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Ice Climber is a vertical scrolling Platform Game originally released by Nintendo in 1985 for the Famicom in Japan, and was later converted into an arcade title in the "Vs." series (as with many early Famicom/NES titles). It was released in North America a year later as a launch title for the NES.

Players control characters dressed in stereotypical eskimo gear: player one is the blue-clad Popo, while player two is the pink-clad Nana. The general goal of each level is to climb up several layers of ice to reach the top of a mountain. Each player carries a wooden mallet which they use to hit enemies, club openings in the levels, and collect power-ups. Like eggplants... Just roll with it.

Enemies include sun-glasses wearing Polar Bears, Topis (depicted as seals in Japan and yetis anywhere where seal clubbing isn't considered politically correct), the bird-like Nitpickers, falling icicles, and the condor at the top of each mountain.

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The game would likely be largely forgotten without the huge boost of publicity generated when Nana and Popo were unexpected inclusions in Super Smash Bros. series, starting with the second game.

Other media to reference Ice Climber include the WarioWare series (where it is the basis of several micro-games) and later iterations of the Kirby series (where Kirby's ice power-up gives him a parka exactly the same as Popo's). They also tend to appear in fan-works related to Smash such as There Will Be Brawl.

Oh, and to be clear, while the game's title is the singular "Ice Climber", the characters are referred to as the plural "Ice Climbers", commonly mistaken for the actual title of the game, even by Nintendo press releases.


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This work shows examples of the following tropes (put all references to Super Smash Bros. here):

  • Adaptation Expansion: VS. Ice Climber increases the number of mountains from 32 to 48, has a new bee enemy, some levels feature wind, and players can select any mountain they want.
  • Air Borne Mook: Pink birds that dive bomb the players.
  • Big Bad: The Condor that keeps stealing their vegetables. In VS., there's also a large butterfly flying on top of the second set of mountains.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Waiting too long to get to climb to a higher layer will cause a polar bear to appear and stomp the screen upward, which risks you of losing a life should you be near the bottom of the screen.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Clearing eight mountains perfectly in a row in VS. gives access to the "Super Bonus Stage" where the platforms are much smaller and gaps are plenty.
  • Collision Damage: What every enemy is limited to except for the polar bears and the condor. The condor doesn't hurt you at all and must be collided with to get your bonus.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The 48 mountains in "VS." are split into two sets. The first 24 have a blue mountain peak while the latter 24 have a red peak.
  • Cross Cultural Kerfuffle: Presumably why the seals were changed to yetis outside of Japan.
  • Death Throws: Nana and Popo's death animations involve them getting thrown offscreen.
  • Difficulty Spike: When you put aside having to get the hang of the stiff jumping mechanics, the first few mountains aren't so bad. However, around mountain 8 or so, they get increasingly puzzle-like with walls blocking off certain areas, and the clouds, conveyor belts and Nitpickers pick up speed.
  • Drop the Hammer: Nana and Popo's weapons of choice are hammers, which they can use to either bop birds or seals/yetis over the head or smash the ice floor above them to jump up to it.
  • Edible Collectible: Four stolen vegetables are dropped in the Bonus Stage top part of each level, and can be recovered for points.
  • Endless Game: Played with, as the stage layouts don't actually repeat until mountain 32 is cleared. In VS., a player is given re-access to previous mountains once all 48 of them are cleared.
  • Excuse Plot: Something about the condor stealing all the vegetables.
  • The Goomba: The Yeti/Topi will not actively try to attack you. The most they are concerned with is repairing the stages.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: In most platformers, you have to be right on top of a platform when you're trying to land on it. In this game, to get to higher levels, you typically have to slightly overlap a higher platform as you're jumping up in order to land on it.
  • An Ice Suit: The player characters wear sensible arctic clothing, the polar bears wear swim trunks.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: Takes a form of surfaces of diagonal lines.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Each level involves scaling a mountain, one floor at a time. If a floor has scrolled off the bottom of the screen, it cannot be re-visited; dropping down to it causes the player to lose a life.
  • Jump Physics: Besides the Hitbox Dissonance, the Ice Climber can't control their direction of jumping so well once they're in the air. It's tricky, but you can also harm Nitpickers this way by having their mallets hit them as they jump.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game has a terrible jumping mechanic which makes missing platforms and falling down fairly easy. VS. increases the difficulty by adding a new enemy type and a wind mechanic in certain mountains.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: One hit from a falling icicle or an enemy and Popo and Nana are down another life.
  • Only One Name: Popo and Nana. Much like several other Nintendo protagonists.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Nana is female and wears a pink parka, Popo is male and wears a blue parka.
  • Ratchet Scrolling: Don't expect to descend much, as you'll want to steer clear of the lower boundary whenever possible. Polar Bears have the ability to force the screen to scroll up no matter where you are so you'll have to hurry whenever one's around.
  • Rise to the Challenge: As you climbed up a mountain, the screen scrolls up to follow you. No matter what is currently at the bottom, you will die if you fall off the screen.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The entirety of the game, though only the higher layers of each level have icy floors that lower your traction, which can lead to you falling down to the previous layer if you're not careful.
  • Stalactite Spite: To the point clouds are raining them on you. You do get points for breaking them at least.
  • Sunglasses at Night: The Polar Bears.
  • Wrap Around: Horizontally. Don't try to do this in the Smash Bros. stages!

Alternative Title(s): Ice Climbers

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