Author Topic: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana  (Read 8303 times)

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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2017, 09:38:13 PM »

The most engaging games always immerse you in their world -- through lore, backstory, music, art. For La-Mulana one must appreciate the sheer amount of work done if nothing else (just script alone is gigantic!). But it goes even beyond these means and creates it's own made-up language.

"birth", "life", "death", "origin", "rebirth" all are terms in La-Mulana's made-up languages that the game constantly subtly shows to you leading to several mid-to-late puzzles where you figure out which hieroglyphs in "lamulanese" corresponds to these words.

Even beyond that -- even after you translated and read the hints -- you still need to figure out the text itself. Eventually you will find repeating terms: "wise man", "fool", "courage", they codify a certain thing in La Mulana and you will have to know what they mean. Using a map, reading room names, examining every little detail is crucial to understanding.

Creating it's own vocabulary -- all good games do that to certain extent. When you talk about your experience in these games you might say things like: "i talked to Malon and did a trading quest until i got Roc's feather" or "i played as Lost, got Cricket's Head and several Tears Up pills and killed Ultra Greed " -- sounds like gibberish to people who didn't played these games but to you it might mean a monumental world shattering revelation. Like the one i had when i discovered bronze mirror.


I never thought about La Mulana in that way beyond the the basic "Origin" "Birth" "Life" "Death" cycle, but you're absolutely right. actually, that's something that's lost in the remake just a bit, as the Djed pillar and MANTRA.exe functioned by having the player actually type out these words that you've transcribed to place the Wedges in the Mother's body... but there really is so much thematic use of language here.


Also, if you look at my screenshot above, I have a file up above where i literally just need the last sacred orb, to do Nu Wa, and to Wedge all the fields and I'm good to go on what could probably be an under 6 hour file if I really tried. I think I stopped because I got pissed at the ammount of RNG on getting up to that last sacred orb without using your lamp charge to get up there in the first place. oh well.

What's funny is that I realize I actually did purchase this game a long time ago on Wiiware.  But I let my friend borrow my Wii U since August, so I wouldn't be able to participate in this one even if I wanted to.
no Steam or Vita or you, Lolmonade? :o

Offline azeke

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2017, 09:46:50 PM »
I think I stopped because I got pissed at the ammount of RNG on getting up to that last sacred orb without using your lamp charge to get up there in the first place. oh well.
You probably know that you're supposed to use this room's mini-boss' own water pillar to reach there but after that you can come back and there will be two flying imps that shoot lasers and you can damage boost up there.

I watched people doing that in their playthroughs and laughed at them thinking "what are these fools doing?" but after like 10 minutes of watching them trying to get hit by imp's laser in a very precise spot so that it pushes them upwards i realized that i TOTALLY did that too myself and got sad.
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2017, 05:28:50 AM »
What's funny is that I realize I actually did purchase this game a long time ago on Wiiware.  But I let my friend borrow my Wii U since August, so I wouldn't be able to participate in this one even if I wanted to.

no Steam or Vita or you, Lolmonade? :Q


Have both, but I generally don't double-dip on a game unless I enjoyed it enough to justify spending it on another copy.  I didn't remember disliking La-Mulana, but I've only double-dipped on Rocket League and Stardew Valley in recent memory.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2017, 12:20:35 PM »
So I've made it further than ever before, making use of the La-Mulana wiki (http://lamulana-remake.wikia.com/wiki/La-Mulana_Remake_Wiki) for answers when I got stuck.


Some observations:


* Last time playing, I got stuck after exposing the truth about Eden. At that time, it seemed like a BS puzzle to move any further... but now I know that was only because I couldn't find the answer. In reality, it ended up being another moment where I just needed to stop moving and take time to observe my surroundings carefully. One small thing was different, and needed to be found and scanned to unlock the next step. That's not saying there are no moments of BS to be found in the game - there are - but in most cases, after I found the answer I could look back and understand how I should have been able to figure things out. The brute force method, where you just keep pushing ahead and hoping to stumble into a solution, just won't carry you very far in the game.


