Will you fall prey to deadly traps or unravel the secrets of LA-MULANA? LA-MULANA is an “Archaeological Ruin Exploration Action Game” in which you search inside ancient ruins, seeking out the “Secret Treasure of Life” – which sleeps in the sprawling ruins of “LA-MULANA” and is said to be the beginning of all civilization.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,094 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 15, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"Challenging and mysterious, an updated remake of a classic freeware game that will keep you entralled. Bring a notepad or a FAQ."

Reviews

“La Mulana delivers on a fun, challenging and rewarding exploration experience that is presented with polish.”
Greenlit Gaming

"Beyond the seemingly insurmountable wall of challenge, La-Mulana is a brilliant title that exceeds in just about every category. Art, music, breadth of content, game length -- La-Mulana gets the highest marks. But there's simply no denying that the difficulty, as fair as Nigoro purports it to be, is a major deterrent. If you are willing to suffer, though, you will be blown away. I guarantee it."
8/10 – Destructoid

"Nigoro’s La-Mulana is like Castlevania: Symphony of The Night spliced with Dark Souls. It is long, it is tough, it is involved and it has puzzles that’ll make your brain bleed."
93/100 – Indie Game Mag

"I look back on my time with La-Mulana with plenty of frustration at the challenging platforming, enemies, bosses, and puzzles. But I’m also amazed at the time, thought, and talent that went into creating this experience. There may never be another game like La-Mulana."
8.5/10 – Game Informer

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La-Mulana 2 Kickstarter

About This Game

Will you fall prey to deadly traps or unravel the secrets of LA-MULANA?


LA-MULANA is an “Archaeological Ruin Exploration Action Game” in which you search inside ancient ruins, seeking out the “Secret Treasure of Life” – which sleeps in the sprawling ruins of “LA-MULANA” and is said to be the beginning of all civilization. Apart from the plethora of traps lying in wait to stop intruders, there are also monsters on the prowl, protecting the ruins. Head for the innermost depths of the ruins while solving a variety of mysteries, fending off monsters, and disarming traps.
Forging ahead will be no simple task – the further into the depths you reach, the more difficult the mysteries become.


The first run of NIGORO games. Created back in the creators’ “amateur” days and renowned worldwide, it was remade for WiiWare. This is the PC port version.
This game, which originated from the creators’ wish to play the sort of games that enthralled them back in the day – only with more volume – was created based on “that old-time feeling”. The operability and difficulty level are certainly not “new school”. However, this game is highly recommended to gamers seeking out that feeling of total immersion that allows you to go full-on head-to-head with a game not found in somewhat lighter fare.


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.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:Intel® Pentium 4 / 2.0GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9.0c compatible card, 128MB of VRAM
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible card
Helpful customer reviews
23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
46.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
La-Mulana is the truly realized potential of the adventure genre. The story is strong and the lore is rich, but none of it is forcibly shoved down your throat. The puzzles are deep and meaningful, and every puzzle in the game has a hint or two hidden away somewhere among the game's many ancient tablets, but nothing is ever spelled out completely. The variety of intimidating bosses are tough and require practice to beat, but there's always a way to make them easier if you're stuck, by exploring and finding items that give you an advantage. The controls are restrictive and will require effort to master, but the platforming never demands anything unreasonable.

That's the key word when it comes to La-Mulana: effort. Absolutely nothing is given to you for free. Anything you get out of La-Mulana, even how much fun you have playing it, is dependent on how much effort you're willing to put into it. And no game rewards effort quite like La-Mulana. When you finally solve that deeply meaningful puzzle that spans the entire ruins, you feel like a genius, and when your reward is an incredibly powerful weapon, you feel like a god. When you finally obliterate, yes, obliterate the guardian of that treasure, you feel like a boss, and when your reward is nothing less than the second half of the bloody game, you feel like you really are the Chosen One.

La-Mulana is not just an adventure, it's a full-scale epic. This is one of the longest indie games you'll ever play, yet it remains engaging throughout and retains its replay value without leaning on any rogue-like elements whatsoever. The game's art and soundtrack embrace this, making everything seem larger than you, but also setting a very driving and elevating mood. If you're a master of Metroidvanias and think the game is too easy, there's a kinda sorta but not really hidden Hard Mode, and an actually hidden optional dungeon, recommended for masochists only; that's not a facetious remark. Luckily for most of you, you don't miss out on any of the game's good points by passing it up.

