Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Until I came to Japan, I had never seen it snow.

Well, actually, I had been on one snow trip with my family. And one time, on a road trip, we made a stop at a rest area where there was snow piled up, and we played with it, but I had never actually seen snow fall from the sky.

Perhaps this is why I was freaked out when I first saw it snow.

It was back in the winter of 2006. I was sitting at the office of the school where I worked, when a teacher pointed out the fact that it was snowing outside. "Snow?" I thought to my self. "This I gotta see."

And there, as if it were materializing out of nowhere, were floating strands of cotton-like snow. I was seriously freaked out. It took me a while to get used to it.

I had seen it snow in movies, and I had seen snow be depicted in video games, but it's quite a different experience to actually be there present and watch it snow.

I was riding on my bike that same winter. I must have been on my way home from buying groceries or running some errand, when I noticed the wind was blowing around what seemed like bits of fluff. I could have sworn the wind had picked up dust bunnies, the kind that accumulate behind your couch or furniture that hadn't been moved in a while.

But upon closer inspection, it was snow again!

It was cold enough to snow. That would explain why my hands felt like they were frozen solid as I rode my bike down the sidewalk.

Snow is strange to me...

I associate stuff falling out of the sky with clouds.

If it's raining, there have to be clouds.

Logically, if it's snowing, there have got to be clouds also.

But for whatever reason, snow can materialize out of thin air, and fall to the ground and pile up, and this freaks the hell out of me!

I continue to be mystified by snow.

I hope one day to experience what they call a "White Christmas."

In Osaka, it snows, but it rarely piles up.

They say that once every 10 years or so, it actually snows in Osaka enough to pile up, make snow men and have snowball fights.

The last time I saw it snow like that was in fact that year of 2006.

We're long overdue.

Snow in Video Games
Some of the most memorable games for me had snow in them. In fact, oftentimes, the snow levels stood out in my mind for whatever reason. Either the scenery was visually appealing, or the level had interesting music.

I think the very first time I saw snow in a video game had to be in Megaman, Ice Man's world.

Ice Man's Stage, Megaman I

Fighting Ice Man

After that it had to be Super Mario 3, World 6.

After that it had to have been the snow level in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 for the original NES.

One of the biggest reasons I remember this level is because it had some very memorable music. I've included a link to it here.

But one of my most favorite snow levels was the one in Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts. Aside from being visually appealing, I really liked the music which was set to 5/4 time.

 Listen to this level's music here.

The snow levels in Adventure Island II also had great visuals and music.

Snow and ice were a recurring theme in Megaman games. Ice Man in the very first game, then Blizzard Man in the 6th game, Freeze Man in the 7th game, and Cold Man in Megaman & Bass. Not to mention Chill Penguin and Blizzard Buffalo in the X series.

Blizzard Man Stage

Fight with Blizzard Man

Freeze Man Stage

Blizzard Man

OK, Cloud Man wasn't an ice or snow character, but it did snow in his stage...

Cold Man Stage

Cold Man Battle

Chill Penguin Stage

Battle with Chill Penguin

Blizzard Buffalo Stage

Fight with Blizzard Buffalo

I never really saw it snow in a Zelda game, but then again, I didn't really play anything further than A Link to the Past. I do remember one of the dungeons in the Dark World in A Link to the Past had ice and snow in it however...

Snow appears in the very first Samurai Shodown game in Nakoruru's stage.

Her sister would later on appear in the third game in the series, with the element of snow and ice at her side.

Snow also appears in Samurai Shodown 2, in Jubei's stage.

The Phendrana Drifts level in Metroid Prime was visually beautiful, and it had memorable music I can still recall today...

Listen to the beautiful music of this stage here.

In the game Metroid Fusion, there is a scene where Ridley's remains were frozen stiff in an artificial snowing environment. The music was eerie and strange. The slow, lullaby-like music seemed to personify the ice and falling snow. I'll never forget it.

Listen to the music of this stage here.

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