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Mr. Explorer himself, protagonist of the first game.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: But of course!
- Badass in Distress: Lumisa has to save him and Shawn from Indra and the Lokapala in 2.
- The Chosen One: He is ultimately granted permission by the Sages to chant the Mantras and summon the Mother. Up until then, there are a few references to a "chosen one", including one tablet that basically says "if you made it this far, we choose you".
- Disappeared Dad: To Lumisa in La-Mulana 2, since he's been in hiding after the events of the first game.
- Expy: Lemeza's yet another homage to Indiana Jones, of course.
- Fedora of Asskicking: Which he apparently wears over the helmet and perpetually has a hold of while falling and sinking. He also has to hold it on during the high-speed Palenque fight.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: In La-Mulana 2. Sure, he saved the world from Mother's wrath, but he also destroyed a world heritage site in the process. The public apparently only learned about/believed the latter, so he's been on the run from Interpol.
- Heroic Mime: As is the standard of all Retraux Metroidvania protagonists.
- Hyperspace Arsenal/Walking Armory: To the point that there's a piece of official art◊ gently poking fun at it. It's also reflected on his paper doll in the remake.
- Leitmotif: "Mr. Explorer"note , the Surface theme.
- Man in a Bikini: Wears a skimpy swimsuit as a reward for completing Hell Temple.
- Ninja: The Kosugis apparently have a long line of ninjutsu in the family tree. Lemeza himself uses ninja infiltration techniques for exploring the death traps he tends to wind up in.
- Meaningful Name: Kosugi means "small cedar." It's also the surname of a real-life curry salesman.
- Multi-Melee Master
- Raised by Grandparents: Raised by his grandfather, since Shawn abandoned him to go looking for La-Mulana.
- Shameless Fanservice Guy: Judging by his smile when he puts on the Skimpy Swimsuit at the end of Hell Temple, he seems perfectly content with wearing it.
- Smoking Is Cool: Has a cigarette in his mouth in the PC manual and in the WiiWare official artwork. It's removed from pictures on the English side of the website, though.
- Spell My Name with an "S"/It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": In Japanese his name is written as ルエミーザ (ruemiiza) while his name is always written in English as Lemeza. Does he use a different name depending on language or is Lemeza meant to be pronounced like "ruemiiza?"
- Superior Successor: Fits Lemeza in every single way, if you consider the story behind the ruins, his role of chasing his father's work and defeating gods and goddesses who could have remained for eternity and used to rule over everyone.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Loves curry. He eats a plate of it whenever you pause the game.
- Virtual Paper Doll: The remake's inventory screen shows a picture of Lemeza wearing the current equipment set, including weapon, subweapon, item, and assorted tools/plot coupons acquired along the way.
- Whip It Good: His primary weapon.
- Wholesome Crossdresser/Creepy Crossdresser: Up for debate if he's creepy about it or not. Mulbruk and Xelpud are significantly weirded out, but Lemeza himself has absolutely no problems donning the skimpy swimsuit from Hell Temple and workin' it. All the official art showing him in the thing has him happy as a clam, to boot.
The protagonist of the second game. She is Lemeza's (or Shorn's) possibly illegitimate daughter. With Lemeza vanished, she takes up Elder Xelpud's request to explore Eg-Lana.
- Action Girl: About as skilled as her father.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Seems to run in the family, though her in-game bio states that she prefers adventuring to archaeology.
- But Not Too Foreign: Unlike Lemeza, whose Japanese ancestry is obvious in much of the official art. Despite having blonde hair and blue eyes, Lumisa is fourth-generation Japanese-American. Of course, from a Japanese perspective this trope applies to Lemeza and not Lumisa.
- Chainmail Bikini: Her Valkyrie outfit consists entirely of a Breast Plate, a floor-length skirt, and a helmet that doesn't entirely cover her head.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Lemeza, although the developers hope to develop her into a more distinct character than that.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Lumisa actually made a brief appearance in the April Fools development video made before the remake's release.
- Fedora of Asskicking: Much like her father, if it's Lemeza.
- Fingerless Gloves: Wears one on her right hand.
- Generation Xerox
- Leitmotif: "Lumisa's Theme" and, arguably, "Miss Explorer"
- Mysterious Past: Was she the daughter of Lemeza's wife before they married? Is she actually an illegitimate child of Shorn? Did Lemeza father her when he was only 15? Nobody knows.
