La Mulana coming to WiiWare?

By: Xander

On: July 23rd, 2009


Apparently this month’s Nintendo Power has a preview of La Mulana amongst its WiiWare pages. On top of this a new section on the Nigoro site appeared showing this countdown clock. I do so hate countdown clocks. However I’m sure a WiiWare port with some less alienating graphics wouldn’t be a bad idea, and this is only the start of the waiting the prospective purchasers will have to endure so we may as well start now.

Of course, you’ve already played the original game anyway. Right?

(This is in no way myself avoiding getting round to reviewing ‘Splosion Man. Not at all. Also, source: "Diverse’s Blog":

  • Eclipse

    wasn’t ‘splosion man a rip off of another game in development? Also it’s not that indie afaik :P

    for La Mulana… i don’t know if it will sell well with that level of oldskool difficulty and a brand that’s not “MegaMan”.

    Also it kinda disappoints me that you need to have a succesfull free indie game to join wiiware apparently (cave story docet)

  • Buck

    I don’t get it. La Mulana is rubbish. Why all the fuss over it everywhere. It’s okay for a retro game but hardly anything special.

  • OhCarson

    I LOVED La Mulana, I’m so glad Nigoro is making this and I will probably buy 10 copies just cus I want to shower them with money. Best news I’ve had all day.
    Might even complete this one, but i doubt it.

  • Xander

    Heh, I did have my doubts about ‘Splosion Man’s… indiosity? But we covered ‘Maw’ so it only seems right to follow that up.

  • Ezuku

    Actually, at first I hated La Mulana too. I thought it was dumb, stupid, and non-sensical. But after I watched a bit of deceased crab’s let’s play, and figured out the bare basics (eg, what those cylinder things were, and what they were for, and how to actually get into La Mulana), the game really showed it’s charm and now I’m addicted (and completely stuck).

    Anyway, the game definitely won’t sell much on wii ware, but it doesn’t really need to. There are virtually no baseline costs here, so any sales equal profit. I wonder if they’ll use the translated version, and how much the translator will get as compared to the original makers?

    If I owned a wii, I’d definitely buy it. Better than 99% of the games on the Wii, both indy and commercial as well. Wii also has just enough buttons on their controller to be perfect. I still believe that upgrading delibrately retro game = fail though.

    Something I really want though is nethack for my DS (without having to mess around with homebrew cartridges).

  • Benno

    I hope they add some kind of tutorial, or a very good online help…i didn’t understand the game at all, before i watched the lets play.

  • Gravious

    At first i loved La Mulana because it was awesome retro, i love the 8-bit era, but then i was saddened by its difficulty, also an 8-bit staple, but now i love it again, though i’m not very good at it.

    I don’t own a Wii, so i don’t care about the fact its going to the Wii, except it’ll provide the devs with some income, which i whole-heartedly support.

  • AdamButcher

    Yeah it’s not really the graphics that need to be less alienating but the gameplay. There was so much potential in the concept but it’s frustating and repetetive as hell.

    If only there was some kind of procedureally generated 2D Indiana Jones game with all the good bits and none of the bad…

  • Jamal

    Good call Xander. I know the game was “supposed” to be retro and all that, but it would be nice to see some enhancements ala Cave Story Wii.

    Adam, as far as the frustrating gameplay — yeah! perhaps make it a little more accessible. I never beat La Mulana, only got about a fifth the way through. (Not sure if you’re being tongue in cheek though on your final statement though? You have played Spelunky? :P)

  • Tye The Czar

    If that’s to be true, then I might hold off playing it like I’ve been doing with a second playthrough of Cave Story.

  • Ezuku

    Gameplay just needed a few signs at the begining explaining things like weights, how to save, and the like, or maybe a couple extra characters in the village who tell you that. Most of the gameplay is about discovery and exploration. And devilishly hard puzzles / traps.

    I would have appreciated it though if it wasn’t possible to *break* areas and make so you can’t ever get certain items. I didn’t like that. Make them reset when you save and load then…

  • Bob

    La-Mulana looks a bit like the Wiiware Adventure Island…not quite sure what to think about that (probably need to see it in action).

    Basing that entirely on the banner found here.

  • Eclipse

    I’d love to play a La-Mulana roguelike… Oh wait!

  • Bob

    Wait, doesn’t that kind of null the gimmick of La Mulana in that it is supposed to look, sound, and feel like an MSX game?

  • namuol

    I can honestly say I didn’t see that one coming.

    I hope these freeware-to-console ports become a trend. (/me awaits a more thorough Knytt stories for the Wii or DS…)

  • Jamey

    This is great news. The greatest news.

  • MisterX

    @Ezuku: It was annoying that you could “break” areas, but I liked the idea. In the manual it says that it was implemented to give the player a sense of danger, so that he’s actually careful about not setting of traps, instead of just going along carelessly and reloading whenever it’s necessary.

    @Bob: The new gimmick will probably be that it will look, sound and feel like a SNES game, no? :)
    Sure, as an MSX-like game it’s more unique, but I guess most Wii players will appreciate a more modern look. And as I already know the MSX-like PC version, I wouldn’t mind it having a fresh coat of paint if I also got it for my Wii.

