La-Mulana 2 Hits Kickstarter Goal, Buys Developer Curry

By Graham Smith on February 17th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

4th generation Japanese, apparently.

To certain audiences, La-Mulana is the Japanese indie platformer that crossed Indiana Jones with Metroid. To me, and I suspect a lot of other people, it’s one of the games most responsible for inspiring Spelunky. That puts it in Wasteland territory, in my head; it inspired a thing I love, and so a lot of that love transfers.

La-Mulana 2 was announced in September, popped up on Kickstarter last month, and has just hit its target

La-Mulana 2, like its predecessor, is an action-adventure platformer. You explore caves and ruins, fiddling with environmental traps and fighting enemies to progress to the next area.

It looks unlikely that the game will reach its ambitious stretch goals, which originally extended up to $2.7 million, and now go as high as $???,???. It has cleared the first couple of goals though, which are maybe my favourite of all the Kickstarter campaigns I’ve seen:

$200,256: Curry Party

The whole La-Mulana 2 team will sit together and have a curry party live on Twitch.TV. Curry is the soul of La-Mulana, and curry will be the soul of our team.

$200,768: Curry Hell

La-Mulana 2 director Takumi Naramura will eat curry three times a day for three days. Enduring this spicy hell will make him stronger, allowing him the ability to make an even better game!

Stretch goals have a high chance of warping a project beyond its original scope and intent, but I’m all for developers buying themselves a nice meal.

Backing the project at $12 gets you the game upon its release in December 2015.

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24 Comments »

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  1. dE says:

    La Maluna is a mixed bag for me. I like the music and presentation of the remake and the gameplay is fun. But at the same time I’m really not liking how some of the puzzles make no damn sense. So I activated these plates in a specific order I got from reading several tablets and piecing together some backstory, that’s great. I’m following you thus far… but what the hell did that do for crying out loud?
    You hear something moving? What direction guidedangit? There are only 100 something rooms I now have to run through and double check everything for invisible walls and maybe it changed what a switch did, I pressed about 5 hours ago?

    It’s a game I’m personally unable to complete without a walkthrough and that seems to be a common sentiment as well. I’m really hoping they’re making the sequal less… random in that regard. Difficult puzzles are fine, but puzzles with completely detached cause and effect are annoying as hell.

    • KDR_11k says:

      It’s apparently based on equally absurd old games. They’re promising less BS for the sequel.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Gee, have you ever played any D&D / fantasy / maze game made before the Playstation era? What you’re describing is approximately half of all classic videogames. Especially classic PC games.

      • dE says:

        Thanks for the assumptions.
        I have played games before the playstation era. On PC too. But no, they weren’t nearly as bad as La Maluna at this. Even the Mustache Puzzle made more fucking sense than La Maluna at times.

        • Emeraude says:

          Try playing old MSX games in the genre, or, say, Nightmare of Druaga.

          There was a whole genre based around the idea of trying everything, taking note of everything and see what works and doesn’t. It doesn’t have to be “logic” in the modern sense of “transparent’. It just have to be understandable once you have gathered all the necessary info.

          I can understand why some people would not like this, but it’s not as if the genre was so flourishing that adding a new one to the list would look like a slight to them, isn’t it ?

          • dE says:

            “It just have to be understandable once you have gathered all the necessary info.”

            And that’s precisely the part where La Maluna fails hard for me. Look, I get it. I insulted the Indie God La Maluna. I’m sorry folks, I shall remove myself from the genepool for it.
            I’m not complaining about the notekeeping (I used to draw maps for games, for crying out loud) or puzzles that aren’t immediately obvious. I’m complaining about puzzles with a detached cause/effect. Precisely the puzzles where it is NOT understandable not even once you HAVE gathered all the necessary info.

            /edit:
            And again with the assumptions, I guess because I don’t like this aspect of the game, that means I must be to new to gaming to get it, right?

          • Premium User Badge

            Oozo says:

            As Madtinkerer said, it’s part of a tradition. I don’t like that aspect too much either — and this comes from a guy who is just around 20 hours into his first playthrough and generally loving it (I do get why Adam called it a 2D-Dark Souls, too).

            But as somebody above said, they explicitly said that those related cause-and-effect puzzles will be cut short in the sequel. So, can we all be part of a friendly gene poole again?

          • Emeraude says:

            Why “new to gaming” ? Just unfamiliar with the genre was what I had in mind.

            I mean, I’ve been playing games for 30 years now, and there are whole genres I’m not familiar with. Nothing shameful about that.

            I insulted the Indie God La Maluna.

            Wow, hey, I don’t even think La Mulana is a great game. As far as I’m concerned it’s just a charming, humorous, willfully regressive throw-back to simpler/more complex times in game design.

            Precisely the puzzles where it is NOT understandable not even once you HAVE gathered all the necessary info.

            That’s where you miss. You have the action and the result: you understand what happened. There’s no more to it than that.

    • Ionsoment says:

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://WWW.JOBS84.COM

  2. NailBombed says:

    The power of curry is not one to be sniffed at. Seriously, nasally inhaled Sharwood’s powder is hell on your sinuses.

