Topic: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

As I may have mentioned some time before, I have a bit of an ongoing tradition each December, inspired by the Speed Gamers' Obligatory Ice Level Day. Said tradition is to play an ice level from a different game each day of the month. I've decided that this year, I'll be documenting my experiences here.

2 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 21:54:19)

Re: Mezzo's Obligatory Ice Level Month

Day 1: Frosted Hills (Torchlight II)

And we start off with some snowy mountains from Torchlight II.


Torchlight is a very Diablo-esque game, and I've heard was apparently made by part of the Diablo team after they left Blizzard. Run around, click stuff, kill things, and collect loot. You are also given a pet who fights alongside you, and can return to town to sell off all the junk you pick up. Mine's a cat named Cotton, of course.

The first game was all indoors and didn't have any icy areas, but thankfully the second is here to pick up the slack. I'm still not very far into this game, but thankfully this area isn't very far either. This is actually one I wanted to do last year, but I couldn't find a good day to put it on. It's kind of huge, and filled with some icy caves too.


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Day 2: Mount Wario (Mario Kart 8)

And the next day features another snow-covered mountain.


Mount Wario is kind of unique among Mario Kart courses; instead of racing around it for three laps, you start at the summit and race to the bottom, with three different segments of the track standing in for the usual three laps. As such, you go through a lot of different areas here, even riding across a dam at one point. The music for this track is composed of many small segments, each corresponding to a segment of the road you go down.

Incidentally, I'm unclear as to why this course is named Mount Wario. While there are a few things with Wario's name on them, it doesn't seem like the kind of place he'd care about.

There are actually three icy courses in MK8, and while I did run through them all, I picked this one to represent this day since it's easily my favorite.

4 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 21:54:51)

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Day 3: Frozen Cliffs (Nihilumbra)

This next one is from a game that's a bit obscure. Nihilumbra is an indie game that, like its title suggests, is about nihilism and darkness. It details the journey of a being born from the void, who discovers what it means to be alive. But the Void is always chasing him...


The frozen cliffs are actually the first area you visit. After escaping the Void, you land here, and here is where you learn the basics of gameplay. You also gain the ability to paint surfaces blue, turning them to ice that things can slide on. This is a key component to solving puzzles in this area. Along the way, you hear a voice that provides some rather grim commentary, like the quote in the picture above. At the end of the level, you are forced to abandon the mountains, leaving them to be devoured by the all-consuming void.

5 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 21:59:08)

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Day 4: Ice Ridge of Noltia (Ys II)

The Ys series is a group of action-RPGs known for their very nice music and difficult boss battles. They detail the adventures of the red-haired swordsman Adol Christin. Today's comes from the Ys I+II Chronicles remake, specifically the second game.


To reach the central shrine atop the floating island of Ys, Adol needs to cross this frozen cliffside. It's slippery in some places, and he'll need to find stone shoes that will give him good enough traction to walk up the icy slopes if he wants to proceed. There are also a few interior areas of the ridge, where you need to use Adol's fire magic to melt ice blocks in your path. In the screenshot up there he's using a transformation spell which allows him to speak to the monsters around the area. Most don't have that much of significance to say, though.

Also, did I mention music? Because this place has some nice music. The interior music is also good.

6 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 21:59:49)

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Day 5: Hoth (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed)

The ice planet Hoth appears in just about every Star Wars game ever. If I wanted to, I could probably do a whole week of Hoths. I went with this one since it is one of the prettiest versions.


The Force Unleashed takes place in between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy, and stars Darth Vader's secret apprentice. The Hoth level is actually part of the game's DLC, and part of an alternate storyline where the Apprentice takes Vader's place. For the first part, you have to traverse some icy caverns filled with annoyingly hard to kill wampas. Then you storm Echo Base, gleefully murdering Rebel soldiers in dozens of different ways. The level ends with a duel against Luke Skywalker, who you successfully manage to turn to the Dark Side after the battle. Unfortunately for me, the game crashed in the middle of the Luke fight, and I decided to cut it off there.