    Mostly, I’d like it to be a lot easier. Accessible without guides, but also beatable. I know that the difficuly may well be just right for a lot of players, but I so wanted to love La-Mulana as I basically really, really liked every bit of its design. But it wouldn’t let me love it due to the difficuly, and so I eventually “had” to just stop playing.
    La-Mulana with a, for me, reasonable difficulty level would be a gaming-wish come true.

  • Canti




  • Eclipse

    “La Mulana has been upgraded to 16 bit style graphics and probably won’t hit until next year.”

  • Ezuku

    Easy La-Mulana doesn’t seem like la mulana at all :(

    Anyway, breaking is very traditional, and I understand it’s a design feature, but… I have these horrible mental reminders from “walking dead” moments in adventure games, where you’d be unable to finish, but you’d keep trying, over and over, not realising you had mucked things up permanently for yourself. Same thing if I can’t find a particular item that will be very useful.

  • SirNiko

    Between this and Cave Story, hopefully this marks a positive trend for Nintendo. More low-budget high-quality games like this would go a long way towards getting me to play my Wii more than once a month.

  • Tim James

    Not even a countdown timer to this countdown timer? They missed a great opportunity for more annoying buzz!

  • Ezuku

    Come think of it, wouldn’t a game like La Mulana be against the demographic the Wii is aimed at? That being, casual gamers, and family orientated games? Not saying those are the only sort of gamers who use the Wii of course…

  • Kenju

    Imagine the mass frustration of children trying yo play this game on the Wii.

  • Jamey

    @Eclipse and Tim James – Next year? What the crap is the countdown for then, an official confirmation or something equally as pointless? I was praying they had been working on it in secret for a long time so we don’t have to suffer the wait like we do for CS.

  • Bob

    Nicalis is working on it (along with Nigoro).


  • Patrick

    Has no one checked out Nicalis’ blog?

    Looks like they’re ‘co-developing’ it with Nigoro and say it might be out by Christmas. Of course, Cave Story Wii was supposed to be out for last Christmas.

  • Eclipse

    we’ll know in three days

  • Feg

    Sure some of the puzzles in this game are dead hard but the gameplay isnt so bad. the only thing that hits you are bats and they don´t do any damage anyway.

    “If only there was some kind of procedureally generated 2D Indiana Jones game with all the good bits and none of the bad”, I wouldnt hold my breath.

  • The Cheshire Cat

    Feg uh, I think he was making an oblique reference to Spelunky.

  • Jamey


  • poorwill

    @ Ezuku:

    “Come think of it, wouldn’t a game like La Mulana be against the demographic the Wii is aimed at? That being, casual gamers, and family orientated games? Not saying those are the only sort of gamers who use the Wii of course…”

    Ok, but where, exactly, would something like La Mulana be at home on? Presumably not the ‘hardcore’ platforms – those are probably even less hospitable to abstract, oldschool gameplay (though Bionic Commando and Geo Wars have sold pretty damn well). Wii at least has the most robust retro downloadable service so there’s probably some crossover there. Maybe it would’ve been better to make it multiplatform, but Wiiware is easily the cheapest to develop for of the three services so it’s probably the best starting point for Nicalis.

  • Anthony Flack

    The whole idea of creating commercial games has lost much of its appeal to me. No matter how indie your team is, it still seems like it’s all too easy to lose sight of what you really wanted to do, due to the pressure of trying to create something that loosely fits people’s definition of a commercial product.

    However the idea of developing freeware games and then commercially exploiting the ones that are potentially profitable – I quite like this trend. The games get to grow up in a nurturing environment, so they are pure in spirit (just indulge my fruity metaphor here, please). Then they can go on to have a commercial career once they are mature enough to handle it.

    Commercial games grow up in the spotlight and can become warped by people’s expectations and turn out a bit Michael Jacksony.

  • soundofsatellites

    fuc*ing spike shaft.

    on the other hand, defeating tiamat made me feel a bit like god

  • Feg

    “Feg uh, I think he was making an oblique reference to Spelunky.”

    So was I

  • carm

    so naturally i had to try this sucker out and i must say im blown away…
    sure that start is a bit rough, but its oh so worth biting through.
    as far as indie games go this must be the longest and most captivating title for me yet.
    but on the other hand, i have absolutely no clue how you could make this possibly more accessible. its not just about explaining weights, this whole idea of having challenging traps that can punish you for the rest of the game with no chance of undoing then, tough stuff.
    but i guess thats good, sorry but games used to be like this. you play them, have no clue what to do, get hopelessly stuck… and then come back maybe years later to have some revelation open your eyes and let you see your ignorance.

  • Kikkoman

    While it’s true that the game was meant as a callback to those great MSX adventure games that we never got to play in North America, I think that defining the whole experience by its graphical style is wrong. Bigger parts of what makes this game great are the puzzles and the gameplay. If those facets of the game stay intact and the graphics get an overhaul, I really can’t complain.

    And while we’re at it, I wouldn’t mind some type of recipe book for the ROM combinations that automatically fills up whenever you find clues or that you equip succesful combos. Along the same vein, a journal that puts clues in order and lets me access them at any time would be great.

    Also make the claw easier to use kthx