Often, you'll see people describe any indie platformer that's even slightly harder than Mario Bros. as being like "2D Dark Souls." It's stupid, I hate it, and I stop reading reviews when I see it, but if there ever were a game that deserved that title, it would be La-Mulana. But unlike Dark Souls, I would recommend everyone play this game, not just people who want to be able to brag to all of their internet non-friends about how they "beat 2D Dark Souls."
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
118.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
La-Mulana is brutal. It will do nothing to help you if you are stuck; everything you need is in the game in the form of tablets marked with obscure riddles or prose that you either need to find or need to decipher in the same manner as an actual archaeologist would.

A great example is how I played the game for about 10 hours on my first playthrough without having found the warping item (which is in the very first area) that's absolutely necessary for decent progress. The game didn't stop my progress and inform me that I was missing something. In fact, aside from one dead end, I could have stumbled through the whole game without this warping item (and I'm fairly certain that with planning you could even circumvent this).

Even in the midst of those 10 grueling hours (where I had to grind on enemies to heal instead of warping to the hot springs which heal you fully), I still felt La-Mulana was something very special, and that feeling greatly intensified when I started a fresh second playthrough and went further into the game. I think it might actually be my absolute favorite 2D adventure game, and I say that as a very encompassing statement (including all your Zelda's, Metroid's, etc.).

It made me think more than even any cut-and-dry puzzle game I've ever played has made me think. I couldn't solve all the puzzles on my own- I will readily admit that. It doesn't do anything to diminish my opinion of the game- everything you need to solve anything is available if you have the brain and willpower to figure it out. Some of it is incredibly obscure and difficult to figure out, but I'd imagine if you asked an actual archaeologist how hard his job is, they'd say it's a lot harder than La-Mulana (maybe this is actually a sim game?)

Add a layer of amazing combat and action on top of that, with lots of huge boss battles, and it's what I'd consider perfection. People criticize the jumping mechanic. That would be like criticizing the jumping in Castlevania; it's a short-sighted complaint, because the game is 100% built around the limited control. Everything in La-Mulana is hand-crafted beauty, please buy this.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
97.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
LA-MULANA

La-Mulana is a 2D side scrolling adventure game with a heavy emphasis on exploration, puzzle solving and action elements commonly referred to as "Metroidvania" by gaming enthusiasts.

Despite its appearances La-Mulana isn't a mere tribute to classic games. The developers of La-Mulana wondered how games like Super Metroid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and a plethora of other adventure games on other systems such as the MSX Home Computer would be like now if they were still in production today. (Dark/Demon's Souls is a great example of this genre in a 3D format albeit not nearly as intricate as La-Mulana) While none of the ideas in La-Mulana are exactly innovative or ground breaking the game excels as it takes the best qualities of its precursors and builds upon them while doing its best to rid itself of the negative qualities that plagued its predecessors. The best comparison would be to that of a Quentin Tarantino movie, a film buff making movies for movie fans the topics and concepts of which not original, however it takes the best aspects of its influences, constructs upon them and adds a dash of personality to them which in the end makes the experience feel fresh and gratifying as opposed to a copy paste.

The controls for La-Mulana are tight and responsive yet not free-form and allowing for correction like Super Castlevania IV, instead each action must be deliberate and precise. Boss fights follow a pattern design and can be prove to be challenging however the game provides an option for players that lack the motor skills to overcome the boss battles, by collecting the in-game currency the player can purchase a revolver and some ammunition which can be used to dispatch the tougher baddies rather easily. The lore is infused with the puzzles of the game and the back story explains itself as you go about playing the game. What makes La-Mulana such a great game is its exploration and brilliant puzzle design. This is very much so a pen and paper game, the player must have keen attention to detail and write notes on every discrepancy in order to solve its demanding puzzles. La-Mulana is not a direct game, it does not hold your hand, it thrusts you out into the game where you are required absorb information at your own pace. The puzzles may not seem coherent at first due to how little guidance the player is given on top of how cryptic the puzzles tend to be, I often found myself rubbing my head wondering if I missed a detail or whether I was just thick but eventually with enough perseverance and dedication I was able to get the gears spinning in my brain once more. This game will stick with you as you go about your daily activities mulling over what detail you may have missed in La-Mulana. It's hard to call La-Mulana a difficult game as it is more demanding and challenging. It won't beat you into the ground until you achieve victory covered in your own guts like Ninja Gaiden on the NES (or the 3D iterations). Instead you'll find yourself bewildered and confused trying to figure out what it is you need to do in order to get your head out of your keister and progress.

