Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 6: Shiver Star (Kirby 64)

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is Kirby's first foray into the realm of 2.5D, and the conclusion of the "Dark Matter Trilogy" started by Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3. Kirby teams up with Waddle Dee, Adeleine, King Dedede, and Ribbon to save Ribbon's home planet from Dark Matter.


If you look at Shiver Star on the overworld map, you'll see it's actually a frozen Earth. This raises a lot of very confusing questions.


As for the Shiver Star stages themselves, they're mainly cheerful snowy areas. The first is a snow-covered mountain, the second is up in the clouds, the third is a snowy shopping mall, and the fourth is a forbidding factory.


Kirby still has his signature copy ability in this game, allowing him to absorb powers from enemies he eats. Unique to this one, though, is the ability to combine powers. You'll find lots of enemies around that grant the Ice ability when inhaled, and then you can combine it with other abilities for different effects. Pairing it with Fire grants uselessness, Needle turns Kirby into a giant snowflake, Cutter gives him a pair of ice skates, Bomb turns him into a snowman with a bomb on his head, Stone makes him into a curling stone, and Spark turns him into a refrigerator that throws frozen food at enemies.


The end boss is a robot named HR-H. It attacks by trying to slap you with its fins, launching missiles at you, and using lasers from its eye. I actually found it pretty easy to beat with the fridge attack, since the food launched by it can both hurt the boss and heal Kirby. Once you beat it, Kirby and company move on to the next planet.

The Shiver Star theme is quite cheerful, while the factory music is doomy and gloomy.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 7: Stage 7 (Eryi's Action)

One day, Eryi the fairy woke up to find that her precious melon had been stolen by Farta the troll! She immediately set out to get it back. Eryi's Action is a cute, cheerful platformer that is loaded with all sorts of traps and "screw yous" to troll poor Eryi to death. Just about anything that moves can kill you, and most of the things that can't move will as well.


The seventh stage is a nice little place with snowflakes freely falling from the sky and cute snowmen all around. Of course, there are lots of creative ways to die in this stage, like the giant snowball you run into right at the start.


Your life counter starts at 2 and just keeps going down with each death. By the time I was done with this it was at -734. Yeah, it's that kind of game. Navigating this level requires careful memorization and accuracy, or else you'll die again, possibly from falling into the freezing-cold water.


Anything else you throw into the water will freeze solid too, which can be used to make platforms if you're clever. You'll need to be, if you want to make it to the goal.


And don't expect this game's trickery to end once you reach that, either. It's a cruel, cruel thing, but if you can remember where all the traps are and how to get past them, it's possible to win.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 8: Blackmoor Mountains (Dust: An Elysian Tail)

Dust: An Elysian Tail is a game that tells the story of the mysterious warrior, Dust, and his travels across the land of Falana to find his true identity. It's a 2D action/RPG that has some really beautiful animation.


You pay a visit to the Blackmoor Mountains in the fourth chapter of the story. It's a big place with lots and lots of snow. The main enemies around are these snow wolf things, and occasionally some crystal shades and minotaur-like monsters. Early on, you gain the ability to double jump, which comes in quite handy for platforming. In particular, there are a lot of floors that crumble when you step on them.


The mountains have both outdoor and icy cavern areas. In the indoor part you have to watch out for falling icicle spikes from above, as well as spike pits below. In the outdoor portion there are some parts where you have to avoid falling avalanches.


These things can do quite a lot of damage to you; actually much more than the enemies can. You have to make sure to be extra careful around them. As you climb further and further up the mountains, the sky gradually turns from day to night. At the end, Dust reaches the ruins of an old villlage.


In this place, Dust learns the truth about himself and his destiny... but ah, I'd better not spoil it.

The Blackmoor Mountains is the music track that plays here, and it's quite peaceful. The abandoned village has the theme Twin Souls, which is even more so.

54 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-12-10 07:02:02)

Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 9: Frostwyrm Lair (Hearthstone)

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play online card game based on the Warcraft mythos. It plays similarly to Magic: the Gathering, but with a few tweaks to the gameplay style, and some tricks that you wouldn't be able to do with real cards.

"But Mezzo, how can a card game have an ice level?" I hear you ask. Well, let me explain. Hearthstone also has solo adventures where you can challenge yourself against bosses to earn new cards. The first one of these adventures introduced was Naxxramas, the necropolis ruled by the lich Kel'Thuzad. Frostwyrm Lair is the last wing of Naxxramas, and is named for Kel'Thuzad's guardian, the frost wyrm Sapphiron.

Kel'Thuzad: My massive frost wyrm awaits. Dress warm.