- Happily Adopted: Possibly. At any rate, if Lemeza isn't biologically her dad, she seems to think of him as such - she calls him Papa in the April Fools video, and all material that isn't directly referencing Shorn calls Lemeza her father. How happy she actually is with him remains to be seen.
- Ninja: She is a Kosugi, so of course this applies!
- Ms. Fanservice: While some of her optional outfits are a bit cheesecakey, none of them are as revealing as what Lemeza has worn.
- Samurai Cowboy: One of her outfits gives her a pink kimono with denim shorts, leather chaps, and a pink cowboy hat, giving her the appearance of this.
- Stripperiffic: Her Little Devil outfit is quite revealing, showing off her legs, midriff, and cleavage.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Or around your neck, breast pocket, and pant leg. Notably, the flag on her scarf is a straightforward American flag, the flag on her pocket is a straightforward Japanese one, and the flag on her pant leg combines the two, with the Japanese flag superimposed over the 50 stars, to represent her status as a Japanese-American.
- Whip It Good: Uses a whip as a tool and weapon, just like her father.
Lemeza's father and Lumisa's grandfather (or possibly also her father). He sets off the first game's plot by discovering the ruins and taunting his son about it.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: A renowned one.
- Archnemesis Dad: Taunted Lemeza into coming to the ruins, and basically waited for Lemeza to obtain the Treasure of Life before STEALING IT FROM HIS OWN SON.
- Back for the Finale: Shorn returns to steal the show, so to speak.
- Disappeared Dad: Left Lemeza with his grandfather at a young age so he could search for the ruins.
- Dub Name Change: Zig-zagged. The original's fantranslation called him Shorn, the Japanese website for the remake still calls him Shorn but the English remake calls him Shawn, and in La-Mulana 2 he was called Shorn in early material, but went back to being Shawn in the full release.
- Expy: His spectacles, bucket hat (though the remake turns it into a helmet), and iffy relationship with his son clearly mirror Henry Jones, Sr. He also has a touch of Belloq in him, with the whole poaching research thing.
- Famous Ancestor: Shorn has a world-renown career as an archaeologist, while the first game is Lemeza's first time doing anything that would grant him fame.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: There are a couple of times you can see him leaving the room you're entering.
- Hero of Another Story: He spent much of his life trying to find the ruins, and he managed to explore them almost entirely. However, because the story is told from Lemeza's POV we only know tiny portions of his tale.
- Jerkass/Karma Houdini: Steals the treasure from his son at the end and runs off into the sunrise.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: He and Lemeza do it to Lumisa in the sequel. Lumisa just gets right back up and steals it back in the same way.
- Miles Gloriosus: According to the remake's manual, as his physical prowess started declining somewhat with age, he developed a history of poaching the results of Lemeza's work to compensate. No surprise when he steals the show at the end, then.
- Ninja: Had the same training Lemeza did, and has had longer to perfect it.
- The Unchosen One: His final message to you on his computer, which you find at the very heart of the ruins, says that he went through all of the same trials and traps you did and reached La Mulana's heart, but ultimately wasn't able to continue because he wasn't chosen by the four Sages.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He's set aside his bitter competition with his son in the sequel.
- Whip It Good
The Elder of the village, and the guy who saves your game and generally chats to you. After the first game, he sells out and turns La-Mulana into a tourist trap.
- Badass Grandpa: In the remake. Remember that one puzzle where you have to get Shorn's diary, involving that falling pillar? in the original, you use the time lantern. In the remake, you talk to Xelpud, and he literally comes down to that room in the ruins, jumps in the falling path, and then lifts it up for you.
- Cloud Cuckoolander/Talkative Loon: Rambles endlessly about the MSX in the original PC version and about gaming in general, among other things, in the remake.
- Cool Old Guy: Generally a helpful person, offering you hints and the ability to save your game.
- Cool Shades: Wears a pair of round sunglasses in the second game.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: One of Xelpud's ramblings in the remake has him quickly deny he was looking at anything dirty when Lemeza walks in.
- Dirty Old Man: In La-Mulana 2 he's surrounded by women and insists that Lumisa take her clothes off before stepping into the hot spring.
- Expy: In La-Mulana 2, he looks a lot like Kame-Sennin / Master Roshi thanks to sunglasses, a short-sleeved shirt, orange shorts, and the same beard he's always had.
