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 (966 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 15, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"Really hard Metroidvania. The gameplay is solid, the jump-mechanics a bit clunky and the puzzles are hard without the use of a guide."
Read the full review here.


“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

    • 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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
46.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
after deafeating a very hard boss that took me +`10 try's i go to claim my reward only to get crused by a falling platform richt above my well earned reward...only to make me die and do it over again.

la-mulana in a nutshell

10/10 would get crused again.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
50.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
I've been putting this review off for such a long time that the .txt file on my desktop has been gathering dust. But that's just the thing: This game, despite my utter hatred for it, still left a deep impact (or stab wound rather) on me and it has become essential for me to voice my opinion.

What is there to say that hasn't already been said about the controls? They're downright awful. Lemeza floats like a butterfly when he jumps, but carries the momentum of a cannonball when you flutter over to the next screen. Often times, this led me to smash the arrow keys in the opposite direction in a futile attempt to correct my ever so graceful jump and avoid unforseen hazards. Unfortuantely for Lemeza, he would only look the other direction as he was flung into a lava pool or spike pit.

However, strangely enough, if you jump straight up into the air, then use WASD mid jump, you become liberated from these cruel forces of momentum. Apparently, Nigoro wasn't going for realistic jump physics then, so what's the point of punishing the player for taking mandated leaps of faith?

I could go on about the controls (frequently, I would reset from my last save point than try to get out of water or lava. It was just simpler than trying to jump out of the liquids) but I need to talk about the actual origin of this game. You see, I'm with Nigoro for bringing back challening, MSX-era puzzle platformers. I love games like this. However, if you want to resuscitate the genre (and do a remake no less!), there's no need to keep primitive controls, limited save points, unforgiveably bad physics, and, possibly the worst offender, long walks back to boss fights. When I lose to a boss, I want to get right back into the fight, not drag my knuckles in shame across seven screens (Usually taking damage before the fight, and maybe failing a few platform jumps) to have another go. There is so little polish in these details that it's offensive. They are hideous warts on an already dead and bloated frog.

As long as I'm talking about boss fights, why is it that they feel so unrewarding? Most games of this genre will offer you a new weapon or health upgrade after sticking it to one of these big baddies. What's the usual boss reward in La-Mulana? An unlocked door in a far flung corridor, or a shortcut leading to somewhere you've already been. Not to mention that nearly every boss in this game is a variation on "Equip best weapons and whack them in the face". Sure, the bosses are visually appealing and they terrifyingly tower over Lemeza, but when I can scour the ruins for all the health ups (or just use the ♥♥♥♥ing gun! Why on earth would you include a super powerful weapon like this? Once the player farms money, they can pay their way through boss fights!) and fling myself over and over at the guardins until they submit, it doesn't feel rewarding in the least. In fact, it proves again how little polish went into this game.

I don't want to talk about the puzzles in the La-Mulana too much; The game itself certainly doesn't address them. If you want to solve most of these esoteric and far fetched enigmas, you're probably going to wind up on the FAQ, which, in adventure games, I consider to be the equivalent of inviting a sweaty man from the internet come over and help you pee. It IS indeed an apt comparision because puzzles should flow naturally into the game, not impede you until you figure out the solution. I get that this was common in past eras of gaming, but we've since grown up. It's another blemish on the bronze aged face of gaming that can remain in antiquity.

And when you do cave to use the FAQ, the solution to the puzzle in your way will cause you to exclaim one of two things:

"That's so simple, how could I not figure that out!?"


"How are you supposed to know this!?"

All in all, La-Mulana will make your blood boil and fill your swear jar. It's not a game: It's a chore. A highly complicated chore that just doesn't feel worth doing. Like giving a playground bully an emergency appendectomy only to have him kick sand in your eye afterwards.

Play the original game on an emulator; You'll conserve a lot of time and frustration by using save states. Not to mention that the original has throwback graphics and 8 bit music. These are the things from old gaming that have actually aged well. And get this: With simplistic graphics, some of the puzzles are actually easier in the original version since there's less clutter. They're still hard, but at least you'll feel like you're walking through a piece of history than play this version.

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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
La-Mulana is a brilliant puzzle/platformer. I've only played a few hours myself, but I've seen a full Let's Play of this game on YouTube, and judging from that, I'd say this game seems great.
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
120.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
This is game is so hard and confusing it makes Dark Souls look a disney game meant for children with autism.

10/10 -i will probably never beat this game...
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2 of 7 people (29%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
This game is not difficult for the challenging puzzles or palttforming, it is difficult because the controls are so bad and puzzles are quite impossible to solve on your own.
A game should get progressivly harder and give you some sort of motivation, but here it is frustratingly boring in the first 4 screens of the game!
Bad controls and physics are one of the main reasons I couldnt go on with this game.
This feltan aweful lot like Simons Quest. Too cryptic and annoying gameplay.
And lets be honest......15€? Way too overpriced!
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
Terrible. Retro done wrong.

The controls are so bad it's just infurating to play. I sat down 3 seperate times to give this game a serious try and I've barely been able to play for 1 hour. The music is bland and repetitive, and graphics are confusing. The design is all over the map, none of the graphics blend together. The enemy and NPC sprites are more detailed then the character. The player characters sprite is so bland looking that when you put it infront of the bright colorful backrounds it's jarring to look at, like it was pulled from a different game.

This is also way overpriced, it feels like a free to play game ffs.
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3 of 10 people (30%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Bad air control, slow/clunky movement. I cannot play that game, I need reactive controls to enjoy moving in a virtual world. Especially in a Metroidvania.

