Here we investigate the overlooked, the underappreciated, the Shameworthy titles of the world. Jump in to an existing mission thread and give your thoughts, or start your own to kick off a discussion.
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La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:09 pm

LaMulana_Logo.jpg


I've threatened to do this a couple of times in the past, now it's time to follow through. When I was visiting Pete in the UK, I came close to getting him to commit to the idea of at least downloading La-Mulana [edit: He has now done this]. I swore I'd at least make the pitch on my return for one of the most rewarding games ever made (that you're probably never going to play). HERE WE GO!

lmu_header.jpg
Fortune and Glory.


What is La-Mulana?

In a nutshell it's a Metroidvania-esque side scrolling adventure platformer which also happens to be a rare-but-shining example of the potential inherent in Japan's emergent indie dev scene. It is also the best game ever made about archeology, hands down.

La-Mulana is mostly unknown by John Q. Public and the few reports and narratives which do exist seem to concur that the game is basically an 'extremely difficult metroidvania in the Symphony-of-the-Night model'. Much like the chatter about Dark Souls being masocore, this statement is somewhat true in broad strokes but represents a gross oversimplification of the basic facts.

lamulana_original.jpg
Old Skool




Ancient History

La-Mulana has had 2 lives -- the 'original' version which was released in 2005 and a remastered version released in 2012 which tweaks some of the puzzles and boss fights and puts a slick 16-bit era coat of paint and a sweet chiptune soundtrack over the entire package, as well as a few gameplay tweaks like the addition of a helpful NPC who serves as a player hint system. The first version was a chunky, EGA-era oddity which looked like it was made 20 years before its time and which was only ever available for Japanese PCs. The second made its way to both WiiWare and Steam and looks beautiful, like a PS1-era pixeler.

Both versions of La-Mulana were conceptualized and designed as a love letter to the 'old skool' grindingly difficult / "Nintendo Hard" games of yore that the developers at Nigoro cut their teeth on with old Japanese computer systems like the PC-X.

lamulana_new.jpg
The new kingdom




The Ecstacy of Gold

Why does Beige bang the drum as hard as he does for this game? Allow me to illustrate the appeal of La-Mulana with a Venn diagram:

lamulana_venn.jpg
Be fearless, be quick, be hardy, be observant, be curious, be careful.


This mess is confusing, let me explain:

As many of you know, I'm a sucker for games that are confident enough to lean into a a "you must be this ________ to get on the ride" appeal element. Ninja Gaiden (Twitch Dexterity), Riven (Critical Thinking), Dark Souls (Patience, Perserverence). The word 'difficult' for me ususally carries positive connotations. Perservering and ultimately rising above a stiff challenge thrown down by wily developers is one of the things I live for in gaming, and every time I hear that "most players who attempt X game will tap out long before the finish line" it rings like music to my ears.

This sense of tough-but-fair challenge is a very difficult balancing act to nail when designing a game, and few developers even make the attempt much less stick the landing, opting to take the safe and generally accessible path 99% of the time. Those games which get it right however are the legendary ones.

Action games live in glory or die in a fire on the perception that they are something like a Super Meat Boy or Dark Souls and NOT a cheap game where enemies one-shot you from poorly programmed camera angles. Likewise, puzzle or adventure games that make players throw up their hands in frustration and ragequit are pariahs if the perception is that player experience will be combining random items in their inventory to glue cat hair to a comb to make a disguise in order to proceed.

Here is the central problem of recommending La-Mulana to anybody outside the Squadron of Shame. It's a fantastic game, massively underappreciated -- but it absolutely revels in its status both as a technically demanding action platformer and a total brain burner of an adventure puzzler. If we were talking about fishing, La Mulana would be that giant Marlin that you fought on the line for 6 hours but now tell stories about. Nigoro - the devs - set it up *specifically* to be that marlin. That is an appeal element - in a nutshell this why you play this game. To perservere, to beat the house. To succeed by wit and grit where others failed.

It Belongs in a Museum.

The qualities that I am describing are exactly why La-Mulana's gameplay fits perfectly with its Archeology theme. In fact, if it were a board game we would be discussing precisely how the synergy between theme and mechanics creates a player experience greater than the sum of its parts. Jones-style archeology is a specific experience where, quite literally, you play the role of a Smart Archeologist stepping over the bones of Foolish Fools who came before you without bringing their grail diaries and who died as a direct result. The heroe's job is to be smarter than them... to learn from their mistakes by studying their tattered journal and in so doing being smart enough to stick out your hand to trigger the trap BEFORE it kills you.

lamu_grail.png
This happens surprisingly early.