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Day 6: Frozen Factory (Sonic Lost World)

Sonic games, like most platformers, have a lot of icy zones. This particular one is one of the newest additions to that list.


Like the zone name implies, this is equal parts ice and metal, and features both snowy landscapes and mechanical structures. While Sonic can't snowboard in this zone, he can ice skate, and performs some impressive pirouette jumps. Act 1 has him running around different sides of a long planet, while Act 2 turns Sonic into a giant snowball that has to roll around some narrow pathways. Act 3 isn't icy at all, and is instead a traditional to the Sonic series casino level, while Act 4 is a mostly 2D area where Sonic is skating around loops and avoiding icy crushers.

And of course, I can't mention something from a Sonic game without its music. Frozen Factory is Act 1's theme, Snowball Waltz is act 2, and Double Down is Act 3.


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Day 7: Snowball Park (Super Mario 3D World)

Yes, I did a Mario level right after a Sonic level. I assure you, this was intentional.


World 3's map looks icy, but only 3-1 actually has any ice in it. Thankfully, a few other ice levels show up later (and I also visited those). This area is full of snow and slippery ice, and has giant snowballs you can throw. It also has a snowy version of Pokeys, which turn into snowballs when defeated.

More interestingly, it also has Goombas in giant ice skates. If you kill these, you can ride in the skate yourself, which is quite fun. Unfortunately, you lose it if you hit a wall, and it can be hard to control since it moves pretty fast.

This level's music is a remix of the ice level theme from Super Mario 3D Land, and is also nice.

9 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:00:34)

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Day 8: Great Glacier (Final Fantasy VII)

Do I really need to explain what FFVII is? It's only one of the most well-known RPGs of all time.


Just after [spoiler]Aerith dies, Cloud and his party pursue Sephiroth toward a crater in the far north. Along the way, Cloud stops at the snowy town of Icicle Inn, where he's told he'll need a map and a snowboard if he wants to proceed any further.


Yes, there's a snowboarding sequence in this game. After you reach the end of it, you land in the glacier itself. The map you picked up becomes very necessary, as there's nothing but snow all around you, and if you want to make your way forward you'll need to identify landmarks and point them out on the map.

After getting past that, you come to Gaea's Cliff, where you can meet a friendly mountain climber who warns you that you'll need to keep your body temperature up as you climb its sheer slopes. You can do this by button mashing when on a safe ledge.


You also head to the inside of the cliff, which is a little safer. Here, you have to push ice boulders to break icicles in your path, and at one point have to battle against icicles on the ceiling to get them to drop onto the floor.


In the final cavern of the cliff you meet the boss, a two-headed dragon named Schizo. One head breathes fire, the other breathes ice, and both are healed by their respective element. This can make them pretty difficult to fight, and I actually ended up dying here. Since I hadn't saved and was practically at the end anyway, I just dropped it then.

And of course I can't avoid mentioning its music: Buried in the Snow.

10 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:00:49)

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Day 9: The Himalayas (DuckTales Remastered)

DuckTales Remastered is a remake of the classic DuckTales game on the NES. The original game had the Himalayas as its ice level, and this one has it too. Featuring adorable killer snow bunnies!


Scrooge McDuck is out here in search of a valuable treasure: the lost crown of Genghis Khan. Unfortunately, his pilot Launchpad has crashed his plane in the snow, and it's up to Scrooge to find the lost parts so that he can repair it.

The main method of movement and attack in this game is Scrooge bouncing on his cane like a pogo stick, but if you try that here, you just get stuck in the snow. That makes things pretty difficult, and considering that this is an NES game with a fresh coat of paint, it was pretty difficult to begin with. If you're careful about where you bounce, it isn't too much trouble. You'll also have to descend into icy caverns with slippery ice floors, killer spiders, and evil hockey-playing ducks.

If you can make it to the end, you meet the boss: a giant yeti. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to defeat it despite several tries, but since it was my first time actually reaching the boss, I still considered it an achievement.

Oh, and here's the music.

