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This article is about the Ice Climbers' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For other uses, see Ice Climbers.
Ice Climbers
Ice Climbers
File:Ice Climber Icon.gif
First appearance Ice Climber (1985)
Appears in SSBM
SSBB
  

The Ice Climbers, also known as Ice Climber (アイス クライマー, Aisu Kuraimā) in the Japanese versions, the ice-climbing duo from Super Smash Bros. Melee, make a return in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with a significant texture boost to their character models. Although Popo and Nana fight as a duo, only one is directly controlled by the player. The other is computer-controlled, in a manner mimicking the player. In Melee, the player had the option to change the color of the costume and play as Nana, and the option still exists in Brawl, however the Climbers' positions on the character select screen portrait will not change as in Melee, however, the character's stock icon will.

They currently rank 15th on the official tier list, a function of their extensive and intricate grab game that can completely shut down opponents once it begins.


Attributes

The Ice Climbers are lightweight characters that have the unique property of being a "two in one" character, wherein the game considers each Climber to be a unique character in its own right. Because of this, the Ice Climbers are able to grab two different items and are even able to grab two separate characters. In addition, their unique property also makes them much harder to grab (when one Ice Climber gets grabbed, the partner can simply counterattack), and conversely allows them to have a superior grab game entirely unique to them (see "chain-grabbing and dysynching" below). However, they can easily be separated by strong enough attacks. In these scenarios, it is advisable to stick to and protect the partner, even if it puts the player in additional danger. Should the CPU Climber get KOed during the stock, the remaining Climber will have drastically reduced damage output, KO ability, and recovery, with Belay becoming practically useless and Squall Hammer loses a good deal of distance (whereas with both Climbers they are excellent recovery moves).

The Ice Climbers are great at dealing damage when together, have okay attack speed, and possess a few interesting attacks in their arsenal. Their standard special move, Ice Shot, is a projectile fired by each Ice Climber which slides along the ground, making it impossible to avoid by crouching/crawling. Blizzard, the down special, can freeze opponents and even cover both sides if the partner is present, or alternatively can be made to cover one side if performed while jumping with the partner, giving the attack more power. Squall Hammer is a pretty decent advancing move with good priority, damage, and speed, spinning the Icies around each other in a forward-moving hammer attack. If a player is feeling adventurous, the Belay special is a powerful KO move should the second Climber connect with the opponent, but it is generally an ill-advised use of the move given that it separates the Climbers and puts them into a helpless animation.

The Icies aren't very good at using their standard arsenal of attacks for combos, normally speaking. With weak throws, small hammers, and slow aerials in general, the Ice Climbers can usually only manage one or two good hits in close before they need to resort to Ice Shots or Blizzard again. With both Climbers present, KOing generally isn't too much of a problem, although their Smashes are actually better at racking up the damage than at KOing. With all this in mind, they wouldn't seem like the best character choice in the world, if it weren't for the following...

Chaingrabbing and desynching

Many would consider the Ice Climbers to be "the King and Queen of all Chain Grabs" due to the fact that their two-in-one property allows a variety of chain-grab options. For example, the lead Ice Climber can grab onto one opponent and use the forward throw. In the middle of the throw animation, the player can gain control of the CPU Climber, commanding him/her into performing a forward-air spike, while once again bringing the original, player-controlled Climber in for a new grab. Such strings create long and extremely damaging chain grabs capable of being performed at nearly any percent, on nearly any stage. In exchange, the Ice Climbers have a poor grab range that makes starting the chain grab very tough.

For further two-in-one hijinks, it is even possible to "desynch" the CPU partner by confusing it with erratic movement (such as dash-dancing), putting the player in control of both Climbers for as long as they are capable of maintaining it. Once the partner is desynched, the player can have it perform any move while the main Climber is in the middle of one, providing for all sorts of possible attack strategies that can be exceedingly difficult for opponents to escape from (alternating Blizzard, alternating Ice Shot). While desynched, the partner Climber has restrained movement within an invisible box around the main Climber; should he/she be separated or removed from this box, the CPU will take over again.

It should be obvious that such techniques are extremely difficult to perform in combat, even for advanced players, due to the constant string of precise commands required for the Climbers to move/attack as intended. This level of extreme difficulty is what has prevented any seemingly-unfair IC techniques (outside of wobbling in Melee) from seeing competitive bans, especially given that very few professional players main or even use them at tournaments. This lack of appearance has made their tier ranking, and whether or not it should be higher, questionable for the time being. Nevertheless, these techniques are the backbone of playing a good pair of Icies; without them, they aren't particularly great, so it's essential for players who plan on using the Ice Climbers to master them.

