- This article is about the video game. For the character, see Rayman. For the series as a whole, see Rayman (series).
Rayman (Video Game) is a 2D platformer and the first game in the Rayman series created by Michel Ancel. It was originally released in September 1st 1995 for the PlayStation and Atari Jaguar on the 8th. Two months later it was released for the Sega Saturn. It was supposed to be on the Sega 32X, Mac OS/Pippin, Amiga & SNES, but it was cancelled.
The PlayStation version was unique in that it had an extended soundtrack, which featured drum beats and a Boss Victory theme that was absent in other releases of the game, that instead uses the Rayman menu theme. It had a feature called erroneously called "password saving" that allowed players to unlock and continue a certain point in the game through the use of a password, which could easily be exploited and skip entire portions of the game.
The original PlayStation release is available on PlayStation Network as a download.
The evil Mr. Dark steals the Great Protoon and defeats Betilla the Fairy. The Electoons are scattered around the world and Rayman must find them and defeat Mr. Dark. The Magician helps out Rayman during the journey by offering special minigames. Tings are collected for extra lives and new powers are earned, such as using Fists and The Helicopter.
Originally the plot of Rayman was very different. Many magazines had things like: Join Jimmy, a 10-year-old who escapes reality by entering Hereitscool, a fantasy kingdom he has created within the realms of his computer. When an evil power takes over Hereitscool, Jimmy becomes Rayman, a super hero who must save his friends before it's too late! But it was scrapped for obvious reasons, and Rayman is his own being in his own world in the final version. There were a few comments in the story, such as "Sorry folks, this appearance can't last. Do you want to play or what?", but they were cut for the final version. It is because of this game that Ubisoft is as big as it is today.
Rayman is a traditional side-scrolling platform game. The object of the game is to free all the Electoons and defeat Mr. Dark's minions across five worlds: Dream Forest, Band Land, Blue Mountains, Picture City, Cave of Skops, and Candy Chateau. The player must free 6 electoon cages in each area; these areas are split up into 2 or more levels, which can have 1, many or no cages. Only when every Electoon is freed will Rayman be able to enter into Mr. Dark's hideout in Candy Chateau. The first level of each area has a return signpost that Rayman can use to return to the world map (known as the Glade of Dreams in later games). By doing so, Rayman loses the tings that were collected before returning- but cages, health and extra lives are kept. Once Rayman finishes the first level of any area, he cannot return to the map.
Scattered around each level are little blue spheres called Tings. If Rayman picks up a hundred of them, he gains an extra life, but they can also be used to pay The Magician 10 tings, and enter a bonus level where an extra life is rewarded if Rayman collects all the tings before the timer runs out. When Rayman dies, he loses all of the Tings he collected. After losing all lives, Rayman will be taken to the game over screen where he can use a total of 5 continues. Once a continue is used, Rayman will always start off with 3 lives and 3 health and no powerups.
Throughout the levels, Rayman will be able to learn new abilities from Betilla the Fairy:-
- Telescopic fist: Rayman can attack enemies at a distance by launching his fist
- Hanging on ledges
- Grabbing power: Rayman can grab extra lives from a distance and swing from purple Lums by punching them
- Helicopter: allows Rayman to hover after jumping to reach far off platforms
- Sprint: Rayman can travel faster, but not by much. It is more useful for making long jumps.
In addition, Rayman will come across a variety of other power-ups and bonuses, among which are:-
- Red "P's" that refill Rayman's lost health (large red P's can maximize health to 5 points)
- Extra lives that are in the form of small figurines of Rayman which can be grabbed
- A golden glove that allows Rayman's punches to deal 1 more damage
- A speed glove that allows punches to be thrown faster and further
- A potion that will allow Rayman to fly indefinitely (although this is featured only in certain levels that require flying around obstacles)
- Flying blue elves that will shrink Rayman down in size to allow him to squeeze through tight platforming sections.
- A fist powerup that lights up dark places (only featured on one level in the Caves of Skops area Eat at Joe's, given by Joe)
- Pink Plant Woods
- Anguish Lagoon
- The Swamps of Forgetfulness
- Moskito's Nest
- Bongo Hills
- Allegro Presto
- Gong Heights
- Mr. Sax's Hullaballoo
- Twilight Gulch
- The Hard Rocks
- Mr. Stone's Peaks
- Mr. Dark's Dare
The Atari Jaguar port was where initial development was made for the game prior to its release (in fact, a few prototypes for the game exist for the console). However, Ubisoft decided to shift focus on the PS1 port of the game due to the PS1's success as a console and its more capable hardware, as opposed to the Jaguar; they may have considered that making a debut release of the game on the Jaguar (at the time a failing console) was not a wise investment.
