DAY 12! DAY 12! DAY 12! Yes, it’s finally here! Day 12 of Obligatory Ice Level Day! The Mario marathon is on December 14th, when we’ll be raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation! Tune in for some awesome games and sweet prizes, like handmade wooden item blocks and a Wii U Deluxe! C’mon, don’t wait! Get the word out! This marathon’s bound to be a classic! It’ll be something people talk about for some time to come. So we need to bring out the big guns for this one. That’s why today’s ice level is Cool, Cool Mountain, from Mario 64!
WHO’S READY FOR THE MARATHON? You know I am! The OILD ’11 Facebook page is still up! And let’s not forget our fine friends over at Fantasy Kingdoms! Have you all collected the items I made yet? Anyway, today’s level is from a game well-loved by Starmen.net and Fangamer. It’s Snowcap Mountain, from Mother 3!
And now for some madness. Pure, undiluted madness. See, the good cheer of season makes me happy. So happy that I could get incoherent at times (as if any of my ideas are coherent anyway)! So it’s only fitting that I talk about one of the craziest levels in the one of the craziest games ever. It’s the Yeti’s Lair, from Metal Slug 3!
MERRY OBLIGATORY ICE LEVEL DAY!! Did you get anything good? Were your friends and family happy to get gifts from you? Did you spread tons of cheer? GREAT! Today’s the final OILD post, so you know the stage has to be huge. It’s from a game widely considered to be one of the best of all time. That’s right! It’s Ice Land, from Super Mario Bros. 3!
YES! Ice Land! This isn’t just one stage. It’s a whole icy world! In fact, it’s the biggest world in Mario 3.
This was the first time I saw a game have icy blocks that could be melted. In this case, grabbing a Fire Flower and shooting fireballs at the blocks could clear a path or even thaw out some coins. Sometimes this would be helpful, but other times you needed to stand on those blocks. Needless to say, you slid around when walking on these. There were also throwable frozen blocks, which you could use against enemies. However, creatures called Buster Beetles could just as easily pick them up and lob them in your direction. Ice Land is also home to little monsters called Spikes, which are among my favorite Mario enemies. Spikes are little shelled creatures that could inexplicably spit out spiked spheres, hence the name.
Ice Land made good use of the slippery ice platforms. A few stages placed them high above bottomless pits, forcing you to get the hang of walking on them. One fortress is nothing but ice, so there was no avoiding it. Another level placed not only coins inside the ice, but invincible Muncher plant enemies. You may be shocked to hear this, but you don’t want to thaw them out and jump into their mouths.
This land has been taken over by my favorite Koopaling: the googly-eyed “Clown Prince of Koopas,” Lemmy Koopa. Having stolen Ice Land’s king’s magic wand and turned him into a seal, Lemmy flew off in his blue airship. The ship itself isn’t difficult to board, but the battle against Lemmy himself is a bit strange. He balances on top of a big rubber ball, and bounces other rubber balls around the room. You can bounce off of these if you want, but make sure to avoid the magical blasts from the stolen wand. After defeating Lemmy, you were able to use the wand to restore the king. I always thought the king’s real form looked kind of like a cat with a mustache, so I’m not sure why being a seal interfered with his ability to rule the country, but whatever. At least you get another step closer to defeating Bowser!
The final wallpaper! Raccoon Mario flies over Ice Land. Get the full version here!
And of course we have music! Ice Land’s map screen is very repetitive though. How about Snow Road, Cold Reception in Shiver City, Over Shiver Mountain, from Paper Mario? Oh I know! How about Silent Hill, from Dance Dance Revolution? Is that full of enough corny holiday cheer?
And you know I couldn’t forget a bonus remix! Especially one of the best bonus remixes ever. Super Mario’s Sleigh Ride by the OneUps is very much a holiday remix. It combines a few well-known winter tunes with some famous Mario music! The OneUps are a great group of folks! You should really buy some of their stuff on iTunes, Amazon, or Bandcamp. And hey, buying some downloads would make great surprise gifts for your gamer friends!