Back in Warcraft III, Sapphiron was a blue dragon that Arthas killed and reanimated as an ice-breathing undead wyrm. Here he's the last obstacle before you face Kel'Thuzad himself. His Frost Breath hero power will kill everything on your side of the field that isn't frozen, and he automatically uses it every turn. You get a Frozen Champion on your side of the field, which can protect two of your minions from it.

Kel'Thuzad: Look at that little gnome. He used to be an interloper LIKE YOURSELF.

This makes you pretty much limited to two minions on your side, while he has no such limit. If the battle goes on long enough, he can also hit you with his unique Pure Cold card.


His minions aren't all that strong, though. If you can keep enough board control, you can manage to beat him.

Kel'Thuzad: My dragon! I DO NOT LIKE YOU.

After beating him, you can access the next boss fight, which is Kel'Thuzad himself.

Kel'Thuzad: This next fight will not be easy. I hear the boss is all powerful... and very handsome.

Kel'Thuzad's Frost Blast hero power deals 2 damage to your hero and freezes it. The continuing damage every turn racks up quickly, and prevents you from attacking with your hero as well.


Warcraft's undead tend to be fond of ice magic, and Kel'Thuzad is certainly no exception. In addition to the hero power he's also got plenty of icy cards including Frost Shock, Frostbolt, and Blizzard in his deck. After you break his armor, he--

Kel'Thuzad: No! Your turn is over. *MY* turn now.

Does that, and also summons two Guardians of Icecrown. He gets a new hero power too, which allows him to take control of one of your minions for one turn. You won't be taking as much damage every turn now, but it's still terrifyingly easy for him to overpower you, especially since you're almost guaranteed to be low on health. However, it is still possible to win.


Kel'Thuzad: This is not the end!!! There is still heroic mode!

Beating Sapphiron gives you Echoing Ooze, while Kel'Thuzad gives both Shade of Naxxramas and his own card, which is quite powerful. You can also rematch Kel'Thuzad with a special Paladin deck to win Avenge. There's also the harder Heroic Mode, where all the bosses are more difficult. Sapphiron doesn't have the Frozen Champion, and Kel'thuzad's Frost Blast deals 3 damage and his mind control becomes permanent.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 10: Gocken Island (The Wonderful 101)

The Wonderful 101 is a game lovingly described as "Pikmin with superheroes". The great defenders of the Wonderful 100 protect the earth from the forces of GEATHJERK (Guild of Evil Aliens Terrorizing Humans with Jigawatt bombs, Energy beams, Ray guns, and Killer lasers). Our heroes make use of the Unite Morph power, which allows them to build weapons out of other heroes.


Operation 006 takes the Wonderful Ones to Gocken Island, off the coast of Antarctica. Naturally, it's a very cold place. The floors are slippery, and there's lots of ice around. The 100 have an ice-based weapon of their own too: the Unite Claw. It hits quickly and can freeze enemies.


There are a few torches that you can use to set fire to your Unite Hand, allowing you to throw fireballs Mario-style. You can use this to light other torches or melt ice. You can also recruit new members for your team, including Wonder-Icecream and Wonder-Santa. The friendly natives and explorers will join you as temporary allies too. Part of the way through the first mission, the team is ambushed and has to flee a tidal wave of freezing-cold water.


In the second mission, you pilot the team's airship, the Virgin Victory, as you go below the water's surface for a shmup segment. You can still use your Unite Morphs along with the ship's guns, and there are lots of enemies to take down.


After that, you gain the alien policewoman Immorta as an ally, and she warns you of the upcoming boss: The heir to the roaming Rhullo, leader of the space pirate band known across the universe as the Guyzoch... Prince Vorkken. Vorkken was once a noble leader, but turned to piracy after the GEATHJERK destroyed his homeworld. Amusingly, this makes this the second ice level in this list that has both a shmup stage and a boss fight against an evil prince.

Vorkken and his pirates have the same powers as the Wonderful 100, plus a few unique Unite Morphs of his own. He's quite powerful and difficult to hit, and you need to time your dodges and counters well if you want to match him. With enough persistence, he goes down, and once he does the mission is complete.

The Lost City of Kowrule is the theme for this stage, and it's pretty catchy. There's also Hitchin' a Missile used for the shoot 'em up segment.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 11: Endless Winter (Knytt Stories)

Knytt Stories is a freeware Metroidvania with a level editor included, which tells the many stories of a girl named Juni and her travels. Endless Winter is a collaborative level created by the people on Nifflas' Support Forum.


Juni gets a message from her friend, who tells her that her normally tropical region has fallen into an eternal snowfall. She immediately runs over to visit and see if she can discover the cause.


In the area, she can find some icy ruins, a snowy village, and several abandoned laboratories. The labs have a few records around that suggest that something bad happened to them, and that may have caused the sudden change in climate.


