Ice Climbers (SSBB)
The Ice Climbers, 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. They have been given 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.
They currently rank 2nd on the current tier list, making them the highest-ranking veteran. This is primarily due to their extensive and intricate grab game that can completely shut down opponents once it begins. Professional Ice Climbers players are known to chain grab opponents from 0% to a KO inescapably. The partner mechanism of the character also allows opponents to have to rethink their approach, as one target can easily break combos and chain grabs. The duo also have two decent projectiles, and they are armed with a relatively powerful meteor smash along with one of the largest disjointed up aerials in the game. However, if the partner is KO'd, the leader cannot use special moves correctly and is somewhat helpless during recovery; a lone Ice Climber also has drastically lowered damage output and KO potential, especially due to its inability to perform a meteor smash, and is considerably more open to chain grabs and combos. The Ice Climbers have very strong matchups (losing to only four characters, with Meta Knight being the only top tier they lose to), and very strong tournament results.
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. The follower is always slightly weaker than the leader, but only the follower can meteor smash with his/her forward aerial. 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, making them immune to chain-grabs), and conversely allows them to have a superior grab game entirely unique to them (see "chain-grabbing and desynching" below). However, they can easily be separated by strong enough attacks. In this scenario, it is advisable to stick to and protect the partner, even if it puts the player in additional danger. Should the CPU Climber get KO'd 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 decent attack speed, and possess a few interesting attacks in their arsenal. Their neutral 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 move, 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 approach attack with good damage and speed, spinning the Ice Climbers 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. A creative little addition to their character is that the Ice Climbers are not affected by the conditions of slippery surfaces such as 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-lowest in the game (Luigi has the lowest).
The Ice Climbers aren't very good at using their standard arsenal of attacks for continuous hits, normally speaking. With weak throws, small hammers, and slow movement in general (slow falling, air, and dash speed), 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 generally better at racking up the damage than at KOing.
 Chaingrabbing and desynching
Many players 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 aerial spike, or grabbing again with the CPU Climber. 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. A down side is that the Ice Climbers don't have a very good grab range and because of how much they slide (due to their low traction), it's almost impossible to grab an opponent when they hit the player's shield unless they powershield his or her attack.
The Ice Climbers' most effective chain throw is arguably their down throw. It is by far the hardest chain throw to escape from as it possesses the largest time window for Nana to grab the opponent mid throw. Performing the down throw chain grab is simple and easier relative to Ice Climbers's other chain grabs and becomes drastically easier when the throw is stale, but it is still nevertheless difficult to time. While performing the 1st down throw, the player should input the command for the subsequent down throw when the opponent hits the ground(when the colored shockwave appears). The down throw can also be used in conjunction with the footstool hop and ice shots for another infinite: the hobble, which is more useful on heavyweights. The down throw sends opponents into the air. Right before the opponent is released, the second ice climber should jump and footstool the opponent back on to the ground. As the opponent bounces, the 1st Ice Climber can trap them with multiple ice shots or move forward for another grab. Their next infinite chain throw is the forward throw. This throw is most likely the hardest chain throw to maintain, and thus the least reliable. The command for the second throw should be imputed the moment the 1st climber is about to swing his hammer. It should be noted that these chain grabs are not true infinites as they are limited by the stage length and the fact the opponents can tech after the footstool jump. The Ice Climbers' back throw is their only true infinite, as it is not limited by the stage length. The input for the second throw should be imputed as soon as the opponent is directly above the 1st climber's head. The back throw can also be used to start the hobble, but it is much harder. It should be noted that the timing for all of the infinite throws vary depending on the opponent's percentage and how heavy the opponent is.
For further two-in-one tricks, it is even possible to "desync" 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 desynced, 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 desynced, 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. This invisible box makes it so that if the player desyncs themelf from the AI so that it charges a smash attack and they start walking or running away, the AI will slide in the player's direction while charging the smash. A unique thing that the player can do when desynced is that if they desync the AI to charge a smash attack, their Belay will cancel the AI's charging sequence and teleport it into the belaying sequence.
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 maintain 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. Indeed, their recent rise on the tier list, and the fact that they are ranked 2nd in Japan suggest that they have greater potential. Nevertheless, these techniques are the backbone of playing a good pair of Ice Climber; without them, they aren't particularly great, so it's essential for players who plan on using the Ice Climbers to master them.
When a chain grab has raised an opponent's damage enough, the most typically used move to KO the opponent is their up smash, if a forward air meteor smash is inapplicable. All of these chain throws can be considered 0-KO combos.
