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!