However, Juni needs to find key cards and similar items in order to get enough access clearance and discover the laboratories' secrets. For this, you also take a detour through some caverns filled with icicle spikes, and an old reactor littered with lasers and radioactive waste.


Eventually, Juni rescues the trapped Dr. Wood, who guides her to how to set things right. With his help, she's able to restore the land to its proper climate, and her journey is complete.

If you want to try it yourself, you can get the game from Nifflas' site, and the level at the forum.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 12: Snowy Higherlands (Magicka 2)

Magicka is a silly little game about wizards and the complete destruction they can wreak. You can conjure eight different elements and combine them in all kinds of different ways. The base elements are water, life, shield, cold, lightning, death, earth, and fire. You can get steam from combining water and fire, ice from water and cold, and poison from water and death. So you can create things like shields of poisoned electrified ice crystals. It also has a lot of death, since your spells are just as dangerous to you as your opponents.


Chapter 4 of the main story takes your wizard to the Snowy Higherlands, in search of a child of prophecy from the mountain-dwelling Vanir tribe. The main enemies around for the first part of the level are the goatlike beastmen, who will jump at you and attack with spears. Wizards are pretty squishy, so they can kill you easily unless you keep your wits about you. I found lightning-based spells to work quite well on them. Another great trick for killing things is first soaking an enemy with water, then freezing them with cold, and shattering them with an earth projectile... though you want to take care it doesn't rebound and kill you too.


In addition to your standard spells there are also Magicks, which you can cast with specific combinations. One you learn in this area is Higherland Breeze, which summons an icy wind to chill enemies in a large area. Later in the level, you encounter some orcs and goblins, who are part of an army lead by Warlady Khan IV the First, also in search of the prophecied child.


With multiple factions around, the battles get even more chaotic, not helped by the fact that the goblins have their own spellcasters slinging spells around. You're going to die a lot, but you get a fairy that can revive you after death, giving you some insurance so long as you can keep it alive too. Still later, the Vanir themselves join in the fight.


After a brief scuffle, the chapter ends with your wizard joining the Vanir's side. In chapter 5, you face off against Khan's army and eventually against Khan herself. She's quite dangerous, but after enough deaths you might be able to beat her and save the child, Lok. Shortly after, it's revealed you may not have wanted to do that...


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 13: Level 37 (Affordable Space Adventures)

Come join us at UExplore™ and start your own space vacation! With our perfectly safe Small Craft™ you'll be safe and sound as you travel to the planet Spectaculon and explore its beautiful scenery! Start your journey today!

Affordable Space Adventures is a Wii U game about space travel gone wrong... very wrong. At the beginning of the game your UExplore™ Small Craft™ crash-lands on an alien planet, and you need to manipulate the ship's many systems to make it through safely.


This level comes at the very end of the game. You've escaped the tunnels filled with hazardous alien artifacts, but now your ship is nearly wrecked. Only the fuel engine, thrusters, mass generator, and heat shutters remain operational. The heat shutters are very necessary in this level, since it's so cold your engine will freeze solid, and death will soon follow.


You need to close the heat shutters, then run the engine at full power. Normally this would overheat the ship, but the overwhelming cold in this level is so much that it only delays your inevitable death by freezing. There are a few caverns where you'll need to hide to regain some warmth.


There's really nothing else here but ice, and the only thing you need to worry about is the ship's temperature. You keep moving from cave to cave, making your way across the frozen wasteland.


This continues on into the next level, where you lose the mass generator too. Without the additional heat produced by it, survival seems impossible... until you encounter a UExplore™ beacon, allowing you to send out a distress call. You send out the signal, and then go into cryosleep until they can pick you up. The final scene of the game is an empty room in UExplore™ headquarters, with dozens of distress signal papers littered on the floor, yours among them. You'll be waiting a very long time...


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 14: Mt. Vinter (Pokémon Shuffle)

Pokémon Shuffle is a standard free-to-play match-3 game... but with Pokémon! You catch Pokémon and battle them by matching 3 or more in a row. It's available on both 3DS and mobile systems.


Mt. Vinter covers stages 106 to 120. Naturally, most of the encounters here are Ice-type Pokémon. You can find Glalie, Froslass, Delibird, and Glaceon among others. Pokémon in Shuffle have only one type, so for example Froslass is Ice rather than Ice/Ghost, and Aurorus is Rock rather than Rock/Ice.


During a puzzle, the opposing Pokémon will try to disrupt you with obstacles. For Ice types the most common type of disruption is freezing your mons with a barrier, preventing them from being moved unless you make a match there. This is one of the most annoying and dangerous types of disruptions.