11 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:01:04)

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Day 10: Winter (Storm)

Storm is an indie puzzle game that's all about weather. You use wind, rain, and lightning to guide a seed to fertile soil so that it can grow into a tree. The levels are based around seasons, so naturally it has a winter level.


Winter is the last season in the game, and introduces some new gameplay elements. There are slippery ice floors around, as usual. There's also freezing mist in the air that can turn your rain into snow, which you can use to fill holes, or to create a slope you can push the seed up using wind. This season also introduces fragile seeds in an icy shell, which you have to handle carefully or else they'll break. Thankfully, you can use rain to give them water to float safely in, or you can make a pile of snow for them to fall into gently.

Since it is the last area of the game, the puzzles here can be quite devious, and the final stage in particular requires quick reflexes. Today was actually my first time beating it, so I was pleased.


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Day 11: Frozen Highlands (Might and Magic VI)

The Might and Magic series, not to be confused with the more popular spinoff Heroes of Might and Magic, is a series of first-person party-based RPGs. Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven establishes it and Heroes as being in the same continuity, and takes place in Enroth, the land featured in Heroes I and II.


Enroth's Frozen Highlands are quite an inhospitable place, filled with harpies and evil archers who set out to make you into a pincushion. I think I ended up coming here at far too low a level, so I mostly just ran from everything. Heading out far enough north will take you to the town of White Cap, which is featured in the picture. It was mostly safe aside from a few isolated archers, which I did manage to kill. There was also a fountain here that gave a permanent bonus to Endurance, but killed whoever drank from it. This was confusing to say the least.

It's also home to Lord Eric Stromgard, one of six lords of Enroth and the finest archer in the land. He gave me a few quests, which I figured I didn't stand a chance at completing in my current state.

And this area also has some very nice music: Moonlit Snow Journey and Sunlit Snow Journey.

13 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:01:18)

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Day 12: Fortress of Solitude (Scribblenauts Unmasked)

Scribblenauts Unmasked is a crossover between the write-anything-you-want Scribblenauts series and the DC Comics universe. Anyone familiar with the Superman mythos will recognize this area as his home away from home in the Arctic.


From left to right, that's Polar Boy, Ice, Mr. Freeze, Maxwell in Mr. Freeze's suit, Icicle (two versions), Captain Cold, and Killer Frost.

The storyline mission for this area has Maxwell's evil doppelganger team up with General Zod to banish Superman to the Phantom Zone. Then, the doppelganger summons some severely overpowered villains including a volcanic Doomsday, a bomb-dropping Anti-Monitor, and a giant Darkseid. I froze Doomsday with Mr. Freeze's gun then stuffed him in a spaceship, used a clingy land mine to blow the Anti-Monitor's armor off, and summoned a reflective Wonder Woman to reflect Darkseid's laser back at him. After that, you steal the Phantom Zone projector to free Superman and seal Zod again, and you receive a Starite for your trouble.

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Day 13: Cold, Cold Heart (Batman: Arkham Origins)

This is a game about Batman. If you don't know who he is, I don't think I can help you. More specifically, Arkham Origins is a prequel to the prior two Arkham games, and features Batman getting hunted down by a group of assassins led by Black Mask the Joker. If I'd wanted to, I could have done the whole game since it takes place during a blizzard on Christmas Eve. Instead, I decided to focus on the postgame DLC episode.


Cold, Cold Heart starts with a party held in honor of philanthropist Ferris Boyle being attacked by (who else?) Mr. Freeze. It starts with an attack on Wayne Manor, followed by Batman chasing Freeze through Gotham to find his plan and his motivation. Along the way, he finds that Freeze is teaming up with Penguin's gang of thugs. Some of these guys have freeze guns of their own, which can turn Batman into an ice block if you're not careful. If you are careful, though, you can get them to freeze other mooks with them, then shatter the ice for a one-hit KO.


