- This article is about the first Rayman game. For main character of the series, see Rayman.
|Published by||Ubi Soft Entertainment|
|Developed by||Ubi Soft Montpellier|
|Designed by||Michel Ancel and Serge Hascoët with Bruno Bouvret, Sacha Gentilhomme, Michael Guez, Christophe Thibaut|
|Programmed by||Vincent Greco, Yann Le Tensorer, Daniel Palix|
|Art by||Alexandra Ancel (characters) |
Eric Pelatan, Sylvaine Jenny (backgrounds)
|Soundtrack by||Rémi Gazel with Nathalie Drouet, Frédéric Louvre (?), Frédéric Prados, Olaf Zalcman|
1st September, 1995
|Gameplay mode||Single player|
|Platforms||Atari Jaguar, Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, MS-DOS (Windows), Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DSi, Sony PlayStation Portable (PlayStation Network), Sony PlayStation 3, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, Pocket PC, Nokia 9210|
|Ratings||3+ (ELSPA), 3+ (PEGI), E (ESRB)|
|Distribution media||CD-ROM, cartridge, digital download|
Rayman, more commonly known as Rayman 1, is the first game in the Rayman series and features the debut of the titular character. The game was first released in 1995 on the Atari Jaguar, Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and on MS-DOS. A Game Boy Color adaptation was released in 2000, followed by a Game Boy Advance version which was released in 2001, under the name Rayman Advance. In 2008, the game was released on the PlayStation Network as a downloadable PSOne Classic, playable on Sony PlayStation 3 and Sony PlayStation Portable. In December 2009, the game was released as a DSiWare title for the Nintendo DSi.
The entire game takes place in the valley, a diverse and surreal location somewhere in the Glade of Dreams. Prior to the beginning of the game, all is harmonious; a mystical pink orb known as the Great Protoon provides peace and balance to the world. However, this cannot last – one day, the evil Mr Dark steals the Great Protoon and defeats its guardian, Betilla the Fairy. The natural balance of the world is disrupted; freaks and hostile characters begin to appear. The Electoons, small friendly creatures which gravitated around the Great Protoon, are scattered across the valley and imprisoned in cages by Mr Dark's minions. A benevolent character known as the Magician turns to the heroic Rayman for help. The Magician gives Rayman these tasks: free the Electoons from their cages, and recover the Great Protoon from Mr Dark. Only then will the balance of the world be restored. The valley contains six distinct worlds, and Rayman must pass through each of them in order to fulfil his objectives and reach his ultimate goal.
Note that, for the sake of simplicity, the following description assumes that the player chooses to pass through each world one after the other in the correct order. Rayman's path is a branching one; at several points in the game, the player is offered a choice between two new levels, though it will be necessary to backtrack in order to free Electoons and gain certain powers if the player chooses to skip ahead.
The first world is of the game the Dream Forest, a lush jungle. Rayman's journey begins in a region known as Pink Plant Woods. This is where Betilla the Fairy created him at the beginning of Rayman Origins, though it is not clear if he is aware of this. On his way through these woods, he encounters Betilla for the first time in the game; she grants him the telescopic fist ability, which takes advantage of his detached hands and allows him to throw them, defeating enemies or smashing cages. Rayman passes into Anguish Lagoon, where he encounters a mosquito who is later identified in Rayman Revolution as Bzzit. The two fight briefly, and Bzzit begins to cry when Rayman defeats him. Rayman takes pity on Bzzit and cheers him up; they become friends. Bzzit allows Rayman to ride on his back as he flies over the otherwise impassable waters of the lagoon. Betilla appears again and gives Rayman another power: the ability to hang onto ledges, which helps him to avoid falls and lets him climb onto certain platforms. Rayman then moves on to the Swamps of Forgetfulness, where he meets Tarayzan (a pastiche of Tarzan). Tarayzan has lost his loincloth and is hiding behind a shrub. Rayman returns it to him, and Tarayzan rewards him by giving him a magic seed. Suddenly the rain begins to flood the area, and Rayman must use the magic seed to grow nenuphars which he can climb to escape the flood. Next Rayman passes into Moskito's Nest, where he is chased by a mosquito called Moskito. As the main boss of the Dream Forest, Moskito is essentially a more powerful and unpleasant version of Bzzit. Eventually Rayman and Moskito have a climactic battle in the deepest part of the forest. After Rayman defeats him, Betilla appears to give him another power: the grappling fist ability, which enables him to swing from flying rings and cover large distances without touching the ground.