La-mulana plays this "you must be smart" card to the hilt to a degree rarely seen outside of hardcore logic games like text adventures and Escape-the-room experiences. I can unequvicably say that I have never once in my gaming career played an 'action' game which came even close to attempting such a thing to the degree that La-Mulana does. Imagine if in the middle of Uncharted that Naughty Dog decided that Drake simply could not continue in his quest until he figured out some nuance of how ancient civilization X wrote a specific phrase... and that Drake could not figure it out until they PLAYER figured it out. No press A to continue or consult smoothing hint. You're getting out pens and pencils and doing cyphers on foolscap to find out where the big X is that you need to punch through the floor into the catacombs or you're not going any further. If you can't connect the dots you don't deserve to progress.

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The temple of the sun


Case in point: There is a room, fairly early on, where there is an altar in front of you. It's exactly like other altars that you might have seen in other places in the temple complex except this one is surrounded by more than a few skeletons just sitting there, dead. A few of them look like they may have starved to death. If you just run up to the altar and interact with it, guess what, giant walls slam down on either side of you trapping you permanently in the room. There is no escape, but as there is no "starve to death" button, you must quit the game. Why would the developers do this? Because you're stupid and you're used to seeing skeletons in video games and never thinking "wait, maybe this isn't such a great idea". Later on, when you have the ability to speak with dead, you can interact with the skeletons and they will all say things like "Oh god, why did I touch the altar! Why??"... but at the point you first interact with it you do not have that power. You must make the logical leap of "Huh. Something's wrong here. This altar looks sketchy as hell." and avoid it in order to survive.

Case Study 2: There is a tablet in the game that says, basically (after you can translate the runes) "Do not read the fucking tablet in the next room. We are not kidding around." If you so much as attempt it, the gods of that place will blast you within an inch of your life before holler at you "Listen asshole, can't you read?! We said to leave this tablet alone. DO NOT FUCK WITH IT. DO NOT READ IT. This is your FINAL WARNING!" If you're a smartass and interact with the plinth again the gods will strike you dead and when you wake up the game will be put on Hard Mode (which is super hard) permanently, no do-overs, no dialing down the difficulty. Congrats genius, you have angered the gods. You get an achievement for your troubles though. This is the kind of game La-Mulana is.

But how does it taste?

Let's go back to basics: Player experience.
The game starts amidst badass chiptune music and a Sega Genesis-era intro. Your character Lemezza (Japanese Indiana Jones with the serial numbers filed off) arrives at the village outside of the temple. You have a whip (natch) and, I believe, a laptop. Your mission: To investigtae the mysterious disappearance and presumed death of your father, a lifelong adventurer who vanished after venturing into the maw of the ancient temple of La-Mulana some time ago. The game's plot will take it from there.

Your immediate sense: La-Mulana is a good-looking 16-bit era platformer starring a main character who controls like a Belmont in an old skool Castlevania game. He can whip, jump and use items but not change direction in mid-air once a jump has been comitted to -- an odd design decision on the devs' part but one that comes easy once you get the hang of it. It's not Mario Bros, it's Castlevania III - a slow cautious pace and wary, careful use of the controls is the order of the day. Don't leap out over a pit of spikes and then expect you can somehow magically reverse your trajectory. There's some business with leaping straight up and doing in-air control, but that's neither here nor there.

You start poking your head in village huts, talking to people, gathering ITS DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE TAKE THIS style advice and browsing the shops. You meet the hilarious Elder Xelpud - one of gaming's great unsung supporting characters -- who will get increasinly more hilarious over the next 40 hours or so. Wait - 40 hours? Yes indeed. La-Mulana has the nominal side scrolling presentation of Symphony of the Night, but under the hood lies a game as broad and deep as Dark Souls that will keep you entertained for ages. It seems daunting now, but soon you will be navigating the Chamber of Birth or the Mausoleum of the Giants with your eyes closed. See that boss accessible 6 screens left from your starting location? There's a treasure chest plainly visible behind it, but you won't be killing that huge thing covered with eyes (its name is Argos) for something like 15 hours despite encountering it in the first 5 minutes of the game. This is kind of how La-Mulana works. Probe... delve... discover... come across something interesting... fail to understand it... scratch your head knowing that there MUST be a solution or explanation out there somewhere. Hours and Hours later you will run across a buried coin hidden in a completely random location that will contain the rosetta stone and bam, suddenly it all makes sense. You now know what you have to do.

lamu_argos.jpg
Meet Argos


"Subtract 1 kadom for the god whose ark this is."

