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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Bowley

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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Bowley » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:11 pm

Ahhh you typed "search around" not scan! I thought you were saying, search, as in, you need to look around to solve it, which was technically true.

No matter, I'm considering that one conquered. Already tried Illusion, jumping into spikes willingly has paid off twice in La-Mulana, unfortunately no forward progress this time, just money.

If a puzzle requires me to exit the game and restart it, or turn on sticky keys or something, I'M OUT... well maybe not. God damn it...
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:11 pm

Doh. No, I meant "The Y button will be significant". I was thinking scan, I said search.

I guess I could have said that in as many words.

Here's my attempt to make good: Pay especially close attention to pots in the chamber of illusion. Only the penitent man will pass.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Bowley » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:25 pm

More like, "Only the accidentally penitent man will pass."

I have been making some unaided forward progress in the Gates of Illusion, if you'd call bumbling my way through like Mr. Magoo, "progress." Regardless, it has been a remarkably effective strategy so far, accidentally solving puzzles and not really knowing why. Inadvertently scanning and finding crucial invisible writing on the wall when I meant to hit another button, mistakenly pressing down after smashing a pot and being sucked through the floor, accidentally moving right, instead of left, out of a teleporter and walking through the wall, are all things I'm extremely glad happened, even though I didn't mean for them to. Just how anybody is meant to perform any of these actions intentionally, I have no fucking idea.

Included on the list of things I have no fucking idea about, are how to actually USE the inert dwarf doll in my inventory that I'm supposed to prove my "dwarf status" with to proceed, the patch of wall with light shining through that is invulnerable to conventional weapons, the upside down npc door that is inaccessible with anything short of star trek antigravity boots, and the tantalizing secret room on the far right of my map, whose secret entryway is beyond the reach of my current room revealing tactics. The Magoo luck has run out with all of these things.

Meanwhile, the software combo that upgrades the map has availed me of the location of secret rooms and some gear progression since, but the line through La-Mulana remains muddied, and nebulous at best. The fact that they awarded me an achievement for beating a sub-boss without using an item that I didn't know existed and was probably supposed to have for the fight, really says a lot to that effect.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:09 pm

I assume by achievement, you're talking about the Lamp and the flying lion thing that shoots death feathers at you? Impressive stuff. I can't remember if I defeated it with or without lamp (I could check my achievements, I guess) but I know that it was hard as balls and designed specifically to have an Achilles Lamp Heel. That guy is meant to be something who kicks your ass over and over and that you come back to later.

Illusion is indeed Mister Magoo all over the place. Sounds like you're muddling through decently. This is basically how it's done - run around everywhere like a derpy derp, jump on everything, push on everything, walk backwards and forwards. You'll have to leave the chamber from time to time to do things elsewhere and return later in order to fully clear it. The doll usage you (should) have a line on for from way, way earlier in the game. It's a fairly straightforward clue although cryptic and utterly incomprehensible when you first receive it since you're not thinking literally at the time. Cast your mind back and retread old ground.

If it helps, I believe you will be actively "using" the doll (with the use button) in the appropriate place. It affects the chamber of illusion, ultimately, albeit extremely indirectly.

That upside down door is part of the elaborate and ridiculous path towards Hell Temple. If you haven't found the Gate of Time yet, don't worry about any of that, it's not Hell Temple time.

Also, if you haven't found the Gate of Time, time to get on that. I believe it's technically accessible from where you're currently at in the game. It's miss-able and not required but contains one of the most hella useful items in the game. Accessing it will be much easier in the later game as a result of large scale environmental changes, but I think I ran into it completely accidentally at a point before where you are.

Note: When/if you get to the puzzle with the scale (you'll know) it's one of those rare "you only get one shot at this" things. Just FYI. Don't save your game if you screw it up.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Bowley » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:25 pm

Ok, thanks, that'll give me some avenues to explore, other than Gates of Illusion puzzle head-bashing. Also, you guessed the correct sub-boss. I wouldn't say it was an impressive fight, more like a brute forced victory. I fought him early on and lost miserably like 15 times in a row, came back with 80% full health bar, the silver shield, and a healing fairy I towed up there from a few rooms below. Even then, I almost couldn't do it.

