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Game News Footage from a 1998 Bard's Tale IV prototype revealed for the first time

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Electronic Arts; Interplay; Mythic Entertainment; Origin Systems; Rebecca Heineman; The Bard's Tale IV (EA)

    Kenneth Kully of the Ultima Codex was recently granted permission to dig through the digital archives of EA subsidiary Mythic Entertainment. Two days ago, he informed me that he had found in it a very strange video. See for yourself:


    Wow. It's...it's...pretty shitty, actually. But what the heck is this game and why is there footage of it in a Mythic archive?

    We know that Mythic Entertainment are the caretakers of Ultima Online and the entire Ultima legacy at EA. As such, they have inherited materials that originally belonged to Origin before that company's final shutdown in 2004. We also know that back in 1998, Brian Fargo had not yet recovered the rights to Bard's Tale, which he eventually used to make his own modern take on the series, 2004's The Bard's Tale.

    So, did Origin set out to create their own Bard's Tale sequel? Considering how busy they were in 1998 with the disaster that was Ultima IX, that doesn't seem likely. Luckily, the powers of Google supply an answer to our conundrum.

    A forgotten interview from 2000 with original Bard's Tale trilogy developer "Burger" Bill Heineman at defunct fansite BardsTale.com reveals:

    Scott: Well I sure hope that someday the saga will continue. If you were allowed to produce BT4, do you have any new ideas in the back of your mind on things you might do differently this time? ​

    Bill: We have a whole game design document and even a prototype of the engine. We pitched the idea to EA about a month ago but they were not interested.​

    Scott: Oh, that is a shame!!! With your new engine, has the game been enhanced a lot, or does it still look basically the same? ​

    Bill: Completely new game. It has more of an Everquest look to it but all the art and sounds have a Bard's Tale feel to it.​

    Scott: Do you have any story ideas for Bard's Tale 4 yet? ​

    Bill: As I said before, we have a whole game design document. It takes place after Bard's Tale III and begins the tale again. We hope it's the first part of a three part saga.​

    Tsk, tsk, Rebecca! Of course, this still doesn't answer the question of what this video was doing in an Origin archive. Perhaps somebody at Origin was tasked by the suits at EA with examining the prototype and determining its quality. Hopefully, somebody will step up and provide the last remaining pieces of this puzzle.
     
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    BTW, Brother None can tell you what Brian Fargo's reaction to this video was. :P
     
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  3. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    That Breastplate... :lol:

    Do you think it would be possible to impale enemies with it?
     
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  4. The Bishop Arbiter

    The Bishop
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    That's at least 2d4 piercing damage by the look of it, if not 2d6.
     
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  5. hoverdog dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive Developer

    hoverdog
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    Wow. Was early 3D ugly.
     
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  6. Rhuantavan Legendworks Patron Developer

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    Thankfully this never saw the light of day.
     
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  7. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Same year:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. hoverdog dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive Developer

    hoverdog
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    [​IMG]

    :M
     
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  9. Black_Willow Arcane

    Black_Willow
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    Looks prosperous.
     
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  10. Rhuantavan Legendworks Patron Developer

    Rhuantavan
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    RtK should never have existed. Thief of dreams on the other hand...
     
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  11. made Arcane

    made
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    I'd be more interested to learn what happened to this BT4 from '92:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. InspectorRumpole Arbiter

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    Basil Poledouris! :love:
     
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  13. made Arcane

    made
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    Now?
     
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  14. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

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    So take a classic blobber combat game and turn it into a shitty "action" game. Glad this never came to be.
     
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  15. hoverdog dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive Developer

    hoverdog
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    [​IMG]


    what were you saying? :troll:
     
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  16. Brayko Self-Ejected

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    Looks amazing. Prosper needs to get on that shit for finalization.
     
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  17. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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  18. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    :lol:
     
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  19. SuicideBunny (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

    SuicideBunny
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    Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Torment: Tides of Numenera
    homeworld.
     
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  20. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
  21. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    At least inXile's game had EXTREME SHEPARD BARD dialogue choices. Three years before Mass Effect!
     
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  23. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
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    yeah I just closed it down and listened to the music instead :D
     
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  24. Tolknaz Savant Patron

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    That trailer is a criminal waste of good music.
     
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  25. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    To be fair, 't is a prototype.

    :love:One of my most-played CDs is the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack. It's pure genius.

    To be fair, knowing full well that game's never gonna be a Codex favorite, at least he didn't call it Bard's Tale IV, and was explicit about it not being a Bard's Tale sequel or anything much like the Bard's Tale (though you can question if that's a good decision or not).

    inXile might still do the Bard's Tale IV at some point in the future, and it wouldn't be...this.
     
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