Changes from Melee to Brawl

  • Both Ice Climbers can grab on to a ledge at the same time.
  • More attack power. Blizzard is especially buffed if the Ice Climbers are next to the opponent.
  • Can have the same color costume of the blue costume. The white one is almost the same, but the gloves are different colors.
  • If the partner hits another character while executing Belay, the move is still completed.
  • Belay can be a Tether Recovery if the partner grabs a ledge first, then the leader reaches up to the ledge.
  • Lone Ice Climber's Belay gives some slight distance.
  • Partner can Squall Hammer and Belay alone.
  • The Ice Climbers can become separated easier when attacked, but are a bit better by themselves.
  • Squall Hammer now sends off flakes of ice. However, this only happens when both Ice Climbers are present, and is only for show.
  • Their Orange costume was removed.
  • Partner AI is significantly advanced (near level 9) so it does not die as easily.
  • The Freeze glitch no longer works.

Moveset

This assumes you are using a costume that doesn't switch Popo and Nana.

Ground Attacks

Normal

  • Standard Attack - Popo/Nana/the climbers swings his/her/their hammer(s) in front of himself/herself/themselves. Popo, first hit 3%, second hit 4%. Nana, 2% both hits. Total, 2%-11%.
  • Dash Attack - Popo/Nana/the climbers do/does a short jump and swing his/her/their hammer(s) in front of himself/herself/themselves. Popo, 6%. Nana, 4%. Total, 4%-10%.
  • Strong Side - Similar to neutral, but with one hand. Popo, 9%. Nana, 7%. Total, 7%-16%.
  • Strong Up - Popo/Nana/the climbers spin(s) his/her/their hammer(s) over his/her/their head(s), dealing multiple hits. Popo, 6 hits of 1%, then 4%. Nana, 4 hits of 1%, then 3%. Total, 1%-17%.
  • Strong Down - Popo/Nana/the climbers crouch(es) and sweep(s) his/her/their hammer(s) on the ground in front of him/her/them. Popo, 6%. Nana, 4%-5%. Total, 4%-11%.

Smash

  • Side Smash - Lift hammers over head, then smash straight down. Leader, 12%-13% uncharged, 16%-18% fully charged. Partner, 9%-10% uncharged, 13%-14% fully charged. Total, 9%-23% uncharged, 13%-32% fully charged
  • Up Smash - Swing hammers upwards. Leader, 11% uncharged, 15% fully charged. Partner, 9% uncharged, 13% fully charged. Total, 9%-20% uncharged, 13%-28% fully charged.
  • Down Smash - Sweep hammers on the ground all the way around themselves. Because the back swipes' hitboxes extend a bit in front of the climbers and the back and forward swipes are two separate hits, this attack inflicts huge damage if the target is at close range and both climbers are present, making it ideal for Home-run Contest. Leader, 12% uncharged, 16% fully charged (-2% if facing opponent at close range). Partner, 8% uncharged, 12% fully charged (strangely, +1% to the back swipe). Total, 8%-41% uncharged, 11%-56% fully charged.

Other

  • Ledge Attack - Climbs up ledge and swings hammer(s) over their heads. 8% each hit. Total, 8%-16%.
  • 100% Ledge Attack - Climbs up ledge slowly, then swings hammer(s) over their heads. 10% each hit. Total, 10%-20%.
  • Floor Attack - Popo/Nana/they quickly get(s) up and hammer in both directions. This is surprisingly similar to their Down Smash, in that the back swipes' hitboxes extend a bit in front of them, and the back and forward swipes are two separate hits, making it shockingly powerful at close range (assuming both climbers fell and are in the same position). 6% each hit. Total, 6%-24%.
  • Trip Attack - Popo/Nana/they quickly get(s) up and spin(s) around with his/her/their hammer(s) extended. This is surprisingly similar to their Down Smash, in that the back swipes' hitboxes extend a bit in front of them, and the back and forward swipes are two separate hits, making it shockingly powerful at close range (assuming both climbers tripped and are in the same position). 5% each hit. Total, 5%-20%.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral Aerial - The Ice Climbers swing in a circle with hammers outstretched. Leader, 7%. Partner, 5%. Total, 5%-12%.
  • Forward Aerial - The Ice Climbers lift their hammers over head then swing forward, like their side smash. If the partner hits (regardless whether Nana or Popo is the partner), the attack will be a meteor smash if placed correctly. Leader, 12%. Partner, 7%. Total, 7%-19%.
  • Back Aerial - Swing hammers behind themselves. Leader, 11%. Partner, 8%. Total, 8%-19%.
  • Up Aerial - Stick hammers above their head. Leader, 10% when it first comes out, 7% during the rest of the attack. Partner, 7% when it first comes out, 5% during the rest of the attack. Total, 5%-17%.
  • Down Aerial - A Stall-Then-Fall. Accelerate fall with hammers below themselves. Stall almost unnoticeable. Leader, 8%. Partner, 5%. Total, 5%-13%.

