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An animated cartoon series loosely based on Conan (hence the title), but so very much Lighter and Softer then the original it should be considered more a generic fantasy series that merely borrows inspiration from Conan. The cartoon run from September, 1992 to November, 1993. A total of 65 episodes.
Conan The Adventurer opens with a narration explaining that thousands of years ago, the demon-god Set ruled the earth as an immortal tyrant, served by legions of monstrous reptilian humanoids called "Serpentmen". However, a mighty warrior-wizard named Vathalos led the other White Wizards of the world in a rebellion against the demon-god and sealed him and most of his minions away in the Abyss. Unfortunately, some of Set's minions, human and Serpentman alike, escaped the purge and slunk into the shadows to prepare for the day when they could release Set and reclaim the world.
None of this is of any concern to Conan, who is a mere youth apprenticed to his father, a blacksmith, in a peaceful mountain village in Cimmeria. One day, a strange celestial event results in a great shower of shooting stars; while they hit all over the world, several of them land at Conan's mountain, whereupon Conan's father forges the "starmetal" they contain into weapons and makes a profitable business selling them, saving one piece, a mighty broadsword, for Conan. This sword is concealed in a stone sarcophagus, and Conan is told that he will be ready to wield it on the day that he can remove it from its resting place.
Unbeknownst to the Cimmerians, Wrath-amon, the High Wizard-Priest of Stygia and Lord of All Serpentmen, has been told by Set that starmetal holds the key to undoing the spell that keeps the demon-god sealed away, and he immediately sets to gathering the substance for his master...
Several years after the starmetal shower, Conan's village is attacked by Wrath-amon's minions, led by the dark wizard himself. Conan runs to retrieve his sword, and finally manages to free it, but returns too late to help, forced to watch as his father, mother and grandfather are transformed into stone statues by Wrath-amon's evil magic. He vows to never rest until his family are restored, and while leaving the mountain, he stumbles across the tomb of the sage Epimitrias, still haunted by the ghost of this ancient wizard. The benevolent spirit tells Conan the reasons behind Wrath-amon's attack, and gives him a companion in the form of a fledgling phoenix named Needle.
And thus the journey begins... As Conan proceeds to wander the earth and battle Wrath-amon's evil, he makes numberous other allies, including the Vanirman Snagg, the shuriken-tossing acrobat Jezmine, the warrior-wizard prince of the Wasai Zula, the wind-magician Greywolf, and the winged whip-wielding warrior Falkenar.
Contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Jezmine.
- A God I Am Not: In one episode Conan and Jezmine investigate a cult worshiping a monkey god named Hannuman. Only they find out the so-called "god" was actually an alien who'd crashed on earth and taken prisoner by the cult's leader who passed his advanced tech off as magic.
- An Axe to Grind: Snagg's weapon of choice. Made of starmetal of course.
- Badass grandpa: Conn, Conan's grandfather
- Bad Future: one of the late episodes has Conan get pulled into one resulting from him dying in the ambush he was just subjected to. Set has escaped and conquered the world, Falkenar has been killed, Snagg's eye has been gouged out, Zula's hand has been cut off, Jezmine has been transformed into a Serpentman, Needle has been frozen into crystal, and Greywolf's siblings have been vaporised. In the course of preparing an antidote to dose Conan with so they can send him back, Snagg is eaten by Set, Jezmine changes into a serpent-beast to hold off Set and is killed and Zula and Greywolf are killed sending Conan back to his own time.
- Baleful Polymorph: Greywolf's brother, Misha, and his sister, Sasha, are transformed into wolf-monsters. Greywolf manages to restore their human minds, but is unable to do more in the process then turn them into ordinary wolves. Restoring them to human form becomes his driving motivation for the series.
- Battle Boomerang: Zula's starmetal boomrang, forged from his starmetal bolas.
- Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The frost giants.
- Black Magic: Wrath-amon throws this around like it's going out of style. But there's plenty more of it that pops up.
