La-Mulana 2 Digs For Kickstarter Gold

A sequel to Indy-does-Metroid retroesque platformer La-Mulana was announced last September, so hopefully no-one’s going ‘La-Mulana 2? Whaaaaaaaaaaat?’ in happy disebelief at this point. Today’s news focuses on the fact that devs NIGORO have taken the game to Kickstarter, looking for $200,000 for what they describe as “a direct sequel” to the 2012 PC port of the 2011 WiiWare English remake of the 2005 Japanese-only PC game.

They claim one of the main reasons for doing this is that the 2011/2012 remake didn’t offer too much for fans of the original game, so want to create a complete clutch of brand new stuff this time around. While the formula’s very similar, their intent is a “monumental sequel” that offers good, challenging times for La-Mulana players old and new.

For the confused latter, I haven’t actually played the thing so can’t help much, but Adam’s described the first as, variously, the Dark Souls of 2D platformers and joining Spelunky as the best archaeology games ever.

The Kickstarter page offers a bunch of concept and prototype art, along with the usual grand promises and details big and small. Currently they’ve got about $32k in the bank, with 32 days left to round up the remaining $170k-odd.

Stretch goals rather optimistically run as high as $2.7 million, and if reached entail making console versions and another remake of the original. I’m, uh, not entirely sure that will happen. But good luck, optimistic Japanese developers!

Speaking (tangentially) of the land of the rising sun, Spotify this morning recommended this rather fine Japanese Jazz and Salon music from the 1930s to me. It’s quite lovely, but has nothing whatsoever to do with La Mulana.


  1. RedViv says:

    A game about a lady adventurer whipping Pokémon. Finally!

  2. BTAxis says:

    Let’s hope the puzzles are a little less bizarrely illogical this time.

    Yeah, right.

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      Bluerps says:

      All the puzzles are logical. It’s just that in many cases the logic can only be seen after reading the solution in a walkthrough. Also, for most of the puzzles there is at least one hint on a stone tablet (which is located on the other end of the ruins, in a place that is in no way connected to the place the puzzle is in).

      I love La Mulana, but the puzzles are insane.

      • BTAxis says:

        I dispute that. I’ve come across several puzzles that I had to look up, and even then, when I knew the solution, the clues made no sense. Maybe I’m just too stupid for the game or something, I dunno.

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          Bluerps says:

          Well, to be honest I am not entirely sure if I understood the solution of each puzzle I looked up in a walkthrough. However, I just assume that there must be a stone tablet with a hint somewhere, that I have overlooked.

          I think the only puzzle that is so strange that to solve it without a walkthrough (or trial and error) is almost impossible is when you have to chant in specific rooms near the end of the game. There seems to be a logic to it, related to the location of bosses, but that brakes down at the third or second to last chant.

          • Yglorba says:

            Remember, this is supposed to be the final real puzzle, and therefore the most difficult one in the entire game — it’s the one that ties together everything you’ve learned and seen about the various levels so far. My recollection (and it’s been a while) is that the way it works is this:

            And spoilers, obviously.

            First you have to find the mantras. I assume that part wasn’t what stumped you; it’s pretty straightforward as long as you find the room in the Temple of the Sun, which has hints to where each of them is found. The hard part is figuring out where to recite them. There’s tablets explaining your general goal (driving the wedge into the ‘backside’ of each boss to force the Mother’s soul to manifest); Giltoriyo gives you a general summary, and there’s tablets talking about how you need to drive wedges into the back of the Mother’s body, about how the bosses are protecting these points, etc. But there’s one thing you do have to figure out on your own, and it’s tough.

            On each level in the ruins, both back and front, there’s a ‘compass’ point, which you can see as a large compass in the background of the level. (There are two in the Twin Labyrinths for reasons that should become obvious.) It’s also highlighted on the highest-level map, IIRC, which mostly serves to drive home its importance. The compasses start glowing after you beat their corresponding boss, too, to call your attention to them. The secret is that the compass points in the front and reverse side always correspond, so you can use them to see how the two levels correspond.

            Your goal is to recite the mantra and then drive the wedge into the ‘back’ side of the field corresponding to the front side where you fought the boss. Sometimes this correspondence is so obvious that the anchor is unnecessary, but sometimes it’s unintuitive, which is what the the compasses are for (and which is why it felt like it sometimes didn’t make sense to you.)

            And a few of the levels have things that make it more complicated:

            The Twin Labyrinths have the front and back side connected. You probably figured out which side was the back when you found the boss.

            Tiamat swapped the front and back sides of the Endless / Dimensional Corridor, so you have to drive the wedge into the Endless Corridor there.

            You probably figured this much out, right? But there’s one more catch, and it’s a big one. Even though the compass shows you how two specific rooms correspond, that doesn’t mean that the other rooms around them match up the same way. In order to figure out how the other rooms actually match up, you have to read page 19 of the manual for a hint, which explains how all the levels are structured. (Yes, I know. Yes, really. Technically you could figure it out without that, but good luck.) What it means is that if you picture each level as a 4-by-5 grid, and roll over the bits that go over the edge of this grid so they end up in their appropriate places, you can transform the two sides in your mind into structures that correspond properly.

            Oh and the Tower of Ruin point is still one right of where it ought to be. They moved it in the translation; it’s in the correct place in the Japanese version. No, I have no idea why.

            Also, I suspect they originally intended for it to be even harder — in the original, you typed the mantras in on your keyboard, and there was no reason they had to tell you the mantra names in the tablets (each one, oddly, has a hint and then flat-out tells you the answer.) I suspect that originally they were only going to give you the hints, which would have essentially made it impossible to guess where the wedge points are, because you’d have no way of knowing if nothing is happening because you have the wrong location or because you’re wrong about the mantra. Anyway, thankfully they didn’t do that.