This is where the archeology comes in. The world of La-Mulana is just dripping with secrets -- discovering them and understanding what you're looking at, moreso than killing monsters and overcoming bosses, is the screw on which game progression turns. Most of them are staring you in the face to a surprising degree once you know what you're looking for. Remember that moment in Riven when you're playing with a little toy in some room and suddenly, bam, it dawns on you that you're standing in a school and the thing you're fiddling with that has a little wooden shark on it is actually a teaching device whose purpose is to convey an alien number system to the player? That's pretty much the whole experience of La-Mulana. You will walk by a plinth of two faces looking at one another on the wall a hundred times before suddenly coming back to it after you realize what the 16-bit pixel art is signifying. Language hidden in the art detailing all over the place. Secrets carved or woven into background textures. Why is that statue holding this particular symbolic icon aloft? Why is the venus of willendorf stencilled on that door? Which of these dozens of stone statues is meant to represent Tetlo? WHO or WHAT is Tetlo? You'll figure it out... or you won't progress.

The primary vehicle for doing archeology in the game is your trusty laptop, which can be loaded up with "software" that has various in-game effects. How much software you can load is, naturally, limited to how much RAM the computer has. Some things -- like the notepad.exe program that lets you keep a 'permanent' record of the clues you unearth (but only up to 20 at once HNNNNNnnnnngggg) -- has a small RAM requirement. Some things, like haxx0r software that augments the power of your whip or movement speed has huge RAM requirements. Learning how to hot swap and mix-n-match is an important facet of the game. You can't keep BOTH the translator which can read X ancient language and the app that lets you warp to X location active in RAM at once. You must choose between extra health and, say, the ability to save from time to time. Decisions. Also there are totally mix and match secret combos of software that allows Lemezza to do things like summon secret fairy familiars which can point out hidden rooms. Symphony of the Night says hello. Also, buy the lava-proof case for your laptop and/or extra RAM if you ever get the chance. Trust me.

This aspect is both the best and worst feature of La-Mulana. There's no way to sugar coat the fact that the game aspires to be a mountain which some players may just straight-up be unable to climb: if you are dumb... if you lack curiosity or lateral thinking skills... if you get frustrated... if you can't connect arechological clues and make inferences... then La-Mulana will forever be a closed box to you. Even though the game is highly DEX based requiring no small amount of reflexes and physical skill, the game **cannot be beaten** by skill alone. It's not enough to whip the slightly different textured wall, note the crumbling dust motes and discover the secret passage behind. You must then understand what you're seeing when faced with a giant engraving of Bahamut rowing to the heavens on the wall. A skeleton who clutches a note that says something like "Black is heavier than White" or "The penitent man kneels for a lost trinket". Most of it makes no goddamn sense. But MAKING sense of it is what you have to do. It'll be maddening at first because you won't have the rosetta stones or the keys or the translation software or access to the NPC who can explain what X means... and you'll constantly run across this stuff. But slowly, slowly, the game will give up its secrets.



If La-Mulana has any glaring downside it is simply that these secrets can occasionally be too subtle for players to comprehend -- and god help you if a big one goes whizzing over your head without you noticing. Since just about every damn screen in the game contains SOME secret code of the Ancients, symbolic memetic or note of significance, the sense of being constantly bombarded with Archeology which MAY or MAY NOT be a game-critical clue or which may just be a plain old statue of a dog is a constant thing. You get paranoid about it. Finding a note that mentions burying something under the foot of the Idol of Whatzit will drive you nuts since there might be 10 things that can legitimately qualify.

