Don't sweat it son, you got this.
La-Mulana comes out swinging with both fists, but don't let it psych you out. Like Dark Souls, the temple steps with a vengeance on your first day in prison, thirsting to establish dominance. Remember getting beat up in the first 5 minutes of Dark Souls? Ignore it. Don't let it get under your skin. Xelpud is correct - the purpose of this place is to break poseurs over its knee. Lesser archeologists step to it and then run screaming down the hall, but you are not a lesser archeologist. You will return to this place stronger and wiser in time.
Frequent death at first is the harsh sensei teaching you through the school of hard knocks the skills and traits you need to know so that you have a fighting chance down the line. Be cautious, be careful, be fearless but still suspect everything, question EVERYTHING. Accept nothing presented to you at face value. Prepare to die and through dying grow wise.
Always remember that the game fights dirty. It plays by its own sadistic rules and has no qualms about fucking you given the slightest opportunity. Intimidation is a big part of the initial experience. Ultimately it's all Anor Londo. Talks a big game, but goes down easy enough once you start to get the rhythm and flow. Remember: of the holy trinity of intelligence, skill and grit, grit is by far and away the most important determinator of success here. The man who killed Yama is a match for La-Mulana.Starting tips:
A) Your first initial effort should be focused around getting enough money to buy upgrades for the laptop, such as the translation software. Until you can read the writings of the ancients and record them in your in-game notebook you don't even have a fighting chance. You won't be able to translate everything you encounter for a long long time - the temple has many languages - but you'll get enough to set you on your way.
B) Focus all your effort at first on finding the Holy Grail ASAP. This invaluable item - the most important in the game - is available before you even leave the Gate of Guidance, which is to say Area 1-1 of the temple. The grail (once acquired) allows permanent insta-warping to previously scanned save plinths in the game. Scan save points with your translation software and you're good to go. Wisdom of the ancients be praised.
Grail functionality allows you to not only evac yourself from danger (SPIKES CLOSING IN!!! ABORT ABORT!!!) but also allows convenient fast travel, warping around the map as you unlock plinths. Finding a new save spot is like opening a bonfire shortcut in Dark Souls - feels soooo good, and worth the tremendous treks necessary to uncover them. Remember, the first save plinth is OUTSIDE the temple, three screens to the right of one of the two (2) hot springs in the game capable of healing your wounds. You're never more than a quick hop from full health.
How to find it? I'll just quote Obi-Wan here: Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them. Whip everything, jump everywhere, push everything. Once you find it, you will be wiser to the tricks and illusions of La-Mulana. They are quite deliberate with this one, it's a teachable moment.
c) Each named zone / region of the map (including area 0) contains exactly one (1) save plinth / warp point / bonfire to uncover and exactly one (1) sankara stone thing capable of extending your max health. Getting one of these sankara stones is always a quest in itself, but the first few at least are not incredibly difficult. What seems impossible with a small health bar becomes very doable with a health bar 3 times the length. Also, look for secret shops and minibosses to kill. Gold doesn't respawn in pots or from mobs but there's enough treasure in the ruins to finance what you need. Don't waste money on ammo at first -- those drop from mobs. Save for permanent upgrades. When you have your character portrait laden down with booty, weapons and gear you will be unstoppable.
d) That said, there are tons of puzzles and fights in the game that ARE unwinnable off the bat -- case in point, Argus the big blue eye giant in area 0. If something seems impossible, it could very well be that it IS impossible.... for the moment. All puzzles are solvable in time, but the game will not tell you when you cross the threshold of possibility. You must deepen your understanding of the possibilities of your inventory and find new powers and new lore through exploration. Read everything, corelate it.
e) If you picked up something and you don't know what the hell it does, try equipping it and taking it to Elder Xelpud. He has lots to say on a wide variety of subjects, especially weird items. Later there will be other resources at your disposal.
f) Fortune favors the bold. If at any point in time you find yourself saying "naaah. They wouldn't..... would they? COULD they?" the answer is always "they would and they could." The developers are evil dungeon master types who delight in forcing you to break routine assumptions to progress. Your suffering is their delight. Keep at it, you will become strong and wise. Examine everything, use your notebook in-game to log clues that seem significant. It's not Spelunky, there is no randomness holding you back. If you get frustrated by the area you're in, turn around and find another area. Go up to Undead Burg, not to Drowned Londo where the unkillable ghosts are. Find gold, shops and items, return and succeed.
g) Kill bosses, obviously. Start by uncovering their ankhs. Amphibesena is the one and only easy boss in the game, he is in the Gate of Guidance. After that, you're up against it for real. The gun does tremendous damage, capable of killing even bosses in a few hits but costs 250 non-farmable gold per bullet. Don't miss.