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  • Annoying Video Game Helper: Weapon Fairies constantly use Lemeza's equipped sub-weapon... in a place where attacking certain spots causes Lemeza to be hit with lightning.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The boss of Hell Temple, The Boss. Not that he's particularly easy, but Hell Temple is so nightmarishly hard that this guy's a cakewalk in comparison.
  • Awesome Music: Pretty much the entire damned soundtrack. Made even nicer is that nearly every track has a chip-tune (SSCC option), MIDI (SC88 option), or the arranged soundtrack by GR3 Project. Chances are you'll find at least one version of each song you'll like.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Or in this case, Fan Disservice. The game, particularly the original 8-bit version, is well-known for the shot of Lemeza sensually posing in a revealing swimsuit at the end of Hell Temple, particularly amongst those who were exposed to the game through DeceasedCrab.
  • Better as a Let's Play: While the game and its sequel are relatively fair games, with signposted deathtraps and challenging-but-not-impossible bosses, many of their puzzles are deeply obtuse and founded in unfamiliar mythology. Since these puzzles are not optional and make up the majority of the game's story, a playthrough with someone talking you through the mental gymnastics can end up a better experience.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The encounter with Yomar is...strange, to say the least.
    • In the original, The Treasure that Must Not Be Seen. You get one image related to it and it is never shown or referenced again. The remake changes this, since it now affects Lemeza's paper doll, and can be given to someone else.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Shorn swiping the Treasure of La-Mulana from his son Lemeza, after the credits and after Lemeza did his victory march.
    • Dracuets rewarding you with the rather buff Lemeza in a Skimpy Swimsuit at the end of the sadistically difficult Hell Temple generates all manners of reactions from players, from rage to laughter to "oh my" to some combination of the three at the same time.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Especially early in the game, where anything that can knock you into water or lava is a Demonic Spider. In the second game, enemies that knock you into spikes also qualify, since Mercy Invincibility no longer applies to spikes.
    • Erratically moving Podoboo ripoffs in the Inferno Cavern, I'm looking at you.
    • The Water Leaper (AKA Surprise Fish) from the Spring in the Sky is probably another candidate, considering that its spawn points are tough to see and it only jumps out at you when you're nearby. If it hits you, there's a good chance you'll end up in the water.
    • Tougens are large, red, turtle-like creatures that fire energy balls at you when they face you. They're impossible to avoid damage from, let alone kill, until you get the Silver Shield. They always seem to be inconveniently found in tight spots where they can't be jumped over.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Tiamat may be a horrifically powerful half-snake Reality Warper with eleven monstrous children, but man, she is hot. Also Girtablilu, the naked scorpion-woman in the Dimensional Corridor.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Catball" for Cait Sidhe, a cat-like enemy that rides on its ball, and the notorious "Surprise Fish" for Water Leapers, which are fish that jump out of waterfalls unexpectedly.
    • "Jackrabbit" for the Nuckelavee mid-boss in the Spring in the Sky.
  • Fridge Horror: Buer is considered to be a good-hearted, healer demon of herbalism. He was meant to help humans even though he was the president of a legion of minor demons. Because of this, it can be safely assumed that Buer's place in the ruins was to prevent those who were unprepared from entering into the most deadly area of the ruins.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: If the number of comments on the official blog are any indication, the game has larger English-speaking and Spanish-speaking fanbases than it has Japanese-speaking. And the PC original is a tribute to the MSX, whose fanbase was mainly centered in Japan, though the platform itself also sold well in parts of Europe and South America.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Pretty much everything. Of course, the bats themselves are particularly annoying, especially when they blend in with the background. Which they do much more often than you'd think, as a surprising number of areas in the game have blue backgrounds, including Hell Temple. This may have been deliberate. But almost everything eventually becomes a goddamned bat.
    • The Water Is Blue; the bats are blue; the bats can fly underwater. ARGH!
  • Goddamned Boss: Several minibosses have the tendency to knock the player off the screen, causing to restart the battle. Others are just hard to hit.
    • Tiamat, who among other things spawns Goddamned Bats - which don't even give any experience for healing. She's only saved from That One Boss status (even by La-Mulana standards) by there being an easy (by the aforementioned standards) strategy to beat her.
    • Bahamut in the original version also qualifies, as half the time when he jumps out of the water he will use an attack that is 100% unavoidable if you don't jump into the water, which hurts you whether you have the Scalesphere or not. Even if you come prepared with a lot of life jewels and the body armor, he can still be a pain in the ass to fight. (The fight was drastically overhauled in the remake to the point where falling into the water is no longer possible.)
