Rayman (early production)
- This article is about the early production of the of the game. For the SNES prototype, see Rayman (cancelled prototype).
Over the years, a considerable amount of information regarding the early development of the original Rayman game has been unveiled, 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.
According to an advertisement poster, a similar plot from the cancelled SNES version was supposed to be used in the Atari Jaguar version. The original plot followed a boy named Jimmy who created a world on his computer called Hereitscool. When Hereitscool became infected with a virus, Jimmy entered his virtual world and took on the persona of Rayman in order to defeat the virus. Reasons for this plot being scrapped are unknown.
On 25th August 2008, a YouTube video showing an early prototype of the Atari Jaguar version was uploaded. Two months later, this was leaked to the public along with 19 prototypes or other Jaguar titles. Along with this leaked prototype, there is also a beta version, which displays even more differences between the final version.
This version begins with Rayman dropping down in what appears to be a Dream Forest level, and feeling grumpy the second he hits the ground. Some elements in the game do not seem to be detected by Rayman, even the enemies such as the hunters and a mosquito, indicating poor collision detection. Interestingly, Rayman can also perform handstands and attack with his feet, and his fist can be charged up to be more powerful, which is displayed with an icon at the bottom left corner and the word ‘Nova’ next to it.
There is also a very early looking heads-up display which is centered rather than to the left and right, there are more hit points than normal and the word ‘POW’ is between that and the lives counter. An icon of an Antitoon is displayed instead of the Tings icon, and apparently it counts and represents how many enemies have been defeated. Only the lives counter and five of the hit points made it into the final game.
The game crashes when Rayman falls into a body of water.
A mosquito standing still in the air.
Early beta version
This version has no specific prototype number, and it is unknown how much younger it is than the Atari Jaguar's prototype, or whether or not this is the same beta that was used to advertise the game in magazines.
Several differences between this prototype and the final version are present, as well as glitches which may render the game unplayable, especially while running in a Jaguar emulator.
- The game begins with no title screen, but straight to the world map which has been shrunk to fit the whole screen. Instead of Rayman, an Electoon pinpoints his position.
- There appear to be fewer levels available to choose from as they are unlocked, and the level icons look different.
- There is no text at all in the game other than ‘ACTION’ and ‘GAME OVER’.
- The game uses a completely different walk cycle for Rayman, making him look as if he is jogging.
- When Rayman is hit by an enemy, the throwback is a lot longer than normal, and he squeaks.
- When Rayman runs up to an exit sign, he does not pose, but rather the game fades to the next stage or the map.
- The lives counter displays a single digit.
- Some enemies appear to float across the screen.
- The bullets shot by the hunters do not withdraw a hammer.
- Select maps are featured in the game. For example, when the Pink Plant Woods are passed, the player goes straight to the Swamps of Forgetfulness.
- Rayman's body moves differently when he receives a power from Betilla the Fairy.
- The Magician can be found and is paid with Tings as normal, but instead of a normal bonus level, he takes the player to the Breakout game.
An early Japanese demo on PlayStation from December 9, 1994 has some major differences from the final release. There are only 2 levels available, one from the Dream Forest and the other from the Blue Mountains. Both levels feature unique level design not seen in the final game.
- The world map is the same as from the Atari Jaguar beta version with an Electoon moving on the map. There is also a point on the giant, floating present, although it can't be accessed.
- In the files, Band Land is referred to as Chromatic Skies and Picture City as Image City—almost literal translations of the original French names Le Ciel Chromatique and La Cité des Images.
- Early loading screen images are used.
- Early sequenced music is used.
- When falling from high places Rayman will appear stunned.
- The lives counter displays a single digit.
- Rather than getting Electoon markers on a medallion upon breaking a cage the player now has to collect the Electoons from it with a separate counter being available for that, replacing the tings.
- The Big Powers use an incorrect palette for parts of their animation.
Rayman Designer hacking
Main article: Rayman Designer hacking
Rayman Designer hacking allowed players to find unused textures and events which were probably meant to be in the final version but soon removed. Such sprites include a giant lava rock, clouds with a face and a strange portal.
- Official gameplay video of Engine Test (Atari Jaguar) at YouTube
- Official gameplay video of early Beta version (Atari Jaguar) at YouTube
- Gameplay video of an early PlayStation demo at YouTube
- YouTube, sm21657890 + sm21628083 + sm21657890 -【非売品】ブルートプレス Vol 17 1994年12月号, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4VN-nHzyEk&t=3305