LA-MULANA is an “Archaeological Ruin Exploration Action Game,” bringing the classic appeal of adventure with the punishing difficulty of retro-inspired gaming. 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:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (14 reviews) - 78% of the 14 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,347 reviews) - 83% of the 1,347 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 15, 2013

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May 12

La-Mulana Officially Supports Mac and Linux

Hi All!!

Super exciting news! La-Mulana finally supports Mac and Linux officially. After a long beta testing mode and some great help, we are happy to release it to you all.

We hope that you all enjoy it and share the adventure!

19 comments Read more

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

About This Game


LA-MULANA is an “Archaeological Ruin Exploration Action Game,” bringing the classic appeal of adventure with the punishing difficulty of retro-inspired gaming. 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. Unfortunately, priceless artifacts very rarely give themselves up easily.

Apart from the plethora of traps lying in wait, 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 guardians of LA-MULANA do not take their job lightly.

LA-MULANA on Steam is the PC port version of the acclaimed remake for WiiWare. One of the first NIGORO games, LA-MULANA was originally created back in the creators’ “amateur” days and has been renown worldwide.
This game was created based on “that old-time feeling.” The creators wished to play the sort of games that enthralled them back in the day, only with more volume. 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 terms.

Coming up on it's ninth birthday, LA-MULANA continues to captivate, frustrate and annihilate new and old players alike. Whether it's your first time falling into the ruins or your 900th of getting decimated by Mushussu, we thank you for donning your explorer's hat, hoisting the whip and diving into our game.

Good luck. You're going to need it.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    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
    Minimum:
    • OS:OS X 10.7(Lion)
    • Processor:Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    RECOMMENDED:
    • OS:OS X 10.11(El Capitan) or higher
    • Processor:Intel® Core i5 2.4 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor:Intel® Pentium 4 / 2.0GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9.0c compatible card, 128MB of VRAM
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mostly Positive (14 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,347 reviews)
Recently Posted
Baelmon
( 59.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 21
Sometimes unfair and obtuse, but it felt strangly welcome. This game stratched my Metroidvania itch better than anything since Circle of the Moon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Folklore
( 102.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
Yes, this is amazing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Saitama
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 18
This game will kick your ♥♥♥, and you will love it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cdf121
( 27.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 9
Honestly I can't joke about this game it's actually a really good game.
Really well developed although definetly doesn't hold your hand.
But in all honesty it's better than Spelunky.
But then again that isn't saying much.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Burakku Jakku
( 38.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 8
if i chose one game to keep on the day steam is eventually shut down it would probably be this one
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ShinyGau
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 4
It's OK. Controls are decent, though it's annoying you can't jump onto ladders. Graphics are decent with an SNES look. Gameplay is decent with an NES feel. Music and sound are decent. Nothing special, not the best, not the worst. It's OK.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
tehvenezuelan
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Growing up, I always wanted to be Indiana Jones.

Not anymore.

10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mordain607
( 85.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
One of my favourite games of all time. Punishingly difficult - pretty much requires you to keep a notepad - but this game generates a feeling of exploration and puzzle-solving like no other!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
njwildberger
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
developed by nigro
Helpful? Yes No Funny
oneirossd
( 19.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
This game is amazing. As a kid, 30 years ago, I would have been totally obsessed, taking notes, drawing maps, everything. Now, with a ridiculous backlog to get through, even beating it using a walkthrough was a challenge, and still a worthy experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Growing up, I always wanted to be Indiana Jones.

Not anymore.

10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
38.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
if i chose one game to keep on the day steam is eventually shut down it would probably be this one
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
85.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
One of my favourite games of all time. Punishingly difficult - pretty much requires you to keep a notepad - but this game generates a feeling of exploration and puzzle-solving like no other!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
213 of 246 people (87%) found this review helpful
Recommended
114.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
A very hard, very deep and very fun metroidvania. I've never seen another game in this genre as close to perfection as this.

Be warned though, some puzzles can be very, VERY obtuse and often puzzles will have components in completely unrelated areas to that in which you are solving a puzzle.

Of course, this game makes no secret of reveling in unfair and brutal design. May God have mercy on your soul if you attempt the Hell Temple on Hard mode...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
195 of 231 people (84%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
Recommended
60.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2013
Minimum Hardware Requirements:
Brain
Hands
Gluttony for punishment
Pen and paper
Internet connection (if all else fails)

Recommended Hardware:
Clairvoyance
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
72 of 74 people (97%) found this review helpful
28 people found this review funny
Recommended
126.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 26, 2015
Lamulana is a game where half-Japanese Indiana Jones goes into a temple for worshipping a lovecraftian elder god. He stays in there for months upon end and teleporting is the LEAST weirdest thing he has to do every few minutes.

Lamulana is a game where you MUST, and I mean MUUUUUUUST, write down EVERY glyph you find and EVERY conversation you have with a dead skeleton lying on the ground on a sheet of paper and tape it all onto the walls. Yes, your real, physical walls. Arrange them into a map based on WHERE in the La-Mulana ruins you found each note. Ready some strings and pins because you're going to need to make arbitrary connections with two notes in entirely different locations with possible relations.

Oh, the La-Mulana ruins? It's non-euclidean. That means it's full of distorted/repeating space connected by portals all over the place that doesn't make any sense at all. It drives a lesser man insane. BUT NOT YOU. NO. You note that all down, too! Oh, and you want to be able to fold each area so it'll become a 5x4 square, btw. Don't think about it too hard. Just keep that in the back of you're head because you're going to need it at the end game. Just saying, every area in the game might be shaped like a 4D donut with varying directions of gravity.