La-Mulana is up there in my favorite games of all time and has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had in gaming. I would have to say the target audience for La-Mulana would be gaming aficionados who have been at the hobby for a long time and have surpassed every other obstacle placed in front of them. While I wouldn't suggest this for a more casual or leisure player I do believe it is a game everyone should try at least once.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
In two words: hard and japanese. Perhaps, that wasn’t eloquent enough. Excruciatingly, unbelievably hard and amusingly delightfully japanese. And if you think it’s “Dark Souls hard”, think again. La-Mulana does to Dark Souls what Dark Souls does to your typical AAA-game. It is an impossible cocktail, where a tiny drop of pleasure is dissolved in a full glass of pain. So you have to work your way to your reward and it will be more of a faint tone than a full-scale experience. But it’s still worth it. Even though you’ll have to deal with those impossible wall-jumps and remorseless bosses, and complete vagueness of the right direction to go. Such outright brutality is so old-school that the game becomes not just an homage to The Maze of Galious like UnEpic did, but a proper successor.
This uncompromisingly torturing game-design is a perfect match for an originally freeware game for Windows, made by two enthusiasts inspired by MSX era in gaming. It’s that level of difficulty that accepts a placing of an unkillable (until you find a certain item of course) boss just a few screens to the left from the starting point. But then again what would you expect from a game that tries to recreate an atmosphere of obscure predecessor of modern metroidvanias? If you think now that La-Mulana has a suitably absurd fantasy story, you’re only half right. It still has its background, one of a very grim mythology, but on the surface it’s the story of an archaeologist named Lemeza Kosugi. He’s wearing a fedora, carrying a whip and a revolver and is going inside a prehistoric underground tomb. Of course inside the tomb he will find all sorts of dangers, including venomous snakes, aggressive bats, walking skeletons and all kinds of deadly traps. So, yes, it’s Indiana Jones, but with some additional weirdness. The deeper you venture inside game’s vast dungeon the more horrible truths you will discover about the world’s history and (seemingly) inevitable doom. This doesn’t mean though that there won’t be a whole bunch of comical stereotypic japanese NPCs with their humorous dialogues. They’ll always cheer you up just when you’re about to be soaked in a muddy swamp of depressing events of the past. Of course I mean game’s fictional past, not your pathetic chain of events called life (or mine for that matter).
About how the dungeoneering is made I must say that it looks fairly simple on the surface. You can move in four directions, jump like someone recovering from a car incident and whip those nasty snakes and bats ‘till they die and (hopefully) drop some gold coins. Then there’s the inventory screen with lots of frightening empty space. And a special tab for software management of your notebook. No, not that real one, but an in-game one, which Kosugi uses in his adventures. There’s lots of different software throughout the game that you will pick up in dark corners, but only few may be active at a time, because Mobile Super X has only 1 gigabyte of storage. Player has to choose from such stuff as map display, email client for receiving messages from certain NPC or even decrypt ancient glyphs. To make things even worse, there are 12 program combinations with extra properties like additional invincibility frames after receiving damage. And believe me, you’ll want those frames by the time you’ll get both so-important apps.
Actually you’ll want anything that’ll help even a bit. Oh, those precious bullets for your gun, that almighty destroyer of bosses, they’ll cost a pretty penny, but are so worth it. So, you’ll save and collect, get better weapons, protective items, learn better tricks. And every bit will seem so tiny and insignificant, but in the end you’ll face the hardest challenges and overcome them. And that will be rewarding. La-Mulana isn’t something I would recommend to a stranger. It’s easy to overlook the game’s virtues, especially when learning curve is rather steep. Nonetheless it’s a masterpiece on its own merits. Engaging story, gloomy setting, stupendous world and painstakingly hard puzzles make a combination so monolithic and grandiose, that I just have no other choice but admire it.
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16 of 26 people (62%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
La-Mulana is an exploration based sidescroller platforming Metroidvania that was the inspiration for one of my favorite games, Spelunky, so I knew I had to give it a play.