* Grinding and money remain an issue. I asked before how people get enough weights for triggers. Grinding up by the waterfall remains a good option, but at some point as I made progress it dried up and they won't drop blocks anymore so buying is the only option. I think that I should be using the Item Fairy to force increased drops... but I don't know how to consistently get that fairy to appear (my RNG almost always gives the healing fairy - nice, but rarely what I need). There is a way... I don't think that I have the right software yet, although I think I know where to buy it if I can get some more cash.


* The world of La-Mulana is rich and sprawling and nuanced - maybe too much so. It's complex and borders on more than I can mentally keep track of. This is not a bad thing... but makes the game progressively more difficult the further you go. When puzzles are largely contained to one section of the map then it's not too difficult. But there is so much branching and intertwining and backtracking involved...


* I don't like translating in-game ciphers. So far, there have only been one or two small puzzles requiring this be done, and (I think) limited to the numbers 1 through 9. Guessing this is going to get worse later; I'll probably just look it up if so. But there are a lot of clues about how to do this - from the icons as you enter each section, to the opening sequence where I believe it spells out and translates a lot of content for you (haven't tested this - way too lazy to do so).


* The time estimates discussed above are ridiculous for anyone who doesn't already have the answers to many of the problems in this game - but once you know what to do, you can burn through this game so quickly the second time!
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Offline Evan_B

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2017, 07:31:33 PM »
If you wanted to engender a sense of community, you probably shouldn't have rigged the voting in your favor. :P
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2017, 11:05:51 PM »
So I've made it further than ever before, making use of the La-Mulana wiki (http://lamulana-remake.wikia.com/wiki/La-Mulana_Remake_Wiki) for answers when I got stuck.


Some observations:



* Grinding and money remain an issue. I asked before how people get enough weights for triggers. Grinding up by the waterfall remains a good option, but at some point as I made progress it dried up and they won't drop blocks anymore so buying is the only option. I think that I should be using the Item Fairy to force increased drops... but I don't know how to consistently get that fairy to appear (my RNG almost always gives the healing fairy - nice, but rarely what I need). There is a way... I don't think that I have the right software yet, although I think I know where to buy it if I can get some more cash.


ITEM FARIES! you can gaurentee getting one by loading MIRACLE.EXE + CAPSTAR.EXE, or you can note the patterns of stars that appear when you first summon a faerie. if you get off the screen before the fairy comes in, you can reset the fairy point spawn. Item fairy has 4 stars moving in clockwise and counter clockwise patterns.

there's a screen in the chamber of extinction, 1 up and one left from the grail point where there's a series of 4 boxes that respawn when you go off screen. while under the effects of an item fairy, everything you destroy gushes money, and you farm money for that, and thus have money to buy weights, items, programs, or whatever you need!

This method can also be used to get keyfaries and unlock their secrets.


I'm just about at the endgame myself. I really have a couple of bosses to wrap up, the Djed Pillar, The Magatama, and Mantra.exe left to claim before I'm ready to kill bosses, wedge fields, get medicine, kill mother.

I feel NOW is the time to broach the subject on Hell Temple.


it's... something you won't experience on Wiiware because Nicalis never bothered publishing the DLC, but Hell temple was a part of the original game, as well as the Steam and Vita releases internationally.

For the unititiated, Hell Temple is kinda Takumi Naramura's take on those insane fever dream rumors you'd hear on the playground... do some arbitrary task like pushing a truck with the Strengh TM or getting 100 Kills on Cruel Melee to unlock Toad and Sonic in SSBM or the trick to reviving General Leo. It also is Naramura's way to take the piss out of completionists and teach them their folly by giving them a secret optional area that may actually be considered a form of torture in certain parts of Southeast Asia.

Accessing Hell Temple requires a series of complete nonsense actions, including bringing key fairies to nonsense places after certian story beats have been hit, plunging exactly 9 screens down into a seemingly bottomless pit of lava, and going into such odd and weird secret areas of the game to get the next breadcrumb in accessing this place...

... only to be met with when you get there a gauntlet of platforming challenges, crazy sub-weapon trick-shots, and infuriating puzzles that they actually feel like the developer might actually be punishing you for past misdeeds.

often times you find yourself jumping onto moving platforms that are smaller than lemeza, over expanses of pits while some fo the game's most dangerous and bullet spammy enemies are floating about.

