Western Animation: Skeleton Warriors

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. A Kickstarter campaign for a revival of the line was successful.

Tropes:

  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Skeleton Warriors 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.
  • Bloodless Carnage: People get turned into skeletons rather then being killed. If the skeletons are knocked apart, the bones fly back into place.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Especially true about Ursak's basement. Subverted: Ursak doesn't have the 'crazy' part at all. 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.
  • 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. 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: You can reverse the effect of being a Skeleton Warrior by removing the ruby in the back of the chest.
  • Easily Forgiven: The only thing that's between Grimskull and being an enemy of the Legion of Light is that... they're brothers.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Or, better yet, with the eponymous Skeleton Warriors.
  • 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?
  • 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.
    • Averted when he gains the other half of the crystal, and the power to turn anyone regardless of morality into his warriors instantly.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: As of early 2012, there is a DVD release of the complete series called, oddly enough, "Skeleton Warriors: The Complete Series"
  • Meaningful Name: EVERYWHERE!!!
    • Talyn can fly.
    • Lightstar holds the resistance's half of the crystal and shoots lightbeams.
    • Grimskull's face looks like a mummy's, 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.
  • Nepotism: When Grimskull's betrayal is publicly revealed, his brother's refusal to have him executed is perceived as this by the people.
  • 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.
  • Shadow Walker: Grimskull uses shadows to teleport wherever he wants.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The skycycle engines and weapon blasts of the skeleton warriors.
  • Spare to the Throne: When Grimskull's pre-heelfaceturn 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: To He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, more or less.
  • The Virus: Though, you must have some bit of dark in your soul in order to become a Skeleton Warrior.