Famicom Ice Climber
Used Nintendo Famicom (Japanese NES) game
Game language is English.
Cartridge only. Tested, works. In rather poor condition, some discoloration. Rear label is damaged. Please refer to pictures for details of condition and contents.
Genre: 2D platform
Ice Climber (アイスクライマー Aisu Kuraimā) is a vertical platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Family Computer in Japan and the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in 1985. In Ice Climber, the characters Popo (ポポ) and Nana (ナナ), collectively known as the Ice Climbers, venture up 32 ice-covered mountains to recover stolen vegetables from a giant condor. In some European countries, the NES console was sold bundled with the game, increasing Ice Climber's familiarity outside Japan.
An alternate version was released in the arcades as part of the Vs. series, known as Vs. Ice Climber (VSアイスクライマー VS Aisu Kuraimā). It includes gameplay features not found in the home console release, such as an animated title screen, a stage select menu which appears at the start of the game and after completing each level, 16 additional mountains, occasional blizzard and wind effects, more enemy characters, and bonus multiplier items.
The inclusion of Nana and Popo as playable characters in the 2001 GameCubetitle Super Smash Bros. Melee brought the game renewed attention. Nintendo released a version of the game for the Nintendo e-Reader in 2002.
The first player controls Popo, a boy wearing a blue Eskimo parka, while the second player controls Nana, a girl wearing a pink one. The only tool they carry is a wooden mallet to carve openings in the ice above and to club enemies. Each mountain level consists of eight layers of colorful ice and a bonus stage. Standard, dull ice blocks pose no threat other than an easily disposed-of barrier and platform. Square ice blocks with higher detail are indestructible, forcing the player to take another path. Hatched ice acts as a conveyor belt sliding the Eskimo either left or right. Finally, many mountains include unbreakable moving platforms resembling clouds. The bonus stage takes place at the peak. Within a 40-second time limit and no enemies, the Ice Climbers often face trickier jumps and multiple moving platforms. The peak is also the only place to recover stolen vegetables, most notably eggplants. Collecting just one piece of corn from the fifth bonus stage is the only way to gain an extra life. At the top of the peak, the Condor (コンドル) flies overhead.
Enemies encountered on the way up the mountains include the Topi (トッピー), Nitpicker (ニットピッカー), and White Bear (ホワイトベア). Topis come in two varieties: the blue seal featured in the Japanese Famicom Ice Climber release, and the short yeti seen in Western versions and Vs. Ice Climber. Topis have the ability to fill in holes in the floor with ice. To do this, a Topi scouts out opening in the floor, runs back to its cave, and reemerges pushing an icicle to fill in two blocks. This process repeats until no more openings on their layer of ice exist. The Nitpicker is a small, mountain-dwelling bird that swoops down from icy caves on the levels' edges. Unlike the Topi, which is confined to one floor of the mountain, Nitpickers can cross over multiple ice layers. Taking them into account along with moving platforms and sliding ice, timing jumps can be more difficult. The final enemy is the bipedal White Bear. This enemy, wearing sunglasses and pink shorts, appears on screen only when Popo and Nana take too long to advance. Pounding the ice, the Polar Bear forces the screen to move up. If an Eskimo is forced off the screen, the player loses a life. Other obstacles include deadly falling icicles. These can form on the bottom of any type of platform. After a few successful mountains climbed, all enemies' speeds increase.
The arcade game Vs. Ice Climber has a few more gameplay differences. The player must pick from an initial set of 24 mountains to conquer. After eight are cleared, a Super Bonus stage occurs in which the player must reach a high platform. Afterwards, the player must choose from the second set of 24 mountains, in which the Condor is replaced by a giant butterfly. After the next eight stages are cleared and the Super Bonus is over, the player resumes the cycle from the original mountain set. The game keeps track of whether the mountain was claimed by an Ice Climber or if it remains Topi territory—once all the stages are completed, the counter resets. Approximately 30 of the 48 level designs are borrowed from the NES game. Stage setups are generally trickier in Vs. Ice Climber, with some new mechanics such as cloud platforms that move diagonal or strong gusts of wind. In addition, a purple beewith a spear flying in a horizontal pattern is included as a somewhat rare fourth enemy.
After the bonus stage, the players' scores are tallied. Points are rewarded for every brick of ice destroyed, every Topi-pushed icicle smashed, every Nitpicker killed and every vegetable collected. Finally, a bonus score is rewarded if a player manages to climb to the top of the bonus stage and jump up and grab the Condor. The game keeps track of the high score, although there is no way to save it on the NES version.
The game can be played in one or two-player mode. The latter places Popo and Nana against each other in a race to the summit. Players may prefer to play cooperatively on the way up, but during the bonus round, they must compete for the top.