- Facial Markings: In official artwork he has the the symbol of the Philosophers on his forehead, which is a clue to his true nature.
- Fanboy: Of the MSX. He even wears an MSX shirt under his robes, which is kept in the remake's art (though obscured for copyright reasons).
- Amazingly, his shirt in the sequel says Famicom. Apparently he's come to accept and love the rival company. Or it's a sign that Xelpud has sold out.
- Fun T-Shirt: Again, his MSX shirt under his robes.
- Forgotten First Meeting: He met Lemeza once before with Shawn, but Lemeza was too young to remember it.
- Foreshadowing/Blatant Lies/Suspiciously Specific Denial: Xelpud's opening conversions with Lemeza in the remake are rather interesting if the player knows the whole story of the game.
- Jive Turkey: "FAIRIES, YO!"
- Leitmotif: "Xelpud" note
- Sdrawkcab Name: "Xelpud" spelled backwards is "Duplex", one of the developers of the original game.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: In the sequel, he stops joking so much and acts a bit more serious after Alsedana's death.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: His dialogue in 2 is peppered with a lot of foul language.
- Take That!: Talks smack about the easiness of modern gaming. In the original version, he also likes to take potshots at the Famicom.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: In the remake, he sends e-mails to Lemeza when certain conditions are met, which can be read at any time. Some of these also double as tutorials, such as the one explaining how to use the Grapple Claw.
A girl who lives in the Temple of the Sun. She offers advice on where to go or what to do, but only appears in the remake version. After the events of the first game, she adapts well to modern life and becomes an adventurer with a taste for cheeseburgers and fashion.
- Ambiguously Gay: She makes a few comments about how attractive Lumisa is in her sleep.
- A-Cup Angst: 2 has her mumble in her sleep at how much more developed Lumisa is even though she's older.
- Chekhov's Gunman: At the end, instead of escaping the ruins through the Guidance Gate entrance, Lemeza has to go talk to her. They both then run through an alternative exit.
- Facial Markings: In official artwork she has some kind of mark on her forehead. It's never explained just what it means.
- Fanservice: Beating the game with the Treasure That Must Not Be Seen on will let you see her sprite donning it as well during the staff roll. One of the Steam Trading Cards you can get shows her wearing it.◊ Along with Lemeza and Shawn, and a naked Xelpud.
- Glasses Pull: She does this a few times in the sequel.
- Heavy Sleeper: It is not uncommon to walk into Mulbruk's tent and find her passed out or sleep-talking. More justified in the first game, where she just woke up from a thousands-year-long sleep.
- It Was with You All Along: Mulbruk has the Book of the Dead and doesn't even realize it until the topic is brought up.
- Leitmotif: "Mulbruk" (1) and "Mulbruk Again" (2)
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Mulbruk is revealed to be Duracuets' daughter.
- Miles Gloriosus: In the second game when you meet her she acts like a veteran adventurer. As she turns to leave she hits her head on a ceiling and passes out. Sending her to scout certain areas has similar results, such as having her get captured or turning right back around immediately.
- Older Than They Look: Even if you don't count the years that she's spent petrified, she's still four years older than Lumisa despite looking much younger.
- Really 700 Years Old: She looks like a 19-year-old girl, but she's actually a 5000-year-old sage. She's just been sleeping all this time.
- Reverse Grip: Her profile picture for the sequel shows her holding a knife like this.
- Spell My Name With An "L": Most sites use the name "Muburk" if they were made before the English spelling of her name was revealed.
- Third-Person Person: Only in the first game. By the second she's assimilated the dialect of modern humans and no longer talks this way.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Beef, apparently. The third CD cover for the first game's soundtrack shows her eating a steak, and her profile picture for the sequel shows her eating a cheeseburger.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Mulbruk is afraid of flying.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: In the first game, at least, her hair is a very dark green. All images for the sequel show her with raven hair, though it's possible she dyes it.
The Four Philosophers
Four sages of the 7th children who turned themselves to stone to preserve their lives inside the ruins and wait for a chosen one. After the events of the first game, they begin living on the surface.
- Ascended Extra: They play a larger role in the sequel.
- Back for the Dead: Alsedana dies of old age before the second game's end.
