thing that will hold you back, it’s getting your party wiped by too tough enemies. Don’t forget to visit the guard room on level 3 at N5 E12 for a one-off fight versus 99 foes.

Continue until: you have two Sorcerers each with Mangar’s Mind Blade.

Time taken: 60-90 minutes

Phase 5 – the rush

Once you’re ready to leave Harkyn’s, make sure you have collected the two quest items, kill that statue of Tarjan and head to Kylearan’s. Don’t linger here, just follow the guide and get to Mangar’s as quickly as possible.

Once you reach Mangar’s the rush is still on! Get to level 3 as fast as you can with 50,000 gold in tow and buy that Master Key from the old man at N12 E19.

During the rush fight as little as possible, your goal is the gain the Master Key, not levels.

Time taken: 60-80 minutes

Phase 6 – as long as you like

The Master Key makes getting to and from Mangar’s Tower far easier and more importantly far faster.  

Take your time fighting through the first 3 levels over and over. Once you’re ready head up to defeat Mangar himself.

Continue until: you have two Wizards fully levelled or you feel ready to face Mangar and end the game.

Time taken: as long as you like!

If you’re wondering about the time ranges I’ve posted, it took my test party 6 hours and 10 minutes of play time to get to the Master key. That’s towards the upper end of the time estimates I have given for each phase.

Happy levelling!

One comment on “A guide to fast levelling in Bard’s Tale I

  1. Pingback: Building your party in Bard's Tale I | Scent of a Gamer

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2020 by in classic game walkthrough, Computer Games and tagged , , , , .
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