Merry Listmas everyone! The Christmas season may be over now, but Listmas will still be with us for three more wondrously list-filled days! As it is the height of winter and the end of the year, I couldn’t help but think about all the snow levels I’ve played over the years. Ice puzzles, blizzards, killer snowmen…these levels have it all, and the following are some of my favorites!
7.) Snow Go – Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
(from youtube user: GarlandTheGreat)
It’s all the fun of a winter stroll…a winter stroll filled with random nitro-glycerin boxes scattered around and penguins trying to spin you to death! Really though, it’s a level that calls you to slow down and enjoy it even as you do your best to race through it. Just like winter, it wants us to slow down and appreciate it, but all we want is to get it over with.
6.) Winterhold – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
(from youtube user: mtothem1337)
Winterhold is all the fun of winter (see: constant snow), but with magic! The region plays host to what is perhaps my favorite major questline in Skyrim. What is the “Eye of Magnus”? Who were those inter-dimensional wizards? When do we get to learn more?! Hopefully at least one of these questions will be answered once Argonia comes out in a couple of years.
5.) Bleak’s House – Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!
(from youtube user: GameIsJustAStart)
Yeah this is a boss stage and not an actual level, but how could I not include the one and only evil snowman who is not only aware of it, but is so psyched about it that he just can’t help but laugh maniacally even as he’s pummeled to death with snowballs? The answer: I couldn’t. Bleak had to be here. (hahahahaha…..)
4.) Snowhead Temple – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
(From Youtube user: BlueKnightNight)
Snowhead isn’t my favorite region of my most beloved of Zelda games, but I can’t help but enjoy the lead up and end of it. You start by putting a giant Goron to sleep, and end with a death race against a giant, evil, robot goat/bull. How could it possibly get more awesome than that?
3.) Snow Barrel Blast – Donkey Kong Country
(From Youtube user: BestSnesMusic)
If you’ve ever played this level, then you know why it’s here. Otherwise, the last third of Snow Barrel Blast has probably popped more DK balloons than any other level in the game. The whole place is built to be a death trap: wildly spinning barrels with zingers between most of them, in the middle of a snow storm, over a giant bottomless pit. It’s the pinnacle of Donkey Kong, and a level that every aspiring DK Master must one day clear. (No shortcut either.)
2.) Phendrana Drifts – Metroid Prime
(From Youtube user: MetroidHunters)
With the possible exception of Skyrim, I don’t think there’s a more atmospheric snowy level in gaming. The usual metroid action keep Samus moving through the stage, but the strangely serene alien environment and wondrous background music practically be you to just pause your journey every so often and just take it all in. Plus there’s a giant rock monster to fight, that’s pretty cool too.
1.) Freezeezy Peak – Banjo-Kazooie
(From Youtube user: packattack04082)
This to me is the quintessential Christmas/winter/snow level. Sledding, Christmas lights, evil snowmen, GIANT snowmen, polar bears, log cabins and a walrus. It’s snowy, it’s festive, it’s bright, and it’s absolutely a joy to play! (Also, out-sledding that obnoxious bear has got to be one of the most satisfying moments in the whole game! EAT ICE BOGGY!)
It’s not winter without a list of snowy levels! Which winter levels are on yours?