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The Bard's Tale 4 Kickstarter backers to receive original Bard's Tale trilogy free

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Most backers of InXile Entertainment's ongoing Kickstarter campaign for The Bard's Tale 4 will receive free digital copies of the first three Bard's Tale games, the studio announced today.

The offer applies to backers at the $20 tier or above. Those individuals will receive copies of Tales of the Unknown, Volume 1: The Bard's Tale (1985), The Bard's Tale 2: The Destiny Knight (1986) and The Bard's Tale 3: Thief of Fate (1988) following the end of the Kickstarter campaign, if the funding drive reaches its goal.

Electronic Arts owns the rights to those games, and "very graciously had no objections at all" to their inclusion in The Bard's Tale 4's campaign, according to a Kickstarter update from InXile.

"A big thanks to [EA] for their help in making this giveaway happen," said InXile.

The digital copies will be emulated versions of the original games, and they "work on most modern machines, but are a little rough around the edges," according to InXile. So the studio is enlisting Rebecca Heineman, the programmer of The Bard's Tale 3, and her company Olde Sküül to develop updated versions of the original trilogy's games. The re-releases will be "primarily based on the Apple IIGS versions of the games, along with updated art" said InXile, and will run natively on Mac and Windows PC.

"We'll get you the emulated versions of the trilogy as soon as the Kickstarter ends and our backer site is up," said InXile. "Meanwhile, Rebecca will be working on the updated versions of the games and if that goes well we'll get you those as soon as she delivers them to us, also for free! As we're not working on these versions ourselves we cannot give an ETA or guarantee on their release, we'll all be waiting for Rebecca to deliver us an upgraded version worthy of the name!"

InXile launched its Kickstarter campaign for The Bard's Tale 4 earlier this month. As of this writing, the studio has pulled in more than $1.16 million of its $1.25 million goal. The funding drive ends July 10. You can see in-engine footage from the game below.

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