- Cool Old Guy: At 124 years old Asledana is the oldest of the sages by far and helped in the sealing of La Mulana.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Alsedana. For being the Philosopher of Death he's a pretty cool guy. He mentions that people think the Philosopher of Death would have power over death, but he doesn't— he just likes to think about it.
- Face Death with Dignity: In the sequel Alsedana knows he doesn't have much time left and is patiently waiting to die, but is content to do so knowing he fulfilled his purpose as one of the Four Philosophers.
- Leitmotif: "Wise Men,"note "Wise Men Who Halts," and "Wise Men Who Died"
- Really 700 Years Old: Justified. They spent thousands of years turned into stone. After their petrification ends, they begin to age normally.
- Techno Wizard: Fobos (somehow) has a running computer in the Gate of Illusion, he hacks the Xelpudder app on Lumisa's tablet without her knowing, and he develops an app that allows her to read Crystal Skulls.
- Walking the Earth: Giltoriyo. Unlike the other three Philosophers, he doesn't stay in the village, instead walking the earth to find relics that were stolen from the La-Mulana ruins. He comes back in time for Alsedana's funeral.
Freya, The Fairy Queen
The Queen of the Fairies. She waits in the Endless Corridor for the Chosen One (either carrying a certain ROM in the original, or a symbol of Isis in the remake) to show up so she can give them her aid. She moves back to her original home in Eg-Lana in the sequel.
- Back for the Finale: One of the final puzzles in the first game's remake involves going back to her so she can remove one of the final obstacles in the True Shrine of the Mother.
- Given Name Reveal: In the second game, Freya. As in the Norse Goddess.
- Last of Her Kind: She somehow survives Eg-Lana's collapse at the end of La-Mulana 2, making her the last survivor of the sixth children.
- Our Elves Are Different: The Alfr were a tribe of the Sixth children who, realizing that attaining Mother's dream was impossible, came up with a secret plan to destroy Mother and seal off Eg-Lana.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Fairies are a race created by means of the Tree of Life by the Alfr.
- Prophecy Twist: An interesting invocation of this: the Alfr Seeress's prophecy wasn't so much of a prediction as much as a plan left for future children detailing how to kill the Ninth Child and destroy Eg-Lana. It was written as an incredibly vague "prophecy" so it could bypass their Restraining Bolt that the Mother programmed into them.
The leader of the Lokapala race of the 6th children. Indra seeks to rule over Eg-Lana.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He has desires to rule over Eg-Lana, and then the outside world, and his Lokapala are a constant threat throughout the game. That said, he's really just a small fry in the grand scheme of things.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Or rather, a cage. He's killed when Lumisa drops the cage holding Lemeza and Shawn on him.
- Dumb Muscle: The Lokapala in general are not very intelligent and Indra does little to buck that trend. That said, his storm magic is not to be taken lightly.
- Orcus on His Throne: He does very little himself, preferring to allow his soldiers and Jormungand to do most of the fighting in his stead.
- Public-Domain Character: He's based on a god of Hinduism and Buddhism, though the mythological Indra is far more pleasant than this guy.
- Shock and Awe: How he deals with people. If you try to talk to him after he reveals Jormungand's ankh, he kills you this way.
- Shout-Out: He's one big shout out to Mola Rom of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom fame. His glossary entry even mentions he uses a secret art to pull the beating hearts out of his sacrificial victims.
- The Unfought: You fight his soldiers and his champion Jormungand, but you never actually fight Indra, though you do defeat him without a fight. See Dropped a Bridge on Him above.
Unmarked Spoilers for La-Mulana
She's the creator of all sapient Life, who is unable to get back to the sky. Unfortunately, it's a genuinely impossible task, and she's utterly unable to acknowledge that possibility. The entire plot of the game is to put her out of her misery.
- All Your Powers Combined: In the remake during her final form she borrows attacks from all of the other Guardians.
- Ancient Astronauts: It's unknown where the Mother came from, just that she fell from the sky long ago.
- And I Must Scream: Has been trapped on Earth unable to move for millions of years.
- Background Boss: The fight against her head.
- Barrier Change Boss: In the original version four of The Mother's five forms are vulnerable to only one weapon.
- Bloody Tears: One of her forms cries these.
- Kill It with Fire: The tears create a wave of flames when they hit the ground.
