Hello everybody and happy holidays! Merry Christmas! And Happy Birthday to ME! Yes, so for this one occasion, here’s a special treat for you. It’s a winter season, where there’s lots of snows and ice.
In video games… I like ice. It’s my favorite element. There’s just something cool about those cold blocks of ice usually formed into one big, sharp needle getting thrown to the enemy. Or occasionally, encasing them in a big block of ice, immobilizing them so you can either leave them or do whatever to them while they’re being helpless. It also helps that those who wield the ice tends to be the coolest character. No, I’m not being punny here. Kind of. Those who wield the ice elements usually has this one trait shared with the element itself: Coldness. They tend to have calm and cool composure, enabling them to plan where and how they would apply the form of ice and cold to their foes. For the most part, they tend to be very smart as well. Of course, not every ice users are like that, even those in this list, but you get the idea.
And because ice is my favorite element, and it’s nearing a special day to me, that is, the day I get closer to my lifespan limit and time where the cold hand of death claims me… I mean, my birthday… I want to make this one special. That is, rather than going for 10 characters like usual, I’m doubling the size and make it 20 characters. Yes, I have that much spare characters that I like best when using ice.
Same rules apply, only games I’ve played and one character per franchise. Now, just stay frosty… and get to the list. (… And see how many ice puns I ended up committing.)
To start off this, let’s have a look at the series known as Samurai Shodown. As one of the premiere weapon-based fighting series by SNK, it was known for its momentuous battle where a single strong strike can be fatal. But even they start to give more super powers to the characters there. It’s SNK, you don’t need to ask more. And it’s a FANTASY setting.
So maybe most people know Samurai Shodown via the extremely adorable Nakoruru. But as much as adorable she is, she also has a little sister who’s arguably more precocious than even her. And that is our first entry here, Rimururu.
Simply put, if you really really like cute and adorable characters, Rimururu may be up in your alley. She’s childish innocence personified. Just like her sister, Rimururu is born with the ability to listen to the spirits of nature. In her case, she became acquaintated with the ice spirit Konril. Because of her inexperience in battle, Nakoruru naturally worries about Rimururu trying to get into the dangerous missions of her sister, but her resolve is equally as big, finally letting Nakoruru to trust that she can take care of herself. By the time that Nakoruru eventually ascended into a nature spirit, Rimururu has officially succeeded her as the Priestess of Nature.
And even then, her more playful side never melted away.
You know, perhaps that’s NOT really the personality we’re looking for when it comes to ice user. But hey, gotta start somewhere. Rimururu is a very agile character, just like her sister, that she even outspeeds ninjas. But her range with her dagger/knife ends up being rather poor. That’s where Konril comes in. With Konril, Rimururu manipulates ice out of nowhere, she can conjure frozen flower to be tossed around, freeze the ground to make it slippery for her enemies, make rising ice flowers or even worse… create a GIANT chunk of ice block to be tossed right onto the face. And just when you think you haven’t seen a road roller on ice…
(No worries, Rimururu does not shatter the ice by hitting them repeatedly)
While SNK has no shortage of ice users, Rimururu remains as the earliest renditions. Maybe her personality doesn’t quite fit as she’s not that ruthless, just more innocent and eager, but she holds her own just fine with her ice spirit. That’s what made her the #20 Top Video Game Ice Master.
In League of Legends, it’s kind of convenient that most of the characters that utilize ice is located at one region. Freljord. And boy howdy is that place so pretty full of a lot of ice masters that can take any spots in the place. This is definitely one of the toughest parts in deciding on this list. Now, if I go by favoritism alone, the place will no doubt get claimed by the Frost Archer Ashe. But… well, I’d think she’d fit more as an archer than an ice master (we’ll get to that later!).
And after much consideration, even if I have to speak about someone I don’t regularly use… I decided to hand the position to the Cryophoenix Anivia.
Now I know that ice is often associated with ruthlessness and devious, rigid planning, and maybe the Ice Witch Lissandra might have been a better fit. However, I gotta give Anivia something to her credits here: Not often did we get a phoenix, a creature that is mostly based on FIRE, that is using ice. In addition, I tend to think that she’s actually the most ancient of all Freljord dwellers, even before Lissandra. Having existed since the beginning, Anivia has watched the rise and fall of Freljord, during the peaceful and turbulent times. She’s pretty much the freezing winter of Freljord made manifest, but she always had her immortal heart set on the side of good, this is why when evil manifested in Freljord, whatever it is, she will rise to oppose it.
And that status touches in nicely with how she took form of a phoenix, considering that she DOES have a rebirth mechanic, her passive, because when she dies, she becomes an egg, waiting to be reborn in a few seconds… if they didn’t break the egg first. Aside of that, her skill set involves throwing ices at the enemy with Frostbite, throw another ice that stuns with Flash Frost and make ice walls to block anyone’s advances with Crystallize.
And say as you will about Anivia’s otherwise warm and protective personality, but these skills are most effective when unleashed with planning ahead. Frostbite deals more damage when the target has recently been stunned by Flash Frost. And if you place Crystallize in the wrong place, you might end up being detrimental to the team, but when placed correctly, you either save a teammate, or block your enemy’s escape route, forcing them to get pounded to death by your friends.
And she can also drop a free blizzard anywhere in her sight using Glacial Storm, her ultimate. It is an extremely devastating area move and can last as long as Anivia has the mana to sustain it. And she’s even free to do whatever after she dropped that instead of channeling.
Well, she might not be my go-to champion, but Anivia symbolizes the cold weather of winter in Freljord. The fury of the ancient blizzard within the frozen phoenix is good enough for me to put her as the #19 Top Video Game Ice Masters.
So perhaps a lot of you guys who goes to Youtube and watch countdown videos know this guy named Adam Lutz AKA The Quarter Guy. One of the games that ‘he likes yet nobody seemed to have played a lot yet’ is… Arcana Heart. An all-female fighting game that was actually pretty good with tons of variations and lovable characters. Adam… I’m going to agree with that. I played that game, and I like it a lot! But I digress, I think I get sidetracked a lot… Man.
One of the main gimmick of Arcana Heart is that in addition of the characters themselves, you also pick who gets to be their ‘guardian angel’ or sorts, here called the Arcana. And these Arcana comes packing in many many sorts of elements, one of them being the arcana of Ice. By default, it’s in possession of this Russian tough mercenary Zenia Valov.
Well technically she’s not exactly Russian, but delving into her past is rather complicated. Zenia is a woman of few words and prefers getting straight to the point. Before she was a mercenary, she was part of the Spiritual Police Force of Russia, but at its down time, left to become a mercenary, which gave her more freedom to pursue whatever job that interests her. She’s both cool-headed and cold, but overall, she really doesn’t mean any harm. She has debuted since Arcana Heart 2 during Angelia Avallone’s rampage at Kanto, and eventually Drexler Institute’s involvement with the weapon Ragnarok, the events of the third game. She also comes with the protection of the Arcana of Ice, Almacia, a penguin turned Arcana and apparently has a soft spot with children, as she tends to revisit the orphanage she grew up in… Which foreshadows her real identity as someone else’s big sister… you find out yourself.
By herself, Zenia actually did not use ice, but instead this pile bunker glove that she called Edinorog. But even then, aspect of precision and timing that requires sharp reflex and planning still play a part, since Edinorog gets more powerful if it’s released at a certain exact time. It will tremendously help if you can keep your cool while using Zenia, just like her icy personality.
Now, I understand that in Arcana Heart you technically can pick any Arcana to any characters, but I’m more appreciating the default choices and if the above paragraphs didn’t tell you, Zenia’s personality matches with her default Arcana Almacia. With that, certain blows from Edinorog can temporarily freeze the enemy before blowing them really far, and in addition, she can increase her mobility by skating with pre-created ice on the ground as she dashed. In addition, Almacia also provides Zenia quite a lot of zoning tools, such as mere ice flower crystal, which she can also multiply, an ice explosion, a fast travelling ice lance (that can enlarge), and one to multiple devastating ice geysers that could be a match or even be more powerful than Terry Bogard’s Power Geyser!
All of them packaged into this extremely cool and collected lady with a straightforward personality that can be summed up as Badass, for a series full of ladies that are more geared with various Moe archetypes (though they’re all no less kickass). You like a take-no-shit Badass characters, and you like ice? Zenia’s your lady for this game, and her cold, precise personality combined with the co-operation with Almacia make her the #18 Top Video Game Ice Masters.
