Check it out: Fiction's Ice Climbers-focused Melee tutorials


Once a top-level player poised to break into the highest echelons of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Shephard “Fiction” Lima took an extended hiatus from competitive play due to hand problems and a desire to focus on his passion of game development. However, the technical Fox main has recently returned to the competitive scene, racking up impressive wins at Southern California locals—and creating some bang-up content.

Fiction’s Smash content creation has come in the form of a video series titled Breaking the Ice Climbers: an in-depth look into the mechanics behind Ice Climbers, one of Melee’s most confusing and unique characters.

His first video, Understanding Belay, breaks down Ice Climbers’ up-B, Belay, into five discrete stages, showing the viewer how to safely interact with the character during each stage. The four-minute video has some little-known tidbits that make it very worth watching: for example, according to Fiction’s video, Belay actually goes higher if the Ice Climbers fast fall the frame before inputting up-B rather than double jumping into it.

Fiction’s second video, Getting to Know Nana, is considerably longer, coming in at over thirteen minutes. It’s worth watching every second, as Fiction expertly discusses the six different states that the backup climber can enter and explains her actions during each state. Furthermore, the video describes the different attack options that Nana “unlocks” at every level—Nana’s level increases every time Popo gains 20%.

Fiction showed his Ice Climbers knowledge at last year's Red Bulls Gods & Gatekeepers.

Fiction has a resume that backs up his claims of knowledge in the Ice Climbers matchup. In years past, he has taken sets off of renowned Ice Climbers players such as Jeremy “Fly Amanita” Westfahl, and boasts more recent wins over formidable ICs such as Armanda “ARMY” Del Duca.

If you’ve been struggling with your local Ice Climbers, watch these videos and struggle no more.