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ClassicRadar: SkeleTONS - nearly every bony bastard in the gaming universe

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Let’s take a step back for a spell – remember these guys, terrorizing Simon and Trevor Belmont? No? Then you must not be old like us. Oh, 1986...

Eight more bits somehow made the Castlevania IV skelleys less substantial, with hovering bones that don’t actually connect to joints.

Couple of years later we saw Dracula X and Castlevania: Bloodlines, both with their own assortment of deformed dog/hunchback/grabby sacks ‘o’ bones.

What would any stroll through Castlevania’s past be without a nod to the very special reaper of souls, Mr. Grim? We love ya buddy, even if you’re a stupidly difficult jerkass occasionally voiced by Norm MacDonald.

Anyone play or know how to say Astyanax? Didn’t think so. Probably should’ve included it in our list of mispronounced game names, huh?

Final Fantasy is absolutely loaded with monsters, so choosing which skeletons to rip was like deciding which grain of sand is sandier than the rest. These boys hail from the first, third and fourth games in the series.

Capcom used to have its own RPG powerhouse back in the day, known as Breath of Fire. Looks like these are more adept than your typical skeleton though, all riding horses and stuff.

The second game is available on Wii’s Virtual Console, apparently filled with more shockingly capable undead minions. Not sure why they wear armor though... isn’t the point of it to protect your vital organs? Just go nuts, dude, you can’t die twice.

Dragon Quest is right up there with Final Fantasy when it comes to worldwide recognition. Formerly known as Dragon Warrior in the US, it’s gone on to sell millions upon millions of copies of every game in the series, the latest of which we effing adored.

A classic soundtrack and perfect gameplay collide in this near-forgotten SNES/Genesis jewel. From its bizarre level design to the many, many horrific deaths the trio endure, it keeps delivering memorable moments from the first level to the last. Check the GBA remake if you missed the 16-bit version.

Also – one of the few cases of skeletons with full beards.

Here’s one we’ve seen time and time again, poor Arthur shattering into a pile of individually separated bones. That’s what he gets for starring in what is officially known as The Hardest Videogame Franchise of All Time.

On the other end of the spectrum we have these piddly wimps from various cutesy games. Don’t think they realize simply being a skeleton isn’t enough. You’ve got to feel it, deep down in your coccyx.

Perhaps the most famous ongoing skeletal enemy of all time, the Stalfos knight from Zelda. It’s been in just about every game in the series, represented here by its meager beginnings as a crude patchwork of white pixels to its Link to the Past depiction that leaps all over the damn place.

Compare that to Twilight Princess:

All that time to figure out a plan against Link... and all they added were shoulder pads? No wonder Ganon keeps getting punted into prison dimensions.

Next page – God of War, Bully, Kingdom Hearts and tons more!

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30 comments

  • Turboash - November 1, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    YAY! Brett's back everybody!
  • mattfikes - October 31, 2011 noon

    no minecraft?
  • DukeNukeThem - October 31, 2011 1:34 a.m.

    I loved the skeletons from 'Point Blank' they were so well animated.
  • NightCrawler_358 - October 30, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    I like it! But I don't like the lack of the dancing skeleton named "Bones" from Spyro 2 and 3. No prob though!
  • CancerMan - October 30, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    This article is still fantastic! Remember when GR used to do original humor articles on a daily basis?
  • ultimatepunchrod - October 30, 2011 11:08 a.m.

    thanks for including Medievil. effing loved that mediocre game.
  • DLSemen - October 30, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    Oh, Brett!
  • pkozyra64 - October 29, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    You have no idea how upset I am that the dancing skeletons from Monkey Island II didn't make it. ='(
  • kickinthegroin - October 30, 2011 2:58 a.m.

    I know, right? All the way through that I was thinking "Ah, Monkey Island is on the next page" Sadly...they never were =(
  • CitizenWolfie - October 30, 2011 6:49 a.m.

    I also can't believe they left out Monkey Island. Murray would not be happy...
  • Leathersoup - October 31, 2011 4:30 a.m.

    I was just thinking the same thing. No Murray = Incomplete List
  • metroid2099400 - October 29, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    Whenever I think of Gaming Skeletons, I think of the original two Prince of Persia games, and their skeleton duels! Also the undead pirates in the Monkey Island games.
  • CowboyBlasto - October 29, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    What, no Demon's Souls?
  • DLSemen - October 30, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    this article was written in 2008. Reading is fundamental.
  • 510BrotherPanda - October 29, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    It's nice that Brett included Crocomire on the last page. I remember seeing this article way back when...
  • ProfessorLeighton - October 29, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    Oooohhhhh Brelston come back, you can blame it all on me!!!
  • CrispyPuppet - October 29, 2011 4 p.m.

    Memories:)
  • Moondoggie1157 - October 29, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    I wouldn't call the original MK, "broken". I've never felt that it was, but anywho, good article :D Skeletons make everything better. Just downloaded MediEvil, looking forward to playing through it again.
  • MetroidPrimeRib - October 29, 2011 3:35 p.m.

    You missed Morte from PlaneScape Torment. How dare you.
  • UberNoob - October 29, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    I remember MediEvil. I loved and was frightened by that game...

Showing 1-20 of 30 comments

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