Not all people in this list comes with natural or mystical ways to utilize ice, but sometimes with the right tools, they can. For example, there’s this someone from Overwatch who utilizes her tools in order to manipulate ice to her likings, that it manages to annoy the hell out of everyone that she was… kind of feared even if she is by default a friendly person. The face of pure evil?
… Nah, I myself think it’s pretty bae. Of course you know who I’m talking about. It’s Mei.
Full name Mei-Ling Zhou, she’s pretty much an optimistic climatologist and scientist who was part of the Overwatch recon team to think of a way to prevent global warming. It just happens that her team eventually started to run out of supplies and they were forced to encase themselves in cryostasis. Unfortunately for Mei, when she woke up in present day, she was the only survivor, nobody came out of the stasis alive. But even against such odds, Mei still remained an optimistic girl that believes in working for a brighter future and there’s little to zero things that can bog down her spirit.
And she apparently hates bullies. And… uh… what else… Blizzard? Do you mind exploring more about her someday? I’ll give her this much though: She’s SO adorable! Look at that face, that’s really the face of someone so huggable! Just don’t treat her as harmless though, from the look of it, there’s one thing she hates: Bullies. Eh, not that it matters because… who actually likes bullies anyway?
Anyway, Mei comes to the battle all while still wearing her thick coat which she used in Antartica, like everyday was snowing. Yep, this sometimes backfired on her when she thought she’s overdressed, but again, it doesn’t bog her down. She has in possession her own small robot buddy called Snowfall that continues to assist her. We’ll get to that later. But first, let’s talk about her method of combat. The Endothermic Blaster on her hand is used to spray cold air that when exposed enough, will freeze the enemy solid. Nothing can reflect this, because seriously, you can’t reflect an immaterial thing. And this is why she’s called anti-fun, because it gets kind of annoying to be rendered unable to move… but that only applies to the victims. But as someone who uses Mei… it gets satisfying to get that guy who cannot stop to finally STOP at once. Which sets up for its alternate fire, where the blaster can form an ice lance that launches for a good chunk of damage and usable for long range. It can also headshot, and so, once you froze the enemy… feel free to concentrate, aim for the head, and let your ‘face of pure evil’ be the last thing they see as you lob an ice lance right in the face.
Her blaster can also let her generate ice walls to block off enemy path, or even give more path for Mei, and if the enemies get near her, she can also encase herself in ice and heals her over time, giving her extra sustain. All in all, playing her actually require a good planning, knowing which path to block and when is the right time to freeze an unsuspecting enemy.
And even moreso with her ultimate, Blizzard, which creates a free blizzard courtesy of Snowfall. Anyone who stays in the range of the Blizzard will eventually get frozen, while the ultimate can be telegraphed, using it as an ambush can be very effective to disable the whole enemy team and she can even destroy the enemy with the snowstorm alone. Well, I told you that a good planning is needed to be successful as Mei.
She’s smart, she’s friendly and she dispenses a lot of freezing effect to the battlefield. Is she ruthless? Well, not all the time, but that look at her face when she’s preparing her ice lance. It may be just her way to concentrate… but it kind of like a ruthless concentration, I can understand if people mistake it as some sort of evil face. But that does strengthen my reasoning why Mei actually fits as one of the top Ice Masters in Video Games, ranking at #16. Yeah, she kind of loses point for having her freezing assets provided by other tools, but it’s still good enough for me!
When it comes to Smite, the one Pantheon that is usually associated with ice tends to be the Norse Pantheon. Yes, last time I did include Ymir amongst my Top 20 Smite Gods, but after 2016, shall we say there’s a competition…
Skadi the Goddess of Winter is quickly becoming one of my newer favorite Goddesses with her trusty Kaldr at the side representing the winter itself, and being able to create slippery ground in instant like making instant ice levels. All in all, she really–
All right, fine! This place still belongs to Ymir!
I know that I’m starting to like playing as Skadi better, but… really, look at Ymir, he’s more about ice and doesn’t need a wee doggy to deliver some ice wreckage! So, sorry about that Skadi. I can just direct you to my old video, but… that’s not proper, so let’s start from the beginning.