I went and took a sheet of paper and listed every lamulanese characters and its english equivalent. It took forever and I have no idea why I have no life and am such a loser. I was actually having fun. What is wrong with me. I learned to write an entirely fictional language.

http://i.imgur.com/WNFxC2s.jpg
(Me decyphering ancient tablets by hand.)

I disabled the glyph reader. It's a waste of virtual MSX laptop's memory. I can just read it right off the tablet. Both normal and inverted.

tl;dr La-Mulana is a pretty hard game, but you'll have so much fun pushing yourself to survive it all.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
67 of 69 people (97%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
41.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014
You read the description, you think: "Oh alright it is going to have some pretty tough puzzles but it is a 2D slasher RPG/Metroid thing...I'll eventually fight my way through.

NO.

NO.

You will die, you will be lost for ages. You will forget which way is up, what progress feels like, and dream of air control when jumping straight up. I played this game for 40+ hours, WITHOUT using a guide once. I eventually broke down and looked up the very next step I had to take. After that, I progressed and got stuck AGAIN. Looked up the guide for one more push and got stuck AGAIN. I felt defeated as when I found something out and moved forward, I would be stuck for another countless amount of hours.

I challenge anyone who reads this and hasn't played the game: Attempt the game without using a guide for as long as you can and truly feel what is is like to be helpless. I say to you, as a gamer this:

I personally believe one CANNOT beat this game without ever using a guide for assistance no matter how small the step.

The music, presentation, pull, exploration is top notch however! Buy this ♥♥♥♥ and experience utter hell (And maybe some enjoyment)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
67 of 70 people (96%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
65.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2015
La-Mulana is two things: a profound work of art, and a monumental "screw you" to every modern game design philosophy.

The game does not ease you into experience; it demands your full attention and investment from the moment you turn it on. It then throws you, a small and powerless character, into a huge, dangerous world without any sort of guidance or sense of direction, forcing you to spend dozens of hours reading text, deciphering cryptic riddles, memorizing the map layouts, and learning the world's lore if you wish to progress.

To call the difficulty "retro" would be a disservice; the gameplay consists of all the worst parts of Castlevania backtracking, Myst puzzles, trial-and-error gameplay, and punishing NES-style platforming. Every room is filled with the most irritating enemies imaginable. The main character's controls are stiff and terrible, resembling Donkey Kong or Speulunker. You lose complete control of your movement when falling or taking damage, so one wrong jump or a hit from an enemy could knock you down several screens and force you to do everything all over again. Sometimes the game will drop you through an invisible trapdoor to the same effect, and expect you to remember where it was, or an enemy will hit you immediately after a screen transition, and you will just have to learn to enter the room from a different way next time. The gameplay can only be described as emotionally draining, and it only ever gets harder and never apologizes for itself.

The rules and physics are not even consistent, as puzzles will often involve illusionary walls, invisible platforms, unclear objectives, mysterious event flags that trigger under arbitrary conditions and don't tell you what they changed, specific items or weapons you aren't guaranteed to have discovered yet, the understanding and abuse of the minute physics of said items and weapons, rooms which wrap around to other parts of the map in non-Euclidian ways, familiar objects that don't work the way they always have, inconspicuous background decorations that are actually important, and the ever-classic instant-death traps. Your only hope to solve the puzzles, aside from just "try everything", is to look for hints that could literally be anywhere else in the entire game with no rhyme or reason to their placement. The key hint could be on a tablet you might have read hours ago in another area. Sometimes a puzzle will require a dozen hints that are literally strewn all over the entire game. Your time means absolutely nothing to the game; the game assumes you have all the time in the world to study it like a college course, practice until you can defeat erratic and unfair enemies, perform long sections of brutally frustrating platforming, and bang your head against the wall as you wander around for hours because you have no earthy idea where to go next.

And yet...

If you stick with the game through all of the hardships, you will be rewarded with one of the most intricate, creepy, and powerful stories ever to be portrayed in a video game. The story starts out with perhaps hundreds of cryptic hints that will make absolutely no sense, until halfway through the game when some key revelations come to light. Suddenly, everything just clicks into place as the backstory becomes a stunning mosaic. Your mind might be blown as you realize that everything, from the position of every area, to the contents of nearly every room, to the words of every strange character and cryptic tablet, to the placement of every decoration, is there for a reason relevant to the narrative. Even the main character, as he stumbles clumsily through the cluttered and deathly labyrinths of the ruins, becomes relatable as he bears witness to the remnants of something ancient and tragic. There really is nothing else like La-Mulana's story in the way it is conveyed, and it must be experienced firsthand to be believed. It might even leave you hungering for a second playthrough just so you can breeze through the challenges with a sense of foresight and appreciate all the details you might have missed the first time.

Just be warned, it is not a game that expects you to beat it, to enjoy it, or even to play it in the first place. The motivation to push forward must come entirely from the player, as the game certainly has no regard for valuing your time or stringing you along with promises of fun and reward. But it demands to be witnessed, appreciated, and analyzed, much like a thick Shakespearean play or a picture in an art museum. If anything, it is deeply fascinating both as a work of art and as a bold statement about gameplay design, and it is highly satisfying to unravel and conquer its mysteries. But above all, it is definitely not for everybody.
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46 of 51 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
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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82 of 108 people (76%) found this review helpful
121 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 30, 2015
This game made me realize that god is real, and he hates us all.
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