      • The problem with Bahamut isn't so much the monster itself as that boat is damn hard to control. Once you get the hang of the boat, Bahamut is fairly simple.
    • Several of the minibosses in the Dimensional Corridor could count. One in particular is Dragon, who is an integral element in That One Puzzle, and renders the puzzle nigh-unsolvable if he's killed.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In the Endless Corridor it's possible to jump through the ceiling of the main floor and appear in the bottom floor. This allows players to bypass the floor with all the block puzzles. Only in the 8-bit version, though.
    • It was possible in the remake to glitch through a wall in the Tower of the Goddess to enter the scale room without unlocking it. This has been fixed since version 1.5.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Xelpud's fondness for bat curry may seem less funny after the COVID-19 pandemic with the rumors it came from bats.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The original 8-bit game is a tribute to Konami's MSX games, with the game itself in particular being a Spiritual Successor to Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious. Come 2018, and Konami is now the publisher for the console ports of La-Mulana 2.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • La-Mulana being a Windows game made as a tribute to MSX games can be considered a "full-circle" situation, given the Windows itself as an operating system is a Spiritual Successor to MSX.
    • Consider Xelpud's comments about the NES. Now La-Mulana is released on its distant descendant, the Wii.
    • Lemeza is an Expy of Indiana Jones. One of the items that must be collected: a crystal skull.
    • The PC version of the remake was released on a Friday the 13th.
    • When DeceasedCrab was having some trouble with the 2nd room in Hell Temple in the original version, he was saying something about how there's a room about putting weights at the 5:06 mark. In the remake the 2nd room was replaced with tons of enemies and weight dais to further advance in the room.
      Deceased Crab: Maybe I'll finally find a use for those 96 weights I have. I guess so! Maybe they'll have a room where I have to use 100 weights somewhere. Here, see all those things? Put weights on all of these pedestals. Just what I've come to expect.
    • Xelpud jokes in the remake that even if the game is popular there will never be a sequel. He's wrong.
    • One of Xelpud's lines has him talking about making La-Mulana a tourist attraction, getting rich, and having a harem of women. Come the sequel, he's done exactly this.
    • One of the merchants says "Adventure Time, eh?"
  • I Am Not Shazam: The Player Character is called Lemeza Kosugi, not La-Mulana (or Indiana Jones, for that matter). La-Mulana is the ruins he's exploring.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: This game does not hold back at all; there's lots of instant death traps, difficult platforming, and hordes of cheap and brutal monsters ready to mop the floor with you. The hardest parts though are perhaps not the levels and enemies, but the utterly diabolical puzzles. They are frequently obtuse and you are given next to no hints, making even those who can handle the games' monstrous physical challenges tear out their hair and give up. The remake balances out the difficulty and gives you a plethora of items to make the game easier, though even then a lot of people just canít get used to the game and the puzzles unfortunately remain just as confusing.
  • It Was His Sled:
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The shell horn upon solving a puzzle. Especially satisfying since so many are massive Guide Dang Its.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The first time you get struck by a Bolt of Divine Retribution, you'll quickly realize that Try Everything is a very, very bad idea. Now, what if you're stuck? Do you whip that nearby conspicuous object? Will it solve a puzzle or will you just get shocked for it? Or worse, lose something for the rest of the game?
  • Scrappy Weapon: The keyblade until you've chanted the eight mantras in the remake, where it then becomes an Infinity +1 Sword.
  • Signature Scene: Lemeza happily wearing the Skimpy Swimsuit at the end of the original version's Hell Temple.
  • Spiritual Successor: The game was made by fans of the relatively little-known Konami MSX game Knightmare II: Maze of Galious. In the manual, they explain modern games just aren't thrilling enough. Not only that, but there is a hidden area based off of it in the original.
  • Squick: Regardless of whether you find Lemeza and Mulbruk attractive or repulsive in the skimpy swimsuit, it's Dracuet who made the suit for Mulbruk, who is his daughter.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Several references to "bat curry" are made in the remake. Furthermore in the remake, the Scripture item will render you immune to bats.
  • That One Achievement: Many of the Steam version's achievements can count:
    • Any achievement involving beating Hell Temple, naturally. Includes "The Masochist King" (beating Hell Temple in hard mode) and "This isn't even my final form!" (beating Hell Temple without the Fairy Vest).
    • A few require obliterating all the Guardians (all the area bosses + Mother) under certain conditions. "Great 8th Child" requires beating them all on Hard mode. Even harder is "All I need is one arm," where you beat all the bosses without using sub-weapons. This includes bosses like Bahamut, Viy, and Palenque, all of whom their primary strategies necessitate spamming sub-weapons unless you want to suffer massive Collision Damage. Even more insane is "All I need is one finger!" which involves killing all bosses on Hard mode without using any sub-weapons. Have fun!
