The Mythology Behind La Mulana’s Bosses #5: Viy

One of the most memorable challenges in La Mulana is the Contra-esque fight against the guardian of the Inferno Cavern. Eye lasers and shotgun projectiles turn this into a careful war of attrition against an encroaching tentacled floor. Today I’m exposing the background of the master of the pit: Viy.

Viy:

I see it—coming here—hell-wind—titan blur—black wings—Yog-Sothoth save me—the three-lobed burning eye…

– The Haunter of the Dark by H. P. Lovecraft.

Viy

Viy in La Mulana

Image Source: The La Mulana Remake Wiki

Viy is the most modern deity among all of the guardians. He’s La Mulana’s token member of a pantheon born from the cosmic horror fad in fiction from the early nineteenth and twentieth century. Viy is a pretty straightforward interpretation of a demon called Viy, from a story called Viy, from a book called Mirgorod which was published in 1835 A.D.

The quickest way I can sum up Viy, the story by Nikolai Gogol, is that it’s basically The Exorcist except that the there’s a magical piggyback ride at the beginning and the big exorcism in the story is held in a ruined church instead of a bedroom. When Viy gets summoned at the end, though, he makes Pazuzu look like a white chocolate creampuff.

Wedge_viy

Image Source: The La Mulana Remake Wiki

Viy, the god from the story of the same name, is described as having an iron face which comes out of the floor of the church, an eye which must be opened by a flock of lesser demons, and a gaze which destroys the protagonist by withering his resolve. Viy in La Mulana has all of this going on to the absolute letter.

Viy is without a doubt the eponymous entity from a Russian tale of cosmic horror. I offer an extra bravo to the design team: It is one of the most faithful representations of an esoteric, folkloric beast I’ve ever seen in a video game. The only discrepancy is that the Viy in La Mulana has tentacles. I guess all cosmic horror gods need tentacles to be taken seriously nowadays.