Most of the time the clueing in La-Mulana is OK, but there are times when it falls down and I wondered more than once whether I was experiencing an artifact of its translation from Japanaese. I am not a dumb guy by any means but I was stymied more than once for multiple hours by... oh... let's say a tiny black easily missable engraving of a snake about 16 pixels across that was emblazoned on an already crowded wall with no context whatsoever. That one was bad and I had to go to GameFAQs for it. It's rough. When the entire point of a game is to test the player and make them roleplay the sense of being smarter than that guy whose skeleton is rotting down in the pit there with a spear stuck through its eyehole it sucks to have to go to GameFAQs. In La-Mulana the sense of elation can be amazing when you succeed at one of these intellectual gauntlets. When you can't?.... Durrrrrr. You're just the nazis digging in the wrong place, or that guy in 999 who can't figure out what Zero is trying to say with his damn trigonometry puzzles.

Most of the time it feels fair... but... not always. How were you supposed to know that wall could be bombed? What made you take that mental leap from X to Y? What happens when you pull a lever that obviously does.... SOMETHING.... and you hear a grinding noise but get no other feedback? Start walking around hoping something in the temple catches your eye? Don't get me started on the Chamber of Illusions either, gah...that fucking place. Designed to break you. BREAK you. At least they're up front about it with that one. Just grit your teeth and power through it. Only the penitent man may pass.

lamu_illusion.png
The Hall of Illusion is designed to break your will.


I Feel Stronger

Up until this point in time I've been talking puzzles, but the slow process of unfolding, gaining abilities and powering up happens on a mechanical level as well, with the physical journey towards in-game ubermenschness mirroring and following in step with the intellectual journey towards total understanding. At first Lemezza has a whip and a notebook, then slowly a crystal... which you'll find does X, then a gun, then a spear.... then.. a grail, which does.... something awesome, trust me. There's something like 40 slots in the inventory and you will come to use and understand them all. You'll get the Staff of Snakes or a grappling claw and be like "... uh, what?" and then realize that this is the thing you've been looking for like 10 hours because it suddenly makes it possible to _______. Metroidvania stuff, but more subtle than you're used to. For every boss you'll defeat that will give you some kind of weappon upgrade or traversal ability you will also go through some huge ordeal just to aquire a piece of knowledge. Maybe not even knowledge that has a direct mechanical equivalent -- just knowledge like the fact that Lemezza's body weight is X pounds. Trust me, this fact is relevant information in this game.

I did appreciate that every single piece of loot that I collected in the game was rendered graphically on my portrait in the character sheet. Like... by the end of it, Lemezza was wearing five capes, two hats, carrying a dozen weapons and festooned with armor. Boss.

lamulana_gear.png
All of the things


Let's talk for a second about the combat in the game. It's Castlevania -- which is to say that you run around whipping things for the most part, though there are other weapons such as axes, knives, etc. Most of the time La-Mulana is not frantic -- taking things slow and steady is usually safe -- though it can get hairy during fights with marquee enemies like minibosses, of which there is a delightful array of weird and wild.

Sub-weapons exist, but they mostly use ammo which can be hard to replace. The utility of these tools tends to come to the fore primarily in situations such as boss fights or puzzle solving where you have to whip a shuriken through a hole in the wall to hit a switch or some such foolishness. I appreciated that going for your gun so-to-speak has a survival-horror-like sense of cost-benefit analysis to it... a sign that some serious shit is going down. Ammo ain't cheap, and if you throw your last boomerang away it's gone baby, gone. Maybe for an hour or more until you can get back to that one secret shop in level whatsitsface that sells more.

There are 8 large uber-bosses in La-Mulana and all of them are fantastic examples of 16-bit creative design at its finest. All of these bastards are hard as proverbial balls - memorable setpiece fights that serve as a masters course on whether or not you're paying close attention to everything you know about 16 bit platforming. These fights are the times you will dig deep, whipping knives and items around, splurging wantonly from your inventory in an orgy of do-or-die. Because of how the game is structured, it's totally possible to fight La-Mulana's masters in an irregular order, though there is sort of a logical flow that the game assumes you to be following. I remember each encounter vividly -- mostly because I had to die and retry a lot.

Even outside of bosses there are weird things. Special marquee enemies, sub-bosses, rooms that just have a weird what-the-fuck creature in them. Enemies that have certain schticks, enemies that have weaknesses to artifacts. Guardians of upgrades, assholes. Defeating them is always a pleasure. The combat is fun. Often taxing, but always enjoyable with tons of variety. Late in the game you will come shiva, destroyer of worlds, but you will always be within a few dumb mistakes of a careless death, a la Dark Souls. Let's talk about that:

lamulana_isis.jpg
Isis can help you, if you find her.


