La-Mulana: The secrets of the ruins won't solve themselves!

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I've been a fan of this game for a while now. Now that a more polished (English!) remake with updated graphics and gameplay was finally released a few weeks ago, I was hoping a thread would show up for it here. It's very much like Dark Souls, in that the player is largely left to their own devices to figure out how the game works, and what needs to be done to progress. I like to think that such a game would be well received here, so without further ado:

Wikipedia wrote:
La-Mulana is a 2D side-scrolling platform game, first released on May 27, 2005 in Japan for Microsoft Windows that features graphics and an interface inspired by MSX games. The game is a traditional action-adventure game, reminiscent of the Castlevania and Metroid games. This game was originally only available in Japanese, but an English translation patch has been produced by Ian Kelley of AGTP.

...

One of the principles behind the game's design is difficulty: as described in the game's manual, the developers were disappointed in the lack of difficulty prevalent among many games of the current era (around 2005-2007), and sought to help create a sense of tension in the game—the example they gave was that, if one were a real-life archaeologist, one might think twice before jumping into a dark pit, but in many videogames, it is too easy to simply attempt the action, suffer the consequences, and reload. The tension is created by arming many features in the game with various traps that can easily befall reckless adventurers (as also noted by the wealth of skeletons in the dungeon), as well as several complete dead ends (notorious among well-versed players), from which, short of teleportation, there is no way out. These traps are explained in-game to exist in order to protect these sacred ruins.

This original freeware version is still available. This archive includes the game and the installer for the English translation. You will need to apply the translation patch before running the game. Leave the windows Screen Resolution dialog open in the background before running the game to fix the sprites and palettes being messed up in Windows 7. For comparison, here's some gameplay from the original version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEn5huyUcsg

Wikipedia wrote:
The game was ported to Nintendo's WiiWare service by Nicalis on June 21, 2011 in Japan. The WiiWare version features a number of changes, partly to tone down the difficulty and improve design in order to appeal to a larger audience, partly to give players who've played the original a new experience, and partly due to copyright issues. In addition, the graphics were updated to a smoother style and the music is reproduced in a more richly orchestrated form.

This WiiWare version was bound for US and European markets as well, but died during the cert process. Anxious for lack of info, the faithful (myself and probably 4-5 others somewhere in the world) patiently waited for news of the ill-fated translation. And then, several months ago, Nigoro finally announced on their blog that not only would the new La-Mulana be coming out in English very soon, it would not be on the Wii and would instead debut on the PC! Fast forward to July 13th and the game is available at playism-games.com, Steam and GOG for $15. They have produced a beginners video, and a fantastic instruction manual [PDF] to help you get started.

So far, everything I loved about the original is here in full force. In following with its look-alike, Spelunkey, the controls and rules of the world are precise enough that my deaths are entirely my fault. The boss fights (and even sub-bosses) demand that I identify their patterns and carefully execute my plan of attack. The music will be stuck in my head for months to come. The puzzles (many changed from the original) require me to scour both the ruins and various forums for clues.

I implore you goodjers, if any of this piques your interest, grab a copy (new or old) and try it out. This is a game worth playing, and worth talking about.

(When you get super stuck, the wiki is there to guide you.)

I'd been looking forward to this on WiiWare for years and was sad to see it die on the vine. I'm still not sure about picking it up for PC since I'm not a huge fan of platformers on that platform, but boy does it look like fun.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
I'm still not sure about picking it up for PC since I'm not a huge fan of platformers on that platform, but boy does it look like fun. :)

A USB controller makes the PC a really competent platforming system. I wouldn't play Spelunky any other way

Definitely interested in checking this out. I should probably put Spelunky to bed first, lest I mess up my tuned platforming mechanics.

A USB controller makes the PC the best gaming console. I've played La-Mulana a bit both ways and ended up settling on the keyboard as my main control scheme, but I would expect most would prefer a controller. The original doesn't have the best gamepad support (forces you to use analogue rather than d-pad), but a little bit of Xpadder action can remedy that with ease.

This game looks right up my alley! Might make me pickup a SNES USB controller to play it. Anybody have any recommendations? I just can't stand using the 360 D-pad for games like this. :S

I recommend a Saturn usb pad http://www.amazon.com/Retro-SEGA-Sat...

That's not the manufacturer I got mine from (maybe?). I got mine on ebay quite a while ago for a much higher price and have been happy with it.

I've been watching this since it was mentioned in TIGsource, but haven't pulled the trigger. I'd probably be more likely to do so if it was on Steam (for whatever reason).

