Western Animation / Skeleton Warriors

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/skeleton_warriors_01.jpg

Skeleton Warriors was a short-lived Saturday Morning Cartoon made by Landmark Entertainment Group and broadcast by CBS in 1994.

The story is set on the planet Lumimaire, with the Lightstar Crystal as the center of the series. Baron Dark tried to steal it, but he could obtain only half of the Crystal, empowering him with the ability to turn people into the eponymous Skeleton Warriors, while Prince Lightstar, the one who was guarding the crystal, obtained the other half. Then, a battle ensued, in which each side tried to obtain the other's half while guarding its own. Lightstar isn't alone, since his siblings, Joshua (who was closer with Baron Dark until their Karmic Transformation) and Jennifer, and their uncle Ursak formed the Legion of Light. Their half of the crystal gave them many powers, such as energy channelizing (Lightstar), flight (Jennifer/Talyn) and shadow-travelling (Joshua/Grimskull).

Video games for Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn were released, as was a toyline. The cast also appeared in the 1994 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and a Kickstarter campaign for a revival of the toyline was successful.

Tropes:

  • Action Figure File Card: The toys had them.
  • After the End: Luminicity depended on the Lightstar Crystal to provide limitless power. When the Crystal is shattered, the resulting power surge causes widespread destruction and leaves the kingdom vulnerable to the rising threat of the Skeleton Warriors. By the time the Legion of Light is formed, Baron Dark already rules much of the world, and the ruins of highways and cities dot the landscape.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Prince Justin and his siblings Joshua and Jennifer.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The fearful soldier Ferris, after being rescued at the start of "Heart and Soul", is skeletonized by Baron Dark during a battle shortly afterwords. He gets better, which leads to the discovery of a cure for the Skeleton Warrior transformation.
  • Antagonist Title: The eponymous Skeleton Warriors are the bad guys.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The titular Skeleton Warriors, who can normally just reassemble themselves after any attack, have 'Heart Stones' inside their rib cages that if destroyed or removed would turn them back into human beings.
  • The Atoner: Grimskull intends to redeem himself after helping Baron Dark to steal half the Lightstar Crystal.
  • Badass Biker: Skeletons riding bikes, yeah. Flying motorcycles, no less.
  • Badass Family: The core group consists of two brothers, their sister and their uncle leading the resistance.
  • Black Sheep: Prince Joshua/Grimskull, who originally sided with Baron Dark against Justin due to being jealous of his brother's inheritance of the throne. When the full extent of Dark's evil is revealed, however, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn and becomes The Atoner.
  • Bloodless Carnage: People get turned into skeletons rather then being killed. If the skeletons are knocked apart, the bones fly back into place.
  • Butt Monkey: If something bad is about to happen to any one of the Skeleton Warriors, then it's probably going to happen to Dagger.
  • Capture the Flag: By way of Dismantled MacGuffin - Prince Justin owns one half of the Lightstar Crystal, while Baron Dark owns the other half. As a result, The Legion of Light and the Skeleton Warriors are both trying to capture the opposition's half of the Crystal, while simultaneously protecting their own.
  • Catch Phrase: Baron Dark develops one, for when he skeletonizes somebody:
    Baron Dark: "Blackest soul, evil's courier, serve me as a Skeleton Warrior!"
  • Cool Pet: Baron Dark adopts a savage skeleton dog he names Bad Dog. Grimskull, meanwhile, gains a wolf named Stalker as a companion.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Ursak seems like this at first, but then it is subverted. In one episode, it showed that he helped build a machine that let him see the future. After seeing the rise of the Skeleton Warriors, he starting preparing and waiting for the day that he knew would come, just not when exactly.
  • Darkest Hour: Episode 13. Baron Dark joins both halves of the Lightstar Crystal, which grants him a slew of godlike powers and the ability to transform people into Skeleton Warriors regardless of their morality. He then leads a massive assault on Luminicity to convert all the remaining humans into skeletons, whether they're part of the Legion of Light or not.
  • Dark Is Evil:
    • His name's Baron Dark, he turns people in evil skeletons, and all of them enjoy the night far more then the day.
    • Averted with Grimskull. Dark clothing and a shadow walker, but he's loyal to his family.
  • Decapitated Army: Discussed by Baron Dark and Dr. Cyborn, after the Skeleton Warriors' Weaksauce Weakness is discovered. When a Skeleton Warrior is changed back into a human, Baron Dark can just "reskeletonize" them; but what happens if Baron Dark himself gets changed back?
  • Dem Bones: The Skeleton Warriors themselves.
  • Dracolich: Episode 12 features a skeletonized dragon, which Dagger tries and fails to train as his own personal attack beast.
  • Easily Forgiven: Subverted with Grimskull. While his family is willing to trust him, the Legion of Light as a whole remains unconvinced for much of the series.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Prince Justin's sword is revealed to be made from a third piece of the Lightstar Crystal, and Like Cannot Cut Like. This quickly evens the playing field between him and the Lightstar-empowered Baron Dark during the final battle.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Or, better yet, with the eponymous Skeleton Warriors.
  • Six-Bad Band: The named Skeleton Warriors form one:
  • Gem Heart: The Skeleton Warriors are revealed to have 'heart stones' inside their ribcages. If its ever removed or destroyed, the Skeleton Warrior immediately transforms back into a human.
  • Golden Super Mode: Baron Dark acquires a set of golden armor after he joins the two halves of the Lightstar Crystal.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Grimskull was with Baron Dark before their Karmic Transformation.
  • Hopeless War: Until the weakness of the Skeleton Warriors is discovered, the good guys are essentially fighting one. How do you win a war against an enemy that can't be killed, and who can convert nearly any living human into their service?