While most Pokémon found in Mt. Vinter are Ice type, not all are. Some of the others you can find here are Jolteon, Altaria, Ninetales, and Blissey too. The final stage of this area is a trainer battle against a Mega Glalie.


This fearsome Ice type will freeze over whole columns at once, and also floods your field with Glaceon and Snorunt. You'll need some powerful Fire, Rock, Steel, or Fighting types to beat it, and a little help from purchasable items wouldn't hurt either. Once you beat it, you get a Glalite for Mega Evolving your own Glalie. Once you Mega Evolve it it deals bonus damage, and will also clear a V-shaped area from the board every time you make a match.

The map theme for Mt. Vinter is quite calm and soothing, and kinda sounds like something you'd hear in a church. There's also the Mega Evolution battle theme.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 15: Hoth (Star Wars: Battlefront II)

The Star Wars: Battlefront games are basically Battlefield, but with Star Wars. It's a first-person, occasionally third-person shooter where you take the role of a common soldier and fight your way across the many battlefields that appear in the movies, both the prequels and the original trilogy.


Anyone who's seen The Empire Strikes Back knows about the battle of Hoth. This battlefield is only available in the original trilogy era, so you can side with either the Rebels or the Imperials. The units' outfits are different on this map, with the Imperial Stormtroopers wearing Snowtrooper outfits and the Rebel soldiers wearing white to blend in with the snow. Since both teams are wearing white in a very snowy environment, it's difficult to tell friend from foe. If you can perform well enough, you get the opportunity to play as a hero unit.


The Rebels get Luke Skywalker in his pilot outfit, while the Imperials have Darth Vader. You only control each for a limited time, but you can extend this with kills. As Vader, you have his lightsaber attacks, plus a saber throw and his signature Force Choke.


Victory is attained by either depleting one team's reinforcements, or capturing all control points on the map. The AI in Battlefront is infamously bad, so you mainly end up accomplishing this by yourself. Yep, just like a true member of the Empire, you're surrounded by idiots.


There are also space battles, and Hoth is one of the maps for those too. In these fights your objective is to take down enemy fighters and destroy as many of the enemy capital ship's systems as you can. The Rebels have X-Wings, A-Wings, and Y-Wings, while the Imperials can use TIE Fighters, TIE Interceptors, and TIE Bombers. You can also board the enemy's capital ship to sabotage its systems from within.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 16: Hailfire Peaks (Banjo-Tooie)

Banjo-Tooie is the sequel to Banjo-Kazooie, in which a bear named Banjo and a bird named Kazooie team up against the evil witch Gruntilda. We're halfway through the month, so I've decided to pick a level based on halves.


Hailfire Peaks is the seventh world of the game, and is focused on duality. One half of this island is a volcano, while the other half is a glacier. In some ways, this area counts as one level, and in others two. Naturally, for this I'm mainly interested in the ice side.


Each side is ruled by a dragon named Chilli Billi and Chilly Willy respectively. They'll hurl fireballs or ice balls at you so long as you're on their turf, until you go up to the peaks and defeat them. Naturally, that makes both sides pretty dangerous. You'll also have to deal with deep snow that slows you down, ice-cold water that will damage you if you try to swim through it, and angry yetis that will chase you around.


You learn a few new moves for Banjo and Kazooie separately here. Banjo can learn to hide inside his backpack to protect himself from hazards, while Kazooie learns how to glide.


With help from the local shaman Humba Wumba, you can transform Banjo into a snowball. On the ice side you can roll around in the snow to become larger, but if you go to the fire side you'll melt pretty quickly. You can also enlist the other local shaman Mumbo Jumbo, and use his Life Force magic to rescue some frozen aliens from the ice side. There's a well hidden secret here too. If you can find the hidden ice key and bring it to a secret vault, you find the Mega-Glowbo. Give it to Humba and she'll transform Kazooie into a fire-breathing dragon.

The music for the Icy Side and Lava Side are different variations on the same theme, and both are pretty fun.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 17: Bastion's Keep (Diablo III)

Diablo is a Roguelike-ish action/RPG that's all about demons and devils. Fittingly, it's the second game on this list produced by Blizzard Entertainment. The war between angels and demons rages on, with humanity caught in the middle, and your main antagonists are the Prime Evils.

At the beginning of Act III, you find the last remaining prime evil: Azmodan, the Lord of Sin. He's gathered his army at the Arreat Crater in the far north and is on the march, and it's up to the brave defenders of Bastion's Keep to hold his assault back. And you, of course.


Honestly, it's really just you, since the human soldiers are pretty wimpy. Azmodan's demon army has besieged their walls, and you'll need to fight his troops off. They're not that dangerous, but there are a whole lot of them around. Occasionally you run into Demonic Hell Bearers, living transport engines that will latch onto the walls and continually spawn demons until killed.


