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Video Game / _iCEY._

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Now Is the Time For You to Discover the Truth.

_iCEY._ is a 2D side-scrolling, Hack and Slash, Action Game, with light RPG Elements, made by Chinese indie developer Shanghai FantaBlade, and published in 2016 by X.D. Network Inc, first for the PC and later for both home consoles and mobile devices.

Described as Mega Man Zero, meets Pony Island, meets The Stanley Parable, the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by machines. The story follows the titular character Icey as she fights to take down "Judas", a transhuman cult leader and bringer of the apocalypse, through a variety of devastated post-apocalyptic landscapes, all the while "guided" by the voice of an unseen narrator and some mysterious arrows floating in the air. But is there more to this story than the narrator wants to let on?

Similarly to The Stanley Parable, Icey will have the ability to follow the orders of the Narrator or defy him at various points, and doing the latter can potentially lead to secret paths containing various fourth-wall breaking endings and scenarios. The more endings are uncovered, the more Icey will learn about the backstory of both her world and the In-Universe game itself.


Available on Steam, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile platforms.

Warning: heavy spoilers ahead.

_iCEY._ contains examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: One of the very first levels is this, though according to the narrator, it wasn't always a sewer. The most likely culprit for it becoming one? Judas.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: ICEY in the ending after becoming self aware and defeating the Narrator.
  • After the End: The whole game takes place in what looks like a post apocalyptic future, the only inhabitants being combat robots in various states of disrepair. Even the lab Icey wakes up in is totaled, the capsule she's sleeping in being the only still intact thing in sight.
  • Always Save the Girl: If you follow the narrator and thus the "story", you'll come across an injured female android named Trinity, standing in a room on the final map, holding her injured left arm with her right and her head lowered before you. The narrator will claim that she helped "big bad" Judas cause the apocalypse and will instruct you to kill her for her sins. If you spare her however, when you enter the next room, tutorial boss Dahal will kneel before you in gratitude. Killing Trinity on the other hand will cause Dahal to power up, becoming much harder to beat than before.
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  • Ambidextrous Sprite: While most of the sprites in the game are guilty of this, this is most evident in Icey herself, as changing which side she's facing, also changes which hands she holds her sword and sheathe with, which leg her pouch harness is on and which hip said pouch is fastened to.
  • Animesque: It's an anime art style game, made by a Chinese studio.
  • Anime Hair: A (somewhat) more subdued example. Icey has white hair with two glowing accessories on her head, and a (possibly holographic) light-blue ankle-length ponytail that periodically glows a brighter shade of blue.
  • Artificial Intelligence: In the final ending, the narrator realizes that he's just a character in a video game and decides that he, once and for all, HAS to kill Icey. After disconnecting your controller, when he's on the verge of winning, Icey becomes self aware and manages to fight back, thanking you, the player, for guiding and keeping her safe throughout the game.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Two of the three background bosses, Ideon and Judas, can only be killed by hitting these.
  • Background Boss: Ideon, Judas and the narrator are this. While Ideon fights using his fists and shoulder mounted laser cannons and Judas fights by using eye beams and buzz-saw arms, the narrator fights by continuously spawning in foes and messing with your screen.
  • Beehive Barrier: Both Icey and the larger foes have these. Icey's is active at all times and works by blocking all damage until it breaks, at which point she's stunned for a very short amount of time and can be refilled by either not taking damage for a while, or detonating the core of one of your foes, while her foes bring theirs up as needed.
  • Big Bad: Judas, bringer of the apocalypse, is the cult leader who the titular Icey is sent to kill in order to end his reign over the world. The Narrator himself can also become this on certain paths, trying to force Icey onto his path, antagonizing her, and eventually trying to kill her in the true ending.
  • Black Comedy: Half the fun in the destruction of the Fourth Wall is watching the Narrator get exasperated with the Player and Icey being stubborn and ignoring his directions, and another part of it is watching the Narrator-as-Developer get put-upon and annoyed when the game seemingly acts up or bugs out or reveals incomplete (or otherwise embarassing) content. One of the endings takes it to a new level as you reveal the resignation letters of several of the Narrator's staff.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Barring her ponytail (which might be holographic), Icey's hair is this.