  • Implacable Man: While they aren't as strong or skilled as the heroes, Baron Dark and the Skeleton Warriors are totally immortal and simply reform a few seconds after being shattered, meaning they can win battles through raw attrition. The Skeleton Warriors are well aware of this, and are quick to gloat about it.
  • Incongruously Dressed Zombie: When subjected to their Viral Transformation, newly-created Skeleton Warriors are clad in a tattered-up version of whatever outfit they were wearing at the time. Some, such as Baron Dark and his inner circle, acquire a slew of skeleton-themed decorations on what's left of their clothing for no apparent reason.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Baron Dark cannot turn those who are essentially good into Skeleton Warriors, Though they don't have to literally be pure and saintly, just more good than bad. Marginal cases, however, need a good guy's assistance.
    • Averted when he gains the other half of the crystal, and the power to turn anyone regardless of morality into his warriors instantly.
  • La Résistance: The Legion of Light is this, in a world ruled by the undefeatable Skeleton Warriors.
  • Light Is Good: Lightstar, who can shoot beams of light from his hands, and the Legion of Light.
  • Meaningful Name: EVERYWHERE!!!
    • Talyn can fly and has enhanced vision, like a hawk.
    • Lightstar holds the resistance's half of the Lightstar Crystal and shoots lightbeams.
    • Grimskull's face looks like a skull, and he is grim because his betrayal in the first episode led to the current situation.
    • Uncle "Guardian", who looks out for his brother's children.
    • Baron Dark - loves the literal dark, and symbolic of the darkness he's brought to the land.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Played with - Baron Dark turns humans that defect to him into skeleton warriors, even if they would be more useful staying The Mole. It is perfectly in character for him, though: He's not only the sole infector of The Virus (making everyone "joined in the darkness"), but the conversion is shown to make the victim far more loyal to him. A rabid dog becomes obedient, traitors and mercenaries who were Only in It for the Money instantly settle for doing his bidding only For the Evulz. Magically-enforced loyalty is probably the safest way to deal with someone who has a track record of betrayal.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: The Skeleton Warriors will reassemble if broken apart in combat, which happens often.
  • Raising the Steaks: Any living creature can be skeletonized, which is demonstrated on a dog, a horse, and even a dragon.
  • Shadow Walker: Grimskull uses shadows to teleport wherever he wants.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: The completed Lightstar Crystal shapeshifts into a golden sword, when Baron Dark fights Prince Justin for the climatic battle.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The skycycle engines and weapon blasts of the skeleton warriors.
  • Sixth Ranger: The Skeleton Warriors get one in the form of Klaw, a wolf-man mercenary who intentionally skeletonizes himself using Baron Dark's collapsing skeletonization ray. He ends up being more competent than all of Dark's usual henchmen combined, and is noticeably more shatter-resistant than the average Skeleton Warrior.
  • The So-Called Coward: A Legion of Light warrior thinks himself a Dirty Coward because he ran from the skeleton warriors. However the flashback shows he only fled when his weapon ran out of power and he had no way of fighting them.
  • Spare to the Throne: When Grimskull's pre-Heel–Face Turn crime becomes publicly known, the people of Luminicity want him to be executed for this and the only way his brother can spare him without having to face a revolt is by being executed in his place. With Lightstar dead and Grimskull still being labeled a traitor, their sister will be the next in line to become the ruler of Luminicity regardless of the fact she never received any training for this. Fortunately, Grimskull earned forgiveness on time to prevent any executions from happening.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Initially, the Skeleton Warriors seem nearly unstoppable - While they can be shattered easily, they reform themselves within seconds, and their leader can create new Skeleton Warriors simply by touching people. Everything changes after Episode 3, however, when the Skeleton Warriors are revealed to have 'heart stones' inside their ribcages. If these stones are ever destroyed or removed, the Skeleton Warrior instantly transforms back into a human being, which also breaks Baron Dark's control over their mind if they weren't a willing recruit.
  • We Have Reserves: Baron Dark, because of the skeleton warriors Pulling Themselves Together.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: The Legion of Light toward Grimskull, due to the part he played in the rise of Baron Dark.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 12 ends with Grimskull seemingly killed and Baron Dark finally in possession of the Lightstar Crystal's other half.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of the series, Baron Dark and the Lightstar Crystal are destroyed, but Dark's huge Skeleton Warrior army - including his lieutenants and the several dozen innocent people he managed to skeletonize during the final battle - remains unaccounted for.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Skeletons are shot without hesitation. Immortal Life Is Cheap though. And they'd just bring their victims to Baron Dark for recruitment.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Super?: The only use the skeletons see in those that are too good at heart to be converted is as expendable slaves.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Skeleton Warriors. Baron Dark is able to inflict the transformation on humans, and quickly builds an army of near-unstoppable undead minions to conquer the world. By episode 12, the Skeleton Warriors are numerous enough to fill every seat in a huge stadium.
  • Zombie Infectee: Grimskull is partially-transformed into a Skeleton Warrior when the Lightstar Crystal is shattered. He develops a psychic link with Baron Dark, a trait implied to be common to Skeleton Warriors, and faces constant distrust and suspicion from the Legion of Light. Baron Dark is quick to take advantage of this, and hatches several plots to cause infighting among the Legion by playing on their paranoia and making Grimskull look like The Corruptible.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/SkeletonWarriors