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Blindly Exploring La Mulana

During one of the Steam sales, I decided to pick up a game that had some good buzz, but I knew almost nothing about: �La Mulana. �I know it is supposed to be a hard as nails, oldschool experience, and I am totally down for that. �The only experience I had with the game was watching a Let�s Play episode or two of the game years back, and it seemed alright enough for me. �So what is La Mulana? �Well, its Spanish for �The Mulana� if that helps.

In all seriousness, I started the game this weekend and found myself rather liking it. �It is an SNES game, but it just feels a bit bigger or more modern. �You play as some dude with a whip in a world where everything can kill you. �After Dark Souls, this sounds right up my alley! �I wandered around for the first fifteen minutes, unable to find which way was forward. �I tried to memorize patterns of very simple enemies, as to minimize my odds of death. �I failed. �I died. �A lot. �Then I started to get the hang of things, and explored all around the starting camp. �There were birds and trees and rocks and things, and I had learned how to kill most of them, except the condors. �Then I fall off a waterfall and drowned. �I decided to explore to the left, where I found a healing spring and snakes, and a giant about twenty times my height who can kill me in two hits. �Man. �This game reeks of Dark Souls! �A confusing beginning with no direction, minimal narrative, and a world that hates the protagonist? �Check, check, and check. �

Turns out, I missed a very important feature...going into buildings. �In my defense I tried and failed, so this wasn�t all on me! �After I learned how to do that, I finally got a quest, and more importantly, opened up the Hidden Temple, which I had heard many legends about. �Then the game started becoming�.obtuse. �There are signs and stones that you can�t actually read. �You need an item that lets you read. �Fair enough. �Then, they are in a language you don�t know. So you need to buy an item that lets you read them. � Ugh, alright. �You also need to buy an item that lets you use the map, which you have to find in a chest anyway. �So its a little confusing, but I managed several trips in and out of the temple getting money enough to buy all these things. �I was finally ready to explore!

As I mentioned above, I was given no direction, just �go for it!�, so I wandered wherever the game would let me progress. �Until I couldn�t wander back. �See, the game has weights as a consumable item. �You need weights to trigger certain pedestals, and they are often placed in areas that are gates to other levels, or hell, even where you came from. �So I got myself stuck in a pyramid, in a tomb, in a waterfall, and generally had a poor time. �I tried really hard to make progress, but with minimal health and no way to restore it, I was a little bit annoyed. �So I had to revert back to a previous save, grind out money, and buy stones. �Now I was ready! �Then I still would get lost, forget the way back, and die in the cold depths of the temple. �I felt like I was missing something. �I was.

I decided to take a turn for the archaic and find the games Wii release manual and do some research. �There were a few interesting tidbits in there, but the most important one was the White Whale. �Er...Holy Grail. �Not figuratively, either, it is actually The Holy Grail, �and the manual said you should encounter it early, and that it lets you warp around the map. �Wow. �Such utility. �Much useful. �Very want. �Must have. �Using my map.exe program, I found a room in the temple called something like �Holy Grail Room� and began solving puzzles. �After some rather cleverly put together puzzles, I finally found the Holy Grail, which lets you warp between almost any save point, including the one at the surface, with the shop and healing area. �Now we were in business! �I found a smattering of odds and ends, including more health, a grappling claw, The Reverend Stabby McShankerton (my knife), and some other trinkets. �Now I was making progress!

So I have been exploring the caves, slowly but surely, trying to solve the mystery of what the hell I�m doing here. �I have the holy grail. �I am a very rich man. �But apparently I want more. �Most notably, I solved the entire pyramid level, revealing an enormous monster boss, which I have yet to best. �I have discovered many chambers with their own treasures, secrets, and monsters, and I can�t wait to keep exploring!

I also wanted to follow my friend�s advice, and use La Mulana as an experiment in some software dabbling. �He told me I should try out streaming, so I figured I could give that a shot. �I have the software set up now, along with an account, and a classical rock playlist to serve as the background noise. �I am going to try to start streaming most of what I play when I play because what the hell, why not, basically. �I will probably be streaming after 7:00 pm Central on Weekdays, and pretty much whenever I feel like it on Weekends at twitch as taterchimp_twitch (http://www.twitch.tv/taterchimp_twitch). �Feel free to stop by if you want!
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About taterchimpone of us since 6:01 PM on 06.06.2008

My Belmont Run for Dark Souls can be seen


I also did a blind run of the DLC, which you can view

And here

I also covered the progress of building my own gaming PC. I had no experience, and overall, it wasn't all bad! If you are on the fence about it, I suggest you read about my efforts

And here

The series never had a part 3, because I was having waaaaay too much fun playing it. Suffice to say that it does alright these days.

Thanks for stopping by my blawg!
Xbox LIVE:Taterchimp


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