A fool treads blindly

I always appreciated La-Mulana's hardcore attitude towards allowing players enough rope to hang themselves with. This is a game that will happily allow you to get yourself stranded up in some area or zone which you have no business being, with the limits of "where should I go next" dictated purely by best guess half the time. It is completely possible to derp yourself into getting stuck deep in a bind somewhere far away from any rescue and more than once I found myself having to redo an hour or more of gameplay because I was dumb and didn't turn back like a sensible person when I aught.

This is particularly true with save points. The game is very strict about having a single save point (*cough bonfire cough*) per each major area of the map, and often getting to that save point and rushing in to tag it feels like a huge achievement Every. Single. Time. Sometimes they're real fuckers and the save point will be hidden behind a breakable wall or something. Arrrrgh. The very worst part comes early in the game before you posess any of the abilities to quick-warp around the complex -- in these instances it is totally possible to get yourself stuck with only a millimeter of health miles and miles from home with no way to get back beyond bloody careful gameplay.

I should also stress that there are only 2 -- that is TWO (2) -- places in the entire temple complex in which Lemezza can heal. One of them is in the village, the other is super concealed. That's it. No healing potions, no health packs, no regeneration. Injuries are permanent unless you can make it back to one of those 2 places. Likewise, upgrading the health bar is a thing which only happens infrequently and always involves a huge ordeal followed by a happy dance. Obviously, getting one makes you feel like a million bucks.

You can't grind in this game. You can't even break pots multiple times to farm gold or pickups. What gold as drops from vessels is a one-time only boon -- spend that 30GP wisely young man. Handgun bullets will kill damn near anything on the map in a single blast (excepting bosses which take 4 or 5) but as they are 250 non-refundable GP per shot so each pull of the trigger represents more than an hour of exploring that you could have spent on RAM upgrades for your laptop. Don't miss.

I remember a few times being pushed right to the edge of controller throwing by these sorts of design choices, but like Blighttown, after you have scaled those peaks you will look back on challenging areas and laugh about how you once thought X or Y was a big deal. Often you must quest for the item "that would have made this so easy..." - like the cape that protects you from flames and heat for example. Guess where it's hidden? That's right. Through the flames.

Closing remarks

So. La-Mulana. Obviously I liked it.

Perhaps it is the case that I'm preaching to an audience of one here in the Squad. I fully acknowledge that this may be the case. Not everybody feels the same way about video games that I do -- but you have to understand: so often I go through Video Game Land playing Saints Rows and HALOs and Gone Homes and feeling quite like I am in some way just not quite the target market for the experience being sold to me.... but not this time. NOT this time La-Mulana. Here is a game that has my number hook line and sinker just like Meat Boy, Dark Souls, X-COM and Persona 4. It's a game that only gets better in the reminiscing and more and more enjoyable in the rearview mirror the more I look back on it. I know it's special because it is in that category of games that I won't shut up about if you get me talking. I just want to sit in a Casablanca cafe with other grizzled La-Mulana veterans and drink beer and tell war stories about that time with the thing and the artifact and the boss and the oh-my-god all afternoon.

La-Mulana a love letter to the games of my childhood -- weeks spent playing Adventure of Link and calling the Nintendo Hotline over and over again at .99 cents a minute, only updated for 2014 with the sort of sterling polish that is the so-rare hallmark of a Japanese developed passion project. Its appeal is that of climbing a mountain -- that view from the top is breathtaking. Definitely a personal 95%, in the top 5% of games I've played.

La-Mulana is a unique piece of art -- the polar opposite of the triple-A smoothed and accessible focus grouped videogame experience we all know by this point -- built to a very specific, very uncompromising artistic vision straight outa Japan. It is a game about critical thinking, solving puzzles, fighting hard and exploring fearlessly... as I said, maybe the best game ever made about archeology or at least the best game ever made about a specific kind of pressure-plate spear trap don't-look-at-the-ark archeology. Demanding -- but at the same time an extremely rewarding experience that asks a lot of the few brave souls hardy enough to walk the path.

I'm not trying to hype it inordinately -- understand that there is nothing in the content of the game which will fundamentally change your life. It's not trying to be profound, or aaaaart... it's not War and Peace. You will kill a bunch of bosses and 16-bit platform around. Good times.