    • "Let's Go Together" requires every possible cast member to appear and escape La-Mulana with you after beating the game. Each character appears typically under the conditions of another achievement, but getting all the requirements for all of them is rather cumbersome, which includes such tasks as:
      • Getting all items, including maps, software, and Sacred Orbs
      • Summoning fairies from every fairy point
      • Using a Key Fairy everywhere you can
      • Finding every hidden coin chest
      • Finding and talking to all three developers
      • Purchasing the Shell Horn or guild.exe from Mr. Fishman
      • Obliterating all the guardians on hard mode
      • Listening to all of Elder Xelpud's insane ramblings via eMail format (which requires wandering around the ruins for about an hour between beating the last guardian and fighting the Mother, as well as farming 100 bats in the Gate of Guidance)
      • Doing all this in under ten hours
      • Fortunately, the achievement doesn't require Dracuets to show up, which requires finding and beating Hell Temple.
    • ...because there are two other achievements which respectively require doing all this with Lemeza wearing the skimpy bathsuit, and while Mulbruk is wearing the skimpy bathsuit.
    • "Xelpud's Best Friend" and "Mulbruk Can Be Yours," which require listening to every piece of dialogue Elder Xelpud and Mulbruk have to say. Judging by the steam guide for these achievements, neither of these are easy to obtain, as much of their dialogue can easily become permanently lost. Of course, you also need to beat Hell Temple to get them both.
  • That One Attack: Excluding one-hit kills, here are a few:
    • Spikes. The damage calculates your maximum HP. In some areas where there are a bunch of easy enemies, jumping into a spike by accident will take around 1/5th of your health.
    • Tiamat's Laser Beams in the La-Mualan remake. This will take out over 160 HP. many would use traps to get hit by it and use its invincibility frames just to bypass Tiamat's lasers.
  • That One Boss:
    • Several. The final boss counts, given that you have to fight a five-form boss, with a final dungeon beforehand, with said dungeon also including a boss of its own. In addition, almost every boss has a weakness to a particular weapon or subweapon; if you haven't got said item yet, it's almost guaranteed to be a tough fight.
    • Tiamat is a nightmarish fight. As you're attacking the symbols around the room, she'll spawn Goddamned Bats, as well as whipping you with her tail (which is nigh-unavoidable and knocks off a lot of health) or attack with Prehensile Hair (which is also difficult to dodge, but at least is telegraphed well in advance). Without the Castlevania/Mahjong Wizard ROM combo or all the Life Jewels, it's almost unbeatable. She's much easier in the remake, however, as she has a completely different method of fighting and you don't have to go through ridiculous lengths just to hit her.
    • Bahamut also proves to be a huge Jerkass of a boss. If he decides you're going into the water, you're going into the water, and it's made all the worse when you consider the water hurts you whether you have the Scalesphere or not and it can be very difficult to get back onto your little boat at times. Half the fight is just trying not to get wet. He's a bit easier in the remake, as there's no risk of falling in water, but still a challenge.
    • Viy presents a challenge of great difficulty. The constantly-scrolling screen, eye beams, and four tentacles shooting bullets at you makes his fight a nightmare. It's tweaked in the remake, with the tentacles being longer (thus easier to hit) and not shooting bullets anymore, but Viy launches his attacks with less warning in advance, and hitting his eye no longer flinches him out of his current attack. And coming into direct contact with his body saps your HP fast, ignoring any Mercy Invincibility you may get from his other attacks.
    • Palenque spams attacks everywhere and is difficult to go through the spaces in the pillars in time. If you hit him, you lose almost half your health. In addition, he's got a tiny hitbox, and being an Unexpected Shmup Level, that makes things...difficult. And if you neglect to hit him back into his vessel during his last-ditch attack, GAME OVER.
      • Palenque becomes a nightmare for players trying for the no sub-weapons achievements. Positioning Lemeza so he can hit Palenque while not taking damage from his ship or his body (the latter drains Lemeza's health constantly) is tricky enough, but of course Palenque keeps shifting vertically, forcing the player to try to line up again.
    • Sakit is the second boss in the game, and many new players find him to be a brick wall of a boss. For starters, he's immune to subweapons (except the extremely expensive pistol) and only capable of being hit at certain times (namely, after his Rocket Punch). His other attacks can be quite hard to dodge and are lethal if you don't have a few Life Jewels. If you found the knife before taking him on, he's a reasonable challenge, but the starter whip is so slow and weak you'll be chipping away at his health for a while if you have only it.