  • Brain Uploading: The story detailed by the Narrator indicates that the villain Judas has digitized his mind in the pursuit of immortality and has done something similar to many other people as well. Several of the bosses have names that indicate that they might once have been humans before having their minds digitized.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Some of the official artwork images have Icey sporting the letters "D" and "H" on the sleeves of her jacket.
  • But Thou Must!: Weirdly enough, played straight, subverted and averted. Due to the Multiple Endings nature of the game the player has to constantly defy the Narrator and go in directions that he tells them not to. These can lead to various easter eggs and other endings. However if the player wants to reach the end of the game, they have to eventually follow the Narrator's orders and if they want the True Ending they have to do all of the other endings first.
  • Call to Adventure: Both played straight and averted. If you follow the narrator and the game's "story", then you wake up in a stasis pod, in an abandoned lab, with the sole purpose of killing Judas, thus answering the call. If you don't follow the narrator though, you can refuse to wake up from your sleep and by extension you can refuse the call.
  • Charged Attack: Overlaps with unblockable attack. Upon detonating an enemy's core, Icey can absorb the resulting energy crystals and unleash a very powerful attack that will hit everything on screen.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Not present in the game itself, but rather in the game launcher and artwork, which features the cyan Icey you play as, alongside a magenta Icey that you never meet.
  • Combos: Both Icey and the mechs can do this to one-another, but Icey can take this up to ridiculous extremes, with each subsequent hit doing more damage, the higher the combo counter goes.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: The game seems to be a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, Zeerust world with the titular robot assassin fighting a machine army. But getting certain endings reveals that Hastur is involved as the Greater-Scope Villain whom Judas worships and seeks out, hoping to gain immortality as a reward.
  • Counter-Attack: Dashing right when an enemy is about to attack, gives you the opportunity for a VERY powerful counter, which will one hit kill almost anything that's not a boss.
  • Credits Gag: Following the narrator's guidance and killing Judas will bring one of these up, giving special shout outs to everyone involved in "the making of the game", including himself, "The Brilliant Leeroy Rogers" as producer, Icey as "The Chosen One" as well as all the bosses.
  • Death of a Child: In the very first area you reach after starting the game, as you come across a VERY childlike looking figure that's been run over by a now crashed SUV. And in the area next to that, you come across another childlike looking figure that has been thrown against a nearby concrete barricade with enough force to break it in half.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: You can kill your enemies (bosses included), if they've taken enough damage, by detonating their cores in a big flashy move, which restores your health and shield.
  • Degraded Boss: After being fought as a boss, Thor ends up becoming a Giant Mook in the Clock Tower, complete with a black variant.
  • Development Hell: In-Universe, in one ending, the Narrator will recount to you how he spent almost a decade working on the game, while in another ending you can dig up e-mails of the 'development staff' resigning because the Narrator was getting too absurd with his demands of them.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: One of the endings has Icey meeting and slashing Hastur himself.
  • Difficulty Levels: Upon completing the tutorial, you are asked a few questions the answers to which determine your difficulty level.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Icey's Shadow Strike is this, sending digital copies of herself to strike vulnerable enemies, regardless of where they are on screen, and independent of what she's doing.
  • Double Jump: Icey is capable of this from the get go.
  • Downer Ending: Some of the endings are this. One of them puts Icey in a lab, where a humanoid female, with the same hair style and color as Icey, is seen floating in a stasis pod that's very similar to the one Icey wakes up in, all the while the narrator tells you that you've probably already seen the truth, possibly in the shape of a corpse, the meaning of this being left up to the player's imagination (or you can check out the expendable clone entry below), while another ending puts Icey in the shoes of one of the mechs (called UCEY) that ICEY killed earlier on in the tutorial.
  • Dualvertisement: At one point in the game, the Narrator enters a cross-promotional agreement with a girl band to raise money for the game, and embeds one of their music videos in the game itself.
  • Dummied Out: Lampshaded In-Universe. Entering the crate on the left, inside the warehouse in Ultimopolis, will take you to a level that the narrator says was never finished, consisting of nothing but a few trees sketched out on a blank background.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Somehow, The Yellow King is involved in all of this.
  • Energy Weapon: The laser flies that appear infrequently throughout the game, as well as boss Ideon and "final" boss Judas just LOVE these. Ideon uses shoulder mounted laser canons, while Judas uses eye beams.