About halfway through, Batman receives the XE (Extreme Environment) suit. This thing gives enhanced armor, protection against extreme cold, and heated thermal gloves that can add damage to his punches and break ice. All are quite handy to have when going up against a villain like Freeze. Heading into Boyle's lab, Batman scans the scene of the cryogenics accident that made Victor Fries into what he is today, and discovers that Freeze was only trying to save his dying wife, and Boyle is the true one at fault here. However, Batman still has to take Freeze down.


The boss fight against Mr. Freeze is primarily stealth based. Freeze's heavy armor and freeze ray prevent Batman from attacking him directly, so you first have to overload some cryogenic reactors in the room, then attack Freeze with ambush tactics such as sneaking up from behind, attacking through breakable ice walls, or dropping icicles from the ceiling on him. He's quite resilient, and he likes to use his freeze ray to freeze over the spots on the ceiling where Batman can perch out of reach. As his health becomes lower, he'll eventually stop the fight as the cryogenic containment on his wife begins to fail.


Ferris takes the opportunity to attack while he's vulnerable, and Batman ends up subduing both and bringing them to justice.

Most of the music in this game isn't that remarkable, but there are a few nice tracks. The Joker gets evil Christmas music for his theme.

15 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:02:33)

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Day 14: Emerald Cliffs (Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams)

The Great Giana Sisters was originally a game developed back in the 1980s as an attempt to cash in on Mario's success. in 2012, a modernized sequel was released with more unique gameplay mechanics. Giana's sister Maria is sucked through a portal into a dream world and kidnapped by a dragon, and it's up to Giana to rescue her.


The key gameplay element of this game is shifting between Giana's two forms, which also changes the world around you. For Punk Giana, this area is an ice world, while for Cute Giana it becomes a lava world.


In most places the changes are purely cosmetic, but occasionally you'll run into points where there are gates that close in one world and open in another, or hazards that only exist on one side. In one case, there's a lava pit in the lava world that freezes over in the ice world, allowing you to cross safely. Proper timing of switches to get past these is important.

Speaking of hazards, this game has a lot of them. Really, a whole lot. There are crystal spikes everywhere, plus enemies that are either owls or demons depending on which world you're in. Put it all together and you have one really hard game. Thankfully, it's merciful enough to give you infinite lives.

16 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:02:56)

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Day 15: Rime Age (realMyst: Masterpiece Edition)

Myst is one of the most popular adventure games ever. It begins with the featureless protagonist finding a book titled Myst. The book speaks of a particular island, and it turns out is actually a portal to said island. You're sent there and left to figure out what the island is and what secrets it holds. Over the course of the game you travel through many different worlds called Ages, linked by portal books, to uncover the puzzle. It's probably not coincidental that the name of the game is the first four letters of "mystery". The game is also well known for its beautiful scenery.

For the game's tenth anniversary, it was remade as realMyst, featuring improved graphics and a new engine, while the original was rereleased as the Masterpiece Edition. For the twentieth anniversary, there was another remake which combined the two titles. The original Myst doesn't have an ice level, but the remakes do.


At the end of the original game, you help Atrus, the author of the linking books, escape from his imprisonment. In the remakes he leaves you with a clue that directs you to a linking book that brings you to the Rime Age. It's a snowy island that is also very dark. That little hut in the screenshot is the only building on the island, and is connected to the lighthouse above. Up there, you can find a machine that uses electric towers to generate auroras in any color you want. This appears to be here purely for the sake of looking pretty.


Also in this tower you can find a journal written by Atrus, which tells of his attempts to view Ages by manipulating crystals. Checking this also opens a secret passage to a chamber where his experiments were held. If you can get the configuration of crystals right, you can catch a glimpse of an area from Riven, the sequel to Myst.


The music heard as you enter Rime isn't half bad, but it's the song that plays in the crystal chamber that really steals the show.


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Day 16: Nuclear Winter (Freedom Force)

Freedom Force is a tactical RPG about a superhero team, the titular Freedom Force. It's a huge homage to the Silver Age of comics and is generally all about cheesy superheroes doing cheesy superhero things. This particular mission line is at the very start of the game, and your squad only has two heroes: the patriotic Minuteman and the alien psionic Mentor. At the Freedom Fortress, the computer detects an anomaly: Patriot City's central park is frozen over in the middle of July!