      • The remake makes him a bit easier. Not only can Lemeza now destroy the rocks the fall from the ceiling, midway through the fight Sakit becomes vulnerable to sub-weapons. Plus a fully-loaded pistol is just 100 gold for players who still have trouble.
    • Baphomet, in the original game, had relatively feeble attacks for a late-game boss and could be taken out easily with a few bombs, or by standing on the platform above her and just chucking spears. The first thing she does in the remake? Smash the platform above her head, forcing you to fight her from the sides. And not only do her attacks cover a lot more of the screen (the lighning bolts in particular) this time, halfway through the fight she stops sitting around and makes a One-Winged Angel transformation.
  • That One Level:
    • Tower of the Goddess. Make one slip when climbing the tower, and get sent back to the bottom. Just adding a safety guard at the bottom left/right corners would help a lot.
    • The Gate of Confusion/Illusion, since, as its name implies, its whole theme is having rather obtuse puzzles. The dark, extremely ugly color palette and the creepy music doesn't help.
    • Chamber of Birth gains some ire as well, as some feel it has puzzles comparable to Confusion Gate, only without being as honest about it. But if there's one nightmare in it is the bottomless pit, because there's always ONE enemy who might "accidentally" knock you into it and you'll fall forever and ever until you Grail out of there. Didn't pick the Grail or playing a randomizer? Hope you saved recently!
  • That One Puzzle: Several qualify. The mantras, for one thing.
    • The puzzle on the second level of the Infinite Corridor. Not only does the lantern arrangement require you to know the La-Mulana numbering system (which is only vaguely hinted at in game; there's no indication anywhere those symbols are anything other than eye candy), but even if you know the answer (2012, it's in the manual), the game's not guaranteed to acknowledge it. You can solve the puzzle all you want, but the third level will only open up when the game feels like it.
      • It's not much easier in the remake: You now have to pass through 4 lanterns in ascending order. The first two can be done by looking at the seals you have, but the last two are hinted by Mulbruk which sometimes doesn't show. Worse still, people assume you need all of the lanterns, which is not the case. On the plus side, at least it acknowledges the solution without fail, and any incorrect lanterns in-between the actual answer are ignored.
    • The confusion gate puzzle where you have to destroy all five pots at once. Possible, but if you miss, you need to wait 3 minutes for the lamp to recharge. This is a little easier in the remake since you can recharge the lamp in the nearby Tower of Ruin.
      • Not only does the remake let you recharge the Lamp more quickly, but you can also use the Bracelet to destroy the pots in 1 hit (in the original each pot took 2 hits whether Lemeza had the Bracelet or not).
    • Almost every late-game puzzle can be this if you don't have certain items. Doing the block puzzles in the Endless Corridor without the glove is nightmarish — it doesn't make the puzzle any harder, just slower. Much slower.
    • Waiting for that ***ing lizard to walk in front of the light. This is also easier in the remake as the lizards seem predisposed to chasing Lemeza, making it easier to bait towards the light.
    • That jumping puzzle for the Life Jewel in the Dimensional Corridor. While the jump puzzle itself is a little easier in the remake, actually getting to that room to do it is now much harder.
    • Controlling the Heavens in the original. It has you alter three pillars so that they show the same icon, with a chart in the background to show you the order they go in. While the pillars change what's on each of them at a different value, it seems easy, right? Unfortunately, it's not in the slightest, as there's no indication as to what you have to change them to, there's no chime for completing the numerous steps of puzzle, and even worse, you need to exit the room, go to a specific (nearby, thankfully) part of the map between each step, and there is nothing telling you this. Despite being in the Mausoleum of the Giants, you're unlikely to encounter anyone who solved it through anything but brute force.
  • Woolseyism:
    • There is no MSX game with the name Castlevania. The game was released in Europe (though not North America) under the name Vampire Killer, but translator Ian Kelley calls it Castlevania in-game because it's a more recognizable name. Uranai Sensation got renamed to Diviner Sensation to make more sense to non-Japanese speakers.
    • Some of the items in the remake's official English translation have different names. For instance, the Flywheel has become the "Cog of the Soul", presumably because a flywheel being used to create life seems a bit strange. The Wedge is also now called the "Djed Pillar", which is appropriate because it basically is one in appearance.
    • The official Spanish translation adds lots of extra text not included in the English version. This is justified, as unlike many non-English translations from Japanese games, the Spanish translation was translated from the original Japanese one. The only problem here is most of the extra text includes profanity not implied in either English or even in the original Japanese versions.

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