... wait, Pits? there weren't any pits in the main game! besides maybe pools of water and lava. See, falling into the holes in Hell Temple bring Lemeza to a series of rooms labeled "LAND OF HELL". these often consist of a gauntlet of enemies or mini-bosses that die easy enough, give you a ton of XP orbs, and then a ladder spawns and puts you several rooms back...

... oh no!

see, there's no grail point in hell temple, and the puzzles and rooms kinda... reset when you leave. Hell Temple isn't designed to kill Lemeza, but rather keeps pushing the player back, and feeds them JUST enough resources to keep them going. when leaving means you have to do everything in this place again, it kinda keeps you playing these crazy platforming sections over and over and over, because **** having to go back.

Eventually, you can open one shortcut, but for the most part, Hell Temple is truly meant to feel like you are slowly burning alive. it EARNS it's name, unlike a certain Cave Story area that's just hard and filled with lots of RNG.


But... moreover, I'm curious. Has anyone in the thread gotten to enjoy the Hell Temple experience? I tried to be pretty vague about specific challenges therein, but I wanted to hear any stories from would-be challengers of this super optional area among the community?

Offline azeke

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2017, 03:59:41 AM »
I warned about this trap/glitch in my thread 4 years ago, but might as well say it again.

WiiWare has a unique trap that was since patched out on other versions. When you arrive at this screen:



doing switches in "wrong" order (top first, bottom second) will block off small area of the level from you.

It can be circumvented somewhat except for the fact that this part of the level contains this level's warp point. Not being able to warp directly to this level isn't even a problem -- the problem is that you need to scan that warp point or else final boss won't even appear.

There is a way to bypass it using an extremely hidden trick wall (back then i had to look all over the internet and translate from japanese to know about it). If you throw 7-10 grenades at a wall in other level that is on the right from the ice area on screenshot (and there is no indication that you're doing anything special at all, no "dink" or "crumble" sound effects) it opens a super secret warp to that closed off area.

From what i remember this warp doesn't exist in later versions, it is only in WiiWare version to address this specific trap.



* Grinding and money remain an issue. I asked before how people get enough weights for triggers.
I honestly don't understand this.

Eden level DOES require a lot of weight simply to traverse yes, but if you're just wandering in it and didn't do any progress and wasted a lot of weights just going left and right -- simply don't save. Be mindful about your last save/quick save point and if needed -- just redo the part where you wasted weights/money/in-game time if you think you can do it more efficiently and if it will save you the trouble.

Money weren't a big problem for me. The only thing you have to buy on regular are weights -- everything else simply drops from enemies (even grenades). And if you need money -- just grind them with miracle.exe+capstar.exe that guarantees you plentiful drops, you can even do it while going somewhere else.

* The time estimates discussed above are ridiculous for anyone who doesn't already have the answers to many of the problems in this game - but once you know what to do, you can burn through this game so quickly the second time!
My first playthrough on WiiWare took like 80 hours, in-game time on file was 37+ hours.
Second playthrough on Steam i made it in 15+ hours on save file which probably means i actually spent double of that.
Third playthrough that i completed several days ago i did in 7+ hours on file, real time should be 3 times of that because this time around i was actually trying to save time and be efficient for achievement for completing the game in less than 10 hours.

Also got an achievement for beating all bosses only with primary weapon (so no ninja stars, no chakram, can't even use caltrops to harm yourself for i-frames!). It's easier than it sounds. One software combination doubles your damage making you overpowered and another secret item halves your damage taken which allowed me to simply facetank late-game bosses even the ones that do constant rolling damage on contact and ignore invincibility frames.


Hell Temple
Beat it back then. Don't remember much about it's puzzles -- i think i found them too easy or i was i looking them up right away...

Spike room was a highlight. The room with small platforms after it is actually much easier, but i got there so rarely i was too nervous and usually fell down. Eventually i fed up with it and found another similar room with small platforms in the main game and spent time there doing nothing but train my jumps in that environment -- and that allowed me to finally made the jumps in second room for real.