Long story short, Ymir was pretty much the Alpha of the Norse Mythology, being that he’s there since the beginning of time, and from him came other beings from mankind to dwarves to Gods. Including Odin. Except that being a Frost Giant, Ymir is evil and opposed the Gods when all they had was just the vast space of void. Odin defeated Ymir and then from his massive body, he shaped the Earth. So yeah, Ymir might as well be the ground you stepped at. Unfortunately, in this point, Ymir isn’t fully dead yet, he was waiting for a chance to take vengeance… and probably the Battleground of the Gods is his chance for it, that’s why he took on the form of a sizable giant made of ice and participated in the chaotic battle and hopes to kill Odin along the way.
And if there’s one thing that becomes the biggest obstacle about me including him is that… well, Ymir is a dumb-ass. You take a look at his quotes and personality and you know he sounds like an uneducated simpleton that speaks like he’s Hulk. This is actually so contrasting to the other cool-headed ice masters in this list. But on the other hand, nobody says that ice will always break so easily, and surprisingly, even if his personality doesn’t fit, Ymir actually fulfills that part. His body is made of super tough ice blocks, and befitting to his role as a Guardian, he comes with good defense score and overall a very durable God. If you want to break the ice, don’t ask Ymir to volunteer. Because you can’t break those ices.
And befitting his title as the Father of Frost Giants, all of Ymir’s abilities have things to do with ice. Like Mei, he can also create ice walls from afar to block enemy passage. He can also smash his ice club to the ground for a Glacial Strike that damages and slows down the enemy. Anyone caught in his Frost Breath will be frozen solid and when leveled high enough, it becomes kind of long and will make or break team fights. And just like the title suggests, his Ultimate, Shards of Ice, had Ymir, after a delay, generated a lot of ice shards around him and then launched them to surrounding enemies. Others might use different methods to deliver the ice breakers, but Ymir probably got the most swag way to do it. He flexes, and BOOM, people around him die.
Yep, he may be kind of a simpleton and he’s put as ‘evil’ in this case, but Ymir is kind of a lovable idiot that I can’t help but like. And it also helps that he represents the toughness of ice, and in addition, I still like his style as a tough guardian that showcases the idea of an unbreakable ice. Even if there’s another ice-using deity that I’m growing to like, Ymir still tops when it comes to being an Ice Master in Video Games, ranking at #16.
(Apologies for the lack of music. There’s nearly no OST uploaded about this game. I’ll just make due with another song that fits the theme)
I wish I knew this series earlier. Shining Force was known as Sega Genesis’ premiere turn based strategy, kind of like Fire Emblem. It eventually received a lot of spin-offs and the one I managed to get is this.
Shining Tears. When the Shining series attempted a spin-off for a hack-and-slash RPG game. I don’t think people thought of this game highly, but I always have sweet memories with this game. Without taking the past Shining series in comparison, it was still a very decent game. And at the very least, the characters are quite quirky and lovable. Even better that my most favorite also happens to be a very competent and cool ice witch, Blanc Neige.
Let’s just say she really didn’t make the best impression at the very beginning, though not as exaggerated as a certain spoiled brat, but even then they do get better. So to start with, Neige is cold and tends to brush away other people, leading many residents of the Heroes’ Hearth inn to think she’s a very stuck up, haughty sorceress. She only started loosing up a little when she was shown firsthand the power of the Dragon Ring with the protagonist Xion. But regardless of her shortcomings, Neige is still a staunch member of the mercenary Weiss Ritter to quell the assault of Runegeist…
Which used to be called Runevale… and Neige just so happens to be its lost princess. See, her full name was Ira Blanc Neige Gardenias and when Runegeist rose, she was targeted for murder by her own younger brother driven mad by power, but ended up rescued and also separated with her other big brother Keiner and downgraded herself into a mere mercenary… Sheesh, no wonder she became a bitter antisocial girl as a result, this girl’s past kinda sucks, putting it mildly. But thankfully, she still managed to persevere and managed to put an end to her mad brother, assisted with her sane brother… as much as it still pained her. She still stuck around to defeat the ultimate evil that is Behemoth, but if given enough relationship points, we finally see Neige completely breaking her cold demeanor and let out a genuine smile.
All around, for a game like this, I’m actually surprised that they gave that much character development on Neige. It’s not exactly a most original development, there’s even a trope for it, but it’s still executed well, and hey, it kind of matches with her innate affinity with ice magic… Oh yes, we’re getting to that part.