- Bloodless Carnage: Though this series actually has the characters hit their enemies, all they do is change them into Serpentmen (if their enemies are disguised) or cause them to disintegrate and be sucked out of their clothes into the Abyss (if their true form has been revealed).
- This is actually worked into the story in the ending arc. With Set on Earth, disintegrating the Serpentmen only sends them a few miles away, where they rush right back to the fight, giving Set an inexhaustible army.
- Cool Old Guy: Conan's grandfather, Conn, was a pretty impressive adventurer himself in his younger days, and even in the present day thinks nothing of stealing the jewelery of a legendarily possessive and powerful lich-queen in order to trick her into destroying an enemy of his.
- Cursed with Awesome: Skulkar was transformed from a human warrior into an undead skeleton by being exposed to the Black Magic of his treacherous former-friend Sadinar, after having already been empowered by the Black Magic of Wrath-amon. Skulkar actually likes this state, to the extent he goes berserk when Sadinar transforms him back into a human.
- Dem Bones: Skulkar, and any of his minions.
- The Dog Is an Alien: While not an alien, Needle, a baby phoenix, would occasionally pretend to be a parrot to avoid drawing attention.
- The Dragon: Windfang, a human general who opposed Wrath-amon centuries ago, but was captured by him and forcibly transformed into a dragon-headed, four-armed, fire-breathing, winged monster. Gets two episodes devoted to him; Windfang's Eyrie and Earthbound
- Elemental Embodiment: In one late episode, a renegade Zanthis wizard is transformed by Mesmira into an elemental humanoid, capable of switching between a hulking earth form, a winged fire form, a tornado-like air form, and water form.
- Elemental Powers: The White Wizards of Zanthus study magic that gives them control over each of the four elements. A Zanthus wizard is also allowed to only study one particular element -- trying to wield power over multiple elements results in exile.
- Empathic Weapon: Jezmine's throwing stars are treated with a potion that enables them to return to her on command. She shares this potion with Zula who uses it on his boomerang.
- Enemy Mine: Conan teamed up with Ram-Amon against Wrath-Amon, not once but twice in the series. It naturally ended with Ram-Amon's betrayal in both accounts.
- Evil Sorcerer: The series is full of them, but Wrath-Amon and Ram-Amon are the series most recognizable.
- Expository Theme Tune: This pretty much sums up what Conan is after. Some consider it Crowning Music of Awesome, too.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Conan gets stung by a demon in one episode and begins to transform in a Serpentman.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Getting Conan to be her submissive lover is one of Mesmira's driving ambitions.
Conan: When I get my hands on you, Mesmira, you'll wish you'd never heard of the purple lotus !
Mesmira: Someday you will get your hands on me, Conan, but on my terms, not yours.
- Grand Finale: "A Serpent Coils the Earth" three-parter.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The Serpentmen are half-snake, half human. Jezmine discovers she is half-human, half-Serpentman.
- Heel Face Turn: Astavis, a Serpentman with a human wife, falls in love with her and tries his hardest to keep her safe, even personally renouncing Set. When he is banished to the Abyss, his wife is accidentally pulled with him and he fights as hard as he can to keep her safe. When he finally returns to the world as part of Set's army, he deserts at the first chance he gets.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Kari Dragon sacrifices himself to save the heroes from a recently unleashed Set.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Scott McNeil plays multiple characters, including Wrath-Amon.
- Horny Vikings: The Vanir.
- Hot Amazon: An episode where Conan and Snag wound up in a village where the "strongest man in town" was actually a woman named Breta who ran the whole gamut of Amazon tropes. She was a man hater, Snag initially reacted to her as if she Brawn Hilda (No Guy Wants an Amazon), she got herself into trouble and Snagg saved her which messed with her world perception (All Amazons Want Hercules), and then she ended up saving him back. In the end, Snagg and the woman decided to enjoy being equals, and the episode ended with An Aesop about appreciating people for what they are.
- Hot Witch: Mesmira, who is frequently making use of mind-controlling and mind-altering spells to get what she can't get through simple flirting.