Grabs & Throws

  • Pummel - Headbutt. 1% per hit.
  • Forward Throw - Hit with hammer. If you walk slightly forward with the partner climber (see below) before using, he/she can grab the enemy again RIGHT after you use the attack, making this a chain grab. If used near the edge and combined with your partner using a short hop then Forward Air, it can kill at 50%. 8%.
  • Back Throw - Spin around and hit with hammer. The player can use the other Ice Climber to turn around and regrab the enemy much in the fashion of the chain grab with the Forward Throw. This does not cause movement of the Ice Climbers like the latter chain grab as the enemy is thrown back and forth between the Ice Climbers. 6%.
  • Up Throw - Throw upwards then smash with hammer. 6%.
  • Down Throw - Spike on ground. Is another chain grab, but you don't need both climbers to execute this one. With both climbers present the other Climber can quickly grab the enemy as they bounce off the ground which will last as long as the player can manage unlike the other chain grab with Down Throw which breaks after certain percents. 6%.

The Ice Climbers have many infinite chain grabs with their Forward Throw, Back Throw and Down Throw however these do not receive the attention of other infinite techniques due to the high difficulty of using them and the different timing required for every character and percent per character.

One unique thing about the Ice Climbers is that while one Ice Climber grabs the opponent, the other can use any move in his entire moveset to attack. And if the partner grabs the opponent and the leader's shield is broken during the grab, the partner is actually played as the leader recovers, though walking distance is limited.

Taunts

Up: They set down their hammers and jump up and down. They do the same when they reach the mountain top in SSE and when they make it to the top of a mountain in the original game.

Side: They will point their hammers diagonally upward shout "Yuh!", as wind blows behind them (same as in Melee, only with different sound effects).

Down: They dance in a circle.

Special Moves

Ice Climber's Special Moves
Standard Special Move Ice Shot
Side Special Move Squall Hammer
Up Special Move Belay
Down Special Move Blizzard
Final Smash Iceberg

Event Matches

Event 11: Yoshi's Rainbow - As the Ice Climbers, KO six Yoshis in the order red, pink, yellow, green, pale blue, blue.

Event 34: All-Star Battle Melee - The Ice Climbers are one of the eight opponents you must fight from Super Smash Bros. Melee that return for Brawl.

Co-Op Event 10: The R.O.B.'s of Tomorrow - Teamed with Lucario, KO R.O.B.s of increasing size.

Role In the Subspace Emissary

File:Subspace iceclimbers.PNG
The Ice Climbers were first seen climbing up the mountain together, possibly in pursuit of the Halberd or they were just climbing being climber. When Meta Knight passed them going up the mountain, the Ice Climbers took it as a challenge and jumped up the mountain with Meta Knight. Once they reached the top, the Ice Climbers celebrated with their "victory" for getting up the mountain first, until they and Meta Knight found Lucario, who was looking for a fight with Meta Knight, so the Ice Climbers watch from the side nervously. After the fight, the Halberd crashes the Great Fox into the mountain. Although Meta Knight and Lucario managed to board the Halberd, the Ice Climbers (ironically) are thrown back to the ground towards Marth, Lucas, Pokémon Trainer, and Ike. After facing some more Subspace Army troopers, the Ice Climbers teamed up with the other heroes as they journeyed into Subspace and helped them battle Tabuu.

Costume Gallery


Trivia

  • Along with Pokémon Trainer, Diddy Kong, and Jigglypuff, the Ice Climbers are one of the only characters to have a unique "Defeated/No Contest" pose different from the traditional hand clapping, with their head down while rubbing their eyes. This pose is a reference to the one they make in Ice Climber after failing in a bonus level.
  • The Ice Climbers' White, Black/Gray, and Red/Light Blue costumes have Nana as the leader, although it is impossible to tell from their character selection picture (excluding the Red/Light Blue costume).
  • When the leader of a CPU is Star KO'd while the partner remains on ground stage, the partner will taunt before disappearing.
  • When the Ice Climbers perform a forward smash in Brawl, it looks similar to how they attack in their own game.
  • In Stamina mode, it is possible for the partner to die before the leader. Regardless of whether this happens or not, the partner will lay on the ground motionless, but not blink red.
  • The follower is always slightly weaker than the leader.
  • The partner can disappear during some Final Smashes if the leader is KO'd, leaving the opponent attacking nothing. Some examples are Ike's, Meta Knight's and, Marth's [1]
  • Both Ice Climbers must win a microgame in the Wario Ware Inc. stage to be rewarded.
  • The Ice Climbers are one of the two only characters that almost entirely depends on a weapon that isn't a sword (their hammers). King Dedede uses a hammer as well.
  • When the Ice Climbers are trapped by Jigglypuffs Final Smash (and some other circumstances), the effects (like when Popo and Nana are smashed into a wall) are slowed down. However, their moving speed is still the same.
  • A creative little addition to their character, is that the Ice Climbers are not effected by the conditions of ice, and they won't slide on it. This is due to the fact that they are wearing cleats. Oddly, their cleats do not affect their traction on normal surfaces, as it's second-worst in the game (Luigi has the worst).
  • When Marth uses his Final smash on the Ice Climbers, two HP bars appear.
  • Ice Climbers have the second most powerful d-smash in the game if both Ice Climbers hit, following Lucas who has first.

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