This turns out to be the work of the Soviet supervillain Nuclear Winter. True to his name, he has both nukes and ice powers. He's also got an army of Russians with freeze rays at his disposal.


In their first confrontation, he freezes Minuteman and Mentor solid, but thankfully a new hero shows up to save them: the fire-wielding El Diablo. Diablo's fire powers are quite handy to have against Winter and his icy minions, but you have to be kind of careful with him since he's weak against ice, has bad aim, and runs out of energy easily. Later, the three rescue and team up with a fourth hero, the heavily armored Man-Bot. They also learn of Winter's secret plot: He's stolen a nuclear bomb from an aircraft carrier, and threatens to detonate it!


During the boss fight against Comrade Winter, he activates the bomb, and in 60 seconds it will explode for an instant game over. Minuteman can disarm it, but you'll need to use the other heroes to keep Winter and his minions off his back as he does so. Winter himself can confuse your heroes with a snowstorm, freeze them solid, and create a shield of ice around himself. He's not too tough, and Diablo's flames can melt him in no time.


He also has a very cheesy theme song.

18 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:05:15)

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Day 17: Flash Man's Stage (Mega Man 2)

A series as long-running as Mega Man has lots of different ice levels to pick from. Why Flash Man, you ask? Well, I've visited other ice based Robot Masters in the past, and here I've decided to branch out a bit.


Flash Man's stage is an icy fortress with lots of slippery floors and branching pathways. It also has some walls you can destroy with Crash Bombs to unlock additional routes. It's not too difficult as far as Mega Man stages go, particularly since it doesn't have any spike traps or death pits.


The enemies are mostly Sniper Joes piloting huge mechs, like in the above picture. These are annoying, but you can avoid a lot of them by taking a path above. This requires standing on some slippery ice block platforms, so it may be difficult to do.


Flash Man himself isn't ice based, but can freeze you with his Time Stopper. He's pretty weak, but the floor in here is also slippery so you need to be a bit careful. If you have the Metal Blades, you've pretty much won the fight already, like with half the bosses in this game. After you beat him, you gain the Time Stopper yourself. It does exactly what it says, but constantly drains your ammo while active, can't be deactivated once used, and you can't use other weapons while using it. It can still come in quite handy, though.

The stage's music is quite catchy too.

19 (edited by Mezzopiano 2015-03-02 22:05:55)

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Day 18: Coldfront (Team Fortress 2)

Team Fortress 2 is one of the most well-known class-based first person shooters out there. Or, if you prefer, war-themed hat simulators. Special thanks to Tangent for not just suggesting this to me, but also appearing in it himself.


He also gave me a spare Spy-cicle. This is a replacement for the Spy's knife that freezes its victims solid.


It melts if you're hit by fire, but it also gives you 2 seconds of immunity when doing so, allowing you to sneak back into the shadows. Unfortunately, I'm a bad Spy. A really, really bad Spy. Still, I guess this was good practice since I don't play the class much.


The map itself has both indoor and outdoor areas, with the outdoor portion taking place in a raging blizzard. It's a 5CP style map: there are five capture points, and when one team owns all five, they win. The center one is right inside that ruined cabin up there, while the other four are in the teams' bases. Each team will need to push forward and claim more territory in order to reach the enemy base, while also stopping the enemies from capturing their own points.


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Day 19: Icicle Mountain (Super Smash Bros. Melee)

Would you believe that neither the Wii U nor the 3DS version of Smash 4 has an ice level? It's outrageous. Thankfully, there are still some in previous Smash games.


Icicle Mountain is the home stage of the Ice Climbers. It scrolls vertically and features dozens of different platform layouts, plus some breakable ice blocks. The scroll speed varies over time, and can be hard to keep up with, especially if you don't have good recovery. It also appears in Adventure Mode. It's mostly the same, but now you have to climb upward and there will be Topis and polar bears attacking you. At the top, you fight two pairs of Ice Climbers.