- Bowdlerization: The English version of the remake calls her "Great Mother" rather than "Holy Mother." The remake also changes her third form to look like a skeleton rather than the Virgin Mary.
- Energy Beings: Her soul's first form is definitely this. She turns into it again to fight you in her final form.
- Fetus Terrible: Her implied true form, judging the background during the final form fight.
- Alternatively implied to be the ninth child, the one that would replace humanity.
- Guide Dang It!: Decipher the tablets or else good luck winning the battle against her Mother Ocean form. Mercifully averted in the remake.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Mother's laser attack borrowed from Viy in the remake is thrown like one.
- Kill It with Fire/Fireballs: Mother's attacks borrowed from Amphisbaena, Ellmac, and Bahamut in the remake.
- Leitmotif: "Last Battle?" (Head)note ; "Good Night Mom" (Soul)note
- Load-Bearing Boss: Justified since the ruins of La-Mulana are the Mother's body.
- Marathon Boss: Especially in hard mode.
- Mercy Kill: Because she can't be returned to the heavens as per her wish, the only other option is to forcibly put her to rest.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: She personally created nearly everything you run into, and it seems like if humans imagined it at all—not merely myth and folklore, but as Viy, the Snouters, and Backbeard attest, even recent literature and pop entertainment— there's some sort of template within her that the idea ultimately emanated from.
- Nerf: While most bosses were buffed in the remake as compensation for the game's easier puzzles, Mother is notable in that she is overall weaker than in her freeware incarnation. All of her forms now take damage from any weapon rather than a specific weapon for each form, and her fourth form no longer requires hitting her parts in a very specific order, much less one that's only alluded to in a tablet in a completely irrelevant location.
- One Bad Mother: A powerful creator goddess who has the nasty tendency to off any of her offspring-races that fail to return her to the sky. The name fits.
- One-Winged Angel: Her soul has four forms and her head can be counted as a fifth.
- Resurrective Immortality: The Mother is immediately reborn if she dies, so the player must give her soul a physical form and kill that. And even that doesn't stick. See the 9th Child below.
- Self-Made Orphan: You kill the creator of all sentinent life, after all...
- Sequential Boss: Five distinct phases in all.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Heavily implied.
- Tragic Dream: She wishes to return to the sky, even though nobody she creates and asks with aiding her is able to do so.
- You Have Failed Me: Constantly happens whenever she comes to the conclusion that the current sapient race is unwilling and/or unable to send her back. It's implied that she does this in part because otherwise there won't be room and/or materials for the new attempt at creating rescuers. One wonders what would happen if she were somehow convinced that she can't get back in the first place...
He is found in the Hell Temple, a big blue blob with eyes closed and a tongue sticking out that guards the last rooms.
- Ascended Extra: In the WiiWare version The Boss uses an unused music that was never used in the original game, Good Morning Mom.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: He guards "The Treasure That Must Not Be Seen." It should probably stay unseen.
- Author Avatar: He looks like the avatar that Naramura typically has.
- Bonus Boss
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Boss is the boss of Hell Temple
- Flunky Boss: He spawns the smaller, bomb-throwing blobs seen throughout Hell Temple.
- King Mook
- Leitmotif: "THE BOSS" (Also known as "Good Morning Mom")
Unmarked Spoilers for La-Mulana 2
The 9th Child
She is a copy of the Mother's soul, having transferred herself into a new body upon defeat; the body of Eg-Lana. She is the final boss of La-Mulana 2.
- All Your Powers Combined: Her final form uses attacks from the previous nine Guardians.
- Crazy-Prepared: The Mother planned for her own death with the creation of Eg-Lana, a copy of the Mother's body. After the Mother was killed, a copy of her mind was created and placed in Eg-Lana.
- Guide Dang It!: You have to use a mantra combination to make one of her forms vulnerable. And you have to finish her using the beherit.
- Leitmotif: "9th Child"
- Load-Bearing Boss: Just like last time, destroying her causes Eg-Lana to collapse. It's actually downplayed this time, though, since you don't have a time limit to escape.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Unlike the Mother, Eg-Lana was created on Earth and has no desire to return to space. All that it has gained from the Mother's mind is hatred and a desire for destruction.
- One Bad Mother: Even worse than the Mother, actually, since she isn't even trying to get back to space and only wants death and destruction.
- Sequential Boss: She has four forms in total.