Fire 'n Ice
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|Fire 'n Ice|
North American cover art
Fire 'n Ice is a puzzle game released by Tecmo for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the prequel to Solomon's Key, and is known as Solomon's Key 2 in Europe and Solomon no Kagi 2: Coolmintou Kyuushutsu Sakusen (Solomon's Key 2: Coolmint Rescue Mission) in Japan. The aim of the game involves players extinguishing all fires in a level in order to proceed. They do this by creating and melting ice or kicking ice onto the fires. This game also has a level editor (which may expose some bugs that substantially affect the game mechanics), but only the Japanese version permits saving the levels one creates. An unofficial conversion for Russian ZX Spectrum clones was made in 2003. It uses the plot and levels from the original game, but with remade graphics that adhere to platform limitations and completely new music.
In this game, players control Dana. The goal of each stage is to put out all the fires. The fires are extinguished by either kicking an ice block into the flame, or dropping one from above. Dana's moveset includes the abilities to walk left and right across level ground. He can also climb on top of a solid block to his left or right, provided it is only one block tall and there is nothing on top of it. Dana can also push blocks of ice, which will then slide until they fall or hit a wall. Dana's most important ability is his ice magic. He can create and destroy blocks of ice. As the gameplay is grid-based, Dana's ice magic affects the squares beneath him and to the left and right, similar to Lode Runner. If the ice block is placed horizontally adjacent to a wall, pipe, jar, or another ice block, it will freeze to the adjacent surface.
There are also other elements that are introduced as the player progresses, including pipes (which Dana can travel through) and jars. Dana can walk across normal jars, but once a jar comes in contact with a flame, it begins to burn. Dana cannot walk across the top of burning jars, and any ice that is created in, or enters the square above a burning jar is destroyed. As players progress, the puzzles get more complicated and difficult. The simple gameplay must be used in new ways by players who wish to complete the game.
The following is taken from the video game's instruction booklet:
- The Rescue of Coolmint Island
- This is a story from long ago, when the powerful wizard Dana was just a beginner. In the sea to the far north, there was a small island made of ice. This island was called "Coolmint Island". On this beautiful little island of ice, there were many Winter Fairies all living in peace.
- But one day...
- The wicked wizard Druidle appeared, and let flames loose on Coolmint Island! The flames scattered all over the island, and little by little, they began to melt the ice. The little island was in terrible danger!! The Winter Fairies were determined to do something to save their island, but they were not strong enough to face the flames by themselves. The Queen of the Fairies knew about the danger the Winter Fairies were facing, so she called forth a wizard to fight against the flames let loose by Druidle.
- The one chosen by the Queen of the Fairies to defend the island was Dana. This was a tremendous surprise to everybody. Dana was still just an apprentice and had very little magic power of his own. But the Queen knew that Dana had intelligence and possessed more courage than anyone else. Then the Queen gave Dana some special magic that could be used to put out the wicked flames.
- "And what happened after that, Grandmother?"
- "Well... that's where Dana's adventure begins."
- Dana is the protagonist of the game. He is a novice wizard with ice magic which was given to him from the Queen of the Fairies. He is also the main character in Solomon's Key, but in Fire 'N Ice he has different abilities and has been given a graphical make-over. Dana's attire includes a green hat and shirt, an orange cape and boots, and blue pants. He also carries with him the ice wand.
- The Queen of the Fairies is the beautiful monarch of Coolmint Island. She gives Dana the ice magic, but does not play a prominent role in the in-game story.
- Druidle, the evil wizard, is the villain. He is the one who created the flames that must be put out through the game's puzzles. He is also the game's final boss.
- The elderly lady serves as the storyteller, and her green-haired grandchildren are the audience.