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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2017, 05:38:10 AM »
Yeah - I buy software whenever it's available, but (other than using Holy Grail to warp to the back side of locations) don't really use it or know what the combinations are.

Sounds like that's part of where I'm going wrong... although don't you have to be pretty far into the game to get the miracle.exe software to summon specific fairies anyway? Maybe (almost certainly) I just did things in an inefficient order.

As to why I waste so many weights... ehh... I'm not very good at video games, and spend far more time walking around looking at stuff than I should. Having never finished the game before - not even close - this is pretty normal for me.




Edit: Oh yeah, I see what you mean about money not being a problem with the right technique. Once you know how to get an Item Fairy, it's easy to get money and that one spot gives out TONS of cash every run you make.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 04:30:28 PM by ejamer »
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2017, 06:40:09 AM »
What version of La-Mulana are you guys actually playing?
I'm playing a digital copy of the Vita version, La-Mulana EX, which is slightly different from the WiiWare version.

Some of the puzzles and dialog in this later release seem to be cleaned up. It most cases, this is making the game a bit easier. There is also the option to roll-back hard mode if you trigger it accidentally or have regrets afterwards - something that wasn't available on WiiWare. For most purposes, either version is fine - but Azeke's warning above about a potential WiiWare bug is noteworthy...

The first time I played La-Mulana on WiiWare, I triggered hard mode and thought "well, I guess I'll just have to get better and push through". That was the wrong choice. Hard mode is much more difficult than normal, and it's much better for new players to revert to an old save to avoid activating it.


Silly side-note: got email notification that my Vita physical copy from Limited Run Games was just mailed.
Very excited about that!


(Sorry for double post.)
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2017, 11:03:07 PM »
I've been playing this on wiiware, although I do have the steam release.

I kinda thought about playing the freeware original for this for shits and giggles, but you have to fix several comparability issues with Win10.

I... feel kinda bad after watching that stream James did. he really, REALLY got mega pissed at the game. granted, he was playing the game in a way that I highly suggested against, but I think just lemeza's movement and basic things like combat and the fact that enemies are more mobile than Lemeza generally is was getting to him.

he lost his **** trying to get the surface sacred orb without the feather. that's not even the worst instance of tough platforming. I usually get hung up on doing things like trying to get to the chain whip or any given part of the Hell temple platforming, or the room where you fight Ba.




I love La Mulana, but i have to accept that it's a very niche game for a very niche crowd.

Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2017, 05:05:56 AM »
Even though I'm thrilled about the game and will be reasonably close to finishing it (for this first time!) by the time the retroactive discussion happens, I feel like I'm in the minority.


Seems like most people aren't playing, or aren't really enjoying the game. The appeal is niche, I get that. But it's a shame there are so few people that seem to fall in love with the mix of very old school platforming and this huge, deep, interconnected "Metroidvania" world. It's easy to get stuck at points, but with so many different places to make progress it only becomes frustrating if you are fixated on one specific thing - usually something you probably aren't ready for.


Worth noting that as you get further and further into the game, the sense of empowerment is substantial. Moving through sections that might have been troublesome before suddenly becomes simple. Battling enemies is rarely a concern. You feel like you're on top of the world... until starting to explore the next section and finding difficult new challenges that you weren't prepared for.
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2017, 01:14:00 PM »
I think the Retroactive discussion is gonna be hella interesting. Gui just made a post that he's saying La Mulana is the best game he's played in a LONG time, but is bashing his head against Sakit and hating bosses.

James seems to lament everything because he cannot get a grip on how lemeza controls, the purposeful obtuse nature of the game, and seems to repeatedly fall for the same traps over and over and over and over agian... but he really had fun fighting Sakit and Amphisbaena, but then got frustrated at Ellmac... he fought all 3 of these bosses in a VERY underpowered stage. He also tried getting the surface sacred orb without the feather, which i think is kinda foolish. Granted, the feather doesn't automatically negate the vultures, which I think was the real reason he got screamingly angry and called the game bad...

