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->”Thirteen treasures of ancient time,
->thirteen lessons of rule in rhyme.
->To find the jewels in secret places,
->follow where the compass faces.
->If returned from the shore beyond,
->a new day dawns for Octopon.
->But if they should fall into evil hands,
->darkness descends on all the lands.
->For these riches two shall vie,
->in the realm of Dark Water where the Treasures lie.”

Short-lived but fantastic 1991-1993 Creator/HannaBarbera cartoon series which switched off between syndication and Creator/{{ABC}}. It began as a five-part miniseries which aired on Creator/FoxKids as simply "Dark Water". It's well known as one of the first animated television shows for children to have legitimate high-stake adventures and an epic storyline.

Ren is the prince of a fallen kingdom, and he has to find the [[CosmicKeystone Thirteen Treasures of Rule]] to restore it to its once pristine glory. Rounding out his "[[RagtagBunchOfMisfits unlikely but loyal crew of misfits]]" are [[{{Whatevermancy}} ecomancer]] Tula, roguish Ioz, and the monkeybird Niddler.

However, Ren learns that his quest is far more urgent than simply personal career advancement; [[SealedEvilInACan the menacing substance called dark water]] that consumes everything it touches is spreading and it threatens to destroy the world. Only the thirteen treasures can stop it and Ren must find them before it is too late.

The high production costs and drop in art quality after its ChannelHop dealt the series a fatal blow and it was canceled 21 episodes into its run (only eight of the thirteen treasures had been collected). All 21 episodes were later released on DVD on August 31, 2010, listed as [[http://www.wbshop.com/Pirates-of-Dark-Water-The-Complete-Series/1000161863,default,pd.html?cgid The Complete Series]]. Additionally, in 1991 Creator/MarvelComics released a comic book series based on the show.

The series was created by David Kirschner, producer of ''Film/ChildsPlay'' and writer of ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail''. It was also Creator/HannaBarbera's first animated television series to have a far more substantial budget and more streamlined animation.

No relation to the Japanese horror film ''Film/DarkWater'' ([[ForeignRemake or its US remake]]). Also no relation to ''DarthWiki/CandleCove''. Also no relation to [[strike:[[SpiritualSuccessor Gothic 5]]]] ''VideoGame/{{Risen}} 2: Dark Water'' (which shares a pirate themed setting).

