La-Mulana

La-Mulana is a Metroidvania both famous and infamous for its difficulty. After seeing a review that praised its puzzles and claimed it uniquely required you to think on how to proceed, I picked it up the Steam version while it was on sale to try it myself. I beat Hollow Knight, after all, surely I can handle the difficulty, I thought.

This is a troll game. I quit about 10 hours in after I beat a difficult boss at the end of a long area with no save points, only to investigate a suspicious alcove in the next area, which turned out to be a trap that instantly killed me, undoing all my progress. I’d genuinely like to get a refund.

I have one simple metric when it comes to Metroidvanias: If I ever have to consult a guide to figure out how to progress, you failed as a designer. Arguably this is true of any game, but it’s particularly bad for Metroidvanias, where figuring out the world yourself is supposed to be the entire point. If I can only play a Metroidvania by religiously consulting a guide at every turn, what’s even the point?

I hit this point about five hours in, I believe, where I had exhausted all available areas and still had absolutely no idea how to get into the Chamber of Extinction. I knew from the “hints” (which are terrible, more on that later) that I had to flood the Temple of the Sun, but there was absolutely no indication of how to do that. There is a pool with a suspicious stopper-looking thing in the Spring in the Sky, but unlike in other Metroidvanias there’s no world map that shows you how all the areas connect together, so there was no indication it was over the Temple of the Sun; furthermore, I did poke that stopper, but couldn’t figure out how to interact with it. Turns out you have to destroy a platform in the room that looks solid, then go up and hit a winch that looks like a background element to raise the stopper. It’s so obvious!

The insidious part is that La-Mulana doesn’t start this bad. It starts quite reasonably, in fact. The first area is full of skeletons from previous failed adventurers who you can scan for crucial info that adequately tutorializes many of the basic mechanics: Read the tablets, make sure you’re prepared before charging in, and some puzzle triggers can be traps. The puzzles in the first area are pretty straightforward, with the hints for each puzzle generally close by. I felt pretty confident after beating it.

Turns out that was the real trap. The game immediately shoots up in difficulty; the hints get increasingly obtuse and often simply do not give you all the information you need, requiring you to make increasingly large leaps of logic to figure anything out. The very next area forces you to discern the identity of various statues based on hints scattered throughout the area, but there are two statues with the exact same distinguishing feature, and it is literally impossible to discern which is which. Apparently you are supposed to decide that when asked to find a statue with a chest wound, you are supposed to pick the statue that is also headless instead of the one that is in perfect condition except for a chest wound, because being headless is just an irrelevant aesthetic detail! Obviously!

Probably my favorite example is in the Temple of Moonlight, regarding the boss fight with Anubis. Immediately before the arena, there’s a tablet telling you that Anubis cannot be defeated without the Book of the Dead. Okay, I thought, clearly this means I should avoid this area until I find that item somewhere else. Turns out, no, you get that item by trying to fight Anubis anyway, confirming he’s invincible, at which point an escape route will appear (unlike every other boss ever), and only then can you mention this to a helpful NPC in another area, who will then reveal she had the book the entire time.

Here is a quote from the developers explaining the punishing design ethos of the game:

Let’s say you were an archaeologist. You’re standing in front of a dark hole that you can’t see the bottom of. Would you jump in? In real life, your response would probably be, “Heck no!” After all, you don’t know what’s down there. Or say you’re in a room filled with corpses and a bunch of switches. Would you just press them haphazardly at random? In this case too, you’d probably never do something so reckless. We wanted to try to incorporate this type of tension–a “Proceed with caution” type of feeling into the game.

[…]

With this in mind, we ended up making La Mulana a lot harder than we had been intending when we started the project. We tried to make it so that people wouldn’t get hopelessly stuck everywhere, but if you just whack walls at random without thinking you’ll die. If you think “Ooh, a treasure!” and run charging toward it without thinking, you’ll die.

