It is with equal measures excitement and dread (my brain is not ready) that I tell you all that La-Mulana 2 is almost here. Nearly four and a half years after its successful Kickstarter, the sequel to Japanese indie studio Nigoro's cult hit puzzle-platformer/metroidvania has been quietly brewing in the background. Today, it officially entered the final stretch of development, along with the release of a fancy new teaser trailer and confirmation that it will be out this summer.
If you've never played the original La-Mulana (or at least its HD remaster), brace yourself for a long, gruelling but ultimately satisfying adventure. On top of being a massive and challenging Metroidvania with ferociously complex multi-layered maps, the original game is infamous for its complex and cryptic puzzles, every bit as brain-pulverising as anything you'd find in Myst or The Witness. These are games that you play carefully, methodically and with a pad of note-paper close to hand.
The sequel puts you in the shoes of new protagonist Lumisa Kosugi, youngest in the Kosugi line of ninjas-turned-archaeologist adventurers. She's hunting for the lost ruins of Eg-Lana, which may not hold the true origins of human civilisation (that was all explained in the first game), but will undoubtedly have its own mysteries to dig up. Some of the original cast are returning too, including Elder Xelpud (former caretaker of the ruins of La-Mulana, now presumably unemployed), and prehistoric, immortal shrine-maiden Mulbruk, who has developed a taste for adventure after thousands of years doing nothing.
According to development blogs, La-Mulana 2 is effectively complete already, but three-man outfit Nigoro are notorious perfectionists. While they wait for the localisation process to be completed, they're going over the game with a magnifying glass and the gentlest of archaeologist's brushes, looking for sprites and music tracks that could use a little tuning up before launch. Right now, they're demoing the game at Bitsummit in Kyoto, but will be returning to put the finishing touches on the game soon.
Nigoro aren't quite set to pin down a final release date, but it should be out this summer. You can wishlist La-Mulana 2 on its Steam store page here.