Its music is a remix of two themes from the original Ice Climber game, and is also nice.

21 (edited by Mezzopiano 2014-12-21 00:18:38)

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Day 20: Phendrana Drifts (Metroid Prime)

Metroid Prime was the modern reimagining of the classic Metroid series as a first-person shooter. Well, I say "modern", but the game is over a decade old at this point. Ice is important to the Metroid series, as it is the weakness of the Metroids.


After getting through the fiery Magmoor Caverns, Samus arrives in this snowy area. There's lots of snow and ice, and some frosty Chozo ruins around. Like most places Samus visits, the local wildlife is hostile to her.


That's a Baby Sheegoth up there. Its hard shell deflects frontal attacks, but it's vulnerable from behind. The adult version shows up as a midboss later on. There are also Crystallites, which look very similar to Bergmites.


Surprisingly, Samus doesn't find the Ice Beam here; instead, after facing off against the adult Sheegoth, she gets the electric-based Wave Beam. This is quite handy for attacking robotic or energy-based enemies, and homes in on enemies too. After getting that, she heads further into the icy ruins, and discovers a Space Pirate base in the area. Storming the base grants Samus the Thermal Visor, which allows her to track heat signatures. This doesn't seem like it'd be useful in a cold area, but it actually comes in quite handy, particularly since the lights go out as soon as she picks it up.

Once she escapes the darkened Pirate base, she can head to the boss, a rock monster named Thardus.


To defeat it, you first have to search for its Phazon-infused core with the Thermal Visor, then shoot at it to reveal it to the standard visor.

Later in the game, you come back here and venture into the depths of Phendrana to find the Gravity Suit, an upgrade for Samus' armor that allows free movement in water. Still later, you can come back after you've picked up the heat-based Plasma Beam to melt the ice and claim a lot of hidden pickups.

The music for the area is quite soothing, while the Phendrana Depths has a more intense version.


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Day 21: SnowHorn Wastes (Star Fox Adventures)

Star Fox Adventures is kind of an oddity in the Star Fox series. Originally developed as a standalone game called Dinosaur Planet, it was moved into the Star Fox universe after its protagonist's resemblance to Fox was noticed. Rather than being about space combat, it's an action-adventure game in which Fox gains use of a magical staff, and plays much more like a Zelda game than a Star Fox game.

Shortly after landing on Dinosaur Planet, Fox is informed that Prince Tricky of the EarthWalker dinosaur tribe has been kidnapped by the evil SharpClaw tribe and taken to a place called Ice Mountain. Fox gets a friendly golem to warp him to the mountain's summit, and there he finds Tricky being harassed by a pair of SharpClaws. Tricky runs away and the SharpClaw pursue on hoverbikes, forcing Fox to follow on a spare hoverbike. After winning the hoverbike race, Fox lands in the SnowHorn Wastes, and Tricky decides to join him.


The Wastes are home to the SnowHorn tribe of woolly mammoths. What are mammoths doing on a dinosaur planet, you ask? I have absolutely no idea.  Fox helps a few of them out on his way back to return Tricky to his home.

Later, you have to come back here to rescue Garunda Te, the leader of the SnowHorns.


He tells you that General Scales, leader of the SharpClaws, has enslaved his people in DarkIce Mines, then opens a portal that Fox can fly through with his Arwing to reach there. The mines are an area very similar to the Wastes, with lots of snow around.


One of the SnowHorns here can teach Tricky how to breathe fire. It's not really clear how he's able to do this at all.
Regardless, it's a large help for this area, since it allows Tricky to set fire to things and melt ice.


You also get to ride a SnowHorn through a raging blizzard at one point. Later, you head to the interior of the mines, which is mostly lava but has a few icy cavern areas. At the end, you meet the boss Galdon, a dragon-ish creature that can swallow Fox whole. After killing it, Fox frees the SnowHorn people from their enslavement.