But if you charge into a fight you know is impossible, you won’t die, that makes total sense.

And Anubis is far from the only example of this contradictory messaging. You see that bit about how if you whack walls at random you’ll die? You are told and shown early on that, because the ruins are holy, attacking certain objects will get you smote by the gods. Thank goodness, I thought, they’re critiquing the annoying Metroidvania trope of needing to smash every wall to find hidden passages! Surely they will use those famous puzzles I hear so much about to direct me instead. Ha ha, nope! There are still tons of unmarked secret passages you can only find by whacking walls at random, including one that looks exactly like the kind explicitly marked as “don’t hit this or you’ll get smote”, but that one you are supposed to attack, because!

The entire game is like this. The rules are completely inconsistent and the few “hints” the game gives you are deliberately insufficient to fill in the gaps. Sometimes you need to investigate suspicious alcoves to progress, sometimes that gets you killed. Sometimes you need to smash walls to progress, sometimes that gets you killed. Sometimes you’ll get a hint, sometimes you won’t. You’ll be told what item you need to solve a puzzle but not where to get it, which is useless. You’ll be expected to solve puzzles that use a completely unique mechanic that isn’t used anywhere before or after. (Like the Eden puzzle, where you have to use the hand scanner on a bunch of background details that look uninteractive.)

And then you get killed by a random trap and have to do it all over again, because oh did I mention, there’s only one save point per area?

The developers seem to believe the height of video game design is wasting the player’s time. You are forced to spend ages wandering around poking everything to brute-force these stupid, nonsensical “puzzles”, during which you will inevitably get sucker-punched by something without warning, and then you’ll have to do it all again. That’s not difficult, that’s not clever, it’s just banal and sadistic.

So screw that, I’m out. This game is for people who enjoy having their time wasted, and I’m not one of those people. If you want a difficult Metroidvania that’s actually fair, play Hollow Knight, and if you want a Metroidvania with a puzzle focus, play Toki Tori 2. This game is just a troll that people put way too much effort into.

27 Comments

  1. Nerem says:

    It’s one of my favorite games ever. But the thing is, it’s not really a Metroidvania in the sense that it descends from Metroid or Castlevania, but instead from Maze of Gallious. The original La Mulana even has a secret Maze of Gallious parody zone.

    Yeah, it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.

    I’m not sure which wall you mean though. The ‘These walls are holy’ thing is pretty consistent. The thing about La Mulana is that all of the puzzles are spelled out on the tablets. Probably the biggest issue with La Mulana 1 is you needed to keep your own notes on them, and you wanted to have the exact wording and also the drawings they had. La Mulana 2 does fix this by having a built-in App that lets you save a lot of tablets. It really helped me.

    Honestly, maybe you should give La Mulana 2 a try. It’s their second try at the formula and it shows a marked increase in clever ideas (and traps). Of course, you don’t need to.

    The one save point per area is actually really misleading because at any time you can just teleport to it and save once you have the Holy Grail. Once you have it, you go back AND SAVE when you do something, anything. Did you not get the Holy Grail? The fact that you can do that takes a lot of punch out of a lot of traps since the moment you accomplish something you can zip away and lock it in forever.

    Also, I beat both LA Mulana 1 and 2 without guides. It is absolutely possible. It has a lot more in common with old school adventure games than modern-day Metroidvanias, and it was really refreshing. I’m not the type who LIKES those adventure games, but paired with the gameplay of La Mulana was perfect for me.

    1. Re: Wall, I’m talking about the one containing the keyblade. Yes, the hint is supposed to be that there’s no eye of retribution in the room, but “do the exact opposite of what we’ve taught you to do the whole game” is still a stupid “gotcha!” non-puzzle.

      all of the puzzles are spelled out on the tablets

      Please show me the tablet that explains that of the two giants with chest wounds, Ledo is the headless one. Please also show me the tablet that explains you need to fight Anubis to get the item that makes him killable. Please also show me the tablet that explains the route you’re supposed to take in the invisible maze in the Chamber of Extinction. I could go on. No, some of the puzzles are explained by the tablets, but most are not. I was indeed writing down everything I saw because I was informed going in that was something you should do. It didn’t help.

