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Bard Quest is the second MS Paint Adventures comic, written by Andrew Hussie. Unlike its predecessor Jailbreak, it was the first attempt to use Choose Your Own Adventure-style branching story paths that didn't lead into one another. It was also the first to have a definite plot — you are a bard tasked to perform for a bored king, but after proving your mettle to him, are appointed the kingdom's head Dragon Slayer and set off to do just that.

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The story was cancelled before Hussie started up work on Problem Sleuth. It also holds the distinction of being the only adventure without a definitive end, since Jailbreak received one in 2011.


Tropes:

  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: The owner of Cod Palace has quite the Gag Nose.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Despite the kingdom's strict laws on homosexuality, the king himself is gay.
  • The Cameo: The Bard and crew show up in Problem Sleuth when Ace Dick is trudging through a swamp during his Game of Life session. We see them in the same positions as they were left in the Swamp route, but we still don't know what happens to them afterwards.
  • Cut Short: The story ends after the gang leaves town, only allowing for a couple of branch paths that don't go anywhere.
  • Double Entendre: The bard is saved from execution when the king interprets his song about the Queen (there isn't one) as a song about "Queens".
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  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Bard tries to impress the king by giving his shoes a spit-shine. He gets his head on a pike for his troubles.
  • Dissimile: "So many choices! You're like a kid in a candy store, and instead of candy, the kid finds a lot of cod pieces instead!"
  • Gag Penis: The "Hull of the Flagship", a codpiece so majestic it makes back-alley hooligans prostrate themselves in awe.
  • Hard Gay: The king, who even hires handsome musclemen to be his bodyguards.
  • I Was Never Here: When the Bard gets kicked out of a smith shop for asking for gay porn:
    He sends you on your way, however, with a gracious recommendation. If asked, you have no idea where it came from.
  • Lighter and Softer: There's way less death and gore here than there is in Jailbreak.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Upon being beheaded and impaled:
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  • Mistaken for Gay: The butcher mistakes the Bard's request for bratwursts as an invitation to sex, and kicks him out almost immediately. Though to be fair, he has the option to ask a blacksmith for gay porn magazines and doesn't object to recieving one.
  • Mythology Gag: Hunk Rump makes a reappearance here.
  • Railroading: Despite having 3 branch paths in some areas, some would lead nowhere, one ended in death, and others just had the Bard get kicked out of places. The third choice was usually the one that had a progressing plot.
  • Running Gag: The Bard-a-pult showing up whenever the Bard makes an extremely stupid decision.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Some of the sillier options can lead to this. Of particular note is what happens after the Bard acquires party members:
    (After stealing a codpiece from Cod Palace):
    Just a moment... you start to wonder if the attire of your servants is altogether appropriate? Their groins seem conspicuously barren.
    >Better get them pieces. Let's hit up Cod Palace
    You don't know why you didn't think of this earlier!
    >Shop around as if nothing ever happened
    (The group is Bard-a-pulted out.)
  • Quirky Bard: Subverted with the title character. The reader thinks this initially, but he proves them wrong.


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