Lots of music today. SnowHorn Wastes has its own theme, while DarkIce Mines has day and night themes. There's also the SnowHorn riding theme.


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Day 22: Kaldir (Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm)

Starcraft is considered to be one of the all-time classics of the Real Time Strategy genre. It is also not Warcraft in space. Sort of. Wings of Liberty, the first part of the Starcraft II trilogy, doesn't have an ice level, but thankfully the second part does.

At the end of Liberty, Sarah Kerrigan, former Queen of Blades, ruler of the Zerg Swarm, and self-titled Queen Bitch of the Universe regains part of her humanity, but still has the ability to control Zerg. In Heart of the Swarm, she uses this ability to recover the scattered broods of the Swarm into a full army. Her search for the broods brings her to the frozen moon of Kaldir.


This was once the home of a broodmother named Nafash, who is now dead. The moon is often visited by flash-freeze storms that freeze everything solid, including your units.


By absorbing DNA from the local lifeforms, Kerrigan can make her Zerg resistant to cold and unaffected by the flash-freezes. Lego Genetics at its finest, people. There is also a Protoss presence on the planet. When they detect Kerrigan, they attempt to contact their homeworld, and you have to stop them from accomplishing this. The flash-freezes now become very helpful, as they freeze the Protoss while your Zerg are immune.


In the next mission, the flash-freezes are gone and Kerrigan now has to intercept shuttles that are attempting to warp away. The shuttles are defenseless but often accompanied by flying units, making Hydralisks very helpful here.


After completing this, the main Protoss vessel attempts to leave the planet. Kerrigan places a single larva on board, and it grows into a broodmother that infests the entire ship. The Protoss homeworld is not contacted and Kerrigan is safe... for now.


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Day 23: Old Odyssey (Kirby Triple Deluxe)

This one should be familiar to anyone who's been following my Triple Deluxe based arc IRP. Old Odyssey starts out as a rocky mountain area, but the further you go in the snowier it becomes.


By the time you reach the fifth stage, it's all icy. There are some slippery ice floors here, plus ice blocks you can break with a fire-based ability.


At the end of stage 5, you get to use the Hypernova ability to inhale icy mist clouding your path, and you can return some lost snowman heads to their bodies. It also has a reference to The Three Little Pigs, of all things. You run into a Waddle Dee hiding in a straw hut, then one in a stick hut. Kirby can inhale both easily, but then the Waddle Dees hide in a metal tower that you have to destroy by inhaling the missiles it launches at you and spitting them at its vulnerable support columns.

The end boss of the area is Kirby series mainstay Kracko.


Despite the snowy environment, he uses rain and lightning attacks. He's also a fair bit tougher than most prior versions, but with enough persistence you can win.

Music time~ Silver Snow Story is an icy remix of Super Star's Peanut Plains, while Cold Odyssey is the theme for stage 5.


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Day 24: Icecrown Glacier (Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne)

Warcraft is the other famous Real Time Strategy franchise made by Blizzard. While the RTS games are mostly overshadowed by World of Warcraft now, they were all quite major before then. Warcraft III differentiates itself from Starcraft with the introduction of RPG elements; namely, hero units that could level up and use items.


The Undead faction's Lich hero specializes in ice magic, and can cast Frost Novas to bring the chill of death to his enemies.


There's also the Frost Wyrm unit, a powerful undead dragon with chilling breath. These guys can freeze enemy buildings solid, preventing them from being used. The Undead as a whole prefer ice magic, as a counterpart to Humans' fire, Orcs' lightning, and Night Elves' nature.


The Icecrown Glacier is important to them in the storyline too. The Undead Scourge is ruled by the Lich King, a spirit sealed in a block of ice known as the Frozen Throne. Near the end of the expansion of the same name, the Night Elf turned demon Illidan Stormrage advances on the throne in an attempt to destroy it. The Lich King calls upon his champion death knight, Arthas, to defend it.


After a harrowingly difficult final mission, Arthas strikes Illidan down and returns to the Lich King's side. Then, he shatters the Frozen Throne, becoming the new Lich King.