Don’t forget to visit the OILD page and download the soundtrack if you haven’t yet! Hey, might as well have these great tracks for next year, right?
Welp, that’s it from me. Thanks for joining me on this confusing and overwhelmingly nerdy journey through ice levels! It’s been great fun showing them to you. And thanks again for promoting, donating to, and watching The Speed Gamers’ marathon! I hope you stick around because 2010 is going to be even better. I want to thank TSG for putting on such a great marathon, Ally’s House for being such a noble charity, Nina Matsumoto (author of Yokaiden vol. 1 and vol. 2) for making those rad wallpapers, Posu Yan, Joshua Morse, and Select Start for making those wonderful remixes for the OILD soundtrack, my brother for playing Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts way too many times, MR. GREG for being the most awesome person in the history of anything ever, and everyone who helped along the way. YOU ROCK! MERRY OBLIGATORY ICE LEVEL DAY TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GREAT EXTRA STAGE!
Now get out of here and spend some time with your loved ones, you paragons of excellence, you!
Ah, Obligatory Ice Level Eve. Such a wonderful time of year. Surely tonight you’ll be dreaming of what awesome presents you’ll get tomorrow, right? Or even better, what awesome presents you’ll give tomorrow. Today I’m going to talk about an unusual stage. It’s Christmas NiGHTS!
Christmas NiGHTS, the stage that thinks it’s a game. Or is it a game that thinks it’s a stage? Either way, this is a pretty special little ice level. This was a special version of NiGHTS: Into Dreams… that was given away by certain game magazines.
In this stage, the Elliot and Claris (the two children from the main game) team up with NiGHTS and journey to the dreamland of Nightopia to find a star that normally sits upon their favorite Christmas tree. This stage is actually based on the “Spring Valley” stage from the main game, but now it’s been given a holiday makeover.
Unlike the full NiGHTS game, it was only one level, but it had many fun features. Specifically, it used the Sega Saturn’s clock and changed elements of the stage depending on the date. Normally the title screen says “NiGHTS: Limited Edition,” but in November and January, it changes to “Winter NiGHTS.” During this time, the green landscape becomes cold and snowy. In December, the game becomes “Christmas NiGHTS.” This is when the real fun begins, because the stage goes into full-blown holiday mode. Christmas trees decorate the stage, the Nightopian creatures dress as elves, and item boxes turn into presents! The music even takes on a holiday tone. NiGHTS himself also dresses for the occasion, replacing his usual purple outfit with a red and white one. From November to January, the weather will also change according to the hour. It’s such a weird, fun idea to have an action game change with the seasons like this. I wish more games did it!
Today’s wallpaper! NiGHTS and the Nightopians fly during the holidays. Get the full version here!
Oh but here’s more! Others have gotten into the OILD spirit! Check out this sweet Ninja Gaiden picture by Chuckmingus, and this cute Okami picture by Ninjaliz-chan! Thanks to both of you for posting these!
And some music for this nice Ice Level Eve! Christmas in Nightopia is really just a version of Jingle Bells, but it’s still cute, isn’t it? Gillwing’s Christmas Theme plays if you fight the boss Gillwing while the game’s in Christmas NiGHTS mode, and is a holiday version of the monster’s theme. Dreams, Dreams – A Cappella is a slow, sweet version of Dreams, Dreams, which is the main theme of the NiGHTS games. Dreams, Dreams ~Sweet Snow~ is actually from NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, but it plays during a snowy scene and has a wintery sound to it.
And our remix for today: MerryLittleChristmas is a lovely remix of Dreams, Dreams, and it’s by Dale North. It really is a beautiful arrangement. Every year I play this and I usually get a few people asking where it’s from.
Well, tomorrow’s Obligatory Ice Level Day, and the final OILD post of the year. Hmm, I wonder what it will be? Anyway, hopefully you had fun with this silly fake holiday. I sure had fun sharing it with you! Thanks to The Speed Gamers for hosting this madness and for the awesome Pokemon marathon! Thanks to Posu Yan, Joshua Morse, and Select Start for making the wonderful OILD album! And thanks to YOU for supporting Ally’s House and making this marathon one of the best yet!