No matter if the rest of the game is any good or not, if the character is not answering exactly to my command I have no further desire to inflict that annoyance on myself.
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
I had really high hopes for this game. Unfortunately, it plays like Castlevania 2 from NES: there is nothing to tell you what you're supposed to be doing whatsoever. I enjoy figuring things out on my own to some extent, but this game just feels completely aimless. The gameplay is clunky, the art isn't that great, and the presentation is very subpar. I wrote "the presentation is that of a 1993 3.5" floppy disk PC game," but then I realized Doom had a far superior presentation, and I originally played Doom on a 3.5" floppy, so yeah.
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48.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
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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2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Charming and underrated, La-Mulana is an all around fun 2-D Metriodvania with great pixel art. It has a large amount of content and many things to explore and discover (as most Metriodvanias do). It's quite a difficult game too, there's lots of challenging platforming and hard enemies to defeat. Overall, it's a very enjoyable and fun game!
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38 of 40 people (95%) found this review helpful
97.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
This game man, I had a lot of fun with it. If you want to play a metroidy style game that has tons of puzzles and riddles and such to solve? This game is something you should seriously pick up.

If you don't want to take notes/screenshots/etc though? You should probably look for another game. For the most part, all of the puzzles are pretty fair, but there are a few that kinda made me go "...really?"

If you're looking for a good challenge, I can not recommend this game enough. My only regret is that I didn't hear about it soon enough to get in on the kickstarter for the sequel they're working on.

That said, I admit to getting frustrated at the very end and succumbed to having a friend give me a few tips xD After 90 hours I was just ready to be done, ya know? It was kinda frustrating, but as a whole, I still love the hell outta this game <3
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24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
If you've ever wanted a game where you absolutely need a pen and notepad to keep track of clever and well thought out clues you find on your adventure, this is for you.
With that said the game is a huge challenge that many wont make it through. You will get stuck on a boss, you will get hopelessly lost, you will be thinking of clues when you're not even exploring.
La-Mulana offers a truly great and fulfilling gameplay experience to any player that dares enter.

The is a remake, the original is out there for free.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
60.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Your usual Metroidvania platformer on the outside, much more inside.

La-Mulana is extremely hard. Not even do you require good platforming skills, but you also need to be good at puzzle solving. Taking notes on your adventure is highly recommended, even if some things don't seem to be important.

With that being said about the game, let's go a little more into detail:

Story: There's barely anything to say here. You play as Lemeza Kosugi and explore ancient ruins. You find a few people close to the ruins, but only talk to their elder ever so often, he provides some advice, and later explains a few things. But there barely is more to say about the plot. But there's a lot of additional lore, and nearly every single area of the ruins has their own story to tell, if you're careful around your surroundings. After some game time, you find out that you have to kill the 8 guardians and apparently the "Mother", and that's about all you get as your target.

Gameplay: Lemeza Kosugi controls pretty precisely, once you get the hang of it. Only downside is that if you walk as you jump, you can't control the jump at all anymore. If you jump while standing still it's possible though, so once you get used to it, it's okay.
Over the course of the game, you'll find different upgrades, such as a double jump, stronger attacks, new weapons and sub-weapons. The usual things you can expect from a Metroidvania.
There are no lifes, once you die, it's game over. The only way to refill your HP is by either resting in the hot springs, or collecting a certain amount of life orbs, and once that life orb meter fills completely, your HP are filled up completely, and your orb meter is back to 0. You also need to collect more orbs the more HP you have.
There is no such thing as Experience Points and level ups, the only way to get more HP is to find their respective upgrades.
The normal enemies, and the areas aren't too difficult, especially once you get the ability to teleport, and you can always teleport back to the first area and refill your HP in the hot springs, though it is a little annoying.
Speaking of teleporting, you can teleport to certain checkpoints, where you can also save your game, pretty early in the game, so it helps moving through the ruins, since backtracking is also quite a thing here.
There are many mini- and mainbosses, and most of them are really, really challenging.
Enemies also drop gold, and you actually need it to buy necessary items in the game.

Those are your usual metroidvania things, but there's more here:
First of all, you've got a virtual computer with you. and as you play you find software for it. You can only activate a few softwares at once. Those softwares allow simple things such as having a map, or being able to read the ancient language, up to helpful things as having more invincibility frames after being hit, or doing more damage with certain weapons.
Then there are puzzles... They start off from rather simple things as destroying walls to reach new objects or your usual switch puzzles... up to things like understanding the ancient language partly yourself. And that's rather difficult. And saying any more would be spoiling too much. Let me just say, some of the puzzles can be extremely cryptic, and will take some time to figure out, especially because you need to solve nearly all of them to finish the game.

Graphics: Nothing special, but it all looks very well done in the 16-bit style the game is.

Sound: The background music is very nice and sets the tone for each area and situation. The sound effects aren't anything special, they're okay.

The game will probably take about 30-40 hours in your first playthrough if you don't look anything up.
So, if you like the genre in any way, I'd recommend to try La-Mulana at least out for the rather cheap price!
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
25.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
this is a fun game that's hard (not too hard) and kind of obtuse at times but it has an excellent soundtrack, fun movement and a nice atmosphere. i'd recommend it if you're in the market for a metrovania and for some reason you haven't played this yet
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
41.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
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.



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)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
Take notes while playing or you'll hate yourself.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Hard as ♥♥♥♥ with some really abstract puzzles, this game has all the trappings of the Metroidvania style, but involves a lot more wandering around wondering what to do.

I recommend it if you don't mind a brain-testing platform/puzzler, but not if you're easily frustrated.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
Whip the snot out of snakemen and robot giant statues. Recite black magic to kill the source of all life because an old guy told you to. Get addicted to curry. Dive into the ♥♥♥♥in' depths of hell and then go to the beach. All this and more in Dr. Jones latest and greatest adventure.
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