I’ve always been a huge fan of the classic adventure. Whether it be Raiders of the Lost Ark or an entry in the King’s Quest series, I am confident in my enjoyment. So when I heard that La Mulana EX was receiving a physical release, I swung into action.
I first discovered La Mulana in 2009, while combing the strata of YouTube for a then-new style of video I had unearthed: the let’s play. I was familiar with Deceased Crab from his other works, but this game took my breath away. The music, the atmosphere, the secrets. Not since the ancient Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade adventure game from LucasArts has such a setting grabbed my attention.
La Mulana is a labyrinthine puzzle platformer that will shake your intellect and wit to its core. Don’t let its cutesy protagonist, the intrepid archaeologist and treasure hunter, Lemeza Kosugi, fool you. This game is devious. Traps, multi-screen puzzles, and spine-shaking bosses all await you in the depths of La Mulana. But have no fear, intrepid explorer! The game is not totally heartless. You will find a trove of tools and weapons to help you on your long journey, each important in its own way.
I won’t say this game is hard, because it is most certainly not, at least in the way “hard” has come to be used in the recent era of Dark Souls. It’s quite easy to stay alive once you’ve passed the first portion of the game and powered up Lemeza a few levels. I would posit this game is more “challenging,” much like Super Metroid. It’s not always clear what your next move is, but that’s part of the fun. Pure exploration, unlocking new areas of the underground ruins, and you get a real sense of accomplishment as you progress through the game’s varied mysteries.
For this pairing, I selected the 2015 remake, La Mulana EX. I was fortunate enough to snag the collector’s edition released by Limited Run Games last year, that includes several extra goodies. The EX version is the only version of the game that received release in physical media (always my preference). It does feature some changes from the original game, mostly due to copyright issues (the in-game computer was initially named “MSX,” for instance), however, I believe it’s the most accessible version of the game out there. It should be noted that this game, physical or download, is compatible with both the Vita and PSTV, and is also available on Steam.
When playing this game, I think of discovery. And when I think about discovery in regards to beer, that leads me to the first sour beer I ever tried, Rosetta by Brewery Ommegang. Like the stone you discover in-game, this beer will open up a new language of beer for you, as it did for me: the sour ale.
Rosetta is refreshingly crisp, with a prominent and pleasant sour cherry flavor, and a smooth finish. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any number of savory snacks. It’s my go-to beer for popcorn with a movie (Indy, of course) on a chill winter evening. Rosetta provides a great foray into sour beers with its simplicity, silkiness, and distinct flavor profile. Brewery Ommegang appeared on my map with this brew, and I’ve been delving into their catalog ever since.
If you’re like me, and a true intellectual adventurer at heart, slap on your virtual fedora, pour yourself a Rosetta, and carefully, cautiously enter into the seemingly endless reaches of La Mulana. Adventure awaits!