            (Note to anyone reading this and considering buying La-Mulana: Most of the puzzles are not like this. The game is excellent and you should totally play it.)

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            Bluerps says:

            Ah. I didn’t know the bit where you have to look something up in the manual.

            Thanks for the explanation!

        • JBantha says:

          Well, you ARE stupid.

          and that was a joke

          • jrodman says:

            Bluerps comment or yours? If yours I don’t find it very funny. Sorry.

      • The Random One says:

        That’s why I’m not touching La Mulana. I found Puzzle Agent to be appropriately challenging for my level of puzzle-sleuthing; clearly La Mulana would literally kill me.

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          Bluerps says:

          I simply played it like I play point & click adventures. I tried on my own until I got stuck, looked up how to continue in a walkthrough, and then tried on my own again.

          Normally, I hate using a walkthrough but here it worked pretty well, because the puzzles aren’t the only challenge in the game (also, I still solved a lot of the puzzles by myself).

  3. Oozo says:

    Oh, good news. I’d be tempted to back it just because I like the idea of more Japanese indies discovering Kickstarter for themselves… but it’s La-Mulana, so that’s even better.

    And Adam… wouldn’t that be the perfect opportunity to write that article about the game you teased ages ago, thus giving the campaign a soft push?

    Mr Graham! Use your powers and that cat o’ nine tails of yours! Make him do some sweet, sweet sweat and work!

  4. DrMcCoy says:

    Linux version at $500,000, 250% of the original goal? Yeah, no.

    • Cinek says:

      At least they sorted out their priorities right.

          • jrodman says:

            The world of goo authors had a lot more intelligent things to say than this chart.

            The short version is: Do you want to make a cross-platform version or not?

            If yes, put it in, so Linux, Mac, Android, whatever users will give you money (If you think this is such a tiny thing, then go read the world of goo article).

            If no, don’t put it in.

            But saying “if we get 2.5x the money we expect we’ll make it cross-platform” is kind of obnoxious. Maybe the economics of the thing really *do* work out that way in micro indy teams where you might not have the expertise on-hand to do the port, but if you want a cross-platform software project the only sane thing is to develop on all your target platforms from the start. It’s enormously cheaper this way than waiting until you have a “finished product” to do the port, and it’s very hard to believe that doing this the sane way could cost 2.5x of a single platform.

            Basically it smacks of “please finance us doing portability totally the wrong way” combined with “and we might not even do the port anyway”. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense on Kickstarter.

    • jaronimoe says:

      that’s nothing compared to the handheld version stretch goal, 1.150.000….
      never gonna happen ;(

    • GROM says:

      except they went from 32k to 52k in the four hours this was published, not too bad. that’s 1/4 th of their budget with 30 days to go. unless everyone who wants a maluna2 has allready sponsored I think 500k might not be that crazy.

  5. Jackablade says:

    I really wanted to like La Mulana, but the dynamics of the movement, jumping and the like were all just far to awkward. I suppose coming straight from Spelunky didn’t help. I couldn’t put up with it for very long.

    Hopefully the sequel makes things a whole lot less clunky. An archaeological Metroidvania-ish thing should be right up my alley.

    • Pemptus says:

      It was pretty much the other way around for me. I got so accustomed to La-Mulana’s moveset (which took a while, but was manageable overall) that it became second nature. I died in Spleunky more than is agreeable because of that.

    • Snidesworth says:

      That’s what stopped me from getting further in the game too. The slow movement was alright, but the jumping felt so counter intuitive after Spelunky it was hard to stick with it. Combined with how much backtracking you need to do it made playing the game a chore, which doesn’t work well when you need to be on your toes for deadly traps.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I thought it was perfect, given the context of the game, which was absolutely designed around such movement. Comparing it to Spelunky is like comparing Mario to Castlevania. One has looser controls than the other, but it leads to a different game, with emphasis on preparation and foresight rather than precision and twitch skill, not one that is in any way inferior.

      • Jackablade says:

        It didn’t really need to be like Spelunky, that was just something that exacerbated the situation because the movement in that game is so very fast and fluid. Even without that I think the movement and particularly the jump in La Mulana are needlessly cumbersome in game which, while not super fast paced, still requires the player to make some quick, accurate moves and jumps to survive.

  6. Keyrock says:

    If you don’t support this project, we can’t be friends. On a serious note, La-Mulana was awesome. A brutally difficult (more because of the puzzles than enemy difficulty) Indiana Jones-esque metroidvania. I will definitely be throwing some money in their direction

  7. mwoody says:

    For the love of god don’t do what I just did and try to visit at work. It’s a porn site. Rule 1: get the domain before you name your company.

    • Kitsunin says:

      It’s it seems. The thing is they’re a japanese company, and they do indeed own, so I think this is more that they wanted to expand to english speakers but didn’t want to change their name because some jerkbutts took the domain.

  8. Eschatos says:

    Maybe it’s time to get in on Kickstarter. I just started La Mulana a week ago and it’s crazy good, though a lot of the puzzles don’t make sense. Still, even occasionally resorting to a walkthrough it’s a load of fun.

  9. mazzratazz says:

    Maybe I missed this in the article and/or comments but the original is 90% off on Steam for the next.. 46-ish hours. I paid 1,39 euros for it. So if anyone wants to give it a shot, seems like a good time!

    • derbefrier says:

      I just saw that and bought it. I just played for about an hour. Pretty cool game for 1.50. If you like metroidvanias you cant go wrong here