Once you secure the walls, you find that there's a breach in the keep's depths, and you need to secure that area too. The inside areas have lots of tiny little rooms, and swarms of skeletons determined to bring death to the living.


At the end of this sequence, there's a boss fight against Azmodan's lieutenant Ghom, the Lord of Gluttony. Once you kill him, you can head out to the battlefield and start making a push against Azmodan's army. You'll have to destroy his war machines, then make your way to the crater.


After a fight across a long bridge where the angel Tyrael fights alongside you, you come to the crater gate, where you meet Azmodan's Siegebreaker Assault Beast. This living war engine is the next boss in the area, and once you kill it, you can move into the crater's fiery depths, coming closer to defeating Azmodan and saving the world of Sanctuary from the demonic threat.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 18: Snowhead (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D)

Majora's Mask is the sequel to Ocarina of Time, in which Link needs to collect a bunch of masks and things in order to stop the moon from crashing into the land of Termina in three days. This game originally came out on the N64 back in 2000, but was remade this year on the 3DS.

After saving the Southern Swamp, you need to head north into the mountains. As you do so, it gets cold and snowy very quickly.


A quick look around tells you that there's a severe cold snap going on, and the Gorons native to the area are struggling to survive it. Kaepora Gaebora, the wise owl, tells you that if this continues, this region will eventually become so cold that nothing can survive.


You then meet with the ghost of the slain Goron hero, Darmani. By playing the Song of Healing to soothe his soul, you get the Goron Mask, which lets you take on his form. In Goron form you can move by rolling around at high speeds, and use your increased strength and weight to break things that human Link can't.


Once you've learned the Goron Lullaby from the village, you can make your way toward Snowhead Temple, the source of the icy winds. Playing the lullaby puts the giant Goron in the blizzard to sleep, allowing you to enter.


Inside, Link can find the Fire Arrows, which allow him to enchant his bow with fire. These are very helpful since they can melt ice and light torches, and you'll be using them a lot in the temple. The lowest floor is actually lava, while it gets progressively colder as you go up the main spire. At the top you reach the boss: the masked mechanical monster, Goht. It flees from you at a rapid pace, so you need to chase it down by using Goron form's roll. Once you kill it, you receive Goht's Remains, the evil mask that kept the spirit of one of the Four Giants imprisoned. Spring returns to the mountains, and Link can move closer to stopping the moon.

The music for the Mountain Village is quite ominous, as is the Snowhead Temple theme.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 19: Grey Teeth Mountains (Lichdom: Battlemage)

Lichdom is a game all about crafting magic and using its destructive power. After your sister is kidnapped by the wicked Count Shax, you meet a mage named Roth who awakens the magical power within you, and sets you on the path of destroying everything that Shax and his cult stand for. This game is a "first-person spellcaster" that basically plays like an FPS, but with magic. Mastering the intricate spellcrafting and combo systems are necessary to attain victory.


The Grey Teeth were once a temperate mountain range, but long ago a surge of magical power shattered this world's moon and froze them over. Now there's ice and snow as far as the eye can see. The cult has a headquarters here at Shax's hunting lodge, and you'll encounter both a lot of their members and undead summoned by their necromancy.


You have a whole lot of power at your disposal with which to bring them to ruin. Naturally, you can use ice as an element in your spells, along with fire and lightning. Some of the most advanced spells are synergies, like that fire and ice tornado up there, or the icy thunderstorm. You pursue Shax past his hunting lodge and eventually catch him at the Maelstrom.


This was once a raging whirlpool, but when the moon shattered it was flash-frozen in an instant. You'll have to make your way down the icy ramps and ruined ships to reach the bottom, where Shax awaits. Then, he summons his pet, a giant crab.


This thing has a lot of HP and can spawn mini-crabs to defend itself. You'll have to pull out your most powerful magics and really wail on it to take it down. Once you do, you take Shax out, and can then gain a new element and move forward to the next area.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 20: Ice Storm (Bejeweled 3)

Bejeweled is the classic match-3 puzzle game that helped define a number of successors. You have to move gems on a grid to match 3 of the same type and clear them. And yes, even a minimalistic puzzle game like Bejeweled can have an ice level.


You unlock Ice Storm mode by scoring 100,000 points in Lightning mode. Here, your objective is to ward off the rising columns of ice before they reach the top of the screen. Doing a horizontal match pushes them back, while a vertical match shatters a column. Vertical matches are more valuable, but horizontal ones can buy you some time to find that perfect position you need.


You don't have any ice gems, but can make use of fire and lightning ones. Making a match of 4 gives you a flame gem that explodes when matched, and a match in two or more directions at once gives a star gem that shoots streaks of lightning in all directions when matched. Making a match of 5 gives you a hypercube that you can use to remove all gems of one color from the field. All are quite helpful at stopping the advancing ice.