OH YEAH BABY!! I’ve gotten almost no sleep in the past 72 hours. There were lots of highs, lots of lows, but as you know by now, the goal was reached! All 493 caught, more than enough money raised, and tons of fun had. You helped out a great cause, and because of that I’m making one of my biggest Obligatory Ice Level Day posts of the month. You knew this was coming… it’s Ice Cap Zone, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3!!
You’d be hard pressed to find a more famous ice level. Act I starts off with Sonic snowboarding down a giant hill before crashing into an icy cave. Inside the cave is a series of steep slopes that will repeat from now until the end of time (or at least until the end of the game’s timer) if you don’t hop onto a frozen ledge and allow it to smash through a few icy barriers. Killer icicles rule the day in this cave; if they’re not sticking out of the walls, they’re covering the floors. Sometimes you even have let a huge icicle crash into the spiky floor and hop onto it in order to progress. Dr. Robotnik Eggman ROBOTNIK has worked to make this place even more dangerous by installing machines that blow freezing air and building penguin-like badniks. After busting out of the cave you’ll end up on an iceberg, and face off against a robot that uses levitating ice as a shield. Defeating it leads directly into Act II, which starts off in a more open, snowy area. Here you’ll find some shuttle loops that the Sonic series is known for, as well as some springy platforms. Really this Act isn’t as long as the first one. Once you get to the end, you can find Robotnik piloting yet another silly robo-vehicle. It blows cold air that can freeze Sonic, and the spiky weight it pushes out can crush him. However, if you jump on the weight, you can get close enough to hit the machine and destroy it.
Ice Cap Zone wallpaper, oh yes! I couldn’t decide which part to draw, so I drew ALL OF IT (kind of). Get the full version here!
TODAY’S REMIXES: I won’t lie. Ice Cap Zone has been remixed so many times that it’s almost a running gag. Regardless, I like a lot of Ice Cap remixes. So let’s list a ton of them, shall we?
IceCapped by McVaffe is a very gentle remix, with a lot of harp and flute sounds in it. It’s one of the first Ice Cap remixes I ever downloaded and I still love it. IceCap Zone (Frozen Knuckles Mix), by Rayza, starts off with a decidedly bizarre speaking part, but quickly moves into a great mix that stays close to the source material. Ice Attack is by Trance-Canada and is a really nice trance interpretation of the song. Hot Ice is by DarkeSword and is a calmer version with a nice beat, and it also mixes in music from Lava Reef Zone. Snow Motion, by SkyHigh, is a slow version that nevertheless doesn’t drag and is great fun to listen to. Memories Frozen in Time is by DCT and Just Us, and is a rap version about the struggle of following a dream. Eastern Ice Field is by Big Giant Circles and is a uniquely eastern take on the song. Breaking the Ice, by DigiE, is a great electronica version that has a lot of cool synth sounds. Snowboardin’ Sonic is by Willrock and is a lively mix with some fun solos in it. As you can see, you could make a whole playlist of great Ice Cap Zone remixes! I love all of these.
Speaking of which, remember how I said remixing Ice Cap is practically a running gag? Well a few years ago, OC ReMix pulled a hilarious April Fool’s joke with ReCapitated: An Official OverClocked ReMix Tribute Arrangement Album Project. I think by now you can figure out what the gag is. But what made it even funnier was that OCR regulars actually made gag songs for this “project.” All of these remixes are wonderfully terrible, so get a good laugh out of it! Hey, I told you Obligatory Ice Level Day isn’t a serious holiday, didn’t I?
And let’s not forget about my favorite Ice Cap Zone remix: ICE COLD RETRO! It’s by Joshua Morse and was made for our OILD soundtrack. It has a great beat and is tons of fun to listen to! And don’t forget that the soundtrack also has wonderful mixes by Posu Yan and Select Start! Please go download it if you haven’t already. And visit their websites too! Let them know how rad they are for helping out with this event! Those artists deserve some love!
THANKS AGAIN for watching the marathon! You all deserve some love too! Give yourselves a hand, ok?