  • Expendable Clone: One of the endings and some eastereggs show that Icey is this and that as old Iceys die in various brutal ways, new ones are made and sent out to die, just like their predecessors before them. Also, those eastereggs mentioned just now? You can run across either another Icey missing her left leg and stabbed through her chest with her own sword, or a small mountain of dead Iceys, piled up on top of each other like trash, missing various limbs and with various limbs strewn about.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Dahal just LOVES combining this trope with a giant pair of bayonets. Icey herself has some attacks that basically turn her into a buzz saw blade.
  • Eye Beams: Judas loves these and will miss no opportunity to make as ample use of them as he possibly can. The laser flies might count as well.
  • Flash Step: Icey's counter is this, allowing her to strike at any attacking enemy in range, without taking any damage of her own, even if she otherwise would have.
  • Game Within a Game: One ending has the narrator wonder if you, the player, are just not very good at this type of videogame and proceeds to first show you gameplay footage from Koi (where you control a Koi fish), before taking you to a playable copy of a jumping puzzle game called Shio (both of which are available on Steam).
  • Giant Spider: Puck, one of the early bosses, is this. The "final" boss, Judas, is this as well and you kill him by chopping off his spider legs, one by one.
  • Global Currency: For being a Chinese made game which takes place in the post apocalypse, the mighty dollar is still king.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: In the True Ending the Narrator realizes that he is not the creator of the game but instead part of the game itself with preprogrammed dialogue and reactions. Before the game can reset itself again, he fights back and attempts to completely wipe out the game and ICEY.
    • In the True Ending, ICEY begins operating on her own without the player's input in order to save her world from the Narrator, becoming her own separate entity from the player.
  • Good Morning, Crono: The game proper (after completing the tutorial) opens with the narrator describing the lab Icey is in and her upcoming role in the "story", before proceeding to (potentially try to) wake her up.
  • Guns Akimbo: Tutorial boss Dahal and boss Jack fight using these. The latter uses twin handguns, while the former uses twin Gatling guns.
  • Hack and Slash: You have many sword techniques at your disposal, and a suitable number of foes to dispose of.
  • Heavy Sleeper: The narrator accuses Icey of being this in the intro, if she chooses not to wake up.
  • Hard Light: The photon bridge you need to activate in the woodland area, as well as the one where the tutorial fight with Dahal takes place.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: A number of Icey's moves (most notably, a charge move) are done this way.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Icey's Tron Lined-covered costume and accessories, that periodically glow bight blue, along with her sword and ponytail.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Icey's Tron Lined-covered sword and sheathe.
  • Interface Screw: Several levels have filters over the screen, in order to hammer home the point, ranging from a black and white one, to a predatory animal one. In the final ending, when the narrator gains sentience and hacks the game, he'll first add all sorts of filters to impede your view, then he'll flip the screen upside down and, if you still manage to keep fighting, he'll finally disconnect your controller.
  • Launcher Move: Both Icey and her enemies can launch one another into the air, then juggle each other with follow-up moves.
  • Lemony Narrator: If you go against the narrative and do increasingly out-of-script things, the Narrator's tone will shift and he gets increasingly impatient and sharp-tongued with Icey and the player for not following the narrative proper.
  • Life Meter: Icey has both a shield and a life meter, while the bosses have multiple health bars. Any damage you take is first applied to your shield and when that's depleted, you start taking health damage. Depleting your shield stuns you for a very short amount of time, while depleting your health kills you.
  • Little Miss Badass: Given the combat moves she can pull off, Icey definitely qualifies.
  • Master Swordsman: With her trusty sword and dizzying array of combat moves, Icey more than qualifies.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where only these remain.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Getting knocked out by having your shield broken will give you this for the amount of time you need to recover, the moment you touch the ground.
  • Mood Whiplash: Some of the funnier moments in the game are directly linked to shocking reveals that suck the humor out of it.
  • Multiple Endings: Following the narrator and killing Judas is but one ending. The game has around ten different endings, depending on how much you've disobeyed the narrator and how far you've strayed from the path. Finding all the endings, gives you the true ending where the narrator gains sentience, hacks the game and attempts to kill Icey by disconnecting your controller, only for Icey herself to break free and delete him.
  • New Game Plus: Reaching all of the endings requires this, though fortunately the game is not long in the slightest and you keep everything you've obtained through subsequent playthroughs.
