Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ice Levels and a Plug

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but it’s gotten cold lately! Winter is creeping up very fast, and with it, the holidays! But did you know us gamers have a special holiday this month? How about that it’s going on right now, at this very moment, while you’re reading? Any idea what it could be?

Okay, maybe those are rhetorical questions, but that’s why I’m here to answer them! We just so happen to be in the middle of Obligatory Ice Level Day! OILD is a silly little holiday coined by user Anatotitan of Speedgamers (which is an awesome charity organization by the way) that celebrates those omnipresent ice levels all video games seem to have in the name of good cheer. Her website contains some delightful artwork, how to get involved, and even a soundtrack with some awesome ice level remixes! Though the title is misleading, OILD is in fact a month-long event, so there is plenty of time to join in on the fun!

That said, what are some of your favorite arctic-themed levels/environs in video games? It’s probably difficult to think of many on the spot, but that’s why we have a whole month to celebrate: to give them the proper recognition they deserve! …Or something like that. Either way, it’s fun to think about! One I could easily roll off the tongue right now is Phendrana Drifts from Metroid Prime. When you weren’t busy blasting sheegoths and getting chased by their mommies, you would be marveling at the beautiful icy landscape and be swept away by the awe-inspiring music. It captured the atmosphere perfectly, giving that tranquil feeling of solitude often associated with the arctic, but at the same time, instilled a sense of life with its diverse inhabitants and vibrant geography. Phendrana was more than your average cluster of snowfields, however. It expanded into deep caves, underwater, and laboratories overrun by space pirates, with no two areas looking exactly alike. This place was huge, and every inch was a pleasure to explore. It’s certainly something to experience for yourself, and I’m afraid my words wouldn’t do it justice alone. And no, I’m not saying that just to be lazy!

I'm afraid a screenshot doesn't quite do it justice either, but it's better than nothing!

I’ll be at this all month, so expect more in the future! In the meantime, I redirect your attention to the aforementioned question: what are some of your favorite ice levels? I’d love to hear what you think!


  1. Battle of Hoth, "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader!"

  2. The drifts are one of the best ice worlds ever in gaming!