Ice Climber: Wikis


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Ice Climber
North American cover for the NES version
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Kenji Miki
Composer(s) Akito Nakatsuka
Platform(s) NES, PC-88, Sharp X1, Arcade, FDS, Game Boy Advance, e-Reader, Virtual Console
Release date(s) NES
JP January 30, 1985
NA October 18, 1985
EU September 1, 1986
Virtual Console
NA January 15, 2007
JP January 16, 2007
EU March 16, 2007
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single-player, Two-player simultaneously
Rating(s) ESRB: E (Everyone) (Wii)
Input methods Joystick (8-way); 2 buttons
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system VS. UniSystem

Ice Climber (アイスクライマー Aisu Kuraimā?) is a vertical platformer developed and published by Nintendo. The game was released on multiple platforms between 1985 and 2007. The game revolves around the characters Popo (ポポ) and Nana (ナナ), collectively known as the Ice Climbers, venturing up 32 ice-covered mountains to recover stolen vegetables from a giant condor.

In 1988, a slightly different and lesser known version was released as part of the arcade Vs. Series called Vs. Ice Climber. In some countries of Europe, the console game was bundled with the NES, increasing the game's familiarity outside Japan.



Popo scales Mountain 1 surrounded by Toppies and a Nitpicker.

The first player controls Popo, a boy wearing a blue Eskimo parka, while the second player controls Nana, a girl wearing a pink Eskimo parka. 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.[1] At the top of the peak, the condor flies overhead.

Enemies encountered on the way up the mountains include the Topi, Nitpicker, and polar bear. Toppies come in two varieties: the seal featured in the Japanese release of Ice Climber and the small beaked yeti seen in western version. Toppies 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 polar 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. The arcade game Vs. Ice Climber includes a purple bee with a spear as a rare fourth enemy. After a few successful mountains climbed, all enemies' speeds increase.

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 compete for the top.


Ice Climber is one of two games directed by longtime Nintendo producer Kenji Miki (The other game being NES Open Tournament Golf).[2] It is also the first video game programmed by Kazuaki Morita. He considered the game his "warm-up" on the NES before his work as a main programmer on Super Mario Bros.[3] Morita was later credited with central programming roles in numerous games including the Super Mario Bros. series, The Legend of Zelda series, and Star Fox 64.[4]


Ice Climber, a launch title for the NES in North America, has been released numerous times. Note that Vs. Ice Climber is not a true port, since it includes elements not found in the original game, such as an animated title screen, stage select menu, blizzard and wind effects, new enemies, and bonus multiplier items. For the release on the PC-8801, the game changes to a different and more limited color palette along with a reworked HUD.[5] Including the releases listed below, the entire NES game is found within the 2001 Nintendo 64 release of Animal Forest and the 2002 GameCube release of Animal Crossing.[6]

Name Date Platform Notes
Ice Climber[7] 1985 NES/Famicom
Ice Climber 1985 NEC PC-8801 Published by Hudson Soft
Vs. Ice Climber[8] 1988 Arcade Nintendo Vs. Series
Ice Climber[9] 1988 Famicom Disk System Port of Vs. Ice Climber
Ice Climber-e[10] 2002 e-Reader Barcoded cards, readable with e-Reader and Game Boy Advance.
Ice Climber[11] 2004 Game Boy Advance Classic NES Series
Ice Climber[12] 2007 Wii Virtual Console

Cameo appearances


Super Smash Bros. series

The Ice Climbers, as they appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

The Ice Climbers, voiced by Sanae Kobayashi,[13] appear as playable fighters in the Super Smash Bros. series. Their symbol is an eggplant, the first vegetable rescued from the original game. Although they are collectively the same fighter, players only control Popo while Nana mimics his every move, and vice-versa if the player switches the costume and the character.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Ice Climbers appear alongside polar bears and Toppies in Adventure Mode. The seal and yeti Topi respectively appear in the Japanese and Western version of the game. Popo and Nana's stage is "Icicle Mountain," a level partially influenced by the mountains of Ice Climber. However, their target test stage is a direct, 2.5D representation of NES-style graphics. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Ice Climbers return with a different stage. "The Summit" recreates the bonus level mountain peak right down to the original vegetables.[14] Enemies from the NES title appearing in Brawl include the polar bear and condor. Along with these new Ice Climber elements, a demo of the original 1985 game appears along with other Virtual Console titles as a part of the "Masterpieces" collection.[15]

Other references

Themes and imagery from Ice Climber regularly appear in the WarioWare series' classic Nintendo microgames. In Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land & Kirby Air Ride, when Kirby gets the Freeze ability, he dons Popo's parka in the same manner it is worn in the Super Smash Bros. series.[16] In Tetris DS, an Ice Climber backdrop makes an appearance among other classic Nintendo games. Topi seals remain, even outside of Japan.[17] Daigasso! Band Brothers, a DJ music game for the Nintendo DS, includes the bonus stage music theme.[18]


