Ryan Wilson

It Came from Obscurity – La-Mulana

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Whipping it good!

La-Mulana (PC/WiiWare[9/20])
Developer: GR3 Project (Classic) / Nigoro (Remake)
Free Classic
Remake

La-Mulana, simply put, is a love letter to retro gaming. In its classic form, the game looks like it was ripped straight out of an MSX home computer (the popular Japanese system that debuted the Metal Gear series). In its remake form, these graphics jump up to 16-bit console levels, but make no mistake, the game sure loves its MSX.

If you’re one of those people begging and pleading for a time where beating a game was less of a checkmark off the list and more of a badge of honor, then La-Mulana was made just for you. The game is brutally hard, featuring only one checkpoint per “world”. Get hit by one too many enemies without backtracking to save, or fall into one of the game’s dead-ends and you’ll find yourself losing a lot of time in the early stages. Thankfully, an item becomes available in the first hours of the game that will allow you to teleport you to any checkpoint you have previously reached, and out of harms way.

Not once playing this game did I ever feel like any of my deaths were cheap. Much like the early Castlevania games, jumps must be planned and damage results in possibly fatal fall-back. If you walk off a ledge, you’re falling straight down, often into a bed of spikes. You’re going to earn every one of those failures…and you’ll love every minute of it.

Game Tips
– The aforementioned teleportation device (the Holy Grail) will not work during boss fights, so make sure you’re at full health before you trigger them.
– Heed the corpses’ warnings.
– As soon as you can afford them, get the Hand Scanner and the reader.exe software. These are crucial to solving puzzles.
– If you’re stuck in one “area” don’t be afraid to explore a new one. Who knows, it might offer some new insight.

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