      Re: Holy Grail, yes you can warp back at any time, that doesn’t change the fact you have to trek through the entire area on foot every time. I warped back after every floor of the Endless Corridor (except the final one where I stupidly thought I should press ahead to the Shrine’s grail tablet, how dare I), and it was still agonizingly tedious to have to go through all the previous floors every time, even with the main puzzle done.

      I would only touch this game again if it had a save state feature. I believe you when you say you beat it without a guide, but the only way you could have possibly done that is if you wasted far more of your life than necessary to trial-and-error every stupid non-puzzle and surprise deathtrap, and I’m not doing that. Like I said, I understand there are people who for some reason enjoy having their time wasted, but I’m not one of them.

      1. Nerem says:

        “Please show me the tablet that explains that of the two giants with chest wounds, Ledo is the headless one.”

        “The sun shone brightly the day Ledo fell in battle. A gaping hole in his chest, he entered his eternal slumber.”

        When you activate the sun part of the dais puzzle, Ledo activates visibly, and he’s the only one with a wound you can access.

        This paired with “The youngest, Sakit, tread his own path. He put a key on Ledo’s body, falling into slumber with his powers in hand.” makes it clear which one is Ledo.

        As for Anubis, you can get the book the moment you see him and unlock Mulbruk, and there’s a tablet that says she has it straight up. So once you go to him and find out he’s invincible (and you will just stumble upon him accidentally) you just have to wake her up (and requires beating bosses), and you are told to go back to her repeatedly, so it’s not really a hard puzzle.

        If here’s no eye symbol warning you of Divine Retribution, then you can simply assume it is safe. IT sounds more like you convinced yourself you’d get hit even though they explicitly put in the eyeballs to make that clear.

        The Chamber of Extinction light one is probably the worst, but Mulbruk tells you how to solve it and you can use flares to see the route. That was a welcome change from the original which had neither. That was a nightmare.

        Anyways deciding to go stumble into the next zone without saying is definitely a ‘you’ error. Always save when you make progress is a key method of adventuring. Saves you having to do it twice AND the boss.

        1. “The sun shone brightly the day Ledo fell in battle. A gaping hole in his chest, he entered his eternal slumber.”

          This statue has “a gaping hole in his chest”, but he’s not Ledo. Ledo is on the other side of the map. Ledo also has a much more noticeable injury, yet this is not mentioned anywhere. I kept going to this statue and being baffled why nothing was happening. I only found Ledo after systematically going through every single statue to find which one reacted. It’s not a fair puzzle.

          As for Anubis, you can get the book the moment you see him

          Where is the tablet that tells you that? I’m not complaining that you have to talk to Mulbruk — you’re directed towards her on multiple occasions, so that’s by far the most reasonable part. I’m complaining that you can only get the book from her after intentionally disregarding the tablet right before Anubis. That is ridiculous.

          If here’s no eye symbol warning you of Divine Retribution, then you can simply assume it is safe.

          The place where the game tells you this is…? It would be a fair puzzle if it were tutorialized in the introductory area that there are some situations where striking those blocks doesn’t trigger retribution. That’s not the case. To my knowledge that is the only time in the entire game you’re supposed to strike one of those blocks. “You should have noticed a missing background detail means you’re supposed to do the exact opposite of what you’ve been taught” is a reasonable trick for an optional secret, not an item that’s necessary to beat the game.

          Anyways deciding to go stumble into the next zone without saving is definitely a ‘you’ error.