 Changes from Melee to Brawl
The Ice Climbers are one of the few characters to have been truly buffed from SSBM to SSBB. Both Ice Climbers can grab on to a ledge at the same time, and Belay can be a Tether Recovery if the partner grabs a ledge first, then the leader reaches up to the ledge. The Ice Climbers' have more attack power for their special moves (Blizzard is especially buffed if the Ice Climbers are next to the opponent), but they have less smash attack power for KOing. Both Ice climbers's down smash deals more damage. The Ice Climbers can become separated easier when attacked, but they are a bit stronger by themselves. Down aerial no longer has set knockback, giving it KO potential at very high percentages (above 170%), but it no longer acts as a viable way to maintain the down throw chain grab. The partner can now squall hammer and belay alone, and a lone Ice Climber's Belay gives some slight distance. If the partner hits another character while executing Belay, the move is still completed. The partner AI is significantly advanced (near level 9) so (s)he does not die as easily.
The freeze glitch and wobbling no longer work, but as aforementioned above, the Ice Climbers have gained more effective ways to chain grab. Their down throw no longer requires the aid of Blizzard or down aerial to string chain grabs. In fact, Popo can chain throw many characters by himself with the down throw almost as effectively as Falco can, usually racking up percentages as high as 50%. Again, as mentioned before, their back throw is now a true infinite chain grab and can be used in conjunction with footstool jumping and ice shot to infinitely hobble.
The Ice Climbers also had some purely cosmetic changes. Their orange costume was removed. With their blue costume, they can look almost exactly the same (one Ice Climber's parka has just a small shade difference). The white one is almost the same, but the gloves are different colors. Lastly, squall hammer now sends off flakes of ice if both Ice Climbers are present.
 Brawl manual description
"A pair that hits one after the other. Popo is in blue and Nana is in pink."
This assumes that both Ice Climbers are present.
 Ground attacks
 Other attacks
The Ice Climbers can perform infinite chain grabs with their forward throw, back throw, and down throw. The chaingrabs involve one Climber throwing the character, and the other Climber grabbing the victim as soon as they are released from the first throw. This action can be repeated an infinite amount of times, and while difficult to perform, it is inescapable if performed correctly. It can be used to rack up a lot of damage, and be followed up by an unavoidable smash attack at high percents for a KO. Lightweight characters are easier for the Ice Climbers to do the chaingrabs on.
If the controls have been customized, it is possible for the Climbers to use a forward smash twice, making a "smash throw" gimp KO possible.
 Special moves
 In competitive play
 Notable players
 Tier placement and history
In the first few years of Brawl's metagame, the Ice Climbers were only ranked in mid-high tier, given their poor fighting abilities and vulnerability when the partner Climber dies, and their powerful grab tactics were unrecgonized at the time. However, Ice Climber players soon began to utilize their infinite chaingrabs, giving them an extremely powerful zero-to-death option against any other character. Players soon found the technique difficult to handle, as it completely changed the way players fought the Ice Climbers. The Ice Climbers matchup now involved avoiding getting grabbed into a death, which can be difficult to avoid, and the Ice Climbers were able to completely shut down characters who lacked effective tactics to deal with the zero-death chaingrabs. Because of this, the Ice Climbers quickly shot up the ranks, rising to #5 in the fourth tier list (February 2010), and remaining in top tier; the Ice Climbers then rose to 2nd place on the current tier list, placed right underneath Meta Knight in their own tier above the rest of the characters. Some players even argue that since the Ice Climbers have access to a zero-death on every character that works at any percent, they could be tied for first place with Meta Knight, or could even be first place themselves. The Ice Climbers are among the most disliked characters in Brawl, since they possess a zero-death option against any character, something no other character has access to, and they have been considered cheap and broken, with many players supporting the ban of the infinite chaingrabs in tournaments.
 Event Matches
 Single player events
 Co-Op events
 Role in The Subspace EmissaryHalberd or they were just climbing. 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, the 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.
 Playable appearances
 Exclusive stickers
These stickers can only be used by the Ice Climbers, or a select few including them:
 Trophy description
The one in blue is Popo, and the one in pink is Nana. They use their incredible jumping powers and hammers to break blocks and climb to the summit. They grab veggies, and if they can catch the condor at the end, they conquer the mountain. Other than breaking blocks, their hammers are good for sending foes flying, climbing down from blocks, and destroying icicles.
Note: Popo and Nana switch positions for their 2nd, 4th, and 6th costumes shown above, but they do not switch positions on the selection screen like they did in Melee.