EDIT:

https://twitter.com/NWR_James/status/936763679391059968
WELP
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 05:25:01 PM by ClexYoshi »

Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2017, 04:23:03 AM »
...
EDIT:

https://twitter.com/NWR_James/status/936763679391059968
WELP



For what it's worth, I also think that boss is BS - definitely moreso than the other bosses that I've faced.


The idea, from a visual stand-point at least, to be fighting this massive sea creature while plummeting down a river is cool... but the way you have to attack him is just a huge pain in the ass, and his attacks are really hard to avoid. In the end, it just wasn't a fun battle.


Pretty sure I ended up using bullets for a quick (and expensive) way past him during the early game, scoring a few additional hits using the axe. Maybe there is a better way to do it. I wasn't willing to replay the boss enough to figure it out.


It's a shame people doing the retroactive didn't comment in this thread. Might've been able to get some tips or suggestions about spots they found particularly frustrating.
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2017, 06:06:27 AM »
From what I gather, Ejamer, they all played the game within the final week before the retroactive. a big reason I put out that video as soon as I did was to show them that I was willing to help.


As for my Bahamut strat? a pretty safe way to fight him is to try and get itn additional hits with flares, but my biggest suggestion would probably be to use the key fairy to get RANDC.EXE by using the key fairy on the shop on the way up to Bahamut, and to use the feather or a very percise jump to get MEKURI.EXE from the tent that's below the waterfall cliff hidden in a wall, given that the Axe can at least shave off decently big hunks of health in that situation.

Of course, if you have the feather, you could go about using a Key fairy to open the gate of time in Chamber of extinction (on the screen just right of the grail tablet), go through there to acquire LAMULANA.EXE, then use the Gate of Time's masoleum to break open the shortcut to tower of the goddess, and proceed to not only go about exploring that area, but also you could go to Graveyard of the giants through the top of the Tower of the goddess, and then hit up the part of the Chamber of Birth that has the Woman State. Get the Woman Statue to turn into the Maternity Statue in the Temple of the Sun, use THAT to get the Philosopher's ocarina by falling asleep in front of a mural of a vagina, and then take that back to the Tower of the Goddess and attempt to save scum and brute force the room of Gems and Scales (or go through the craziness to actually translate ancient La Mulanese and read all the tablets referring to the weight of souls, and what stones reprisent souls) to get the flail. you could also then use a key fairy to get the spaulder, get to the graveyard of the giants for the Gauntlet, and solve the puzzle of eden to get to Gate of Illusion and thus to the shop that sells MOVE.EXE and...


at that point, shave Bahamut's HP down in a matter of 3-5 cycles thanks to the insane damage output of spamming mace with LAMULANA.EXE+MOVE.EXE

Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2017, 09:30:00 AM »
Yeah, I still like my bullets approach better.   ;)
First time I beat Bahamut was using just the normal whip and flares. Wasn't a lot of fun though. This run through was much easier with axe+gun.

It's funny how much easier some bosses become if you are properly equipped. Elmac seemed hard the first time I faced him - but after you get the second-level shield that will repel his shots (not hard to do, but you have to put off the battle for quite a while as you explore and get further into the game) he is a cakewalk. Getting the axe or chain whip also helps to make a big difference with a bunch of the bosses, since your initial damage output is quite pitiful.


Sad to report I hit a roadblock (ie: no time to play) over the weekend so didn't make much progress. Still aiming to take down Tiamat very soon though...  which I assume puts me pretty close to the end.

Enjoyed having this retroactive (even though I won't be able to listen until the audio gets released) giving some extra incentive to revisit this game. It's been a blast!
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2017, 09:21:07 AM »
well, the audio is released, and on the telethon page/out in the Podcast feed!

Tiamat beaten means you have access to something that sadly didn't get brought up in the retro-active... but La Mulana has an elaborate Chozo Artifact-style end game quest, and it's got an insane puzzle to it, because that's how this game rolls.