But.. with La-Mulana, someone in Japan said "Let's make a game that is 100% tailored to those who play games to climb mountains. Let's make a game that combines no-holds barred analytical thinking with Nintendo-hard platforming action -- something that respects the player and assumes a high degree of tenacity, intelligence and skill -- with top-notch art direction and a killer soundtrack backing it up that only maybe 1 person out of 100 will ever complete or even enjoy. Let's make a BEIGE game."

"Nothing truly worth doing is easily won". When you finish La-Mulana... IF you finish it... hopefully you'll sit back and enjoy a drink at the cafe with me.

And... AND... if you ever get to HELL TEMPLE -- that secret, whispered uber DEFCON 1 Diablo Cow level of utter sadism that exists deep inside the black and buried heart of this game... well, you'll have done something impressive for sure. And.. AND... if you ever by some absolute, crazy twist of fate and sheer blessing of the gods confront and defeat the final, super-secret boss who lurks there in that place... and behold THAT WHICH MUST NOT BE SEEN with your own eyes... well... you'll have done something that I have not and most likely never will. I do hope you tell me all about it over a few drinks in our Casablanca bar.

lam_finale.jpg
PLAY IT
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Alex Connolly » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:18 pm

A fine read. Sounds very...Bowley-ish, too.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:47 pm

Yeah. Unless my guesses are wrong, this one will be a difficult sell. I feel like I have a good chance making the case to Bowley -- a man who can defeat Yama can defeat La-Mulana. Don't know who else sits at the center of the venn diagram.... Pete perhaps.

Anybody who sits at that curve where a stiff, old skool challenge is more of an enticement than a scare tactic. I want to see more people aware of the game though, even if it is a lost cause.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Angry Jedi » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:18 pm

Regardless of whether you get anyone here to bite -- I've downloaded it, just not started it yet, but I fully intend to at some point in the near future -- I don't think you have to worry about it being a lost cause. The sequel did well on Kickstarter, comfortably exceeding its goal, so rest assured there will be more La-Mulana in your future!
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Alex Connolly » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:32 pm

Spelunky is probably as close as I'm going to get to this one, even though they appear only related on the barest of levels. I *think* my platformers need to resemble a Flashback or Bermuda Syndrome, rather than a classic console affair - even with this layer of problem solving attached.

Sounds fascinating, regardless.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:12 pm

Candidly, I relish the opportunity to play the role of Elder Xelpud of this thread, dropping cryptic advice and trolling the players constantly.

I like how in the first 10 minutes of the game he declares himself to be the final boss of the game, then walks the comment back after a while. Fourth wall? Pfft.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Angry Jedi » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:54 am

Given the potentially low uptake of people on this for a "main mission", this might be a good candidate for a trial Live Show. Me, Beige and anyone else who wants to come along and laugh at my lack of skills, a stream of the game for 30-60 minutes with some live discussion via Skype (and audible via the stream), then archived for posterity.

Who's in?
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:29 pm

Absolutely in. I will hover over you through the first 60 minutes, which should be enough to get the first and most critical of all the items in the game.

I was constantly frustrated at Giant Bomb's quicklook of the game since they quite obviously didn't get it. I'm not sure you can even begin 'getting' La-Mulana in 15-20 minutes. I'm sure that DOTA2 players would feel the same way at a 10 minute quicklook of DOTA 2. You can explain the base mechanics, but that's all. When your game isn't about the mechanics, but about the meta-experience over time you end up SOL.

When do you want to do it? Sunday?
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Angry Jedi » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:06 pm

Beige wrote:Absolutely in. I will hover over you through the first 60 minutes, which should be enough to get the first and most critical of all the items in the game.

I was constantly frustrated at Giant Bomb's quicklook of the game since they quite obviously didn't get it. I'm not sure you can even begin 'getting' La-Mulana in 15-20 minutes. I'm sure that DOTA2 players would feel the same way at a 10 minute quicklook of DOTA 2. You can explain the base mechanics, but that's all. When your game isn't about the mechanics, but about the meta-experience over time you end up SOL.

When do you want to do it? Sunday?


Sunday could work. I'll check with Andie that we're not doing anything over the weekend and get back to you. Any particular time work well for you? I want to do it at a time friendly to both EU and NA -- not that I'm expecting many (any?) viewers, but it doesn't hurt to be as inclusive as possible.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by ciscoidiot » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:51 pm

Oh man, this is exactly what I needed to see to pick up La-Mulana again... Awesome write up. Brb, jumping on some lamu.
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