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 (1,168 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 15, 2013

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

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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
46 of 47 people (98%) found this review helpful
124.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 26
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.
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19 of 19 people (100%) found this review helpful
55.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
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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77 of 126 people (61%) 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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37 of 60 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
I want to like this game and I actually did for the first 25% of it, but it eventually becomes clear the idea of "difficult" in this game is "needing a walkthrough". From using items on random objects to pushing certain walls at certain times holding certain items, this game has a plethora of "well... what now?" style puzzles.

It seems aggravating that you will have to traverse and back track every room you have ever visited because you may have collected an item which will now allow you to push a generic background brick. The game has its entire lore which never really comes into much of the logic needed when handling these nonsense puzzles.

The most steadfast fans of this game laud these puzzles as only for the most hardcore, but I'm not particularly sure that is so much a positive attribute of this game as it is being an apoligist. You do not succeed in this game by being intelligent so much as just having a lot of time on your hands. The puzzles simply do not make sense and the game does not include enough information to go on. I would suspect this game was sponsored by GameFAQS if I didn't know better.

On the plus side, it has great music and really does play well. The graphics are decent and the entire game story is a clever one. Everythnig about this game is great but is spoiled by the horrible puzzle design.

I really don't know what to say. I cannot recommend it because while the first quarter of the game was actually fun and I really enjoyed the experience, it is quickly spoiled by the unfair and questionable "puzzles" that dominate the latter portion of the game. If anything get this on sale, as most people will probably get frustrated and give up and I don't think that is worth full price.
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7 of 9 people (78%) 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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