Once you've acquired the Djed Pillar and MANTRA.EXE, you can get mantras that Lemeza can shoot using the Djed Pillar (fun fact; in the Freeware version you had to just straight up type the Mantras while the Djed Pillar was in your inventory!) Each mantra is tied to a certain field's front and back sides. the trick to finding WHERE to use the Mantras though has to do with several compass-like objects that appear as background objects throughout the game.

effectively, the idea is that you find the compass on the front side of an area, and by applying a looping 4x5 grid over the map of the front and back side, follow the compass' direction on the opposite field to a room where you can use the mantra and activate the wedge. You find out where the mantras are by going to temple of the sun in the spot you got the talisman

it's worth noting though that the Wiiware version actually has a mistake in it where the part of the Wedge side-quest for the Tower of ruin was placed in the wrong room, and it's a room adjacent to where the ACTUAL solution of the puzzle should be.


Also, it's worth noting that if Tiamat was your last boss, then you might have lost a holy grail point, because the Shrine of the mother kinda... significantly changes. there's a (VERY inconciquential) program that can be missed thanks to that change. don't worry, the program just combines with MIRACLE.EXE to summon weapon fairy at fairy points.

Offline Yoshidious

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2017, 11:12:36 AM »
From what I gather, Ejamer, they all played the game within the final week before the retroactive. a big reason I put out that video as soon as I did was to show them that I was willing to help.

I started playing pretty soon after the poll ended, and I avoided repeating the mistakes I made when I first played the game in 2012, so I got off to a (mostly) smooth start. The biggest impediment to me getting further in the game was simply getting enough time in front of the TV with the PAL Wii. I very much doubt I'll be able to finish the game before I feel compelled to disconnect the PAL Wii, but I do want to see plenty more of La-Mulana before that time comes. 
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2017, 12:01:32 PM »
well, the audio is released, and on the telethon page/out in the Podcast feed!
...


Just listened to the retroactive portion of the telethon. Thanks for doing it, guys - really enjoyed listening!


James sounded like he regretted the entire process. Of course, it also sounded like he got absolutely fixated on doing things he wasn't really ready for. That's always the worst moment of La-Mulana (for me at least), when your options start running out and you are forced to do a difficult task to progress further.


Some of the others seemed to enjoy it well enough though. And of course I love hearing that people might continue playing beyond what they need to. :)


Didn't sound like anyone made deep progress into the game (which is totally understandable). What did surprise me is that it sounded like the RFN crew weren't working on making progress together. Although referencing the La-Mulana wiki online to find answers and continue making forward progress helps an awful lot, it's not as much fun as talking about it in person.
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Offline azeke

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2017, 07:43:14 PM »
...infamous mantras puzzle...
can be "solved" in 15 minutes by simply running around and shouting mantras eveywhere.

The only obstacle is lamia puzzle that hides one mantra chant from you.

Usually i don't even bother even trying to make sense of all that cross-compass/forward-heel business -- it is MUCH easier to just make a tour around all rooms shouting mantras. Also you can use logic and exclude like 70% of the rooms on the maps where there is simply no room for wedge to appear.

According to development blog they're rethinking puzzle structure to make them more accessible and will ensure you can't bruteforce mantra-style puzzles anymore.
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2017, 08:45:15 PM »
I started playing pretty soon after the poll ended, and I avoided repeating the mistakes I made when I first played the game in 2012, so I got off to a (mostly) smooth start. The biggest impediment to me getting further in the game was simply getting enough time in front of the TV with the PAL Wii. I very much doubt I'll be able to finish the game before I feel compelled to disconnect the PAL Wii, but I do want to see plenty more of La-Mulana before that time comes.

That warms my heart to hear. Honestly, if I could have gotten to you about that properly, I would have HIGHLY suggested you perform a double-dip on your Wii U for use of the gamepad, or the Vita version if you had that laying around.

My current hope is that Gui is too addicted and ends up going against his plan of not finishing and instead opts for taking it the whole way after getting invested enough, maybe rolling back the save. it's honestly quick to make progress again if puzzle solutions are fresh in your mind. Both Azeke and myself have runs of this game that are under 10 hours of in-game playtime. it's a surprisingly replayable game for one so leveraged on brain teasers, y'know?

I'm still glad there was more enjoyment among the podcast than not. I honestly got a little worried when James was just... flamingly angry about things.