The second world of the game is Band Land, a landscape composed of music and musical instruments. The first region Rayman passes through is Bongo Hills, an area relatively close to the ground, and with many drum platforms. Next he reaches Allegro Presto, an airy location composed mainly of slippery sheet music. Here Betilla the Fairy grants him the helicopter power, which allows him to hover and glide by using his hair as a helicopter. He also encounters Mr Sax, a giant evil saxophone who is the boss of Band Land. Next Rayman makes his way through Gong Heights, a cloudy level in the sky inhabited by meditating monks. Finally he comes to Mr Sax's Hullaballoo, the lair of the boss he met earlier. This level plays like a combination of the previous three, with the characteristic elements of each. Rayman is chased by Mr Sax, and finally does battle with him in his lair, and defeats him. Mr Sax comes to his senses and begins to dance.
The third world of the game is the Blue Mountains, a cold mountain range. The first level is Twilight Gulch, where Rayman finds himself chased by Mr Stone, the gigantic stone man who is the boss of the Blue Mountains. The next area is the Hard Rocks, where no notable events occur. The final region in the Blue Mountains is Mr Stone's Peaks, where Mr Stone lives. When Rayman arrives, he meets a character known as the Musician, who lives in a hut in the mountains with his wife and child. The Musician's guitar has been crushed by a falling rock. Rayman uses his telescopic fist to carve a new guitar out of the rock, and the Musician rewards him by giving him a Super Helicopter potion; this temporary upgrade to Rayman's helicopter ability allows him to fly freely, which comes in useful in the next couple of areas. Finally Rayman reaches Mr Stone's lair and makes use of a nearby totem pole to defeat his enemy. With the totem pole's head lodged on his own, the jumbled Mr Stone reforms and begins to dance. Betilla appears and gives Rayman his final power: the ability to run. This replaces the ability to grimace (whose only purpose was scaring Livingstones).
The fourth world of the game is Picture City, a landscape composed of artwork and art supplies. The first level is Eraser Plains, where Rayman encounters Space Mama, the boss of Picture City. She battles him while wearing a Viking costume, on a stage made to look like the sea. Next Rayman passes through Pencil Pentathlon, where nothing notable occurs. The final level of Picture City is Space Mama's Crater, where Rayman and Space Mama have their final showdown. This time she wears a science-fiction costume while using sci-fi props as weapons, and the background is made to look like the surface of the moon. After the battle, Space Mama reforms and begins to dance (though this only happens in some versions of the game). Rayman then sees Mr Dark kidnap Betilla the Fairy.
The fifth world of the game is the Caves of Skops, a series of dark but colourful underground caverns. The first level here is Crystal Palace, where nothing noteworthy occurs. The next level is Eat at Joe's, where Rayman encounters Joe the Extra-Terrestrial, a friendly green alien who owns a seaside restaurant near the caves. Joe is depressed because he is not getting any business, as the neon sign above his restaurant is not functioning. Rayman decides to do what it takes to turn Joe's lights on again. With a firefly given to him by Joe to light his way, Rayman heads into the pitch-dark caves. After making his way through the darkest caverns, he eventually finds a plug which is falling out of its socket. Rayman punches it back into place, and Joe's entire electrical system is reactivated – including a network of wired flying saucers which Rayman rides back to the surface. When he has returned to Joe's restaurant, Rayman finds that the neon sign is lit, much to Joe's delight. The alien allows Rayman to use his buoys as platforms. When Rayman crosses the water, he finds himself in Mr Skops's Stalactites. Here he encounters Mr Skops, a gigantic, malevolent pink scorpion with one giant claw. Skops is not pleased when Rayman wakes him, and attacks while periodically retreating. Rayman chases Skops to his temple lair, where the two battle until Skops is defeated. Rayman sees Betilla the Fairy, now trapped by Mr Dark in a tiny glass sphere; she urges him to hurry. However, Rayman cannot move on to the next and final world until he has broken each of the one hundred and two Electoon cages scattered throughout the five previous worlds.