Datyedyeguy wrote:
I just can't stand using the 360 D-pad for games like this. :S

I'm totally with you on that. I've been using this rather sketchy looking software to get my PS3 controller working over USB. Though their UI leaves something to be desired, it seems to get the job done once it's all set up. You have the option of it appearing as a generic USB gamepad, or masquerading as a 360 controller for the games that don't accept anything else. Once I had mine set up that way, the automatic button config in the new La-Mulana kicked in and everything was great.

I still end up playing with the keyboard more often than not because I can't be bothered to go to the other room to grab the controller and find the USB cord.

The Let's Play of the original La Mulana on youtube has 84 parts and is, quite frankly, legendary.

Go show your support, La-Mulana is on Steam Greenlight! Currently at 2% of some magical threshold.

Hey, that's progress. It was 0% when I voted earlier!

ClockworkHouse wrote:
I'd been looking forward to this on WiiWare for years and was sad to see it die on the vine. I'm still not sure about picking it up for PC since I'm not a huge fan of platformers on that platform, but boy does it look like fun. :)

The Wii version has been picked up for North America and will be published later this month.

Heads up for anyone following this thread: Playism has La-Mulana on a pay-what-you-want deal with a minimum of $1. You have until midnight tonight Pacific. Go get it!

Coming soon to Steam! La-Mulana has been announced as one of the 10 games to be selected for release on Steam from Greenlight.

psoplayer wrote:
Coming soon to Steam! La-Mulana has been announced as one of the 10 games to be selected for release on Steam from Greenlight.

This is gonna boost sales so much. I have been interested in this game but was really leery of the distribution method. At this point if it's not on GOG or Steam, I'm pretty much out.

psoplayer wrote:
Why wait?

Oh, well what do you know. I haven't looked at the GoG catalog in a while as I have been focused on working on the pile.

The wait is almost over.

I played a few hours last week, almost getting done with the first area, and it's absolutely old school action adventure bliss.

This looks amazing. Sold.

This is the happiest news! Now you bums will have no excuses at ignoring this awesome game!

Available now on Steam.

About the Game wrote:
Please consider this game to be our challenge to you.

Play through the entire game till your fingers bleed, give up and throw it out the window, or get help from strategy guides. The choice is yours.

I'll have a steam code to give away for this very soon.

Hey guys, this game is amazing. I just beat the first boss (barely), and made small progress into another area. The game is a nice blend of adventure titles you love, mostly metroidvanias, but has such an emphasis on secrets, finding your own way, and puzzle solving. I wish I could pull an all-nighter and feast on more of this experience right now. La-Mulana is totally giving me the feels.

May have to get this. I finally got myself an xbox wired controller for the PC and have been looking for games to get. The pile is large, but what the heck, this game seems to have exactly what I'm looking for.

Got a code to give away. How badly do you WANT IT?

If it is a steam code I want it bad enough to write bad poetry.

Codes are like ants
Seeds grow from plants
La-Mulana is neither ants or plants
La-Mulana is mana

Baron Of Hell wrote:
If it is a steam code I want it bad enough to write bad poetry.

Codes are like ants
Seeds grow from plants
La-Mulana is neither ants or plants
La-Mulana is mana

Not a haiku instead?

A game of wonder
Treasure and death all around
Or so I am told

*Not terrible interested in the game just felt like writing

This is on sale now and I'm very close to pulling the trigger. That being said, how much back tracking is there in the game? I found out with a game like Cave Story+ I put the game down for a few months and when I picked it back up I had no clue where I was supposed to be going.

It's a fairly open world. I'd say there's a lot of adventuring and exploration to be had, and at least one teleport/save per area.

Carlbear95 wrote:
This is on sale now and I'm very close to pulling the trigger. That being said, how much back tracking is there in the game? I found out with a game like Cave Story+ I put the game down for a few months and when I picked it back up I had no clue where I was supposed to be going.

I'll just put it this way: I could play LaMulana for a 12 hour marathon and I would still have no idea where I was supposed to be going for about 70% of it, if I didn't have the wiki to guide me. Two month breaks not necessary!

Ha. Well is there at least an indicator of where you're supposed to go, blip on a map, arrow, something? Cave Story all I remember was I finished the last task I was supposed to do, and now 2 months later, I really have no clue where I'm supposed to go. Its hard enough to know what you're supposed to do without an FAQ in that game, but if I don't even know where in the FAQ to look now, its pretty much impossible.

I'll probably get this today (if its still on sale) and give it a whirl.

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