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

A pictorial history of our skinless friends, from NES to PS3

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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