          No, not wanting to go through the entire Endless Corridor yet again is not a me problem, it is a problem of the developers being sadistic trolls who think it’s funny to waste peoples’ time. Warping back to the save point is still resetting my progress through the area. Forcing the player to warp all the way back to the start of the area every time they make a single step of new progress shows utter contempt and disrespect for the player’s time. It’s bad game design and I stand by that.

          1. Nerem says:

            From my memory, there’s a tablet in the Gate of Guidance that outright says that it is the eyes that fire divine punishment. No eye, no divine punishment. They even reinforce this when you solve a puzzle related to an object under the protection of an eye, it closes and will no longer fire its bolt at you.

            I think the Shuriken puzzle in the Gate of Guidance shows that explicitly, as it zaps you until you solve the puzzle. When you solve it, the Shuriken ‘cover’ opens up and the eye closes and recedes into the background.

            This is a lot nicer than the original version which didn’t have the eyes and that tablet only said “Sometimes you are divinely punished for whipping objects. Don’t whip wildly!”

            As for Ledo, there’s only two statues with holes in their chest, and it is the only one that reacts when ‘the sun shone brightly’. It’s not a huge leap in deduction.

            As for the Endless Corridor, the only place that you can’t just drop back down since the puzzles stay solved is the gauntlet, but there’s a shortcut block you can destroy to help you quickly return.

            1. You are not paying attention to my actual objections. “If you solve the puzzle it shows that you solved the puzzle” does not address the problem that it’s impossible to solve the puzzle. It is not possible to know which statue to go to after you set the sky disc to the sun because it is impossible to know which of the two statues with chest wounds is Ledo. Similarly, telling me Mulbruk has the Book of the Dead does not tell me that I have to fight an unkillable boss before she’ll give it to me. The necessary information is not there.

              They even reinforce this when you solve a puzzle related to an object under the protection of an eye, it closes and will no longer fire its bolt at you.

              That still does not adequately prime the player for the fact they are supposed to whip things when there’s no eye present exactly once five hours later. What I would have accepted would have been an adventurer skeleton that said “Hey, I broke open one sarcophagus safely, but when I hit another one I got zapped! I wonder what was different…” That would let the player know it was possible to break sarcophagi while still not giving away the entire answer. (Also just… “one sarcophagus in the entire ruins is unguarded for no reason” is an incredibly stupid and illogical video-game setup in the first place, not something that makes reasonable sense.)

              This is my problem with the puzzles in La-Mulana: Almost every time, my reaction was “I didn’t know I could do that.” Puzzles should not make the player confused as to what their end goal is, only how they are supposed to get there. If the solution to a puzzle is something a player has never done before and was never told is even possible, why would they think to try it?

              Let me ask you straight up: How long did it take you to figure out you were supposed to break the sarcophagus to get the keyblade? Did you try anything else beforehand?

              Reply
            2. Nerem says:

              Err, the puzzle with the sky disk is the one that makes it clear which one is Ledo (also, the fact that he has the more prominent chest injury). Like, if you put together the clues the game provides, it is super clear. Chest Injury + Sun related = if you hit the sky dial to Sun and only one of the giants with a chest injury falls down, then that must be Ledo.

              As for the keyblade… I uhh… figured it out pretty easily. The game being very specific about how you are only in danger of divine punishment if the eye is in the room and open. If there is no eye, or the eye has been rendered closed…. then whip away. That’s literally been a constant the entire game, so there not being an eye of divine punishment is a very very VERY clear indicator that you’re safe to whip anything you want, even that fancy sarcophagus that opens when you whip it.

              Reply
            3. also, the fact that he has the more prominent chest injury

              A) No, the statue riddled with wounds, including a decapitation, does not have a more prominent chest injury than the one that is immaculate except for a chest injury. I couldn’t even tell he had a chest injury until after I solved the puzzle because the entire statue is such a ruin. (That is another thing that annoyed me; the statues have tons of blemishes to make them look old and weathered, and we have no way of telling which are significant and which are aesthetic.)