See, on paper, Neige might look like a bit too much like a generic ice mage. Her ice magic involve a breath of ice that damages nearby enemies, or an ice lance that travels farther and can freeze enemies from their tracks. Looked kind of simple, but when using her Link skills, she will show how devastating she can be. She can summon a Blizzard to strike on those between her and Xion, or summon two ice rings that damages anyone near her or Xion, wherever he is. Whenever she runs, she also covers herself with snowflake, making her freeze anyone contacting her. And her passives basically makes her ice spells sting even harder.
All those combined, and then we’re treated with the deadliest Ice Wall ever. Yeah, I’ve mentioned several other characters who built ice walls, but at least they just blocks off pathing. Neige’s ice wall doesn’t do just that… it also flats out murders anyone foolish enough to get near it. Seriously, any bosses who had the balls to stay still is like kindly putting a “Kill and encase me in the ice wall, please.” label on their chest in front of Neige. They deal constant and eventually big damage with cost efficiency that it’s actually more terrifying than Neige’s final skill, being able to call forth a horde of mammoths out of ice. That is no small task either and also shows the extent of what Neige can do with ice, but… I think I would watch out more for that murderous wall of ice…
Overall, her game of origin is very underrated, but Neige is one of the things that makes the game worthwhile. She’s cold & cool, she has a pretty good character development, and her ice stings really hard that it will wipe enemy ranks clean in a very good speed. I understand that she later reappears in several future games like Shining Wind, where she has a more mature look… but I haven’t played the game so I can’t judge her there. However, even until now, Princess Ira Blanc Neige Gardenias remain in my heart as one of my favorite Ice Masters in video games, ranking at #15.
And it’s time to dwelve to another ‘games you probably never heard of’! This time, let’s take a look at this obscure fighting game known as Psychic Force.
It’s a 2D fighting game where the arena is basically a cubic dome allowing you to move in eight directions and most attacks are defaulting to small projectile attacks, though you can get up close, grazing through those weak projectiles and start beating the crap out of your enemies with your own limbs. It might not be up to par with the current fighting game standards today, but for the time, it was quite unique and I still have good memories of that.
It also helps that elemental power is heavily in play within the series. The story is basically similar to X-Men, about a certain superhuman race that’s bullied for their superpower and then there’s this charismatic leader who wants to subjugate humans for the sake of this race, known as the Psychiccer. If I have to say, the story might be a little too bleak and dark for its time, and it might even give BlazBlue a run for its money. But I digress… Like I said, someone who used is amongst the cast member of this game…
And it’s that aforementioned leader of the Psychiccer movement, the Psychiccer of Ice, Keith Evans.
(The above art is by Jonzoh)
Pretty much a younger version of Magneto, except with ice, Keith is decidedly calm, cool and collected. After seeing too many times his kins, the Psychiccers, being shunned and hated, he formed the NOA organization to create an utopia where Psychiccers can live in peace without prejudice. He’s charismatic enough to attract several powerful and sympathetic Psychiccers to join his cause, but he got some opposition from his best friend Burn Griffith, the Psychiccer of Fire, seeing that Keith usually goes a little too extreme… just so you know that he’s an antagonist. Even if Keith and the NOA are attacking humanity and subjugating them, after awhile they were bullying the Psychiccer, it would be enough for Keith to not care and consider it a payback.
But as charismatic as he was, there is just one bad seed that he couldn’t remove, the manipulative Time Psychiccer, Richard Wong. By the second game, Wong broke away to create The Army, a much more evil organization that sought world domination for his own paradise. As much as an antagonist he is, of course Keith would not let that be and he came in opposition of those who sided with Wong and even Burn’s friends…
Well, that was awkward… It was quite a pity that the game was cut short after two games, the story has potential to go in places. Keith’s conviction to lead the Psychiccers and protecting their welfare is genuine, and after the prejudice they got, one can see why he goes to the extremes about creating the utopia for his race, and he also wanted to share the future he envisioned with Burn, who of course considered that his extremist way will not do any good in the long run, thereby creating their rivalry.
But I digress. Obviously you want to see how much Keith plays with his ice. As one of the most powerful Psychiccers, not just on his ice levels, it gave Keith a good deal of confidence that unless he’s attacking, he’s always having his arms folded. He can summon an ice globe barrier around him to protect himself, and a swing from his arm can create ice gust that encases his enemies in ice, and he can also summon lances made out of ice, or even make ice spikes appear surrounding him. And it gets even better if you like both ice and dragon… well because for his strongest attack, Keith literally conjures a dragon of ice that can engulf the enemy in a devastating ice explosion.