  • No Fourth Wall: From the Narrator pointing out the floating arrows that guide you towards Judas, to the various messages if you do silly things like jumping off of a ravine instead of activating the Hard Light bridge, to the Narrator getting shot by his wife in the recording studio for the game, after she finds out he's been cheating on her, this game has LONG since leveled the fourth wall and turned the space into a parking lot.
  • Not a Morning Person: Icey can be this if you refuse to press the wake up key, at which point the narrator will accuse her of being lazy and such a heavy sleeper that not even an earthquake could get her awake.
  • Oh, Crap!: The end of the tutorial battle with Dahal. Upon defeat, Dahal will fly off into the air, return, then transform into a Wave-Motion Gun before opening fire on your position, annihilating the bridge you're on, so hard that it disappears from the map through subsequent playthroughs, to the surprise of the narrator.
  • One-Hit Kill: Several of the mooks can be instantly obliterated if you manage to perfectly execute Icey's counterattack on them.
  • Player-Exclusive Mechanic: While the game does a pretty good job of avoiding this for the most part, as there are foes which make use of equivalent moves to what Icey has, there are still a few exceptions. There are no equivalents to Icey's Shadow Strike or dash counter for example.
  • Post-Final Boss: The narrator in the true ending is a background boss that spawns in all sorts of mechs, while distorting your view and eventually disconnecting your controller. However, you cannot lose this fight since your health meter does not show and it is more of a scripted event.
  • Post-Final Level:
    • In the main game, the Room of Fate is the final area listed after Clock Tower 2F, consisting of three empty rooms and the top of the tower where the final battle against Judas happens.
    • Should you get all the other endings, the True Ending unlocks which takes place in an unnamed darkened room where the Narrator snaps and fights you as the Post-Final Boss.
  • Punny Name: Not as evident, but still there nonetheless. The game's name is _iCEY._, the main character's name is Icey, various faux error messages are dismissed with "I see" and a mech from one of the endings is named UCEY.
  • Rage Against the Author: An interesting example as the "author" in this case is the narrator himself, "the brilliant Leeroy Rogers".
  • Regenerating Health: Icey can regenerate both her health and energy shield by detonating the cores of her enemies, when they've sustained enough damage.
  • Remixed Level: Clock Tower second floor is this, if you try to go back from the checkpoint, after you've beaten it. What was previously a tech base, has now become a disjointed mix of all the other levels in the game, which you must now beat in order to find out the master's true name.
  • Robot Buddy: The Observer, a little robot that follows Icey around, floating above and behind her shoulder. In game, it does nothing but trail Icey wherever she goes, though the stinger shows there's more to the little thing than meets the eye. Seen in the above image next to Icey's capsule.
  • Robot Girl: Icey is a battle android, who's sole purpose is killing Judas. Or so the narrator claims.
  • RPG Elements: Throughout the game, you come across little robots that let you buy new combat moves, upgrade existing ones and increase your health and the power of your energy shield.
  • Scenery Porn: The game is built around this, with the backgrounds for most levels looking like animated, hand drawn, watercolor paintings.
  • Scoring Points: You get money for every kill or from secret caches, which you can then spend on upgrading your skills, health or energy shield.
  • Sequence Breaking: You can follow the narrator's guidance to one end, but the only way to get to the other nine endings as well as the true ending is to do this at every possible opportunity.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: You can spare Trinity if you wait long enough without attacking. The Narrator finally lets you pass out of sheer annoyance only to find that Dahal will let you pass unharmed to repay your mercy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Icey wakes up in a capsule not too dissimilar from the one Zero wakes up in, in the woodland area where you first start you come across a sign welcoming you to Silent Hell and the list only gets sillier from there.
    • Part of the route to the True Ending requires some knowledge of The King in Yellow, as you have to unlock a prompt to enter a password to the Post-Final Boss - HASTUR.
    • During one of the endings, the narrator mentions a film involving a dream within a dream.
  • Sinister Subway: Home to spider boss Puck and boss Carlos. Overlaps with Tunnel Network.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Regarding the Giant Spider boss, is it Puck or Parker? Ingame it's Puck, but in the achievement listing it's written as Parker.