    Having said that, I’m all for more LaMulana. Great game, if somewhat frustrating at times (many times).

  3. SillyWizard says:

    So, see, the thing is…

    Japanese curry is literally — literally — the once and future greatest culinary invention of human kind.

    That is all.

    • Fenix says:

      My past [ignorant] self would probably make fun of this comment, but I live in Japan now and eat KAREH RAISUH more than any other thing.

      So yeah, I agree

  4. Xerophyte says:

    Naramura (Nigoro’s designer type) has a thing about curry rice, which is a dish that is to the japanese what macaroni and cheese is to americans. The first game had the main character eat a bowl of it and fall asleep when you wait on the pause screen and there’s an achievement for doing just that in a series of implausible and inappropriate places like hectic mine-cart rides and while bathing in lava.

    Anyhow, La-Mulana 2 is looking great and you should do as the developer says if you haven’t already. That’s a promise I’m confident they’ll be quite able to keep.

    • Revolving Ocelot says:

      You had to do the ‘pause to eat curry and fall asleep’ thing for one of the necessary puzzles, too… but that’s one of the easier ones. Mulbruk all but says how to solve that one.

      I enjoyed the game, although I’m not ashamed to admit I consulted a walkthrough for some of the more obtuse stuff. Chamber of Birth would have been impossible otherwise, especially that hidden shop. And the super-catchy Song of Curry was there, too.

      Glad it’s funded, anyway. Had a Chicken Balti last night.

      EDIT: I are fail at make link in post. Help!

  5. epmode says:

    They posted a new update just a short while ago with a link to a demo:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playism/la-mulana-2/posts/750537

    • Humppakummitus says:

      This man is not kidding. There’s an entire area’s worth of content there, including a boss.
      Heavy asset recycling, though. All the items and weapons seem to be from the first game.

  6. Turkey says:

    Gotta excavate ‘em all!

  7. Gonefornow says:

    Well hopefully they make it a bit more accessible (heresy I know).

    I seem to remember having problems with the save system and the lack of health regeneration options.
    Hazy, vague memories. I’m on a roll today.

    • Yglorba says:

      Health regeneration in La Mulana was a bit odd. There’s three ways of doing it, most of which are not available early on:

      One, you can find a hot spring and rest in it. There are not many of those, but they’re there.

      Two, you can find and use a fairy. You have to unlock this with a quest, but once you do they’re much more common than hot springs.

      Three, most importantly, every time you fill up your XP gauge (which increases as you kill enemies) your health recovers. In the original free version, this was almost impossible early on because the gauge was huge, but as your health bar increased and you got the Scripture (which doubled XP gain) and the Fairy Clothes (which halve damage you take) it became so easy that you rarely had to worry about your health outside of boss battles.

      (Also, your health is restored every time you save and load.)

      The fact that health was painful early on but became easy to manage later was deliberate, I think — the idea is that you have to carefully tiptoe into the ruins and retreat early on, exploring it bit by bit; but eventually, as you find items and health upgrades and the like, you get the feel that you’ve “mastered” basic navigation and can focus on the puzzles.

    • nmarebfly says:

      The main healing option in the beginning of the game is a hot spring — I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that it’s three screens left of the start point of the game. Before you leave the first real area (the Gate of Guidance) you should make totally sure that you picked up the most important item in the game, which lets you teleport at any time back to a save point. There’s a save point on the very first screen, so once you have this item you can get a free heal at any time by taking 15 seconds to warp and walk over to the spring. The difficulty is that you might not be able to warp BACK to where you were so if you were steps from a boss door and needed healing, you’ll be starting over from the save point of that zone. Depending on which zone this is, that can range from a mild annoyance to a huge problem (and it doesn’t even get into some of the later stuff.)

      La Mulana is a great game, but it’s deliberately incredibly unforgiving and obtuse. Whether or not this is a selling point is up to you. I think the argument that solving a puzzle which opens a door on the other side of the ruins should have a more clear indication is totally valid, and some of the puzzles (especially later on) are basically incomprehensible. The side effect of this is when you DO figure something out, you feel awesome, but you might end up hitting a guide and scratching your head. Some of the medium-level puzzles involve stuff like decyphering the La-Mulana numeric glyph system and using the numbers in a specific order hinted at by tablets scattered through multiple levels with oblique wording to know which seal to destroy first without the ceiling collapsing on you.

      If you’re going to play it, give ‘The beginner’s guide to La-Mulana’ a watch on youtube. It’s from the devs and contains some really useful stuff for getting started. Also, reading the manual is much more recommended than in most modern games.

  8. InternetBatman says:

    A small mistake in the article. The $12 tier was filled out long ago (only 256 slots), it’s $15 to back at the base level.

    • squareking says:

      Keep an eye on it though — a spot opened up last night and I was able to hop in at that level.

      I’d really love the in-game beastiary. That stuff always rustles my jimmies in a good way.

  9. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    Wow, it looks identical to the original in every way except for the female protagonist. I guess they’re really dedicated to that retro aesthetic.