              B) Even if that were the case, the player should not have to guess. If the only information you give the player is “look for a statue with a chest wound”, providing multiple statues with chest wounds makes the puzzle unsolvable.

              I really do not understand what about this isn’t sinking in. The puzzle is unsolvable. It does not provide enough information to isolate all variables. You cannot logic it out, you have to guess — if you even notice there are two statues with chest wounds, which as I said is not a given, because they appeared to deliberately design Ledo to mask the chest wound. That is bad design.

              Reply
            4. NeremWorld says:

              I figured it out instantly because there’s a tablet that spells it out extremely blatantly.

              The game straight up, with no complications, tells you how to figure out who Ledo is. He fell in sunlight, a gaping hole in his chest. When you activate the ‘sunlight’, Ledo is the giant who falls. It was extremely obvious. The fact that he has a hole in his chest is really secondary, because “Ledo fell in sunlight” solves it already. There’s not even a real puzzle there. You hit sun, Ledo falls. “Ledo fell in the sunlight, a hole in his chest”.

              If it’s unsolvable, then I could not have figured it out from that incredibly simple solution. Like I’m a massive fucking idiot who takes forever to figure out puzzles, and that one was the most intuitive one in the entire game.

              Reply
            5. Nerem says:

              Like, if you just forgot that the tablet said that and didn’t see it again, that’s one thing and is understandable. It’s why I liked that La Mulana 2 gave you an app to save murals on.

              But it was, in no way, an impossible puzzle. Hell, when they made that section easier puzzle-wise for the remake, they did not change that at all because it’s really the simple part of the whole thing. They changed the Nebiru Disk puzzle so you only had to hop on one of the labelled levers to change it to Sun, or Moon, or whichever. In the original the actual puzzle was figuring out what series of levers you had to hit to put it on the one you wanted. Ledo’s identity wasn’t changed because it was extremely clear if you remembered that tablet (That even has a picture of Ledo!)

              Reply
            6. Nerem says:

              https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/497627755161190410/926810478397771836/unknown.png

              This is the monument that tells you about Ledo.

              https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/497627755161190410/926810675416817724/unknown.png

              https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/497627755161190410/926811071484940328/unknown.png

              Ledo normally. Check out that huge chest would where his arm is that you can stand on.

              https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/497627755161190410/926811553389486100/unknown.png

              When you set it to sun, this appears. Over his heart. Like, as long as you explore the zone under all the conditions, you’d find this and hit it and you don’t even strictly need to know who LEdo is.

              By the way, what also helps is that the only other one with damage on their chest is Zebu, who is described as “Zebu , the first born, was holding up the land, and thus unable to move.”, and Zebu is this guy:

              https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/497627755161190410/926812385128378438/unknown.png

              If you have it set to Stars, then this guy falls over dead on you, instakilling you. His name is Badu: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/497627755161190410/926812692923183104/unknown.png
              “A blanket of countless stars spread over Bado, falling into a deep slumber.”

              Three of them are associated with the emblems on the Nebiru Disk.

              https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/497627755161190410/926813147527012362/unknown.png

              This thing. The sun causes the pedestal to appear on Ledo’s chest. Stars cause Bado to fall. Moon causes Ji to pray. The rest are given context clues to figure out who is who. Just read the monuments, make notes if you need to, and it’s a nowhere near impossible to solve.

              Reply
            7. You keep repeating what you’ve previously said without listening to my actual objection. I know what the hint is. I know Ledo has a chest wound. I know the dais appears if you set the disc to the sun, that’s how I figured it out. None of those things are my objection. My objection is, as I said several comments ago, this:

              It sounds like you didn’t notice this statue also has a chest wound. If you didn’t, then yeah, it’s a pretty simple puzzle when you only have one option to choose from! But if a puzzle is easier if you notice less of it, it’s a bad puzzle. I was punished for noticing all the statues.