As the game progresses onward, your score multiplier increases and the columns become narrower and rise more quickly. This can make things more difficult, but it can also open up big combos if you can play well enough. You can earn a combo bonus for each column you break in succession, but this is quite difficult to do without breaking the chain.


Bejeweled in any form doesn't really have an end, so you just keep matching gems until eventually the ice overtakes you and freezes your field over.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 21: Aurora's North (NightSky)

NightSky is a very relaxing game that's about rolling a ball through various different environments with a minimialist art style. It also has a lot of physics-based puzzles. Aurora's North is one of the last areas of the game.


It may be hard to tell because of the art style, but the translucent stuff is ice. It's not completely frictionless, but it's much harder to gain traction while rolling on it. Sometimes you can use this to your advantage, like some puzzles where you need to push a block across the ice, then ride the ball on top of it.


There are other puzzles where you don't control the ball directly, and instead have to manipulate other items in the level in order to let it through. Some of the ones in this level have the ball in a sled, allowing it to slide across the ice easily.


In some others, you control a vehicle that the sphere is attached to. in some of the puzzles later in the level, it's a little air balloon that gives you some limited flight.


Finish all the puzzles, and you can move on to the final area... if you have enough of the secret stars, that is.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 22: Mountain Path (Panoramical)

Panoramical isn't so much a game as it is a surreal audiovisual experience, a toy that lets you manipulate the look and sound of a landscape at will, through a variety of different axes.


The scenes in Panoramical have no names, so I actually have no idea what this is supposed to be called. There are things that look vaguely like mountains and a thing that looks vaguely like a path, so close enough.


I suppose this isn't strictly an "ice" level either, but the scene definitely gives off that kind of feeling. There are lots of cool colors around and pixel "snow" in the air. Depending on how you adjust the world, you could have either a mostly flat landscape, or sharp jagged peaks.


You can also twist the path around, add more particles in the air, or make things move faster.


Honestly these few screenshots can't really do the scene justice. There are a whole lot of possibilities you can come up with if you play around enough. Try a short trailer of this level to get an idea for the feel of this game.

Also, it's my birthday. Happy birthday to me~


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 23: The Frozen Grotto (Super Mario Maker)

Super Mario Maker is the Mario game where you build your own levels, using a variety of different tools and the Wii U gamepad's touch screen interface. There are literally millions of levels out there to try. While there isn't a true ice level theme in the game yet, with a bit of creativity and liberal use of ice blocks it's very possible to make one.


I'd like to give thanks to Anom, who allowed me to use his ice level for this writeup. This is an icy cavern where you make use of the Toon Link amiibo costume. All the ice blocks make for a very slippery floor and some tricky jumps, but thankfully there aren't that many bottomless pits.


There's also an underwater section where you need to watch out for Cheep Cheeps, Fishbones, and ice spikes around. This isn't as difficult as the land section, but can still be pretty tricky. Swimming in the ice cold water also gives you a few interface screws to deal with.


In addition, I've made one of my own, simply titled Obligatory Ice Level.


This level is focused all about platforming on ice blocks, with a few enemies and pits around. It can be pretty tricky if you're not used to the ice physics.

If you own Mario Maker and want to play these for yourself, here are the course IDs: 7996-0000-001C-616C for The Frozen Grotto, and FD79-0000-003F-CB00 for Obligatory Ice Level.

69 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-12-24 23:29:23)

Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 24: Ruins of Discord (Heroes of Might and Magic VII)

The Heroes of Might and Magic series is a long-running fantasy turn-based strategy series, well known for its strategic combat, large variety of factions and resources, and addictive nature. Heroes VII (or if you prefer its official title, Might and Magic: Heroes VII) is the latest entry.


The Ruins of Discord map is split in two by a frozen river that runs through the center. The northern half is more icy, and the southern half is more snowy. Each half also has a lot of mountain ranges blocking the path, meaning it can take quite a few days (one turn is one day) to cross from one side to the other. I started off by clearing out neutral enemies on my side.


After that was done, I managed to secure resource mines and set to upgrading my town and building up a strong army. After about a month or two, I was ready to march to the south side and start my path of conquest.


And I also had magic on my side. I focused on my hero's skill in water magic, allowing her to support her army with devastatingly powerful ice bolts and giant watery walls of doom. Few enemies stood a chance against that power.


In the end, Heroes is very much a game of territory control. While the opposition managed to gain a small foothold in my land, I quickly cleared them out, then took their main base. By that point, resistance was minimal, and victory was won.

