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Types of floors[edit]

Ice Climber screen1.png
  • Breakable ice: This type of ice can be chipped away at with the climbers' hammer. It can be up to two layers thick, with the bottom layer of variable height. Note that if a Topi fills a gap with ice, that ice will be breakable, and only fill the top layer, not the bottom.
  • Unbreakable ice: Ice that is a solid square and has a criss cross pattern, or looks slightly three dimensional, cannot be broken with a hammer. Unbreakable ice can also be stacked vertically to create a barrier that you can not run through.
  • Conveyor ice: Any type of ice, whether it's breakable or unbreakable can be conveyor ice. If the ice has diagonal lines running through it, the climbers will slide to one direction once they land on that ice. If a topi fills a gap with ice, the new ice will also move in the same direction as the rest of the floor. Running in the opposite direction causes you to run at half speed, while running in the same direction causes you to run at double speed.
  • Cloud platforms: Mountain floors that do not contain ice contain moving cloud platforms. These platforms are solid, and as such, cannot be jump through, only on. Use them to reach higher cloud platforms, new ice floors, or to chip away at the ice above.

General Strategy[edit]

Ice Climber screen2.png
  • The most important thing is to pay attention to falling ice, bird, and snowmen's positions at all times. Neglecting either one of these will often result in losing a life in later levels. If you are hiding in corner where you gain invincibility, you only have to worry about ice falling from cloud platforms.
  • Conveyor ice moves you into direction where diagonal and downward lines point. It's important to know this throughout the playthrough.
  • There are 8 floors and they are all numbered. Some of them are blocked and only cloud is floating in their space. If 8th floor is blocked and cloud moves from right to left side, you can jump on the cloud and when the wall touches your character, jump straight up and then move left to reach top floor easier.
  • When you are is pressed against a wall that's on your left side and you jump, you will jump to the right. When you are pressed against a wall that's on your right side and you jump, you will jump straight up (unless you move while jumping). Running against a wall and then jumping will always make you jump to the opposite direction (with extra distance if you run while jumping, like it normally would without a wall).
  • Fastest way to move in opposite direction of conveyor ice is by running for about half of second and then jumping, repeatedly.
  • You can reach right side of the screen by passing through the left side of screen and vice versa.
  • You can kill the bird with jump. Just make sure your hammer or your legs touch the bird. It happens ideally when you are facing the bird with your back or when you are far in the air. You gain leg attack when your character extends legs in mid air, but before that happens, you are vulnerable.
  • You can destroy ice before it starts falling down with a jump. For this to work, touch the ice while high in the air. This means you can't do this when ice is close above you.
  • To kill the bird that is chasing you while you're on fast conveyor ice, don't turn around, just jump while facing the bird with your back. If you turn around conveyor ice will speed you up and you will just run into the bird.
  • When you die you become invincible until you press a button (except select or start). You can use this advantage if you spawned on conveyor ice to wait for your character to be in good position where you want to re-spawn, or simply waiting for the bird to go away. You can also wait for the bear to appear and advance one extra floor and even if you are "swallowed" by the screen you won't lose life. You can do this until you reach 6th out of 8 floors (last screen) but then you have to reach the top yourself. The downside to this is that it means a lot of waiting, but if you lost a life when you already saw a bear appear, you can just wait for him to advance one floor before re-spawning.
  • If you don't move the screen upwards by one floor in about 1 minute, 10 seconds, a bear with sunglasses will appear and in about 5 seconds he will stomp the ground which will move the screen up by one floor. If you are on the bottom of the screen, this will kill you. Moving the screen up yourself or killing the bear before he stomps will prevent this. When bear leaves after stomping, he can't kill you by touching you. However, his body will move you backwards, maybe even off the floor, so it's best to kill him. Once he touches you, you won't be able to turn around and swing the hammer, so attack him with it before that happens.
  • When on conveyor ice, you can hold B button to stall your position and avoid danger or falling down small platform. You will only move slightly when doing this. This is easier way to kill snowmen while on conveyor ice and also fastest way to attack twice in a row.
  • When trying to jump through one brick sized hole, it's easiest to do it with directional jump, but sometimes you are on small cloud platform and taking a step to right or left means taking a risk of falling off cloud. When you jump, your back have smaller hitbox than your front side, so it's easier to go through the hole by straight jumping, touching the edge with your back, and then moving towards the edge.
  • Collecting at least one piece of Corn from 5th bonus level grants you an extra life. Selecting 5th level from menu won't give the same effect, you have to beat 4 levels to reach 5th where this will work.
  • Standing behind numbered rocks on the left or right side of the screen grants you invincibility from snowmen. Standing on at least 3 and a half blocks on left or right side of the screen grants you invincibility from birds. In both cases you are still vulnerable to falling ice. Normally, falling ice won't reach you here, but when it's stuck to moving cloud platforms you should always keep an eye on it.
  • Don't stand near corners where snowman comes out. Make sure you've seen snowmen on the screen before you decide move out of corner, otherwise you might run into him. There can be max two snowmen on screen at the same time.
  • Walls can be jumped over. Use forward jump and try to aim your fall on top of it.
  • You cannot take out 2 targets with one hammer swing. For example, if you attack snowman while falling ice is in his space, you will destroy ice and maybe get killed by snowman. Recognize this situation and simply attack twice or hold B button to attack twice quicker.

Bonus round strategies[edit]

Ice Climber Bonus.png
  • You have 40 seconds to complete the bonus round by reaching the peak of the mountain and jumping in to the condor's claws.
  • There are no enemies here, so you do not have access to your hammer.
  • If you have to decide between taking the time to collect a vegetable, or completing the bonus round in time, complete the bonus round because you earn a lot more points for that than for collecting vegetables.
  • On the other hand, take as much time as you need to complete the bonus round because there is no bonus for unused time.
  • In order to complete the bonus round, you must jump such that your hands literally touch the condor's claws. The condor changes directions occasionally. Jump well enough in advance of the condor's arrival over your head to touch his claws.

Arcade/FDS differences[edit]

Ice Climber FDS screen.png
  • Instead of a single set of 32 stages, there are 48 stages split up across two sets of 24. The player can choose to complete the stages in any order desired, although you swap back and forth between sets every 8 stages.
  • The second set of stages has a unique color scheme (example shown to the right). In the arcade version, the Condor at the top is replaced by a Butterfly. In the FDS version, this is switched back to a Condor, but it's colored blue.
  • If you successfully clear the 8th stage before the stage sets switch, you will be treated to a super bonus level, in which you must merely ascend to the top where a flag has been posted. The platforms are typically composed of single blocks spaced very narrowly apart, and set up so that it's actually easier to rise from one level to another than usual.
  • The arcade version has one new enemy, the Bee, which flies straight across the screen. In the FDS version, the Bee is replaced by another Nitpicker who behaves in the same manner. Additionally, the seals are replaced by the small Abominable Snowmen from the American version of the game.
  • The game features new hazards, such as blizzards which blow gusts of wind across the screen that augment or hamper your jumping, depending whether you jump with the wind or into it. Additionally, the cloud platforms may hover up and down as they cross the screen.