Because of its abrupt cease in development, the game that was released was largely unfinished: game mechanics such as ice physics were not yet implemented; platforming sections where Rayman was required to shrink by shrinking faeries have been removed; certain levels are absent and the final area, Mr Dark's Dare, has a completely new level layout- presumably because the game was already finished on the PS1 and the developers did not have time to port the original levels to the Atari Jaguar, meaning that some sort of "filler" had to have been made before the final rush to release the port a week later after the game's debut.
As a result, the original debut of the game that was planned to be released on September 1st 1995 was the PS1 version, the date that was initially planned for the Jaguar release. Instead, it was released a week later on September 8th.
A port for the Sega Saturn was released in October 30th, almost 2 months after the game's debut. It is largely the same as the PS1 port, the only differences being minor: sound effects are oddly high pitched, certain environment effects are missing such as fog or glowing lava and loading times were longer. However, 3D transition effects were added and played when loading levels. Unlike the PlayStation version which required a memory card for saves, the Saturn version had on-board saving, and so the password system was removed.
A PC port of Rayman was released several months after the game's debut, in 1996. There are key differences the PC version has from other ports of the game that make the game much easier: the pause screen has a menu that has settings and has an option to exit the game at any time- other versions' pause screens does not have a menu; Rayman has now up to 10 continues, twice the number of continues of other ports. Most notable of differences are changes to level design:-
- Challenging platforming sections have been simplified to be much easier
- More extra lives can be found
- 2nd last level of Moskitos nest has been redesigned, and the first level of Bongo Hills has been replaced with a new level- both with newer textures.
- Cage and extra life locations have been changed- either they have switched places or put in new secret areas. Cages however are now much more difficult to find.
Several rereleases of the PC port also have been made that had expansions:-
- Rayman Gold was an updated version released in 1997. It featured an expansion called Rayman Designer which allowed players to design their very own Rayman levels, and came with 24 pre-designed levels to play. The levels are played in a time attack mode: the player has to collect 100 tings to unlock the exit at the best time possible.
- Rayman Forever was an updated version of the previous expansion. There was also a contest in which the fans of Rayman could make and play their own levels and submit them to UbiSoft. So the creators took the best 40 levels the fans made and turned it into Rayman By His Fans which they put on Rayman Forever. It also included a sneak peek of Rayman 2. Unfortunately some of the soundtrack had to be deleted. This was supposed to save space but the total track time ended up being six minutes longer than Rayman Gold's.
- Rayman Collector was version released in 1999 that had 60 levels plus all of the extra levels from Rayman Gold and Forever and 3 small minigames. It was a French exclusive release.
Rayman Advance is a port of the original game for the Game Boy Advance which celebrated the 5 year anniversary of Rayman. It was largely based on the PC version, albeit with watered-down graphics and sound because of the GBA's inferior hardware. The game was made slightly easier to play: Rayman starts off with 4 health and can gain up to 6, as opposed to the original 3 with 5 on full.
PlayStation Network Version
This game is available for download from the PlayStation Network Store as a PS1 Classic. It is a digital download version of the original PlayStation title.
DSi Ware Version
The DSi Version was released on December 24, 2009. Less of the soundtrack was included and many graphical effects had to be modified.
Game Boy Version
A version released on the Game Boy (Color version). It had levels and music based on those found in Rayman 2: The Great Escape but had the storyline of the first game.
- All of the characters in the first game appear limbless. Early in development, Rayman was originally designed (in concept) with limbs. Unfortunately due to hardware limitations of the Jaguar, they had to remove Rayman's limbs- however the developers were pleased with Rayman's limbless design and stuck with it, making it a key character design feature.
- To defeat the enemies, unfortunately, you can't step on them. This is strange. In Rayman Origins and onwards, you can step on them.
- Hint: Rayman's punches are more powerful when jump-punching, even when wearing no gloves. This can be useful when dealing with enemies after losing a life.