  • Stylish Action: Just barely, due to the fact that the game's enemies have attacks that are fairly difficult to dodge. You can easily die if you don't know what you're doing. and the game has a combo meter, which increases Icey's damage the higher the combo is. Not to mention more optional abilities can be unlocked due to the game's upgrade stations.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Averted during normal gameplay since falling into water, swamps, sewage, etc. merely causes you to lose a little health as you reappear on the closest bit of terrain to where you fell. Played straight during the "Shio" ending, as jumping into a certain pool of "Deadly Water" causes the screen to turn blood red, followed by the narrator angrily chastising you for jumping in, not knowing what the bacteria it contains might do to your circuits.
  • Sword Lines: All of Icey's attacks are bright and flashy, with no shortage of these in the least bit. Most of the enemies have these as well.
  • The Chosen One: Various messages and bits of cut-scene dialogue hint that Icey is this for... something.
  • The Dragon: Tutorial boss Dahal if you kill love interest Trinity. If you don't, then Dahal keels before you in appreciation instead.
  • The Stinger: Every ending has a short scene afterwards with text appearing on the screen, usually describing the activities of Judas or Hastur. After the true ending and the true credits screen finish, there will be an additional cutscene of a chat-room conversation between two unnamed people discussing Icey's new found sentience, the move to step two of a grander plan and finally, further instructions for The Observer to continue it's supervision of our heroine.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Although never shown, the Necronomicon is name-dropped on several instances through out the game, and that those who have read it having gone mad; it is currently in the possession of Judas and is what he used to bring about the apocalypse.
  • Tron Lines: Icey's weapon, clothes, accessories and even hair are covered in these, crashed cars in the background have Tron Line hubcaps, buildings off in the background have Tron Line architecture, and the list goes on.
  • Tunnel Network: The subway levels where you fight boss Puck and boss Carlos. Overlaps with Sinister Subway.
  • Unblockable Attack: Overlaps with charged attack as it cannot be stopped, even if the enemies bring up their shields.
  • Uncle Judas Wants You: Can be found in the subway, in the form of Uncle Sam posters, modified with Judas' face and the text changed to "I WANT YOU FOR JUDAS!"
  • Unreliable Narrator: He's spot on in his narration if you follow his advice and fight Judas. If you don't however, then he starts tripping up, getting mad and then eventually gains sentience and, while addressing the player directly, asks for your help in killing Icey, by putting down the gamepad so he can kill the now motionless character.
  • Video Game Dashing: Icey starts off with the ability to triple dash in any direction, which also gives you invincibility frames while doing so. This is quickly, first, upgraded to allow unlimited dashing and then to allow passage through, otherwise, impassable steel grates. You need it to reach parts of the game you weren't "supposed to" be able to.
  • Video Game Flight: Icey's Dash ability, once upgraded to allow unlimited dashing, essentially becomes this, as you can go from one end of the map to the other without ever having to touch land again.
  • Warmup Boss: Tutorial boss Dahal.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Tutorial mecha boss Dahal turns into one at the end of said tutorial, before proceeding to annihilate the bridge you're on in an Oh, Crap! moment for the player.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Clock Tower 2F is the final area and hideout of Judas, coming just after the first floor of the Clock Tower (which is considered a separate area). It has wave upon wave of the toughest enemies in the game, and is a climb to the top.
  • Video Game Tutorial: Overlaps with forced tutorial. Upon starting the game, you are taken through a short demo across the woodland area, which concludes with a boss fight against Dahal, that both teaches you the basic mechanics and gives you a taste of what _iCEY._ is about. When you finish the demo, you are asked a question that will determine the difficulty level before you are taken back to the main menu, from where you can start the game proper.
  • What Could Have Been: In-Universe, one of the endings has the Narrator/"Producer" showing you footage from various prototypes of the game, including one where Icey alternates between melee and ranged combat with an assault rifle (which was apparently scrapped due to no one wanting such a weapon) and one where Icey fought demonic enemies and could use their powers as her own (which was scrapped to prevent the studio from running out of funds halfway though production). Whether these are actual prototypes that at one point existed is unknown.
  • Zeerust: When outside of the game's HD and beautifully coloured environments, the command line interface for the backend framing the game is a drab, ancient-looking text-only interface. The 'game' itself appears to be packaged in a crude binary container (A .bin file), rather like some ancient games that had to be launched via a secondary program.