La-Mulana 2 explores the secret depths of Kickstarter

Think Tomb Raider meets Dark Souls meets 2D Castlevania.

Last autumn La-Mulana creator Takumi Naramura announced a sequel to his fiendishly difficult cult hit was in development and now it's on Kickstarter for fans to fund. Rejoice!

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The original La-Mulana belongs in a museum.

Released as a free PC game in 2005 before receiving a commercial remake for PC and WiiWare in 2012, La-Mulana is an outlandishly challenging 2D "Metroidvania" exploratory adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones. In modern parlance it's oft described as a "2D Dark Souls," because everything good inevitably gets compared to Dark Souls these days, but it was definitely more cerebral than From's popular offering as La-Mulana's challenges were more puzzle-focused. It completely rejected any and all forms of hand-holding and its riddles grew increasingly complex as switches on one end of its gargantuan game world would affect something across the map. Even basic navigation was confounding due to its mad architecture that would see you climb a ladder only to be warped to a different area with no way to go back down.

Its sadistic mentality extended to its comically overpowered, screen-filling bosses that would take many hours to conquer. The beauty of La-Mulana was that almost the entire game could be completed in any order, so one dead end or unrealistic challenge simply encouraged you to sort out something else in the meantime.

The cruel curio was so acclaimed that it became the first Japanese game to get accepted on Steam Greenlight. Good for it!

La-Mulana 2 is set to follow in its predecessor's footsteps with Naramura leading development at his studio Nigoro. This sequel will star the original protagonist's daughter Lumisa Kosugi as she investigates the recent appearance of monsters along the entrance to the ruins of Eg-Lana.

Like the first game, La-Mulana 2 will be developed for PC with gamepad support. It could come to other platforms though, depending on if it hits enough stretch goals. At $500K Nigoro will make Mac and Linux versions, while $1,150,000 will allow the developer to work on a 3DS version, $1,650,000 will greenlight Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One ports, and $2,350,000 will fund Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. It's important to note that all of these platforms are subject to negotiation with the console manufacturers. Given that the series doesn't have any particularly objectionable material, I wouldn't foresee that being an issue.

Reserving a Steam copy of La-Mulana 2 upon its estimated December 2015 release costs $15, while you can get early alpha access and bonus costumes for $45.

Having just launched its campaign yesterday, La-Mulana 2 has already raised $68,117 of its minimum $200,000 goal with 32 days to go before the 22nd February deadline.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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