!!This series provides examples of:
* AbnormalAmmo: Guns filled with Dark Water.
** And a gun with a venom-spitting lizard contained inside.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: The tunnels inside the ''Maelstrom'' are literally large enough to hide a small civilization, ''and'' a giant sea monster.
%%* ActionFigureFileCard: The toys had them.
%%* AdventureTowns: Adventure Islands, to be specific.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese version has [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPFU8QIUBHE "Dark Water ~Beloved Soldiers~"]] performed by none other than [[Music/JAMProject Hironobu Kageyama]]
* AmazonBrigade: The female warriors in "The Living Treasure".
* AmbiguouslyHuman: Many inhabitants of Mer who aren't HumanAliens, including several in Bloth's pirate crew.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Ioz has a younger sister Solia, and depending on the interpretation she is either this or the follower of the RuleOfCool.
* BareYourMidriff: Tula's outfit. Rather, the slightly different outfit she gets after the first story arc.
* BigNo: Episode 3, Tula after Ren is knocked out. Also, episode 13 when Tula falls into the Dark Water.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Bloth's crew ride around on dragon-like creatures called...dagrons.
* ChainedHeat: Ren and Bloth in one episode, The Game.
* CombatTentacles: Morpho's left arm is a tentacle, he uses it for fighting and strangling people.
* CoolBoat: The ''Maelstrom'', Bloth's huge ship made of sea monster bones.
** The ''Wraith'', the main characters' ship, has a detachable sail-glider.
* TheCorruption: The titular Dark Water, which devours all it touches.
* DarkSkinnedBlond: Ren. Heck, most of the characters are pretty dark-skinned yet hair colors tend to run the gamut.
* DeathWorld: The Planet Mir, has Middle Ages level of Civilization in a few Island Kingdoms. But everywhere else is filled with vicious pirates and bizarre beasts, with occasional savage tribesmen or fiendish swindlers to boot. And, large areas of the planet are getting eaten away by a substance of pure evil called Dark Water.
* DisneyDeath: Tula is devoured by the Dark Water. She does not die, however, as the Dark Dweller decides to use her as bait for Ren.
* DoomedHomeTown: Octopon.
** [[spoiler:It gets undoomed in the first season finale and shows signs of being a viable seaport again in the second season.]]
* DumbMuscle: Most of Bloth's crew, but especially the Lugg Brothers.
* EldritchAbomination: The source of the Dark Water.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Bloth, surprisingly enough, although it could double as TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou in some cases. Notable examples include:
** "A Drop Of Darkness" - Bloth won't kill Ren until after he's performed Ren's supposed wedding (though it should be noted that the woman who arranged this promised Bloth the compass and treasures in exchange for this).
** "The Game" - Bloth helps Ren defeat the Korb monsters hunting them after they are no longer chained together, as payback for Ren not abandoning him earlier in the episode when he had the chance (and just after said chains had been broken).
** "The Dark Dweller" - Bloth captures Ren just after the latter has lost Tula to the dark water and is in the midst of a HeroicBSOD. Does he throw him to the Constrictus? [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim Heck no!]] [[spoiler:Instead, he keeps Ren around as a ship slave because he "would rather watch Ren die a thousand deaths by guilt..."]]
*** Also in the same episode, when Bloth forces Ioz to battle one his pirates, he decides to "be a fair man" and tosses him a sword. All Ioz has to do is get past the pirate to reach it... the pirate who has four arms and a weapon in each hand.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Niddler, a monkey-bird.
* EvilAlbino: Bloth is pretty pasty. The Pale/White Warriors from the second episode are a subversion, as they were aggressive but not evil. They were also much taller and more muscular than any of the other characters.
* FantasticRacism: Monkeybirds were used as slaves, and the first miniarc even went so far as to show the slave markets. While it was swept under the rug later, Niddler does mention on occasion that he can't enter certain pubs because monkeybirds aren't allowed there, and characters in general seem to consider Niddler a lesser being even before he has a chance to prove himself as the SmallAnnoyingCreature.
* FemaleMisogynist: The female warriors in "The Living Treasure" appears to hate outsider women as equally as men in general. A woman is one of the slaves. Granted, they (or at least their queen) will welcome a female outsider who openly voices her hatred for men.
* FighterMageThief
** Ren = Fighter
** Tula = Mage
** Ioz = Thief
*** The arrangement is unusual, because Ren (despite being the fighter) is quick, agile and tricky rather than particularly strong, while Ioz seems to be the physical powerhouse (and is the MightyGlacier in the video game). Tula has her thieving moments as well, and was trained as a warrior (though this doesn't really come up much after the miniseries and in the AmazonLand episode).
%%* FiveEpisodePilot
* {{Flanderization}}: In the first episode, Niddler is concerned about getting something to eat because Bloth starves him. It doesn't come up in the rest of the miniseries after he is free from Bloth. After the network jump, Niddler possesses an all-consuming desire for food.
* FoodAsBribe: Niddler loves minga melons and can be bribed into doing almost anything with the promise of them.
* FountainOfYouth: The alchemist Cray was able to restore her youth using a potion she created, [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the dark water she used in it causes her body to eventually break down into Dark water itself.]]
* FreakyFridayFlip: Bloth switches bodies with Ren (and Konk with Niddler) thanks to a powder by Morpho. It has to be noted, however, that their voices stay the same - so the audience has Ren bellowing ''Curse my eyes!'' through the entire episode.
%%* FunctionalMagic
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Ioz smacks Tula on the rear in the first episode. Also see PardonMyKlingon below.
** Later in the series, he turns down a pirate ghost captain's amorous advances by bluntly stating that he prefers his women live.
* GoldMakesEverythingShiny: Several outfits have gold decorations.