After a fairly slow start I found the game to be pretty engaging. The controls are very strange, with movement being very jerky and not my usual thing, but I got used to it and was enjoying it despite. I was happily wandering the ruins, solving puzzles, and slaying monsters.

I fought a boss while riding through caves on a cart, Ellmac, which was pretty difficult and frustrating but I figure that was my fault for doing it (probably) so early with such poor gear, so it gets a pass. I die after him though in the new area so I figure I'll come back later.

So far the game was shaping up to be better than I expected! I was wondering where I should go next, so I figured I'd head to the Temple of Moonlight. I'd found it before but always died early inside it, so I was putting it off.

In I go and I get to dungeoneering. Can't attack while inside? Got it. New items, puzzles, and all that jazz... great! But where's the save point? I was very close to death when I finally found it. Phew!

Now how do I get out of this place? I spend maybe an hour or so wandering the areas I'd already been, finding a secret weapon, but can't for the life of me figure out how to escape. I love playing games blind, so I leave the game for a bit to ruminate on the area and see if I can think of something I missed.

When I come back, I explore everything one last time, smacking all the walls and trying my best to find anything I missed. Eventually I break, and I have to look up what the deal is. It shouldn't be so hard to leave the area - after all, I have the map, so I know where all the rooms are...

I'm permanently stuck in the Temple of Moonlight because I didn't pick up the Holy Grail earlier. Apparently there are several locations in the game where this can happen. In a game about exploration, you can get permanently stuck for apparently exploring in the wrong order. The game doesn't indicate that one area should be explored before another, or that you have to have this item before you should continue on. The item is hidden too, a puzzle that I had seen but was unable to solve and put off until later.

How is this acceptable design? I was enjoying the game despite the other flaws, but that crosses a line. Maybe it's a fundamental difference in the way Japanese and Westerners design and enjoy their games, but I don't have the time or want to be forced to restart a long-winded game due to game breaking scenarios that are beyond my control.

If you are new to La-Mulana, get the Holy Grail before you explore anywhere, or your game might just end early... and you'll be left very wanting.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
La-Mulana started life as an 8-bit game reminiscent of MSX games. An homage, if you will. In 2010, it was remade for WiiWare, then ported back to PC.

I have not played the original, so I cannot compare the two versions.

In La-Mulana you play as Lemeza Kosugi, professional Indiana Jones-style archaeologist. He was goaded by his father, Shorn, to travel to the ruins of La-Mulana in search of a legendary treasure hidden within. Lemeza arrives at the town just outside the ruin with nothing but a whip and a laptop (The Mobile Super X, totally not the MSX). Everything else he intended to bring was confiscated by airport security. Thankfully, the ruins are filled with various other treasures that serve Lemeza much better than a grappling hook and some rope ever would.

I will say this now: The game is hard. Very hard. There is no hand-holding in this game. You have to purchase the ability to scan signposts, tablets, and pretty much everything else in the ruins, then a software to translate the tablets within the ruins.

However, every puzzle's solution appears on a tablet somewhere in the ruins, though the tablet and the puzzle it relates to may not be anywhere near each other.

The controls, however, require a lot of getting used to. Lemeza controls well when he's grounded, but the midair controls are rather awkward. You have very little air control when you jump angled to the left or right. If you jump straight up, you can start moving in a direction when you reach the apex of the jump. Jumping into a wall will allow you to turn around, which makes jumping to platforms directly above or below the one you're currently on simple. Walking off of a platform without jumping prevents you from controlling your fall.

Getting hit flings Lemeza backwards, and you do not regain control of him until he lands on solid ground. It's pretty annoying, because more than a few segments of the game require you to ascend. Getting hit can and will send you down several screens. Luckily, you can still use your item menu and laptop while in hitstun.