70 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-12-25 20:56:12)

Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 25: The Northern Wastes (Fable Anniversary)

Fable Anniversary is a remake of Fable, the action/RPG where the choices you make determine who you are. While the story stays basically the same regardless of your choices, how they impact you can be quite different. You could become a noble warrior, a wicked rogue, or a powerful wizard, among other things. For my playthrough of this game, I decided to make my hero into a paladin, focusing primarily on strength with a bit of holy-aligned magic. Unfortunately, you can only play a male hero.


One of the last places visited in the original Fable is Hook Coast, an icy town full of ancient secrets. In the original release it was the only icy area, but The Lost Chapters rerelease added a new chapter in which you travel to Albion's Northern Wastes. By setting a gem in the lighthouse at Hook Coast, you summon a ship that takes you there.


In the Wastes you can fight armored minions, ice trolls, and shambling undead monsters. The main evil you're here to confront is the Summoners, powerful arcane creatures with control over lightning magic. Despite the name, they don't summon anything.


To defeat them, you first need to awaken the Oracle of Snowspire Village. To do this you need to head to the Necropolis, a ruined city filled with more undead as well as Balverines, a monster similar to werewolves. You have to find the glyphs of Yeron, Moryk, Calran, and Avisto to awaken the Oracle. Then you can ask it questions by making the shape of one of the glyphs with your arms (or, this quest allows you to do the YMCA dance).


The Oracle tells you that you need to gather the souls of heroes in order to face the new evil. If you're good, you can find the souls of fallen heroes for you to use, while if you're evil this is a chance for you to kill some of your so-called "allies". Once the souls are collected, you can confront the true final boss. Will you be able to defeat him for good, or will you succumb to the lure of power? It is your choice, after all...


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 26: Alpine (Dustforce)

Dustforce is a 2D platformer starring a team of janitors with parkour skills that would put the Prince of Persia to shame. You have to grab your broom and pull off some difficult platforming jumps to make the world a cleaner place. There's no ice level in the official game, but thankfully there are some fan-made ones to help fill the void. I took a look at three of them today.


The first on the list is Alpine, by Meark. In this one you start off by sliding down a mountainside, cleaning off snow and leaves on your way. Then you fall into a cave and have to do a few tricky jumps, and finish by heading out of the cave and to a wooden cabin, where there are some leaf-covered enemies you can clean off with a combo attack.


Second is Snowy Manor, by Blueeyedrat. This is a dusty old mansion where it's snowing outside. There are a lot more difficult jumps in this one, plus fights against dust-covered maids and gargoyles. It ends with a long tower climb, and then you meet some gargoyles on a balcony. This also took me much longer to beat, due to some rather tricky jumping sequences.


The third one is Warm Soup, by Fireball. This area had a more subdued crystalline style, with snow to sweep up and ice crystals you can break with your broom. I found it to be the hardest of the three. There are a lot of places where you need very precise midair jumping, and I actually didn't even finish it.


I don't know if anyone reading this owns Dustforce, but in case they do, I'll link the levels above on the map repository. Here's Alpine, Snowy Manor, and Warm Soup.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 27: Frost Man's Stage (Mega Man 8)

Mega Man 8! It's Mega Man with a cartoony art style! And terrible voice acting! More seriously, it's the only Mega Man game in the Classic series that was released in the PS1/Saturn era. And it does in fact have a cartoonish art style, animated cutscenes, and really bad voice acting.


Frost Man's stage is one out of the first four you can pick. It's a frosty city where there's snow gently falling from the sky, and time progresses from day to night as you go through. Much like a certain other blue hero, Mega Man gets to go snowboarding here. This is what makes this stage really infamous, because this segment is hard even by Mega Man standards. You get some warning signs telling you when to jump and slide, and if you don't obey them the second they go off, you're dead.


Later, you get off the snowboard (finally!) and come to an icy road. You won't slip here, but you'll have to deal with ice blocks sliding at you and trying to block your path. You can use some of these to your advantage, and even ride on them if your timing is good enough. After that there's a second snowboard part, not quite as long as the first thankfully, and you reach the boss.


"Freeze! I'll crush you! I'll make a popsicle out of you!"

Frost Man opens by smashing up a few ice sculptures of Mega Man to show he means business. He's big and strong, and will try to smash you with an icy fist, drop ice blocks from the ceiling onto the floor, and attack you with his Ice Wave weapon. If you have the Flash Bombs from Grenade Man's stage, this fight becomes much easier, since the heat and light given off by the bombs will blind him for a few seconds and knock him to the ground. Once he's done for, you gain the Ice Wave for yourself. It summons a line of ice spikes that travels along the floor and can climb up walls and ceilings.