Looks like it was too early to fight those two, there's nothing to do that I can find in the rooms with the witches guarding them.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:53 pm

When you see witches in the Twin Labyrinths, make a note of where. I'll be relevant later.

I went for a ridiculously long time without "opening" the Twin Labrynths for general exploration. It's weird. The game lets you screw around and poke your head in it and out of it for a long time before they throw the doors open and actually give you full access to it proper.

If you haven't cracked the Endless Corridor yet, you ain't there.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Bowley » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:39 pm

I'm growing tired of backtracking and looking for walls/floors I haven't whipped yet. It's like strafing around Wolfenstein 3D's walls while holding down the open door button. A couple times is cool,but an increasing amount of secrets I missed are behind walls I didn't whip or floors I didn't knife. Whipping is pretty intuitive, but you're fucked if you don't figure out that knifing floors is crucial, (and Abuto help you if you don't even find the knife).
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:31 pm

The best thing about the katana is that it cuts from bottom-up and hits both floors and knee-high things along the way.

Fortunately I don't remember a lot of instances where you need to use it. Maybe 1 or two in the whole game. I remember that acquiring the axe necessitates that you be able to break a floor *somehow*, but I used those rolly shuriken to get the job done.

I do remember one of the sankara stone things (the "outside the temple" one) required you being able to attack a wall in a really weird place.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Bowley » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:10 pm

Haven't played it in months and months, but I'm officially checking out of La Mulana. I saw it sitting there, neglected, in my "installed" list and figured I needed some closure. Let's see if I can do this with the least amount of rationalization possible.

I did not defeat La Mulana, La Mulana defeated me, mentally. I'm being dramatic, but this game will definitely test your will and toleration for bullshit. Having completed 1/2 to 3/4 of the game, I think I have a very good appreciation for what it's about now.

Despite how much they fuck with you, I was red hot with enthusiasm up until the end of the Gates of Illusion, where a certain ridiculous puzzle, with an obscure, bullshit answer, broke my back (but there were others as well). In a game where progress gained on your own cleverness and intelligence is a massive part of the reward, looking up or receiving answers saps my enjoyment. That was my choice, of course, but when I bang my head up against the wall for hours, am no longer enjoying the process and "why am I doing this to myself?" becomes the predominant thought in my mind with no real answer, it's time to stop.

So, I am mentally releasing myself of the burden to finish it. That isn't to say I won't ever, but it'll only be if I desire to, and not because I think I have to.

For the scant few that wander in here and read this, La Mulana is a really cool, intense, motherfucker of a game. As a 2D sidescroller it's rad, but it's way deeper of an experience than you can imagine, and demands way more from you than its first impression lets on. I give it a sincere thumbs up, with the caveat that it is pockmarked by utter bullshit that may wear you down and your enjoyment of it faster than you can complete it.
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Re: La-Mulana: You Call THIS Archeology?!

by Beige » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:49 pm

Bowls, in my mind you've fought the good fight - certainly enough to be able to speak with authority on the subject. Hold your head high.

Don't feel bad about it. There is some bullshit for sure, nobody holds a gun to your head and says you have to enjoy every flavor of game out there. As I said in the initial post, La-Mulana is a very VERY specific kind of experience for a very specific kind of player. It's very much a sirrachi chili sauce death pepper kind of game. If you LIKE being hurt by spicy food at its spiciest you'll have a blast but I don't think anybody would argue that not liking food spicy enough to burn your mouth makes you some kind of quitter.

In my case I found that the hump got manageable right after the Chamber of Illusion, but there's at least a half dozen straight-up Whargarbl what the fuck puzzles that got the better of me. I just GAMEFAQsed those moments and moved on, didn't feel bad about it at all. Everything makes sense in retrospect.

You now Get what this game is. That's the important point. I have faith that they will deliver a more accessible sequel with La-Mulana 2 - they've said as much. Not easier necessarily, but more fair in terms of clueing and understanding the contract.
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