The sixth and final world of the game is Candy Château, a landscape composed of sweets and crockery. It contains only one level: Mr Dark's Dare. First Rayman slides across hills of icing on a frying pan. Next he is chased by Bad Rayman, an evil doppelgänger created by Mr Dark to shadow Rayman's every move; Rayman dies instantly if he touches him. Next Rayman makes his way through an area populated by various types of clowns. Here Mr Dark casts various spells on him to make his passage even more challenging; first he reverses the player's left–right controls, then he forces Rayman to run uncontrollably, and then he takes away Rayman's telescopic fist power, rendering him helpless. Finally Rayman confronts Mr Dark in the central room of his château, whose walls contain stained glass windows depicting the five previous bosses. First Mr Dark toys with Rayman by hanging his telescopic fist on a rope, and snatching it away whenever Rayman attempts to retrieve it. Then Mr Dark throws fireballs at Rayman, traps him between two pillars of fire and throws more fireballs at him in ways that make them increasingly difficult to avoid. Mr Dark tells Rayman that he is doomed and causes the pillars of fire to slowly move in on him, but a pair of Electoons suddenly fly into the room, take Rayman's telescopic fist from the rope and return it to him. Mr Dark seemingly vanishes, and a strange creature composed of body parts from Mr Stone and Mr Skops appears; their corresponding windows glow. It is not clear if this is an actual mixture of the two bosses, or a transformation of Mr Dark. When this enemy is defeated, two creatures composed of body parts from Moskito and Space Mama appear. When these are defeated, a final creature composed of body parts from Moskito, Mr Sax and Space Mama appears, and Rayman is temporarily shrunk to make the battle even more challenging. Once Rayman defeats this creature, the game is complete. In the Sega Saturn version, the stained glass windows shatter, revealing the night sky and the two moons characteristic of Rayman's world. The Magician congratulates Rayman on saving the world. The credits sequence shows the good characters going on holiday with the enemies and bosses, who are now reformed; it seems that none of them were truly evil except Mr Dark, who in most versions is nowhere to be seen. At the end of the credits, a final message appears: ‘See you soon – Rayman’, hinting at the sequel, Rayman 2: The Great Escape. However, in the Atari Jaguar version, the credits end with Mr Dark flying across the screen, confirming his escape, and the ‘See you soon’ message takes on a sinister quality, promising that Mr Dark will return – though the villain has yet to resurface in the main series. After the credits, if the player attempts to replay Mr Dark's Dare, a final epilogue image appears instead, showing Rayman together with all his friends; the Electoons have been freed, Mr Dark has been defeated (for now), Betilla the Fairy has been rescued and the Great Protoon has been recovered and returned to its rightful place. The balance of the Glade of Dreams has been restored.
Main article: Rayman (early production)
In the years since the game's release, much information regarding the early development of the game has been revealed, mainly through beta versions leaked to the public and Rayman Designer hacking. An interview also revealed that Rayman had had his limbs removed due to technical limitations.
Two Atari Jaguar beta versions have become available on the Internet – an early prototype, which was leaked to the public in October 2008, and a demo version that had been available from ROM download sites since several years before. While the former features many differences from the final version, especially concerning the gameplay and levels, the latter displays even more divergences, with a noticeably different heads-up display centered at the top of the screen.