It’s a real pity that the game died out after two games, thus usually Keith is stuck character-wise. However, for the short time he’s with us, he shows the devastating power of a Psychiccer of Ice, and it’s partially his immense mastery of ice that makes him the leader of NOA. While most would not be familiar enough with him, he’s cool enough to attain the position of #14 Top Video Game Ice Masters.
Actually, I’ve talked about this character in my previous post. But since it’s just lazy to copy and paste, let’s start again. You’ve seen her in the Spear Experts countdown, it’s Yuki from The Last Blade.
For a refresher of the story, Yuki is a foreigner who stranded in Japan and embraced the Japanese culture on her own, though not on extreme gaijin levels. She is taught in the way of naginata combat, but for some reason, she also has the ability to control the element of ice. Back in the first game when the game used character-based stages, Yuki’s stage happen to take place during the time when it snows, it makes sense that she’s able to manipulate ice at that time, but she seems to be able to make ices even when there’s no snow nearby. Anyway, she fought on to clear the name of her friend Moriya Minataka about murdering their beloved master, leading to the mad guardian of Suzaku, Kagami Shinnosuke and stopping him from opening the Hell Gate. The Gate didn’t just close like that and required a Sealing Maiden… And… well… There be big spoilers that I didn’t touch on last time.
The Sealing Maiden happened to be Yuki herself, and she eventually went on to sacrifice herself for the sake of the world in closing the Hell Gate. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE LIFE OF A COOL HEROINE AFTER NAKORURU!? WHY MUST YOU TORTURE ME SO, SNK!?
… But I digress.
Last time I spoke about how she wielded her spear or naginata. This time, let’s talk about how she manipulates her ice. Sure, Yuki’s more normal attacks consist of naginata swings, but when it comes to special moves, this is where she puts a great use of her ability in manipulating ice. These all manifest in being able to launch frozen lances, create one single ice geyser to stop aerial enemies, or creating an ice mirror that reflects away projectiles. And this being in a fighting game, Yuki will be able to use these ice moves in combination with her naginata strikes. And if she picked the Power style, she becomes capable of summoning an ice tornado that drags her enemy to it, before sending them upwards until she either strikes them down with a deadly slash with her naginata, or just send even more giant ice blocks to crush them from above. You gotta admit, this girl’s got dedication in how much she’s tossing the ice to beat the crap out of her opponents.
Yes, I still understand that she took a nose dive in tier list in spite of all I said above. But I don’t care, you know what I give to tier lists. Yuki’s got dedication in her mission and how she uses ice offensively to score victories. They don’t call her ‘Yuki’ (‘Snow’ in Japan) for no reason you know. Combined with her compassion and willpower, all in all it makes me pick her as the #13 Top Video Game Ice Masters.
Dynasty Warriors offer a lot of powerful warriors to be playable and most of them kick a copious amounts of asses, even if they might not be that mighty in history. Shut up, it’s a video game, that’s what makes it cool. However, it just seems that the element of ice is not native to these characters, only limited to equipping certain elements. This doesn’t seem like something that would make it to the list. The best I could come up with for the earlier game seems to be Zhenji, who only has the personality of an Ice Queen. But otherwise not fitting.
Now, Zhenji… she’s the wife of one of Cao Cao’s son Cao Pi, and looking at his novel counterpart or historical one, he’s either a good domestic ruler, but not so much a war commander… and he’s an asshole to Zhenji. I mean, once he found a new favorite concubine, he ignored her to the point of telling her to commit suicide. I know women emancipation wasn’t a thing in ancient China, but man, what a dick. There’s no frickin’ way I’m gonna lik–
Wow, it’s not just because he prettied up here, but starting from his debut at Dynasty Warriors 5, I would say that Cao Pi just slowly shot up as one of my favorite characters, especially from the Wei Kingdom. They translated his cold hearted ass antics with his brother and wife in the original source into being a cold and precise son of Cao Cao who sought to surpass his father with his own ways. Well, that’s a tough goal considering how awesome Cao Cao is, but he tries. Also he’s a condescending jerk, but considering a lot of Wei characters does put up the tough and cold front, it’s quite in line.
But most importantly? They kind of reworked his relationship with Zhenji. So… while Cao Pi did look like he doesn’t really care that much with his wife, there are some tidbits spread throughout the games he appeared that shows that he does care for her tenderly… and woe betide whoever attempts to endanger him. Well, that’s a vast improvement.
Let’s take all those and see how much he integrates himself as an ice master. Even without an orb, Cao Pi is capable of sending out a slow-moving ice ball that explodes after a time. And he could do that at the end of any of his combo strings, therefore, he could send a lot of those ice balls. It also kind of lures the enemy into a sense of false reassurance, thinking that nothing could stop them as they advance or attack him, and suddenly, boom, they’re frozen. That’s just in Dynasty Warriors 5, and honestly? That wasn’t as much.
But come the seventh game… my god, just what kind of ice master that Cao Pi learned from behind our back? Now he can summon mighty ice spikes by just stabbing his sword to the ground, send an ice wave by just pointing his sword forward, or summon clusters of ice out of nowhere before enveloping his surrounding in an ice storm! And after that, almost all of his power attacks become associated with ice! Holy… sheet…
He liked to claim his mind is as cold as steel… Well, I could really add that it isn’t the whole story. His whole style is cold, tossing ice everywhere whenever he’s charged up. Cao Pi, at least in this Dynasty Warriors incarnation, is a cool-headed, precise warrior and his battle and planning prowess is up there with his kingdom’s other generals, close enough to get in line with his father. With bone-chilling ices he can summon out of nowhere with his sword matching his cold personality, Cao Pi has well-earned this spot at #12 of the Top Video Game Ice Masters.
Tell you what, between Cao Pi and the guy in this number, it’s a very tough call…
I had to skip the third Samurai Warriors title because it’s on Wii and I didn’t buy a Wii. I only came back in the fourth game and it has a tinkering in its combat system, and also brought back those introduced in the Japanese-only Chronicles 2nd. And by that, it’s actually a pretty good thing, because the three additions from that are great, and one of them being the one in this spot… Todo Takatora.
Now I know that in history there’s no way someone can make ice out of thin air with the swing of his sword like Takatora, but that’s what video games and their suspension of disbelief are for. Takatora is what I would call a ‘professional ronin’, constantly changing master and serving them well with utmost respect until either they prematurely died or they mistreated him. While on the outside he looks like he’s cold, precise and might suggest that he can be really unforgiving when it comes to shaping the future, he certainly held enough emotional and sensitive points, considering that (at least in this verse), he holds a high regard to his first master, Azai Nagamasa, and his wife Oichi. So yeah, he’s as cold as ice when it comes to achieving his dreams and slashing through the enemy, but the values of friendship and living is held highly by him, so he does have a compassionate side.
Honestly, he’s the kind of character that grew on me, considering that I kind of dismissed him compared to the other Chronicles 2nd newcomers, for reasons. It helps that he’s revealed as a natural ice user, his final place ends up being my favorite clan (Tokugawa), and… he wears blue.
For some reason, Takatora’s weapon, a Japanese-style rapier called Saiken, is able to generate ice wherever he goes. Sure, he might need an ice attribute in his weapon to actually freeze his opponent, but even without any other elements, he’s able to generate ice with a swing of his sword… and sometimes he DOES freeze the opponents without it, especially once he has activated his awakening. Almost all of his charged attacks involve creating ice shards right behind him or even create ice geysers by raising his hand or stabbing his sword to the ground. Even ice rains can be summoned by just raising his hand. And unlike some characters, it’s like the ices he created are naturally created, not artificial. And unlike Cao Pi, it’s not just his super skills, he can even do that a lot during charged/triangle attacks. Koei, am I playing an officer or a living blizzard here?
That is what makes him one of the better ice masters out there. It feels satisfying to waltz through the battlefield with Takatora and his frozen rapier, naturally freezing opponents alike with each slashes. His personality might be overdone, you know, the kind of ‘Jerk with a Heart of Gold’, but I like that archetype anyway and it kind of fits his cold and precise personality combining with his mastery over ice, making him the #11 Top 10 Video Game Ice Masters.
All right, this has gone long enough, so stay tuned for the next post as I explore upon 10 more top ice experts in video games. And… well there will be more familiar faces, but let me see if I can insert a few new faces that might be pretty good. Until then–