%%* GottaCatchThemAll: The 13 treasures of Rule.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Morpho is half human, half sea creature.
%%* HighFantasy
%%* HumanAliens: Many of the inhabitants of Mer
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: The ghost pirate captain captures Ioz for this purpose, stressing her appreciation for his looks several times and going so far as to say that while being a ghost may be unpleasant, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar the sex will make it better.]]
* ImColdSoCold: Tula lowers Ren's body temperature to the point where he dies so he can [[OurGhostsAreDifferent fight a gang of ghosts.]] [[spoiler:[[UnexplainedRecovery He gets better.]] ]]
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: Most of them look like they were designed by Kit Rae.
* IslandBase: Many.
* ItWasAGift: Ren's sword plays an important role in the show. It once belonged to his father and was given to Ren by Jenna, his caretaker.
* {{Jerkass}}/JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Ioz. More the first.
* KarmaHoudini: Because the show ended prematurely, Bloth and his crew were never permanently beaten, and as such got away with their countless crimes.
* LargeAndInCharge: Bloth, bigger than all.
* LighthousePoint: Ren lived in a lighthouse before he found out about his heritage.
* LongHairIsFeminine: Tula's hair goes to her waist.
%%* MadeOfEvil
* MagicCompass: Ren's amulet shoots a blue beam in the direction of nearby Treasures of Rule.
%%* {{Mordor}}: Any place contaminated by Dark Water.
%%* MurderWater: The titular Dark Water.
* MythArc: The quest to find the thirteen treasures stop the Dark Water from spreading across the world. The show was notable as one of the first kid shows to actually have an over-arching plot. Sadly, the show was TooGoodToLast and it got cut short with only eight of the treasures found.
* NoEnding: The show ended with only 8 of the 13 treasures recovered. The Sega Genesis game finagles the plot a little provide one, though.
* NoGuyWantsToBeChased: Ioz. So much so that one of the dislikes on his official character sheet is 'independent women'.
* OffModel: The fact that two companies on opposite sides of the spectrum worked on this (Creator/{{Madhouse}} and Creator/KennedyCartoons)[[note]] Fellow studios Creator/TamaProductions, Creator/WangFilmProductions, Creator/FilCartoons and Creator/BigStar also had a hand in this[[/note]] makes it it more jarring than it should have been.
%%* OpeningNarration
%%* OrphanedSeries
* OrganicTechnology: Making a submarine from a baby leviathan, starfish used as shuriken, and one episode shows a pistol-like arrangement attached to a glass bottle with a lizard that breathes noxious fumes inside.
** The gun-like device containing a venomous cloud-spitting lizard is a particularly awesome example.
%%* OceanPunk
%%* OurDragonsAreDifferent
* PardonMyKlingon: ''"Noy Jitat!"'' seems to be a version of "damn", and is often shortened to the adjective ''jitatin'' (probably "damned") as in "that jitatin monkey-bird".
** Also ''Chonga'' and ''Chongo-longo''.
** "Naja dog" seems to be the strongest as is said less frequently.
* PiratesWhoDontDoAnything : Both the ''Wraith'' and the ''Maelstrom'' just hunt the 13 treasures all the time. The Maelstrom's crew might be composed of slaves (and Bloth is seen to have no concern as to what his crew eats, for example), and the Wraith's crew always complains of having no money, but it's still strange that they manage to keep it up at all.
* PinkMeansFeminine: Tula's outfit is pink.
* PlantPerson: Tula is an "ecomancer" and has magical control over plants.
* PocketProtector: Ioz is saved from a crossbow bolt by a stolen golden goblet in the second episode.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Stated outright in the OpeningNarration.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Ren, and his father King Primus before him, both quite the adventurers.
%%* RubberForeheadAliens: A lot of background characters.
* SandWorm: The Golquin, though it is referred to, rather inaccurately, as a crab and a crustacean, definitely fits this trope, being a large, burrowing, aggressive worm-like animal.
%%* SayMyName: Often.
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:The Dark Dweller in the backstory. Unlike other sealed evils, he actually managed to ''free himself'' and the Dark Water]].
** [[spoiler:Kiroptus, one of the servants of the Dark Dweller]] was also sealed in the backstory. And like [[spoiler:The Dark Dweller]], he managed to free himself [[spoiler:with a little help from [[UnwittingPawn Ren]]]] - only to be sealed again by the end of the one episode he appeared.
* SecretLegacy: Ren discovering he is a prince.
* ShipTease: Ren and Tula had a few moments, but the series came to an end before anything could really go anywhere.
** Ioz and Tula had a fair amount of it, too, though with far more [[BelligerentSexualTension sniping]]. But, again, the series ended before anything could happen in that regard.
%%* TheStarscream: Yellow-wing, possibly Konk.
* TooDumbToLive: In "The Living Treasure", when the female warriors captured the ''Wraith'' crew, he plead that they're on a quest to save the world from the Dark Water. Only for the captain to tell them their "quest has ended for good".
* TranslationConvention: The [[PardonMyKlingon odd-sounding swears]] and plant names and whatnot are meant to give the impression that the characters aren't actually speaking English, but we hear English for our own benefit.
* {{Unreveal}}: Cartoon Network aired a brief segment during commercial breaks in which they were asked about the ending of the show. It then cut to the opening sequence of the show until we finally see... that it has been taped over.
* VillainousRescue: Unintentionally in "The Living Treasure", the pirates came along and the female warriors thought them. Giving the ''Wraith'' crew and the slaves the chance to escape.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The Lugg Brothers just sort of disappear after leaving Zoolie's gamehouse with Konk in the miniseries. Konk is later delivered to Bloth in a barrel by some woman, and the Lugg Brothers are never seen or mentioned again.
* YouAllMeetInAnInn: The first time the entire cast meets, it's in an inn.