Two giant flying machines are engaged in a massive battle high in the sky. Hundreds of shots are exchanged as the Great Fox and the Halberd fire their cannons at each other. Seeing his stolen aircraft in danger of being destroyed, Metaknight leaves the group and quickly ascends the tall mountain to reclaim his ship. However, he encounters some competition along the way. The Ice Climbers, two experts at scaling mountains, see Metaknight's quick and effortless ascension as a challenge, and decide to race to the peak.
The rocky base
The objective here is to simply go up. Starting off, there are quite a few platforms for you to make your climb, with some Primids as minor annoyances in your path. Watch for the grey platform with flags on them. These platforms indicate a milestone in your climb, and you cannot fall through them. The first flag platform comes soon enough, and the series of platforms transition into slopes. Before you reach the next milestone, there will be a blue item box containing some collectables. Be quick to collect them, as they will trigger a wall of spikes that slowly move towards you.
The next level of the mountain consists mainly of spikes. Jump carefully to avoid the spikes and you will be done quickly in this short section. The level after that requires you to jump to the next level through moving platforms. While this is simple enough, the Floows that appear can knock you off of the platforms, potentially making it an annoying section. Past that is a level that consists solely of barrel cannons. Simply aim for the cannons above to launch yourself to the top and on to the next level. Jump up a couple more platforms and you will reach the door to the next area.
The finite glacier
Jump on to the floating platform to have it start moving up. Avoid touching the spiky ice jutting out from the sides of the shaft, as they are obviously harmful. However, you can knock enemies into the ice spikes to damage them. The platform will soon start to move diagonally up some slopes, before returning to a purely vertical climb. At the very end, the platform will stop and the screen will start to scroll up. Jump off the platform and on to the next level to keep up with the screen scroll.
There will be ice that continuously extend and retract as you continue your climb. The first chunk of ice is required for you to reach solid ground to the left, while the second chunk blocks your progress instead until it has fully retracted. Eventually, there will even be ice that can crush you, resulting in an instant death. Do not miss the gold item box during your climb. Wait for the block of ice to move to the right and quickly jump into the small pit to collect it. After that is a quick climb up a series of platforms as a huge block of ice moves in from the right. Quickly jump to the next level to avoid getting crushed, then go through the door there.
Nearing the peak
Hop into the cannon and blast yourself upwards, then move to the right to land on some stone blocks. Destroy the blocks to reveal a door behind them. Go through the door to reach a dark room with a blue item box and a gold item box. The only obstacles preventing you from collecting them is some Subspace enemies, and you can light up the room by attacking the switch in the middle. Once you've collected the contents of the item boxes, return outside.
Launch yourself out of the cannon again, but this time wait until you reach the very top and jump to the left to narrowly land on a platform with a ladder. Climb the ladder to the next level, which consists of a lot more ladders patrolled by some Glices and Jyks. The Glices are a big nuisance, as their freezing attack will knock you off the ladder and back to the bottom of the level. Climb to the next level to trigger a forced battle with a group of Shaydas. Defeat them and continue your climb.
On this level, you will be buffeted by strong winds blowing to the left. Partway in your climb is a door in plain sight. There is one blue and one gold item box inside, but while the blue item box is immediately obtainable, the gold item box is blocked by a huge icy stalactite, partially submerged in a pool of water. You must grab one of the Metal Boxes to become metal, then jump into the water while you're metal so that your increased weight will let you sink beneath the stalactite and emerge from the other side. Climb up the ladder to the very top to find the gold item box, then attack the bomb block nearby to clear a path to the exit door. Go back outside.
One last level remains before you reach the top. It is simply a series of small platforms, but you will also be attacked by Spaaks and Towtows, which can make climbing them a bit difficult. With a bit of effort, you can reach the peak, where the door to the final confrontation of the level is. Go through it to trigger a cutscene.
Reaching the peak first, the Ice Climbers rejoice as Metaknight climbs to the top after them. However, he sees one final obstacle before he can reach his ship: Lucario, a Pokémon training at the peak of the mountain. Lucario challenges Metaknight to a fight, which he gladly accepts. Both fighters prepare for battle, as the two climbers watch anxiously.
Metaknight vs. Lucario
You can in fact choose between any of the two characters to fight the other. For instance, choosing Metaknight will have you fighting Lucario and vice versa. The battle is a similar to a normal versus match, but you only need to KO your opponent once to win. The stage you're fighting in is quite awkward, as most of it consists of slippery ice platforms. The strategy for the fight is almost the same as a regular match, so just pick the character you're most familiar or comfortable with. The gaps shouldn't worry you too much, as Metaknight can fly out while Lucario can wall jump out of it. Do note that the platforms lead straight into the blastlines, so you can attempt to wait at the very edge of the stage and grab your opponent, then throw them into the blastline for an easy KO.
After the close fight, the victor revives the loser, and they both show their respects to each other. At the exact moment, the Halberd emerges from the clouds, grabbing the Great Fox with its metal arm and slamming the spacecraft into the mountain, destroying it. Metaknight uses this opportunity to board the Halberd, followed by Lucario. Meanwhile, the Ice Climbers fall back to the ground, while Shadow Bugs rain down toward them.
The Ice Climbers and Lucario has joined your team!