- Humanity Ensues: Played straight with Skulkar in the episode "Bones of Damballa"
- Identical Grandfather: In the episode "The Amulet of Vathalos", a man tells Conan a story about Conan's grandfather. During the flashback, Conan's grandfather looks like an older, blonde and less muscular version of him.
- Karma Houdini: Ram-Amon, original wielder of the Black Ring and creator of Wrath-Amon, escapes unscathed in the final episode. Ditto Mesmira. Presumably, this was a Sequel Hook for future episodes, had there been any.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Conan's dislike using a shield, but he reluctantly carries it because it serves as Needle's resting place.
- Master Swordsman: Conan.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Windfang has six arms.
- Name's the Same: "Conan the Adventurer" was originally the name of a series of short stories published in the 1960s. It was later used as the name of a separate live-action TV series adaptation of Conan.
- Marvel Comics also put out an ongoing with the same name.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In one episode, Conan travels back in time to steal the black ring and therefore, saving his family. Unfortunately, he fails and the black ring changed hands: from Ram-Amon to Wrath-Amon.
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Conan is a Barbarian Hero who ends up learning some of Zula's animal-magic (he's never very good at it, though), becomes adopted into Zula's tribe as his blood-brother, discovers he's of Atlantean blood and becomes a trained Ninja.
- No Indoor Voice: Needle. OH SO VERY MUCH AWWWWWWWK AWWWWWWK AWWWWWWK!!!
- Parents in Distress: Conan's biggest goal is to save his parents and grandfather, who were Taken for Granite.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: Needle is this at best, a Small Annoying Creature at worst.
- The Phoenix: Needle, a rather immature/weak version. He does get to become a fully grown adult for a few moments, and the episode Crevasse of Winds has an evil phoenix show up.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: Zula's bolas (later forged into a boomrang) and Jezmine's shurikens. They were coated with a magic ointment that make them return to the thrower when yelled "Return!"
- The Renfield: Dregg, a naga who serve both Ram-Amon and Wrath-Amon.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Set is a demon-god that appears as a giant cobra, the Serpentmen are the main allies, Wrath-amon is a humanoid monster created from a carnivorous lizard... and that's not even getting into all of the other reptilian monsters that show up.
- Shout-Out: This show has dozens of shout-outs to the novels, from major ones like Conan and his tribe being descendents of Atlantis to minor ones like Skulkar sharing his true name, Sakumbe, with a minor ConanTheBarbarian character, an ally of Conan's.
- Spin-Off: Conan And The Young Warriors
- And even then, its connection to this series was suspect. There were a few Continuity Nods, but the strongest link was them reusing the Conan character design.
- Stable Time Loop: In one episode, Conan travels in the past to steal the black ring. He ended causing the rise of Wrath-Amon.
- Summon to Hand
- Stalker with a Crush: Windfang is infatuated with Jezmine because she reminds him of the woman he'd loved, back when he was a human.
- Taken for Granite: The spell of living stone that curse Conan's parents and grandfather.
- The Nicknamer: Needle is king of this:
- Conan: Big Dumb Barbarian
- Jezmine: Stargirl
- Snagg: Red Beard
- Grey Wolf: Grey Wizard
- Thunderbolt Iron: Starmetal
- Ultimate Job Security: Failures, incompetence and even betrayal wouldn't stop Dregg from being Wrath-Amon's lackey.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Mesmira
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Conan and Snagg routinely exchange tribal insults.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Greywolf's subplot is the only one completely unresolved at the end of the series. The best he can accomplish is turning his brother and sister into reverse werewolves (human during a full moon, wolves otherwise).
- Whip It Good: Falkenar's weapon with starmetal at the end of the whip.
- World of Ham: Second only to Brian Blessed in terms of how much of any given episode a character is shouting.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Conan considers hitting women against his code of honor, to the point that he allowed himself to be recaptured by the Amazons rather than fight his way out of their camp. As Needle put it, "Big dumb barbarian need better code".