Ice Climbers

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For fighter info, see Ice Climbers (SSBM), Ice Climbers (SSBB), and Ice Climbers (SSBU).
Ice Climbers

The in-game sprites of Popo and Nana from Ice Climber.

Universe Ice Climber
Debut Ice Climber (1985)
Smash Bros. appearances Melee
Most recent non-Smash appearance WarioWare Gold (2018)
Console of origin Nintendo Entertainment System
Species Humans
Gender Male (Popo)
Female (Nana)
Place of origin Infinite Glacier
Designed by Tadashi Sugiyama
Voice actor Sanae Kobayashi

The Ice Climbers (アイスクライマー, Ice Climber) are the pair of playable protagonists from the game Ice Climber, released in the pre-Super Mario Bros. era of NES games. When playing a one-player game, the player plays as Popo (ポポ, Popo). When playing a two-player game, player two plays as Nana (ナナ, Nana). In the Super Smash Bros. series, the player controls Popo by default, and certain alternate costumes will make Nana the leading, player-controlled climber. The other climber is CPU-controlled and follows the leader in both movement and attacks.

In Smash, the CPU-controlled Ice Climber has his or her own separate percentage or stamina counter, though it is not displayed on-screen. This factor alone contributes to the Ice Climbers' extremely high learning curve, as players must ensure the safety of not one, but two characters at the same time.

Character description[edit]

The Ice Climbers are always depicted with cute, super deformed proportions, and in their original game it is ambiguous whether they are children or adults. They both wield wooden mallets, which they use to whack enemies and break ice cubes. Both of them wear parkas; Popo the male wears a blue parka while Nana the female wears a pink parka. They can also be identified by the patch of hair exposed from their hoods.

The relationship between Popo and Nana is unknown and was not elaborated on in Ice Climber. As the two are said to be "rarely seen apart" in Melee, among the ideas thought up of by fans are that the two are siblings, friends, or even lovers. According to Nintendo, the nature of their relationship is up to the player's imagination; as a result, no hints to their relationship has been directly stated in any media. Melee offers some insight to the potential relationship to the two; a brief shot in the Opening of Melee features Nana and Popo high-fiving each other, with a small heart coming out from where their hands meet, and the Japanese title of Event 21: Ice Breaker roughly translating to "Be the jammer of their romance". In Codec Conversations, Mei Ling is said that the Ice Climbers have a "blood bond", which refers to a bond between two people so strong they'd die for each other and that no one could fathom. This could confirm that they are siblings and/or lovers.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

As playable characters[edit]

Main article: Ice Climbers (SSBM)
The Ice Climbers as they appear in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

The Ice Climbers made their debut appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series as a dual-controlled pair of fighters. They (as a singular entity) are one of the 14 (15 if Sheik is counted) default characters available from the start of the game. They are ranked 7th on the tier list, in the B tier. They are infamously known in Melee for a strategy called "Wobbling," which is if an Ice Climbers player grabs you he can keep pummeling you while swapping who your being held by between the two climbers, leading to a single grab being an instant K.O.

They were selected over Balloon Fighter from Balloon Fight, the main character from Urban Champion, Bubbles from Clu Clu Land, and the Biker from Excitebike, to be representatives of the Famicom/NES period in Nintendo's history.[1]


Ice Climbers
That's Popo in the blue and Nana in the pink. These two stars of the game Ice Climber have scaled many an icy summit in their mountaineering careers. Back in their glory days, they chased eggplants, cucumbers, and other vegetables that inexplicably fell from frosty summits when a condor reigned supreme. They're rarely seen apart.

  • Ice Climber, 10/85 (NES)

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

As playable characters[edit]

Main article: Ice Climbers (SSBB)
The Ice Climbers, as they appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

The Ice Climbers still consist of Popo and Nana. They still fight as a pair with Nana following along. Both Ice Climbers can now hang on a ledge at the same time and their down special in the air is no longer an auto-freeze. The Ice Climbers' Final Smash, Iceberg, consists of a large iceberg taking up a large portion of the screen. It deals damage and can freeze those on or near it. Players can still choose between Popo or Nana as the leader of the duo depending on which color of costume is chosen. The threat of the Ice Climbers' 0-death chain grabs puts them in 2nd on the Brawl tier list in S tier only behind Meta Knight.


Ice Climbers trophy in Brawl.

Ice Climbers
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.

NES: Ice Climber


Name Game Effect Characters
Nana Ice Climber AttackSpecialsDirect+029SpecialsDirect.png Attack +29 Ice ClimbersIceClimbersHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker Nana (Ice Climber).png
(Ice Climber)

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

The Ice Climbers do not return as playable characters for Super Smash Bros. 4, though they do make a cameo as a collectible trophy. In a column for the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Masahiro Sakurai stated that technical limitations of the Nintendo 3DS prevented their inclusion; the two were reportedly difficult to implement on the system, and since the characters were unlikely to have a new game in their series, Sakurai deemed the Ice Climbers low-priority characters. While they would have been fully functional on the Wii U, Sakurai decided to cut them in order to keep the playable roster between the games identical. [2]


The Ice Climbers' trophy in Super Smash Bros. 4.
Ice Climbers
Ntsc This pair of adventurers starred in an action game released in 1985. Popo wears blue, and Nana wears red. The goal of their adventure was to reach the top of the mountain, collecting vegetables and defeating animals along the way. Grabbing the condor earned them a nice bonus too!
Pal Popo (in blue) and Nana (in pink) are the daring adventurers from the two-player platformer Ice Climber, released in Europe in 1986. In that game, your goal is to head up a mountain, breaking blocks and taking out pesky critters along the way. When you get to the top, you can collect veg and grab on to the condor to get bonus points! Nice!
NES: Ice Climber (10/1985)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As playable characters[edit]

Main article: Ice Climbers (SSBU)
The Ice Climbers as they appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The Ice Climbers return as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, after having been absent from Super Smash Bros. 4. Unlike each of their previous appearances in the series, they are unlockable characters. The Ice Climbers in Ultimate are considered low tier because they can no longer Wobble or Chain Grab for an instant K.O. of a single grab, however they can still do very complicated de-sync combos which can lead to a K.O. off a single grab.



  • In both Melee and Brawl, the Ice Climbers appear to be left-handed, as they wield their hammers using their left hands. This is not the case in the in-game version of Ultimate, in which they are shown to be ambidextrous, though they appear to be left-handed in the artwork.
  • The Ice Climbers are the only characters to have been cut after appearing as playable in multiple Super Smash Bros. titles.
    • The Ice Climbers are one of two starter characters to be cut from Brawl to Smash 4, with the other being Pokémon Trainer.
    • The Ice Climbers and Snake are the only characters from single-character universes to not return until the sequel.
    • Nana is currently the only female character to have been cut in the series.
    • The Ice Climbers and Pokémon Trainer are the only cut veterans who have trophies in SSB4 that use their models from the previous Smash Bros. game.
  • In Germany, Popo is named Pèpè, as "Popo" can mean buttocks in German.
  • In terms of game releases, Nana is the oldest playable female character, being older than Peach who debuted in Super Mario Bros. 7 months later.
  • In Palutena's Guidance, Pit says that the Ice Climbers were kicked from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U for illegal teaming.


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