In July 2010, it was revealed that the game was initially developed for the Super NES.
Rayman is a 2D side-scrolling platform game, unlike its successors. The game takes place in a valley which is made up of six different worlds, half of which are natural (the Dream Forest, Blue Mountains, and the Caves of Skops), while the other half is 'imaginary' (Band Land, Picture City, and the Candy Château). Each of these worlds excluding Candy Château contains three or four levels, each with six cages with Electoons to find. The game's difficulty is progressive, meaning that it gets harder as the player continues.
The game's heads-up display consist of how many lives Rayman has, three units of energy (four in Rayman Advance) and five with a Super Power (six in Rayman Advance), and how many Tings he has collected. Rayman normally starts with four lives and three health units, and can collect up to 99 lives. When he takes damage, he loses one unit, and when he loses all of them, he loses a life, his temporary fist powers, and all of the Tings he had collected. Upon Game Over, he has up to nine continues depending on the version, which are represented with alarm clocks.
The game is considered extremely difficult – much more so than the later instalments in the series. Many players do not complete it. This is because the game was never play-tested, leaving the developers with no conception of how difficult it would be for a new player. As a result of the original game's renowned difficulty, great efforts were taken to make Rayman Origins accessible to both beginners and veteran players. 
List of powers and power-ups
At the start of the game, Rayman is only able to pull a grimace, which is used to scare certain enemies. As he continues, he would receive permanent powers from Betilla the Fairy that gradually widen his abilities, as well as receive a few temporary ones.
- Grimace: Rayman's only ability at the game's beginning, only useful for getting rid of tall Livingstones which are scared of this.
- Telescopic fist: The first power that Rayman gains from Betilla the Fairy, which allows Rayman to punch enemies to defeat them. This can be temporarily powered up by Speed Fists and Golden Fists.
- Hanging: Allows Rayman to hang onto ledges.
- Grappling Fist: When acquired, Rayman can use his fist to grapple onto flying rings which are scattered around the place, allowing him to reach high places and cross wide gaps.
- Helicopter: When acquired, Rayman can use his odd looking hair as a helicopter which only allows him to glide, and prolong his jumps.
- Running: Rayman's last permanent power, which allows him to move faster than walking. It also makes his jumps a lot longer and faster. This replaces the grimace.
- Magic Seed: Given to Rayman after helping Tarayzan, Rayman plants seeds to help him reach ledges and escape floods.
- Super Helicopter: A potion that allows Rayman to actually fly with his helicopter hair.
- Shrinking: Touching Blue elves makes Rayman tiny, which is useful for accessing areas which were too small for normal-sized Rayman to go through. He returns to normal size when he touches another Flying blue elf.
- Tings: Small blue bubbles, used either to pay the Magician to enter a bonus stage, or to gain an extra life when 100 are collected.
- Powers: Comes in either a small red atom with a P on the front, or a large red one - the former gives Rayman one or two units of health, while the latter replenishes his entire health.
- Speed Fist: Allows Rayman's fist to fly faster than normal. Three different speeds are available.
- Golden Fist: Allows Rayman's fist to be twice as strong.
- Life: Gives Rayman an extra life, as well as restoring his entire health.
Throughout the game, Rayman meets an array of different characters, some of which aid him through his journey.
- The Magician: He introduces the game's story. He can also be found at several points of the game, in which he would offer Rayman to access bonus stages and help him win extra lives, for a price of ten Tings.
- Betilla the Fairy: A benevolent floating female fairy who failed to protect the Great Protoon from Mr Dark. She holds a very important role in the game – she gives Rayman new powers during the adventure.
- Tarayzan: Rayman's jungle counterpart, he gives Rayman a magic seed in return for giving him back his loincloth. One of the very few others to be seen from Rayman's species.
- The Photographer: This character acts as checkpoint. Should Rayman lose a life, he will return to where he last had his photograph taken.
