The Bayou is a location in Rayman 2. It follows the Marshes of Awakening in all versions of the game except for Rayman Revolution, in which it directly follows the Fairy's Glade, and the Game Boy Colour version of the game, Rayman 2 Forever, in which the level is actually merged with the Marshes of Awakening. This is where the first of a few warships is sent by Razorbeard to pursue Rayman through the swamps.
The level begins with a cinematic involving a conversation between Admiral Razorbeard and the Spyglass Pirate. The Spyglass Pirate informs Razorbeard that Rayman has arrived at the swamp. Admiral Razorbeard chomps down on a Yellow Lum lowering the Yellow Lum maximum to 999. He then orders Rayman to be stopped. The scene ends with warships dropping down from the Buccaneer.
Rayman arrives at the bayou. As he enters, a Warship descends from the sky and prepares to bombard Rayman. Rayman, unable to swim through the green swampy waters, hops aboard a barrel floating in the water. The barrel begins to float down the river at the same time that the warship begins releasing helicopter bombs.
Shooting the bombs to avoid their explosions, Rayman arrives at a small bit of bare land. To the left is an old branch with a cage, collecting the two Red Lums inside. From here he hops aboard another barrel, and floats down more of the river until he reaches the bottom of a canyon. The warship is unable to reach him here and leaves. When Rayman goes to the top of the canyon, he sees a switch, and hits it. Rayman hops on the bridges and he goes into a cave. There a Robo-Pirate sleeps.
After doing battle with this Robo-Pirate, Rayman finds himself swinging onto another barrel via a Purple Lum. However, the waterfall he begins floating towards is haunted by Zombie Chickens, which rise from the murk and attack. Beyond the phantoms, Rayman leaps onto a log and oversees another warship flying above the bayou. Rayman flutters down to a wooden bridge, but the warship immediately fires a cannonball. Rayman dodges the cannonball quickly, but the bridge plummets into the water. Rayman rushes across bridge after bridge, and finally delves into a small cave.
Accessing the Walk of Life
At the very beginning of the first area, Rayman can choose to turn left and find the entrance to the Walk of Life, which is one of two portals in the game that are surrounded by a circle of pillars with Ly the Fairy's face carved on each. When Rayman goes near this, an image of Ly will appear in the middle, and grant access to the Walk, depending on whether 60 Yellow Lums are gathered. The Walk can then be accessed through the Hall of Doors. While this is optional in terms of gaining full health upon finishing the race, the Walk must be visited at least once in order to obtain the 50 Yellow Lums scattered within it.
Following more trials evading warships on rickety bridges, Rayman arrives at the next segment of the bayou. Rayman must scale the sides of giant trees while dodging kegs being rolled into the river. At the end of the trail is a great cliff towering over the swamp. In the distance stands a demonic tree with fiery eyes and a grand mouth. By pressing a switch, a bridge extends allowing Rayman the distance he needs to reach a Purple Lum.
The Lum sends him swinging into the tree's mouth, only to lead to an encounter with the invincible Ape Pirate. Rayman must either evade the Ape Pirate or send it to its doom, but either way he arrives at a booby trap-filled corridor. By pressing a time switch, Rayman is able to deactivate the laser-barred exit and evade the pendulums blocking the way.
At the end of the corridor, Rayman escapes out of the tree and arrives at a pipe of sorts. Here he releases a Teensie and ends the level.
This level's layout is identical to the original versions except for some mosquitoes, frogs and more piranhas dotted around the landscape. The Walk of Life can be accessed as in the original version and can later be accessed again through the Isle of Doors.
In the cutscene before the mission starts, the scene where Razorbeard ate a Yellow Lum was changed to him eating a Red Lum, because the PS1 version has only 800 lums and the hidden 1000th Yellow Lum present in all other versions wasn't included (the Lum was included in the area with 3 switches in other versions but this section was removed completely in the PS1 version).
The stone circle to the left of the entrance portal was also removed as it can be directly accessed from the Hall of Doors (which has no lum requirement).
The rest of the level remains the same except for some more Robo-Pirates.
PlayStation 2 version
As Rayman walks out from the cave in Phase 2, he finds himself at a clearing. On the side of a cliff is a prison similar to Ly's from the Fairy Glade. However, this time it holds a Moskito look-alike, Bzzit. Bzzit warns Rayman of an ambush, and soon Robo-Pirates parachute down to attack. Rayman fights them off, but is quickly met with a new challenge. A Yellow Henchman 800 rises from the ground and begins firing its energy projectiles at Rayman. This is the strongest Robo-Pirate Rayman has fought so far in the game. Once he defeats it, the forcefield is turned off, and Bzzit cheers for him upon his rescue, then tells Rayman to meet him at the Pier in the Minisaurus Plain. Rayman nods, and pushes onwards.
In Revolution, it is impossible to acquire all of the Bayou's Yellow Lums on the first visit. The cliff overlooking the demon tree holds a dry plant bulb. After completing the Pirate Mines, Rayman may use the Rain Dance to revitalise the bulb so that it grows into a large plant, which can be used as a platform to access the remaining Yellow Lums, which are otherwise inaccessible.