As is typical for Mega Man games, the music for his stage is pretty good too.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 28: Fichina (Star Fox 64 3D)

Star Fox 64 is the classic game of space battles with animals and incredibly cheesy dialogue that would be quoted for years to come. Like Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, this game was originally developed for N64 and remade for the 3DS.


General Pepper: Recover our base from the enemy army!

In the original release, this planet was mislabeled as Fortuna, which is the name of a jungle world elsewhere in the Lylat System. Thankfully, the remake fixed this error. This is a world similar to Corneria, Fox's home planet, but has an overall colder climate. The Cornerian army had a base here, which has since been taken over by the evil mad scientist Andross and his army.


This is an all-range mode stage, so you can fly around in any direction. The area is rather small, though. There are a few sentry towers around, the main building of the base in the center, and not much else. A few minutes after you arrive, you find that a bomb's been planted in the base. Fox is just about to send someone in to disarm it, when--

Wolf: Can't let you do that, Star Fox!

The Star Fox team's evil counterparts Star Wolf make an appearance.

Leon: Andross has ordered us to take you down.

Pigma: Peppy! Long time no see!

Andrew: Andross's enemy is my enemy!


Fox: Just what I need to see, Star Wolf.

These guys will chase after your Arwings in their Wolfen ships. Wolf always chases Fox, Leon chases Falco, Pigma chases Peppy, and Andrew chases Slippy. If their current target is down, they'll chase after Fox instead. You can lose them with a few well-timed somersaults, but your wingmates are gonna need a bit more help.

Falco: Shoot! He's right behind me!

Peppy: Take care of the guy behind me, Fox!

Slippy: Fox, get this guy off me!

This can get a little annoying.

If you take too long, the bomb's timer will start counting down and it explodes. You'll still finish the mission, but you won't open an alternate path. However, if you can defeat Star Wolf...

Wolf: I... can't... lose!

Leon: This is impossible!

Pigma: My beautiful reward! Arrghhh!

Andrew: Uncle Andross!

You'll be able to disarm the bomb safely and successfully complete the mission.


If you can rack up enough kills and keep all your wingmates alive, you'll earn a medal. For this stage you need 50. Since each member of Star Wolf counts as 10 when taken down, this makes this one of the easiest medals in the game to win. Even if you couldn't accomplish that, the Star Fox team is still free to head to the next mission.

The music for this stage got an update for the remake, as did Star Wolf's theme. Both are quite good.

74 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-12-31 02:50:34)

Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 29: Throat of the World (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

Skyrim is the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls series of RPGs, and is based in the titular province of Tamriel. Skyrim is home of the Nord people and as the furthest north province of Tamriel, has a very cold climate. Really, the whole game world is one big ice level, but one day isn't enough to cover all of Skyrim so I focused on one particular part: the Throat of the World, the tallest mountain in Skyrim.


To start the climb up to the peak, you need to head out from the small village of Ivarstead. Unfortunately, I ran into some bear trouble on my way up. The path is clearly marked by stairs you need to follow, and you can find more monsters along the way.


About halfway up, you reach High Hrothgar, home to a number of monks who practice the ancient art of the Thu'um. Since your player character is a Dragonborn, you can learn how to use this art too. The path beyond High Hrothgar is blocked by blizzards and heavy fog, which requires you to learn the Clear Skies shout in order to get past it. I ran into a few more ice wraiths on my way up, which are annoyingly immune to ice magic.


At the peak you meet the true leader of the High Hrothgar monks: The dragon Paarthurnax. He's actually quite friendly to you and can help you improve your shouts. At one point you have to come up here with an Elder Scroll to learn the Dragonrend shout, which can stun dragons by forcing them to comprehend the concept of mortality.


You also get a great view of the rest of Skyrim from up here. Just take care not to fall off, or you're certain to be killed on the way down.


Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 30: Avalanche Pass (Half-Minute Hero)

Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy is the fastest-paced RPG of all time. An evil wizard has discovered a spell that can destroy the world in half a minute, and is spreading it along to every evil lord he can find. Are you fast enough to level up and defeat the evil lord in 30 seconds?


Thankfully you have a friendly time goddess on your side, who can turn back the clock... for a price. She's also gracious enough to pause the clock while you're in a town. That gives you a little breathing room, but not much.


Avalanche Pass is named for the avalanches that occur frequently in the area. Around the 22 second mark one will fall through the pass, and if you're caught in it you'll lose all your equipment. While it's still possible to beat the evil lord in your underwear, it makes things significantly harder.


However, if you can find and defeat the two hidden yetis, you stop the avalanches and can make it to the evil lord's castle, hopefully still with your equipment. This evil lord will summon a few ice monsters to attack you, but they're pushovers. If you have enough time left, it's a sure victory.


The world is saved, and you're free to move on to the next quest.