- The Musician: Located high in the Blue Mountains with his family, his guitar had been crushed by a rock which Rayman must break to make him a new one out of stone. In return, the Musician gives Rayman the super helicopter power.
- Joe the Extra-Terrestrial: An alien that owns his own snack bar on the beach in the Caves of Skops. His neon lights have been unplugged, and Rayman must go down into the dark caves to plug them back in.
- Bzzit: The first boss (or mid-boss) of the game, a large eyed mosquito, who lives in Anguish Lagoon in the Dream Forest. After Rayman defeats him he befriends Rayman and can be used as a vehicle. He later appears as a friend in Rayman Revolution.
- Moskito: Bzzit's stronger counterpart, and the boss of the Dream Forest.
- Mr Sax: Boss of Band Land, he is a walking saxophone that attacks by blowing explosive wrong notes.
- Mr Stone: Boss of the Blue Mountains, he is a man made of stone who constantly thumps on the ground and sends smaller stone creatures to attack Rayman.
- Space Mama: A very large woman who's the boss of Picture City. She is first represented as a stereotypical female opera singer, with a rolling pin which shoots out knives. In the second battle, her rolling pin shoots out lasers, while also using exploding pots and a washing machine.
- Mr Skops: A scorpion who is boss of the Caves of Skops. He attacks with his giant claws and tail which shoots a homing laserbeam.
- Bad Rayman: The result of a spell that Mr Dark casts in the Candy Château who resembles Rayman with a dark palette and mimics every move he makes throughout the stage. He can only be defeated by finishing a stage while letting him follow Rayman
- Mr Dark: The main antagonist of the game, who steals Rayman's fist powers and casts strange spells on him. When he finally approaches him he would not really fight but rather trap Rayman with walls of fire. At this point the Electoons return the fist, but Mr Dark flees after, leaving him to actually fight hybrids of the previous bosses. His hideout is located in the Candy Château.
The credits of Rayman list fifteen names under the heading 'Sound Effects and Music', leaving it unclear which people were involved in the creation of sound effects and which were involved in composing, arranging and programming the game's musical score. In August 2009, French musician Rémi Gazel posted in the RayTunes subforum of the Rayman Pirate-Community message board, and stated that he had composed almost the entire soundtrack of the game. The Atari Jaguar version features substantially different musical credits, but since most of the music in this version is the same, it can be determined that the names shared between this version and the others are the ones who composed the music itself. In addition to Rémi Gazel, known composers credited in all versions include Nathalie Drouet, Frédéric Prados, Olac Zalcman and possibly Frédéric Louvre.
Rayman received generally positive reviews from critics. The GameRankings review aggregator calculated scores of 77.00% and 75.00% for the MS-DOS and Sony PlayStation versions respectively, while the Sega Saturn and Atari Jaguar versions both received scores of 85.00%. The game's graphics and soundtrack received particular praise, along with its imaginative art style and complex level design. Criticism focused on its gameplay, which was regarded as solid but not particularly inventive or original. The game also drew criticism for its unforgiving difficulty; the player was required not only to perform very difficult platforming and combat manoeuvres, but also to locate and smash all 102 Electoon cages scattered throughout the game in order to unlock the final level, Mr Dark's Dare. Many players did not complete the game due to its difficulty.
In the United Kingdom, Rayman was the best-selling game to be released on the original PlayStation console.
- ↑ http://raymanorigins.uk.ubi.com/blog/2011/11/03/10-ways-to-die/
- ↑ http://www.raymanpc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=406055#p406055
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/198418-rayman/index.html
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/ps/915755-rayman/index.html
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/saturn/574547-rayman/index.html
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/jaguar/586903-rayman/index.html
- ↑ Eurogamer.net, 2005 UK Sales Review • Page 3, http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/a_uksalesreview_part1?page=3
|Rayman (1995) • Rayman 2: The Great Escape (1999) • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (2003) • Rayman Origins (2011) • Rayman Legends (2013)|