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Alignment Neutral

Appears in Rayman 2, Rayman 3 (Game Boy Advance)
Location {{{location}}}
Portrayed by Pierre-Alain de Garrigues (Rayman 2 on PC, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast)

Sex Male
Species Nightmare of Polokus
Status Guardian

Relatives {{{relatives}}}

Unlock criteria {{{Unlock criteria}}}
A terrifying monster whose job it is to guard the subterranean grotto where the creatures, stemming from the nightmares of Polokus, are locked away. No one has dared to venture within the Cave of Bad Dreams, even though it's rumoured to contain an even more precious treasure...
—Manual, Rayman 2

Jano (commonly known as the Guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams) is a character from Rayman 2 (and its remakes, excluding Rayman 2 Forever) in which he guards the Cave of Bad Dreams, as well as the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3 where he is involved with the pirates. In the former game, he is the Guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams, a subterranean grotto in which the nightmares of Polokus are found and which it is his job to ensure are kept locked away. Jano also guards precious treasure, which, until found by Rayman, was only rumoured to exist.

The manual of Rayman Origins reveals that Jano was the first nightmare of Polokus, and that Polokus begot Jano during the First Bad Dream. It also reveals that Jano is the progenitor of the Antitoons. It was in response to this endless swarm of Antitoons that Betilla the Fairy and her nymph sisters created Rayman, meaning that Jano is indirectly responsible for Rayman's existence. (The game's official site claims that Polokus became Jano, but this is simply a mistranslation from the original French.)


Jano is a larger version of the one-eyed, fire-breathing monsters that dwell in the Cave of Bad Dreams and the Sanctuary of Stone and Fire, who additionally carries a staff with a skull on its top, and wears a magician's hat identical to that worn by Polokus. The skull atop his staff contains the Elixir of Life, which Rayman must gain to save his friend Clark, who became ill after munching on a rusty Robo-Pirate in the Menhir Hills.

Jano is a fierce but wise creature, with the ability to read an individual's mind, breathe fire, conjure floating skulls, and change his size (becoming huge during his battle with Rayman). As a guardian, he will ward off anyone that doesn't know the name of the Cave of Bad Dreams. Although he is an ally of Rayman in general, he challenges Rayman to find the treasure that is hidden deep in the Cave in Rayman 2, chases and battles him towards the level's end, and offers the treasure to him upon his defeat (even though Jano attempts to kill Rayman a number of times throughout the level).

He can tell whether or not an individual is greedy, so he rewards Rayman with the Elixir of Life for refusing to take the tempting treasure. In all versions of Rayman 2 (excluding the PlayStation version), the player gets to choose whether (s)he wants the treasure or not, and in choosing it, Rayman is cast to a deserted island surrounded by the gold, noticeably obese, resulting in 'the end of the game'.

Jano appears again in the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3, where he is the boss of the Haunted Dreams world.

Jano's name may have been derived from that of Janus, the two-faced Roman god of gates. This may be an allusion to Jano's two-faced nature: sometimes he helps Rayman; other times he tries to kill him.

In Rayman 2

Jano makes his first in-game appearance in the Marshes of Awakening, one of the earlier levels of Rayman 2. Encountering him at this point is optional: he can be found in a cavern located at the end of a hidden side-path in the swamp. If Rayman approaches him, Jano tells him that he cannot pass unless he knows the name of this place. Rayman must retrace his steps and continue the level as normal.

Later, Rayman meets up with his friend, Clark the Giant, in the Menhir Hills. Clark has become ill as a result of eating a rusty Robo-Pirate in the heat of battle. He tells Rayman that the only way to heal him is to recover the Elixir of Life from the Cave of Bad Dreams, where it is guarded by a fierce monster. This is also where the creatures born from the nightmares of Polokus are imprisoned. Rayman returns to the Marshes of Awakening, and Jano reads his mind, seeing that he now knows the name of Jano's domain. Jano tells Rayman that he has hidden a precious treasure within the Cave of Bad Dreams, and that Rayman can have it if he finds it. Jano warns Rayman that he will chase him, but says that he will give him a head start.

Jano then teleports Rayman to his lair, where he encounters many Mini Jano and other obstacles. Eventually Jano catches up with Rayman and chases him down a slimy slope in an attempt to eat him. Next, the two battle; Rayman must avoid the fireballs Jano spits, while traversing the floating skulls he conjures. After turning the tables on Jano and chasing him away, Rayman finds himself in a chamber filled with mountains of gold and jewels. Jano says that Rayman has defeated him, and asks him to choose between the treasure and the Elixir of Life. If the player selects the treasure, Jano punishes Rayman by making him obese and teleporting him to a desert island with only the treasure to keep him company, and the game ends. If the player chooses the Elixir, Rayman finds himself back in the Marshes of Awakening, where Jano is congratulating him on having made the right choice. Jano hands over the Elixir (which turns out to be contained in the skull mounted atop his staff), and sends Rayman on his way. Rayman thanks him and leaves. In spite of Jano's new benevolence, he still attacks Rayman should he return to the Cave of Bad Dreams.

Jano's role is smaller in the PlayStation version of Rayman 2. In this version, the Cave of Bad Dreams is accessed directly through a Spiral Door in the Hall of Doors, and the meeting in the Marshes of Awakening does not occur. Jano does not actually appear in the game until the beginning of Rayman's battle against him.

A glitch involves Jano has been known to occur in the PC, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast versions of Rayman 2. If the player returns to the Marshes of Awakening after beating the Cave of Bad Dreams, they can see a miniscule Jano floating over the swamp water, just on the left side of the log leading to the cave, where Rayman appears after choosing this level.

In the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3

Jano battles Rayman in Jano's Nest.

In the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3, Jano is the second of four bosses. He is fought in Jano's Nest, a level in Haunted Dreams, the second world of the game. Their passive–aggressive relationship from the previous game is continued. When Rayman sees Jano, he automatically grimaces, and Jano responds by shooting fireballs out of his staff and conjuring skulls out of the air as in the previous game. Again Rayman must chase Jano across the screen until he gives up. In this game, it is possible to hurt Jano by punching him, but this does not help Rayman to defeat him. Once the fight is over, Rayman demands to know where André is, and Jano tells him that André and has gone off to the Magmacosm with Admiral Razorbeard. Jano wishes him good luck, and Rayman leaves.

In Rayman Origins

During the First Bad Dream, Bubble Dreamer begot a foul and ferocious creature that none of us had ever seen before: Jano. Now Jano makes Darktoons like cows make milk, and before we knew what hit us, there were hundreds of them in all shapes and sizes, all causing quite a lot of trouble.
—Manual, Rayman Origins

Jano does not appear in Rayman Origins, but the game's manual and official website discuss him, and reveal some important information about his backstory. Jano was the First Bad Dream of Polokus; it was Jano's nightmarish birth that signalled the introduction of imbalance into the Glade of Dreams. When he was created, Jano began to spawn Darktoons, the stuff of nightmares and the warped opposites of the Electoons. In response to Jano and his Darktoon infestation, Betilla the Fairy and the other nymphs joined forces to create a hero who could restore balance to the world: Rayman. It seems that, on his very first adventure, the young Rayman put a stop to Jano's invasion, and the monster was forced to become the Guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams.