Dark Souls: the platform (available for free)

Just a couple of titles that may otherwise pass under the radar.

The first is unrelated to the title, but it’s so gorgeous that it just can’t be overlooked. Flash game made entirely by a russian guy.

Nothing else needs to be said beside: watch the video.

The game was mentioned by the guy who made Cortex Command, that you should also check out if you never heard of it.

Instead the title refers to “La-Mulana”, a retro-styled platform game that is quite frequently compared to Dark Souls in reviews.

Nigoro’s La-Mulana is like Castlevania: Symphony of The Night spliced with Dark Souls. It is long, it is tough, it is involved and it has puzzles that’ll make your brain bleed. It’s a massive singleplayer non-linear platform adventure. It is hardcore, full of traps and unapologetic about killing you over and over again. And that’s just fine.

if you’ve ever enjoyed Metroid, Castlevania: SOTN or Dark Souls then this is very much in the spirit of all three. At the asking price of $15, and with Playism’s excellent translation, it’s a must-have.

It’s a massive platformer boasting at least 20/30 hours of gameplay. The retro ROM version is free and available here. Both the original ROM and the english translation, since it’s a Japanese game. In that link you find both the patch (under download) and the game (under Extras).

The remake instead came out a week or so ago and is available for $15 here.

Even in this case watch the video because it’s impressive stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_jLRKObbDY

I found out about this on a SA thread, where you can find more info.


I decided to buckle down and play this. I’ve carefully avoided some of the recent frustrating platform games. I’m mentally prepared for one now. I don’t have enough overwhelming nostalgia to play the original freeware release so I’ll play the new one.

I’m holding out a month or two to see if it comes to a mainstream digital distribution platform.

Oh thank god. Tim James to the rescue. I was soooooo confused. Even the text in the OP says it’s a platform, and I kept thinking “a platform for what? Some kind of game engine? What’s going on? Why is this platform called Dark Souls? Does it have something to do with the other Dark Souls?”

Dark Souls: the platform

I can’t edit the title, can I? ;)

If Turin can get a “Der Schulde” custom title for misspelling, why can’t HRose get “Der Platform”?


Yeah but that was an amazing misspelling!

Heh, maybe. What was he trying to spell again? Schedule?



It was just an english quirk. Apparently you’re fine if it’s “Platform arcade”, but you can’t read “platform” alone. Your loss!

So this game is pretty great so far.

You’re starting without me! How is that digital distribution place? Can you redownload later? Is there activation?

DRM free, unlimited downloads as far as I can tell, just a couple of readme files and a setup.exe.

You’ll probably want to run it as an administrator if you’re using Vista or Win7.

I picked up La-Mulana tonight. I was a little worried at the 640x480 resolution, but it looks great with pixel doubling (1280x960) and no filtering.

Someone at SA put together a retro music pack. I think I might use that instead of the remastered stuff. I know in Cave Story I preferred the original music so maybe it’ll be the same way here. I also remember a reviewer mentioned the old music was better.

Oh and there’s a patch out to fix the issues with saving when not running as administrator.

So far this game is quite playable without a walkthrough. I’m 4 hours in with two guardians down and 3-4 areas cleared. The areas flow well enough that I can explore one until I get stuck, then go back to another one and make progress.

The areas are just barely small enough that I don’t fret about remembering treasure chests and stones I need to return to later in the game. I can always zip through and look for them again.

Dark Souls…all good games go to…um…platform(er)?

Now I think I really am stuck. If anyone has beaten it, I’d like a hint.

about 4-5 hours on the savegame clock

I think I need the software to warp to the alternate dimensions. The only things I see left to do are to defeat difficult minibosses in Twin Labyrinths and Inferno Cavern, or stumble through the dark cave without a light source. I can’t figure out the Moon Temple, Endless Cavern, or Twin Labyrinths (including the poison room after I defeated Ellmec, the giant lizard boss). I have a few treasure chests left in the Sun Temple.

If not I guess I will have to squint at GameFAQs. I’m happy I made it this far without a walkthrough, but my backlog can’t wait forever.

[EDIT] Someone on PA forums helped me out. I had to attack a hidden wall to get an item to help me work through an area, then attack a wall/block to unlock a treasure in another area.

Err… right. This is the first misstep of the game so I’m giving it a pass on that one. Apparently you’re supposed to attack all the walls to find secrets, kind of like playing Wolf3D.

I’ve now convinced myself it’s pointless to play this game without a few targeted spoilers. I’ve kept track of all the spoilers I’ve needed to proceed (around 7, give or take). All of them were simply a matter of wall-humping everything in the game. There were two of them where I knew exactly what I need to do, but missed the right pixels on the screen. It’s like an adventure game from the dark ages.

I’m able to figure a lot of stuff out now that I’m attacking every wall. But there’s no shame in saving all that wasted time when I miss the right spot.

I finally finished La-Mulana. I felt like the game collapsed under its own weight as it went on. I loved it at first: catchy music, superb atmosphere and theme, enjoyable Zelda-style dungeons and puzzles, and boss fights that got more spectacular as time went on. Then about halfway through the puzzles became more ridiculous. The wonderful sense of exploration turned into wall-humping and frustration. When I threw in the towel and started checking the walkthrough more often, I realized how much I was walking back and forth just to check all the boxes to finish the game.

I get that they’re making a tribute to a certain style of game. It feels like such a missed opportunity though. They could’ve created an epic adventure that stood up against the titans of Nintendo. I guess it goes to show that it’s difficult to create a brilliant game like that.

Bring on Dark Souls. I just hope I haven’t burned myself out of console style boss fights!

Well HRose, I think you’ve been vindicated. I can definitely see how La-Mulana is like Dark Souls: The Platform Game. Obviously one is an old Metroidvania and the other is an action RPG. But they have similar feel.

They take the same attitude toward the player. There are very few hints and hand-holding. They both have their share of wall-humping, for example. Dark Souls gets the edge here because the multiplayer system helps with the obscure and annoying stuff. La-Mulana reaches a certain point where you must use a walkthrough. That really sucks toward the end when you’re constantly alt-tabbing to it.

Each game opens up a sizeable portion of the world at the beginning and uses difficult monsters to gate the player. The worlds start with subdued beginnings and unfold in fantastic and surprising ways. I’m glad I got to journey through them.

They both heavily feature checkpoint exploration. You’ll need to play optimally to reach the next save point. Once you do, exploration is a joy. There are a lot of rewards for people that can put up with those mechanics.

Each game has spectacular boss enemies that unfortunately require mechanical execution and a lot of repetition.

One key difference: La-Mulana doesn’t have falling damage. I’ll just leave that there.