Naturally, La-Mulana's titular Temple of Doom is riddled not just with challenging puzzles and enemies, but ways to scare away archaeologists from exploring further in their journeys.
The sacrificial pit of Chi You in the Confusion Gate, where a seemingly endless line of virgins fall down a tall pit to their death on the spikes below. Their blood is dripped onto the mini-boss Chi You, who regenerates HP whenever a drop of blood drips onto him. Somehow, the old 8-bit graphics do not make this any less shocking and disturbing, and the creepy music (which by now has been drilling itself into your head for an hour or more) doesn't help matters, either.
The Confusion Gate is filled with large head-statues which look entirelytoo happy. The aforementioned sacrificial pit has several of them.
In the remake, solving Eden's sole puzzle. Which dissolves the Uncanny Atmosphere and reveals the Eden's true nature as the Confusion Gate / Gate of Illusion, along with a high-pitched scream as the area's true colors come into view.
The Mother's third form in the original game. A giant, pale-faced version of the Virgin Mary who rains crosses and tears of blood that explode into walls of flame. Also, it's holding a skeletal baby.
In the remake, said baby fights alongside the ghastly skeletal version of Mother's second form by firing a laser beam at you!
Crossing into Fridge Brilliance, The Mother's Japanese name is 聖母 ("seibo") which means "Holy Mother", which is another name for the Virgin Mary.
The music of the Gate of Illusion. Especially when you activate the Tree of Eden — dispelling the Eden illusion, revealing the true nature of the Gate of Illusion, and hear a particularly loud form of the sacrificial maidens' scream!
The background in the Temple of the Moonlight has demonic faces woven into walls made out of red vines or tentacles.
Around the end of the original game's secret Maze of Galious area, the game reunites fans of the game that inspired La-Mulana with Yomar, the boss of World 1, except he's wearing pajamas — made fromhuman skin.
The remake's Shrine of the Mother looks utterly grisly. Skeletons hang from walls, there are entire shelves of bones, and the place is littered with skull walls and crush traps. It's implied that the skeletons are former life forms that tried to bring Mother back into the sky and failed; had Lemeza not come along to put Mother out of her misery, humanity as we know it could've joined them.
The trap sound itself can send many a player into a panic, especially since the traps they entail cause substantial damage or break puzzles at best and outright kill the player at worst.
The first time you get blasted by a Bolt of Divine Retribution will make you paranoid as hell, justifiablyso. The remake somewhat lessens this by putting blue eyes in rooms where you can get zapped, although arguably, knowing which rooms can get you zapped can make solving puzzles much worse.
Speaking of empty rooms, there's the remake's Hell Temple, which has a room that is empty AND is silent.
The infamous "don't read this again" tablet in the Mausoleum of the Giants in the remake's PC version. When you first read it, it warns you not to read it again or else you will "suffer the pain of death." It's not joking. Reading the tablet again not only heralds the trap sound and the game's difficulty increasing permanently, but also three giant skulls glowing and facing you momentarily (pictured above) before shattering.