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2017, 05:06:47 AM »
I was also happy to hear Gui enjoyed the game - although fell into the same trap of activating hard mode accidentally my first play through.


Initially I said to myself: "Self, you can do it - just man up and push through on hard mode."  After a few hours I realized that (for your first time through the game) that's just not worth it.  Restarting from an old save if you have one isn't a bad idea, even if it means losing progress.


I strongly agree with ClexYoshi that this game is very replayable. The best part is that it only takes a fraction of the time you to remember/figure out weird puzzles the second time through, since you aren't burning so much time learning about the game world.
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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2017, 04:53:59 AM »
Is anyone else still playing?


I've unlocked the Palenque and Tiamat battles now, and am getting ready to for those battles. My inventory is almost completely filled at this point (only a couple of empty spaces remaining) and it feels like the game is rapidly coming to a close.


The lore has become much stronger and more coherent close to the end, which is interesting. For much of the game you pick up little bits of information here and there, but it doesn't really come together until you are quite deep into the game. I suspect a lot of details will have been missed or misunderstood unless I play through again in the future.


---


I'd be interested to hear what areas people did/didn't enjoy playing through. They are so different, both in theme and what they demand of players, that some end up leaving a much stronger impression than others.


Having just gone through the Dimensional Corridor, it ranks highly for me. Not a lot of puzzles, but a lot of fun to play through. Endless Corridor was also very cool - at least, after you can move deeper into that area; at first blush there isn't much going on there.


I also think that Gate of Guidance does a very good job trying to teach you how the game works. It gives puzzles on one screen and on different screens, encourages you to read all of the clues, has hidden passages and false walls, and gives hints by looking at the stage graphics/background. Some of those skills may be forgotten as you play, but all will be necessary for making progress in different stages.


The stage I liked least is easy: Chamber of Birth just didn't do it for me. I liked very little of that stage, and even though the theme was interesting the puzzles and challenges weren't.
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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2017, 02:14:32 PM »
That warms my heart to hear. Honestly, if I could have gotten to you about that properly, I would have HIGHLY suggested you perform a double-dip on your Wii U for use of the gamepad, or the Vita version if you had that laying around.

There's no doubt in my mind that my experience would have benefited greatly from portable or off-TV play, and not just for the simple practicality of getting in more playtime before the telethon. With this kind of game, I find it helpful to play in a very concentrated time period, as this significantly enhances my retention and proper contextualisation of in-game information. This is especially true for La-Mulana due to the cryptic or oblique nature of many of its puzzles and clues.

With this in mind, I did consider purchasing the game through my PAL Wii U in order to essentially buy myself more play time through the proto-tabletop mode offered by the Wii U Gamepad. Ultimately though, I was put off by the fact that PAL Wii U systems get stuck in 50hz when running in Wii mode through a non-HDMI connection, which my Wii U now does due to other systems claiming the HDMI slot. Here's a Eurogamer article from the early days of Wii U detailing the issue, which I confirmed does still apply to this day:

www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-wii-u-backwards-compatibility-analysis

What's not clear from this article is how the TV output being 50hz by default would have affected the display streamed to the Wii U Gamepad, which after all is what I was primarily interested in. Even so, this complication was enough for me to bypass the double dip and just try to make the best of the situation I already had in place. Playing on Vita probably would have been the ideal option, but I never have pulled the trigger on that system despite being interested for a number of years.
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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2017, 04:50:44 PM »
ouch. yeah, that eats. had no clue about the weirdo 50Hz situation there.

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Re: RetroActive 40: La-Mulana
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2017, 04:14:16 AM »
...
I've unlocked the Palenque and Tiamat battles now, and am getting ready to for those battles.
...


All guardians down!


Finding out what the software combination was to increase damage from my Axe was crucial to beating Tiamat (given my general lack of skill or tactics for the battle), but Palenque was maybe one of the easiest bosses in the game.


Now I just have to figure out what to do next.  There are a bunch of clues left to decipher, many of which are already recorded in my laptop, and a couple of areas I haven't finished off (Chamber of Extinction and Tower of Ruin).
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