And the most annoying: Lemeza cannot grab onto ladders in midair. You can only start climbing a ladder from the top or bottom, and getting hit while on a ladder knocks you off of it. You can abuse this to fall down a ladder quicker, but no such luck going back up.

Despite the aerial movement flaws, the game is very solid. It's entertaining, and deciphering the riddles of the ruins actually requires the player to think. If you're looking for a highly challenging platformer, look no further than La-Mulana.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
210.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
La Mulana Is a awesome Game, with great Music and cool 2D graphics. Great game for persistence players. The high difficult, "Simon Belmont jump" and strange Puzzles can stuck many players. Sometimes I need see guides for continue my quest.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
A puzzle platformer, La-Mulana is a remake of an old classic, which obviously means it's halfway incomprehensible, hard as hell, and also a hell of a lot of fun.

The puzzles are difficult, the gameplay is tricky, and the music is fantastic. Totally worth it.

Kouen & Lasharus rate this game 8/10

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=374265051
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
84.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
this game's puzzles are so obscure, i thought leaving a positive review might unlock something
10/10 made me want to kill myself
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
Really good
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
La-Mulana is an utter cult classic now. If you like retro style games but which are actually a challenge and make you feel like you earnt the rewards get it. Trust me, get it. Don't shoot bats with your gun though
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
61.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
An excellent choice if you're masochist.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
Incredibly challenging, but that just makes it more satisfying to win! Fortunately, the game is also fair enough to grant you the ability to warp away and save at almost any time, so you don't have to lose all your progress constantly.
The very catchy music and the attention to detail in the graphics ensures that your constant deaths will at least look and sound great.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
54.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
One of the best games on Steam. Probably the best platforms one. Period.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
69.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
Are you into genuine puzzle platformers and think FEZ is too pretentious? Then La-Mulana is for you.

Don't let the cute retro-style deceive you. There is deep lore hidden behind the surface, and you have to understand it in order to progress. Read all the stone tablets that are spread throughout the game, and take notes. There is no shame in asking other players for directions or even using a guide, if you have been hopelessly stuck for hours. But you will feel like an idiot afterwards, when you realize that the clues had all been laid out for you. You just didn't take them seriously. The platforming and fighting can also be very challenging at times, especially some of the later guardians.

There will be lots of backtracking, of course, but traveling through the different areas is still fun. Each area is unique. Each guardian bossfight is unique. And every puzzle is unique. You'll find yourself putting lots of weights on daises, but how you get to them is always different. Many puzzles require you to figure out clever gimmicks, only to never see them again. For other puzzles you'll have to do something in one area that affects something in a different area. The game world is also structured in a non-linear fashion. For example, you could skip the first guardian and fight the third one first, if you like (or if you simply haven't figured out, how to get to the first one...).

Let me just give you one tip for the sake of your enjoyment: In the first area, the Gate of Guidance, is a treasure which allows you to warp to savepoints, and you can get it immediately. It will save you a lot of traveling time.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Great game, well I have to say this is the first action adventure that I have to resort to guide to even progress... Neverthe less it's a superb game, great music, lots of items and hard, HARD boss fights. The thing that makes this game hard is that the game is huge and it's not linear. You could do the dungeons in any order as long you get the key items. I have seen speedrun killing the boss after cleared nearly half of the game. Half of the time that you will have trouble to find where to go...
Also this game is coming on Vita too, be sure to buy it if you can!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
36.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
This game is simply amazing. Brutal, but amazing.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
42.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
superior game physics
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
With very elaborate puzzles and difficult bosses, this game is not for the weak. If you like games that teach you everything you need to know in minimal details, you should not play this game. At times, you may be completely lost/clueless on what to do next. Or you'll be stuck on a boss, dying over and over. That said, the game does provide several tips through an exploration experience, you will need to take notes in order to succeed.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
83.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
One of the best metroidvanias of these days. It has a lot of places to explore, a lot of puzzles(some will feel unfair but they aren't), it's fun all the time and has a few very good boss fights. The best about it? The freedom. You can go wherever you want and no one will stop you or tell you you're doing wrong.
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