Created by Konami, Arumana (or Almana) no Kiseki (lit: "Miracle of Arumana/Almana") is a side-scrolling platformer that takes the mold of Konami's previous hit Castlevania and attempts to do something new with it. Specifically, Konami took their Arcade game Roc 'N Rope's central feature of an extendable grappling hook and uses it as a way for an explorer named Kaito to get around ruins. The grappling hook mechanic would find later greater success in Capcom's Bionic Commando.
Similarities to Indiana Jones
Besides Kaito's overall ensemble of a leather jacket and fedora, the game also takes place in the sort of trap-filled tombs and caves typical of the Indiana Jones movies. The opening cut-scene depicts a scene not unlike that of the Indian village Mayapore and its Sankara Stone shrine from The Temple of Doom, which was released in theaters three years prior to the development of this game. The box art is also reminiscent of Drew Struzan's movie posters for the original Indiana Jones trilogy.
Using his grappling hook and several different weapons with finite ammo, the fedora-sporting protagonist must make his way through a series of temples, avoiding enemies and traps along the way.
Kaito can collect various weapons from defeated enemies, with stronger weapons dropping less frequently and usually only on later levels. All weapons, including the basic knife, have finite supplies which need to be constantly replenished. Kaito's only infinitely-stocked item is his grapple hook.
- Knife: The knife is Kaito's weakest weapon and travels horizontally until it hits something.
- Bomb: Highly damaging, but falls in an arc. Kaito must also use the B button twice while using it - one to throw it and one to detonate.
- Gun: The gun is a more powerful version of the knife. Its bullets also move faster. However, the bullet must hit something or leave the screen before another can be fired, leaving Kaito defenseless.
- Bola: A pair of metal balls connected with a rope, the bola are strong weapons which are fired at an upward arc, making them ideal for airborne enemies and taller enemies, like bosses.
- Crystal: A crystal is a weak weapon that hits everything on the screen, like a smart bomb. Though effective when swarmed with weak enemies, it's less effective on bosses (unless that boss is otherwise difficult to hit).
- Mines: Large spiky balls that work like bombs, though have a secondary use of destroying weak walls. This occasionally unlocks valuable items and new pathways.
- Pendant: Grants Kaito an extra hit point. They become far less rare in later levels.
- Meat: Recovers all of Kaito's health. Become more rare in later levels.
- 1-Up: A fedora with "1-up" above it. Grants Kaito an extra life.