              Reply
            8. Nerem says:

              I did, in fact, notice you say that. Like, the objection is still, and I will say this, dumb. Why? Because you have two options. One that actually fits all the clues given to you… and one that doesn’t. You’re suppose to figure out what statue is who by the clues. Sure, if the only clue given was “Ledo had a wound in his chest” and you just had to guess which was which from that alone, then yes, you would be absolutely correct that it’d be a bad puzzle.

              But your clue for Ledo is TWO things. He fell in the sunlight (Reacts to the sun disk) and has a wound in his chest. Ledo has a HUGE hole in his chest, over his heart, while the other has a small damage to the front of its chest, and doesn’t react in sunlight. The other statue wasn’t even intended to be a red herring, because it doesn’t follow all of the clues. Like, I don’t know why you’re so mad at La Mulana when you deliberately disregarded the clues it gave to you. Ledo = Reacts To Sun + Wound In Chest. Ledo != Wound In Chest, Does Not React To Sun. You’re shouting that there’s this other statue has a wound in its chest, therefore it is really confusing, but the SAME monument tells you the easy way to tell them apart. You just didn’t read it closely.

              That’s what I’m arguing. You failed to read the monument with care and missed the sun-in-your-face obvious clue it was giving you, and then you got mad at the game. This was one of the very obvious and clear puzzles in the game, and you complicated it yourself to the point of calling it an ‘impossible puzzle’. And even if you still couldn’t tell the difference, there’s only two of them, and only one who you can mess with at all during sunlight. It’s not impossible. It’s not difficult. It’s not even hard.

              This is, by the way, why I appreciate that La Mulana 2 lets you save monuments to an app so you can look through them and not have to go off of memory.

              Reply
          2. Nerem says:

            As for the Book of the Dead, IIRC there’s tablets in the Twin LAbyrinth that explicitly say that she has the Book of the Dead.

          3. Nerem says:

            Oh, and the tablet telling you about the Eyes Of Divine Punishment have a picture of the eyes emitting divine wrath IIRC.

  2. Nerem says:

    Also La Mulana 2 is just nicer overall… mostly.

  3. Nerem says:

    Also you talk about inconsistency, but that Spring in the Sky puzzle actually is pretty intuitive, because they actually look like what they should, and the winched platform is very blatant, and if you hit it, it plays a sound to indicate that it is something that can be hit, so you just switch to figure out what weapon it wants. Once you do, it takes you straight to the Temple of the Sun to a new place you need to go, so you won’t be baffled as to what that did.

    The game already taught you all of this in the other zones, too. Especially that ‘background objects’ aren’t just decoration (and you can also handscan a bunch for clues).

    1. Being intuitive relative to the other puzzles is not saying much. Just because you know at that point that some background objects can be interactive doesn’t mean you know which ones those are — and even if you do the most intuitive thing, which is hitting the winch, it won’t do anything until you break the platform, which is much less intuitive.

      I think it would only be fair if there was some kind of consistent graphical effect that marked objects as breakable or interactive. Plenty of games do this and no, it’s not patronizing or handholdy to do so. If you want puzzles to be difficult, you should make them actual puzzles, not “puzzles” that are solved as soon as you track down the right pixel.

      1. Nerem says:

        I mean you get the ‘this does something if you hit it’ effect from hitting it. Nothing wrong with that.

        Like, I’m not trying to say that games can’t be QoL or easy and still be good. Farrrrr from it. La Mulana’s a much older game though so there’s some aspects that are still less nice… but they are fairly nice in the “it gives you a clue when you hit it”.

        1. Yes, it reacts if you think to hit it in flagrant violation of what the tutorial area teaches you. If you explicitly tell players in your tutorial area “don’t just hit things at random or we’ll punish you,” it is not fair play to later say actually you are supposed to hit things. Hitting the machines in the Tower of Ruin smites you, but hitting the winch in the Spring in the Sky doesn’t, because…?

  4. Actislazyandwontlogin says:

    Yo you should check out Dandara — it’s on the Switch and maybe PC? It’s a really nice Metroidvania, I think the level design has been really excellent so far.

    A couple of things:

    — I tend to like games to be more punishing than you do and this one has some bullet-hell-lite sequences which I think have been great but take my feeling that the difficultly is perfect with a grain of salt
    — The control system is really unique, but push through the initial weirdness of it — after about 20 minutes I got used to it and found it to be really fun and fast-paced once the logic clicked (on a controller, anyway).
    — It’s apparently an allegory for the freeing of Brazilian slaves, which is not something I know a ton about but seems pretty cool
    — Really neat sound design, IMO.

    1. Nerem says:

      Oh right, I own that, but haven’t gotten a chance to play it. I should give it a try.

      Also, I think it’s probably a mistake to consider La Mulana a normal Metroidvania where all the puzzles are just figuring out how to use your powers to progress. It’s much more heavy on the puzzle aspects and less on the combat aspects. Both types of Metroidvania are good though.

      1. Act says:

        I don’t know much about the genre, but as a game that’s a combination of puzzles and reflexes I really like it. The boss fights have been a blast.

        But yeah, can’t emphasize how weird the controls are for a little bit. I was on the edge of quitting and then all of a sudden it clicked and I’ve loved it ever since, so deffo be patient with it.

    2. Dandara is on my wishlist, so I’ll get around to it one of these years.

  5. Nerem says:

    Like, the thing that makes me the most baffled about you declaring it impossible to distinguish them, is that you really don’t have to. If you set it to Sun Disk, then the correct one has a pedestal on its chest. The only way I can think that you couldn’t figure this out is that you went to the one at the start of the zone, saw nothing, and didn’t bother checking the other one at all. Because when you hit the sun dial, Ledo has a very obvious change that the other one does not have.

    https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/367092795082670101/930205839594229780/unknown.png

    A pedestal! And that’s all you need to know with Ledo.

    1. Yes, it has an obvious change if you enter that room, at which point you have already solved the puzzle, because the puzzle is figuring out which room to go to! You keep saying “But if you change the disc to the sun you can tell which one is Ledo,” but that information is useless for distinguishing them until you’ve already solved it. Obviously I set the sky disc to the sun, I would never have solved the puzzle otherwise, but I kept going to the other statue and thinking I must have messed something else up, because La-Mulana also loves to say “tee-hee, there was actually another thing you were supposed to do first!” so that’s not outside the realm of possibility. I only advanced after I brute-forced it by going through all the statues one by one. If you have to brute-force a puzzle to solve it, it’s a bad puzzle.

      I didn’t notice the Ledo statue had a chest wound at all, because its myriad other wounds distracted me. When you make a sprite that’s riddled with black holes, it is hard to notice one particular hole. But screw me for assuming decapitation was the thing I was supposed to notice! No, the one and only statue with multiple wounds is the one where I was supposed to ignore all wounds but one, unlike the statue that only has a chest wound, which has nothing to do with the puzzle telling you to look for a chest wound, because that’s so logical! Their decision to draw the statues that way was either an egregious oversight or deliberate trolling.

      If the wounds on the statues were supposed to be deliberate and relevant, they should not have made the statues look weathered with lots of other irrelevant wounds. All that does is create red herrings.

      1. Nerem says:

        I just don’t get why this puzzle has you so infuriated out of all of them. It’s a very simple puzzle where you binarily have solved it or not and there’s no punishment for not going to the right room beyond maybe having wasted a minute, which is a pretty minor punishment considering puzzle games. Neither of them are very far away from the monument or grail point. You misunderstood things and that’s fine, but labeling it impossible and acting like there was no way to solve it is my issue. I just figure the decapitation was meant to make it more striking and make you notice that it very pointedly has its hand up to the massive hole in its chest.

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