  1. ^ Ice Climber, Nintendo, 1985, Instruction manual 
  2. ^ "Kenji Miki". IMDB. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Inside Zelda Part 9". Zelda Universe. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  4. ^ "Kazuaki Morita". IMDB. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  5. ^ "NEC PC-8801 Games". Strange and Wonderful. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  6. ^ Schneider, Peer (September 11, 2001). "Inside Animal Forest Part VII (GameCube, N64)". IGN. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  7. ^ "Ice Climber". GameFaqs. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Vs. Ice Climber". GameFaqs. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  9. ^ "Ice Climber". GameFaqs. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  10. ^ "Ice Climber". Game Faqs. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  11. ^ "Ice Climber". GameFaqs. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  12. ^ "Ice Climber". GameFaqs. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  13. ^ "Sanae KOBAYASHI". Anime News Network. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  14. ^ "Summit". Super Smash Bros. DOJO!!. October 31, 2007. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  15. ^ "Masterpieces". Smash Bros. DOJO!!. January 25, 2008. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  16. ^ "'Ice Climber'". NinDB. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  17. ^ "Tetris DS". Nintendo. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  18. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (December 10, 2004). "Daigasso! Band Brothers Import Hands-On". Gamespot. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 

External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Ice Climber
Box artwork for Ice Climber.
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Japanese title アイスクライマー
Release date(s)
 October, 1985
Wii Virtual Console
Genre(s) Action
System(s) NES, Game Boy Advance, e-Reader, Wii Virtual Console
Players 1-2
CERO: All ages
ESRB: Everyone
PEGI: Ages 3+
OFLC: General
Title screen.

Ice Climber is a later first generation Nintendo game released for the Famicom. It was the fifth best selling Famicom game released in 1985, selling approximately 1,000,000 copies in it's lifetime. It arrived in the U.S. as one of the launch titles for the NES. In Ice Climber, the player must use his or her hammer to chip away at the ceiling above and rise up to higher and higher levels of the mountain until he or she reaches the bonus round at the top. It isn't actually necessary to clear the bonus round and reach the very top of the mountain, but many bonus points are awarded for the accomplishment.

Ice Climber was altered for release in the United States. The original Japanese version featured an enemy in the form of a seal. Since the player's main form of defense is the hammer, Nintendo of America changed the seal to the form of a small abominable snowman in order to avoid appearing to condone animal cruelty and offending parents who were sensitive to the clubbing of seals, which was a controversial topic at the time of the game's release.

Ice Climber was brought back out of obscurity when Nintendo included the ice climbing duo in the GameCube version of Super Smash Bros. Melee. Long before this, it was released in the arcades as part of Nintendo's Vs. arcade series, entitled Vs. Ice Climber where it featured additional elements such as gusts of wind. Ice Climber was later released on the Game Boy Advance as part of the e-Reader card series, and then once again as part of the Famicom Mini and Classic NES series. It is also featured as one of the backdrop themes for the Standard mode in Tetris DS.


Ice climbing duo Popo and Nana are attempting to climb an ice covered mountain and recover their stolen vegetables from the giant condor that has stashed them at the peak. They must use their hammers to create openings in the ice layers over head, and to combat enemies.

Table of Contents

Gameplay summary

  • You control the player with the control pad. Press A to jump up and smash anything overhead, and press B to slam your hammer on the ground.
  • Avoid touching seals (or snowmen), birds, or icicles.
  • You must reach the bonus round in order to advance to the next stage. You do not need to complete the bonus round to advance.
  • Use your hammer to create openings in the layers of ice above, or to hit enemies away from you.
  • If a seal (or snowman) encounters a hole in the ice, it will attempt to close the gap with more ice.
  • Some ice is unbreakable. Other patches of ice force the climber to slide in a particular direction.
  • In the bonus rounds, collect as many vegetables as possible, and reach the top. Jump in to the Condor's claws within 40 seconds to receive a bonus.


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Ice Climber
EU gba box art
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date

January 30 1985 (JP)
October 1985 (US)
September 1 1986 (EU)
February 14, 2004 (JP)
June 2, 2004 (US)
July 9, 2004 (EU)

Genre Action, 2D Platformer
Mode(s) Single player, 2 players simultaneous
Age rating(s) Original: N/A</br>

Remakes: ESRB: E, PEGI: 3+, CERO: A

Platform(s) Arcade, Game Boy Advance, NES, Wii
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Ice Climber is a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The goal of the game is to get the Ice Climber up to the peak of the mountain where the Condor is. Along the way you have to jump on blocks and clouds while avoiding Topi, Nitpickers, and Polar Bears. Popo is the character in single player. He is a boy in a blue parka using a hammer. The multiplayer mode is a race to the top.

na gba box

Although Ice Climber does not have a sequel, it has been re-released multiple times, including as a set for the e-Reader, on the Game Boy Advance, one of the minigames in Animal Crossing, and on the Virtual Console.

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This article uses material from the "Ice Climber" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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