Winter. The last season of the year, and also the first. Among the things you may attribute to wintertime, be it the barren trees, the chill in the air, or a winter holiday like Christmas, snow is most likely on everyone's list. Most games have at least one snow level. It's become somewhat of a staple, from first person shooters, to RPGs and even racing games. Let's take a look at some of gaming's many memorable snow levels, and look back on our fond memories of them.
Super Mario 64 - Snowman's Land
Banjo Kazooie - Freezeezy Peak
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Ice Palace
The Legend of Zelda - Zora's Domain and Ice Cavern
When Link first arrives at the Zora's Domain, it has been frozen over by Ganon's magic, sealing off doors and trapping many inhabitants. Even after Link succeeds in rescuing the Zora's, there remains a cavern just outside their domain that is still frozen - The Ice Cavern. While technically a dungeon, albeit a small one, some do not count it as such. It only has one floor, which Link must explore in order to attain the heavy boots.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - Northern Mountains
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Snowpeak Ruins
Snowpeak Ruins is quite simply beautiful. At first glance, it doesn't even look like a dungeon. That's because it is indeed a mansion, and the inhabitants are there the entire time Link is exploring. They're just chilling on the couch when Link asks about the mirror he is after. They just tell him it's upstairs, and he can have if he get's the key. they even offer you soup! The boss of this temple is a real surprise...
Paper Mario - Shiver City and Crystal Palace
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door - Fahr Outpost
Mario Kart Series: Sherbet Land
Mario Kart Series - Frappe Snowland
This is another famous snow track that also debuted in Mario Kart 64. it also has an incarnation in Mario Kart DS. This mountain trails has many snowmen that will freeze you if you hit them, as well as many beautiful snowy replicas of many Mario characters!
Ice Climber - Icicle Mountain
Pikmin 2 - Valley of Repose
Animal Crossing - Winter Season
Animal Crossing is the game that's always playing, even when you're not! In the game, your town, which you name, mirrors reality via the Gamecube's internal clock. If it is four o'clock p.m. on a Friday afternoon in August, it is the same for your town in Animal Crossing. This of course means that seasons are mirrored as well, from the rotting of foliage in the fall, to the frequent April showers of Spring, to the snowfall of winter. In winter, your town becomes blanketed with snow on a random date a couple weeks into December. winter perhaps brings more changes than any other season. Snow replaces rain, and has the same effect as rain on fish, so Animal Crossing fishermen like myself can still catch their coelecanths! On Christmas, a reindeer named Jingle in a Santa suit leaves gifts in mailboxes! Starting in January, snowmen can be built if you can find snowballs to roll around, and your townsfolk may occasionally build an igloo, in which you can get some very rare items. Winter is without a doubt the most magical season in this already magical game.
Halo 2 - Lockout
Halo 3 - Avalanche
Avalanche was a download map for Halo 3, and one of two snow levels in the game. Set in a UNSC valley outpost, this map is large and in charge. It consists of 2 bases, 2 open fields connected by a small cave system and a frozen lake. This map is big enough for huge online grudge matches while remaining small and open enough for split screen mayhem.
Metroid Prime - Phendrana Drifts
Phendrana Drifts is quite breathtaking, especially for its time. As soon as Samus enters the area, her visor begins to fog. The long you are in the Drifts, the colder Samus becomes, and the more her visor begins to frost. It was a very nice effect, and immersed you even further in the game. Phendrana drifts is also the first area of the game in which Samus encounters the Metroids on Talon IV.
Metal Gear Solid series - Shadow Moses Island
There are many, many, many more snow levels. In fact, there will continue to be new snow levels as long as gaming lives on, and it seems to have plenty of life left. There is absolutely no way I could ever pay homage to every snow level, or to every game with a snow level in it. Please, feel free to comment about your own personal favorites or memories of these levels or any I may have left out. I hope you enjoyed this article, and have a great winter, or at least what is left of it.